Tuesday: The President will remain in Cambodia for the East Asia Summit. In the evening, he will depart en route Washington, DC.
AP: The soldiers began to shoot students at Rangoon University at 6:30pm. Hla Shwe watched, cowering in a nearby building, as his friends died. “I heard the shouting,” he recalled. “They shot whoever they saw.”
It was July 7, 1962, the day rage at the military’s recent coup boiled over and a date now seared into the memory of Hla Shwe, who is 75 years old.
“I got the idea that if they used the gun against students, why shouldn’t we use guns to fight them?” he said.
When President Barack Obama speaks at Hla Shwe’s alma mater Monday, he will be treading on ground heavy with political and historical significance….
… “Obama knows very well about the history of Yangon University, I think. This is an enemy place for the authorities,” said Hla Shwe, who fought with Communist insurgents and spent 25 years as a political prisoner. “The American government is trying to show in a delicate way that they are not only working for the government but will also take care of the Burmese people.”
President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s “not impressed” look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Washington Post: Just a year after his administration signaled it would help Burma emerge from decades of repressive military rule, President Obama will make history Monday by becoming the first U.S. president to visit the long-isolated Southeast Asian nation.
Obama’s gesture, [is] the centerpiece of a four-day trip to the region that will include stops in Thailand and Cambodia…
During his six hours in Burma, Obama is scheduled to meet separately with President Thein Sein and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose release in 2010 following 15 years under house arrest launched her nation’s opening to the West. She has since become a member of parliament.
….. Obama will meet with Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, and in Cambodia he will attend a gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and participate in this year’s East Asia Summit to discuss security issues. The president is also expected to meet privately with several foreign leaders, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
Peter King admitted on CNN that David Petraeus, in his Hill briefing, the one John McCain couldn’t be bothered to attend because he was holding a press conference denouncing the administration for withholding information, gave Susan Rice the green light to say what she said on those TV appearances on that fateful day.
…. the agency approved Rice’s talking points. So she wasn’t lying or spinning. So says Peter King, no ideological or partisan doormat on these matters, I think you would agree.
…. Rice maybe should or should not be secretary of state, but she sure shouldn’t be disqualified on the basis of these flimsy and silly allegations, and King’s admission helps clear her plate.
AP: After a nine-day trip through Asia in which he showed command on the world stage, President Barack Obama is headed back to debt-deadlocked Washington, where he’ll confront fresh reminders of the limits of his power at home.
Obama departed from Bali’s international airport Saturday afternoon for a 21-hour flight that, factoring in time-zone changes, was to return him to the White House before dawn Sunday.
He’ll be arriving days ahead of a deadline for a congressional supercommittee to produce recommendations to attack the country’s deficit. But even though the president spoke to the supercommittee leaders from Air Force One as he headed out of town and urged them to get a deal, the panel is no further along than when Obama left Washington: frozen stuck along partisan lines.
…. Obama set out in his Asia-Pacific tour to deepen U.S. engagement in a fast-growing region that the White House views as increasingly critical to America’s security and economic prosperity. He achieved some successes, including progress on a regional free-trade deal that could pay off with U.S. jobs, and a new military agreement with Australia that will boost the U.S. defense posture in the region by deploying more marines and U.S. aircraft to Australia.
… On China, throughout his trip Obama sent both public and private signals to the rising giant, cementing American power in a manner seen to counter China, and scolding Chinese leaders about the need to play by the rules economically. On the final day of his trip, Saturday in Indonesia, Obama held a surprise meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of an East Asia summit, focusing on the economic matters that have prompted disputes between the two major world powers.
….. next to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
… with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Washington Post: President Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held an unscheduled meeting Saturday morning on the sidelines of a summit of Asian leaders on the Indonesian island of Bali, and the two briefly discussed the territorial dispute in the South China Sea that has unnerved some of China’s neighbors.
…. The surprise session came at the end of Obama’s 9-day Asia trip, that began with a stop in Hawaii and took him to Australia’s northern coast and to the capital, Canberra….
…. Throughout the trip, Obama stressed that his mission was to find new markets in Asia for American products and link the U.S. recovery to this region’s dynamic growth.
But a strong subtext of the administration’s announced pivot to Asia has been shoring up longstanding alliances and reassuring traditional allies that the United States would help counter a newly assertive China, which is increasing its military spending and pressing its territorial claims in the region.
Reuters: Myanmar’s government vowed on Saturday to address concerns raised by President Barack Obama, outlining far-reaching plans to make peace with ethnic rebels, gradually release more political prisoners and relax controls on freedom of expression.