In The News

In The News

Between Two Worlds: Thailand’s Coup One Year On

May 27, 2015

The first anniversary of Thailand’s latest coup passed without ceremony or acknowledgment by the military-led National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which assumed power following the ouster of the elected Pheu Thai government on May 22 last year. The anniversary was marked by fresh statements of concern from international organizations, pointed commentary from international news agencies and country specialists, and thoughtful reflections by a handful of respected Thai political observers whose public prominence and carefully measured views limit their risk of political censure.

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Melanne Verveer: “No Country Can Get Ahead That Leaves Half its People Behind.”

May 27, 2015

We sat down this week with Asia Foundation Trustee Melanne Verveer, director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, and the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues from 2009 to 2013. We asked her how far women had come in Asia, and how far they had yet to go.

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Myanmar Election Commission Visits Indonesia

May 20, 2015

Myanmar is preparing for historic elections later this year, but with the country’s limited electoral experience, voter outreach and education are critical challenges. Recently, The Asia Foundation sponsored a study tour for a delegation from Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC) to Indonesia, which itself has undergone a democratic transition and recently held general elections.

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Building Mongolia’s Grassroots Environmentalism

May 20, 2015

Some 800 representatives from 160 Mongolian communities and environmental organizations gathered in Ulaanbaatar on May 14 and 15 to compare notes and strengthen relationships between grassroots environmental groups and the national government. Some 800 representatives from 160 Mongolian communities and environmental organizations gathered in Ulaanbaatar on May 14 and 15 to compare notes and strengthen relationships between grassroots environmental groups and the national government.

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Quake That Shook the Earth Now Shaking Nepal’s Social Fabric

May 13, 2015

Another powerful earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, collapsing hillsides and already-damaged buildings and sending panicked citizens once again running into the streets. The 7.3 magnitude quake was followed by several aftershocks, including one of magnitude 5.6 and another of 6.3. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25 had already left much of Nepal completely devastated. On May 4, the government reported that 7,365 people had died and 14,355 people had been injured.

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In Nepal’s Far-Flung Villages, the Suffering Continues

May 6, 2015

In the remote village of Shyam Sathu in the hills of Sindhupalchok, I came upon a solitary young man in his mid-twenties – I’ll call him Arun – wrapped in a humble white garment, head shaven, and barefoot, staring into oblivion towards the high Himalayas. The village folk told me that his wife and two children had died in the earthquake. He was lost, alone, and devastated – overwhelmed by impermanence.

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Peace Council Endorses Bangsamoro Basic Law – with Some Tweaks

May 6, 2015

It’s crunch time again for peacemaking in Mindanao. Both houses of the Philippine Congress are now considering the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the implementing legislation for the hard-won peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

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Booth Capture – Observing Municipal Elections in Bangladesh

May 6, 2015

On April 28, Bangladesh held municipal elections for mayors and ward councilors in Dhaka North, Dhaka South, and Chittagong. The city corporation elections, as they are called, were important for many reasons, and as The Asia Foundation’s director for elections, I had come to Chittagong to observe the process. They were the first municipal elections held in Dhaka City since 2002…

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In Quake’s Wake, the Price of Political Disarray

April 29, 2015

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday morning, April 25, and the 6.5 aftershock the following day, left frightened residents here in Kathmandu huddled in the rain in streets blocked with rubble and shaken by powerful tremors that made those structures still standing too dangerous to enter. Deaths are now estimated at over 5,500, a number that will continue to climb as emergency workers dig through collapsed buildings and push into the most affected districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Sindhupalchok.

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A Conversation with Dr. Rajiv Shah

April 29, 2015

Recently retired after five years at the helm of USAID, Rajiv Shah brought new energy and improved morale, and earned bipartisan Congressional support as director of the United States’ premier development agency. Shah emphasized measurement, transparency, and outcomes in development spending, and he championed the idea that development dollars should build local institutions within developing countries.

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