Laos: A Fragile Web

Since the Geneva accords of 1962 established its tripartite "neutrality," the landlocked, Lilliputian kingdom of Laos has teetered continually on the cliff-edge of chaos. Torn between the demands of the rightist Royal Laotian Army and the intransigent Communist Pathet Lao, which controls nearly half of the country, Neutralist Prince Souvanna Phouma maintains a facade of government simply because he is the only Premier acceptable to both the West and the Communist powers. Last week, when Laotians went to the polls to elect a new National Assembly in the first countrywide elections since...

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