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Photo montage by Adam Connors
RANKINGS 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25 | 26-30 | 31-35 | 36-40 | 41-45 | 46-50

46 Hassanal Bolkiah
BORN July 15, 1946, in Bandar Seri Begawan
EDUCATION Victoria Institute, Kuala Lumpur
FAMILY Two wives, ten children
POWER POINTS Money can't buy love, but it can buy a bit of stability. Though the world's former richest man slid down a couple of notches, at least his kingdom has profited from the steep rise in oil prices. Still, there's been enough turmoil, thanks to the political and financial chaos created by Hassanal's younger brother, Prince Jefri, against whom he bravely started court proceedings. Familial divisions aside, the sultan is proving his royal worth.

47 Lucio Tan
BORN July 17, 1934, in Fujian, China
EDUCATION Far Eastern University, Philippines
FAMILY Married, several children, including four sons
POWER POINTS He is the Chinese-Filipino dream. Under President Joseph Estrada, Tan has come to symbolize the ascendancy of the Chinese-Filipino taipan. Though he is selling his stakes in the national airline PAL and bank PNB, Tan remains an economic force to be reckoned with. Talk of cronyism means Tan is dropping by the presidential palace less often these days, which is probably just fine with the reclusive tycoon. His second carrier, Air Philippines, is set to go international, while his Allied Bank is on the acquisition trail.

48 Velupillai Prabhakaran
BORN Nov. 26, 1954, in Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka
EDUCATION Secondary school
FAMILY Married, two children
POWER POINTS He has been called everything from Sri Lanka's Hitler to its Robin Hood. Five years after his forces were driven out of the Jaffna Peninsula, Prabhakaran is now engaged in a determined bid to win back the territory. As the most successful guerrilla leader in the world, the beefy Tiger commands a fanatical following dedicated to Tamil independence. Who says ruthlessness doesn't pay?

John MacDougall/AFP
49 Chandrika Kumaratunga
BORN June 29, 1945, in Colombo, Sri Lanka
EDUCATION Doctoral studies at the University of Paris
FAMILY Widowed, two children
POWER POINTS Not even the prospect of death scares Chandrika Kumaratunga. After an assassination attempt last year, which impaired the president's vision, Kumaratunga was re-elected, though with a reduced majority. While the nation's army is currently overstrategizing in the Jaffna Peninsula, office politics are looking up. By engineering well-placed defections, Kumaratunga has considerably weakened her parliamentary opponents. Besides the battle over Jaffna, Kumaratunga faces other daunting challenges, including tackling constitutional reforms that would grant the North more autonomy. But the besieged president has already shown that she can be every bit as tough as her arch-nemesis, Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Darren Whiteside/AFP

50 Xanana Gusmao
BORN June 20, 1946, in Laleia village, East Timor
EDUCATION Dare seminary, Dili
FAMILY Married, two children
POWER POINTS After pulling a Nelson Mandela, Gusmao is nothing if not pragmatic. The ex-prisoner went from supporting autonomy for his homeland to promoting outright independence. Seen as a unifier beyond petty politicking, Gusmao must protect Timorese interests amid an international presence. He may be the nation's best hope to heal its old wounds and new divisions.

RANKINGS 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25 | 26-30 | 31-35 | 36-40 | 41-45 | 46-50

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