New & Noteworthy
This week, many of Thailand’s 68 million people will celebrate Buddhist New Year, also known as “Songkran.” It’s a joyous time as families and friends reunite across the country to celebrate. Millions of Thai workers in Bangkok will return to their country homes for the holiday. However, because of the increased traffic, there will inevitably be a surge in crashes and road fatalities.
Prachatai.com recently a recap of all the Thailand Update 2018 talks
In the early hours of Jan. 30, 1968, the first Communist rockets struck provincial capitals across South Vietnam. A nationwide ground assault followed, and by morning the next day, much of the urban South was besieged, including Saigon’s radio station, the South Vietnamese military headquarters and even the American Embassy.
The Trump Administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy and 2018 National Defense Strategy: Implications for Southeast Asia
The Trump administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy and 2018 National Defense Strategy identify strategic competition with China and Russia as America’s primary national security concern.
Both documents contend that the epicentre of Great Power competition is the IndoPacific region where China seeks to displace America as the paramount power in order to achieve regional hegemony and ultimately global pre-eminence.
An escalation in geopolitical competition between Washington and Beijing holds significant implications for Southeast Asia.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told soldiers last week to shoot female rebels in their genitals, the latest of several violent, misogynistic remarks. Addressing a group of former communist rebels on Wednesday, Duterte, who served as a mayor before becoming president, appeared to encourage the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to target women in conflict.
On Sept. 2, Buddhist villagers and Myanmar troops killed 10 Rohingya men in Myanmar's restive Rakhine state. Reuters uncovered the massacre and has pieced together how it unfolded. During the reporting of this article, two Reuters journalists were arrested by Myanmar police.
An unregulated pagoda environment, the status of monks and the downplaying of male rape means that abuse of children in the monkhood is likely more widespread than anyone dares to admit
The Weatherhead East Asian Institute mourns the death of Jayne Werner, who served as a WEAI Research Scholar from 2010 through 2015. A Professor Emerita of Political Science at Long Island University, Dr. Werner was a leading expert on the contemporary politics of Vietnam. She also served as a past Co-Chair of the University Seminar on Southeast Asia in World Affairs at Columbia University.
"The technicoloured design, released on Friday at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai, features clip-art style illustrations of the Petronas Towers, an orangutan and proboscis monkey wearing sunglasses, a turtle (also wearing sunglasses) and a palm tree."
ISEAS report analyzes Golkar's leadership crisis.
Renato Cruz De Castro, De La Salle University
"Former Philippine president Benigno Aquino III adopted a balancing policy to respond to Chinese pressure over the two countries’ territorial disputes in the South China Sea. This balancing policy culminated in the signing of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in April 2014, which provides for the United States to rotate forward-deployed forces in Philippine territory and for extensive access to Philippine military facilities. Now President Rodrigo Duterte is unravelling his predecessor’s work."
Thomas Jandl, TJMR Asia Consulting, analyzes Vietnam's policy of non-alignment in the Trump era.
The ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya is a particularly vicious chapter in a long history of majoritarian nationalism in South Asia, writes Mukul Kesavan in the January 18, 2018, issue of The New York Review of Books. Read more: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/
When Australia reduced its foreign aid to Indonesia by 40 per cent in 2015, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry responded that ‘Indonesia … is no longer a country that needs aid for development’. At face value, this seems to be the case. Data released by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in October 2017 shows that net foreign aid to Indonesia from DAC member countries and from multilateral aid agencies like the World Bank has decreased and even turned negative in some years.
The latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) examines the debriefings of seven suspects arrested in connection with the September 2016 bombing in Davao, carried out by a pro-ISIS cell in Cotabato. "Post-Marawi Lessons From Philippine Detainees," looks at patterns of recruitment and radicalisation, training, financing and coordination with other parts of the pro-ISIS coalition, especially with the Maute brothers who later led the Marawi siege.
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has ordered military officials to stop construction work on a sandbar in a disputed area of the South China Sea after Beijing complained, the country’s defense chief said on Wednesday.
The latest report from NYSEAN's parnter, the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), examines the organizational components of the Islamist alliance that brought down the Jakarta governor in 2012.Read more
Duncan McCargo, a professor at Columbia University and University of Leeds and a founder of the New York Southeast Asia Network, was interviewed by the Guardian on Future Forward, a new political party in Thailand.Read more
Lisandro Claudio, Associate Professor of Political Science at Ateneo De Manila University, joins the Carnegie Councils Devin T. Stewart to discuss the history of liberalism in the Philippines.Read more
Sandra Hamid, the Asia Foundation's Country Representative to Indonesia, joins the Carnegie Council’s Devin T. Stewart to discuss the normalizing of political and religious tolerance in daily life in the Philippines.Read more
Since the 1990s, vast sums of money and time have been invested in training and resources to hold elections around the world, including in parts of Southeast Asia. The conventional wisdom is that elections either enable or consolidate democracy. Where they do not have either of these effects, the reasoning goes, it’s because the design of elections is not yet right, or conditions in which they have been held are not yet sufficiently matured as to make democracy possible.Read more
What deficits in criminal law is the draft revised criminal code seeking to address and how have controversial regressive articles emerged? What will the implications be for Indonesian democracy if the current draft passes? Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues and more with Anugerah Rizki Akbari in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.Read more
Owners of the Map not only confronts the specific realities of ordinary Thais resisting military authoritarianism, but also the question of how modes of circulation can become sites of collective action, particularly for precarious workers, in the neoliberal moment.Read more