All posts tagged: Channapha Khamvongsa

Lao-Diaspora-of-the-Week: Channapha Khamvongsa

LLOTP continues our brief feature series, introducing you to the creatives and organizers of the Lao American Writers Summit 2016. Meet Channapha Khamvongsa, the Lao American trailblazer leading Legacies of War, an organization addressing the UXO issue in Laos. She is one of the keynote speakers at the Lao American Writers Summit, this May 27-28, 2016. Who are you? I was born in Vientiane, raised in the U.S. and travel in between many worlds. I lead Legacies of War and follow all good things to eat and cook. Describe in detail your favorite Lao dish. I like pun because I like to (w)rap while I eat. When you tell someone your ethnic background, what’s their first reaction? Where is that…usually followed by…is that a city in a country that is NEVER Laos. In three words, why people should attend the Lao American Writers Summit in San Diego? Seek inspiration? Mahder. Learn more about Channapha’s work at legaciesorwar.org. Meet Channapha and other community builders at the next Lao American Writers Summit, this May 27-28, 2016. Seats are limited, register here.

5 years later: Reflections on Laos, Bombs and the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions

In 2010, I was part of a delegation from Legacies of War that joined 1,200 other participants in Vientiane to attend the first meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It was the most significant international disarmament agreement in decades and it was unexpected – that this dynamic and fast-moving international process, initiated in Norway, and negotiated in Peru, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Uganda – would enter the important phase of implementation in Laos. On the one hand, it made perfect sense. Laos was the most affected country per capita by cluster munitions, but on the other hand, Laos was one of the smallest state parties to join the convention, and historically did not play a key role on the world stage. But under the bold leadership of Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, of the Lao PDR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with support from other governments and civil society members of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, Laos had the honor of hosting the historic gathering. As I joined in the celebration with other …