Vanuatu’s climate question: Preventing Pam’s return

In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam, the international community stepped up to help Vanuatu clean up and rebuild. But with the possibility of more intense cyclones caused by climate change, is this really the best world leaders can do? Mel Keyte takes a look at Vanuatu’s climate question.

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Rebel soldier to gay rights warrior

As published with Democratic Voice of Burma. View original here.

With tears in his eyes, Aung Myo Min tells the story of his first love. As a young man, filled with a fierce passion for equality and democracy in his home country of Burma, he had taken up arms against the military government with other like-minded students. Deep in the Burmese jungle, Aung Myo Min fell in love with another young man, a fellow student-cum-soldier who shared his ideals and fought alongside him. But while their comrades preached equal human rights for all, the two men knew they were not accepted by the rest of the group. Unable to cope with the stigma, the couple separated.

Aung Myo Min left the army to pursue non-violent activism, while his lover was sent to the front lines.He was later captured by government forces and tortured to death.

“They did not believe in this kind of love,” Aung Myo Min tells the camera.

“But our love, it came from the heart.”

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Reward and ruin on the Salween River

As published with Democratic Voice of Burma. View original here. 

Slowly, a few drops of water pool together in the caves of a glacier some 5,450 metres above sea level in the Qinghai Mountains of Tibet. This is the source of the mighty Salween River, at 2,815 kilometres one of Asia’s longest free-flowing waterways and lifeline to around seven million people.

From its tranquil birth on the Tibetan plateau, the Salween, or Nu as it is known in Chinese, careers southwards, through Yunnan and the Shan hills, briefly holding court as the official border between Burma and Thailand, then flowing out into the Andaman Sea at the port of Moulmein.

The Salween is only navigable 90 kilometres from its mouth, and then only in the rainy season. For the most part it runs across hundreds of miles of remote rainforest and canyons, untroubled by civilisation.

But while the Salween has flowed undisturbed for centuries through Burma, the rest of the country is undergoing an industrial revolution.

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