February 5, 2013

His Excellency
Thongsing Thammavong
Prime Minister
People's Democratic Republic of Laos


Dear Excellency,

Re: Request urgent investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone

We, members of parliament across Asia and Europe, write to you deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr. Sombath Somphone one of the most prominent Lao co-organizers of the Asia Europe People’s Forum 9, the founder and former Director of PADETC and one of the most respected and influential voices for sustainable people-centred and just economic and social development in Laos as well as in Asia.


Mr. Sombath Somphone has been missing since about 5 pm on Saturday December 15th 2012. His wife and colleagues last saw Mr. Sombath Somphone on December 15 at 5 pm when he left the PADETC office in Vientiane to go home. He left the office in his own car; his wife was in another car. He did not reach home and his family has had no news from or about him since then.

We are concerned about his safety, his state of health and his well-being.

We are aware that the International Organising Committee of the Asia Europe People’s Forum has worked intensively with Mr. Sombath Somphone over the last year. His contribution to the successful Asia Europe People’s Forum 9 in Vientiane on the 16-19 October was extremely significant, widely recognized and deeply respected. In addition he is a highly respected educationalist, inspiration for sustainable development and a recipient of the prestigious international Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005. He has dedicated his life to sustainable development and poverty reduction in the Lao PDR, and has contributed positively to numerous international processes, including the AEPF9. Mr. Sombath is an inspiration to development practitioners all over the world.

We are deeply concerned for Mr. Sombath’s safety and well-being and his disappearance is cause for great alarm.

We urge the Lao Government to immediately and urgently initiate an investigation into Mr. Sombath’s disappearance. And, we call on the government to undertake all actions necessary to ensure his immediate safe return to his family.

Yours sincerely,


  • Petra Bayr, Social Democratic Party

  • Efgani Dönmez , Green Party

  • Judith Schwentner, Green Party

  • Tanja Windbüchler-Souchil, Green Party

  • Wolfgang Zinggl, Green Party

  • Lee Rhiannon, Australian Greens

  • Céline Delforge (Parliament of the Brussel's Region), Ecolo-Groen

  • Son Chay (Party Whip) Sam Rainsy Party

  • Thomas Gambke, Group Alliance 90/ The Greens

  • Annette Groth (Human Rights Spokesperson of the Parliamentary Group), Die Linke

  • Heike Hänsel (Spokesperson for Development Policy of the Parliamentary Group), Die Linke

  • Wolfgang Gehrke (Foreign Policy Speaker of the Parliamentary Group), Die Linke

  • Stefan Liebich, Die Linke

  • Frithjof Schmidt, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/ The Greens

  • M. Hanif Dhakiri, Nation Awakening Party (PKB)

  • Budiman Sudjatmiko, Gedung DPR/MPR

  • Lily Chadidjah Wahid, Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB)

  • Chong Chieng Jen, Democratic Action Party

  • Tian Chua, Parti Keadilan Rakyat

  • Teo Nie Ching, Democratic Action Party

  • Ngeh Koo Ham, Democratic Action Party

  • M Manoraharan, Democratic Action Party

  • Tony Pua, Democratic Action Party

  • Charles Santiago, Democratic Action Party

  • Ramakrishan Suppiah, Democratic Action Party

  • Liew Chin Tong, Democratic Action Party

  • Tuur Elzinga (Senator), Socialist Party

  • Walden Bello, Akbayan

  • Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Liberal Party

  • Arlene Bag-ao, Akbayan

  • Jorge Banal, Liberal Party

  • Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Bagong Henerasyon

  • Lorenzo Tanada III, Liberal Party

  • Alasdair Allan, Scottish National Party

  • Laia Ortiz Castellví, G.P. La Izquierda Plural

  • Jens Holm, Swedish Left Party

  • Francine John-Calame, Green Party

  • Liliane Maury Pasquier, Social Democratic Party

  • Luc Recordon , Green Party

  • Maria Roth-Bernasconi, Social Democratic Party

  • Geraldine Savary , Social Democratic Party

  • Veeravit Gongsakdi, Senator

  • Prasarn Marukpitak, Senator

  • Sumol Sutaviyawat, Senator

  • Somchai Swangkarn, Senator

  • Rosana Tositrakul, Senator

  • Trungjai Buranasomphob, Senator

  • Lothar Bisky, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Nikolas Chountis, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Greece)

  • Cornelia Ernst, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Mikael Gustafsson, MEP, Vice Chair GUE/NGL Group,

  • Chair Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (Sweden),

  • Thomas Händel, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Jürgen Klute, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Barbara Lochbihler, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

  • Chair of Subcommittee on Human Rights (Germany)

  • Sabina Lösing, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Marisa Matias, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Portugal)

  • Willy Meyer, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Spain)

  • Paul Murphy, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Ireland)

  • Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP, Group of the European People's Party (Finland)

  • Niccolò Rinaldi, MEP, Vice Chair Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (Italy)

  • Helmut Scholz, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Søren Bo Søndergaard, MEP, Member of the Bureau GUE/NGL Group (Denmark)

  • Alda Sousa, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Portugal)

  • Marie-Christine Vergiat, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (France)

  • Sabine Wils, MEP, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Tatjana Zdanoka, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Latvia)

  • Gabriele Zimmer, MEP, Chair GUE/NGL Group (Germany)

  • Minister of the Prime Minister Office

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR

  • Ministry of Public Security Lao PDR

  • Lao National Assembly VII, Members of the Standing Committee

    • Pany Yathotu, President

    • Saysomphone Phomvihan, Vice-President

    • SomphanhPhengkhammy, Vice-President

    • Douangdy Outhachak, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Ethnic Affairs Committee

    • Davone Vangvichit, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Law Committee

    • Koukeo Akkhamounty, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Foreign Affairs Committee

    • Souvanpheng Boupphanouvong, Member of the Standing Committee,

    • President of Economics Planning and Finance Committee

    • Phonethep Pholsena, Member of the Standing Committee, President of Cultural and Social Affairs Committee

    • Vilay Douangmany, Member of the Standing Committee, President of National Defence and Security Committee

    • Ounkeo Vouthirath, Member of the Standing Committee, chief of the Cabinet

  • ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh

  • Ambassador David Lipman, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, and EU Representative to the Ninth Asia Europe People’s Forum in Vientiane

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