The international community in Yangon has been embroiled by rent scandals. UNICEF led the pack, but in this case a pioneering role was not something to be proud of. The international organisation that focuses on the plight of children in need was revealed to be paying US$87,000 a month to a shady landlord. The flashy Apple headquarters-like interior decoration further inflated the bill. Country rep Bertrand Bainvel had a hard time justifying such extravagance.
|Shashi Tharoor. Photo: Project Syndicate|
The phrase “Silk Road” evokes a romantic image – half history, half myth – of tented camel caravans winding their way across the trackless deserts and mountains of Central Asia. But the Silk Road is not just part of a fabled past; it is an important feature of China’s current foreign policy.
Modern Myanmar's political metamorphosis from dictatorship towards democracy has resulted in lifting the heavy burden of political and financial sanctions and led to an influx of tourists and foreign investors. Newly formed joint ventures have strengthened ties between Myanmar and countries in Asia and beyond. The former cash-based economy is transforming into a modern credit-based system. During the last three years, global brands have brought infrastructure and job opportunities. Despite economic progress being yet to be matched by advances in some other sectors, including education, the people remain hopeful that further political reforms will lead to a more equal and free society. Much credit must be given to those whose vision has driven the emergence of the new Myanmar, for it those who are most adaptable to change that survive in the age of globalisation.