Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lao decree set to unite ethnic groups

Lao decree set to unite ethnic groups

Lao decree set to unite ethnic groups

The Lao government has promulgated a prime ministerial decree designed to promote unity among the nation’s diverse ethnic groups.

The Lao National Gazette, a government website which posts information concerning legislation, last week published the Prime Ministerial Decree on Ethnic Groups, which provides officials with guidelines for the regulation of ethnic groups.

Under the decree, which Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith endorsed on March 30, individuals and all types of organisations, in both the public and private sectors, are encouraged to engage in the affairs of the country’s ethnic groups.

The decree states that ethnic groups must be governed using principles that ensure unity and equality. Besides, all ethnic groups should be permitted to practise their special customs and traditions under the country’s Constitution and laws.

The decree bans all forms of discrimination against ethnic groups while calling for all ethnic groups to be provided with equal opportunities for development and participation in national protection and development.

To build unity among ethnic groups, the government has specified 12 policies, including the expansion of infrastructure in rural areas. This is aimed at enabling ethnic communities in remote areas to more easily access state services and development opportunities.

Under the policy, the government will support the development of educational facilities in rural areas and children from low-income families will have the opportunity to attend school free of charge, especially vocational schools.

Concerning the provision of health care for ethnic groups, it is the government’s policy to provide poor families with free health care.

In particular, hospital treatment for children under the age of five will be provided free of charge.

While all ethnic groups are allowed and encouraged to maintain their cultural practices, it is the state’s policy to end the practice of traditions that hinder the social advancement of certain ethnic groups.

In this regard, the government encourages ethnic groups to use their cultural practices and communities to attract tourists, as a means to generate income and alleviate poverty.

It also encourages them to use natural resources in sustainable ways, which it believes can be achieved by people having permanent jobs and regular incomes.

It aims to provide them with easier access to legal services and ensure they are familiar with the country’s laws, as deeper knowledge of legislation will enable them to protect their legitimate interests.

People from the various ethnic groups are encouraged to become civil servants and the government gives them opportunities to play a part in public administration.

Laos has a complex mosaic of ethnic groups which include Mon-Khmer peoples such as the Bru, Kuy, Ngeq, Phong, Souei and Ta’Oi.



  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting