Home >> South Asia
Thailand & Myanmar
Burma: Cyclones affect more and more Women
Nava Thakuria - 12/10/2011
Even as the military rulers of Burma (Myanmar) completed a general election in November 2010 and a new so-called democratic regime is installed in the poverty stricken country, millions of Burmese are still living in terrible conditions in the cyclones Nargis and Giri affected areas, with many without pure drinking water and food or proper shelter. The lives of hundred thousand poor Burmese women have not changed though there are some plastic changes like the release of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and many other from jails, regular sittings of parliamentarians in their new capital Nay Pyi Taw and so
Opposing ASEAN Chair to Burma
Nava Thakuria - 11/24/2011
Burma’s elevation as the ‘would be chair’ of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has irked many, primarily the pro-democracy Burmese and their sympathizers in Asia. Terming the recent initiative
Burma turns hostile to Indian Separatist Groups
Nava Thakuria - 10/13/2011
The militant outfits from Northeast India, who are operating from the jungles of northern Burma (Myanmar), have a hard time ahead. As India and Burma have strengthen its strategic relationship, it is understood that Indian separatist groups would face more attacks in Burmese soil.
Burmese General Elections – Another Sham?
Saberi Roy - 7/10/2010
Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial for allowing an American into her house during the period of detention was simply an excuse to prevent her and her party from participating in the forthcoming elections in Burma. The Burmese government seems to be considerably determined not to allow Suu Kyi to participate in the elections as her victory is almost certain if she is given a chance to stand against the junta. The junta wants a fabricated election victory and wants to prove it to the world and to all democracy activists that they have legitimate claims to rule Burma. The new road map to democracy as propo...
Election in Myanmar - All is Not Well
Syed Ali Mujtaba, Ph.D. - 4/4/2010
With the announcement of the Political Parties Registration Bylaw, the scene is now set for the holding of the long-awaited 2010 elections in Myanmar. While some groups are registering parties, many existing opposition parties remain undecided.
New Twists in Burmese Politics
Saberi Roy - 4/2/2010
There are many new twists in the tale of Aung San Suu Kyi’s eternal house arrest in Burma. The Burmese leader has been imprisoned for more than 10 years continuously and more than 14 years during the last 20 years and it was widely expected that she will find ways to participate in the next Burmese elections and her political party the NLD will overthrow the Burmese military regime. It is now reported that new Burmese law requires political parties to expel members who had court conviction if they want to participate in elections and this new law has led NLD to boycott the forthcoming elections.
Multilateral Approach desirable to address the Myanmar Issue
Rajaram Panda, Ph.D. - 11/17/2009
Myanmar has emerged as a new test case for the success of US engagement in Asia, especially when the military junta has shown no sign of complying with the international opinion of restoring democracy and has been tightening control further on its people. No amount of carrot and stick approach by the US has proved successful. The latest volte force in Washington’s Myanmar policy has been applying the carrot approach and abandoning the application of stick as the means for seeking peace dividend.
The Show and Sham Trials of our Times
Saberi Roy - 9/1/2009
The recent political trials in Iran and Burma have raised several questions on the motives of these trials. There could be several levels of analysis, and similarities and differences could be drawn between the trials of political prisoners in Iran and the political prisoners in Burma.
India asks Burma to expedite political reforms
Syed Ali Mujtaba, Ph.D. - 8/20/2009
India is trying to play safe with Burma and has asked the Burmese government to expedite its political reform. India ’s reaction comes following the conviction of Burmese pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for 18 months of detention. Her last period of incarceration had expired at the end of May 2009.
Burmese siren sizzles in Bollywood movies
Syed Ali Mujtaba, Ph.D. - 8/19/2009
Bollywood fans are in for a delight to watch a hot babe in “Kool Nahi Hot Hai Hum” released last November. Called Laila Khan, this chink beauty has made her presence felt in the over crowded Hindi film industry.
Will Myanmar Follow North Korea?
Gunjan Singh - 8/19/2009
Nuclear proliferation has become a buzz word again. First, it was North Korea and now there are reports that suggest that Myanmar might decide to follow suit. These speculations began due to the following developments.
A Possible North Korea – Myanmar alliance?
Pranamita Baruah - 8/8/2009
At a time when there has been an increasing concern in the international community over the clandestine nuclear programme in North Korea and Iran, reports regarding the possible involvement of Myanmar’s military junta in developing a nuclear arsenal are disturbing. Factors like the recent aborted voyage of a North Korean ship – the Kang Nam I- allegedly carrying a cargo of Scud-type missiles and heading towards Myanmar, the arrest of two Japanese nationals and a North Korean in June, 2009, this year for allegedly trying to export a magnetic measuring device to Myanmar that could be used to dev...
Political Turmoil in Thailand: What's Next?
Subhan Choudhury and Mohammad Yousuf - 9/9/2008
Thailand is facing serious political turbulences for the last few weeks. Anti-government demonstrators, demanding resignation of the Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, have seized the Government House in Bangkok and battled with the security forces in other parts of the country. Several labor unions and transport workers' associations also joined the protest. However, resignation of Prime Minister will not put an end to the problem; it will start a new game altogether.
India-Burma relations gaining momentum of its own
Syed Ali Mujtaba, Ph.D. - 4/9/2008
The Indo-Burmese relationship is acquiring a positive momentum of its own despite western rights groups' criticism of Myanmar 's handling of pro-democracy demonstrations some six months back. India had rolled out red-carpet for Burmese military junta’s top leadership who were on a five day visit to India that began from April 4, 2008.
F-Word Disturbs Thailand's Elections
Richard S. Ehrlich - 11/9/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's next prime minister could be a "vulgar" and "ultra right-wing" politician who shocked this Buddhist nation when he used the f-word during a boisterous televised news conference on Thursday (November 8) at the start of election campaigning. "Who did you fornicate with last night?" People Power Party (PPP) leader Samak Sundaravej asked a female reporter representing Thailand's Nation News Agency, while dodging her question about his new party's squabbling.
Photographic Evidence Of Burmese Army's Ethnic Cleansing
Angelique van Engelen - 10/22/2007
The troubles in Burma are best relayed visually because the authorities there are so vigilant about photographic and video evidence of their brutalities. Now they have satellite imaging to reckon with too. A review of the most harrowing accounts.
Protests of the Burma Buddhists
Richard S. Ehrlich - 10/6/2007
ens of thousands of maroon-robed monks are trying to stage a Buddhist revolution against Burma's military regime, but Buddhists in next-door Thailand have not lent support to the Burmese quest for democratic enlightenment. Burma's Buddhist clergy, including young novices, ordained monks and senior abbots, are said to be as numerous as the armed forces in the impoverished nation also known as Myanmar. An estimated 500,000 monasteries and temples -- many of them in disrepair and weakened by cracks and mildew -- are scattered throughout Burma, the biggest country in mainland Southeast Asia. On th...
Tiananmen Square: Burmese-style
Richard S. Ehrlich - 10/5/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Burma is apparently using photos sent to Web sites, TVs and other media to arrest protestors, while praising China's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown which turned foreign news videos into virtual wanted posters to capture its dissidents. "Residents say military trucks patrol neighborhood streets during the night with loudspeakers broadcasting warnings: 'We have
Richard S. Ehrlich - 10/1/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Dodging a deadly military crackdown, bloggers in Burma are now on the front lines providing news and photos of death and insurrection. Their Internet blogs, written in Burmese language and grammatically-flawed English, are mostly by people living in the commercial port of Rangoon, also known as Yangon, where Buddhist monks, pro-democracy activists and residents have been defying security forces during more than a week of protests. The bloggers rely on word-of-mouth, cell phones, online chat groups, instant messaging, and first-hand experience in barricaded streets amid tear gas and gunfire.
Richard S. Ehrlich - 9/27/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Much of the world now knows about Burma's struggling Buddhist revolution for democracy, but the dictator who rules the country is still obscure, grimly hidden behind dark sunglasses and a uniform decorated with military medals. General Than Shwe (pronounced: "tan shway") is occasionally seen saluting Burma's powerful armed forces at parades and other ceremonies, his jowls framing a plump, sullen face. He was born in 1933, when Burma was under British colonial rule. That may explain his regime's frequent warnings that Britain, and America, want to exploit the underdeveloped country as an economic colony and establish a U.S. military base.
Thailand Coup Anniversary
Richard S. Ehrlich - 9/17/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- One year after the military toppled Thailand's elected government in a bloodless coup, this Buddhist-majority ally of America now suffers splits over its failure to put ousted officials on trial for alleged corruption and extra-judicial killings.
Thailand Coup Punishment
Richard S. Ehrlich - 9/1/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Jakrapob Penkair, a leading enemy of Thailand's ruling junta, wants the military officers who staged last year's bloodless coup to be put on trial and jailed for life, and face possible execution. "In my opinion, coup-making should be punished by death," Mr. Jakrapob said in an interview on Wednesday (Aug. 29). "We would be proposing a death sentence for coup-making. And we may start with this bunch," he said, referring to top military officers who seized power on Sept. 19, 2006 and currently rule this Buddhist-majority, Southeast Asian country.
International Responsibility For Burma
Dr. Ravindra Kumar - 8/29/2007
All most every week there is news of violation of human rights in Burma. Military rulers are using tactics one after the other to maintain dictatorship there. This is why: it was totally rejection, last month by all 2000 families living in Delhi out of total 50,000 families of Burmese refugees in India, to the first stage of seven-phase roadmap, the one-sided proposal of the military regime of Burma said to be the final session to lay down the principles of a new Constitution for the country, considering this act to be another practice of the dictators to maintain military rule in the country.
Courtroom trial tells on India-Myanmar relations
Syed Ali Mujtaba, Ph.D. - 8/19/2007
The trial of the infamous 1998 ‘Operation Leech’ in Kolkata court is turning out to be a public relations disaster for New Delhi. This is crucially at a time when several big business deals with Myanmar's military junta hang in the balance. ‘Operation Leech’ refers to Indian intelligence sting operation capturing 34 Myanmar nationals in Andaman’s Landfall Island on February 8, 1998.
Yet Another Constitution For Thailand
Richard S. Ehrlich - 8/9/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's coup-installed military regime has told citizens to vote "yes" for a new constitution, written while half the country is muzzled under martial law, or accept a mysterious back-up constitution which is being kept secret from the public. In a bizarre political game of constitutional hide-and-seek, the junta refused to reveal which of Thailand's 17 previous constitutions it might use, or what amendments might be added, if a majority "no" vote on Aug. 19 thwarts their draft.
Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi Detained For Yet Another Year
Saberi Roy - 7/27/2007
On May 25, 2007 Burma’s military government extended Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention for another year making it the fifth consecutive year since she was placed under house arrest in 2003. Suu Kyi’s sweeping political victory in 1990 was considered as a major ‘threat’ to the military government and Suu Kyi was accused of disrupting public order. This extreme fear of the Burmese military government is reflected in its recent decision to keep Suu Kyi under house arrest for yet another year. Such is the power and mass appeal of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma that the military leaders want to make her weak...
India-Myanmar Trade Relations
Syed Ali Mujtaba, Ph.D. - 7/23/2007
Myanmar is the gateway to India’s ‘Look East’ policy. India is going all out to strengthen its relationship with Myanmar to achieve its stated objective. The current Indian government has infused a new momentum to keep its contacts robust with Myanmar. Indo-Myanmar relationship as a result is witnessing an unprecedented upswing in the recent years.
Money Freezing in Thailand
Richard S. Ehrlich - 6/18/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- The military junta, which seized power in Bangkok in a bloodless September coup, is wondering if the politically savvy wife of the ousted prime minister carried cash from corruption in two dozen luggage bags when she flew out of Thailand. Earlier this week, a junta tribunal froze the assets of toppled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, plus the accounts of his wife, two of their adult children, and his wife's brother. Their combined worth was estimated at about two billion U.S.
Aung San Suu Kyi – Nobel Laureate and Political Prisoner in Burma
Saberi Roy - 5/27/2007
The human rights situation in Burma (Myanmar) is appalling. Everyone knows that but is anyone doing anything? The Tatmadaw or as the Burmese army is called has been accused of serious human rights violations including rape of village girls, use of child and forced labor and oppression of the ethnic minorities. The ruling junta likes to call its regime as the ‘State Peace and Development Council’ (SPDC). Peace and Development indeed. Thousands of the ethnic Burman people as well as Karens, Chins, Shans, Mons and other non Burman people have faced extreme brutality and fled the country and taken...
Thailand: Amulets Money
Richard S. Ehrlich - 4/29/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand. Buddhists have become obsessed with a magic amulet which resembles a rap star's bling-sized medallion, despite warnings that the circular icon is a cosmic crutch, corrupting religion and society. When a fresh batch of Jatukam Ramathep amulets went on sale in April, buyers stampeded, trampling a woman to death. Thieves have infiltrated shops, homes and temples to steal the lucrative charm.
The Thailand Coup - Creating A New World Order
David J. Jonsson - 10/4/2006
The Sword of Islam may not take on the form of war and or terrorism, but take the form of political action, bloodless coups, finance and media propaganda. The actions are to achieve the same goal—the establishment of the Islamic Kingdom of God on Earth and implementation of Shariah law. In the case of Thailand it was a ‘bloodless’ coup led by Muslim Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin ostensibly to remove a corrupt democratically elected government. As Time Magazine (Asia) on September 25 reported Gen. Sonthi was born near Bangkok, he’s the first Muslim in this predominantly Buddhist nation to hold the...
John Mark Karr And Big Picture Look At Why Bangkok Attracts Sleaze
Richard S. Ehrlich - 8/20/2006
When John Mark Karr stepped out of his grungy room on Si Bamphen street, delicious scents of grilled food wafted in Bangkok's sweaty air, while coquettish male and female prostitutes vogued on the sidewalk and taxis offered rides towards greater sleaze, inexpensive ease, and shopping malls' air-conditioned breeze. Before his shock revelations on Thursday (August 17) claiming he was with JonBenet Ramsey in her parents' basement where her six-year-old body was found beaten and strangled, Karr would have attracted little attention with his wan, metrosexual demeanor, slight build, blue eyes and high hairline.
International Investigation Into Pseudo Treatment For Cancer Patients in Thailand
Richard S. Ehrlich - 8/14/2006
BANGKOK, Thailand. Hellfried E. Sartori, whose medical license was revoked in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington state, has been jailed in Thailand during an international investigation into the death of patients who received his "Doctor Ozone" anti-cancer injections. Sartori was arrested on July 9 in Chiang Mai and charged with commercial fraud, and practicing without a medical license, after injecting at least two patients in their Chiang Mai hotel rooms, including Australian ovarian cancer patient Kathleen Preston who died in February.
Burma's Famous Prisoner Suu Kyi now has a myspace.com page
Richard S. Ehrlich - 8/3/2006
Aung San Suu Kyi, the word's most famous political prisoner, now has a MySpace.com Web page, created by a Washington DC organization which hopes Internet activists will help free her from house arrest in Rangoon and donate money. "Female, 61 years old. Status: Single," says Suu Kyi's introduction on MySpace, next to her color photo. The Burmese widow's British husband died several years ago, leaving their two sons to grow up overseas while she has languished for 11 of the past 16 years under house arrest in Burma, a country also known as Myanmar.
Bizarre 'God's Army' Led By Young Boys Surrenders
Richard S. Ehrlich - 7/27/2006
Mystical twin boys, reputedly born with black tongues and bullet-proof animist powers, no longer lead a deadly God's Army of 200 guerrillas along the violent Burma-Thailand border. Johnny Htoo, one of the sensational twins, surrendered with nine other God's Army rebels to the military in Burma, mainland Southeast Asia's biggest country, which is also known as Myanmar. Eighteen-year-old Johnny Htoo's brother, Luther, was not mentioned in Wednesday's (July 26) announcement in Burma's government-produced New Light Of Myanmar newspaper.
The Aung San Family in Myanmar
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/8/2005
Aung San Suu Kyi is a much revered opposition leader in Myanmar (Burma) (born 1945). She has bravely resisted - and still does - the murderous military regime in her homeland and has won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.