When the history books on Myanmar are written a generation from now, will President Thein Sein’s political and economic reform era go down as the point when the West sold out or woke up? The president’s reform process is subject to a dual narrative – on the one side we have the gung ho players willing to embrace and take advantage of the changes and on the other we have the seemingly niggly critics trying to scream warning.
The United States and Australia need to adopt a calibrated approach in extending military assistance to the new leadership in Myanmar. Without such a calculated framework, Washington’s efforts at building partner capacity will be much less effective.
(Editorial) - The work of British writer George Orwell still resonates with readers around the world today. When the recent National Security Agency scandal broke in the United States after revelations by fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, sales of his novels including “1984” and “Animal Farm” shot up the best seller ranks.
In our country, successive governments in the past have signed many agreements with various foreign companies for both short-term and long-term projects. Sometimes, signing ceremonies of these agreements are reported in the state media. But, interestingly, they do not report details of these agreements, such as who will be the beneficiaries? What are the benefits? What is the opinion of local people on these projects? and most importantly, the social and environmental impacts of these projects.
While U Aung Min and his boss President Thein Sein are all out to pull through their earmarked, nationwide ceasefire this coming October, originally planned to be a ceremony witnessed by UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and perhaps other internationally known world figures, a report coming out from Myanmar Peace Monitor is showing a completely pessimistic findings and development regarding the internal armed conflicts, during the last four months.
(Editorial) - President Thein Sein’s gesture of focusing on rural development programs during his last 30 months in office should be applauded but with caution. Speaking to Myanmar citizens on the radio on September 1, the president pledged that people in rural areas will soon experience tangible results from development programs.
No doubt, Burma is a multi-ethnic state and as such, all ethnic groups big or small should be responsible for the well-being of the state-nation. State-nation is deliberately used here to give more visibility to the fact that the nation is made up of different states, such as Kachin, Shan, Karenni, Karen, Mon, Arakan, Chin and Burman.
Every nation has a collective national conscience. There are also set standards to gauge the conscience of a nation. But, the yardstick to measure it is not a simple mathematic calculation of one plus one equals two. It can be measured only by studying the history of a nation and its ethical conscience records.
A recent news report stated that illegal logging is decreasing in Shan State. It also reported that illegal logging has been clamped down with the army's assistance.
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