The strategy of Asean's 10 member countries to become "drug free" by 2015 is failing dramatically. In the last decade, opium cultivation in the region has doubled, drug use -- especially of methamphetamines, a powerful synthetic stimulant -- has increased significantly, and there remain strong links between drugs, conflict, crime and corruption.
The phrase “land grab” has become common in Myanmar, often making front page news. This reflects the more open political space available to talk about injustices, as well as the escalating severity and degree of land dispossession under the new government.
Analysis of the social costs of large-scale Chinese-supported rubber farms in northern Burma suggests that the future for ordinary citizens will be affected as much by the country's chosen economic path as the political reforms underway.
The recent tension between the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Burmese military Government has led to speculation about a renewal of the armed conflict. Tom Kramer examines the two decades of cease fire.
The assumption that reducing opium production would lead to less drug use has been proven wrong. It has instead contributed to a pattern of an increased use of stronger drugs and more harmful patterns of use.
Opium production in the Golden Triangle has decreased significantly over the past decade. But the rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy-growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a "success story".