Southeast Asian repression has many facets. Here is a brief account from an informed observer in northern Laos about the local aftermath of the alleged Vang Pao plot:

Last June and July in Huayxai, and in the whole Bokeo province, political and military tensions occurred in the aftermath of the arrest of Vang Pao early June in the United States. The rumour said that two Hmong villages from the bank of the Mekong, Ban Xay Chaleun and Ban Fay (two villages of Hmong “returnees”), received money from Thailand to stir up a rebellion in the region. Lao soldiers were sent from the neighbouring Namtha province to crush the “rebels”. A shooting occurred near the two Hmong villages quoted above and, according to unofficial interviews with several residents in Huayxai, two villagers were killed. Over several weeks, young people from Huayxai were requisitioned to operate as local militia in the evening. They wandered in the streets for several weeks, some of them drunk and visibly excited, searching for any “suspect” that is anyone looking more or less as a “Lao Sung” (the Lao name for Hmong). In this dreadful climate, more than 300 people were arrested, just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong moment. After few days, and interventions of local influent Hmong leaders, most of them were liberated. Currently [as of early September 2007], and according to local sources, 30 people would still be in jail, of which some would hold foreign passports.