Posts By John J. Brandon

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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In The News

Will Thaksin Outmaneuver Thailand’s Military and Traditional Elites?

June 29, 2011

Between March and May 2010, Thailand experienced its worst href=”http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/2010/05/19/thailand-black-may-redux/”>political violence in decades. Since then, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has insisted that he and his government are committed to national reconciliation. Shortly afterwards, a truth and reconciliation commission was established to investigate the military crackdown that culminated in May…

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In The News

Water: Quenching the Thirst for Security?

June 22, 2011

Asia has fewer fresh water resources than any other continent in the world. The global average of fresh water per capita annually is 6,280 cubic meters. The only countries rich in water resources in all of Asia are Malaysia, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal, and Kyrgyzstan, leaving the rest of Asia water-stressed.

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In The News

U.S. Must Help Strengthen Asia’s Regional Architecture

June 15, 2011

Two weeks ago, I attended the 25th Asia-Pacific Roundtable hosted and organized by the ASEAN-Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. More than 350 people from 25 nations attended, including ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Robert F. Willard…

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Notes from the Field

In Laos, Remnants of War Remain

May 11, 2011

On May 10, 2010, a woman named Ms. Thong was doing what she ordinarily does in her remote village in Xieng Khouang province, Laos – cooking rice for she and her 15-year-old daughter. But on this day, the heat from the cooking fire ignited unexploded ordnance…

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In The News

Will Arab Revolutions, Bin Laden’s Death Distract U.S. from Asia Commitment?

May 4, 2011

From my hotel in Bangkok, I watched on CNN as President Obama announced to the American people and the world that “justice has been done,” shortly after Osama Bin Laden was killed by an elite group of U.S. forces in Pakistan.

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In The News

A ‘Colorless’ Thailand?

March 30, 2011

In 1947, Winston Churchill said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others that have been tried.” When Churchill made this remark, Thailand was in the throes of developing a strong dictatorial state headed by the military. But after six decades of impressive economic advancement and social mobility…

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