Burma is at a Crossroads? Again?

Ever more often these days, people are asking again about whether to use the term "Burma" or Myanmar" to refer to the country between Thailand and Bangladesh, bordering India, China, and the sea. Not long ago, those asking were usually keen to discern the lingo to identify themselves as members of the "okay" crowd, those interested in political and social evolution in the nation. They were determined to avoid the sense of alliance to the oppressors, whether out of a genuine concern for human rights or a market sensibility to avoid any choices in language that might haunt one for years to come.

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Important Transitions: Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, and Hopes for Democracy

When a popular democratic leader takes over the reins of government from a previously despotic government, they are transformed from the sacred to the profane. Icons don't govern, people do. They do so as politicians, and both people and politicians are necessarily messy. South Africa's Nelson Mandela escaped much of this by virtue of his singular story, eschewal of political life after only one term, and by attempts to avoid the excesses of politics in favor of moral leadership.

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Fourteen for 2014: A Human Rights Wishlist

As 2013 begins to draw into itself for holiday season and the arrival of the coming new year, it is worth thinking about what human rights issues might be put onto our collective front-burners. Of course there are unfortunately far too many issues to create a perfect list even if if we were to go into the hundreds. But fires start with a spark, so start with, here are fourteen for 2014.

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