5 June, 2006

Asia Blog Awards: Q1 2006-2007

AsiaPundit is pleased to announce the commencement of the new round of Asia Blog Awards. The awards are based on the Japanese financial year, which ends on March 31, and nominations are now open for the April 1-June 30 period, full-year awards are to be based on the quarterly contests.

Details are below, nominations for the below categories can be made on the individual pages linked below until the end of June 16 (Samoan time).

Awards are at present limited to English-language or dual-language sites.

Region/Country Specific Blogs:

Non-region specific awards:

Podcasts, photo and video blogs must be based on original content — which means a site such as Danwei.tv is acceptable but TV in Japan is not (although it is an excellent site).

Some categories may be deleted or combined if they lack a full slate nominations - and some may be added should it be warranted.

Winners will be judged in equal parts on: (a) votes, (b) technorati ranking and (c) judges’ selection.

While judges will naturally have biases, they will hopefully offset imbalances in other areas (such as inevitable cheating in the voting and inflationary blogroll alliances in the Technorati ranks).

The names or sites of the judges will be public.

Judges will be ineligible for nomination. As the awards largely intend on providing exposure to lesser-known sites of merit, we are hopeful that authors of ‘A-list’ sites that tend to dominate such contests will disqualify themselves by being judges.

The contest has been endorsed by previous ABA host Simon who is also serving as a judge (thereby disqualifying Simon World).

Traffic — the most telling and accurate measure of a site’s populatity — may be a consideration in future awards. However, at present, there is no clear or universal way to accurately measure and contrast traffic (sites such as Sitemeter, Statcounter offer results that cannot be compared, while services such as Alexa.com do not work for sites that are not hosted on independent domains).

This is all imperfect and will be tweaked in future events (with transparency, of course).

Most importantly, this is intended to be fun.

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by @ 3:02 pm. Filed under Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, Pakistan, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cambodia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Media, South Asia, Thailand, Web/Tech, Weblogs, North Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Tibet

25 May, 2006

Animal Farm and Burmese Banknotes

Via Far Outliers, a anecdote on the parallels between the leadership of Burma/Myanmar and the cast of Orwell’s Animal Farm — plus an interesting explanation for the odd denominations for Burma’s banknotes.:

Animal Farm was unpopular in Burma when it was first published there in the 1950s. Many of the leading intellectuals at the time had leftist leanings and read it as a criticism of the socialism they admired. When the US Embassy printed excerpts as anti-Communist propaganda, the book’s fate was sealed. The society which had sponsored the translation had to give away remaindered copies. But years later, when people began to reread it, they saw similarities to their own history. I met one university lecturer who told me she had tried to put Animal Farm on the syllabus for English-literature students, but the authorities had warned her off: the text was just too similar to what was going on in Burma. A few years ago Animal Farm was serialized on the BBC’s Burmese radio service. For weeks afterwards, Tun Lin told me, Mandalay tea shops were abuzz with attempts to match the animal characters to Burma’s own leaders. Could you compare ‘the Lady’, as democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is known, to the exiled porcine revolutionary Snowball? And which pig was General Ne Win? Was he Major, the imperious old pig with a vision who died so suddenly? (Hopefully.) Or was he Napoleon, the grotesque ruler who grew stronger and more deranged each day? (Probably.)
456KhatNe Win was perhaps a bit of both. He was a famously reclusive leader, known for his foul mouth, many marriages and obsessive superstition. It was his dabblings with numerology that had the most dramatic consequences for Burma. In 1987 Ne Win demonetized certain banknotes, replacing them with new notes with denominations of 45 kyat and 90 kyat – each value neatly divisible by nine (an astrologically auspicious number, and the general’s favourite). People’s already paltry savings were wiped out overnight and, with little to lose, a year later they took to the streets in the 1988 uprising.

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by @ 11:06 pm. Filed under Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia

11 April, 2006

young burmese brains

Via bhojman’s Meanderings, a Myanmar state-owned newspaper has accused a US journalism education program of poisioning “young Myanmar brains.”

A US government centre in Burma is spreading “poison” among local reporters through its English for Journalism courses, a state-owned newspaper said today.

The Kyemon newspaper said apart from teaching journalistic ethics and writing, foreign instructors at the American Centre in Burma, known as Myanmar by its military rulers, have gathered information about the country’s education, health and social conditions from the students.

“The ‘English for Journalism’ course attended by young journalists from various Myanmar media groups is like poison, because the course is nothing but sugar-coated bitter medicine,” the newspaper wrote.

The article went on to indicate that the centre, through courses like the one on journalism, was spreading American propaganda and harming “young Myanmar brains”.

Thomas Pierce, who heads the centre, declined immediate comment since he had not read the article.

“We are working to improve journalism in Burma, working with journalists to both improve their English and reporting skill,” he said.

The centre, operated by the US Embassy in Yangon, offers educational courses, a library, films and other facilities that are open to all Burmese citizens.

AsiaPundit thinks that far more Burmese brains have been damaged by beatings by SPDC thugs or the drugs that the junta helps traffic. Still, he will admit that journalism school can cause brain damage.

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by @ 9:03 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Media, Censorship

10 April, 2006

internet censorship map

Frequent readers will note that AsiaPundit has a love of maps and a fascination with internet censorship. It shouldn’t be any surprise that this grabs his attention. The Atlantic has created a map of the globe color coding countries that censor the internet.:


The Atlantic has created a censorship map based on ONI data. (I’ve archived a local mirror of the map and the accompanying article).

The accompanying article is a bit overzealous in its description of China but I liked that fact that the article specifically highlighted that Internet filtering is not exclusive to China but is spreading — essentially becoming the “norm” — worldwide. In terms of targetted content, porn is defintely targetted but the numbers are skewed by the fact that the use of commercial lists (there are open source lists too) allow countries to block a lot of porn easily. But in terms of significance porn is, in my opinion, of rather low importance. the blocking of several key sources of local language alternative information or an social movement group is much more important. The sgnificance of the content rather than the total number of sites blocked in category seems, to me, to be of more importance but is much harder to measure.

Map and text via Internet Censorship Explorer.

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by @ 10:11 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Web/Tech, Censorship

8 February, 2006

asia press freedoms 2005

China has shown a sharp downward trend in press freedoms last year, while the Philippines remains dangerous and North Korea abysmal.:

While some countries in Asia have remained stable with regard to media freedom, there have been sharp downward trends in several Asian countries, particularly China, Nepal, the Philippines and Thailand.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that monitors press freedoms around the world, assessed the levels of press freedom in countries based on the prevailing legal environment, political and economic situation and the overall attitudes of authorities towards the media.

The surveys were generally concordant in their results, with China, Nepal, North Korea and the Philippines remaining the biggest causes of concern for journalists in Asia.

"Compared to last year, there really aren’t many positives in Asia," said Karin Karlekar, Managing Editor of the Freedom House survey. "While some countries have remained steady [Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong], we can see downward trends in many countries in the region."

North Korea was found to be the worst country in all surveys, showing no signs of improvement over the past couple of years. All media in North Korea continue to remain tools of Kim Jong-il’s state, while all foreign media are repeatedly portrayed by the regime as "liars" seeking to destabilize the government, according to the Freedom House report. However, the report also suggests that an increase in international trade has resulted in greater contact with foreigners, which might allow for greater access to international news reports in the near future.

China has also shown a sharp downward trend in 2005, said Karlekar, which can be attributed to increased censorship of newspapers and radio stations, and greater Internet surveillance.

According to RSF, the so-called "broadcasting Great Wall" in China has been growing over the past year: The Voice of Tibet, the BBC and Radio Free Asia are among the radio stations jammed by the government in 2005. 

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by @ 8:19 pm. Filed under Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Asean, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Media, South Asia, Thailand, Weblogs, Censorship, North Korea, Tibet

27 December, 2005

inside the myanmar times

Via Far Outliers, a look at the strict censorship that exists at the Myanmar Times, Burma’s only English-language paper, from Australian journalist Peter Olszewski.:


I discover censorship defines life at the Myanmar Times and depletes the buzz and excitement that’s generally a feature of good newspaper offices where ground-breaking stories are regularly broken. Censorship at the Times is absolute and total, but the system itself is quite simple. All articles selected for possible publication are faxed to Military Intelligence and are either accepted in their totality, completely rejected, or partly censored, with words, paragraphs and sections removed. Such information is relayed to the editor, Goddard, usually by an officer named Wai Lin. Sometimes the Brigadier General himself rolls up his sleeves and pitches in, and if big issues, especially political issues, are discussed in an article, Wai Lin will pass the material to him for ‘instruction and guidance’.

Inside page layouts and story placements are mostly left to the staff to determine, but the front-page layout is carefully scrutinised and stories approved for publication might not be approved for front-page publication, or the emphasis of such stories might be downplayed.

At times, there can be dialogue about decisions. I am told a story about breakdancing becoming a fad among trendy Yangon youth was axed by MI because they only want to promote traditional dancing. A query, asking if there was any way the story could be saved, resulted in a new ruling that it could be used if breakdancing were not defined as a dance but instead as an American fitness regime.

AsiaPundit briefly - very briefly - considered a job at the paper, but in the end just decided that such restrictions would drive him nuts. While state censorship and editorial interference do make the paper a mouthpiece, its editors seem well intentioned. Ross Dunkley, the Australian CEO and managing editor, acknowledges the censorship but says the paper helps educate Burma’s young journalists.:

Mr. Dunkley said despite strict laws against freedom of the press, he taught his journalists and editors to perceive the real situation and report news the best they can.

“I talk to them about ethics, about the law, about corruption and about what a fucked up government this is,” the blunt Mr. Dunkley said, drawing a burst of laughter from the audience of journalists, diplomats, business people, activists and others.

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by @ 1:15 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Media, Censorship

22 October, 2005

china’s appetite and burma’s forests

Via Agam’s Gecko, a pointer to an investigation of illegal timber trade on the Burma-China border.:

On Tuesday this week at the Bangkok Foreign Correspondents’ Club, the environmental watchdog group Global Witness launched a major report into the massive illegal plundering of Burma’s remaining hardwood forests by Chinese logging companies, aided by the complicity of both Chinese officials and the Burmese military dictatorship, and the disinterest of much of the world. More than 95% of the timber shipped across the Burma - China border is done illegally with a nod and a wink, causing a loss to the Burmese people of around a quarter of a billion dollars per year.

Timber3DzAs the great forests of teak and other hardwoods nearest the Chinese border are depleted, the Chinese logging companies are moving deeper into the interior of the country. The Chinese Foreign Ministry , claiming that China does not allow its citizens "to conduct illegal deforestation activities and trade across the border." The photo above is only one of many contained in the report which belie that claim. Global Witness also cites the EU for failing to follow through on commitments made a year ago to come up with initiatives to help save some of the last remaining old growth forests in Asia, considered as the most richly bio-diverse temperate areas left on earth. China also made promises in 2001 to address the illicit timber trade, but has done nothing about it. In fact, the virtual theft of this natural resource has increased by 60% since then.

China has been concerned about trade across the border and has been cracking down on drug trafficking and migrant ‘labor’ (specifically prostitutes), so it may seem odd that China is unable to enforce its borders on a trade that is a lot harder to hide.The report notes that China sees illegal timber trade as somewhat of a solution to the growing drug problem."


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by @ 9:45 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia

13 October, 2005

myanmar/burma net filtering

China, with its shed loads of foreign reserves and booming economy, can afford to buy expensive technologies to keep its netizens in the dark. It naturally offends my libertarian sensibilities that it chooses to do so. But for Burma/Myanmar spend its limited cash on net-censoring technologies is not only offensive in terms of liberty, it strikes me as deeply wrong economically. (link via Boing Boing):

Myanmar “employs one of the most restrictive regimes of Internet filtering worldwide that we have studied,” said Ronald J. Deibert, a principal investigator for the OpenNet Initiative and the director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto.

Myanmar now joins several nations, including China, Iran and Singapore, in relying on Western software and hardware to accomplish their goals, Mr. Deibert said.

Microsoft, Cisco and Yahoo, for example, have all come under fire recently for providing technology or otherwise cooperating with the Chinese government to enable it to monitor and censor Internet use.

I would argue with the reporter that Singapore, unlike China and Iran, does not rely heavily on technology to limit Internet freedom. The number of sites the city state blocks is limited to a handful of symbolic targets such as Playboy. Singapore authorities exercise control via good-old-fashioned libel law and the sedition act.

With its periodic bans of blog-hosting sites, the free and democratic South Korea is much more guilty of blocking websites than Singapore.

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by @ 8:56 pm. Filed under South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

10 August, 2005

wednesday late links

Another Avian Flu Blog, H5N1, offers a look at computer modeling of how an epidemic may spread.

Both studies look at Thailand as the example source of an epidemic, in part because the Thai government has been more forthcoming with useful information than China and Vietnam (other locations of known human H5N1 infections), and in part because Thailand remains a hotbed of the virus. The Nature team took a case of a single rural resident of Thailand coming down with a human-transmissible form of H5N1, then calculated the patterns of infection across the nation. The results — visible in this movie (small .mov, larger .ram), with red representing flu cases and green representing locations where the disease has "burned through" the population — are sobering.

H5N1 also links to clips on how the plague could be controlled. Improvements in computer modeling  are fantastic. And even if we don’t face Armageddon, a pandemic option would be a great feature for any new Sid Meier game.

I recommend that the man in this photo get out of China as quickly as possible, he won’t be popular after this is transmitted through the SinoBlogosphere:


While it’s not clear if this is the gentleman in question, ESWN reports an Australian named Paul said, "I cannot believe that I would be on top of the Great Wall; and I can’t believe that I can piss a full load right

Pissing on the only man-made object visible from space the Great Wall isn’t going to win you many Chinese friends, although Xinhua is remiss in labeling a rave an orgy. Still, if Binfeng is right the guy who couldn’t hold it may herald a new wave of Great Wall preservation.

On the China blogosphere, we are being watched. Andrea notes an SCMP item on a lecture given by CCTV’s producer Hu Yong.:

"The mainland’s internet police are keeping a wary eye on messages posted by its 5 million bloggers, although most of them use cyberspace as a channel to express their desire for individualism, according to a leading network expert from the mainland."

Chirol at Coming Anarchy takes a quick look at the threat from the nutty nuke-wielding, shorter-than-average guy with a really bad haircut, noting that Clinton cannot be blamed for the current crisis.:

I take a dim view of those on the right who tend to immediately and anachronistically blame him for problems occuring during the present administration. Though the North Koreans indeed renegged on their agreement, it should firstly not come as a surprise nor as unprecendented. The Soviets broke almost every agreement we had with them but it was still better to have some sort of framework than nothing.

Not a surprise indeed, North Korea has not only reneged on any military agreement, it reneges on every agreement! It is a serial violator of trade agreements, even with friendly states such as the former USSR and China, and is a defaulter on its debt. It’s a nasty rogue state and should be forced to stand in the corner until it collapses.

Speaking of Rogue States, good news for Asia, the continent does not feature a single nation in the top-10 of Foreign Policy’’s Failed States index. Plus only three nations cracked the top-20: Afghanistan at 11, North Korea at 13 and Bangladesh at 17. Burma/Myanmar comes in 23rd,

A twisted tale comes from India Uncut, apparently the Congress Party has a problem with press freedom, although they still try to get press coverage when they organize a mob to attack a publication.

The group that came to the first floor roughed up the watchman, broke open the door and charged in shouting on the top of their voices.
This group broke computer keyboards, yanked out phone wires and one of them had even held up a chair to throw at the publisher’s glass cabin.

And here’s the bit I find most remarkable:

Ironically, other press had also arrived at the Mid Day office with the Congress persons, giving the indication that the ruling party had called the media in advance to flaunt their cowardly act.

From Sepia Mutiny, a study that damns public health care.:

Although doctors love to tell you that they work out of a sense of seva, and that the quality of care has little to do with the fee structure, it simply isn’t true. Surprising as it seems, the researchers find that you’re better off with a less trained private doctor than a better trained public doctor. Why? Because the private doctors try harder.

While not strictly Asia related, IndCoup of Indonesia notes an Egyptian report that states that French Kissing and Doggie Style are inventions of Islam. If this is true, I completely forgive the religion for inventing calculus.

After a lawmaker is reported dead after voting against Japan Post privatization, Joi Ito recounts a disturbing conversation with chairman of broadcaster NHK:

I remember him telling me that half of the officially reported suicides were actually political murders/assassinations and that the corruption went all the way to the top. If I had heard this from anyone other than the chairman of the largest broadcaster, life-long political reporter and behind-the scenes kingmaker, I would have thought it was a stupid conspiracy theory

Rajan says that Malaysians who are upset about the haze should SMS Indonesian president SBY. Jeff Ooi has more on the Air Pollutant Index, which was banned for eight years because it damaged tourism.

FridgeThe Lost Nomad reports that Mamon is alive and well on the Peninsula.

LG Electronics Inc., South Korea’s second-largest consumer electronics manufacturer, said Monday it has begun selling a new three-door refrigerator encrusted with about 4,900 crystals from Austria’s renowned crystal maker Swarovski.
Only 200 of the refrigerators, which are available in South Korea for 3.99 million won (US$3,934), will be sold, LG said in a statement.

I hate it when this happens. In Singapore, quite possibly the only first-world country that (embarrassingly) isn’t a democracy, the ruling People’s Action Party is again acting like Iran’s Guardian Council. Why? A challenger may emerge in the presidential election:

But not in Singapore though. Like in Ayatollah-ruled Iran, interested candidates must first be prequalified by unelected guardians of the faith (the PAP faith in Singapore’s case). Only safe candidates can be presented to voters.

In the Philippines, Sassy says pork-barrel politics must end.:

There’s this lawyers’ group called Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty (LAMP) that filed a petition with the Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional the appropriation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, otherwise known as pork barrel funds–PhP 65 million for each member of the Lower House and PhP 200 for every senator, annually. The total is PhP 8.23 billion.
Why unconstitutional? Because the job of the Legislature is to legislate. The job of developing the countrysides, including infrastructure projects, properly belongs to the executive branch. The Constitution says that the three branches of government–executive, legislative and judiciary–shall be co-equal but separate. Therefore, if one branch encroaches upon the functions of another, there is a violation of the Constitution. Furthermore, the pork barrel funds “pet projects” of legislators and are a source of corruption.

Indeed, if Gloria is ousted, there should be a Sassy for President campaign.


by @ 9:14 pm. Filed under Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, Money, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Media, South Asia, Weblogs, Censorship, North Korea, Bangladesh, Religion

19 June, 2005

aung san suu kyi

Gateway Pundit has a collection of links on the Lady’s 60th birthday.


Fabian and Carl have further linkage. All three note international leaders have sent best wishes to the Lady, who remains under house arrest at the whim of the junta that runs Burma.

With the exception of , Malaysia’s former prime minister, I have not noted any reported comments from Asean’s leadership.

by @ 6:25 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Asean, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia

18 June, 2005

happy birthday to The Lady

Vaclav Havel has an item in the Washington Post that is worth reading.:

On Sunday Aung San Suu Kyi will celebrate her 60th birthday, which in a Buddhist culture marks an important milestone in one’s life. I would like to meet her and give her a rose like the one she is seen holding in a photograph in my study. Such an ordinary wish, however, in the case of such an extraordinary woman as Aung San Suu Kyi may seem a silly idea. The last time I wrote about her in The Post [op-ed, Oct. 12, 2003] was shortly after "unknown" assassins tried to deprive her of her life and Burmese generals put her under house arrest for the third time since 1989. Since then, except for the occasional purge of senior generals, an ever-increasing population of political prisoners and multiplying human rights abuses, nothing in Burma seems to have changed.
Aung San Suu Kyi is still kept under strict house arrest, and the Burmese generals have fortified themselves even more against any attempts at a dialogue. A dialogue? To conduct a dialogue with a regime that consistently disdains basic human rights and freedoms — that uses arms instead of words and harassment and violence instead of discussion — probably does not make any sense.

UPDATE: FriskoDude has more.

by @ 9:59 am. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Asean, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia

16 June, 2005

stuck with burma

The Aseanist comes to a depressing conclusion that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations needs Myanmar/Burma more than the despotic nation needs Asean.

He pointed out that ASEAN needs Myanmar more than Myanmar needs ASEAN.
I have to admit that he’s largely right. In his eyes, Myanmar, if somehow expelled from ASEAN for its reluctance to change, could go either to India or to China. I think there’s more of a worry about the latter than the former. Yangon and New Delhi, of course, have history, and Myanmar is particularly sensitive about its colonial history. A link to New Delhi would seem like a reconstituted Raj, although there are enough Burmese Indians to make this happen. China is the greater worry. Even though, like most Southeast Asians, most Burmese are rather suspicious of Chinese intentions, China has long developed an economic foothold in Myanmar, particularly in the north. And I’d wager many of the ruling generals have developed quite cozy relationships with Chinese business interests.

by @ 8:27 am. Filed under China, India, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Asean, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, South Asia

9 June, 2005

blog the tsunami


A request from Rebecca McKinnion at Global Voices Online:

It has come to Global Voices’
attention that a number of mainstream media outlets are going to be
doing some special reporting looking at the Tsunami and its legacy 6
months on.
Given what a big role the blogosphere played in
the tsunami coverage, it would be great to see the perspective of
bloggers living in tsunami-affected regions.
How did the
tsunami change your life, and that of the people around you? Do you
know about efforts to improve evacuation and early warning systems in
your area? Are people getting the aid they were promised? Are they
getting the help they need? Why or why not??
Please let the world know in your blogs, podcasts, photo feeds, and videoblogs!!
 Please DON’T FORGET to tag your work with “” so that we will know about it!!


by @ 3:05 pm. Filed under Blogs, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Asean, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Media, South Asia, Thailand

3 June, 2005

is burma loosening up on net censorship?

The Irrawaddy reports that a banned news website Mizzima.com can now be accessed from Burma. (via 2Bangkok.com)

Exiled Burmese media group Mizzima, based in New Delhi, recently announced that the Rangoon government had lifted the ban on its website, a fact corroborated by internet users in the capital. The move has drawn praise from several quarters, including the International Federation of Journalists in Brussels, but many feel it is in actual fact far from being a step along the road to press freedom.

The real reason for the unblocking may have nothing to do with junta’s desire for open information

Sources in Rangoon even suggest that things are getting worse, and that the government is in fact tightening its leash on internet use, possibly through the use of a new firewall program. One idea floating about is that the reappearance of the Mizzima website may actually be down to a technical glitch.

by @ 4:04 pm. Filed under Myanmar/Burma, Media

26 May, 2005

the aseanist

Discovered through Andrea, a very sharp blog on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations from the Aseanist. Here are his/her thoughts on the embarrassment of Myanmar/Burma’s impending presidency:

I’m starting to wonder, though, whether a Myanmar presidency might be a good thing for ASEAN. First, it will force the member states to internalize fully the costs of carrying the junta. A boycott by its most prominent non-Asian dialogue partners and a possible delay in implementing E.U.-funded regional integration projects would drive home to member states capitals how much of a liability Yangon has become for the region. Second, it could remind the member states that they have to generate their own resources for ASEAN as soon as posssible. The organization remains so dependent on outside funding and support that a Western boycott is a real threat. It shouldn’t be for any self-respecting regional organization. Finally, a boycott could actually be a welcome respite from the diplomatic circus of meetings and fora and dialogues that can be distracting from the task of making tough decisions about integrations.

Of course, all this is a little like putting lipstick on a pig. I don’t think a Myanmar presidency is desirable. But there can be a silver lining.

by @ 7:57 pm. Filed under Asean, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia

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