In an anti-rightwing revolt, about one thousand airmen at Vientiane in Laos have ousted their commander in support of the Pathet Lao.
GV Armed policemen outside airforce headquarters, Vientiane
SV Police talking to armed Pathet Lao soldiers
SV Locals on roadside
SV Pathet Lao army lorry passing through street
SV Armed soldiers outside entrance to air field (3 shots)
GV Airport workers sitting on fence
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Pathet Lao aircraft under-going repairs (3 shots)
GV PAN Pathet Lao helicopters and technicians working on engines (3 shots)
Initials CL/1643 CL/1700
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Background: In an anti-rightwing revolt, about one thousand airmen at Vientiane in Laos have ousted their commander in support of the Pathet Lao.
The Commander of the Royal Lao Air Force, Brigadier General Bouathong Phothivongsa, was pushed out of his post on Friday (May 16).
This move could help further strengthen the hold of the pro-Communist Pathet Lao on the country. More resignations from rightwing officials are likely to follow.
The airmen started demonstrating before dawn on Friday, calling for their commander's removal. They handed out leaflets to passer-by, accusing the Commander or ordering the bombing of Pathet Lao areas in defiance of the 1973 ceasefire.
A few hours later, the Brigadier handed in his resignation, yielding one of the last few remaining positions of influence held by the once-powerful rightwing laotians.
The main rightwing strength was broken a week before by the resignation of four members of the coalition Government.
The Pathet Lao is insisting, however, that it intends to abide by the 1973 Peace Agreement in which power in the Cabinet in Laos in delicately balanced between five rightwingers, five Pathet Lao and two neutralists.