Queen Elizabeth II's 91st birthday celebrated

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Lao, foreign officials and invited quests enjoyed cultural performances for the “Inspire Me Festival” on Thursday to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 91st Birthday .

The festive event at Crowne Plaza Hotel hosted by the British Embassy Vientiane attracted a sizeable audience who enjoyed the performances on the night such as shadow puppetry, group ballet with ‘British heroes’ Harry Potter, Charlie Chaplin and others.

British Ambassador to Laos Hugh Evans thanked Lao and foreign officials, guests, members of the British and business communities among others for attending the celebration of the auspicious occasion.

He said Her Majesty The Queen was an extraordinary leader who had dedicated her life to national service, often in harrowing circumstances, as when she made a morale boosting visit to meet those injured in the recent terrorist attack. He thanked the government of Laos and many others for their kind messages of support after the appealing incidents.

“The Queen has inspired me all my life, and this theme of what inspires me and other lies at the heart of my speech tonight,” he said.

“We are not turning our back on the world, even before the referendum, we were stepping up engagement with the fast growing of Asean region. Reopening our Embassy in Laos in 2012 was a key part of that re-orientation,” Evan explained.

“Since then our creative partnership with Laos has defined and raised the British profile here, it’s a strategy that acknowledges we are a small Embassy but it also set a high level of ambition in delivering our niche priorities,” he added.

Hugh Evans, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Khemmani Pholsena and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sengphet Houngboungnuang then jointly cut a cake to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 91st Birthday.

This was followed by live musical performances and puppetry from Khao Niew Theatre Group along with a lucky draw to end the night.