Thai film no joke in Laos
Officials in Laos yesterday warned that the Thai film "Mak Te" ("Football") could jeopardise diplomatic ties.
The Lao foreign ministry summoned minister Udomsak Sritangos, No-2 at the Thai Embassy in Vientiane, to raise concerns over a film they said humiliates Laotians, an official said. Vientiane hopes the film's producer will halt screening of the movie before it is released on Thursday.
"We don't want to see a tragedy like what happened in Phnom Penh when Cambodians were angry over [comments allegedly made by] a Thai movie star," he said, referring to the 2003 riots.
"Mak Te" is a comedy about the Thai and Lao football teams, in which the Lao team makes it to the World Cup. Lao authorities say the movie mocks Laos and puts the team's success down to its Thai coach. Several of the Lao players dye their hair to look like Western football stars and the team practices in a freezer container to get used to cold weather.