Stories written by Larry Jagan

Communities begin the long process of clearing the streets after Cyclone Nargis. Credit: azmil77/flickr

BURMA: Junta Holds Up Int’l Relief as Cyclone Toll Climbs

While Burma's state-run radio reports that at least 4,000 people have died and another 3,000 gone missing in the cyclone that devastated that country on Saturday, there is little that the international community can do by way of assistance without a formal request from its secretive military rulers.

ASIA: Sliding Back Into Poverty as Rice Prices Spiral

Food prices are continuing to skyrocket throughout Asia, causing many governments to intervene to stabilise domestic rice prices for fear of acute shortages in the future and social unrest.

ASIA: Rising Rice Prices Threaten Aid Programmes

Rising rice prices are threatening to derail aid programmes run by international agencies while several governments on the continent are taking steps to see that shortages of the staple do not translate into social unrest and food riots.

BURMA: Junta Split May Hasten Civilian Rule

By promising to hand over power to a civilian government within two years, Burma’s top general has sparked speculation on the future of the junta that has ruled this country since a military coup in 1962.

Aung San Suu Kyi meets Ibrahim Gambari during the latest visit of the UN envoy to Burma Credit: UNIC

POLITICS-BURMA: Aung San Suu Kyi’s Release Fits Junta’s Agenda

Tentative talks between Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s military rulers have begun, raising hopes of a political breakthrough. "If the talks go well, she may be released soon," a spokesman for her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), told journalists on the weekend.

Ibrahim Gambari in New Delhi for consultations on Burma  Credit: Mizzima

POLITICS-BURMA: UN Envoy Fails to Impress Junta

On his second visit to Burma since the brutal crackdown on demonstrators, in September, United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari held talks with senior members of the Burmese military regime. But there are few signs of a breakthrough in encouraging a transition to civilian rule.

RIGHTS-BURMA: Junta Will Stop Recruiting Child Soldiers – Analysts

Talks between a senior United Nations envoy and Burma’s acting prime minister Thein Sein in Rangoon, last week, may actually see an end to the recruitment of children into the armed forces, say observers.

BURMA: Generals Deviate on Roadmap to Democracy

Burma’s top generals have just finished their quarterly meeting in the country’s new capital of Naypidaw. As usual there was no official announcement following the meeting, but there are signs that the regime is about to ditch its roadmap to democracy in favour of a Chinese-style system of government.

BURMA: Junta Puts Political Reform Plan on Hold

Burma's military rulers have put the country's political reform process on hold amid divisions and uncertainty on how to move forward on ‘national reconciliation' as the junta calls its programme for political change.

BURMA: Junta Puts Political Reform Plan on Hold

Burma's military rulers have put the country's political reform process on hold amid divisions and uncertainty on how to move forward on ‘national reconciliation' as the junta calls its programme for political change.

THAILAND: Thaksin Removed in Silken Coup

Ending months of political deadlock, Thailand's army moved dramatically to oust caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup, led by army chief General Sonthi Boonyaratklin.

THAILAND: Thaksin Removed in Silken Coup

Ending months of political deadlock, Thailand's army moved dramatically to oust caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup, led by army chief Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratklin.

BURMA: Power Passes to Next Generation Generals

Burma's military rulers have begun a massive shake-up with eight deputy ministers and a supreme court judge already relieved of their posts. This second revamp in the last few months is part of a major overhaul of the army and government, according to diplomatic sources in Rangoon.

BURMA: Taking No Chances With Democracy After Nepal, Thailand

Incarcerated political leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) is facing dissolution, with Burma's military rulers compelling mass resignations from the party by threatening to ban it as a 'terrorist' organisation.

BURMA: Banking on China Against Sanctions

Burmese Prime Minister Gen. Soe Win has returned from Beijing claiming relations between the two countries have now entered a new era. But despite that upbeat assessment, Beijing remains concerned that its Asian ally is potentially unstable and could endanger regional security.

BURMA: Power Struggle Stalls Constitutional Reforms

Constitutional reforms and democracy must wait until Myanmar's top leader Gen. Than Shwe settles a power struggle with his deputy Gen. Maung Aye and the government completes shifting the national capital to Pyinmana in the central hills, 400 km north of Rangoon.

ASIA: Thailand Uneasy Over China Free Trade Deal

A free trade agreement (FTA) that Thailand signed with China, a little over two years ago, has begun to worry politicians and academics who say it has proved disastrous for this country’s farmers.

BURMA: Junta Effects ‘Capital Flight’ to Remote Hills

By all accounts, Burma’s new capital at Pyinmana is now up and running and officials, unhappy with the bizarre move into the country's central hills, no longer running away.

BURMA: ‘Ready for Reforms and Not Quitting ILO’

Burma's military rulers have not yet decided to quit the International Labour Organisation, according to Burmese foreign minister Nyan Win.

POLITICS: Burma Ignores More Sanctions to Quit ILO

Ignoring warnings of ''far reaching and extremely serious consequences'', Burma's military rulers have told the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that the country will be quitting the United Nations labour body.

BURMA: Junta Readies Regime Change

Burma’s top military leaders are planning a massive shake-up in the army and government in the coming weeks, according to diplomats and close watchers of the reclusive country.

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