Vietnam’s Conservatives Purge Former PM Dung’s Allies

Vietnam’s Conservatives Purge Former PM Dung’s AlliesGoing into the Vietnam Communist Party's 12th Congress in January last year, outsiders could perceive an epic contest between reformers and conservatives. The conservatives labeled the reformers as “opportunists” and often they were right. The reformers laughed when the conservatives argued that ideology (Leninist, not Marxist) would keep Vietnam safe in a turbulent and threatening…

The World Must Stop Myanmar’s Savagery Against Rohingya

The World Must Stop Myanmar’s Savagery Against RohingyaIf the world has a conscience, it will do something about the unconscionable genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority community in Myanmar, which has abdicated its duty as a nation. The latest scrutiny of the Myanmar government was sparked by the recent flight of more than 123,000 Rohingya who crossed border into Bangladesh. The name…

India’s Modi Strengthens his Cabinet

India’s Modi Strengthens his CabinetNarendra Modi has carried out his most significant government reshuffle since becoming India’s prime minister three years ago, with ministerial moves that strengthen three top posts while at the same time balancing the political interests of different states and illustrating the limited talent available at senior levels. The headline-grabbing appointment is that of Nirmala Sitharaman, 58, who…

With ASEAN Toothless, The Region Needs a New Naval Pact

With ASEAN Toothless, The Region Needs a New Naval PactThe security challenges facing the Southeast Asian region increasingly call into question the relevance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose inability to assert international law stems from its blind hope that Beijing will hold up to its promises, which has been a failed hope indeed given China’s actions in ignoring all the littoral…

Indonesia’s Woeful Education System

Indonesia’s Woeful Education SystemIndonesia’s education system is saddled with a long series of difficulties including poor education funding, arbitrarily changing educational curricula, political favoritism, with teachers’ jobs dependent on the sufferance of principals and many other problems. That has led to a ranking by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment of 62nd…

Japan Under North Korea’s Missiles

Japan Under North Korea’s MissilesJapan awoke Wednesday to television news and civil defense instructions to take cover in secure buildings or underground as a North Korean ballistic missile passed over parts of Hokkaido before landing in open sea. “Missile Passing, Missile Passing,” screamed a public service announcement. Commuters faced train delays even as far away as Tokyo. “All lines…

India and China in a Water War

India and China in a Water WarWith more than 32 million people hit by floods in four Indian states so far this year, New Delhi is growing increasingly frustrated over China’s refusal to share current river data despite bilateral agreements requiring Beijing to pass on the information for downstream flood control. The data from upper riparian China to lower riparian India…

Korea Seeks to Rein in Samsung

Korea Seeks to Rein in SamsungThe case against the heir to leadership of the sprawling Samsung empire tests the will of the government of Korea’s liberal President Moon Jae-in to make good on the kind of sweeping campaign promise that every Korean president has made for the past 30 years. Can Moon, unlike his predecessors, curb the power of the…

Killings Spark Fear, Rumors in Bangladeshi Refugee Camps

Killings Spark Fear, Rumors in Bangladeshi Refugee CampsMohammad Selim disappeared the night in May that Cyclone Mora tore through the Rohingya refugee camps on Bangladesh’s west coast. But it wasn’t the storm that killed him – his was one of a handful of recent murders blamed on gangs vying for power over the camps. Selim was snatched while walking home from his father-in-law’s…

Eco-tourism and a Stunning Sumatra Rainforest

Eco-tourism and a Stunning Sumatra RainforestPerched on a steep rainforested hillside in the mountains near Lake Toba, Sumatra is a cluster of wooden bungalows with a majestic view across a misty tropical valley of an even higher mountain range, also clothed in jungle. From both sides of the valley the hooting of Siamang gibbons mixes with the mournful wailing of…
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