One of my main goals during my tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia is to create a dialogue between Cambodian citizens and myself. I want to know what Cambodians are thinking and what changes they’d like to see in their society. I’ve been hearing from many of you through my “Ask the Ambassador” column in Rasmey Kampuchea, as well as on this blog. However, I realize that outside of Phnom Penh, very few people have access to the Internet or to newspapers, and I am hoping to reach a wider audience of Cambodians through a series of television interviews I did during last week.
It is never easy to be in front of a camera, but I was excited to answer the difficult questions that everyday Cambodians want answers to. During my interview at National Television Kampuchea (TVK), I answered several questions regarding U.S.-Cambodian relations and what I’d like to see happen as our countries move forward. I talked about how I fell in love with Cambodia a few years ago and why I wanted to work here. I was very fortunate to come here as Ambassador, and during my twenty-minute TV interview, I explained the priorities of my tenure here: developing a more effective partnership with the people of Cambodia, as well as with NGOs and civil society, and creating a dialogue with the Cambodian government on important issues such as human rights, the economy, and health. As you’ve seen in my past posts, I am placing an emphasis on tapping the energy of Cambodia’s youth while I’m here as Ambassador. With our programs, like my new Ambassador’s Youth Council, I want to help empower the youth of today to be Cambodia’s leaders of tomorrow.
I hope that, in the future, appearances like the one on TVK or on the radio will help me reach more Cambodians from all walks of life. What television or radio programs do you think I should appear on? What questions would you like to ask me in an interview? What do you think the best ways to connect in Cambodia are? Is it TV, radio, Facebook and the internet, or maybe SMS? Let me know, and maybe you’ll hear an answer on your favorite station or website!