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Plane crash victims mourned at Vientiane cremations
Publication Date : 20-05-2014
A cremation ceremony held yesterday for the high-ranking officials that died in a plane crash in Xieng Khuang province on Saturday was attended by Party and government leaders, officials, military and police officers, civil servants, and a mass of representatives from the private sector, foreign diplomatic missions and international organisations.
President Choummaly Sayasone, Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and National Assembly President Pany Yathortou led the Party and government officials and members of the public in mourning the Politburo member, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit and his wife Lieutenant Colonel Mrs Thanda Phichit, who both died in the accident.
The cremation ceremony took place at the That Luang esplanade yesterday afternoon.
Lieutenant General Douangchay was born on April 5, 1946 in Xay village of Xaysettha district, Attapeu province. He was married to Mrs Thanda Phichit and had five children.
He first became involved with the fight for national liberation on December 2, 1962 by providing information on enemy positions and supplying necessary items to the Lao Liberation Front ( Issara ).
He was elected member of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party's Central Committee at the Fifth and Sixth Party Congress in 1991 and 1996 respectively.
Lieutenant General Douangchay was voted in as a member of Politburo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence in 2001 and served in the positions until his death. He gained the military ranking title of Lieutenant General in 2006.
Lieutenant General Douangchay also received the title of National Hero.
The other three high-ranking officials that were killed in the crash were: Member of the Party Central Committee's Secretariat and the Minister of Public Security, Dr Thongbanh Seng-Aphone; Member of the Party Central Committee's Secretariat and Mayor of Vientiane, Soukanh Mahalath; and Member of the Party Central Committee's Secretariat and Head of the Party Central Committee's Propaganda and Training Board, Cheuang Sombounkhanh.
Cremation ceremonies for Dr Thongbanh and Soukanh took place at That Foun in Vientiane.
Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Asang Laoly and Politburo member and Head of the Party and Government Inspection Authority Dr Bounthong Chitmany led the ceremony mourning the death of Thongbanh.
Dr Thongbanh was born on May 2, 1953 in Huaylainoy village of Paklai district, Xayaboury province. He was married to Mrs Thonglao Seng-Aphone and had three children.
Dr Thongbanh joined the revolutionary movement in 1975 and has been working for the Lao government since that time, beginning as the head of an education committee of a village group in Paklai district's capital town.
Throughout his career he served in the finance sector in Xayaboury province, as the Governor of Paklai district, as member of the standing committee of Xayaboury province's Party organisation, as a member of the leading central committee on rural development and as the Governor of Borikhamxay province.
Dr Thongbanh was appointed Minister of Public Security in 2005 and elected as a member of the Party Central Committee's Secretariat at the Eighth Party Congress held in 2006.
Politburo member, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith and Politburo member and Head of the Party Central Committee's Office Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong led officials and the public in paying homage to Soukanh Mahalath.
Soukanh was born in June 1954 into a family of farmers in Kaengkok village of Champhone district, Savannakhet province.
He joined the revolutionary movement in Champhone province, which was one of two provinces that merged and are now known as Savannakhet province.
He made his career in the Party and government through various roles in agriculture management, government inspection and provincial administration. He served as Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Minister of Finance, Governor of Xieng Khuang province, Secretary of the Champassak Party Commitee and finally the Mayor of Vientiane.
Politburo Member and Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad led Party and government officials and members of the public in mourning Cheuang Sombounkhanh.
The cremation ceremony took place at Tanmixay temple in Xaythany district of Vientiane.
Cheuang was born on March 5, 1955 in Saman village of Phonthong district, Champassak province, where his family worked as farmers.
He began revolutionary activities at a young age. As a secondary school student, Cheuang distributed propaganda advocating for an uprising in the district.
He was a translator for Lao leaders at a Soviet Communist Party political science school, before working as a teacher at Thangon political theory school.
Through his career he ha s worked as secretary to various leaders, for the Party Central Committee Office, in theory research, as secretary of President Kaysone Phomvihane, as Head of the Prime Minister's Office, as Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR a nd as Minister and Head of the Government Secretariat.
The Eighth Party Congress elected him as Member of the Party Central Committee's Secretariat and Head of the Party Central Committee's Propaganda and Training Board.
Cremations for the other crash victims were held at Keopa temple in Sikhottabong district, Vientiane on the same day.