Commentary / World Apr 14, 2004

Further thoughts on Yasukuni

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- Although I am among those who wish that the Yasukuni Shrine controversy be put to rest quick- ly, I realize that the solution must come from inside Japan when conditions mature. Those with some distance from the emotional core of ...

Commentary / World Mar 13, 2004

The obstruction to Sri Lanka's evolution

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- The continuous conflict between Sri Lanka's two main leaders has been covered from nearl every angle. What have been largely ignored, though, are the complications and contradictions arising on that beautiful island from a political system of "cohabitation." At present, ...

Commentary / World Mar 1, 2004

Reform remains key to Indonesian success

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- In the 1970s and '80s, I had the opportunity to closely observe the Indonesian scene. A series of professional visits allowed me not only to appreciate the archipelago's progress and predominant regional role but also to evaluate many of its ...

Commentary / World Jan 19, 2004

Argument without contempt

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- Without entering the notorious, unending controversy surrounding Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, I would like to examine peripheral issues arising from it and to question the inability of some campaigners to respect the views of others. While I fully understand the fury ...

Commentary / World Dec 26, 2003

The image of Japan in ASEAN's dream

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- The Japan-ASEAN Summit on Dec. 11-12 has already been broadly analyzed and generally hailed as a kind of embryonic con- ceptualization of the long-term goal of creating an "East Asian Community." So what could one possibly add to this debate ...

Commentary / World Dec 6, 2003

Sound reasons inspire unusual strikes

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- News from France concerning the recent work stoppage by diplomats of the prestigious Quai d'Orsay is unusual, to say the least. Thousands of diplomatic officers, both in Paris and abroad, have abandoned their duties in protest of huge budgetary restrictions ...

Commentary / World Nov 20, 2003

Exposing the roots of Islam

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- The former dynamic leader of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, again made big waves, this time at his departing salvo. Most of the world's reactions focused on his remarks about Jews, but there were other interesting aspects in his comments regarding Islam ...

Commentary / World Oct 31, 2003

APEC's inevitable discussion of security

BANGKOK -- The recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bang kok could, in an oversimplified manner, be summarized as an event in which economic issues were overshadowed by a strong security agenda. Moreover, the whole exercise was partly sidelined by the spectacular arrangements on ...

Commentary / World Sep 8, 2003

Reflections on Vieira de Mello's sacrifice

CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- The international community has lamented last month's death of a brave and honest man dedicated to the service of his fellow human beings to a degree matched by few others. Sergio Vieira de Mello won acclaim in his lifetime for his ...