In Korean, the word Sewol means “time.” Sewol was the name of the ferry that met a sudden and tragic fate on Wednesday morning, but time was what we didn't have in the painstaking efforts to save those on board.
As much of Indochina marked the New Year this week, it faces a potentially turbulent year. On Monday, a traditional Khmer drummer heralded the dawn of the Year 2557 in the Buddhist calendar from atop Wat Phnom in Cambodia's capital. In neighboring Thailand, the deep hum of temple gongs resonated across rice paddy fields.
The reprieve afforded by Songkran came and went much too fast. Now we return to our evermore-acute anxiety over the country's political and economic state of affairs. Without a fully functioning government for more than four months, Thailand has been shamefully put on an autopilot. Truth be told, we have become a failed state.
As far as diplomatic gambits go, the stakes don't get any higher than the Philippines' decision to challenge China's contentious South China Sea territorial claims at a United Nations tribunal.
2014/4/18, 1 Comment
Narendra Modi, most likely India's prime minister in the near future, came under attack last week for a reason other than his right-wing Hindutva ideology. His opponents questioned his admission of marital status in the nomination papers. In earlier elections, he had claimed no family and left the marital status slot blank.
While many people insist that cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, a similar case can be made for water. There are very few commercial ventures, if any, that can go on for long without a reliable water supply.
Japanese consumers are nursing their bruised wallets after the country hiked its sales tax from 5 percent to 8 percent on April 1, but they are not the only ones.
In quick succession in one week, the United States sent a series of clear messages to China that it is firmly committed to protect the Philippines and Japan in their territorial disputes with Beijing.
April 8 marked the end of Microsoft's support to Windows XP. After releasing its last two official patches, Microsoft stopped patching security holes in its 12-year-old operating system. This leaves Windows XP users open to cyber attacks, which will neither be investigated nor fixed.
Next Monday the senior officials from ASEAN and China will be meeting in Pattaya, following their meeting last September at Suzhou, China where they kicked off official consultation on the process of formulating codes of conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea. It was a turning point, as China expressed readiness to engage ASEAN on this sensitive issue. Last month, their officials at the working level met in Singapore to review the progress and prepare recommendations for the Pattaya meeting, which will also meet back-to-back to discuss overall ASEAN-China relations.