TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Leaders to Watch at the UN’s Big Meet

Kersti Kaljulaid, the president of Estonia,

Men will dominate the podium during much of the United Nations General Assembly but, as Abigail Adams urged her husband and other founding fathers of the United States in 1776, “remember the ladies.” This is advice that the UN needs to be reminded of — just as the opening session begins, on Sept. 17. Women constitute … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people with … Read more

BOOKS

Misogyny Didn’t Stop Them: The World’s Most Important Female Leaders

From Asia and Africa to Europe and the Americas, women remain important forces of change as government leaders in the modern era. Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister after its independence, was one of the earliest — and the only woman in India — to hold that position, from 1966 to … Read more

Religious Intolerance Surges Worldwide, US Studies Confirm

Burmese Buddhists attack Muslims and Christians. Indian Hindu zealots kill Muslims and Christians and trash their places of worship. In the Central African Republic, Muslims are driven from the country by Christians. The Middle East and parts of North Africa are aflame with sectarian violence, and religious minorities are the most vulnerable to persecution, even … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

This Is What Burmese Refugees Live Through

DELHI — Moving images and stories of tired, anxious refugees crossing into Europe have occupied the home pages of news sites, dominated air time and gone viral online over the last months. The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, media reports say, with a staggering 60 million people forced to leave … Read more

Shadowy Militias Spread Terror in Rural Myanmar

He is a young man whose name or exactly where he lives in the Burmese countryside cannot be published because he fears retribution when he returns to Myanmar from a visit to the United Nations headquarters. Speaking in English, learned from books and private tutors, he details the harsh treatment people away from major urban … Read more

Vijay Nambiar, UN Envoy, Untangles the Problems Plaguing Myanmar

The surprising move in 2010 by a repressive Burmese military regime to begin ceding power to the nation’s people was just the beginning of a tangled story. The new democracy held its first credible election less than two years later — an election that catapulted Aung San Suu Kyi, barely 18 months free of house … Read more

As US Warms Up to Burma, Burmese Respond in Kind

Obama in Burma

Burma’s major moves toward liberalization and release from the vise of its military grip signal huge strides toward democracy, yet nothing in this long-isolated, mineral-endowed country is assured. Even as the nation branches out from its dependence on China and advances cordial relations with the United States — including a visit by President Thein Sein … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Aung San Suu Kyi, of Burma, Making No ‘Easy Promises’

Aung San Suu Kyi at the United Nations, Sept. 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — Though the national elections in the United States loom less than seven weeks away, partisan bickering was agreeably suspended for one day last week here, when the Burmese dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi, was honored by top Republicans and Democrats with the US Congressional Gold Medal. The award had originally been made to … Read more

With Public Schools Out of Reach, Burmese Monks Teach the Poor

Burmese boys at a monastery

RANGOON — One of the most surprising statistics about the Burmese people is not that they are the poorest in Southeast Asia. It is well known that decades of military dictatorship destroyed the national economy and set human development back at least a generation. What is unexpected is that throughout the worst of times, the … Read more

Two Faces of Burma Coming to New York

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader, leaves Westminster Hall.

It may have been a coincidence or maybe not. When the 67th United Nations General Assembly session opens in New York in mid-September, the president of Burma, Thein Sein, is expected to speak in what is still called, quaintly, the “general debate.” At almost the same time, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize … Read more

 

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