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Regime Survivor Sees Himself in McCain

Delegates of the Republican National Convention, held in Minnesota last week, were happy with the choice of Sarah Palin as the vice presidential choice for candidate Sen. John McCain, a former US ambassador told VOA Khmer.

The choice of Palin, which was announced last week, was a reflection of the party's plan to advance the national economy and military and to improve its security, said Sichan Siv, a Cambodian survivor of the Khmer Rouge who became a US ambassador to the United Nations.

The announcement of Palin as McCain's running mate in the presidential race surprised many observers, but Sichan Siv said the American people will have a chance to learn more about her and will realize John McCain is an experienced leader worth voting for.

McCain's experiences as a prisoner during the US war in Vietnam reminded Sichan Siv of his own experiences under the Khmer Rouge, he said.

"We had the same experience," he said. "He was in prison in North Vietnam. I was in prison under the Khmer Rouge regime."

With the convention over, Sichan Siv will now travel around the US to meet with Asian-Americans, including those of Cambodian descent, to help campaign for the Republican ticket, as the November election approaches.

The former ambassador urged Cambodians to follow US election coverage, saying the presidential election was "a good lesson in democracy, from which the Cambodian people can learn."

"There is progress in Cambodia, and I admire that," he added. "Democracy is an important base for Cambodia to advance its economy and security."