According to the Joshua Project: “The thickly forested mountains provide valuable lumber, while the fertile valleys support intense rice cultivation. Rice cultivation is their main occupation and basic means of economic support; it is grown for both personal consumption and trade. Although the Burmese ideally grow rice in irrigated fields, they also resort to slash and burn cultivation. With this process, the fields are cut and burned before any new crops are planted. To help in the fields, cattle and buffalo are raised to draw heavy wooden plows. It is a daily task for a whole Burmese family to go out into the fields to work. Mothers work with their babies, while the older children accompany their grandparents. [Source: Joshua Project]

Agriculture and fisheries generated 45 percent of Myanmar GDP in 2007. GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 38.8 percent; industry: 19.3 percent; services: 41.8 percent (2012 est.); GDP - composition by sector (percent) in 2005: agriculture: 54.6 percent, industry: 13 percent, services: 32.4 percent (2005 est.). Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70 percent; industry: 7 percent services: 23 percent (2001). Land use: arable land: 15.94 percent permanent crops: 2.16 percent other: 81.89 percent (2011). Irrigated land: 21,100 sq kilometers (2004). Harvested gross area is 14,772,803 hectares; sown gross area is 15,449,850 hectares [Source: CIA World Factbook]

The Irrawaddy Delta—which occupies Ayeyarwady Division State—and the agriculture regions of Yangon and Bago Divisions, and Mon and Kayin States — are considered Myanmar's food bowl, producing much of the country's staple food of rice and fish, The Irrawaddy Delta produces 65 percent of Myanmar’s country's rice. The region also is home to 80 percent of its aquaculture, 50 percent of its poultry and 40 percent of its pig production, according to the FAO.

Wet-rice agriculture is the dominant agricultural activity. Upland, rain-fed rice is common in Upper Burma above the 100-centimeter rain line. In the hill country, slash and burn agriculture is widely practiced. According to Countries and Their Cultures: “The economy is dominated by agriculture, which accounts for over 59 percent of the gross domestic product and employs about two-thirds of the labor force. Rice is the main product. Production declined after independence but increased during the late 1970s and early 1980s because of the introduction of high-yielding varieties, fertilizer, and irrigation. Since that time, production has barely kept pace with population growth, and Burma, once the world's leading exporter of rice, is barely able to meet subsistence needs of its own population. It continues to export some rice to earn foreign exchange. The production of narcotics from poppies and other sources is widespread in the northern highlands, and Burma is the world's leading supplier of opiates. [Source: Countries and Their Cultures ]

Myanmar produces enough food to feed itself after export quotas are met. It also ships agricultural products to India. Even so most of the agricultural technology in Myanmar is geared towards small scale rice production: Burmese-style hand irrigation; wooden plows with a metal share led by a pair of bullocks or water buffalo. Among the common tools are wooden-toothed harrows, sickles, metal-bladed hoes, long-bladed knives, ropes and twines of various grasses and forked sticks.

There is small livestock industry in Myanmar. People ride water buffalos there.

See Rural Life, See Cyclone Nargis

Agriculture, Climate, History and Culture of Burma

Dr. Richard M. Cooler wrote in “The Art and Culture of Burma”: “A mere fifteen percent of the soil in Burma is arable. The disparity in soil fertility between the fertile central plains and the relatively infertile mountainous areas has defined not only an economic but also a marked cultural, religious, and language difference between the lowland peoples and hill tribe groups. The lowlanders typically are rice farmers, speak Burmese (or in the past, Pyu or Mon) and are adherents of Theravada Buddhism. Eighty five percent of today’s lowland population practices Buddhism. The hill tribes typically engage in swidden or slash-and-burn agriculture, speak a non-Burmese language, and practice one of the many forms of Animism. Western missionaries have been successful in converting only members of the hill tribe groups, so that today, for example, there are hilltribe Karen who are Christian as well as animist. [Source: “The Art and Culture of Burma,” Dr. Richard M. Cooler, Professor Emeritus Art History of Southeast Asia, Former Director, Center for Burma Studies =]

“Climatically, Burma is unlike other Southeast Asian countries in that a considerable dry zone exists in the center of the country where rainfall can be less than 30 inches a year. This arid area, the dry zone, results from its location in the "rain shadow" of the Arakan Mountains that are situated between the dry zone and the Bay of Bengal. The dry climate is the result of the monsoon clouds first striking the eastern ranges of the Arakan Mountains and then being shunted higher into the atmosphere inhibiting rainfall until the rain clouds strike the Shan Plateau. =

“Paradoxically, irrigated rice was first cultivated in the central dry zone and until the present day it has continued as a major center for rice production. Despite the lack of rainfall, extensive irrigation has been possible because water was diverted into canals and weirs from tributary streams before they enter the Irrawaddy. Water from the Irrawaddy River itself is not readily available for irrigation because the water level remains far below the surrounding countryside for much of its course. The wealth produced by intensive rice cultivation in the dry zone supported the ambitious building programs and patronage of the arts that is evident in the remains of the capital cites that were situated along its banks. =

Problems with Myanmar Agriculture

Mostly due to the mismanagement by the country's ruling generals, the country's road network and rice storage facilities have fallen into disrepair and such things as fertilizer and credit for farmers is almost nonexistent. The world's top rice producer before World War II, Burma has in the past four decades seen its rice exports drop from nearly 4 million tons per year to only about 600,000 tons in 2007. The country's exports are very small these days

Thomas Fuller wrote in the New York Times, “In colonial times, Myanmar's Irawaddy Delta was so productive it fed large parts of the British Empire. Today it is a measure of the country's dysfunctional economy that Myanmar can no longer produce and distribute enough rice to feed its own people. Farmers have no effective means of borrowing money for seed and equipment, and the rice that is produced is not distributed to remote areas because of bad or nonexistent roads. The contrast with Thailand, the world's leading rice exporter, is stark. [Source: Thomas Fuller, New York Times, October 25, 2007]

Despite abundant fertile land, many people in Burma are hungry. In 1939 Burma exported more than three million tons of rice, the most of any nation in the world. Exports dropped in World War II and never again approached prewar levels. Exports ceased all together with the advent of socialism in 1962 and the placement of the export industry under centrally-planned military control. Only recently, with the introduction of high yield rice and economic reforms, have the level of exports begun increasing but African country are the only ones who will accept the grain because outdated milling techniques in Burma leave the kernel broken. [Source: Joel Swerdlow, National Geographic, July 1995]

Alan Sipress wrote in the Washington Post,“Aware that a rice shortage could spark unrest, the government has invested heavily in dams, reservoirs and pump stations for irrigation, directing farmers about five years ago to raise two crops annually rather than one. Rice exports are also regulated. As a result, the staple is widely available and, in recent weeks, the price has dropped. [Source: Alan Sipress, Washington Post, December 28, 2005]

See Cyclone Nargis

Crops Grown in Myanmar

Crops and agricultural products produced in Myanmar: wet rice, dry rice, peanuts, onions, pulses, beans, sesame, sugarcane; hardwood; fish and fish products. In 2008 the Myanmar junta had granted private companies licenses to export excess rice to Myanmar's neighbors. That year it hoped to export about 600,000 tons to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or other countries.

Rice has traditionally been grown on about two thirds of the agricultural land. In some places irrigation is used. In the Irrawaddy Delta rice is raised on ridges above ditches which store abundant rain water. Rice is sown and transplanted. House are built on higher land such as natural levees. Slash and burn agriculture is practiced in the highlands.

Cotton, sesames, and tobacco are extensively grown and orchards are found near every village but rice covers most of the total area under cultivation. The soil is fertile, farming requires relatively little labor. Often no fertilizer is used beyond the ashes ash of the previous year’s stubble, which is burned down and worked into the land. Though the soil in Upper Burma is less fertile than that found in the low-lying tracts of Lower Burma, it is far from unproductive. The chief highland crops are rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, tobacco and sesame.”

In some remote regions of Myanmar potatoes are grown in a novel way. A field is first dug up into little mounds. Manure is then placed inside the mounds and ignited. The seed potatoes that are inserted in the mounds grow very quickly.

Rice accounts for 97 percent of total food grain production by weight. Through collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), 52 modern rice varieties were released in the country between 1966 and 1997, helping increase national rice production to 14 million tons in 1987 and to 19 million tons in 1996. By 1988, modern varieties were planted on half of the country's rice fields, including 98 percent of the irrigated areas. [Source: Wikipedia +]

In northern Burma opium, bans have ended a century old tradition of growing poppy. Between 20,000 and 30,000 ex-poppy farmers left the Kokang region as a result of the ban in 2002. People from the Wa region, where the ban was implemented in 2005, fled to areas where growing opium is still possible. Other ex-poppy farmers are being relocated to areas near rubber plantations. These are often mono-plantations from Chinese investors.Rubber plantations are being promoted in areas of high elevation like Mong Mao. Sugar plantations are grown in the lowlands such as Mong Pawk District. +

Rice, See Food, Drugs

Fishing and Shrimp Industry in Myanmar

There is an active fishing industry in Burmese waters. Dried shrimp and fish are important elements of the Burmese diet.

In September 2013, a crew of 14 Thai fisherman leapt into the Andaman Sea after Myanmar naval forces allegedly attacked their boat in Myanmar territorial waters. After the incident, the captain of the Thai vessel, the Tor Taweesin 3, was missing. Myanmar authorities seized the boat two nautical miles from an island near Ranong Chang. The area is disputed between the two countries. In an incident years before three Burmese fisherman were killed in dispute with Thai authorities over illegal fishing in the Andaman Sea. The Burmese government responded by closing its border with Thailand and demanded million of dollars in compensation.

Burma is a major exporter of shrimp and other sea-based products. Businessmen said much of those exports are shipped beyond Asia, including to the United States, by way of neighboring Thailand. Shrimp farming in Myanmar is as yet little developed. According to a FAO report from 1997: Out of an estimated potential area of 48,000 hectares, only 16,000 are used for traditional and extensive culture. A mere 80 hectares use semi-intensive culture. Rakhine State predominates with 97 percent of the culture area. Shrimp culture is expected to expand rapidly with the introduction of semi-intensive shrimp farming technology transferred from Indonesia. To avoid serious environmental and shrimp disease problems which have plagued other ASEAN shrimp producers, environmental impact assessment and best management practices (BMP) should be introduced.

Myanmar Fishermen Survive 25 Days at Sea in Icebox

In January 2009, AFP reported: “Two men from Myanmar told rescuers they survived almost a month floating in a large icebox in waters off northern Australia after their fishing boat sank, authorities said. The two men, aged in their twenties, were spotted in the icebox on Saturday by a routine aerial border patrol off Cape York, Australia's northernmost tip, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported. The men said they had been on a 12-metre (40-foot) Thai fishing boat when it sank in rough seas two days before Christmas and that 18 other crew members were last seen in open seas without life jackets. [Source: AFP, January 20, 2009]

Emergency rescue helicopter pilot Terry Gadenne told reporters the men were dehydrated and exhausted when they were pulled from the ocean. "When we winched down the rescue crewman into the water, the guy in the esky (ice box) leapt out ... he was pretty keen to get away from the ocean," Gadenne said. "When they got up (into the helicopter) they skolled (drank) two litres of water each within seconds." The men had "some boils or damage of some sort to their legs and that was given first aid and we flew straight to the hospital from there," he said.

AMSA spokeswoman Tracey Jiggins said it was unlikely there were other survivors. "With the time that has gone by it would be unlikely that there would be any survivors from the vessel if they were in water with no floatation devices," she told public radio. "We understand the vessel was boarded in Thailand and that the crew onboard were Thai and Burmese (from Myanmar) and we consequently notified all the relevant Australian authorities that will notify the government of those two countries," she said.

Timber and Rubber in Myanmar

Timber is the second-largest revenue earner for the military government after fossil fuels. In 2002, logging represented 9.3 percent of the military regime’s legal foreign exchange. It is estimated that illegal logging equals or exceed that. Myanmar exported $453 million in finished wood in the fiscal year 2008-09.

Burma has the largest remaining stands of teak and “padauk”, or cherry wood, trees. Logging was important export in the colonial economy, but excessive harvesting and poor forestry management have resulted in a sharp drop in the availability of teak. China, Thailand, and India are their main markets for timber, but most wood is exported illegally.

Raw logs from Myanmar are usually exported to China. The raw wood is then crafted into finished products, which are finally traded to Europe and the U.S. for cheap consumption. According to another NGO, Global Witness, up to half of the wood imported into China is illegal. The depletion of forest resources is making it difficult for Myanmar to manufacture furniture and other wood products for export. Xinhua reported that "finished-wood exporters...expressed their readiness to completely stop exporting wood logs."

Teak is Myanmar's most important timber export. India and China are the biggest markets for its legal teak exports. "Logs and lumber are Burma's biggest foreign exchange earners," wrote James P. Sterba in the Wall Street Journal in the 1990s, "but instead of selling logging concessions it normally cuts teak trees under a selective tender system established by British colonialists in 1856 to foster sustainable yields. Trees are inventoried and only some of those deemed mature enough (with trunks about seven feet around) are marked for harvesting after an annual allowable cut is determined. A ring of bark is tripped off and the trees are allowed to die and dry out for two or three years." "The Burmese government," says Sterba, "plans to ban log sales entirely and export only processed timber and to limit logging to sustainable levels." [Source: James P. Sterba in the Wall Street Journal]

Much of the logging in Myanmar is illegal, with much of the illegally-harvest wood ending up in China or Thailand. After logging was banned by China, some Chinese logging companies moved their workers to Myanmar.

There are rubber plantation trees in the Tenasserim area of southern Myanmar. Rubber is also being promoted in areas of high elevation like Mong Mao. Ex opium-poppy farmers are being relocated to areas near rubber plantations.

See Deforestation

Elephants and Logging

Although modern logging equipment was in widespread use, difficult terrain and lack of roads in many areas necessitated the use of elephants in logging operations. In 1982 there were 12,000 working elephants in Thailand, including those trained at the Royal Forestry Department's Young Elephant Training Center. [Library of Congress]

Elephants are very important in the teak business. They are skilled professionals that are trained by their Karen mahouts to work alone, in pairs or in teams. One elephant can usually drag a small log on land or several logs through water with the chains that are harnessed to its body. Bigger logs can be rolled by two elephants with their trunks and lifted off the ground by three elephants using their tusks and trunks.

It reportedly takes 15 to 20 years to train an elephant for the logging in the forest. According to Reuters recently captured elephants “methodical, repetitive training methods teach the animals to respond to simple commands over several years. Aged about six, they graduate onto more complex tasks such as piling logs, dragging logs or pushing them up and down hills into streams using their trunks and tusks, before starting full-time work aged around 16-years old.Such animal worth as much as $9,000 a piece, and earn $8 or more for a four-hour day. Female elephants with short tusks are used for pushing things. Males with long tusk are good for logging because their tusks enable them to pick up logs. the tusks get in the way if the push something.

Work elephants used to hoist logs onto trucks that usually carry the logs to rovers, where the logs are float to mills. Men saw teak logs in the water and water buffalo, that kneel on command, pull the logs out of the water and push them onto carts.

Elephants are still used in Burma to move teak logs. Drivers, called oozies, prepared their mounts with a pick-ax-like tool called a choon. If necessary the elephants can be transported from place to place in trucks or trailers pulled by trucks. Elephants used in illegal logging are sometimes brutally used.

Elephants are a good alternative to clear cutting because they can be used to select only the species of tree that are needed, they don't need roads and they can maneuver through all kind of terrain. Because elephants in Thailand may be out of work soon as the teak forests are depleted, I say transfer them to the Pacific northwest were they can used as alternative to the clear cutting used there.

Elephants are cheaper and most frailty than tractors and damaging forest roads. "Instead of hauling away heavy green logs with bulldozers and tractor skidders, which scar erosion-prone hillsides," wrote Sterba, Burma uses elephants to pull their lighter dried logs to rivers on which they float to staging areas for exporting processing." [Source: James P. Sterba in the Wall Street Journal]

Teak in Myanmar

Now that most of the valuable hardwood in Thailand has been logged and there is a logging ban there, Myanmar is the only country with large tracts of teak forests left. In the past only mature trees were harvested by elephants and traditional "soft" logging method, but in 1988 to gain foreign currency the Burmese government let Thai timber contractors come into land belonging to the Karen, Mon, Shan and Karenni to log the teak. In same cases the money earned by the government was used to buy arms to fight the indigenous people on whose land the timber was harvested. In 1994, the Myanmar government halted to concession sales to Thai loggers, who clear-cut the region of Myanmar near the Thai border. [Source: "Endangered People" by Art Davidson]

Burma contains most of the world's teak forests (75 percent of them by some reckonings). Sometimes called “brown gold,” teak used to account for a third of Burma’s output. One teak log can sell for as much as $20,000. The only things that have kept Myanmar’s teak forest from being completely exploited are poor roads and poor infrastructure.

Teak logs are floated downstream to be hauled by truck. In some places they are still logged and carried in the forest using elephants. Many of the homes and offices of the ruling generals in Myanmar have teak-paneled reception rooms, teak-paneled bedrooms, and teak-paneled hideaway bars. Each year 30,000 acres of teak forests are replanted.

Harvesting teak is a long process. Before a tree is cut it must be girdled and left standing for three years. Otherwise the tree is so full of sap it won't float. Using elephants it takes another season just to get the cut logs to the rivers where they are floated to mills near Rangoon.

Myanmar is a major exporter of teak, accounting for 75 percent of the world market, most of it going to India, China, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. With prices for the wood so high Myanmar has borrowed millions of dollars to mechanize an industry that has long depended on elephants for labor. Most of the teak now is found in insurgent areas and even if that is included, Myanmar's supply of the lucrative timber is only expected to last for ten more years if it continues to be harvested at the current rate. As well as growing opium many mountain insurgent groups raise cash by smuggling teak into Thailand, a country whose teak supplies have already more or less been depleted.


Teak is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species Tectona grandis and its wood products. It is one of the most prized and valuable of all woods. Hard, solid, heavy, strong and durable, it comes from a tree native to Asia that grows quickly at first but needs around 50 years to mature before it can be harvested for lumber. It can reach heights of 140 feet, with a 60 foot trunk, and usually grows in catered patches, mixed with dense growth. The word teak comes from the Malayalam word thekku. This tree is mentioned in the seventh-century literature of Tamil popularly known as the Tevaram

Teak is a deciduous tree (which periodically sheds its leaves) with long, rough leaves that can reach two feet in length. At certain times of the year small clusters of white flowers produce had-shelled nuts with four seeds. Teak trees are easily cultivated and grow best in rich soil on the banks of streams.

Tectona grandis is found in a variety of habitats and climatic conditions from arid areas with only 500 mm of rain per year to very moist forests with up to 5,000 mm of rain per year. Typically, though, the annual rainfall in areas where teak grows averages 1,250-1,650 mm with a 3-5 month dry season.

Teak is native to India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia and cultivated in many countries, including those in Africa and the Caribbean. Much of the world's teak is exported by Indonesia and Myanmar. Myanmar accounts for nearly one third of the world's total teak production. There is also a rapidly growing plantation grown market in Central America (Costa Rica) and South America.

Mature teak fetches a very good price. It is grown extensively by forest departments of different states in forest areas. Teak consumption raises a number of environmental concerns, such as the disappearance of rare old-growth teak. However, its popularity has led to growth in sustainable plantation teak production throughout the seasonally dry tropics in forestry plantations. The Forest Stewardship Council offers certification of sustainably grown and harvested teak products. Propagation of teak via tissue culture for plantation purposes is commercially viable. Due to the increasing cost of teak, various alternatives have been employed. These include purpleheart, iroko, and angelique. [Source: Wikipedia]

Characteristics of Teak

Resinous oil give teak its fragrant smell, protect the wood from insects and fungi and give the wood its extraordinary durability. Teak does not warp or crack when seasoned and does not cause nails to rust. Teak used make houses that are several centuries old is still in good condition. Bits of teak over 2000 years old have been found in Indian caves. Because it not very hard teak can be easily worked and can be polished to a golden brown color. It valued for making houses and cabinets and is regarded as the best wood for shipbuilding.

Teak is a yellowish brown timber with good grains and texture. It is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture, boat decks, and other articles where weather resistance is desired. It is also used for cutting boards, spark-plugs, indoor flooring, countertops and as a veneer for indoor furnishings. [Source: Wikipedia ]

Teak, though easily worked, can cause severe blunting on edged tools because of the presence of silica in the wood. Teak's natural oils make it useful in exposed locations, and make the timber termite and pest resistant. Teak is durable even when not treated with oil or varnish. Timber cut from old teak trees was once believed to be more durable and harder than plantation grown teak. Studies have shown Plantation teak performs on par with old-growth teak in erosion rate, dimensional stability, warping, and surface checking, but is more susceptible to color change from UV exposure.

Growing, Harvesting and Cultivating Teak

Teak trees are usually harvested when the girth of the tree is at least six or eight feet. It is first killed by cutting through the bark and sapwood completely around the trunk. Then the trees is allowed to stand for two or three years until it is dry enough to be floated downstream. Teak that has not been allowed to age is too heavy to float.

The vast majority of commercially harvested teak is grown on teak plantations found in Indonesia and controlled by Perum Perhutani (a state owned forest enterprise) that manages the country's forests. The primary use of teak harvested in Indonesia is in the production of outdoor teak furniture for export. [Source: Wikipedia ]

Cultivated teak is propagated mainly from seeds. Germination of the seeds involves pretreatment to remove dormancy arising from the thick pericarp. Pretreatment involves alternate wetting and drying of the seed. The seeds are soaked in water for 12 hours and then spread to dry in the sun for 12 hours. This is repeated for 10–14 days and then the seeds are sown in shallow germination beds of coarse peat covered by sand. The seeds then germinate after 15 to 30 days. Clonal propagation of teak has been successfully done thorough grafting, rooted stem cuttings and micro propagation. While bud grafting on to seedling root stock has been the method used for establishing clonal seed orchards that enables assemblage of clones of the superior trees to encourage crossing, rooted stem cuttings and micro propagated plants are being increasingly used around the world for raising clonal plantations. Hyblaea puera, a moth native to southeast Asia, is a teak pest whose caterpillar feeds on teak and other species of trees common in the region.

Uses of Teak: Food, Furniture and Boats

Teak is a good material for the construction of both indoor and outdoor furniture. Teak's high oil content, strong tensile strength and tight grain makes it particularly suitable for outdoor furniture applications. Over time teak can mature to a silvery-grey finish. Teak is used extensively in India to make doors and window frames, furniture, and columns and beams in old type houses.

Leaves of the teak wood tree are used in making Pellakai gatti (jackfruit dumpling), where batter is poured into a teak leaf and is steamed. This type of usage is found in the coastal district of Udupi in the Tulunadu region in South India. The leaves are also used in gudeg, a dish of young jackfruit made in Central Java, Indonesia, and give the dish its dark brown color.

Teak has been used extensively as a boatbuilding material. In addition to relatively high strength, teak is also highly resistant to rot, fungi and mildew. In addition, teak has a relatively low shrinkage ratio, which makes it excellent for applications where it undergoes periodic changes in moisture. Teak has the unusual properties of being both an excellent structural timber for framing, planking, etc., while at the same time being easily worked, unlike some other similar woods such as purpleheart, and finished to a high degree. For this reason, it is also prized for the trim work on boat interiors. Due to the oily nature of the wood, care must be taken to properly prepare the wood before gluing. [Source: Wikipedia ]

When used on boats, teak is also very flexible in the finishes that may be applied. One option is to use no finish at all, in which case the wood will naturally weather to a pleasing silver-grey. The wood may also be oiled with a finishing agent such as linseed or tung oil. This results in a pleasant, somewhat bland finish. Finally, teak may also be varnished for a deep, lustrous glow.

Teak is also used extensively in boat decks, as it is extremely durable and requires very little maintenance. The teak tends to wear in to the softer 'summer' growth bands first, forming a natural 'non-slip' surface. Any sanding is therefore only damaging. Use of modern cleaning compounds, oils or preservatives will shorten the life of the teak, as it contains natural teak-oil a very small distance below the white surface. Wooden boat experts will only wash the teak with salt water, and re-caulk when needed. This cleans the deck, and prevents it from drying out and the wood shrinking. The salt helps it absorb and retain moisture, and prevents any mildew and algal growth. People with poor knowledge often over-maintain the teak, and drastically shorten its life.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Travel Information Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy,,, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications.

Last updated May 2014

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