Every spring, Forbes publishes its ranking of the richest men and women on the planet. One person you won’t see on the list is Burmese business tycoon Tay Za. The charismatic Tay Za is chief executive of the Htoo Group of Companies, a business empire founded during Burma’s era of democratic rule that spans logging, gems and jade, palm oil, construction, hotels and tourism, mobile-phone services, an airline and more. At 46, he is widely believed to be Burma’s first billionaire.
Tay Za is a high-profile figure in Asia, with business ties in Singapore, Thailand and elsewhere – even more so since the United States and EU levied sanctions against him for his relationship with Burma’s ruling generals.… Seguir leyendo »
The recent release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, after deeply flawed elections that allowed the military in Myanmar, also known as Burma, to tighten its half-century-long grip on the country, raises numerous political questions: What comes next for her? Will the ruling junta engage her newly reconstituted National Democracy Party? Will other political prisoners be freed?
While political headlines are filled with uncertainty, recent business headlines are not. It was reported last month that Chinese companies had invested $10 billion in Myanmar’s economy from January through May. A Thai-Italian partnership signed a $10 billion contract Nov. 2 to build a massive industrial zone on Myanmar’s coast – a project that Myanmar’s dictator, Senior Gen.… Seguir leyendo »
It was 62 years ago this week — on Sept. 2, 1948 — when the principles underlying Indonesia’s foreign policy were first articulated. In a Cold War speech to the young republic just emerging from Dutch rule, future Prime Minister Mohammad Hatta asked, “Do we, Indonesians, in the struggle for the freedom of our people and our country, only have to choose between Russia and America?” No, he answered: “We must remain the subject who reserves the right to decide our own destiny and fight for our own goal, which is independence for the whole of Indonesia.”
The policy born that day, known here as mendayung antara dua karang — which translates to “rowing between two reefs” — would keep Indonesia out of the major conflicts of the 20th century.… Seguir leyendo »
Imagine for a moment that 15 months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Indian authorities captured attack mastermind and Osama bin Laden henchman Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in a raid in southern India. Imagine how loudly and quickly the American government and media would have demanded extradition from India to the United States. Now, imagine the outrage if India announced instead that it had struck a plea bargain with Mohammed and not only refused extradition, but refused to allow American authorities to interview him.
And yet, since his arrest in Chicago on Oct. 3, 2009, American authorities have had in their custody a Pakistani-American named David Coleman Headley, who has confessed to playing a lead role in the deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai on Nov.… Seguir leyendo »