All posts tagged: President Obama

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.  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. 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 it, of the Asia Pacific region. While the U.S. is in Vientiane for the ASEAN Summit and other high-level meetings, President Obama continues to …

10 Things President Obama Should Do in Laos

Well, this is a first for a United States president. Earlier this week, President Obama announced that he’ll visit Laos by end of 2016. Just in time for the ASEAN economic summit that Laos is hosting as current chair and member.  After White House National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes visited Laos to learn about the UXO issue and after the memorable visit by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton– it was only time before POTUS himself would make an appearance. As the pivot towards economically-booming Southeast Asia continues and on the heels of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, this will no doubt seal President Obama’s legacy before his term ends. We could be biased but while we know that Laos is quite arguably the coolest place to be in Southeast Asia, a lot can change in the course of one year before the POTUS visits. We know he’s a busy man, so we conjured up some to-do’s for his staffers to use. Here’s a fun list of “10 Things President Obama Should Do in Laos”. Take a stroll along …