Glossary -- Laos
- Asian Development Bank
- Established in 1967, the bank assists in economic development
and promotes growth and cooperation in developing member countries.
The bank is owned by its forty-seven member governments, which
include both developed and developing countries in Asia and
developed countries in the West.
- Association of Southeast Asian
- Founded in 1967 primarily for economic cooperation and
consisting of Brunei (since 1984), Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Laos has had observer status
since 1992 and applied for membership in July 1994.
- Village; grouped administratively into tasseng
(q.v.) and muang (q.v.).
- Buddhist teaching or moral law; laws of nature, all that
exists, real or imaginary.
- fiscal year (FY)
- October 1 to September 30.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services
produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only
output values of goods for final consumption and intermediate
production are assumed to be included in the final prices. GDP is
sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that
indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these indirect
taxes and subsidies have been eliminated, the result is GDP at
factor cost. The word gross indicates that deductions for
depreciation of physical assets have not been made. Income arising
from investments and possessions owned abroad is not included, only
domestic production. Hence, the use of the word domestic
to distinguish GDP from gross national product (q.v.).
- gross national product (GNP)
- The gross domestic product (GDP--q.v.) plus net income
or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries,
including income received from abroad by residents and subtracting
payments remitted abroad to nonresidents. GNP is the broadest
measurement of the output of goods and services by an economy. It
can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes
and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only
transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost by
removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
- Largest Lao Sung (q.v.) ethnic group of northern Laos.
This tribal group dwells at higher elevations than other ethnic
groups. During the period of the Royal Lao Government (RLG)
(q.v.), the Hmong were referred to as Meo.
- International Monetary Fund
- Established on July 22, 1944, the IMF began operating along
with the World Bank (q.v.) on December 27, 1945. The IMF
is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations that
takes responsibility for stabilizing international exchange rates
and payments. The IMF's main business is the provision of loans to
its members when they experience balance of payments difficulties.
These loans often carry conditions that require substantial
internal economic adjustments by the recipients. In 1994 the IMF
had 179 members.
- Buddhist concept of the sum of one's past actions, which affect
one's current life and future reincarnations.
- Province; first order administrative division.
- Lao currency. In June 1994, US$1=R721.
- Lao Issara
- Free Laos. Movement formed in 1945 to resist any attempt to
return to French colonial status.
- Lao Loum
- Literally translated as the valley Laotian. Inclusive term for
people of Tai stock living in Laos, including lowland Lao and
upland Tai. Group of lowland peoples comprising the majority
population of Laos; generally used to refer to ethnic Lao, the
country's dominant ethnic group (approximately 66 percent of the
population according to the 1985 census), and speaking Tai-Kadai
languages, including Lao, Lue, Tai Dam (Black Tai), and Tai Deng
- Lao Patrocitic Front (LPF) (Neo Lao Hak
- Sucessor to Neo Lao Issara (q.v.), the political arm
of the Pathrt Liberation Army (q.v.)--formerly known as
the Pathet Lao (q.v.)--is its milituary
- Lao People's Army
- Formed in 1976 when the Lao People's Liberation Army (LPLA--
q.v.) was restructured after the establishment of the Lao
People's Democratic Republic in December 1975.
- Lao People's Liberation Army (LPLA)
- Official title of Pathet Lao armed forces, more commonly known
as the communist revolutionaries, or guerrilla forces. The LPLA
originated with the Latsavong detachment, formed in January 1949 by
Kaysone Phomvihan, and steadily increased in number to an estimated
8,000 guerrillas in 1960 and an estimated 48,000 troops between
1962 and 1970.
- Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) (Phak
Pasason Pativat Lao)
- Founded secretly in 1955 as the Phak Pasason Lao (Lao People's
Party--LPP); name changed in 1972. Seized full power and became the
ruling (communist) party of Laos in 1975. The LPRP Central
Committee formulates party policy; it is dominated by the Political
Bureau (Politburo) and the Secretariat and maintains control by
placing its members in key institutions throughout the government
and the army.
- Lao Sung
- Literally translated as the Laotian of the mountain top--those
who traditionally live in the high altitudes in northern Laos. In
official use, term denotes a category of ethnic groups that speak
Tibeto-Burmese, Miao-Yao languages; chiefly the Hmong
(q.v.) (Meo) group of highland or upland minorities but
also the Mien (Yao) and Akha. According to the 1985 census, these
groups make up approximately 10 percent of the population.
- Lao Theung
- Literally, Laotian of the mountain slopes; group--including
Kammu, Loven, and Lamet--that traditionally lives in medium
altitudes, practices swidden, or slash-and-burn-agriculture, and
speaks Mon-Khmer languages and dialects. According to the 1985
census, approximately 24 percent of the population. Regarded as
original inhabitants of Laos, formally referred to by ethnic Lao as
kha, or slave.
- Indian geopolitical term referring to a variable circle of
power centered on a ruler, his palace, and the religious center
from which he drew his legitimization.
- muang (muong)
- Administrative district; also an independent principality;
comprises several tasseng (q.v.), second order
- Lao Patriotic Front (LPF) (Neo Lao Hak
- Successor to Neo Lao Issara (q.v.), the political arm
of the Pathet Lao (q.v.) during the Indochina Wars (1946-
75). The Lao People's Liberation Army (q.v.)--formerly
known as the Pathet Lao (q.v.)--is its military arm.
- Neo Lao Issara
- Free Laos Front--organization established by former Lao Issara
(Free Laos) (q.v.) to continue anti-French resistance
movement with the Viet Minh (q.v.); succeeded by Neo Lao
Hak Xat (Lao Patriotic Front--LPF) (q.v.) in 1956.
- net material product
- Gross material output minus depreciation on capital and
excluding "unproductive services." According to the World Bank
(q.v.), net material product is "a socialist concept of
- Nonaligned Movement
- Established in September 1961 with the aim of promoting
political and military cooperation apart from the traditional East
and West blocs. As of 1994, there were 107 members (plus the
Palestine Liberation Organization), twenty-one observers, and
- Pathet Lao (Lao Nation)
- Literally, land of the Lao. Until October 1965, the name for
the Lao People's Liberation Army (q.v.), the military arm
of the Lao Patriotic Front (q.v.).
- Royal Lao Government (RLG)
- The ruling authority in Laos from 1947 until the communist
seizure of power in December 1975 and the proclamation of the Lao
People's Democratic Republic.
- Sipsong Panna
- Region in southern Yunnan Province, China, from which migrated
many groups that now inhabit Laos.
- Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
- Established in September 1954 as a result of the 1954 Geneva
Agreements to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. SEATO
never had an active military role and was ultimately disbanded in
June 1977 following the success of the communist movements in
Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in 1975. Original signatories to SEATO
were Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the
Philippines, Thailand, and the United States.
- Administrative unit; territorial subdivision of muang
(q.v.), subdistrict grouping of ten to twenty villages.
- That Luang
- Most sacred Buddhist stupa in Vientiane and site of annual
festival on the full moon of the twelfth month.
- Theravada Buddhism
- Predominant branch of Buddhism practiced in Laos, Cambodia, Sri
Lanka, and Thailand.
- United Nations Children's Fund
- Acronym retained from predecessor organization, United Nations
International Children's Emergency Fund, established in December
1946. Provides funds for establishing child health and welfare
- United Nations Development Programme
- Created by the United Nations in 1965, the UNDP is the world's
largest channel for multilateral technical and preinvestment
assistance to low-income countries. It functions as an overall
programming, financing, and monitoring agency. The actual fieldwork
is done by other UN agencies.
- United Nations High Commissioner for
- Established by the United Nations in 1949, it did not become
effective until 1951. The first world institution to aid refugees,
the UNHCR seeks to ensure the humanitarian treatment of refugees
and find a permanent solution to refugee problems. The agency deals
with the international protection of refugees and problems arising
from mass movements of people forced to seek refuge.
- Viet Minh
- Coalition of Vietnamese national elements formed in May 1941
and dominated by the communists in their movement calling for an
uprising against the French colonial government.
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
(MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has as its primary purpose
the provision of loans at market-related rates of interest to
developing countries at more advanced stages of development. The
IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of
the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest
developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the
activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed
specifically to encourage the growth of productive private
enterprises in the less developed countries. The MIGA, founded in
1988, insures private foreign investment in developing countries
against various noncommercial risk. The president and certain
senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The
four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries
that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank
group, member states must first belong to the Intentional Monetary