News / USA

Rights Issues High on Obama's Agenda in Asia

US President Barack Obama steps aboard Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, DC, November 17, 2012.
US President Barack Obama steps aboard Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, DC, November 17, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama is aboard Air Force One on his way to Asia, where he will visit Thailand, Burma and Cambodia on his first foreign trip since being re-elected earlier this month.
 
The trip underscores Obama's increased focus on Asia as he tries to fulfill his pledge to strengthen the U.S. economy during his second four-year term in office. The Obama administration has said that American foreign policy and engagement will "pivot" toward Asia in the future.
 
When he arrives in Burma Monday, Obama will be the first U.S. president to visit the country, which has emerged from decades of tight military control. The Burmese government recently has yielded to international pressure and begun making democratic reforms, but some human rights groups have cautioned that it is not yet a fully free country. 
 
President Obama is scheduled to meet with both Burmese President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi, the nation's leading democracy activist, who has only been free since 2010, after nearly two decades of detention or house arrest. Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 but was only able to travel to Norway to accept the award this year.
 
The U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch told VOA the president should have waited to travel to Burma until the country makes more progress in restoring basic freedoms. HRW says Burma should have gone beyond a partial amnesty and released all held as political prisoners, and also should have taken direct action to stop violence directed at ethnic and religious minorities, particularly in western Burma.
 
President Obama begins his Asian tour in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is arriving late Sunday afternoon (local time). HRW says the U.S. leader also should bring up human rights with this longtime U.S. ally, due to concerns about free speech, military abuses against insurgents in the south and inadequate protection of refugees.
 
Obama also will attend a meeting of regional ASEAN leaders in Cambodia, another destination where he is expected to raise concerns about long-standing human rights problems. The president is expected to urge Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to hold free and fair elections and end land seizures.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid