Philip Malone

Philip Malone

Ambassador to Lao PDR

Part of UK in Laos

14th May 2013 Vientiane, Laos

Laos through my eyes – Anne Keothavong

This article is part of a series of guest blogs contributed by Brits who have lived and worked in Laos, or who have other interesting links to Laos. 

My parents were both born in Laos but came to the UK in the 1970s. I was born in Hackney in East London. Having visited Laos twice (once 8 years ago and most recently earlier this year), I am increasingly interested in finding out more about my Lao roots and doing what I can to build links between the UK and Laos.

I ended up spending a bit of time in Vientiane in January this year after taking time out from competition in Australia. I was injured and my parents had gone back to Laos for 3 months so I decided to join them there.

Anne Keothavong

During my visit, I was asked by the Lao Tennis Federation to do a tennis clinic with their young players. Some Lao follow my tennis so I am relatively well-known in Lao tennis circles. The experience reminded me a lot of how I started out playing tennis, with very little, just playing on public tennis courts in parks in East London. It is nice to do what I can to help them to achieve what I have, but professional sport, particularly tennis, is still very much in its infancy there.

My family links with the Lao sporting world also stem back to London 2012 when both my father and my sister were involved with helping the Lao Olympic Team during their stay in London. My father worked with the Lao National Olympic Committee to plan the stay of the Lao athletes in the UK and my sister was the Games Maker assigned to the Lao team!

I also met the Lao athletes who competed and particularly remember a couple of 100m sprinters they had and a swimmer.

I remember when I was younger attending reunions of Lao people at the Vietnamese Lao and Cambodian Society (VLC) in Hackney, including parties to celebrate Pi Mai.

There are not that many Lao people in the UK so my family tend to know most of them, and my parents are still very much part of that community. I travel so much for my tennis that I don’t have the chance to get as involved. For example, I was playing in a tournament in Argentina at the time of Pi Mai this year so I missed the celebrations in Hackney.

It’s great news that we now have a British Embassy back in Vientiane. Perhaps there’s chance for a game of tennis on that Embassy tennis court next time I visit…?

3 comments on “Laos through my eyes – Anne Keothavong

  1. Tres grand merci pour le gouvernement britannique d’ouvrir la porte de son ambassade a Vientiane ,peut etre la relation diplomatique Lao-Britannique
    bat son haut niveau mais Mr l’ambassadeur croyez vous que le Laos ira changer un jour …ouvrir sa porte vers l’avenir La democratie la multi -partisme et c…. Comme le gouvernement Britannique est un des super puissances du monde etait aussi le President et co signataires sur la paix du Laos notre pays . Monsieur , les laotiens refugies a travers le monde attendent toujours de votre geste , votre politique et votre Diplomatie pour que le Laos et les laotiens de tout bord peuvent retourner un jour a notre pays natal plein gre et plein de liberte.
    et merci pour l’interview d’ Anne Keohavong
    A vous Monsieur, Respectueusement

  2. Anne has been, and continues to be, a great servant to British tennis.
    I’m always impressed by her enthusiasm for her heritage and spreading the word about all things Laotian in general.
    I particularly remember the pictures of her with the athletes from Laos2012 Olympic Athletes, showing them around London, in the middle of the games having competed herself: classy.
    Wish Anne all the best for continued success on court, the recent $50K win shows she still has plenty to give, and her quality is undimmed.
    Thanks Anne!

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About Philip Malone

Mr Malone joined the FCO in 1981. He has served in a range of FCO and overseas posts with a particular focus on South East Asia and Europe. Philip Malone…

Mr Malone joined the FCO in 1981. He has served in a range of FCO and
overseas posts with a particular focus on South East Asia and Europe.
Philip Malone LVO took up his appointment in October 2012.
Curriculum Vitae
Full name: Philip Malone LVO

Married, two children
Oct 12: Laos,  Head of MissionJan 08 – Aug 12: Helsinki, Deputy Head of MissionApril 03 – Jan 08: Singapore, Head of ChanceryApril 99 – Sept 02: FCO, Head of France/Benelux Section, EU
Bilateral Department and additionally Deputy Head of Department (March
02- Sept 02)Jan 95 – Feb 99: Bandar Seri Begawan, Second Secretary (Defence/Chancery)May 92 – Nov 94: Luxembourg, Third Secretary (Commercial/Press and Public Affairs)June 89 – Jan 92: FCO, Assistant Parliamentary ClerkOct 86 – May 89: Guatemala City, Third SecretaryOct 83 – Aug 86: Buenos Aires, Attaché1981: Joined FCO, CSCE Unit, East European and Soviet Department

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