December 2, 2011 |
If "The Lady" is any indication, Luc Besson, the Paris-born filmmaker behind such testosterone-fueled thrillers as "Taken," "Transporter 2" and "The Fifth Element," is having a tough time getting in touch with his feminine side. Yes, there was his recent script for "Colombiana," but at least as portrayed by Zoe Saldana, that was one tough chick. "The Lady," on the other hand, required both elegance and eloquence in telling the story of Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, whose efforts earned her a Nobel Prize.
November 30, 2011 |
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's impending visit to Myanmar represents a dramatic shift in policy toward a state infamous for repression, an opening that demonstrates a new U.S. focus on Asia by building ties to a strategically important country bordering China. When she arrives Wednesday for a three-day visit, Clinton will be the most senior U.S. official to visit Burma — as the country long was known — since generals seized power in 1962 and largely closed it to the outside world.
November 30, 2011 |
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday for a landmark three-day visit to the long-isolated nation focused on encouraging further political reforms, assessing recent progress and providing a road map for forging closer ties with the United States and Europe. But the highest priority of a meeting with Myanmar's foreign minister, according to a senior State Department official traveling with Clinton, will be to seek assurances that the Southeast Asian nation will halt purchases of missile technology from renegade North Korea.
November 18, 2011 |
President Obama's decision to send Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on a groundbreaking trip to long-isolated Myanmar next month signals U.S. confidence in a recent flurry of political reforms by the repressive regime that has ruled the country for five decades. For three months, administration officials have hailed signs of democratic change but questioned the motives of the ruling military elite, which has jailed its opponents and engaged in human rights abuses to maintain political control of the resource-rich but impoverished Southeast Asian nation.
November 17, 2011 |
President Obama announced Friday that he is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Myanmar next month, citing progress made by the government in releasing political prisoners, loosening media restrictions and opening its repressive political system. Obama, in a brief statement during a series of summit meetings in Bali, Indonesia, said Clinton will be the first secretary of State to visit the country in half a century and will make the case that Myanmar's leaders must keep moving toward a more open, democratic government.
October 26, 2011 |
The Obama administration was encouraged by Myanmar's recent release of some prisoners under a "humanitarian" amnesty but wants to see more reforms before the U.S. considers lifting economic sanctions on the impoverished nation, officials say. The military government in the Southeast Asian nation has appeared more flexible with political opponents in major cities, but violence has continued against ethnic minorities in the rural north and east, Derek...
October 11, 2011 |
Myanmar announced plans Tuesday to release more than 6,300 prisoners in the latest of several modest reform steps taken by the long-isolated nation, although it wasn't immediately clear how many of those to be freed are political detainees. Human rights groups, dissident organizations and analysts welcomed the move, but said they remained skeptical that a fundamental change was underway. The military regime in Myanmar, also known as Burma, has ruled the country with an iron fist for decades.
October 1, 2011 |
Myanmar's president ordered a halt Friday to work on a controversial $3.6-billion hydroelectric dam backed by China, a rare concession to the political opposition and public displeasure. President Thein Sein said in a statement read out on his behalf in parliament that the Myitsone dam project in the northern state of Kachin should be terminated because it is "against the will of the people. " The reversal — if in fact it proves to be one, given Myanmar's often opaque governance — seemed somewhat surprising in a country where leaders have for decades paid limited attention to the public's concerns.
June 19, 2011 |
It's a sweltering afternoon, but crowds at the Yankin shopping center hardly notice, transfixed by the models parading along a makeshift runway in white boots, hot pants and short skirts. Myanmar's repressive regime may have a tight grip on power, but it's losing the fashion war. "Hemlines are changing a lot faster than the political system," said one Yangon fashionista, adding, "That was definitely off the record. " For decades, Myanmar, also known as Burma, has tried to keep its people isolated from the outside world and its dangerous ideas about freedom.
March 6, 2011 |
Geopolitics. Rhinoplasty. Who knew those would be among the hottest topics in Asia for 2011? It was news to me, and I've been going back and forth to Asia for a quarter-century, with trips to Japan and China last year alone. To see what the Asia traveler might have in store, I spoke with academics, policy people and regular travelers. Here's what they told me: Political changes Could there be an Asian contagion from recent unrest in the Arab world? Lowell Dittmer, a professor of political science at UC Berkeley, thinks it's unlikely.