Google

ASEANAFFAIRS
Sign up | Log in
Subscribe to AseanAffairs Magazine
CHINA IN SPOTLIGHT
View Samples
AseanAffairs Magazine November - December 2010
CONTENT • ASEAN TRADE
ASEAN AVIATION • ASEAN TRAVELLER
• ASEAN ENVIRONMENT

• BEYOND ASEAN 

• ASEAN MONEY  INSIDE OUT
• ASEAN TALK • CHINA IN SPOTLIGHT

China in Spotlight
The emerging role of China in the 21st century is a focal point for conjecture and a certain degree of apprehension in the world outside of China. Is China an ally, a competitor, an adversary or perhaps all three?

 Read More...

Testimonials – What our Readers are saying about us
Read the full story.  Subscribe now!


 

 

 

I SEE NO HOPE FOR BURMA
Former U.S. ambassador to Thailand discusses his new role as President - Boeing Southeast Asia and reflects on developments in Thailand and Myanmar. 
 

Ralph L. (Skip) Boyce was a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service and served as the United States Ambassador to Thailand from 2004 to 2007. In early 2008, he was appointed president of the Boeing Company’s Southeast Asia regional operations division, based in Singapore.

Ralph L. (Skip) Boyce , President - Boeing Southeast Asia

He had a lengthy diplomatic career having served as political counselor at the Bangkok embassy from 1988 to 1992. Before that he was ambassador to Indonesia from 2001 to 2004, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs from 1998 to 2001. Among his linguistics accomplishments he speaks Persian, French and Thai fluently.

He knows Thailand well as he was the U.S. ambassador during the military coup of September 19, 2006, that preceded the present Thai government.

Boyce was interviewed at the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Thai Airways. Boyce said his Boeing territory encompasses seven of the 10 Asean countries. He stressed that his responsibilities required him to support Boeing’s commercial aviation and defense businesses across Southeast Asia.

Boyce says diplomatic missions have a duty to fight for their companies. “There is no limit really. It should be aggressive. Sometimes diplomats need to reach out to the companies and say get us in now, because you might ask later when it is too late, when you have made a mistake, or maybe if you missed a deadline. You should get embassy people in from the beginning.” The rise of the region means that “the competition is tougher” but the “philosophical obstacles” that were there 30 years ago have gone away. However, making it work requires significant localisation of practices, Boyce insists.

As an example, Boyce observed that the market for military aircraft is more competitive than the market for civilian aircraft, as on the civilian side Boeing has only one competitor, Airbus, while

on the military side there are many. For example,

he mentioned that in Thailand, where he formerly served, the Thai Air Force had recently chosen to purchase Gripen fighters from Sweden.

Supporters of Aung San Suu Ky wanted the election boycotted.

Boyce’s responsibilities cut across Asean and the great diversity of its countries. This requires companies such as Boeing to adopt both a regional and a country- by-country approach. “One of my key counterparts in the region is the secretarygeneral of ASEAN. We talk to Surin Pitsuwan about Asean-wide issues such as disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.”

Boeing has relations with seven of the 10 governments in the region and has relationships with other countries including Laos and Cambodia through its Global Corporate Citizenship program. “We are active in nine different countries, and those are nine “different” countries. They all take Asean very seriously – but the real business is done by mastering the individual markets and by understanding the politics and economics of each country.”
Boyce is engaged in seeking to push the “Open Skies” agenda in Southeast Asia, just as Boeing is globally. He also hopes that towards the end of the year there will be a “huge revival” in discussions around Kyoto and the environment. “This administration and this company are very much involved in environmental solutions – global warming being the main one,” he adds.

The Asean Open Skies pact focuses on the liberalization of air space between member countries, including the lifting of tariffs and other add-on costs. Originally, the treaty was expected to be signed in April of 2010, but Indonesia, the biggest market within the group, then revealed it was not prepared to fully open its skies by 2015, the deadline the 10 ASEAN countries had agreed to in principle.

........................

 

The black sheep remains black

David Swartzentruber critically analyzes the recent Myanmar election and reveals that it was a mere public relations event that was badly managed at best.

Rarely 24 hours after the polls closed in Myanmar’s first election in 20 years, what the ruling generals had hoped would be a well executed public relations event began to unravel in many directions, both within the country and internationally. First, when election results began to emerge on Monday November 8, the day after the election, there were very few of them, and no official figures on voter turnout were announced. Myanmar’s main pro-democracy parties conceded defeat on Tuesday November 9, when the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) said it had won up to 80 percent of the available seats.

>> ETHIC MINORITIES CONSTITUTE 40 PERCENT OF MYANMAR'S POPULATION. THE MINORITIES HAD SAID THAT CIVIL WAR COULD ERUPT IF THE MILITARY ATTEMPTS TO IMPOSE A HIGHLY CENTRALIZED CONSTITUTION, DEPRIVING THEM OF THEIR RIGHT.<<

The Burma Partnership, a collection of pro-democracy activists in Thailand, said “reports indicated that the vast majority of eligible voters did not participate.” Some made efforts to show their discontent by writing in the name of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and some spoiled their ballots, it was also reported.

Then the chief of the National Democratic Force (NDF), Khin Maung Swe, accused the junta-backed of stealing votes. He described an incident in the central city of Mandalay, where a popular NDF candidate was leading Health Minister Kyaw Mint of the USDP. However, later that night, a bag containing 3,376 ballots from advance voting arrived, sealing the victory for the USDP.

The list of techniques used by the military government in the lead-up to the election also included restrictive election laws, tightly monitored campaigning, intimidation and threats, critics said.

The latter two tactics set the stage for violence that erupted on the border between Thailand and Myanmar on November 8. A faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army that had refused to join the military regime’s Border Guard Force took over the town of Myawaddy.

An officer in the Karen faction told the Democratic Voice of Burma that the troops had been called into the town because citizens had asked for protection from forced voting.

Fighting continued throughout the day with deaths of 30 soldiers from the military and the Karen. Some Thai soldiers stationed at the border were also wounded from the stray bullets as well when they helped escort refugees from Myawaddy to safety in Thailand.........................

An estimated 15-20,000 refugees scrambled across the border into Thailand,

Voters queue up for the recent election

 

 

Back to Top

 

 ...to Read the Complete Article Subscribe to ASEANAFFAIRS Magazine

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy


Version 5.0


advertisement


Copyright © 2007-2011 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand
asean@aseanaffairs.com