Category Archives: Civil Society

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

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Is Boycotting Burma’s November Elections Wise?


Seattle, WA While some in the opposition bloc within Burma and the exile community believe boycotting the upcoming Elections (November 7) to be a moral imperative, no one seems to rationalize why they urge Burma’s people to withhold their vote. … Continue reading

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Civil Society and State Policy in Southeast Asian Countries: Examples of Authoritarian Control and Civil Society’s Responses


We receive conflicting reports on Burma regarding state policies toward civil society. The military government seems to allow certain privileges to some established non-governmental organizations (often those with close ties to the junta). But the regime’s policies toward independent organizations … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Civil Society, Southeast Asia, Vietnam | 1 Comment

Deadly Silence


Chiang Mai, THAILAND And in the naked light I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never share And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence “Fools”, … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Civil Society, Human Rights, Southeast Asia | 2 Comments

“Fence-Breaking” in Vietnam: An Example for Latent Civil Society to Follow?


Chiang Mai, THAILAND Last week, BBC correspondent Bill Hayton shared an excellent article in Forbes about Vietnam’s recent string of trials convicting pro-democracy lawyers, bloggers, and human rights activists.¹ He simultaneously observes the nation’s economic liberalization, astonishing legal dynamism, and … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Civil Society, Vietnam | 1 Comment

A Shift in Foreign Policy: The Battle of “Democratization”


Yangon, MYANMAR 11 JULY, 2010 I’m sure you might be interested to hear about my recent trip to Yangon, Myanmar, but I wrote this post from my hotel room in said city. So I figured I’d let the experience settle … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Civil Society, Foreign Policy, Southeast Asia | 1 Comment

Dueling Dunces


Chiang Mai, THAILAND One bright day in the middle of the night, Two dead boys got up to fight. Back to back they faced each other, Drew their swords and shot each other. One was blind and the other couldn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Burma/Myanmar, Civil Society, Thailand | 4 Comments