Writing for the Southeast Asia Globe, Kearrin Sims interviewed Shui Meng, wife of the disappeared Laotian development worker Sombath Somphone. Sombath, a prominent NGO leader in Laos, went missing in 2012. Various global groups suspect that local state forces have something to do with his mysterious disappearance. In the interview, Sombath's wife clarified that her husband is an educator and NGO worker, and not an activist:
Since his disappearance he has sometimes been depicted as something that he is not. For example, many say that he is an activist. Yes, he is very concerned about social issues but if he is an activist about anything, his activism is about how we improve education for the Laotian people.
how many more years are we going to keep looking for Mr.sombath ? so I believe that the lao government kidnaped mr. sombath by misunderding, but if mr. sombath was alive so the lao government would let him go, but it’s too late and the lao government will have to continue cover up.
Sensitive story of what had actually happened. Mr. SS’s missing may be well planned ahead of that evening. Mrs. SS needs not worry about what many pro-communist supporters would say around about Mr. SS. It’s the normal thing in a secretive society like Lao PDR. Mr. SS may have discovered a big conspiracy by high ranking Lao officials to rip off the Lao people; so he must have been shut off in that manner. Mrs. SS, your grief is now a global grief.