Global politics and foreign affairs from around the globe
Curated by Seth Dixon
Neil MacFarquhar, The Times's United Nations bureau chief, shares his ambivalence about covering the exotic global travels and diplomatic efforts of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, particularly in closed nations like Myanmar.
Times as April 2012 as seen the military junta of Myanmar open up towards representative form of governance, paving the way for the country to one day become Burma once again. This video provides insights into the isolated make-believe world of the military junta. Why would moving the capital to the interior to Naypyidaw be significant?
Sometimes the news can be good news! The historic April 1st election in Burma that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy win 43/45 parliamentary seats is being hailed as the first free and fair elections for 50 years!
This is a current perspective on the many changes transforming Myanmar back into Burma. For more by John Boyer, see: http://www.plaidavenger.com/
The rapid pace of political change in Myanmar in the past year — capped by the recent election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament — has tourists and foreign investors rushing to the country.
So many tourists want to see the change come to the democratic institutions of Myanmar to become a politically just Burma. And yet, they also nostalgically want to keep Myanmar in a non-globalized state. In what can be called the paradox of progress, many westerners want an idealized pre-modern state.
The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.
Why do societies collapse? Often they are overextended, consume too many resources for their hinterland network to supply or they aren't able to adapt to changes to the system. Angkor Wat, the largest urban complex of the pre-industrial world, collapsed primarily due to drought conditions and a changing ecology. Without sufficient water resources, the network collapsed. What other environment 'collapses' can you think of?
On my last afternoon in Bagan, I went in search of a meal that would serve as both lunch and dinner, before boarding my flight...
As a notoriously closed society, glimpses into Burma become all the more important as Burma shows signs of (possibly) opening up politically for the first time in decades.