Laos: Post WW II

  • Minorities in Laos

    Some Vietnamese, Chinese and Thailand Thai minorities remain, particularly in the towns, but many left after independence in the late 1940s, many of whom relocated either to Vietnam, Hong Kong, or to France.
  • Japanese Control

    Following a brief Japanese occupation during World War II, the country declared its independence in 1945.
  • Laos' French Constitution

    In 1968, the North Vietnamese Army launched a multi-division attack to help the communist Pathet Lao to fight against the Royal Lao Army.
  • French Control's Again

    The French under Charles de Gaulle re-asserted their control and only in 1950 was Laos granted semi-autonomy within the French Union. Moreover, the French remained in control until 1954, when Laos gained full independence as a constitutional monarchy.
  • U.S. Help

    In 1955, the U.S. Department of Defense created a special Programs Evaluation Office to replace French support of the Royal Lao Army against the communist Pathet Lao as part of the U.S. containment policy.
  • Vietnam War

    Laos was dragged into the Vietnam War and the eastern parts of the country followed North Vietnam and adopted North Vietnam as a fraternal country. Laos allowed North Vietnam to use its land as a supply route for its war against the South Vietnam.
  • Constitution

    The revised constitution of 11 May 1957 omitted reference to the French Union, though close educational, health and technical ties with the former colonial power persisted.
  • The Fight Within

    In 1960, amidst a series of rebellions, fighting broke out between the Royal Lao Army and the Pathet Lao.
  • Military Debts

    Between 1962 and 1971, the United States provided Laos with an estimated US$500 million in military assistance, not including the cost of equipping and training irregular and paramilitary forces.
  • Rivalry

    A second Provisional Government of National Unity formed by Prince Souvanna Phouma in 1962 proved to be unsuccessful, and the situation steadily deteriorated thereafter as the conflict in Laos became a focus for superpower rivalry.
  • Meeting the man

    The Royal Lao Government had close relations with the United States, who gave the country aid and assisted it in the campaign against the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese Communist movement. King Savang Vatthana visited the United States in 1963 to meet with President Kennedy.
  • Laos' Bomb

    The Guardian reported that Laos was hit by an average of one B-52 bombload every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, between 1964 and 1973.
  • Attack on the Communist

    In 1968, the North Vietnamese Army launched a multi-division attack to help the communist Pathet Lao to fight against the Royal Lao Army.
  • Ceasefire

    A ceasefire was finally attained in February 1973, following the Paris Peace Accords between the United States and North Vietnam.
  • Change of Power

    In 1975, the communist Pathet Lao, along with Vietnam People's Army and backed by the Soviet Union, overthrew the royalist Lao government, forcing King Savang Vatthana to abdicate on 2 December 1975. He later died in captivity.
  • Another Change to the Constitution

    The 1957 document was abrogated on 3 December 1975, when a communist People's Republic was proclaimed.
  • Socialist System

    The socialist system has slowly been replaced by the relaxation of economic restrictions in the 1980s.
  • Thailand V Laos

    After sporadic fighting in 1980 and again in 1984 over three border villages that both countries claimed, the Thai and Lao armies engaged in a contained battle from December 1987 to February 1988.
  • Rice Relations

    Through the development, release and widespread adoption of improved rice varieties, and through economic reforms, production has increased by an annual rate of 5 percent between 1990 and 2005
  • Tourism

    The tourism sector has grown rapidly, from 14,400 tourists visiting Laos in 1990, to 1.1 million in 2005. Annual tourism sector revenues are expected to grow to $250–300 million by 2020.[14]
  • Final Constitution

    A new constitution was adopted in 1991 and enshrined a "leading role" for the LPRP.
  • International Rice Research

    Since 1995 the Lao government has been working with the International Rice Research Institute to collect seed samples of each of the thousands of rice varieties found in Laos.
  • Emigration Rate

    Economic development in Laos has been hampered by brain drain, with a skilled emigration rate of 37.4 percent in 2000.
  • Population

    In 2006, two fifths of the population were not using an improved water resource
  • Laos take on guns

    Because it was particularly heavily affected by cluster bombs during this war, Laos was a strong advocate of the Convention on Cluster Munitions to ban the weapons and assist victims, and will host the First Meeting of States Parties to the convention in November 2010.