democracy

A Pox on Both Their Houses

December 1, 2013

THAILAND-PROTEST_

YANGON—To borrow from a favourite line by Captain Willard in “Apocalypse Now,” sometimes the bullshit piles up so fast in Thailand that you need wings to stay above it. The “bullshit” in this case—as in the 2008 and 2010 rounds of political gridlock in the kingdom—is the braying and sloganeering of both “red shirt” and […]

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Betel nut women

YANGON—The independent newspaper I’m working for is located in a six-storey low-rise just two blocks from our apartment. The English edition is on the fifth floor, where foreign staffers enjoy an air-conditioned room while local reporters and translators share a long, two-sided bank of open cubicles in the main hallway. The locals use decrepit PCs […]

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Good Morning, Myanmar!

September 3, 2013

P1000291

YANGON—Well, it took a quarter of a century, but I’m finally here. Finally seeing a country that, ever since that certain famous uprising in 1988, has captured my imagination, altered my thinking about things like freedom and dissent, and even gifted me my life partner—all without the benefit of once having visited. Myanmar is a […]

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