New & Noteworthy
A mayor who had been accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of involvement in drug trafficking was killed along with his wife and 10 other people in coordinated police raids early Sunday, the authorities said.
Endy Bayuni, the chief editor of the Jakarta Post, recently spoke at Columbia University, giving his assessment of the Jokowi administration at the halfway mark. Bayuni described how Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has gone from being an outsider elected president in 2014 to being the most powerful president to date in 2017. Initially, Jokowi struggled to gain support even from his own party, the PDIP (Partai Indonesia Perjuangan). Gradually, according to Bayuni, Jokowi employed strategic political moves and transformed his weak position into one of strength and now presides over the parliament, the cabinet, and even the national police.Read more
In recent months, public life in Thailand has been overshadowed by the momentous October 13, 2016 passing of long-reigning King Bhumibol, and the December 1 accession of the King Vajiralongkorn to the throne. Although a popular referendum approved the 2016 draft constitution last August, that constitution has yet to pass into law, and no date has been set for the next general election. As the ruling military junta completes its third year in power, freedom of expression remains severely constrained, and Thailand faces a range of economic and social challenges. During this third Columbia Thailand Update event, eight speakers will present their research and views on the latest developments and prospects, at a crucial juncture in the country’s history.Read more
The Philippine president sees drug dealing and addiction as “major obstacles to the Philippines’ economic and social progress,” says John Gershman Read more
Watch the full video of the panel discussion here Read more