Writers once travelled through Asia in a leisurely fashion, steamers gently rolling between Bangkok and Batavia, rickshaws wheeling through the streets of Singapore, pleasure boats pulling into Penang. European wanderers, adventurers and authors drank gin slings while waiting for sumptuous dinners; colonial matrons sipped tea on hotel balconies; and the business of empire rumbled on.
A wide-ranging assessment of Myanmar’s infrastructure deficit and its ability to start closing the gap has found that the country is likely to meet only half of those investment needs by 2040, dampening hopes that it can lift the estimated 54 million population out of poverty by then.
Always anxious to boost Myanmar’s struggling economy, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been taking advice from one economist in particular – the Australian academic Dr Sean Turnell. The effective leader of the opposition in the long benighted country, Ms Suu Kyi recently told CNN that Dr Turnell was her “favourite economist”.
High up on a balcony of the ornately pillared Sofaer’s building in downtown Yangon, a woman is pegging out the washing. She ignores the spreading mildew that stains the building’s crumbling façade and the weeds that sprout from cracks in the masonry. Silhouetted against a century of history, she steps neatly round a jerry-rigged television …read more
Five years ago it would have been unthinkable. International literary festivals, where writers and readers speak freely and exchange ideas, were not permitted in shuttered Myanmar.
It was test of patience and perseverance that would derail most filmmakers. It began late last year when Burma’s xenophobic military authorities deported the Australian filmmakers Hugh Piper and Helen Barrow. They were in Rangoon, working on a documentary about the nation’s first elections in 20 years, tied in with an Australian newspaperman and his …read more
THE film is jinxed. Due to screen at the Sydney Film Festival today, Dancing with Dictators has been pulled at the 11th hour after a series of calamities.The problems began when the Australian filmmakers, Hugh Piper and Helen Barrow, were arrested and chucked out of Burma last November. Then the subject of their documentary, journalist …read more
She’s just 26 years old, but, barring a miracle, she is destined to spend the next 26 years of her life in one of Burma’s notorious jails.
Five years ago, Aye Min Soe abandoned his work as an engineer to pick up a camera, dodge the Burmese military and risk arrest and another prison term.
For most of the year they struggle through the Burmese jungle, carrying heavy packs of supplies, ducking the army, keeping an eye out for landmines.