New & Noteworthy
In 2010, the Philippines conducted its first-ever automated poll, and I wrote that “elections had changed, but politics didn’t.” This year for a second time, a general election, including the presidency, was automated. Again we had concessions from presidential candidates the day after the polls instead of having to wait weeks for a manual count.
As the campaign period for the May 9 Philippine general elections comes to a close, increasing numbers of Bangsamoro peace process advocates are pushing national and local candidates for more explicit statements regarding their strategy in resolving the protracted conflict in Mindanao. Some worry about whether the peace process will continue under a new president.
On April 30, Vietnam marked 41 years since the end of the American War. While Saigon has changed dramatically in those four decades, transforming into the economic heart of the country as well as its most modern metropolis, April 30, 1975 was a fateful day for the city's residents – and, of course, the country as a whole. Though much of Saigon's history does not exist on film or on paper, this day – and the months which followed – were well-documented in the city.
As drought lingers and unfettered dam construction plugs the Mekong river, managing the life-giving waterway becomes ever more crucial. All eyes are now on a new China-led initiative that claims to have the region’s best interests at heart
The National Bureau of Asian Research and the Sasakawa USA have partnered on a new innovative platform for analyses and data on maritime security called the Maritime Awareness Project (MAP). The MAP portal combines exciting, interactive mapping technology with rigorous analyses from the world’s leading maritime experts to serve as the leading authoritative resource on maritime issues.
Forests Are Gold examines the management of Vietnam's forests in the tumultuous twentieth century-from French colonialism to the recent transition to market-oriented economics-as the country united, prospered, and transformed people and landscapes.
On April 5, CDDRL Director Francis Fukuyama held an interview with FSI Senior Fellow Larry Diamond on Burma's recent elections and it's ongoing transition to democracy. Particularly, Diamond remarked on the significant role Aung Sang Suu Kyi will play and the social and political challenges the new leadership.
In 2011, the Obama administration launched an approach to East Asia called the “rebalance to Asia.” One aspect of the rebalance was supposed to be strengthening security relationships in Southeast Asia, including through bilateral security assistance. Yet an analysis of U.S. security assistance to Southeast Asian nations shows that, in nominal dollars, overall security aid to Southeast Asia fell by 19 percent since 2010, the year before the rebalance was launched. Accounting for inflation, the overall decline in U.S. security assistance to the region would have been even steeper.
The first official presidential debate in 24 years was held in Cagayan de Oro City. The urban centers of Mindanao are visibly booming, but the old problems of poverty, peace and order concerns, and power shortages continue to haunt the countryside.
The Fourth Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey findings on satisfaction with democracy and preference for democracy are in.
The lack of laws and structures to strengthen human rights contribute to the 'climate of impunity' in the Philippines, says Amnesty International.
An article from the Jakarta Post on Human Right Watch (HRW)'s call for the US government to reveal the truth about the 1965 massacre. Human Rights Watch has said an apology over the atrocities of 1965 would be futile unless the whole truth was revealed.
The International NGO said the government should be held accountable for its actions related to the killings of people who were considered associated with communism, including for what is hidden in secret files held by the US government.
For two days in April, many Indonesians focused on a dark and long-buried chapter in their nation’s history thanks to a government-supported conference entitled “National Symposium: Dissecting the 1965 Tragedy, An Historical Approach.” Already there is much debate...Read more
A recent article in the New York Times discusses recent shifts in U.S.-Philippines security relations. Fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S.-Philippines relationship has moved more explicitly to containing China and less focused on counter-terrorism. Read more
After a couple of false starts since the May 2014 coup, Thailand now has a draft constitution, and Aug. 7 has been set for a referendum on adopting... Read more
The 2016 Thailand Update at Columbia was attended by around 50 people throughout the day, drawn by the line-up of expert speakers discussing different aspects of Thailand's politics, society and economy. Read more
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad became internationally known in 1997 when he blamed Wall Street and Jewish bankers for deliberately causing the Southeast Asian Financial Crisis. He viewed every drop in the Malaysian stock market and value of the Ringgit as a global conspiracy. He stridently denounced foreign intervention and meddling in Malaysia’s domestic affairs... Read more
A mid-March incident in which two armed Chinese coastguard ships forced an Indonesian patrol boat to release a Chinese fishing trawler it was towing to land after catching it fishing illegally within its Natuna Island EEZ may turn out to be a pivotal juncture in Indonesia’s policy toward the South China Sea issue. Read more