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Laos

(1,454 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang
1. Geography and Demographics Laos—in full, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic—is a landlocked nation in Southeast Asia dominated ¶ by jungles, with high mountains along its eastern border. Its longest borders are with Viet Nam to the east and Thailand to the west, with shorter borders also with China (north), Cambodia (south), and Myanmar (west). Ethnically, the largest groups in 2001 were the Lao Loum (or Valley Lao, 68 percent), Lao Theung (Hill Lao, 22 percent), and Lao Soung (Mountain Lao, which includes Hm…

Myanmar

(1,271 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang
1. General Situation The Union of Myanmar (known up till 1989 as Burma) is an Asian country between South and Southeast Asia on the Bay of Bengal. Britain subdued the country between 1824 and 1885 through three Anglo-Burmese wars (Colonialism). British rule was followed by Japanese control during World War II, and then independence in 1948. Free elections took place in 1960, and then not again until 1990, when the main opposition party won decisively. As of 2001, however, the ruling military junta has refused to hand over power. A key opposition lead…

Christian Development Services

(1,331 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang
1. International Background In 1960 the United Nations initiated a decade-long program of development, which, by means of a strategy of economic aid and with the help of such special agencies as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was designed to abolish poverty. Disenchantment, however, soon set in. In 1969 the Pearson Report described the alarming results of the “trickle-down” process and showed the need for a second decade of development. Economic growth and wealth would …

Third World

(8,437 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang | Ward, Kevin
1. Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Problems 1.1. Term, Criteria, Groups 1.1.1. The African Caribbean (Martinique) doctor and freedom fighter Frantz Fanon (1961) is thought to have been the author of the term “Third World.” He based it on the Third Estate (i.e., the commoners) in the French Revolution and denoted by it the colonized and underdeveloped countries. I. L. Horowitz (1966) and then D. Nohlen and F. Nuscheler (1982) studied the significance of the term both practically and in terms of th…

Cambodia

(1,081 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang
1. General Cambodia, formerly known as the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, is located in Southeast Asia, on the Indochina Peninsula. Some 85 percent of its population are Theravada Buddhists. Ethnically, approximately 85 percent of the people are Khmer, 6–10 percent are Vietnamese, 3 percent Chinese, 2 percent Cham, plus much smaller percentages of several other groups. 2. Missionary History 2.1. The Roman Catholic mission was initiated from Malacca in 1555 by the Dominicans Gaspar da Cruz (d. 1570) and Sylvester Azevedo (d. 1576). Only in the 17th century, however, were m…