BBG Gov. Victor Ashe wraps up his tour of Southeast Asian broadcast facilities this week with a series of meetings in Thailand, including stops at the offices of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America in Bangkok.
Ashe, a former U.S. ambassador to Poland, expressed a keen interest in the facility’s history, which dates to the Vietnam conflict. He suggested renaming the facility, which is not located in Bangkok, but near Ayutthaya 80 miles north of the capital city.
During the 10-day trip, Ashe’s itinerary included stops at BBG facilities, meetings with agency staff and talks with U.S. embassy officials and local authorities in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.
In the Udon Thani province of northeast Thailand, Ashe toured a BBG transmission facility and presented 30-year and 20-year service awards to staff members.
In Phnom Penh, Ashe toured the facilities of RFA and VOA and met with staff. Also in Cambodia, he met with representatives of human rights NGOs and independent journalists. Ashe was accompanied by Poly Sam, director of the RFA’s Cambodian Service.
The first BBG member to visit Laos, Ashe met there with Vice Minister of Information of the Laotian government about the possibility of allowing RFA correspondents in Laos. He also met with U.S. embassy officials and Laotian journalists.