[ndlr] Les mémoires sur l’histoire contemporaine du Laos sont suffisamment rares pour être signalés. Ces dernières années, trois récits d’anciens prisonniers (et rescapés) des camps de rééducation en République démocratique populaire lao (RDPL) ont été publiés en langue anglaise. Nous remercions notre collègue Vatthana Pholsena pour nous avoir indiquer l’existence de ces ouvrages dont le plus riche est celui de Bousang Khamkeo publié en 2006 mentionné dans la bibliographie du séminaire.
- Bounsang Khamkeo, I Little Slave. Washington: Eastern Washington University Press, 2006.
Raised in the hierarchical society of traditional Laos, Bounsang Khamkeo earned his doctorate in political science in France and returned home in 1973 to a country in political chaos in the wake of the Vietnam War. He worked for the government until 1981 before being imprisoned by the communist Pathet Lao government after running afoul of a politically ambitious boss. I Little Slave is the account of his seven-year struggle in prison to stay alive and keep sane in spite of harsh physical privation and endless psychological abuse. Khamkeo’s story is a moving and important one at a time when political oppression and crimes against human rights are on the rise throughout the world.
- Khamphanh Thammakhanty, Get to the Trunk, Destroy the Roots: The Fall from Monarchy to Socialism. Portland, 2004, publication à compte d’auteur.
The book covers five topics. From the introduction: A brief history of Laos; the political maneuvering during the last two years prior to the overthrow of the Lao royalty and the fall of its rightist government; the dispatch of prisoners to the various concentration camps; the direct and indirect forms of punishment imposed on the defeated Lao people; additional information on daily life at Sop Hao Prison.
- Nakhonkham Bouphanouvong, Sixteen years in the Land of Death: Revolution and Reeducation in Laos. Bangkok: White Lotus, 2003.
Sixteen Years in the Land of Death: Revolution and Reeducation in Laos, is the account of the life of Nakhonkham Bouphanouvong, a Lao man who survived incarceration from 1975 to 1991 in the communist run reeducation camps located in the province of Huaphan in northeastern Laos. During that time he suffered through hard labor, torture and near starvation along with many other high-ranking Royal Lao government and army officials, many of whom did not live to tell of their own experience. Prior to his imprisonment Nakhonkham endured three decades of civil war in Laos. He left the capital city of Vientiane and his life as a student behind in 1945 to join the nationalistic Lao Issara movement where he worked as a soldier, propagandist and writer through the 1950’s. Nakhonkham later witnessed the Lao Issara’s transformation in eastern Laos into a full-fledged communist revolution. Not convinced by the communist rhetoric, he left to join the Neutralist faction formed in the early 1960’s. With the Neutralist’s demise not long after its formation, Nakhonkham found it necessary to join the Royal Lao Government where he worked as an editor for several publications and eventually became a high-ranking police officer in Vientiane. Having come full circle, by 1975 Nakhonkham found himself on, the losing side of the civil war and lived in Laos as a political prisoner until emigrating to the United States in 1992.