Published on 24 March 2017 at Open Democracy, here. On April first the United States assumes the rotating monthly presidency of the United Nations Security Council amid widespread alarm over talk from US President Donald Trump that his government is considering drastically reducing its financial contributions and involvement in the UN. This could pose a … More Donald Trump’s proposal to slash UN funding: a threat to international peace and security
Published on 14 March 2017 at Waging Nonviolence, here. On October 17, Hiroji Yamashiro was arrested for cutting a wire fence at a protest against a U.S. military base in Okinawa. He has been held in detention ever since. Yamashiro, the chairman of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center, has been a fixture of the nonviolent … More Japan Detains Movement Leader to Silence Struggle Against US Military Bases
This article was originally published at The Diplomat on 5 May 2016. Available here. A week after having released 199 political prisoners, on April 17 the Government of Myanmar released 83 additional prisoners. Among those released were student activists involved in peaceful protests against the National Education Law and Naw Ohn Hla, a land rights activist … More Myanmar: Prisoner Amnesty Highlights the Need for Penal Code Reform
This article was originally published at the Diplomat on February 10, 2016. Following Tsai Ing-wen’s electoral victory last month, KMT lawmakers have been challenging Ms. Ing-wen, who will be inaugurated as Taiwan’s first female president on 20 May, and her Democratic Peoples Party on several issues. Among them, Ms. Ing-wen has been demanded to reveal … More Taiwan: Can Tsai Ing-Wen Change the Politics of Death?
This article was originally published at OpenDemocracy on 3 August 2015. Available here. The Letpadaung copper mine in the Sagaing Region of central Myanmar has become a major fault line in the struggle for human rights in that country. It is also emblematic of a global problem: the damage caused by exploitative resource extraction coupled … More Against Letpadaung: copper mining in Myanmar and the struggle for human rights
Originally published at openDemocracy on 10 June 2015. Also available here. Students demand change in Myanmar. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved. In Myanmar, as university students around the world begin to exalt their summer freedom, a national student movement continues to demand greater political freedom. At the end of May 2015 Myanmar’s parliament was still … More In Myanmar, students test the sincerity of democratic transition
Originally published by The Diplomat on June 13, 2014. Available here. – Ethnicity is a convenient but misleading way of explaining the outburst of violence in 2010. Late in the night of June 10, 2010, outside a casino in Osh a skirmish broke out between several groups of young men. A catalyst for greater belligerence, … More Revisiting Kyrgyzstan’s Bloody Summer
The following is an excerpt from In Quest of Democracy, an essay written by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. The original essay was written before Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest in July 1989 and had been planned as part of an anthology of essays on democracy and human … More The Buddhist King and Modern Politics