Posts By John J. Brandon

In The News

Can Civil Society Bridge Gap to Peace in Thailand’s Deep South?

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…

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In The News

Optimism High, But Challenges Remain for Burma’s Future

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…

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Notes from the Field

Neil Armstrong, Southeast Asia, and International Literacy Day

September 5, 2012

Like many, I was saddened to learn of Neil Armstrong’s death in August. He was 82. When Mr. Armstrong made his “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” I was a 12-year-old boy growing up in New Jersey.

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In The News

Asia: The World’s Most Water-Stressed Continent

March 21, 2012

Tomorrow is World Water Day. Tragically, by the end of the day, 4,300 children somewhere in the world will have died because of contaminated water and poor sanitation. That’s one child every every 20 seconds. This is an appalling statistic, but still represents a marked improvement from 12 years ago…

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In The News

A Strategic Pivot in U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations in 2012

January 4, 2012

For much of the past two decades, many Southeast Asians have expressed frustration that U.S. policy treated their region with benign neglect or indifference, and that the United States’ attention was episodic rather than consistent. In 2011, the Obama administration announced that the U.S. needed to make “a strategic pivot” in its foreign policy…

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In The News

Should the U.S. ‘Lead from Behind’ at East Asia Summit?

November 16, 2011

On November 19, leaders of the 18 nations that comprise the East Asia Summit (EAS) will meet in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss a broad array of political, security, and economic issues. For the first time, the United States will participate as a full-fledged member. For much of the post-Cold War period, the U.S. approach to institution-building in Asia…

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In The News

7 Billion and Counting

November 2, 2011

According to the United Nations, a baby born this week became the world’s 7 billionth person. As four babies are born somewhere around the world each second, no one knows for sure exactly which baby was the 7 billionth, or where he or she was born. However, it is probable this person was born somewhere in Asia…

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Notes from the Field

Timor-Leste’s President Calls for Redoubling of Nation’s Commitment to Education

September 14, 2011

On September 8, The Asia Foundation commemorated International Literacy Day
for the first time in Timor-Leste. The Foundation partnered with the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Alola Foundation, Care International, and Timor Aid to host a book fair for primary and secondary students.

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In The News

What Happens When Thaksin Returns to Thailand?

August 10, 2011

Last week, Thailand made history when its parliament elected its first-ever woman Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, one month after her Pheu Thai party swept the July 3 elections. However, Prime Minister Yingluck’s ability to rise to the top of Thailand’s political echelon is not because of her political acumen.

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In The News

U.S. Economic Crisis Recalls Shared Sacrifice and Compromise in Thailand’s Past

August 10, 2011

Watching the debt-ceiling debate unfold in Washington, D.C., in recent weeks reminded me of another financial crisis, the one in Thailand, which started the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. That crisis had a devastating impact on the Thai people. Economic growth fell from 6.5 percent to negative 10 percent, inflation rose…

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