Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th Century under King FA NGUM. For 300 years Lan Xang had influence reaching into present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as well as over all of what is now Laos. After centuries of gradual decline, Laos came under the domination of Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century when it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand. In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy and instituting a strict socialist regime closely aligned to Vietnam. A gradual, limited return to private enterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1988. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997 and WTO in 2013. –CIA World Factbook
Most Recent Laos Posts:
This week’s bookshelf looks at the legacy of America’s secret war in Laos with a spotlight on the new release “A Great Place to Have a War”.
Take a look back at the wide array of topics highlighted in our Fall 2016 Bookshelf Spotlights. New spotlights for Spring 2017 will begin next week!
Selection of Southeast Asian films being shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival in November 2016.