Author Archives: Con Trau

About Con Trau

I'm a young, academic professional trying to find a niche in Southeast Asian foreign policy, specifically in relation to Vietnam and Burma.

Sri Lanka’s Political Faltering and Entrenched Ethnic Divisions


September 9, 2011 Brookline, MA After more than a quarter century of violence and ethnic division, the world had cause to hope that Sri Lanka’s May 2009 military victory over the rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, would … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | Leave a comment

China’s Problems


Washington, DC, July 28, 2011 This week has revealed a host of internal and international problems confronting China. While the list is nothing new, the fact that they have all come to a head at once indicates mutually reinforcing crises … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Southeast Asia | Leave a comment

The Lady’s Last Act? Aung San Suu Kyi’s Influence May Be on the Wane


July 14, 2011 Washington, DC Last week, democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the disbanded National League for Democracy, traveled to Bagan amidst widespread speculation of military violence.  Suu Kyi’s NLD won the previous 1990 elections, but the … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Human Rights | Leave a comment

Emerging State-Society Relations in Burma: A Chance for Reform?


June 27, 2011 Washington, DC In November of 2010 Burma’s long-ruling military junta held the first multiparty elections in two decades.  The previous elections in 1990 witnessed a roughly two-thirds vote in favor of the National League for Democracy (NLD), … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Civil Society | Leave a comment

2010 in Review


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health: The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever. Crunchy numbers A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas! (in Viet Nam Fashion)


Posted in Vietnam | Leave a comment

Wikileaks, Lady Gaga, and Kim Jong Il


  Brookline, MA The past week has seen much speculation about the significance of Wikileaks’ 250,000 leaked diplomatic cables, most of which are still to come. When Private Bradley Manning shared the secret of his “Lady Gaga” CDRW with a … Continue reading

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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Next Move: Are National Reconciliation and a Peaceful Revolution Possible in Burma?


Brookline, MA Since being freed from two decades of house arrest two weeks ago, Burma’s dissident number one, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been busily touring Yangon and interviewing with foreign media, diplomats, local citizens, and political leaders. She … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Human Rights | Leave a comment

The Farce of Vietnam’s Communist Party


Seattle, WA   The music’s stopped, but they’re still dancing. You can still hear them singing the same revolutionary-nationalist songs, though the words are hollow, and their ideology no longer applies. The shell of international communism has been chipped, but … Continue reading

Posted in Vietnam | 2 Comments

A Vietnamese Folk Tale: The Origin of Rice Agriculture


Seattle, WA A week away from Burma’s first elections in twenty years, the world awaits to see how events play out. Most say the elections won’t be free and fair, the junta-backed USDP (Union Solidarity and Development Party) largely tipped … Continue reading

Posted in Southeast Asia, Vietnam | Leave a comment