Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

State-enterprise sector could make or break Myanmar’s transition

What will be the role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in an National League for Democracy-led government, and will it matter? Sitting in Washington DC, on the opposite side of the earth from Myanmar, I cannot come close to answering the first question. But, based on a study I carried out at the beginning of 2015, I believe the SOE sector has the potential to become a major engine for economic progress. The same sector, however, could also become one of the biggest obstacles.

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Unaccountable China

Since late 2013, China has been engaged in the frenzied creation of artificial islands and the militarisation of the South China Sea. This amounts to an alarming quest for control over a strategically crucial corridor through which US$5.3 trillion in trade flows each year. But what is even more shocking – not to mention dangerous – is that China has incurred no international costs for its behaviour.

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For Myanmar’s farmers, land rights still stuck in past

U Myint Tun was alone in his field in Sagaing Region when four officers pulled up in a military jeep with the bad news: His land now belonged to the government and he could no longer farm it.

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Can Myanmar keep getting better?

This has been a memorable year for Myanmar. It joins the list of big turning points: 1948, 1962, 1974, 1988, 1990, 2010 and now 2015.

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The NLD: a second coming

In her 2011 Reith lecture, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke of the 1988 uprisings as the second struggle for independence, the first being that against colonial rule. “We were engaged in combat with antagonists who were of the same nation, the same race, the same colour, the same religion,” she said.

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Women suffer burden of war, so give them space at the table

An article in the Women In The World section of the New York Times website this week makes a disturbing observation.

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What a sweet and sour year it’s been

Many aeons ago, in a faraway place called Rimini, an Italian family invited me to join them for dinner at a local trattoria.

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Can the NLD and China usher in a new era in relations?

China expects a new page to emerge in Myanmar’s domestic politics and foreign policy following the landslide election victory of the National League for Democracy. At the same time the party’s yet-to-be-clarified strategy has fuelled considerable uncertainty about whether – and if so, how – China should once again adjust its policy toward Myanmar.

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Lessons from El Salado

A joint delegation from Myanmar travelled to Colombia this month to learn and share peace-building experiences.

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The Tatmadaw in a democracy

Earlier in the year I wrote a column drawing attention to the vibrant Facebook presence of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

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