The actions of the country's veteran leader, Prime Minister Hun Sen, deserve a more sober appraisal than the knee-jerk reactions of critics in the United States, Europe, and Australia, who claim that the law is too restrictive. As Cambodia’s Interior Minister Sar Kheng said, “I cannot understand why some other foreign countries are against this law. We have prepared it based on their laws. Why can they have it and not us?”
Working as an English-language teacher in Myanmar I’ve often been left bemused and frustrated by the textbooks school administrators have selected for their English courses. With topics on skiing holidays, tele-vision soaps, fashion, food and celebrities, at best it’s irrelevant, but at worst there is an element of imperialism that stems from a globalisation that is unbalanced.
The battle for sustainability will be won - or lost - in Asia. Although it may sound dramatic, the concept is not far-fetched. Our region is perhaps the most dynamic in the world, accounting for 40 percent of global economic output and two-thirds of global growth. Globally, 60pc of the population calls Asia home and urban populations are predicted to grow from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion in 2050.
Myanmar has endured more than its fair share of human-made disasters, but the recovery from the natural devastation recent flooding will not happen in a vacuum. As we learned in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, there can be very serious political consequences in the wake of such traumatic events.