Myanmar’s Least-Wanted Political Party

Myanmar’s Least-Wanted Political PartyThe Democracy and Human Rights Party, one of the smallest registered ones in Myanmar’s Nov. 8 general elections, is the only party willing to represent Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims, although they aren’t allowed to use "Rohingya" in their party's name. Campaigning hasn’t gone as smoothly as for other parties. On Nov. 2, 300 people demonstrated…

Myanmar Breaks Pledge to Free Political Prisoners

Myanmar Breaks Pledge to Free Political PrisonersIn July of 2013, Myanmar‘s President Thein Sein stated that by the end of that year, two years after the election of a nominally civilian government pledged to democratic rule, there would be no prisoners of conscience left in the country’s jails. He was wrong. There are still opponents left in Myanmar’s jails and they…

Glimmer of Hope for Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflicts?

Glimmer of Hope for Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflicts?After more than six decades of internal armed conflict, the next four weeks could be decisive for the attempt to solve Myanmar’s bitter conflicts with its myriad armed ethnic groups, according to a new report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. The peace process was launched in August of 2011 when President Thein Sein made…

Myanmar Dares the World’s Next Mass Atrocity 

Myanmar Dares the World’s Next Mass Atrocity Attacks on Rohingya Muslims could escalate ahead of November’s election. Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbors must act now. The world’s next mass atrocity may very well take place in Myanmar. Attacks against the ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims threaten to escalate in the runup to elections this November. With few voices standing up for the Rohingya inside…

Myanmar Ousts Rising Political Star

Myanmar Ousts Rising Political StarThe sudden removal of one of Myanmar’s most powerful men sent has sent shockwaves through the diplomatic community in the old capital of Yangon, where foreign embassies are still located. It seemed more like a midnight coup than an ordinary leadership reshuffle – security forces in the new capital, Naypyidaw, entered the headquarters of the de…

Myanmar Government Blocks Project near Sacred Pagoda

Myanmar Government Blocks Project near Sacred PagodaIn a sharp turnaround, the Myanmar government has blocked a plan already underway by international developers to redevelop 22 acres of former military land near Yangon’s spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Buddhism’s most sacred structures and Myanmar’s most revered temple, into a mixed-use residential-shopping complex. Although Yangon has a relatively strong preservation movement, concerns have…

The Rohingya: Where They Came From

The Rohingya: Where They Came FromThe crisis that has enveloped Myanmar’s luckless Rohingya has been years in the making. They are hardly interlopers, with some of them having settled in Arakan Province, also known as Rakhine, on Myanmar’s west coast since at least the 15th century. But as with so many modern-day conflicts, much of today’s tensions stem from colonial…

ASEAN’s Disgraceful Inaction on Rohingya Refugees

ASEAN’s Disgraceful Inaction on Rohingya RefugeesThis year, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations is expected to make the ASEAN Economic Community a reality. It is envisioned as a single common market and production base that leads to the freer flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labor in the region, tying the member countries into a closely shared…

Reprieve Possible for Yangon’s Colonial Gems

Reprieve Possible for Yangon’s Colonial GemsFrozen in time by decades of shambolic economic mismanagement and an economy closed to international investment, the city of Yangon in Myanmar has a collection of some of the finest colonial buildings in Asia because of British rule, which lasted from 1824 to 1948. The subsequent Burmese Way to Socialism impoverished the country and immobilized…

Book Review: Hump Pilot

Book Review: Hump PilotStarting in 1942, Ned Thomas, then a young US Army second lieutenant, and his peers winged skyward from their base in northeast India to hoist multiple tons of war material over the Himalayas to land in and provision Chongqing, the headquarters of Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese Nationalists, tying down Japanese forces in what became known as…
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