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NLD's sweep to usher in era of 'elected autocracy' in Myanmar 

YANGON -- One of the most revealing remarks about voter sentiment in Myanmar's historic Nov. 8 polls came from a middle-aged woman who stood patiently under the blazing sun, waiting to cast her ballot in central Yangon. 

Myanmar reflects Asean domestic dilemmas 

Myanmar's momentous elections on Sunday have a familiar ring to them. Now, just like 25 years ago, the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), spearheaded by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is poised to thump the military-led Union Solidarity and Development Part (USDP) by a resounding margin. 

South Korea: more than K-pop and kimchi 

South Korea is no longer shy talking about its role in promoting democracy and human rights in Asia and beyond. This new sense of confidence comes mainly from its full blossoming democratisation since the economic crisis in 1997. Its civil society groups are also very active within Asia and they serve as feisty watchdogs to ensure the transparency and accountability of government policies. 

Party chiefs on collision course 

HINTHADA, Myanmar -- The head of Myanmar's ruling party conveyed a warning to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi that "nobody is above the president," in response to her claim that she would be "above the president" if her National League for Democracy party wins a clear majority in the country's Nov. 8 election. 

Shared strategic dilemma of US allies 

What do Australia, South Korea and Thailand have in common? All three are members of the US alliance in the Asia-Pacific. But their commonality does not end there. They all accept the rise of China and its influence in international order. Most of all, they heavily depend on economic ties with China, the arch-rival of the US. China is also their No. 1 trading partner. 

The imperative of Thailand's trade policy 

Most of the post-mortems by pundits and trade policy analysts so far on the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Agreement (TPP) have been critical of the largest free-trade pact in two decades. 

Myanmar jade report hits foreign and local companies, economic data 

MANDALAY, Myanmar -- A report into Myanmar's lucrative jade trade has thrown new light on the industry's vast size, with previously unpublished data that indicates the country's total revenue from the precious stone amounted to at least $31 billion last year -- equivalent to nearly half the country's 2014 gross domestic product and nearly three times earlier estimates. 

Myanmar cease-fire triggers diplomatic 'mini-game' 

YANGON, Myanmar -- There is some irony - no doubt unintentional -- in the choice of a gleaming, Chinese-built convention hall in Naypyitaw as the venue for the Oct. 15 signing of a peace deal between Myanmar's government and ethnic armed groups. 

ASEAN's lackluster leadership undermines Asian cohesion 

Southeast Asia's haze crisis is symptomatic of the weakness of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at a time when the 10-country grouping most needs cohesion. 

Thai luck runs out with attack on shrine 

For a country that has done so well for so long in navigating the treacherous waters of international life, Thailand's luck may have run out with the bomb attack on the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok on Aug 17.