Amnesty International says Laotian troops are still hunting Hmong people who live in hiding in the jungles of Laos. In a report issued last Friday, the human rights group says those jungle-dwellers, numbering some 3,000 people, are constantly on the move to escape the troops. And with limited access to food, they have to live on leaves and roots. Many women and children have fallen sick because of malnutrition.
Laos spokesman Yong Chanthalangsy denies the charges by Amnesty International, calling them groundless.
Amnesty International also expresses concerns about the plights of the some 700 Hmongs who came out of the jungles and surrendered to the Lao government early this year.
Meanwhile, Laotian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith expressed confident that Laos and Thailand can cooperate and jointly resolve the issue of the Huay Nam Khao Hmongs.
He was referring to the more than 8,000 Hmong refugees currently living along sides the road leading to Ban huay Nam Khao in Thailand's Phetchabun province, whom the Thai authorities have been trying to repatriate to Laos.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.