Bad news from Laos

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by XZ2A, Sep 25, 2021.

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  1. XZ2A

    XZ2A Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some bad news about ham radio in Laos:

    Recently (as reported on various forums), I had some big problems with the police/military in my local town in Laos, who were totally unaware of ham radio, (I’m usually the only ham radio operator in the country). They were shocked to discover that I had a radio transmitter etc! My property was ‘swamped’ by police for several days win a row, who ‘grilled me’ about what I was doing, and who took enough photos of me and my ham gear to fill a large photo album! I was also ‘invited’ to police headquarters:) The situation was resolved with the good assistance of the Lao radio licencing department, who explained to the police/military that I was legally allowed to operate my ham equipment.

    My XW0LP licence comes up for renewal on 1st October, and I applied to renew for all existing HF bands, but also 472 KHz, 60m (denied last time), and 6 metre band. However, it seems that the police/military have been in touch with the licencing department, and instructed that I should not be allowed to operate on any bands where ham radio is not the primary user.

    What does this mean? Well, I am denied to operate on 472 KHz, 60m and 6 metre bands. But additionally, I will no longer be allowed to operate on the 80 metre and 30 metre bands, since ham radio is a secondary user on those bands in region 3.

    This is bad news! But I can still operate on 160, 40, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 metre bands.

    I have to cease operation on 80m and 30m at local midnight on 30 September!

    Therefore, in order to provide as many QSOs as possible, from now until that cut-off time/date, I will ONLY operate on 80 and 30, using FT8 on the normal frequencies. I will monitor 80m during local night-time hours, and will monitor 30m during the local day and evening hours, (ie from about 1 hour after local sunrise to about 3pm UTC (or later if I can ‘jump’ between 30 and 80!)

    I will especially respond to calls from stations that I have not worked previously. I’ll upload to LOTW and QSL cards can be ordered from my QSL manager (see my QRZ entry).

    This bad news is not the fault of the Lao radio licencing department, who have been very supportive of my hobby. At least I wasn’t instructed to cease all ham radio activities (if I was, then I’d leave the country for pastures new!).

    Simon – XW0LP
    DM2TT, W8VTN, KY4GD and 6 others like this.
  2. KI4ZUQ

    KI4ZUQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I may just tune up on FT8 to see if contact can be made with you!
  3. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Simon, sorry to hear about your situation: I'd really like to work you someday, but your area of the world is a hard spot to reach, at least for me right now!

    I really don't know / remember, but what sort of government does Laos have these days? Sounds kind of restrictive?
  4. XZ2A

    XZ2A Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, the official name of the country is 'Lao PDR' = People's Democratic Republic of Laos. Some say 'PDR' stands for "please don't rush", because the country and people are very laid back and friendly. In truth, it is a communist government since about 1976, when the communist guerrillas overthrew the royal government and the king was never seen again! It's a very poor country, and is 'looked after' by China in many ways, (also with very generous help from the USA, Japan, Australia etc). But it's really a buffer state between China and non-communist countries. Life is very peaceful here :)

    There are not many foreigners living in Laos. Years ago, I somehow ended up as principal of the local international school, hated the job, but loved the location. When I left Myanmar (XZ2A) a few years ago, I decided to settle in Laos, especially as there are rarely active hams in this country.

    The Lao government have been very helpful to get me on the air, but I don't think the local police and military are too keen on me!!
    W8VTN, KD2ACO, UT7UX and 4 others like this.
  5. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like a case for federal preemption to me!
  6. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why, that's just laosy!
    Is there any recourse or is it better to not make any waves?
    N9NY likes this.
  7. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Peoples Democratic Republic" of anything usually says: military dictatorship thinly disguised as communism. Might have been better under a monarch. Maybe...
    US7IGN likes this.
  8. XZ2A

    XZ2A Ham Member QRZ Page

    @KP4SX, definitely no recourse! If I complain, then I'll be 'asked to leave the country'. I stay here for 2 reasons >> it's a beautiful and peaceful place and I can operate my ham gear as rare DX for most. If either of those changes, then I go elsewhere :) (Operating from Myanmar as XZ2A when I worked as a science teacher in Naypyitaw was even more difficult...)
    N7ZV likes this.
  9. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Speaking of which.....when are you PRs gonna become a state already. The sooner that happens, the sooner we can fix Arecibo! :)
  10. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hmmm.....maybe on second thought, you might not want to rush things too much. Lotsa folks up here think we were better off as a territory. Keep us posted.

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