(IPS Asia-Pacific) – Although it is six years old, few know what the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) does. It has been called toothless, though its creation was seen as a step forward given the principle of non-interference in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
With the rainy season still far from over, flood-affected communities in the Sagaing Region and other parts of northern and western Myanmar are preparing for more hardships, while the government continues what the United Nations has called an “incredible” relief effort.
There’s a deep irony that as people around the world mark International Youth Day on Aug. 12, hardly any attention will be paid to the shrinking space for young human rights defenders who increasingly find themselves on the receiving end of government repression.
For a while it went unnoticed: a boatload of migrants here, a vessel full of refugees there. But since 2012, the complex and unregulated movement of human beings through South and Southeast Asia– and the fate of those who put their lives in the hands of smugglers and at the mercy of the high seas – is becoming bleaker with each passing day.
On Thursday, May 14, a group of journalists rented a boat from Ko Lipe, a small island in Thailand’s southwest Satun Province, and headed out into the Andaman Sea – a water body in the northeastern Indian Ocean bounded by Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Strait of Malacca.
In Myanmar’s Western Rakhine State, over a hundred thousand people displaced by inter communal violence that broke out nearly three years ago remain interned in camps on torrid plains and coastal marshes, struggling to survive.
As Singapore mourns the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the late former prime minister’s vision of a dynamic and vibrant state is being reflected in a major arts festival in France.
The cradle of some of the world’s most ancient civilizations, home to four out of the planet’s six billion people, and a battleground for the earth’s remaining resources, Asia and the Pacific are poised to play a defining role in international affairs in the coming decade.
Myanmar is never out of the news for long. This has been the case since a popular uprising challenged military rule in 1988. For over two decades, the country was featured in mainstream media primarily as one unable to cope with its own internal contradictions, a nation crippled by military rule.
Myanmar is never out of the news for long. This has been the case since a popular uprising challenged military rule in 1988. For over two decades, the country was featured in mainstream media primarily as one unable to cope with its own internal contradictions, a nation crippled by violence.
Lawmakers here are urging President Barack Obama to put transparency in the extractives sector at the centre of an upcoming trip to Myanmar.
Civil society groups are split over a decision by the U.S. government to waive sanctions on Myanmar’s timber sector for one year.
U.S. companies newly operating in Myanmar have until the end of the month to file official reports detailing the actions they’ve taken to ensure that their investments comply with safeguards around land, human rights and other concerns.
New investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm, may perpetuate economic inequality rather than alleviate poverty in Myanmar, critics here are warning.
Between 2008 and 2013, when Myanmar remained largely closed off to the rest of the world, it suffered a terrible toll at the hands of nature that remained largely unknown.