On the occasion of the 6th month, on 15 June, since Sombath Somphone was forcibly disappeared, a call to send messages and prayers to remember the Lao development worker yielded messages from Asia, the US and Europe. The messages are not only about remembering what happened to Sombath but are also expressions of concern about the progress of investigation into his case, urging the Lao government to ensure Sombath’s safety return soon.
Here are the messages that were sent to Focus on the Global South through email:
From Bernard De Backer of Brussels:I know little of Sombath and his action but I just got a message from a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, (and) I know better…I would therefore like Sombath Somphone not be forgotten, that the movement of support is growing and (that he) is found. And that, whatever the outcome, his captors are identified and prosecuted. (Translated)
From Keoka Khamlouang: Sombath is in our heart forever. Hope he will return safely to his family and to our community soon.
From Kathryn Nance: I speak a word on behalf of the friends and family of Sombath, for (his) health (and) wellbeing, safety, protection and ingenuity, that helpful forces come to his aid and rescue, that the code of silence is breached and broken insuring his long awaited return to those who love him. I claim for him courage, patience, faith, trust and creativity and gratitude for his safety, his mental clarity, his physical wellbeing, for nourishment and a clean place to dwell and a breakthrough in consciousness for those holding him that they come to see the cost outweighs the benefit of this folly causing them to release him…
From Tanja Vesivalo: Please light a candle for the safe return of (Sombath)!
From Chansouk Insouvanh (Souky): I wish UN and other Organizations…show what corrective actions should be taken to prevent this from happening in Lao PDR. Mr. Sombath is a well know man, imagine those who are not known by international groups.
From Yvette Wong of Korea: Here's a prayer for Sombath to be safe, and (for him) to return home soon , to be reunited with Shui Ming. May their troubles be over real real soon.
From Heejin: May Sombath be safe and healthy.May Sombath be strong and come back to us soon with his big naughty smile.May (his) family keep strong and not lose faith.May people who detain him have mercy to do what is right.And may (the) world not forget that he's still not home
From Pierre-Marc Blanchet: May…Sombath come back to his family very soon, sound and safe. May his adbductors open their hearts and their minds and understand that time for sharing has come. May they understand that terror and fear are something from the past and that respect, empathy, happiness and caring are the bricks to build the new world to come. From Lisa Nowlain:(I am) thinking about (S)ombath and how he had a long term vision that was so hopeful, compassionate, and powerful. He inspired action that came from inside people. (I’m) sending all my hopes and wishes and dreams that he comes home now.
From Miki Saito: I'm believing you that you will come home safely very soon. I miss you so much everyday.
From Francois Gerles: Hope that the whole world will gather to ask his liberation
From Anne-Sophie Gindroz: I hope Sombath is in good health.I wish that those who detain Sombath treat him well and will release him soon.I pray for his safe return to his wife and to his community. May those who are responsible for his abduction be brought to justice.I pray for a world where enforced disappearances do not happen anymore.
From Brigette of Singapore:I would like to dedicate a prayer for Sombath's safe return as well.May the light of the Lord lead Sombath safely back to the arms of his loved ones.May the Lord bless him and shine upon him. Amen.
From Angela Salvage of Melbourne, Australia:I wish for the safe return of Sombath Somphone to his family and friends. The longer he is missing, the stronger my concerns for his welfare. Good men like Somphone make the world a better place. Please bring him home safely.
From AK:We keep faith, stay strong, show courage together with you,With the hope and prayer for your safe return,To your wife, family, friends - usUntil then we continue to remember and remindto question and seek truthto not give in or give upto believethat we will see you soon again.
From Arnaud Dubus, Bangkok-based journalist: Through this message I would like to express my support for the family and the friends of Sombath Somphone. All over the world, we are thinking about him and are waiting his return among us. We will not give up our campaign, until he is back.
From Clem Pabion:Please do light a candle for me to express my hope and my wish. I am still hoping that Sombath will come back safe, for his sake and for the sake of Laos.
From Shui-Meng Ng: I pray that Sombath will be safe and well and will come home quickly. Light a candle for me for Sombath.
From Sarah Allen: My prayer is for Sombath's release to happen quickly and safely. That his life and health are both safe. That he will be returned to his wife, family and community soon. So all the people in his wide circles can once again share his company, his wisdom and his kindness. And that just-development and human rights can be upheld in the Lao PDR.
From Kevin Kamp of Bangkok: We are still waiting for your safe return (Sombath).
From Jacqueline Yeo: I pray for the safe return of Sombath. I pray that he is alive and well and will be released into freedom to reunite with his family and friends. I pray that word will reach his loved ones about his whereabouts and his wellbeing.
From Skip Dangers: I pray for Sombath's safety and pray that he knows that all his friends are thinking of him and praying for him and doing everything we can think of to find him and secure his safe return home and return back to all of us.
From Vathinee: May the merits gained from his good deed made for the people in need, the prayers from friends and the light from candles lit up in the Philippines and elsewhere bring him back safely and healthy soonest.
From Victoria Goh: I pray for the safe return of Sombath Somphone to his family soonest possible.
From Uncle Ken: MAY THE LAO GOVERNMENTSEE THE ERROR OF ITS WAYSAND COME CLEAN ABOUT SOMBATH
From Chanida Chanyapate and Alec Bamford of Bangkok: Again we call for the Lao authorities to act responsibility and conduct a thorough, impartial and independent investigation into the enforced disappearance of Sombath. We send our best wishes to his family and friends and continue to hope both for his safe release and return to his family and for an end to the indefensible and repugnant practice of enforced disappearance.
From Yves Peutot: I hope Sombath is still prisonner somewhere and will be released soon! I hope Lao Government will think soon that democra(c)y, critical mind-(ed) and open mind-(ed) people are better than authority and ignorance...
From Chanthalangsy Sisouvanh: Pray for Sombath to return home safely.God, Buddha, and all spirit bless him safely home.
From Josette & Lou Rosof of Honolulu, Hawaii: We join all of you wonderful people in the quest for Sombath’s safe return.From Clarissa Lau:May the lord watch over Sombath, to keep him safe, to keep him well, to keep him healthy and strong until the day he is returned to us. May Sombath be returned to us soon. Really, really soon.
Jun 16 (1 day ago) From Gizela Moniz da Silva: Lord Jesus Christ,I come to you, knee in front of You dear Jesus to ask for Your blessing on Mr. Sombath and that may You light up the eyes and heart of whoever have him right now to think and return Mr. Sombath to his dear family. Dear Lord, we are helpless, we have no idea where he is and how he is doing, but we believe you Jesus, that you take care of him and that you are working in bringing him home.Dear Jesus, also bless his Dear wife and mother, who await in hope. Give them strength, light their mind and heart, take the pain away; give them; bless (them) to go through this with ease because You are with them, we ask this in Your Name Jesus Christ Amen. Love you Mr Sombat and Ibu Shui-Meng, our heart are with you always.
From Paul Eshoo: Light (a) candle for Sombath.
From Rio: My heart is with Sombath, with his wife Shui Meng, his family, relatives and friends. I pray that Sombath is in a safe place, healthy and will be returned home soon. I wish his work, his words, his thoughts will continue to inspire and support others to contribute to a better world where we live in harmony and share the opportunities and burdens that life presents to us.
From Totie Cabanas, VSO Bahaginan Filipino Volunteer to Laos: My constant prayers (are) for him and my colleagues in PADETC and the whole civil society of Lao to endure and remain strong and hopeful.
From Zwanzger, Sigrun: May he return soon.
From Karen Smith: My wish is for Sombath to be safe and for he and his family to have peace. May all people in the world have freedom from fear and oppression.
From Nishan Disanayake: I and my house mates will also light a candle and send love and warmth to Sombath on the 18th.Peace.
From Sam Pike: I hope and pray for the safe return of uncle Sombath, and for the protection and good health of him and his family.
From Ratimat Norajit: I would like to send my prayer for Mr.Sombath's safe return.
From Mab: LIBEREZ SOMBATH!"You can blow out a candle. But you can't blow out a fire. Once the flames begin tocatch, (t)he wind will blow it higher." Peter Gabriel
From Stuart Ling: Please light a candle for (Sombath).
From Christina McMellon: I am grateful for Sombath's presence in the world and for his ideas and strength and wisdom that have inspired me and so many others. Now I pray for his safety and that he will be returned to his family and friends who love him. And I pray for those who have taken Sombath, that they will learn from him and be inspired by him and look into their hearts and find a way to create a happy outcome <3
From Mrs. K McMellon (Christina’s mother): Dear God,I pray for the safe (return) of Sombath Somphone to his loving family.
From Mona Girgis: My thoughts are with Sombath and his family, every day. I hope for his safe return to his family.
From Colink Moore: Please light a candle for Sombath…
From Claire Traore: By this email I wanted to show my support and my concern for the disappearance of Sombat Somphone Laos. (translated)
From Bruno Mellano, Italy: HELP US TO ILLUMINATE THE WHOLE PLACE TO SHOW THE WORLD (WE) REMEMBER SOMBATH! (translated)
From Olivier Dupuis: A candle for Sombath Somphone! (translated)