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Surapong sold out Thailand's for myopic interests
March 17, 2014 1:00 am

Surapong sold out Thailand's for myopic interests

After a 90-minute session of clarification on the invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to Thailand on Friday by caretaker foreign minister Surapong Tohvijakchaikul, Ministry for Foreign Affairs' senior officials concluded without any...

Ethnic media and views needed in Myanmar
March 10, 2014 1:00 am

Ethnic media and views needed in Myanmar

For three days last week, more than 250 journalists belonged to ethnic groups from all over Myanmar gathered here with clear objectives: to make their voices heard and to strengthen their nascent media network as well as improve journalistic skills...

Thailand must be careful what it wishes for
March 3, 2014 8:52 am

Thailand must be careful what it wishes for

Caretaker Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul probably did not understand the full repercussions of inviting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to help in the conflict between the Yingluck government, which he represents, and anti-government...

As Indonesia rises, sensitivity is needed
February 24, 2014 1:00 am

As Indonesia rises, sensitivity is needed

Singapore's outrage over Indonesia's naming of its frigate "Usman-Harun" was understandable. It also exposed the fragility of the Asean Community and its goal of regional integration.

US strategic clarity builds confidence
February 17, 2014 1:00 am

US strategic clarity builds confidence

In a time like today of rapid power shifts, the world's heavyweights are no longer occupying themselves with the usual strategic ambivalence - their mantra over the past three decades. Such a mindset was the right attitude to have in the past,...

India-Japan imbroglio: the missing link
February 10, 2014 1:00 am

India-Japan imbroglio: the missing link

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the guest of honor on the Republic Day last month in New Delhi, India has clearly and carefully chosen Japan to form an active strategic partner. It might sound a bit passé these days to refer to such...

Yasukuni Shrine and Abe's psyche
February 3, 2014 1:00 am

Yasukuni Shrine and Abe's psyche

A stroll inside the controversial Yasukuni Jinja (Shrine) provides a window to understand the psyche of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. At the huge shrine compound, there is a wooden board with messages from those who died in various battles under the...

Asean chair grapples with domestic uncertainties
January 27, 2014 1:00 am

Asean chair grapples with domestic uncertainties

Myanmar made succinctly clear the Rohingya problem would not be raised in any Asean meeting during its chairmanship this year. U Ye Htut, the spokesperson of President Thein Sein, reiterated his country's position during a press conference on...

Amid rising tension, Myanmar takes the helm of Asean
January 20, 2014 1:00 am

Amid rising tension, Myanmar takes the helm of Asean

It is extremely unusual for Asean foreign ministers to issue a statement during their "retreat", unless there is something really vexing happening. That was the case during their first informal gathering last week in Bagan under the new...

Is Thailand ready for Asean Economic Community?
January 13, 2014 1:00 am

Is Thailand ready for Asean Economic Community?

Much has been said about the AEC (Asean Economic Community) and its far-reaching implications for Thailand. During the past two years, the country has been the most active within Asean as far as the AEC campaign is concerned. As much as 8 billion...