Satjadham presents:

		Development: what is at stake?

	Whenever I think of Muang Lao; the images of dirt-filled road, 
poverty-stricken countryside, war-ridden country and divided people 
conjure up in my mind. I ask myself: What message can I make out of these 
	Starting with history, we as a country, has existed for almost 
700 years. Counting generations, it would be over 30 generations. Look at 
the sheer length of time, our country should develop a bonding tie 
between its people. Instead, we as a people, are disunited more than 
ever. Somehow, we just couldn't develop a common goal. Sometimes, we 
don't even know what we want. Someone even said that we as a people lack 
the identity. In another word, we have no commitment to any worthy cause.
So what does history teach us to end with? Realisticly speaking, 
virtually nothing, someone with a true Lao heart and soul will say so.
Let me say: we all realize that our country has to be developped or we 
might perish. If we just unite, then this question of development is 
halfly solved. I am sure that we have enough talent, manpower, resources 
if all Lao are involved. If not, development will be just for a certain 
group and certain country. And that means that the majority will be left 
out and the worse is our country will be completely  (economicly, 
culturally, and soon-to-follow politically) under our so-called "Ban Phii 
Muang Nong."

	So what can we do as Luk Lao Lanh Lao? Will we shamelessly let 
other countries swallow us? Or will we extend our hands, our youth, our 
expertise, and foremost our heart and soul to develop her? Starting from 
each one of us, we can make a difference. For those who can go back, go. 
For those who still study, study hard. For those who can help through 
literature, do it with passion and for those who live a true Lao life, 
express it through your being.

	Remember, our fellow Lao at the other side of the Mekong River is 
watching us very closely. As it is said that wherever a Khene is played,  
Lao is there. So is the same with ethnic Lao, wherever he/she is, he/she 
will be Lao forever.

	Let's forget the past.
	Let's forget the wounds.
	Let's build Muang Lao together.
	And let's develop her for 
	all Lao people,
	and I mean - 
	all Lao people.

	Hak phaang,
	Kongkeo Saycocie