A vital part of this report about the current context in Southeast Asia involves showing the ways that ordinary people, activists, human rights defenders, and social movements are organizing to protect their communities from destruction and injustice, even in extremely precarious and dangerous situations. Some of the most vocal and active participants in progressive movements for change and transformation are women from the most affected communities in the region.
There has always been something of a ghost-like quality to languorous Dili, capital of Timor-Leste with its Portuguese-era buildings and statues from Indonesian times still standing.
Nowadays, it feels that there are new ghosts in the city: imprints of a once prominent international presence slipping from perceptible view. Between 1999-2012, the country was home to military peacekeepers, police from more than 50 nations, a legion of non-governmental organisations, an alphabet soup of programs, and enough characters to fill a shelf of Graham Greene novels.
NYSEAN's co-founder Duncan McCargo was quoted in the South China Morning Post article titled, "Thai Election: can Shinawatras keep it in the family, again?"
In their bid for power, McCargo discusses how the Shinawatras' latest strategy of spreading their loyalists across different parties could backfire in the upcoming election in Thailand.
Read the full article here.
Military measures alone will not reduce the risk of Abu Sayyaf kidnappings or terrorist transit in the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas. Regional initiatives such as the Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) are useful for strengthening cooperation among the Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippine militaries but they are unlikely to have much impact on curbing violent extremism. The trilateral countries should focus more on analysing ASG networks in Sulu and Sabah, strengthening law enforcement and improving the sharing of information, especially from debriefings of extremist suspects.
Salafism, the ultra puritan stream of Islam, has evolved very differently in Malaysia than in Indonesia, with more of its leaders seeking political engagement, sometimes to avoid being labelled extremist. Notwithstanding superficial similarities between recent mass Islamist rallies in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, political Islam has followed very different trajectories in the two countries, and Salafism, a minority stream in both, has responded to those local dynamics.
Patrick Jory of the New Books Network talks to Arnika Fuhrmann about her book, Ghostly Desires: Queer Sexuality and Vernacular Buddhism in Contemporary Thai Cinema.
The first presidential debate in the Indonesian presidential campaign discussed human rights, the law, corruption, and terrorism. Where did Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto stand on each of these topics? Listen to the first episode of Race to Istana podcast for analysis of the candidates' positions and promises on these key issues.