In a traditional Buddhist ceremony held at the ongtu pagoda in Vientiane on Saturday (6 April) the new Laotian coalition Government swore allegiance to the King and the State.
GV Boulevard with Independence Monument
CU Government traffic policeman with Pathet Lao policeman in background
MV Pathet Lao policeman talking to shopkeeper
SV Pathet Lao policeman
SV Pathet Lao and government policeman
MV Pathet Lao soldiers
CU Government soldier with radio
CU Pathet Lao guard of honour ZOOM OUT TO Souphanouvong walking past
MV & CU Crowd
CU Guard of honour
CU Prince Souvanna walks past and enters temple
MV Monks listening
SV Radio truck
MV Souvanna leaves temple
MV Applauding crowd
MCU Souvanna enters car
CU Crowd applauding
SV Souphanouvong enters car
RV Car leaves
Initials BB/2035 JT/DE/BB/2116
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Background: In a traditional Buddhist ceremony held at the ongtu pagoda in Vientiane on Saturday (6 April) the new Laotian coalition Government swore allegiance to the King and the State.
The coalition follows months of tough negotiations between Prince Souvanna Phouma's government and the pro-communist Pathet Lao. It will still be headed by Prince Souvanna and will consist of five members from the former Vientiane government, five from the Pathet Lao and two neutral members.
The pagoda ceremony was attended by all members of the new government, and Prince souvanna and Prince Souphanouvong, the Pathet Lao leader who has recently returned from Hanoi in North Vietnam. His task is to be President of a newly-formed Council which will prepare the country for General Elections. The Council will be on a equal level with the Government.
The ceremony marks the end of the 20 years of civil war. The streets around the pagoda were thronged with people and were patrolled by troops and police from both the pathet Lao and the Vientiane government militia.
SYNOPSIS: In the streets of Vientiane, Laos, a government policeman -- the one in the white hat -- now often works in conjunction with police from the pro-communist Pathet Lao forces.
The Pathet Lao policemen are identifiable by their flat caps.
This co-operation follows the setting up of a new coalition government, formed on Saturday after months of tough negotiations between Prince Souvanna Phouma's Government and the pro-communist Pathet Lao.
The coalition Government members attended a special ceremony of allegiance on Saturday. The ceremony was also attended by prince Souphanouvong, the head of the Pathet Lao. He will be President of a Council entrusted with preparing for general elections.
Prince Souvanna Phouma will be head of the new coalition government.
The ceremony -- held at the Ongtu Pagoda -- was relayed to the crowd outside. The government members swore to follow Buddhist principles nd pledged allogiance to the king and State.
Prince Souphanouvong will not be a member of the Government but his Council will have government status.
Prince Souvanna's Government will consist of five members from his former administration, five from the Pathet Lao and two neutrals.
The ceremony attracted a great deal of interest as it marks the end of twenty years of civil war.