Dee Finney's blog
start date July 20, 2011
today's date May 17, 2014
TOPIC: WHY WAS THE DEFENSE MINISTER TAKEN OUT?
Laos plane crash: 16 killed, including Laotian Defence Minister.
A military plane has crashed in Laos, killing 16 people on board, including the
country's defence minister, according to Thai authorities.
A Lao Defence Ministry source said that the sole survivor was a nurse who was
pulled from the wreckage along with two others who later succumbed to injuries.
A Laotian defence ministry source confirmed the accident but did not give
details about casualties among those on board.
"A Laos air force plane has crashed on its way to Xiang Khouang province in the
north of the country," the defence official said.
"The mayor of Vientiane, the defence minister of Laos and his wife were on
Thai defence ministry secretary Nipat Thonglek said Laotian defence minister
Douangchay Phichit was among five senior officials killed in the crash.
Major General Douangchay Phichit (April
5, 1944 – May 17, 2014) was a Laotianpolitician
from Attapeu. He served as the Deputy Prime Minister and National ..
en.wikipedia.org/.../Politburo_of_the_Lao_People's_Revolutionar... - Similarto
Politburo of the Lao People's
Revolutionary Party - ...
The first-ranked member is the President of Laos and
the General Secretary of the Central Committee, Choummaly Sayasone. ...
9, Douangchay Phichit
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Laos - Similarto
Politics of Laos -
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The politics of Laos takes
place in the framework of a single-party socialist republic. ...Douangchay
Phichit (also defense
minister), Thongloun Sisoulith ( also ...
You are here: Home / Archives for Douangchay
Phichit ... Nam's
Minister of Defence General Phung Quang Thanh and his Lao counterpart Douangchay Phichit, ...
Mr Thonglek said he was informed of the deaths by a senior Laotian military
The accident also killed Minister of Public Security Thongbanh Sengaphone,
Secretariat of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party's Central Committee and Head
of the Propaganda Training Committee Cheuang Sombounkhanh, and Mayor of
Vientiane Soukanh Mahalath.
The foreign ministry in Bangkok said about 20 people were on board the AN74-300
aircraft, adding that it had crashed early on Saturday morning (local time).
The officials on board the flight were believed to be travelling to a ceremony
in Xiang Khouang, a province in the country's north-east.
Laotian news agency KPL released photos of the plane's wreckage in the jungle.
"The cause of [the] accident is under investigation," it said in a brief
Laos has had 30 fatal air accidents since the 1950s, according to the Aviation
In October last year, a
civilian airplane operated by Lao Airlines plunged into the Mekong River in bad
weather, killing all 49 people on board.
The landlocked country of about seven million people has an authoritarian
one-party government and is one of Asia's poorest nations.
Top Lao Officials Lie in State After Plane Crash
The bodies of three top officials from Laos who died in a plane crash over the
weekend lay in state Monday ahead of funerals in the secretive Southeast Asian
At least five people have been confirmed dead so far, including Defense Minister
Douangchay Phichit. About 18 people were believed to have been on board the
Ukrainian-made AN-74TK-300 transport aircraft when it went down Saturday in
Xiangkhoung province, about 470 kilometers (290 miles) from the capital,
The Lao state news agency, KPL, described the crash as an accident and said it
was being investigated.
The Lao Communist government is notoriously secret and most information about
the crash came from officials in neighboring Thailand.
The news agency said those lying in state included Douangchay, Public Security
Minister Thongbane Sengaphone and Vientiane Gov. Sukhan Mahalad.
Douangchay was also one of Laos' deputy prime ministers and a high-ranking
member of its Politburo, the main decision-making body for the nation's
all-powerful Lao People's Revolutionary Party, which has ruled since 1975.
Laos declared a three-day national mourning after the crash, which ends Monday.
The plane crash was the second for Laos in less than a year. In October, a Lao
Airlines ATR-72 turboprop crashed during a heavy storm as it approached Pakse
Airport in southern Laos, killing all 49 people on board.
Martial Law In Thailand: What You Need To Know
BANGKOK (AP) — As Thailand finishes its first day under martial law, there are
some questions that the military action raises. Many wonder if the arrival of
soldiers in the streets of Bangkok constitutes a military coup, and how it
affects people living in the Thai capital or visiting.
Here is a guide to understanding what martial law means for Thailand and the
country's tumultuous political crisis:
WHY MARTIAL LAW? The army says it needs to restore order after long-running
political protests that have been targeted by violence, including the use of
"war weapons against the people." In the latest attack last week, grenades fired
at an anti-government protest site in Bangkok left three people dead and more
than 20 injured.
WHY NOW? The anti-government protest leader billed this week as the "final
battle" in ousting the government. Meanwhile, thousands of "Red Shirt"
government supporters were gathering on Bangkok's outskirts. The military
stepped in partly to prevent clashes between the sides.
COULD THIS BE THE FIRST STEP IN A COUP? A coup is always a possibility in
Thailand. The military has staged 11 successful coups since the end of absolute
monarchy in 1932, but it made no immediate moves Tuesday to dissolve the
country's constitution or its current caretaker government. If uncontrollable
violence erupts, the military might have little choice but to step up its role
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE GOVERNMENT? Thailand's caretaker government remains in
power, though it didn't look particularly powerful on Tuesday. Acting Prime
Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan waited nearly 12 hours to respond to the
army's announcement. An aide told reporters the prime minister's location was
being kept secret for security reasons, and he met with Cabinet ministers in a
"safe house." Cabinet ministers said the army had not consulted the government
before declaring martial law.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT ORDINARY THAIS AND VISITORS? Not much, at least for now.
Life in Bangkok, a sprawling capital of 10 million people, was largely
unaffected. Schools, businesses and tourist sites opened as usual. The military
kept a low profile in central Bangkok. Soldiers were mainly visible around the
two main protest sites and at some key intersections. Despite foreign government
warnings to avoid protest areas, the mood was not tense. Some Thais posed for
selfies with the soldiers.
HOW HAVE RED SHIRTS REACTED? Red Shirts have expressed no outrage, saying they
could accept martial law but that they won't tolerate a coup. A move by the
military toward a full-blown coup could incite the Red Shirts and lead to more
MUST PROTESTERS DISBAND? The army says it will allow peaceful protests but wants
to "prevent clashes between groups of protesters with different views." It has
said protesters gathered in Bangkok can stay at their rally sites but are banned
from marching or moving to other locations.
HOW LONG WILL MARTIAL LAW LAST? WHAT'S NEXT? The army chief says martial law
will stay in place until "the country is peaceful and safe." The timeframe
depends on what happens next, and whether any violence erupts. Possible
— Protesters go home and elections can be held.
— The military acts as mediator and brokers a compromise.
— Anti-government senators push ahead with plans to install an unelected prime
minister, a move that would anger Red Shirt protesters.
— A court intervenes and stages a "judicial coup" to unseat the government,
another move that would fire up Red Shirts.
— Violence erupts.
— A full military coup is launched.
MARTIAL LAW MEASURES. Over the course of the day, the army interrupted regular
broadcasting to announce various edicts and expansions of its power under
— Protesters gathered in Bangkok cannot march outside of their protest sites.
— Ten politically affiliated satellite and cable TV stations, including those
funded by pro- and anti-government protest movements, are asked to stop
broadcasting until further notice.
— TV and radio stations should interrupt any regular programming for army
— Any broadcast or publication that could "incite unrest" is banned.
— Social media cannot be used to incite violence or opposition to the military
authorities, and violators will be prosecuted.
— Police should hand over reinforcements to the military if requested.
Typically, under martial law soldiers also have authority to enter and search
private property and make seizures in the name of keeping peace.
THE WORLD REACTS. From Thailand's neighbors to the United States, nations
watched closely as the events unfolded in Thailand. Some reaction:
UNITED STATES: U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. was
very concerned. We "urge all parties to respect democratic principles, including
respect for freedom of speech. We expect the Army to honor its commitment to
make this a temporary action to prevent violence, and to not undermine
PHILIPPINES: Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the Thai unrest
might spook investors but that trade was still flowing and supply chains still
moving. "We're just cheering on the sidelines for them to resolve it. Thailand
is a great country. They've shown their resilience and we're confident that this
is a short-term hiccup."
INDONESIA: Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said his country was deeply
concerned and hoped normalcy could be restored quickly. "Indonesia has
consistently called for respect of constitutional process and democratic
principles in order to promote national reconciliation and unity, reflecting the
wishes of the Thai people."
JAPAN: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga urged Thailand to resolve the
disputes peacefully. "We would like to urge all relevant parties to exercise
restraint and not to use violence, and we strongly hope that they can peacefully
resolve the differences of their positions through democratic process and
sincere dialogue." Suga said Japan will take necessary steps to ensure safety of
the Japanese citizens and the companies in Thailand.
AUSTRALIA: The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade urged all parties in
Thailand to resolve their differences through peaceful democratic processes.
"Thailand has Australia's goodwill and support as it tries to find ways to
settle its political difficulties."
AP writers Thanyarat Doksone and Todd Pitman in Bangkok, Jim Gomez in Manila,
Philippines, Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Rod McGuirk in Canberra,
Australia, contributed to this report.