Happy New Year's Bengal, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his well wishes to South and Southeast Asian countries celebrating New Year's.
By JC Finley  |  April 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State wished the people of Bengal, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand a Happy New Year.

Secretary of State John Kerry sent the following message to Bengali communities on their April 14 New Year's Day:

"On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send warmest greetings to Bengali communities around the world as you celebrate Pahela Boishakh.

"The United States joins you in celebrating the vibrant history and culture of the Bengali-speaking people. Your rich cultural heritage, from food and song to poetry, art, and literature has greatly enriched our own.

"As you gather with family and friends to celebrate the New Year, know that the United States stands with you as a partner and friend. Shubho Nobo Borsho!"

Kerry sent the following message to Cambodians:

"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I am delighted to send best wishes to the Cambodian people as you celebrate the Khmer New Year starting on April 14.

"Since my time as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee I have been strongly committed to helping the Cambodian people build a better tomorrow for future generations. I believe the path to a better tomorrow includes addressing the atrocities of Cambodia’s past and building a more democratic future.

"The United States and Cambodia share common interests in promoting regional stability, fostering economic development, and improving health and education in Cambodia. And we look forward to strengthening our partnership in the years to come.

"I wish your country peace, prosperity and a joyful New Year celebration."

To the country of Laos, which celebrates New Year's from April 14-16, Kerry wrote:

"On behalf of President Obama I am delighted to extend my greetings to the people of Laos on the occasion of the Lao New Year.

"The American people join you in the spirit of hope, celebration, joy, and renewal. May the New Year bring prosperity to Lao people all around the world.

"The New Year is a time of great opportunity and expectation and I hope this year will provide even greater opportunities to work together and enrich the important friendship between Laos and the United States."

Kerry wished the people of Myanmar well in peace and democracy efforts as they celebrate New Year on April 17.

"On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate and send best wishes to the people of Myanmar on the occasion of Thingyan.

"The United States is committed to working in partnership to help your country realize the promise of peace, democracy, expanded economic opportunity and justice for everyone in your country. We cherish the hope that your work to achieve a historic ceasefire and political dialogue will be the basis for national harmony and a shared vision for the future.

"Your leadership as ASEAN Chair demonstrates your increasing impact in the region, and showcases your country’s progress and potential.

"As you gather with family, friends, and neighbors to honor your rich traditions and culture with prayer, celebration and renewal, know that the people of the United States send their best wishes for a peaceful and happy New Year."

Kerry wished the Nepalese prosperity and joy during their April 12-15 celebration.

"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer the people of Nepal best wishes for a prosperous and joyful New Year.

"Nepal has achieved important milestones this past year, including the democratic election of a new Constituent Assembly.

"I hope that the coming year will bring further progress towards enduring political stability and the full completion of a new constitution, keeping your country on the path of prosperity and peace.

"Naya Barshako Shubha-Kamana!"

To Sri Lankans, who celebrate New Year's on April 14, Kerry sent the following message:

"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer warmest greetings to the people of Sri Lanka and the vibrant global Sri Lankan diaspora.

"This New Year brings a new opportunity for all Sri Lankans to join together in the spirit of tolerance, reconciliation, and peace. As Sri Lankans gather to mark the potential of the New Year, we join in celebrating with you.

"As you continue your work to build a prosperous, democratic Sri Lanka, I offer my best wishes for a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous, peaceful year ahead."

Kerry extended New Year's greeting to Thailand, whose New Year's celebrations began on April 13 and conclude on April 15:

"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, it is my great pleasure to extend New Year’s greetings to the people of Thailand. I hope this Songkran provides all Thais an occasion to spend an enjoyable time with family and friends and to look forward to good luck and prosperity in the New Year.

"We are proud to mark another year in the enduring friendship between Thailand and the United States. Our nations enjoy an unshakable bond that transcends politics in either of our countries, and we look forward to working together in the New Year on important issues such as trade relations, health research, security cooperation, and educational exchange.

"I look forward to the opportunities that the New Year holds for both of our nations and for our alliance. I wish you a happy and healthy Songkran!"

[State Department]

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