In the so-called “Mekong River massacre” of October 2011, 13 Chinese merchant sailors working on the Mekong were seized and murdered by members of the Hawngleuk Militia led by its Burmese leader Naw Kham. Later captured in Laos and extradited to China, Naw Kham was found guilty of the… Continue reading
Will Myanmar’s Political Transition be able to Solve the Lingering Nationality Question of its Ethnic Minorities?
Myanmar in recent years has been experiencing substantive political changes in its political system with implications for its domestic policies and international relations. Since its November 2010 national elections… Continue reading
Since it began its gradual opening and domestic process of change, Myanmar has become a great target of opportunity for a myriad of foreign players, especially global investors interested in its vast energy potential and other resources. The challenge for the country is how to turn these blessings into… Continue reading
Protests against mining projects reveal contrasts in the political impact of resource extraction in Mongolia, an established 23 year-old democracy, and Burma/Myanmar, a liberalizing authoritarian state. Two similarities are apparent in the domestic tensions surrounding Mongolia’s Oyu Tolgoi and Burma’s Letpadaung copper mines: both governments and populations are keen to balance Chinese influence in their economies; and both struggle to balance development goals with local grievances. Yet, the differing role of the countries’ politicians means that the protests have different outcomes. Continue reading
The Golden Triangle, the mountainous region bordering Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, is known as a major centre for drug production. Since Khun Sa, kingpin of the region’s heroin trade, was forced into retirement in 1996, large-scale production of methamphetamine has developed along the Myanmar-China border. Unlike heroin, methamphetamine can be created from commercially available chemicals, commonly found in cold and flu medications. The easy availability of raw materials means that the profits generated from the production of methamphetamine are higher than those from heroin. Continue reading