August 23, a proud day for all as the overturning of the old administration
August 23, a proud day for all as the overturning of the old administration on Uprising Day on August 23, 1975, and the declaration of independence on October 12, 1945, were two very important historic events for Laos after the country had been dominated by foreign aggressors for the past century.
Vientiane residents from all walks of life had gathered to overturn the administration at a rally held on August 23, 1975. The rally was full of the contrasting attitudes of seriousness and fun. Some people sang songs while others held signs proclaiming the need to overturn the administration. Some also shouted out slogans about the need for change.
Both events opened up a new era for people from all walks of life, as they gained awareness and joined in the fight against foreign aggressors for national liberation.
According to information supplied by the Party Central Propaganda and Training Board, the triumphs were due to the excellent leadership of the Indochinese Communist Party, and proved a victory for solidarity in the three Indochinese countries. The victory gave the Lao Party and Lao people increased confidence in their ability to fight against re-invasion by French colonialists and American interference.
After the French colonialists lost the war, the Americans swarmed into Laos. The US wanted Laos as a military base to block China and Vietnam and prevent revolutionary power spreading throughout Southeast Asia.
On March 22, 1955, during a period of fierce hostility, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party was created to fight against the US for national liberation. The uprising process to overturn the old administration was started by the 500 workers at the ‘Karfah’ factory in Vientiane on August 23, 1975, when more than 10,000 people joined in.
Soon after, the movement to seize power spread into the provinces and a revolutionary administrative power was established. The movement reclaimed Savannakhet province on August 30 and in Thakhek district, Khammuan province, on September 1.
From August 26 to October, an aggressive force also took back the town of Xamneua in Huaphan province.
In no more than a month the Lao people, in coordination with Vietnamese living in Laos, overturned the old administration and established a new, revolutionary administration in a number of areas. Self-defence forces were stationed in the larger towns such as Vientiane, Thakhek, Savannakhet, Xieng Khuang, Xamneua and Luang Prabang.
The Lao Issara government was formed which declared to the world the independence of Laos on October 12, 1945. On that day, more than 20,000 people turned out to hear the announcement at the Vientiane sports stadium.
The years 1954 to 1963 saw sporadic fighting for the protection of the two stronghold provinces of Phongsaly and Huaphan. 1964–73 saw the revolutionary forces triumph in the strategic war waged by American presidents. From 1973-75, there was fighting throughout the country to secure national liberation.
In 1975, a Party Central Committee meeting planned the direction of the struggle for the final triumph of the revolutionary forces. This included three strategies: the uprising of the masses, the supporting of revolutionary forces, and the removal of enemy soldiers.
Under the Party’s leadership the number of people from all classes who rose up increased every day, in both the enemy’s governance zone and the neutral zone. These included government officials, traders, monks, soldiers and police who joined the revolutionary movement to overthrow the old administration. Significant events at the time consisted of the uprising of workers at Electricite du Laos in Vientiane, the 42-day uprising by Nongbok district residents in Khammuan province, the uprising of students in Vientiane, and the separation announcement of Battalion 102 from the Vientiane administration to join the coalition government.
In support of the mass movement, military forces moved to seize important areas in Vientiane, Savannakhet province, and Pakxe district in Champassak province.
On August 23, 1975, more than 20,000 people in Vientiane attended a rally to welcome the establishment of the revolutionary administration in Vientiane.
This event was a show of force bound by solidarity between the people of Vientiane and those from other parts of the country, and culminated in the founding of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on December 2, 1975, and the removal of the royal regime.
Uprising Day is meaningful for all Lao people and is the fruit of the revolution. It was an achievement of bravery and invention, of three strategies for the seizure of governing power without the firing of a single gunshot.
It was a triumph of correct revolutionary guidelines and the excellent leadership of the Party through the application of Marxist-Leninist theory in a practical situation.
It was also a triumph of solidarity among the Lao, Cambodian and Vietnamese people, who fought together against a common enemy. The achievement was also due to the support of socialist countries such as the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and China.
Source: LNTV Lao News in English