Happy Birthday to US!

Since our launch on August 1, 2006, we have had a very good year, and in July we passed another important milestone, surpassing 100,000 visitors for the first time. In the meantime, we are proud of the scope of our coverage and the stories we have done. We broke some of the region's best stories on the Thai coup and its relationship to the Thai monarchy. We had a strong six-part series on Singapore at the time of World Bank-IMF meetings there last year. Our coverage of the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian translator in Malaysia, related her killing to the top reaches of the United Malays National Organization. We carried a two-part series on Brunei's dilemma over its diminishing energy reserves and we even went trout-fishing in Bhutan. We discovered where to buy a bogus US$100 "superbill " on the Chinese border with North Korea and we looked at Russians smuggling counterfeit goods out of China.

In the past year the site also has grown to include blogs and a constant stream of lively comment, criticism and debate by our readers. Our coverage is frequently cited by other media and we are proud of having become part of the discussion on the politics and economics of Asia.

We said when we started that Asia Sentinel "is independent of all governments and major media enterprises. It has no ideology other than a belief in the benefits of a free media. It will not publish editorials but give free rein to diverse opinions." We hope we are fulfilling that goal, and we thank our loyal readers for joining us in this enterprise.

Stay around and watch us grow.