Thailand: Not So Fast

Opposition to Thailand’s ruling junta became more visible today after the generals announced a series of measures designed to curb political activity and censor the media. In an announcement read on state-run television stations, the military banned political parties from meeting and barred new parties from forming. Earlier in the day, the coup group, which…

Thailand: No Elections for a Year

 Related content: The King Never Smiles: Book Excerpt Revival, Renewal and Reinvention: The Complex Life of Thailand’s Monarch Royal Maneuvers   BANGKOK—Thailand woke up with a certain amount of equanimity Thursday to the fact that a military coup had thrown out its 17th government in the last 60 years, this one the democratically elected one headed…

“There Wasn’t Any Choice”

When a military junta overthrows an elected government, the Western world typically declares a step back for democracy. Not so in Thailand. Many Thais benignly accepted Tuesday’s coup with a shrug, accepting the ouster of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as the inevitable outcome of his public sparring with Bangkok’s royalist elite. Leading political analysts also…

Military Coup in Bangkok

Related content: The King Never Smiles: Book Excerpt Revival, Renewal and Reinvention: The Complex Life of Thailand’s Monarch Royal Maneuvers   As the night wore on into the small hours, it appeared that if anything, loyalists to the Thai palace were clearly in charge of the government.  About 200 bystanders cheered police and soldiers as officials…

Singapore: Inside the Lion City, Part 5

Another in our multipart series on Singapore in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. The series examines Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues. Other than the tiny oil-rich Gulf states and Brunei, no economy in the world…

Singapore: Inside the Lion City, Part 4

Another in our multipart series on Singapore in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. The series examines Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues. Welcome to Singapore, the state ranked 140th out of 167 in the press freedom…

Going Upstream

The explosion of cross-border manufacturing that began the capitalist revolution in China’s Pearl River Delta almost 30 years ago appears to be a victim of its own success.  Guangdong authorities are seeking to drive out a large proportion of the 70,000-odd small manufacturers that crossed the border in the wake of China’s historic 1978 opening…

Abramoff and the Saipan Sweatshops

Hong Kong garment factory owners may have funded a controversial political mission in an effort to protect their Marianas Islands sweatshops, according to documents dealing with the activities of convicted American lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  Related Story: A Lobbyist Comes to Call Abramoff built a highly profitable lobbying practice in Washington in the late 1990s networking…

Divest or Die

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China twice held competitions for the words to a new national anthem, to replace the Kuomintang (KMT) party song used since 1928. Since it did not receive entries it deemed appropriate, the ministry in 1937 officially adopted the KMT song…

Pampered People

In 1991, when the Seria oilfield in Brunei Darusssalam produced its billionth barrel of crude oil, Brunei Shell Petroleum built a monument near Well No. 1, composed of an Islamic arch topped with the national crest and flanked by a pair of hands open to the sky in thanks. Thankful they should be. Brunei’s oil…