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Champassak seeks approval for King Fa Ngum statue on new embankment

Champassak authorities will ask the government to build a statue of King Fa Ngum on the new embankment being built on the Mekong River in the provincial capital Pakxe.
The statue will be part of the US$65.6-million Mekong River Integrated Management Project, which got underway in December.
The project is designed not only to protect the town against flooding but also to serve as a green space by extending the riverbank, similar to the riverside promenade at Vientiane’s Chao Anouvong Park.
Project Director Mr Khamphan Simmala told Vientiane Times on Sunday “We have submitted a proposal to higher authorities asking for approval of the construction of a statue of King Fa Ngum in the new public park.”
He said the province wanted to build the statue because the king was a well-known and much loved figure among people in the southern provinces.
According to legend, King Fa Ngum was the last son of Chao Fa Ngiew and was taken downstream on a raft to Champassak before going to the Khmer Kingdom of Angkor where he grew up and married a Khmer princess. He founded the Kingdom of a Million Elephants (Lane Xang Kingdom) in the 14th century.
In Vientiane, the statue of King Fa Ngum was erected in 2003. It has become a popular landmark in the capital and is a place where Lao people gather to pay tribute, pray, and pose for photos.
Mr Khamphan believes the new embankment in Champassak province will also become an important landmark.
It is envisaged that the embankment and adjoining promenade will be a place where people can watch the annual boat racing festival as well as go on weekends to walk and relax.
The project comprises four components, including construction of the embankment along the Mekong and Xedon rivers over a distance of 16km.
Other components are the construction of a 2-km road and a 10.6-hectare public park, a long sought after addition and a first for the province.
Construction of the embankment is now 5 percent complete, with the whole project expected to take four years.
Companies from the Republic of Korea have sub-contracted two local construction firms to carry out the project. They are currently preparing the site by levelling the ground using sand brought from a nearby island in Phonthong district.
Of the total construction cost of US$65.6 million, more than US$53 million has been funded by a loan from the Republic of Korea with the rest provided by provincial authorities.
Pakxe is the largest town in southern Laos and serves as an economic hub for provinces in the far south. This project is expected to enhance the image and livability of the town.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
March 5,

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