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Western embassies outline election support strategy

2010-general-election
Photo: EPA

Western embassies in Myanmar have outlined a comprehensive package of support aimed at helping to ensure that the election due late this year is inclusive, credible and transparent.

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Baluchaung
Photo: Ye Min

Another piece of cross-border electricity cooperation in Southeast Asia is moving into place in a jigsaw of development projects that could ultimately benefit Myanmar.

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A proposed dam on the Mekong River in southern Laos would provide energy for the region, but at a significant environmental cost

A-gamble-on-the-Mekong
 

Fishers and farmers have been trying for some time to block the proposed Don Sahong Dam on the Mekong River in southern Laos. They recently made their views known at a public consultation on the project but it’s likely their concerns will be ignored and the dam will be built. “Great Gamble on the Mekong,” a new documentary by filmmaker and journalist Tom Fawthrop explores the probable dire consequences of the dam and the failure it would represent for a once-promising extra-legal agency, the Mekong River Commission.

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Record flight attempt raises hopes for a solar and superbattery revolution

The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft on a test flight. Photo: Solar Impulse Project
The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft on a test flight. Photo: Solar Impulse Project

Mission impossible. That is what the Swiss inventors and pilots Betrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg heard again and again when they first came up with the audacious idea of a solar-powered aircraft. And that such an aircraft could fly around the world? Preposterous.

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A Myanmar literary journal in Mae Sot struggles to survive

Ma Thu Ta Sen at the Young Generations’ Note office in Mae Sot.
Ma Thu Ta Sen at the Young Generations’ Note office in Mae Sot.

It was difficult to arrange a meeting with Ma Thu Ta Sen, the manager of Young Generations’ Note, a literary journal based in the Thai border town of Mae Sot. Ma Thu Ta Sen works full-time in a restaurant and spends her evenings teaching Myanmar. We met on a busy street corner during a 30-minute break from her waiting job before she led me to the journal’s office.

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The labour movement and the law in progress

Labour-movement
Photo: Hong Sar

Ma Thazin Soe has worked in a garment factory in Yangon's northern Mayangone Township for three years. She rises at dawn to make a bus journey from her home in neighbouring Hlaingtharyar Township, on Yangon’s western outskirts, and returns after dark. Ma Thazin Soe said she is “barely able to make ends meet” on her basic monthly salary of K30,000.