Today we celebrate New Mandala‘s fifth birthday.

It has been a busy five years. Since 16 June 2006 we have published 3,022 posts, generated 32,280 comments and attracted many millions of hits. It has been a somewhat remarkable run. And, happily, it’s not over yet.

Shortly we will be launching a new New Mandala. Long-time readers will, we hope, enjoy the added functionality; we also expect the redesigned site will set us up for the hectic times ahead.

As events over the past week in northern Burma demonstrate, the politics, cultures and societies of mainland Southeast Asia are worth our serious and consistent attention. We hope that our efforts to provide anecdote, analysis and new perspectives on the region help to shape discussion and influence healthy debate on a wide range of important issues.

This is an approach that we have been experimenting with, and refining, for five years now. If you are intrigued by New Mandala‘s evolution then the posts marking our first, second, third and fourth birthdays cover some of the important ground.

On the occasion of the site’s fifth birthday it is worth offering our special thanks. Darrell Burkey and Jude Shanahan from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific web team do a great job of keeping our site online. Our friends and colleagues Darren Boyd, Martyn Pearce and James Giggacher are tremendously helpful any time we ask. And then there are those who are intimately involved with creating much of our best content. This is a particularly appropriate time to thank Craig Reynolds, Michael Montesano, Greg Lopez, Saowapha Viravong, Nick Nostitz, Simon Creak, Tyrell Haberkorn and Nick Cheesman for their commitment to New Mandala over the past year.

And thanks, finally, to all of the other guest contributors, commentators, translators, ANU colleagues, informants, journalists, officials, administrators and friends who make so many important contributions to New Mandala‘s success.

Thanks to everyone for your support, interest and ongoing appreciation.