Southeast Asia

    Obama Trip to ASEAN Signifies US Interest

    President Barack Obama is using his first trip abroad since winning re-election earlier this month, to push for renewed U.S. interests on trade and economic development in Asia.

    U.S. President Barack Obama, left, is greeted by Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen before the ASEAN-U.S. leaders meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.  (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)U.S. President Barack Obama, left, is greeted by Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen before the ASEAN-U.S. leaders meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
    x
    U.S. President Barack Obama, left, is greeted by Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen before the ASEAN-U.S. leaders meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.  (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
    U.S. President Barack Obama, left, is greeted by Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen before the ASEAN-U.S. leaders meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
    Irwin LoyVOA News
    PHNOM PENH - Barack Obama has become the first U.S. president to visit Burma and Cambodia. Irwin Loy reports for VOA from Phnom Penh the U.S. leader's trip to attend a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations represents significant renewed U.S. interest in the region.

    President Barack Obama is using his first trip abroad since winning re-election earlier this month, to push for renewed U.S. interests on trade and economic development in Asia.  Mr. Obama met Monday with leaders from the 10 ASEAN members.

    “… in hosting the 2012 U.S.-ASEAN leaders' meeting.  This years marks 35 years of U.S.-ASEAN cooperation,” he said.

    The diplomacy is part of what the Obama administration calls a “rebalancing” of strategic interests.  Speaking at a briefing at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies before Mr. Obama’s departure, National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon explained the administration's goals.

    “We aspire to see a region where the rise of new powers occurs peacefully, with the freedom to access the sea, air, space and cyberspace, empowers vibrant commerce. Where multi-national forums help promote shared values, and where citizens increasingly have the ability to influence their governments, and universal rights are upheld - universal human rights are upheld.  That is the future we seek in partnership with our allies and friends,” he said.

    But critics are urging Mr. Obama to press Asian countries on human-rights abuses.  Burma has undergone significant reforms in the past year, but still faces serious criticism of its dealings with ethnic-minority groups and its handling of ongoing tensions in Rakhine state.  Cambodia has been criticized for jailing political opponents and continued land evictions.

    Demonstrators staged a rally Monday in Phnom Penh urging Mr. Obama to press the government to end land grabs, which rights groups say have affected tens of thousands of Cambodians during the past decade. 

    Activist Duong Kea urged Mr. Obama to speak to Cambodia.

    "I urge Obama to tell the Cambodian government to release all the land victims and all the activists," he said.

    President Obama will attend ASEAN meetings through Tuesday and is expected to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines, including a discussion with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

    You May Like

    Khmer Rouge Survivors Head to US for Shooting Remembrance

    The 46th Annual May 4 Commemoration, is held to remember four students who were fatally shot by Ohio National Guard troops just days after Nixon announced armed intervention in Cambodia. More

    Cambodian Circus Performers Want More Support

    More than 800 international artists have come from dozens of different countries to join the Tiny Tinou festival this year. More

    Producer Hopes Cambodia Will Lift Film Ban

    The British producer said the importance of the film was not only to show the heroism of Wutty, but also the rising importance of forest people and activists who attempt to continue Wutty’s work protecting Prey Lang – one of the largest remaining evergreen forests in Southeast Asia. More

    40th Anniversary of Khmer Rouge Takeover

    Click on the photo to go to special page.

    Click on the photo to go to special page.

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Cambodia Laying Tracks for Transport Futurei
    X
    29 April 2016
    After more than a decade, Cambodia's railway service has resumed passenger services from the capital, Phnom Penh, to the beach resort town of Sihanoukville. VOA Khmer's Sou Pichchinda narrates.

    English with Mani & Mori

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Save Face (Movie: Just Go With It)i
    X
    03 November 2014
    You can say, "I can't believe he's not accepting responsibility for his mistakes. To 'save face' he continues to make excuses for himself." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish or www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
    Video

    Video Save Face (Movie: Just Go With It)

    You can say, "I can't believe he's not accepting responsibility for his mistakes. To 'save face' he continues to make excuses for himself." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
    Video

    Video You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)

    You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
    Video

    Video All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)

    You can say, "I was 'all thumbs' this morning when trying to tie this tie - I kept making mistakes and just couldn't figure a way to pull it together." What does it mean? Watch here.
    Video

    Video Carry Out (Movie: Jane Eyre)

    You can say, "He has many strong qualities as a leader and under his leadership I think he will successfully 'carry out' the new mission and vision for this company." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
    Video

    Video A Wake Up Call (Movie: Limitless)

    You can say, "The visit to the doctor was definitely 'a wake up call' for him. The heavy drinking, smoking, and partying every night needs to stop." What does it mean? For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
    See more >>>