Posts By John J. Brandon
January 8, 2014
On January 1, Myanmar assumed the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In 1997, when Myanmar joined ASEAN, the country’s membership was met with stiff resistance because of its abhorrent human rights record under an oppressive military dictatorship.
November 20, 2013
For the past month, thousands of protestors have gathered at Democracy Monument and other areas in Bangkok to protest a controversial amnesty bill that was crafted to absolve anyone who may have engaged in illegal activities from 2004 through August 2013.
November 13, 2013
In November 1979, I attended a benefit concert in Bangkok given by Joan Baez to help raise funds for the humanitarian relief of Cambodian refugees who fled to the Thai border to escape the heinous rule of the Khmer Rouge. An estimated two million people were murdered by Pol Pot and his henchmen.
October 9, 2013
Asia-Pacific leaders gather in Brunei this week for the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS) and the 23rd ASEAN Summit, on the heels of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali on Monday. While a number of critical issues were set to be discussed, President Obama’s last minute cancellation…
March 20, 2013
Today, March 20, marks the 180th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, making the U.S. bilateral relationship with Thailand the longest uninterrupted diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and any Asian nation. The Thai-American Chamber of Commerce’s theme for 2013 commemorating 180 years of relations…
January 30, 2013
For Southeast Asia, 2012 brought both challenges and opportunities to the region – from Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN and further political opening in Burma (also known as Myanmar) to tensions in the South China Sea and the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights (ADHR).
November 14, 2012
Last week, Barack Obama was re-elected to serve a second term as president of the United States. President Obama’s first trip abroad since his re-election will be to Southeast Asia from November 17-20 to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS), the regional grouping of 18 Asian-Pacific nations, including the United States…
November 14, 2012
On November 19, Barack Obama will visit Burma (also known as Myanmar). History will be made as Mr. Obama will be the first U.S. president to ever visit the country. But he won’t be the first Obama. The president’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, reportedly served in Burma during World War II…
October 31, 2012
More than 5,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured in Thailand’s southernmost provinces since a decades-long separatist Muslim insurgency reignited in January 2004. The predominantly Muslim southern region has a long history…
September 26, 2012
Given the decades-long political stasis in Burma (also known as Myanmar), the changes introduced under President Thein Sein have been nothing short of remarkable. Over the past 18 months, President Thein Sein has released thousands of political prisoners…