Who would stand up in China?

The Tibet issue: just one of the many obscured by the economic expansion of Beijing

Posted by , 4th April 2008


The confrontation between Tibetan protesters and Chinese troops is simply a violent reminder of a long-established tendency towards coercive and expansionist policies of Beijing, the author argues. Is it any wonder that, given such a history, the international response to this most recent crisis has been underwhelming?




The complex road to democracy in Bangladesh

Looking for the third route in the country of microcredits

Posted by , 27th March 2008

bangladesh.jpgPakistan, Myanmar and Thailand all exemplify how the argument that democracy is not the appropriate system or the democratically elected leaders are corrupt helps the military elites control the country. Bangladesh, with the opposing forces of Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, could be added to this list. The upcoming postponed elections and the return of civil and political liberties appear to be the only way out of this narrow alley in which the provisional government has placed Bangladesh, states the author.


Taiwan opposite Kosovo

Why Taipei is very far away from Pristina

Posted by , 13th March 2008

taiwanonu.jpgThe supporters of Taiwanese independence consider Kosovo to be a precedent that encourages them not to give up in their struggle. Nevertheless, the differences between the two cases are obvious, and not only due to the democratic imperative necessary to constitute a state; neither the origin of the dispute nor the regional and international context of the two cases is similar either. This is why the consequences of Kosovo’s independence will probably be felt more in the South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) or Europe rather than in the Far East, states the author.


Fixing Philippine education

The government has the right idea, but it needs to stabilize itself first

Posted by , 6th March 2008

filipinaseduc.jpgThe Philippine education system is marked by high dropout and repetition rates and low overall performance. Under a new definition of functional literacy, the rate could drop to as low as 6 percent. The author contends that the sector is afflicted with a myriad of problems, and although many government programs look promising, he points to governance as being the key.


Philippine land reform has failed to live up to its promise

Due to fatal flaws in CARP, the majority of the population is still mired in poverty

Posted by , 14th February 2008

filipinas.jpgAfter years of colonial and dictatorial rule in the Philippines, the People Power Revolution of 1986 installed a new government and led to the initiation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Yet more than twenty years later, poverty remains high in rural areas and income inequality remains a serious problem. The author faults the program’s land to the tiller concept and goes on to argue that access to jobs, and not land ownership, is a better way to reduce rural poverty.


What does India need in order to be the world’s third biggest economy?

The importance of sustained growth, alleviating social differences

Posted by , 7th February 2008

indios2.jpgNo one disputes the growing weight of the emerging Indian giant in the economic scene and global geopolitics. However, if India is to achieve a more influential position on the international level, it must strengthen its democratic system and be aware of the need to confront inequality and injustice with ambitious long-term policies. It is faced with an imbalance that cannot be resolved by its macroeconomic growth alone, regardless of how spectacular it may be.


Post-Tiananmen China: A Case of Selective Amnesia

No political changes in Peking until 2020

Posted by , 28th December 2007

Xulio Rios believes that the majority of the problems that caused the manifestations in Tiananmen Square eighteen years ago are not only still present in China today, but that many of those problems have gotten worse: corruption and power abuses are on the day’s agenda.


The Explosion of the “Saffron Revolution”

The pacifistic courage of the Burmese monks

Posted by , 27th December 2007


Thousands of Burmese citizens, lead by Buddhist monks, have forced a beastial dictatorship into check. Images of the protests and of their consequent repression have exposed before the international public a detestable regime, and citizens whose struggle for liberty and democracy should be a reference for the modern world.


From Gen. Pervez Musharraf to Mr. Pervez Musharraf

The First Step in the Planned Transition to Civilian Rule in Pakistan

Posted by , 13th December 2007

Positive developments in Pakistan include Gen. Musharraf’s decision to step down as chief of the army and promise to lift the state of emergency, as well as the appointment of pro-Western General Kiyani as Musharraf’s successor. Obstacles include attempting to hold fair elections within a country that is plagued by strong corruption at the governmental level. These elections will be a vital part of the transformation to civil rule, which will be a key stepping stone in helping Pakistan come out of its severe political crisis, argues the author.