Source: Vientiane Times
Lao netizens have welcomed US President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to the country and expressed hope that the US will increase its assistance to help Laos clearing unexploded ordnance (UXO), which remains contaminated in provinces across the country.
The netizens have expressed their views on the website of the US embassy to Laos after the Embassy’s posting asking what Lao people would want to tell President Obama if they had a chance to talk to him, with the US president scheduled to visit Laos to attend the Asean-US Summit and East Asia Summit next week.
Some 337 facebook users had made comments on the site as of yesterday afternoon with large numbers of those saying they wanted to see the US to increase financing to UXO clearance efforts.
One facebook user nickname Thong said he wanted the US to help remove all the UXO from Laos, as well as rehabilitate and help UXO victims.
“Would you promote higher contribution to remove the unexploded bombs that remain in several areas of the country? If this issue is proactively focused upon and worked on, it will tremendously assist in the development of Laos,” another user by the name of Gary wrote.
One netizen nicknamed Lar said he was glad to see that President Obama will be the first US president to visit Laos, which was one of the Indochina’s battlefields. “I would like to take this opportunity to urge your government to send an expert team and equipment for UXO clearance,” he wrote.
The embassy wrote on its site saying that the US has provided grant funding for UXO clearance along with assistance to the victims and their families. Since 1994, the US has provided more than US$100 million for UXO clearance, it wrote.
Apart from UXO, another Facebook user by the name of Phet said US humanitarian assistance to Laos should increase in order to help disadvantaged people in various parts of the country.
Some said they were curious to know what President Obama could do to ensure the next [US] administration continues to enhance bilateral ties between Laos and the US.
Others called for the US to provide more educational, technical and economic assistance to Laos, saying they are vital for a developing country like Laos in order to improve living conditions in the country.
Several of the Facebook users said they wanted to share with President Obama about Laos’ unique culture and recommended him to enjoy the best of Lao culture and taste Lao traditional foods.
“Laos has delicious spicy foods, especially sticky rice with hot papaya salad, grilled chicken and bamboo shoot soup, please try some,” wrote a netizen by the name of Toui.
The netizens also wished President Obama good health and success in his tasks.