Wednesday, May 25, 2016
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

The Mailbox: Rohingya Diplomacy

It was recently diplomatically suggested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to US ambassador to Myanmar Scot Marciel that he should not perhaps use the term “Rohingya” as it was “not supportive of national reconciliation”. The ambassador however has defended his use of the term.

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Without alternatives, closing massage parlours creates problems

From fictional Gotham to real-life metropoles around the world it is customary for new city leaders, in super-hero fashion, to vow to rid their streets of crime and evil villains.

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To renew or not to renew: What’s at stake?

On May 20, the national emergency that underpins the remaining US sanctions on Myanmar will expire unless renewed by President Barack Obama.

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Why stopping corruption is vital for nations

Pope Francis has called corruption “the gangrene of a people.” US Secretary of State John Kerry has labelled it a “radicaliser,” because it “destroys faith in legitimate authority.” And British Prime Minister David Cameron has described it as “one of the greatest enemies of progress in our time”.

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Fun and games in the Asian family

Almost half a century ago, there was a famous television show in the United States called All in the Family. The parents and their daughter and son-in-law argued constantly over the same silly things we all argue over; but they always stayed together and ultimately made up. That is how it is in this region’s politics these days and it is becoming more pronounced – not just the family ties, but the bickering and the begrudging reconciliation. 

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People are wrong about the impact of economic sanctions

Lee Jones, a senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, has just published Societies Under Siege: Exploring How International Economic Sanctions (Do Not) Work. In it, he evaluates the use and success of sanctions in three key cases – South Africa, Iraq and Myanmar – and finds that sanctions rarely achieve their stated aims. We spoke to Jones via Skype.

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Africa’s vaccination test: a health and economic challenge

In February in Addis Ababa, African health ministers signed a widely celebrated declaration of their commitment to keeping immunisation at the forefront of efforts to save the continent’s children from death and disease. Fulfilling that commitment will be no easy feat. Immunisation is not just a health issue; it is also an economic challenge.

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New ministry for state counsellor raises alarming questions

President U Htin Kyaw’s request for a new ministry to allow the state counsellor to perform her duties “more effectively” came as quite a surprise. It raises some alarming questions.

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Policy conundrums under the NLD

With the old military regime, there were countless good reasons to criticise the way government functioned. Top leaders abused their high status, enriched themselves and brutalised opponents.

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Why were Kaman Muslim deaths ignored?

I must start with a correction. My column last week spoke about the abusive system of apartheid in Rakhine State that means Muslim people are kept in camps and forced to make dangerous, sometimes fatal, journeys to access basic supplies because they are not allowed to travel freely.

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