NAKHON PHANOM, December 31 -- Police on Monday were trying to identify the bodies of two men dumped into the Mekong River with concrete placed inside their ruptured bellies. The bodies washed up on a riverbank in this northeastern province.
Police suspected the victims were political activists. The two bodies were found in That Phanom and Muang districts handcuffed and with their ankles tied together. Their bellies had been ripped open and chunks of concrete stuffed inside them. The bodies had then been placed in sacks and dumped into the river. Local police collected samples from the bodies for examination at a forensic facility in Khon Kaen province. Sources said national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda ordered police handling the case to speed up the investigation in order to verify the belief that the victims were political activists.
According to sources, relatives of political activists in Bangkok contacted Nakhon Phanom police, requesting to see the bodies and provide information that might help identify them. Detectives were quoted as saying that the handcuffs found on the bodies were often used in Laos and Vietnam. Nakhon Phanom police commander Thanachart Rodkhlongtan said the men were murdered about a week ago, and their bodies may have been dumped into the Mekong River five days ago. Police would try to identify them from relatives' information and DNA tests, he said.
VIENTIANE, Nov. 7 -- The second Laos-China Film Festival with open-air movies being screened across Laos has expanded cultural exchange.
The Chinese embassy to Laos in cooperation with the Lao Department of Cinema under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and China Radio International in Laos (CRI Laos) jointly opened the second Laos-China Film Festival Tour in Lao capital Vientiane on last Friday.
"The event brought three excellent Chinese movies dubbed into Lao language with subtitles in Chinese," said the political counselor at the Chinese embassy, Zhao Chenggang.
The Chinese and Lao films have started open-air screenings in the provinces of Savannakhet, Champassak, Attapeu, Vientiane, Xayaboury, Xieng Khuang and Huaphan in November and December, CRI Laos told Xinhua on Wednesday. To make the Chinese films more appealing to local audiences, CRI invited local stars to dub characters' voices into Lao. "Films have become an important part of encouraging cultural exchange between peoples," Vientiane Times quoted Zhao as saying.
Speaking at last Friday's launch, Lao Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Boua Ngeun Xaphouvong said the festival played an important role in boosting the exchange of culture between the two nations. It would particularly encourage Lao people to learn about Chinese culture through the medium of motion pictures. Boua Ngeun hoped the festival would play a part in continuing to enhance relations and cooperation between the two countries.