ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

07/09/05 Laos Refuses Hmong Refugees


British authorities say dangerous conditions in one of London's deepest subway tunnels are hampering efforts to recover the remaining bodies from Thursday's terrorist bombings.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair says the world must deal with the underlying causes of terrorism, not just take security measures to prevent attacks.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is beginning a trip to Asia today (Saturday), visiting China, Thailand and other nations to discuss tsunami reconstruction and the need for multinational talks to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Laos says it will refuse to accept nearly seven thousand ethnic Hmong refugees Thailand is trying to repatriate. The Lao government on Friday refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the refugees, who say they fear persecution if they are sent back to their homeland.

Officials in Thailand, which has sheltered Hmong refugees since the Vietnam War, said Thursday they are determined to repatriate the Hmong. Thai authorities forced the refugees out of their villages in Phetchabun province this week ahead of a government deadline on Monday. Officials from Laos and Thailand are expected to discuss the issue next week at a meeting in Vientiane.

The U.S. State Department said Friday it soon will close down its Hmong resettlement program in Thailand and has no plans to initiate any others.

Burma and Laos are working with China to help curb gambling by Chinese citizens. News reports say local police are helping to screen customers at Burmese casinos near the border with China, to keep Chinese people from entering. Chinese troops also are reported guarding the national border in certain areas to keep would-be gamblers from crossing into Burma.

The reports say the crackdown has had a big effect on the economies of gambling towns near the Chinese border. About 80 gambling venues have been shut down in Burma and neighboring Laos since the crackdown began at least six months ago.

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