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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story


HOWARD AND HANSON HEAD TO HEAD Give him high marks for political fortitude. PM John Howard, his slim coalition majority under fire, continues to attack Pauline Hanson and her fledgling One Nation anti-immigrant party with gusto. He has yet, he says, to hear Hanson "articulate one intelligent policy." Her "simplistic nostrums" offer no deliverance from Australia's problems. Howard's own problem is that his government's popular approval rating dropped six percentage points in the previous month, while Hanson's party rose six points. Howard appealed to anti-racist activists to ease up on their counter-demonstrations at Hanson's rallies. "All it does is to boost her stock," he admonished.

DEFENDING HIS SPOUSE IT seemed a munificent gesture by PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh. But it rebounded almost immediately, when the opposition alleged his wife, Pankrua, and other ministers and their families would be the happy recipients of the government's largess. On April 22, Chavalit offered amnesty to land owners -- mostly poor farmers -- whose property encroached on forest reserve land. Opposition Democrat MP Vinai Seniam made the first allegation of possible wrong-doing. He mentioned a certain "Madame P. K." who, he claimed, has just such extensive landholdings in the northeast of Thailand. Pankrua threatened to sue, denying she is the landed lady. The opposition is readying its evidence for the reconvening of Parliament in July.

RAO'S MILLION-DOLLAR ROW FORMER PM P.V. Narasimha Rao and 19 other politicians, including four former cabinet members, have been charged with buying parliamentary votes. Four opposition MPs were paid a total of about $2 million to side with the government in a 1993 no-confidence vote, according to special judge Ajit Bharihoke. The indictment alleges the payments were arranged by former petroleum minister Satish Sharma and two regional leaders of Rao's Congress Party.

A NEW POLITICAL OPTION Just what Hong Kong needs -- another political party. Or did veteran politician Christine Loh launch her Citizens Party (CP) as a pre-emptive strike against possible restrictions after the June 30 return to China? With the territory's largest, most popular group, the Democratic Party of Martin Lee, already estranged from the new government, Loh rounded up 13 co-founders -- all social activists, but newcomers to party politics -- to form what might be the core of the opposition in the administration of Tung Chee Hwa. But she emphasizes that the CP wants to carry on a dialogue with Beijing. She predicts the CP will become the ruling party in 2047, when Hong Kong chooses its chief executive by ballot.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

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