Viengxay - the district of victory

After attending the first open government meeting on March 22-23 this year in Viengxay district, Huaphan province, I decided to research the background of this district so that the facts could be made clear for successive generations.  
Viengxay was the scene of the vital renovation of the national revolution on the road to democracy under the initial and excellent leadership of President Kaysone Phomvihane, the beloved leader of all Lao ethnicities.
Under his vision and goals, President Kaysone aimed to build a revolutionary stronghold called ‘vieng’ (town), or a ‘meuang’ (city) that would engender victory. He also aimed to build the area as ‘the capital of the national revolution – people’s democracy of the country’.

A view of modern-day Viengxay district in Huaphan province.

To conduct the fight for national liberation triumphantly and in line with the 1954 Geneva Accord on Indochina, President Kaysone instructed that Huaphan and Phongsaly provinces be the stronghold of the revolution. He aimed to use these two provinces to gather a national patriotic force because they were located in a suitable geographic area and bordered on the friendly countries of China and Vietnam.
The Viengxay area of Huaphan province was selected to be the location of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee and Central Committee of National Patriots.
To build on the great triumph of the armies and peoples of the three nations of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia over the colonialists, especially through the victory of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the fight against the new colonialists, and the growth of the revolutionary force, on March 22, 1955, the Lao People’s Party (today called the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party) was built in Soy sub-district of Soy district in Huaphan province. 
This area marked a new step in the growth of the revolution and was the scene of fierce fighting against the new colonialists because of their modern weaponry. This new attacker was richer than the former colonial power. As a result, it was necessary to look for a strategic location as a permanent and stable zone for national revolution and democracy.
After turning the direction of the fight, in 1960 the Central Party Committee selected Xiengxeu sub-district as an important strategic location. From 1961-64, the Central Party Committee was located in the Xiengxeu area to fight against aerial bombardment by the Americans.
But the landscape in this area offered little in the way of protection against air strikes so in the middle of 1964 the committee agreed to move from Xiengxeu village to Longkou-Nakai in Nakai village, Viengxay district.
This area was fortified with solid mountains and caves, affording protection against aerial offensives and providing effective shelter.  
The Party Central Committee and the Lao Patriotic Front set up their base here which became the command centre and the caves also housed the offices of other divisions and organisations.
From continuous defeats of the Americans to the Indochinese war, the special war gained strength in Laos. On November 30, 1968, the Party Central Committee selected 10 sub-districts of Xamneu district and one sub-district of Soy district to be a ‘special zone’, directly led by the Party Central Committee.
The offices of the committee were located in a cave in Xiengluang sub-district, not far from Viengxay district.
In 1968, the Party Central Committee defined the Nakai area as the ‘Viengxay area’ or Viengxay for short.
At the second Party Congress in 1972, the Party Central Committee outlined its plan to turn the Viengxay area into a strong district to become the capital of the national revolution and democracy. The plan also aimed to build a liberation zone similar to the ‘one state’ of the people’s democratic regime.
Later on, these caves - the working places of the various committees - became the ministries of the state of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
After the Party Central Committee and the Lao Patriotic Front moved to Longkou-Nakai in the Viengxay area, this zone became the focal point for attacks by the Americans and their henchmen.
Night and day, American planes dropped bombs but they failed to dampen the spirits of the heroes and heroines or subdue the bravery of the Lao army and Lao ethnic people.  
After achieving full liberation, the Party Central Committee and the Office of the Lao Patriotic Front moved to Vientiane. In 1976, the committee agreed to merge the special zone and the Viengxay area and create a new district called Samphan.
Before deciding on this name, President Kaysone put forward three possible options - Samphan, Yodsim and Phalom - and asked his colleagues to choose one.
In 1980, the Party Central Committee changed the name of Samphan district to Viengxay district. The district was given the secret name of President Kaysone Phomvihane, the first man to build the special zone of Samphan district, or present-day Viengxay district.
We now know that Viengxay was the secret name of President Kaysone Phomvihane, meaning that it is Kaysone Phomvihane district.
As a result, the Party, State and all Lao people consider November 30, 1968, to be the establishment day of Viengxay district. This year is the district’s 50th anniversary.
Finally, I call on the residents of Viengxay district and Lao people from all walks of life around the country to strengthen their feelings of love for the nation, continue to enhance the tradition of loving the nation and solidarity, and build an ideology of heroism to protect and develop Viengxay district as a worthy bearer of the name ‘Viengxay’, and to develop Huaphan into a strong and wealthy province in the years to come.

By Prof. Chaleun Yiapaoher
(Latest Update December 1, 2018)


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