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Hmong Satellite TV

February 5, 2011 by staff 

Hmong Satellite TV, A businessman Hmong Wisconsin is preparing to launch a new station Hmong language satellite television. He pushes up the launch date to cover the funeral services for General Vang Pao, a leading figure in the Hmong-American community, died earlier this month in California. A leader of the Hmong community in Milwaukee Hmong TV station says is an ideal solution given the high culture of oral tradition. Kor Xiong, president of Appleton-based Hmong Wisconsin Radio, a satellite station Hmong language radio, is actively preparing for the February 4 launch of satellite Hmong, who will also live on its website. According to the Appleton Post-Crescent, Xiong was originally planning to launch mid-April.

It is the rental of equipment to “coordinate the live coverage and video memory at any time of Vang Pao and funerals,” said the newspaper. The station is already generating buzz. “We are very excited about it,” said Lo Neng Kiatoukaysy, executive director of Milwaukee Hmong American Association of friendship. “We have a very oral tradition, and the images mean a lot to us. TV means a lot to us, so I think I have a television station will be a great resource.”

Kiatoukaysy said the Hmong living in Laos do not develop a written language until the 1960s, and many elderly Hmong living in the United States have never learned.

Traditional Hmong funeral lasts four days, but Pao is scheduled to last six days. Services will begin February 4 in a convention center in Fresno, California. Pao’s family expects some 40,000 visitors to attend the public screening. Mark Xiong, executive director of Lao Family and Community in Milwaukee, said the burial was extended to accommodate travelers from China, Laos, Thailand and other countries.

Lao Family Community has been one of 20 community organizations across the country founded by Pao in the early 1980s. Today, according to Xiong, only five remain: There are three in California, home to the largest Hmong population in the United States, and one each in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where populations are located second and third, respectively.

Community leaders and family Lao Hmong in Appleton are planning vigils Pao expected to attract thousands.

Xiong said Lao Family Community vigil from 1 to 4 pm on Saturday. The organization, which provides English classes and other services to Hmong immigrants, expected to be attended by about 1,000. The memorial in Appleton is planning an estimated 3,000 Hmong veterans and mourners.

Pao stature in the Hmong community, both the U.S. and among those who remained in Laos is unparalleled. Mark Xiong compared to George Washington.

Pao had organized an army of about 30,000 Hmong soldiers who assisted U.S. forces during the Vietnam War. Pao, who had helped the French fight North Vietnam in the 1950s, was already a war hero secret before the U.S. war effort began in early 1960. Pao became the CIA go-to guy and leader of the “secret army” who shoulders the burden of obstruction North Vietnamese traveling through eastern Laos.

The general later said, the objectives of the army were to stop North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam by supporting the Ho Chi Minh Trail in eastern Laos and to rescue downed pilots in the U.S. Laos.

Hugh Tovar, head of the CIA in Laos from 1970 to 1973, told Milwaukee Magazine for a feature 2007 that Pao was “the undisputed leader of the Hmong population in Laos … General Pao was particularly effective, both militarily and politically. ”

After the Vietnam War, Pao has played a key role in negotiating the settlement of thousands of Hmong refugees in the United States, he became a revered figure, although research by UW-Madison historian Alfred McCoy, and PBS Frontline series of related general opium and heroin in South Asia. Pao reputation has been further clouded in 2007 when federal prosecutors accused him and ten others, mostly Hmong men, of planning an armed attack on the communist government in Laos. Prosecutors dropped the charges against Pao in 2009.

Regarding the charges, Tovar said Milwaukee Magazine: “I do not think (this) situation will be understandable to the Hmong, and certainly not for the old soldiers who followed him into battle, nor the many people who have parents who still live under a repressive regime. ”

Pao was a great traveler who contracted pneumonia during a trip in central California, the death a week later at the age of 81 years.

In what was perhaps the last lap Pao, he announced in January 2010 that he would return to Laos to negotiate a peace agreement between the Communist government and the Hmong still living in the Laotian countryside. Although a hero among the Hmong in Laos, Pao still raging communists – the government said it would make good on a death sentence for decades, if he tried to return.

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