New & Noteworthy
On August 3, the foreign ministers of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their Chinese counterpart announced agreement on a Single Draft South China Sea Code of Conduct Negotiating Text (SDNT) that will serve as the basis for the adoption of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
Cambodians went to the polls last weekend, but it was a sham of an election, dominated by Hun Sen, the country’s aging autocrat. With the opposition party banned and soldiers at polling booths to ensure the outcome went only one way, no credible organization signed off on the election’s validity—but quite a few fake organizations did.
Lurid tales of monks involved in sex, drugs and stolen money have crowded the newspapers here for years, to the seeming indifference of governments. But Thailand’s ruling junta has stepped up its offensive to destroy what it sees as a rot that has long been allowed to fester in the upper echelons of Buddhism and corrode the country’s moral core.
After the initial euphoria, Mahathir and his government now confront major challenges on nearly all fronts. The Council on Foreign Relations' Joshua Kurlantzick looks at the political, economic and civil society landscape facing Malaysia in the wake of its recent political transition.
No Southeast Asian country scores higher than a “B-,” in the author’s opinion, and overall, the situation for wildlife and wild ecosystems looks grim. We are now in the Anthropocene Era, and humanity’s demands for natural resources and wildlife products is having an incredibly profound effect on this region.
Virtually all dedicated Malaysia-watchers professed themselves shocked by the result. But if leading modernisation theorists like Seymour Martin Lipset or Samuel Huntington were still alive — even in their fusty 1950s and 1960s guises — they wouldn’t have been surprised in the slightest.
More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from brutal military operations in Myanmar are stuck in Bangladesh, with returns to Myanmar unlikely soon and Bangladeshi goodwill being tested. In Myanmar, international partners must be allowed access to northern Rakhine State. In Bangladesh, donors must help both refugees and their local hosts.
Amidst polling day’s febrile climate of expectations, the night before GE14 was, by comparison, relatively sombre. Both the incumbent Najib Razak and his nonagenarian challenger Dr Mahathir Mohamad made speeches at the same time, on air and online.
As Burma’s civil war enters its 70th year— the longest running internal armed conflict in the world— fighting between the state and non-state armed groups is escalating across the country. A several years-long peace process is floundering. War amidst peace talks has been a paradoxical feature of the conflict for many years. More international attention on the conflict since 2011 has tended to emphasize the peace process, but not the actual dynamics of the political, social, economic and armed struggle which has divided the country since independence.
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 Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) recently published an update on the rleases of Indonesian Extremists.Read more
NYSEAN Co-Founder Duncan McCargo reports on the closing of Bangkok's military-affiliated Royal Turf Club after 102 years of racing.Read more
Duncan McCargo, cofounder of NYSEAN, wrote about the Cambodian People's Party and its legitimacy - or lack thereof - for the Asia Times.Read more
NYSEAN Member Chelsea Garbell writes in The Diplomat on the curious case of the Washington State legislators serving as shadow election monitors for Cambodia's sham elections.Read more
NYSEAN Partner Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict released "Managing Indonesia's Pro-ISIS Deportees", a report on the complex problem of how to monitor and integrate pro-ISIS deportees.Read more
Ahead of a nominal general election scheduled in Cambodia for the end of July 2018, Michael Sullivan, author of Cambodia Votes: Democracy, Authority and International Support for Elections 1993–2013 (NIAS Press, 2016), joins New Books in Southeast Asian Studies to make a case for elections there, however fraught, as a site of authentic struggle.Read more