Lot’s of interesting bits of news, but not of a lot of time to post them. Here are some samples:
Myanmar/Burma: Talk about the tables turning! The National Unity Party, formerly Ne Win’s Burma Socialist Programme Party, has urged the government to adhere to the rule of law and release all political prisoners. If anything, the courts under the BSPP (1972-88) were even more of a mess than Myanmar’s current judiciary. However, the NUP’s current statements probably reflect the fact that out-of-power dictators prefer to live under the rule of law, in the belief that legal procedures can provide them with some protection from the current elite. Still, it’s an interesting twist to Myanmar’s political dialogue. Personally, I hope the opposition continues its focus on the rule of law, as that might be more palatable to the elites than “democracy.”
Malaysia: Yet another twist in the infamous Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial. This time, government chemists claim the DNA found in the alleged sodomy victim matched Anwar’s. I’ve already blogged frequently about the case, but needless to say it seems highly political. Asia Sentinel provides a good rundown of the case, the evidence, and the very suspicious circumstances surrounding the alleged “victim.”
Philippines: The Supreme Court cleared a Court of Appeals justice of charges of gross negligence after she accepted a fraudulent contract into evidence. The deed was apparently signed in 2008 by an individual who had died in 2001. It’s not clear from the article exactly what the justice knew at the time of the case. However, I’m left wondering why anybody forging a contract would rely upon a signature that’s so easily falsifiable!