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What! Not going down to ground zero at Panmunjong?

What! Not going down to ground zero at Panmunjong?

This was the sensitive spot where North and South Korean soldiers can be seen standing eye-ball to eye-ball, separated only by an imaginary line representing the 38th parallel that demarcates the two sides at the end of the Korean War (1950-1953). Instead of a potentially tense tour, we were ushered to the touristic DMZ Observation […]

Singapore icon who wanted to be feared, yet was loved

Singapore icon who wanted to be feared, yet was loved

Within and without the island-state, his name has been synonymous with Singapore. His demise touched hearts and triggered a seldom-witnessed catharsis as Singaporeans felt the profound loss of their national icon. The spontaneous overflow of emotions for the late elder statesman, whose paternalistic dominance spanning over 30 years was beginning to feel condescending to young […]

Buddhism and journalsim for peaceful world

At Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu, all a first-time tourist needs to do to get a quick grab of interesting facts about Nepal is to look up. “Nepal has the world’s tallest mountain and shortest man,” says a printed overhead sticker. Another reads, “Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.” This one is repeated down the […]

Father of Singaporean nature conservationists

Father of Singaporean nature conservationists

Profile: “Eco-Warror” Dr. Wee Yeow Chin As a botanist, Professor Wee Yeow Chin was wont to talk to people about plants and animals, if not about birds and bees. His lectures on ferns, mushrooms, lichens and algae, the non-flowering plants that were his specialty, were serious stuff. Yet, the most-frequently-asked question from the lips of […]

Aung San Suu Kyi for President?

Aung San Suu Kyi  for President?

Recent signs point to Aung San Suu Kyi being able to vie for president in the 2015 elections. First, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has formally proposed amending a proviso in the constitution that bars her from being a candidate for the top leadership post. Clause 59(f) disqualifies citizens whose spouse or […]

Lessons from ASEAN engagement with Myanmar

Lessons from ASEAN engagement with Myanmar

In the mass media, Korea is mentioned more often than not as a wholesome personality. It is when the headlines turn to “Tension in the Korean Peninsula” that its split personality becomes evident. Then we begin to see Korea described in diverse terms such as North and South as well as the Republic of Korea […]

Press freedom struggles symbolise ‘Gwangju Spirit’

Press freedom struggles symbolise ‘Gwangju Spirit’

In the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the wily general Tsao Tsao, noted for his one-upmanship, often claims credit for himself whenever his lieutenant comes up with battle plans by declaring, “What you have just said is already in my mind.” I do not see myself doing a Tsao Tsao by saying that the Asia […]

Clash of values over Bukit Brown, Singapore’s ‘Angkor’

Clash of values over Bukit Brown, Singapore’s ‘Angkor’

In 1860, the jungles of Cambodia yielded a hidden secret when French naturalist Henri Mouhot stumbled upon the ruins of Angkor Thom. Intriguing wall figures and building architecture had led him to the long-lost Bagon at Kampong Thom in the deep forests of the Tonle Sap Lake, of whose grandeur and legend farmers, and monks […]

‘Uncrowned king’ throws book back at China’s judicial system

‘Uncrowned king’ throws book back at China’s judicial system

He might be hailed an “uncrowned king” in media circles but the Chinese authorities had him by their book. Hong Kong correspondent Ching Cheong, whose perspectives are greatly influenced by the Chinese traditional portrayal of a journalist, found himself labeled a spy by the Communist government in Beijing. He was convicted in 2005 of leaking […]

Which comes first – democracy or economic development?

Which comes first – democracy or economic development?

Myanmar’s momentous make-over efforts have raised a partisan poser: which comes first – democracy or economic development? The complementary yet competitive approaches to change-making adopted by President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have called into question their different priorities. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party in power have said economic […]

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