The Lao government has submitted its first proposed media law for deliberation by the 6th Legislature of the National Assembly, currently meeting in its ordinary 5th session. The draft law was presented by Minister of Information and Culture Mounkeo Oraboun, who explained it to the National Assembly.
The law consists of ten chapters, containing some 64 articles which, among other things, determines the roles, principles, responsibilities, duties and activities of foreign as well as domestic media. It lays down requirments and rules regarding the esblishment of offices in foreign countries by Lao media, and vice versa. It also provides legal instruments for the State and Party to more effectively guide and manage the media.
The Lao National Assembly is due to vote on the measure during its July 26 meeting. If approved, the law will allow foreign journalists to set up offices in the Lao PDR for the first time. But Mr. Douangdy Outhachack, Chairman of the NA Cultural and Social Commission, says approval of the law does not mean that foreign investors can open and operate a media company in Laos. Only Lao citizens can do that and on terms set up by the government only.
Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao.