All posts tagged: Diaspora

Post Election Reactions from Lao America

This is part II in a series of opinion pieces on the Lao America response to post-elections 2016. Read part I here.  Wherever one may be on the political spectrum, there’s no hiding that we’re all still processing post-election outcomes and what it will mean for the thousands of diaspora from Laos. Here are some reactions and perspectives from community builders, artists, business owners and others from Lao America. “Earlier this year brought so much optimism, especially with President Obama’s historic visit to Laos. It spotlighted the country and brought attention to the Lao American community and our contributions – from refugees to citizens. The recent election is disheartening in that the America that received the millions of refugees from Southeast Asia – that helped us to rebuild our lives after war – is turning its back on so many of today’s immigrants and refugees. This country’s strength is rooted in its diversity, including the countless contributions of immigrants. But we must also remember that beyond elections – democracy, hope, love, kindness and transformation can …

President Obama’s Remarks in Vientiane: Acknowledging the People and its Past

(Artwork by Chantala Kommanivanh) I woke up this morning and caught my father listening to President Obama’s speech for the first time. His eyes were on the floor. I knew what it meant. My father would never allow his children see him cry. As a 27-year-old senior lieutenant of the Royal Lao Army who was trained at Fort Knox in the early 1970s, the scars of that era was traumatic as it was deeply lonely for my family. It’s why President Obama’s historic visit to Laos and his remarks in Vientiane is powerfully meaningful to the hundreds of thousands of Laotian diaspora who fled to seek new havens to call home. I’m echoing what many across the world are feeling this week: it’s a good time to be Laotian American. The momentum of President Obama’s visit to Laos is undeniable. In the over 60 years that the United States has established diplomatic relations with Laos, this is the first time a president is realizing the potential in Laos, as part of a crucial pivot and ‘rebalance’, as they put …