President's speech on the 40th anniversary of Lao National Day
Secretary General of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee and President of the Lao PDR Choummaly Sayasone delivered a speech at a grand meeting to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in Vientiane on December 2.
President of the Lao PDR Choummaly Sayasone addresses the crowd with the slogan “December2 be long lasting”.
“Today, we, together with our Lao compatriots of all ethnicities, mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Lao PDR. When we look back at the 40 years which have passed since December 2, 1975, we can have great pride to see that the congress of People's representatives, which represented the strong aspirations of the entire Lao masses, agreed to proclaim the Lao PDR, finally erasing the feudal and colonial regimes that occupied Laos for many years.”
“Beginning from that, our country has become a nation which enjoys independence, sovereignty and full territorial integrity. The Lao multi-ethnic groups have genuine ownership of the country, and the Lao people have gained freedom and more opportunities in the new conditions of developing the nation comprehensively to elevate the people's livelihoods to a higher manner of material and mind. Together they have contributed to protect and develop the nation and the new regime in order to find prosperity which is equivalent to that which is found internationally.
The proclamation of the Lao PDR was the great fruit of the democratic-national revolution which had been conducted for many years under the great and the capable leadership of the Party; it was a victory of a massive solidarity force of the masses and the unity of our army and people which enhanced the tradition of ardent patriotism, as well as the valiant and brave struggle of our Lao nation. Also, it was a victory of solidarity in the alliance between our Lao army and people and the armies of the brotherly Vietnamese and Cambodian peoples in the common fight. It was a victory in relation to the vast support and pureness of heart of the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, brotherly countries, and friendly countries near and far which widely supported the revolutionary movement, a force for peace and advancement around the globe, in the task of the fair fight of our Lao people.
In 40 years of protecting and building the new regime especially, the Party laid out a comprehensive renovation policy and set out the principles enabling our nation to move forward to rapid development continuously and firmly, which has seen the appearance of our country change greatly. The national economic base comprised of various economic sectors now moves in accordance with the market mechanism under the management of the state, so that it is restored and improved to be a perfect system.
The process of goods production and a good model for running businesses and earning a living was born and expanded in vast numbers to all local areas across the country. The investment of domestic and foreign businesspeople has been increased. Therefore, the nation's Gross Domestic Product has increased continuously.
The average income per capita has now reached US$1,857 in 2015, which exceeds by 16 fold what it was in 1985. In building and developing the country, the Party and government gave importance to the poverty alleviation of the people and comprehensive rural development, particularly in mountainous areas and among the ethnicities, which has seen the rural areas of our country change evidently.
The living conditions of the multi-ethnic groups have been improved gradually step by step. Currently, the number of poor families remains at 6.59 percent. The rate of electricity use among households across the country has now reached 88 percent. All districts of all provinces have telephone access, with coverage reaching 100 percent. Across the country, the road network now extends over some 51,597 km and all districts can access roads in both the dry and wet seasons.
A special achievement never seen before in the history of our nation was the successful launching of our first satellite into orbit on November 21 and the railway construction project linking the People's Republic of China to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, and nearby countries, for which a ground breaking ceremony was held on December 2.
Apart from economic development, the Party and state always gives importance to social development by paying attention to human resource development, as well as encouraging and promoting national education to be expanded in a national characteristic direction, bringing scientific methods to the masses. In 2015, the Lao PDR declared the completion of the lower secondary education equivalence programme across the country.
Currently several provinces have announced the success of the completion of their lower secondary education equivalency programme while others are preparing to do so.
The network of health services of the state and society has been expanded into grass-roots areas, providing local people with access to health services inclusively.
Local people in almost every village were able to access clean water while the number of model health villages has increased; maternal and child mortality rates have considerably decreased and the average life expectancy of the Lao population has increased.
The fine cultural heritage of the nation was preserved and developed into an abundance of cultural diversity, in parallel with the formation of progressive styles of living.
In carrying out the two strategic tasks of national protection and development, we were firmly resolved to comprehensively implement the policy of national defense and security in the entire society, protecting the independence, sovereignty and full territorial integrity of the nation, enabling our country to firmly enjoy security and stability and creating favourable conditions for the task of national development and for our people to earn a living peacefully.
The armed forces have always strengthened and enhanced their sound traditions, paying attention to fulfill their duties as well as to train and strengthen themselves so as to become loyal forces towards the collective benefits of the revolution and the nation.
Over the past 40 years, the people's democratic political system has been improved and strengthened consistently. The leadership role of the Party has been enhanced and expanded into all social lives, the people's democratic administration has been established cohesively and systematically from the central to the local and grassroots areas.
The administration has also been renovated and strengthened gradually. The state administration and management of the socio-economic sector has been well conducted in accordance with the laws.
United Fronts and other mass organisations as well as the Veteran's Federation have been renovated in terms of their organisational structures and ways of operation so that they can function properly and be suitable with the new conditions.
Lao multi-ethic groups and all social strata have maintained their unity, exercised and accessed greater ownership rights as provided in the constitution and laws. The trust of our people in the new regime and future of the nation has been lifted to new heights. This makes a significant contribution to the establishment of the political stability and social order and unity of the country.
We are delighted to learn that the relations and cooperation between our country and the international community and international organisations have been expanded gradually. Friends both near and far give our country support in various ways. In addition, our country makes a proper contribution to the establishment of peace, stability, friendship and development cooperation in the region as well as the world. This has lifted the role and influence of our country on the international stage consistently.
Over 40 years of protection and development of the new regime under leadership of the Party, our country has headed firmly towards the set destination. This makes us proud, as in no era before has our beloved country been so peaceful, developed, progressive or enjoyed such status the in regional and internatio nal arena.
At this historical moment, we mourn and remember the great virtues of President Kaysone Phomvihane, who is the beloved and respected leader of our Party and country. Apart from that we would like to express our gratitude to Party and state leaders, officials, combatants and people of all ethnic groups and all social strata who have sacrificed their lives for our independence, sovereignty and beloved land, which now offers freedom and prosperity to all of our all ethnic groups.
We would like to express appreciation to all countrymen, people of all strata, all sexes, ages and professions who demonstrate their nation-loving spirit, love of the new regime, solidarity and the ability to overcome difficulties and to those who dedicate their intellectual and physical efforts, funds as well as their belongings to the cause of the national interest and victories in the development and protection of our beloved country throughout 40 years. Wholeheartedly congratulations!
The Party, government and people of all ethnic groups would like to express sincere thanks and deep gratitude to the Parties, states and people of brotherly countries and friends both near and far around the world as well as the international organisations which have provided valuable support to the Lao People's Democratic Republic over the past.
In addition, we would like to express our congratulations to Lao expatriates who still have the nation-loving spirit, who have come back to the country and joined hands with the countr ymen to take part in the development of the motherland. We would also like to express our congratulation to foreigners living in our country who make a contribution to the development of Laos and enhance their friendships with our Lao people.
We are proud of our great achievements. However we are aware that our country has still not been freed from least developed status. Therefore there is a need for us to move firmly on the path of the comprehensive and principle based renovation policy. We must exercise greater efforts for the cause of national development in accordance with a sustainable and green direction. We must continue to grow consistently in order to create a foundation and essential factors for the country to achieve the set goals, which aims to free our country from least developed status by 2020.
Confronting the international circumstances, which are full of opportunities and challenges as never before, our entire Party and people must enhance our unity in the country, strengthen the nation and the new regime-loving spirit, raising the flag of independent spirit and self-reliance. Apart from that we must work harder to explore our domestic potential as well as mobilising support and cooperation from the international community.
In order to create a combination of forces in the production of goods, there is need to apply science and technology and transform the nature-based economy towards commercial goods production. This will make a contribution to the development of the nation and new regime, so as it shall be advanced and catch up with the development of the world.
From now to 2020, we must create favourable conditions to secure consistent economic growth of at least 7.5 percent per annum; this will be possible due to the strong and objective development of the agriculture and forestry sector in association with the development of the industry and services sector. In addition to strengthening the production of agricultural goods and exploration of our potentials, we must build economic structures which are balanced and suitable with the conditions of different areas of the country.
We must continue the implementation of the plan, which aims to stop slash and burn cultivation completely by putting into practice the food security programme and commercial production. We must address the number of poor families in the entire country completely, and equip our nation with the infrastructure to develop our socio-economy, culture, science, and human resources so that it can accommodate the tasks of industralisation and modernisation.
We must continue to adhere to and implement policies which make use of the Lao people and our natural resources wherever we have potential, such as: clean, organic and environmentally friendly agriculture; the processing industry; electricity, particularly hydroelectricity; transit services; and tourism.
In order to boost the establishment of the economic structure, we need to create a greater association between the agriculture and forestry sector with the industry and services sector appropriately in regions across the country.
Along with initiating mega projects and programmes as the capital of the nation, attention must be paid to the promotion of small and medium enterprises of the people that originated from family businesses (small-scale family business, substantial family business) and all economic sectors by utilising local potentials in order to broadly and strongly push commercial based production, which can also integrate with the region and the world as large.
Meanwhile, attention must be paid to cultural and educational affairs with focus placed on human resources training and all-round development of the Lao people, which can fulfill the requirements for national protection and development tasks under the new conditions.
We must increase social development with the aim of creating cultural and spiritual civilisation associated with creating material prosperity, intensifying action to address social-ills, working out appropriate measures to narrow development gaps between towns and rural communities and among people of all social strata, while ensuring better justice in society .
In order to ensure that socio-economic development is in line with the outlined direction, the determination factor is to continue improving the organisational structure within the political system in accordance with the direction of increasing the role and competency of the Party's rule; creating a transparent and strong Party; ensuring that the Party's cadres serve as role models in performing their tasks and exercising progressive lifestyles; creating our state to be a state of the people, by the people, and for the people, creating an effective and efficient state governed by the rule of law.
First of all, focus must be paid to improving and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the state administrations at all levels. The most important thing is to continue shifting the work focus to grass-roots communities implementing the ‘Three Builds' devolution policy by entrusting more responsibilities, duties and authority to local administrations.
We must also send more staff, allocate more budget funding and vehicles to the local administrations, realise the guidelines and policies to benefit the people, intensively carry out ideological education, mobilise and lead the people to do their jobs in order to bring tangible change into all-round works and ensure this momentum can be carried out continuously by the wide-range of members of the public from the grass-roots to the higher level.
Simultaneously, attention must be paid in improving the organisational structure and work activities of the Lao Front for National Construction, mass organisations and Veterans' Federation in order to enhance the ownership rights of all the multi-ethnic people.
In order to safeguard and construct the nation as well as carry out the renovation policy with success, the Lao People's Democratic Republic will continue to carry out its consistent foreign policy of peace, independence, friendship and development cooperation.
Meanwhile, we have adhered to the guidelines of establishing friendly relations with nations and opening up for international cooperation, firstly with neighbouring countries and Asean member countries. The Lao PDR has actively participated in the task of building peace, stability, friendship and cooperation in the east Asia region and the world.
On the path towards the destination of prosperity, though we will face a number of difficulties and challenges, we have huge untapped potentials and opportunities. Therefore, may the entire Party and people strengthen their cohesive solidarity and unity, uplifting the sense of vigilance at all times. May we enhance the tradition of patriotism associated with admiring the new regime, continuing to carry out the renovation task thoroughly, ensuring the people's democratic regime continues growing stronger with firm pace towards the designated destination we have chosen.
May compatriots actively participate in the socio-economic development, dedicating manpower, wisdom and capital into goods production with broader and stronger momentum across the country in order to improve their livelihoods, contributing to the construction of our country so that it becomes stronger.
Meanwhile, attention must be paid in preserving and enhancing the sound customs and culture of the nation, contributing to the development of education and health, while improving the political system at various levels and participating actively in the national security and defence tasks.
May officials and Party cadres uphold the revolutionary endeavour and their work responsibilities, sacrificing for the nation and the people with loyalty and honesty; pursuing more studies; grasping the guidelines, policies and laws of the Party and state; upgrading their own personal knowledge and professional competency; leading as role models in work performance; preventing and suppressing bureaucratic and other undesirable issues thoroughly.
May the nationa l defence and security forces enhance the tradition and essence of the revolutionary armed forces, forging ahead to improve the forces to become stronger with loyalty to the Party, the nation and the people, succeeding in all the tasks they are assigned.
May the Lao Front for National Construction, mass organisations and Veteran's Federation be more active to unite cohesive solidarity among the multi-ethnic people, educating and mobilising the entire public to participate in the national protection and construction tasks, creating and utilising collective forces in implementing the renovation guideline to gain greater tangible achievements.
May the Lao compatriots resettling in foreign countries turn back to their motherland and demonstrate patriotism to the nation by joining their Lao compatriots in the country to develop and construct the nation as per their conditions and capabilities.
May the foreign expatriates in the Lao People's Democratic Republic actively and legally make a living in line with the regulations and laws of the country, strengthening friendly solidarity with the Lao people, and contributing to socio-economic development in the Lao PDR.
We hope the brotherly countries, international friends and organisations will continue to extend their support and assistance and cooperate with the Lao PDR to graduate the nation from underdevelopment status towards becoming a prosperous nation as are many other countries.
The past 40-year journey which our people have been through has been a proud journey in the history of the existence and growth of our nation. May the entire Party, state, armed forces and the entire people together exert utmost effort to enhance the gained achievements by continuing to intensively carry out the two strategic tasks; implementing the renovation task thoroughly; continuing to create and restore the people's democratic regime; creating primary factors to facilitate the path towards the socialist destination and the bright future of the nation with victory.
Under the new opportunities for the prosperity of the nation, for the wellbeing of the multiethnic people, for the solidarity, conciliation, democracy, justice and civilised society, may the Lao compatriots of all ethnic groups be consolidated and bravely step forward.
May the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, who mobilises and leads for all the victories of the revolution, be long lastin g.
May the Lao People's Democratic Republic, be long lasting.
May the spirit of the National Day of December2 be long lasting.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update December 3, 2015)