Bounmy's statement, Conference on the Promotion and Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions - Bali

portrait of Vijak Bounmy
© Mary Wareham

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

My name is Bounmy. I am a cluster munition survivor coming from Lao PDR.

One morning in 1996, I was digging the ground. Suddenly, a cluster submunition exploded. Villagers heard the explosion and they came to see me and brought me home.

When my parents saw me, they were devastated and they thought that I was dead. But I felt such a pain and I cried out. At this time, my parents and my relatives realized that I was still alive. Then they transported me to the hospital. It took about 2 hours to get there.

Doctors did not have any other choice to cut off my arm.

When I returned home, I felt hopeless. I had to face so many difficulties. I felt depressed and I wanted to kill myself.

I was not able to work and to help my family. My friends had gone.

I have been encouraged by my family, whom take care of me. Thanks to this support, I decided to continue to study, and to follow vocational training. Now I have a motivating job. But I know that many cluster munition survivors do not have work.

My country already signed and ratified the Treaty, and I hope other affected countries will follow that example.

Vijak Bounmy