A 4,000-strong protest parade in the Laotian administrative capital of Vientiane Oct 4, urged Prime Minister Souvana Phouma to begin negotiations with Pathet Lao Forces for ending the six-year old Civil War.
LV PAN..Demonstrators outside Palace
MS Monks, demonstrators
MS Woman, demonstrators
MS School children, demonstrators
MS Demonstrators, tilt to banners
LS Demonstrators march to City Square
MCU Capt. Kong Le, High Officials at City Square
MLS Crowd assemble in Square
MS Prime Minister Souvana Phouma addresses crowd
MS?.RV..Prime Minister speaks
MS Crowd applauds
MS Crowd, PAN to Capt Kong Le speaks
MS Capt Kong Le speaks
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Background: A 4,000-strong protest parade in the Laotian administrative capital of Vientiane Oct 4, urged Prime Minister Souvana Phouma to begin negotiations with Pathet Lao Forces for ending the six-year old Civil War.
Two hundred saffron-robed monks carrying black umbrellas lead the parade - mostly of peasants and students. They carried banners and placards asking the government to adopt a policy of strict neutrality, to open diplomatic relations with Communist China and start peace talks with the pro-Communist Pathet Lao Forces. They also demanded there should be no compromise with pro-American General Phoumi Nosavan's Revolutionary Forces.
The demonstrators marched through the City yelling their demands and later converged at the City Square where Prime Minister Souvana Phouma talked to them. He assured the demonstrators that he was not negotiating a settlement with the Phoumi Nosavan Forces, nor, he said, had he promised BCabinet posts for General Phoumi or his friend Prince Boun Oum.
General Phoumi was last month named Deputy Prime Minister in the compromise Cabinet headed by Prince Souvana, but the former failed to turn up at Vientiane to take the Oath Of Office.
Paratroop Captain Kong Le, whose August 9 coup deposed the former Government and brought Prince Souvana to power, told the demonstrators the Army would continue to fight the "Revolutionary Forces" of General Phoumi till the leaders surrendered to the Vientiane Government. Thunderous applause greeted the announcement.