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                                                                                                                           Asean Affairs August 27, 2013  



50 years ago on August 28, 1963 in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, Martin Luther King galvanized a nation to pass laws to end racial discrimination. Did it end racial discrimination? No. Did it help to reduce it? Yes. But humanity has an unfinished dream that extends beyond racial discrimination. Today, the reality of that dream presses in upon us much more than it did on that August day in 1963.

That dream is of a world where no child dies of starvation every 5 seconds. It is a dream of a world where no human being has to try to eke out an existence every day on less than $2 a day – and more than 3 billion of our brothers and sisters have to do that.

It is a dream of a world where there are no weapons of mass destruction looming over us like some ominous cloud – enough to destroy planet earth 100 times over. It is a dream of a world where there are no dictators who slaughter and maim, and take away our prized possession of freedom.

It is a dream of a world where the life of our incredibly beautiful planet is not choked and snuffed out by the pollutants,which we belch forth in the mindless pursuit of ephemeral wealth.

It is a dream where all women are not treated as things but are cherished for their inherent humanity. It is a dream where all men are not trained to be fighting machines, but to use their strength to help make a world of gentleness and love.

It is a dream where no one will live in mansions while others do not even have pensions. It is a dream where people will seek to be millionaires of the spirit not hoarders of the earth’s bounty.

And that dream is of much, much more.

And yes, that vision leaves us exhausted, wondering whether the day will ever come when the people of the world can live in happiness and peace, seeing the beauty in each tradition, each religion, each race, each country. But it is in that moment of exhaustion that we must hold on to the dream, for it will never come about if we let that exhaustion triumph.

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King did not let that exhaustion overcome him. He reached down into the depths of his human spirit, and found there something that would not let his dream die – that source of hope from time immemorial. So, today, 50 years later, we too must not let go of that dream. As crazy as it may seem, we too must  tap into that well of hope, to shape a world where our dreams are fulfilled in every respect  - a world where humans become truly human.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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