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Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 21, 1960: 'A New Voice in Laos'

An editorial in the New York Times on this day in 1960, headlined, "A New Voice in Laos," states, "The new Government of Premier Roun Oum in Laos appears to be firmly in the saddle and, speaking with a more decisive voice than has been heard in Laos for some time, Prince Boun Ouba [sp?] declares that thee can be no coalition Government, and that, while Loas is bound to military neutrality, 'neutrality' as expounded in Asia has become a 'vain word' contradicting the facts of life.

"The development is welcome in Washington as offering Laos another opportunity to protect its freedom and integrity. For that purpose the United States is resuming its suspended military aid and other Southeast Asian allies are giving civilian aid to help devastated Vientiane.

"but the danger to Laos is not yet over. As in the Congo, the Soviets refuse to accept defeat and with the aid of Chinese and North Vietnamese Communists continue to airlift arms and ammunition to the retreating rebels. at the same time, the Soviets are seeking to gain by wile what they have not gained by force. This move aims at calling an 'international conference' to settle the Laotian problem, at a revival of the disbanded control commisson dominated by India and Poland, and at the establishment of another 'neutralist' Government of 'national unity,' including the Communists. It is regrettable that British Foreign Secretary Home, despite all the experience in Czechoslovakia, in China and in Laos itself, seems to be lending aid to this move. Premoer Boun Oum has rightly characterized it as an attempt to 'bring the wolf into the sheepfold.'"

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