Souvanna Phouma

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Souvanna Phouma
ເຈົ້າສຸວັນນະພູມາ
Souvanna Phouma.jpg
7th Prime Minister of Laos
In office
21 November 1951 20 October 1954
Monarch Sisavang Vong
Preceded by Phoui Sananikone
Succeeded by Katay Don Sasorith
In office
21 March 1956 17 August 1958
Preceded by Katay Don Sasorith
Succeeded by Phoui Sananikone
In office
30 August 1960 13 December 1960
Monarch Sisavang Vatthana
Preceded by Somsanith Vongkotrattana
Succeeded by Boun Oum
In office
23 June 1962 2 December 1975
Preceded by Boun Oum
Succeeded by Kaysone Phomvihane
Personal details
Born7 October 1901
Luang Prabang, French Laos
Died10 January 1984(1984-01-10) (aged 82)
Vientiane, Laos
Political party National Progressive Party
Lao Neutralist Party
Spouse(s)Aline Claire Allard

Prince Souvanna Phouma (7 October 1901 – 10 January 1984) was the leader of the neutralist faction and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Laos several times (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960, and 1962–1975).

Contents

Early life

Souvanna Phouma was the son of Bounkhong, the last vice-king of Luang Prabang and a nephew of King Sisavang Vong of Laos, given a French education in Hanoi, Paris and Grenoble, where he obtained his degree in architecture and engineering. [1] He returned to his homeland in 1931, married Aline Claire Allard, the daughter of a French father and a Lao mother, and entered the Public Works Service of French Indochina.

Souvanna Phouma, together with his brother, Prince Phetsarath Rattanavongsa (1891–1959) and his half-brother, Prince Souphanouvong (1909–1995), around the end of World War II, joined the Lao Issara (Free Laos) movement established to counter the French occupation and its provisional Vientiane government (1945–46).

When the French reoccupied Laos, Souvanna fled to exile in Bangkok, but returned to Laos in 1949 as France began conceding autonomy to Laos.

Souvanna Phouma and his wife had four children including Mangkra Souvanna Phouma and Princess Moune, who married Perry J. Stieglitz, cultural-affairs attaché of the U.S. embassy. [2]

Prime Ministership

In 1951, Souvanna became Prime Minister of Laos under the National Progressive Party banner with a landslide victory, winning 15 of the 39 seats in the National Assembly. He was prime minister until 1954.

After elections in December 1955, Souvanna Phouma returned to the prime ministership on a platform of national reconciliation. In August 1956 Souvanna and the Communist Pathet Lao, which his half-brother Souphanouvong headed agreed on broad proposals for a ‘government of national union’. Elections for 21 extra assembly seats were finally held in May 1958, with parties aligned with the Pathet Lao acquiring 13. Souphanouvong entered the government as Economic Minister. Another Pathet Lao leader, Phoumi Vongvichit, also acquired a Ministry.

Prince Souvanna Phouma and JFK in 1962 JFKWHP-AR7382-B.jpg
Prince Souvanna Phouma and JFK in 1962

In June 1958 Souvanna was again forced to resign by the rightists. The king accepted the vote as legal the next day when he signed Royal Ordinance No. 282, dismissing Souvanna Phouma's government and giving powers provisionally to the Revolutionary Committee. Royal Ordinance No. 283, approved a provisional government formed by Prince Boun Oum, who acted as front man for Phoui Sananikone. He was one of the Three Princes, whom Sisavang Vatthana appointed to form a coalition government between the rightists and Pathet Lao but it collapsed, and the Laotian Civil War began.

Honour

Foreign honour

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The following lists events that happened during 1953 in Laos.

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The following lists events that happened during 1956 in Laos.

Siho Lanphouthacoul was a Laotian paramilitary police officer. He used his powers as the National Director of Coordination to build Laotian police forces into a national power. Appointed as Director prior to the August 1960 coup by Kong Le, Siho gathered and trained two special battalions of paramilitary police during the latter part of 1960. When his patron, General Phoumi Nosavan, seized power in December 1960, Siho's new battalions helped carry the day at the Battle of Vientiane. Acquiring the National Police from the Ministry of the Interior, and co-opting local military police, Siho consolidated the Lao police into the Directorate of National Coordination. Attaining a strength of 6,500 men, the DNC would be Siho's instrument for his short-lived 18 April 1964 coup.

The 1964 Laotian coups were two attempted coup d'etats against the Royal Lao Government. The 18 April 1964 coup was notable for being committed by the policemen of the Directorate of National Coordination. Although successful, it was overturned five days later by U.S. Ambassador Leonard Unger. In its wake, Neutralist Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma forged a fragile coalition with the Pathet Lao communists. On 4 August 1964, Defense Minister Phoumi Nosavan attempted to take over Vientiane with a training battalion. This coup was quickly crushed by the local Royal Lao Army troops, as the police sat out the conflict.

References

  1. Pace, Eric (January 11, 1984). "Souvanna Phouma dies in Laos". New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  2. "Married". Time . 1 November 1968. Retrieved 2008-08-05. Princess Moune, 33, daughter of Laotian Premier Prince Souvanna Phouma, currently a foreign-affairs adviser in her father's cabinet; and Perry J. Stieglitz, 48, cultural-affairs attaché of the U.S. embassy in, Vientiane; she for the second time, he for the first; in a traditional Buddhist ceremony; in Vientiane.
  3. "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekuthun 1971" (PDF).

Bibliography

Political offices
Preceded by
Phoui Sananikone
Prime Minister of Laos
1951-1954
Succeeded by
Katay Don Sasorith
Preceded by
Katay Don Sasorith
Prime Minister of Laos
1956-1958
Succeeded by
Phoui Sananikone
Preceded by
Somsanith Vongkotrattana
Prime Minister of Laos
1960
Succeeded by
Boun Oum
Preceded by
Boun Oum
Prime Minister of Laos
1962-1975
Succeeded by
Kaysone Phomvihane