Patriotic Front of Laos
Patriotic Front of Laos
(PFL; Neo Lao Hak Sat), a broad-based political organization uniting progressive individuals and a number of democratic organizations, such as the Lao Hak Sat Youth League, the Association of Laotian Women, the Federation of Patriotic Trade Unions, and the Association of Laotian Students. The leading and guiding force of the PFL is the People’s Revolutionary Party of Laos (PRPL). The Union of Patriotic Neutralist Forces (UPNF) operates in close contact with the PFL.
The PFL, successor to the United National Front of Laos (Neo Lao Issara), formed in 1950, held its founding congress in January 1956. The PFL’s program stated that the chief objective of the organization was “to build a peaceful, independent, neutral, democratic, united, and prosperous Laos.” In 1957 and 1958 the PFL took part in the first coalition government of Laos, whose work was undermined by reactionary forces. In 1960 the PFL allied itself with neutralist forces in the struggle against internal reactionaries. Because of the PFL’s efforts, which received the support of the world’s progressive forces, a political settlement was achieved in Laos in 1962 and 1963.
Right-wing Laotian forces, with the support of the imperialist circles, set out to sabotage the Geneva Agreements of 1962 and disrupted the work of the new coalition government. Against this background, the second congress of the PFL, held on Apr. 6–10, 1964, proposed a program of action to mobilize the Laotian people against imperialist interference, achieve total fulfillment of the agreements, and transform the liberated areas of Laos into a solid political and socioeconomic base in the struggle to implement the front’s program. It was decided to create a national army to defend the liberated areas; since 1965, the army has been known as the People’s Liberation Army of Laos.
The third congress of the PFL, held in October 1968, adopted a new political program. The program stressed the need to strengthen and expand the united front of the Laotian people in every possible way in the struggle against imperialist aggression and local reaction so as to build a peaceful, independent, and neutral Laos. It charted the path to a political settlement in Laos.
The Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam, signed in Paris on Jan. 27, 1973, substantially improved conditions for a political settlement in Laos. This agreement and the consistent efforts of the PFL led to the Agreement on Restoring Peace and Achieving National Concord in Laos signed with the government of Souvanna Phouma on Feb. 21, 1973, and the protocol of Sept. 14, 1973.
PFL delegations have visited the USSR and other socialist countries. The chairman of the Central Committee of the PFL is Prince Souphanouvong.
On Dec. 2, 1975, the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos was proclaimed, which started building socialism.
K. IUR’EV [19–834–2; updated]