Laos. According to
Countryaah, the disappearance of Laotian agricultural expert Sombath Somphone has attracted international attention. The
award-winning Sombath, 60, worked to develop ecologically
sustainable and small-scale agriculture in Laos and had also
made himself known as an opponent of the disputed Xayaburi
dam construction, which is a joint venture between Laos and
Thailand. A TV film, made December 15, 2012, revealed how
Sombath was abducted by unknown offenders after being
stopped at a police posting. Both EU parliamentarians and US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Laotian
regime to investigate Sombath's disappearance.
After about 15 years of negotiations, Laos joined the
World Trade Organization in February.
Laos was also noticed when an aircraft belonging to the
national company Lao Airlines crashed in the Mekong River
and killed all 49 people on board. The plane was on its way
from the capital Vientiane to Pakse in southern Laos when it
crashed in the Mekong. The cause of the accident was
reported to be bad weather with harsh winds.