New & Noteworthy
The Philippine Congress voted on Saturday to extend martial law in the southern part of the country, giving the military five more months to crush a rebellion there by Islamic State-inspired militants.
In this report, IPAC examines how support for ISIS and an “East Asia Wilayah” came about, how the Marawi siege has affected the two main networks of pro-ISIS supporters in Indonesia, and what might happen next.
Schools should be safe places for everyone. But in the Philippines, students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) too often find that their schooling experience is marred by bullying, discrimination, lack of access to LGBT-related information, and in some cases, physical or sexual assault.
Two years after his death, no memorials, statues or streets in Singapore are named after Lee Kuan Yew, who established this city-state as a modern nation and built it into a prosperous showcase for his view that limited political freedoms best suit Asian values. Now a bitter and public family dispute over the fate of his modest house has shattered Singapore’s image as an orderly authoritarian ideal and hinted at deeper divisions about its political future.
On July 10, Indonesia’s President Jokowi signed a decree that allows for the banning of civil society organizations. Usman Hamid, director of Amnesty International Indonesia, and Liam Gammon, a PhD student at Australian National University, argue that with this decree "Jokowi has placed the legal existence of every NGO and civic organization in Indonesia at the mercy of a unilateral executive decision.”
Cambodia has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with a booming manufacturing industry and agricultural exports. But a burgeoning real estate market is causing displacement among farmers and low-income Cambodians, as the government grants large swaths of territory to companies for commercial projects.
For about two weeks now, dozens of Islamist militants have faced off against the Philippine armed forces in the city of Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, where most of the Philippines’ Muslim minority lives. The pitched battle, which is unusually fierce even by the standards of this conflict-prone part of the country, indicates that the Islamic State is now also a Southeast Asian problem and that the Philippine government may be the region’s weak link in addressing it.
Every year, the U.S. deports thousands of immigrants who are convicted of crimes after they serve their prison terms -- including green card holders and those granted asylum. The policy dates back to the Clinton and Bush administrations as part of their efforts to step up national security.
On January 29th, Ko Ni, sixty-three years old, was assassinated at the airport in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. He had just returned from a democracy conference in Indonesia and was waiting for a taxi curbside, while holding his young grandson, when a gunman in sandals sauntered up and pumped a bullet into Ko Ni’s head at close range. Nay Win, a taxi driver who tried to chase down the assassin, was also shot to death.
On the new Policy Forum Pod, Josh Kurlantzick discusses his new book on the CIA’s secret war in Laos, and how the legacy of the conflict still echoes through US foreign policy today.
The Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict's latest report focuses on the evolution of the role of women in Indonesian extremist organizations. The report follows the December 2016 arrest of two Indonesian women as would-be suicide bombers and examines how their desire for action coincided with the decision of ISIS leaders in Syria that in emergency conditions, women could be tactically deployed in jihad operations.
Luthfi Assyaukanie, a researcher and scholar of Islam and politics, offers his view of how hard-line Islamists have been able to capture the national stage.
Sana Jaffrey explores why vigilantism is on the rise in Indonesia and how the massive anti-Ahok street mobilizations in Jakarta fit into this trend.
Carnegie Council's Devin Stewart talks with Richard McGregor, a journalist and author specializing in East Asia. He is working on a new book that... Read more
In 1980, Saudi Arabia started an all expenses-paid university in Jakarta. The Institute for the Study of Islam and Arabic (LIPIA)... Read more
Representative Zafar and Minister Zulkifli discussed current trends in the regional-level approaches to cultivating mutual respect in diverse... Read more
John Gershman of NYU discusses with Carnegie Council’s Devin Stewart the state of Filipino politics since the election of Rodrigo Duterte and where the country may be headed. Topics covered include the Philippines’ anti-drug campaign, extrajudicial killings, climate change vulnerability, and diplomatic relations with China, the U.S., and ASEAN. Read more
It is often difficult for members of local organisations to voice their concerns, especially about the shortcomings of international aid agency approaches. They may rely on funding partnerships, or simply find it difficult to communicate directly to international groups about the concerns they have. Yet their insights can be important. Today we hear from a staff member from a local organisation in Shan State on the U.N. and youth policy. Read more
Thailand's junta can breathe a sigh of relief, but only for the moment. The result of its Aug. 7 referendum on a new constitution has to be measured against a similar poll held in 2007: on both occasions, voters approved a charter drafted by a military-appointed committee created in the wake of a coup d'etat... Read more
The Islamic State’s butchery and takeover of territory in Iraq and Syria dominate the headlines, but a much less violent yet little-known conflict exists in Indonesia, where more Muslims live than in all of the Middle East. It is a battle to define Islam in Indonesia and it matters because it is taking place in one of the few democracies with a Muslim majority. There are more Muslims in Indonesia who can be loosely called progressives than there are anywhere else, but they are in constant struggle with conservative Muslims. Read more