South East Asia
By John Roberts, 5 May 2012
The lese majeste laws are a politically sensitive issue because the monarchy has played such a pivotal role in protecting the Thai state apparatus.
By Dante Pastrana, 4 May 2012
While touted as a more democratic alternative to the Internal Security Act, the new legislation maintains crucial police state powers.
By John Roberts, 3 May 2012
The demonstration points to rising social and political tensions as the global economic crisis impacts on Malaysia.
By Joseph Santolan, 1 May 2012
The brutal event is part of President Aquino’s policy of forcibly relocating the urban poor onto the dismal floodplains outside the city.
By Peter Symonds, 26 April 2012
The Balikatan exercises, provocatively staged adjacent to the South China Sea, can only heighten US tensions with China.
By John Roberts, 19 April 2012
Plans to cut subsidies provoked widespread opposition and weeks of protests throughout the country.
By Dante Pastrana, 18 April 2012
Electricity rationing in Mindanao, the poorest island group in the Philippines, is now in its fourth month.
By Patrick O’Connor, 18 April 2012
Taur Matan Ruak, the former head of the East Timorese armed forces, was clearly the Australian government’s preferred choice.
By Joseph Santolan, 13 April 2012
Philippine naval vessels and Chinese marine surveillance ships continue to face off against each other in disputed waters near the Scarborough shoal.
By John Roberts, 2 April 2012
The government’s plans for autonomy for Thailand’s southern provinces have provoked opposition within the military.
By Patrick O’Connor, 20 March 2012
The two highest vote winners will contest the second round—former military chief Taur Matan Ruak and Fretilin’s Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres.
By Patrick O’Connor, 15 March 2012
Canberra is no doubt doing everything it can to ensure a pro-Australian administration.
By John Roberts, 2 March 2012
The Thai events were very convenient for the Israeli government, which, according media reports, is actively discussing an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
By Joseph Santolan, 2 March 2012
The Philippine government announced it would proceed with plans to open several areas in the disputed waters to foreign oil companies.
By Joseph Santolan, 1 March 2012
The decision to cut the prosecution short reflects the rising tide of popular discontent with the trial.
By Joseph Santolan, 24 February 2012
The vital role played by Washington is becoming ever more transparent, with Aquino appointing an American ‘anti-corruption’ consultant as an official advisor to his cabinet.
By John Roberts, 15 February 2012
The anti-corruption court has heard evidence that senior officials of the ruling Democrat Party have been involved in pay-offs and bribes.
By Joseph Santolan, 14 February 2012
The order, an assertion of judicial control over the proceedings in the Senate, brought into sharper acuity the country’s emerging constitutional crisis.
By Joseph Santolan, 9 February 2012
The trial is an assault on a separate branch of government, which has proved unruly and unmanageable to Philippine President Aquino.
By Joseph Santolan, 3 February 2012
Walden Bello, who established an international reputation in anti-globalization circles for his critique of the World Bank, is now filing a court case in the Philippines on its behalf.
By Joseph Santolan and Dante Pastrana, 31 January 2012
The Partido ng Manggagawa, a pseudo-left organization composed of union bureaucrats and ex-Maoists, is carrying out the systematic betrayal of striking airline workers.
By Joseph Santolan, 30 January 2012
Washington’s talks with Manila over an expanded US military presence in the Philippines are another step in Obama’s reckless strategy of containing China.
By Joseph Santolan, 27 January 2012
The deployment of US vessels in the Philippines would be a further ratcheting up of the Obama administration’s confrontation with China.
By Joseph Santolan, 24 January 2012
Every stop of the visit by McCain and Lieberman was a calculated escalation of US military and political machinations against China.
By Joseph Santolan, 23 January 2012
On January 22, 1987, 17,000 peasants, workers and students marched across Mendiola Bridge in Manila when police opened fire on them.
By Joseph Santolan, 16 January 2012
This is the second impeachment trial in the country’s history and is part of a campaign by President Aquino to consolidate power.
By Joseph Santolan, 13 January 2012
The demolition is part of the forcible relocation of the Manila poor and working class carried out on behalf of real estate developers.
By Joseph Santolan, 10 January 2012
On January 4, a landslide of mud, clay, debris and tree roots buried fifty bunkhouses and many of the sleeping miners and their families.
By John Roberts, 10 January 2012
The High Court decision deals a significant blow to the government’s efforts to jail Anwar as it prepares for elections.
By Joseph Santolan, 9 January 2012
Behind the sordid allegations is a simple fact: Arroyo gave a massive infrastructural contract to a Chinese state corporation over a rival bid from a US firm.
By Mark Church, 29 December 2011
The protesters were part of the Anti-Mining People’s Front, which opposes mineral exploration in the area being carried out by Australian Arc Exploration.
By Oliver Campbell, 23 December 2011
It appears that the collapse of dams contributed to the severity of the floods, along with deforestation, silting of the rivers and lack of government planning.
By Joseph Santolan, 20 December 2011
The ongoing constitutional crisis in the Philippines has revealed the bankrupt and unprincipled character of every section of the so-called ‘left.’
By Oliver Campbell, 19 December 2011
The severity of the floods, which hit residents without warning, was compounded by extensive deforestation and unplanned urbanisation.
By Joseph Santolan, 19 December 2011
President Aquino, employing sharply anti-democratic measures, has had Philippine Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached.
By Mike Head, 17 December 2011
The UN-orchestrated proceedings are designed to bury the underlying responsibility for the Cambodian catastrophe—above all, that of United States imperialism.
By John Roberts, 13 December 2011
The court has been carefully contrived to convict the Khmer Rouge leaders while covering up the responsibility of the major powers for the tragedy that engulfed the Cambodian people.
By Peter Symonds, 24 November 2011
On every front—diplomatic, economic and strategic—the US president has set course for a confrontation with China in order to reassert American dominance in the world’s fastest growing region.
By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2011
The US diplomatic bullying of China has transformed what was a troublesome, but limited maritime dispute in the South China Sea into another dangerous flashpoint in Asia.
By Joseph Santolan, 21 November 2011
Aquino’s prosecution of Arroyo occurs in the context of rapidly mounting geopolitical tensions between the US and China, and is driven by the interests of US imperialism.
By John Roberts, 12 November 2011
The ongoing flooding has impacted heavily on the Thai economy and is also taking its toll on the newly installed government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
By John Roberts, 8 November 2011
The preparations for an early poll are driven in part by government concerns over the global impact of the economic crises in the eurozone and the United States.
By Mike Head, 3 November 2011
Indonesia’s newly appointed energy and mineral resources minister met on Monday with the US ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Marciel, to discuss the two-month-old Freeport dispute.
By John Roberts, 2 November 2011
Amid rising anger and resentment among flood victims, the Thai government’s chief concern has been to reassure big business and foreign investors.
By Joseph Santolan, 29 October 2011
The ‘lawless elements’ whom President Aquino has ordered attacked, are the primary hurdle to a US-backed ‘peace’ process in the southern Philippines.
By John Roberts, 27 October 2011
Public holidays have been declared to enable some of Bangkok’s 12 million residents to evacuate and allow others to prepare last-ditch sandbag defences.
By John Roberts, 27 October 2011
Amid the country’s worsening flood crisis, industry chiefs and economists have urged the government to abandon its election promises.
By Joseph Santolan, 25 October 2011
Behind the confrontation and escalating tensions in the South China Sea is the provocative role being played by Washington in the region.
By John Roberts, 24 October 2011
Infighting has erupted in ruling circles as the effects of the record monsoon rains are exacerbated by deforestation, development projects and inadequate flood mitigation measures.
By Mike Head, 19 October 2011
The indefinite shutdown came a week after para-military police, mobilised by the Indonesian government, opened fire on protesting workers, killing one striker and wounding a dozen more.
By Mike Head, 13 October 2011
Employed in the largest and most profitable gold and copper mine in the world, the strikers have demanded that their hourly wages, currently as low as $2, rise to a minimum of $17.50.
By Joseph Santolan, 10 October 2011
Keppel, the shipyard operator, has actively suppressed the release of information regarding the accident, denying government officials, investigators and journalists access to the site.
By Oliver Campbell, 10 October 2011
Over the weekend, there were chaotic scenes and frantic evacuations in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, 80 kilometres upriver from Bangkok.
By Joseph Santolan, 6 October 2011
As Washington engages in political and military machinations throughout the region, the Chinese response is becoming increasingly strident.
By Dante Pastrana, 5 October 2011
The PALEA leaders betrayed a September 27 sit-down strike, continuing their protracted sell-out of 2,600 workers being replaced by contract labourers.
By Joseph Santolan, 1 October 2011
The tragedy of Typhoon Nesat was caused by staggering levels of class inequality and by the pursuit of profit in complete disregard for its effects upon human lives.
By Dante Pastrana, 27 September 2011
The job cuts are part of the ongoing restructuring of the airline that began in 1998 when the airline sacked 5,000 pilots, flight attendants and ground staff.
By Dante Pastrana, 19 September 2011
The economic slowdown will only widen the gulf between rich and poor, with the Stratbase Research Institute reporting that the Philippines was already the most unequal among Southeast Asian countries.
By John Roberts, 10 September 2011
The lack of agreement between Jakarta and Papuan organisations was quickly underscored by a spate of violence and protest rallies in Jayapura and other towns.
By John Braddock, 8 September 2011
The latest claims refute the longstanding assertions by Nike and other high-end garment and footwear manufacturers that they are improving conditions in their outsourced sweat-shop operations.
By John Roberts, 31 August 2011
The latest scandal has further damaged President Yudhoyono’s standing, particularly as it has involved younger Democrats that helped promote his anti-corruption drive.
By Peter Symonds, 15 August 2011
Efforts to patch up the deep rifts in Thai ruling circles reflect fears that last year’s anti-government protests began to express class hostility toward the wealthy elite and threatened to spiral out of control.
By Peter Symonds, 8 August 2011
Yingluck takes power after five years of intense political upheaval in Thailand following an army coup against her elder brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2006.
By John Roberts, 29 July 2011
Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra has not yet named her cabinet, with the entire process fraught with the intense tensions that have marked Thai politics over the past five years.
By Joseph Santolan, 29 July 2011
Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been charged on five counts of plundering the economy during her tenure as president and with election fraud.
By Will Morrow, 27 July 2011
Labor’s policy will send at least 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia, a country notorious for its mistreatment of refugees.
By John Roberts, 25 July 2011
What is taking place is a show trial designed to close the book on the Khmer Rouge genocide while covering up the responsibility of the major powers, including the US and China, for the atrocities.
By John Roberts, 23 July 2011
The fact that the government has whipped up a communist scare campaign reflects deeper fears in Malaysia’s ruling circles of growing social tensions and the potential for unrest.
By Peter Symonds, 14 July 2011
Having raised expectations during the election campaign, any move by the new government to abandon its promises to working people would heighten social and political tensions.
By John Roberts, 11 July 2011
Despite the limited character of the Bersih coalition’s call for electoral changes, the government was clearly unnerved by the rally.
By Peter Symonds, 8 July 2011
No one should be under any illusion that Puea Thai’s win has brought to power a government that will act in the interests of the millions of urban and rural poor who voted for it.
By Joseph Santolan, 7 July 2011
What hides behind the opaque language and convoluted logic of the Supreme Court decision is the final scrapping of even the most limited land reform in the Philippines.
By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 5 July 2011
The election outcome expressed the bitter resentment among the urban and rural poor involved last year in months of anti-government protests that were violently crushed by army.
By Joseph Santolan, 4 July 2011
The Philippine administration has, since the election of President Benigno Aquino last year, aligned its foreign policy more and more closely to the United States.
By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2011
The renewed American focus on Thailand stems from a sense that the US has allowed China to strengthen its influence in Bangkok at the expense of longstanding strategic ties with Washington.
By Joseph Santolan, 30 June 2011
A US Senate resolution passed this week deploring China’s use of force and supporting continued US military operations heightens the danger of a confrontation in the South China Sea.
By John Roberts, 28 June 2011
Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s election, further political unrest is possible amid infighting in Thai ruling circles.
By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 16 June 2011
The campaign for the July 3 election is revealing the rifts in ruling circles, as well as the social tensions behind the military’s suppression of “Red Shirt” protests last year.
By Joseph Santolan, 15 June 2011
Tensions have intensified as Vietnam and the Philippines, tacitly backed by the US, assert their claims in the contested waters of the South China Sea.
By Joseph Santolan, 7 June 2011
The US Defense Secretary’s speech came amid rapidly mounting tensions between China and other claimants to the South China Sea.
By Joseph Santolan, 31 May 2011
Tensions are being fuelled by the US backing of Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries to contest China’s activities in a strategically sensitive region that has vast oil and gas reserves.
By Joseph Santolan, 28 May 2011
The living conditions of wealthy prisoners in New Bilibid Prison are much better than those of the people who live on the edges of the prison grounds.
By Joseph Santolan, 21 May 2011
With US backing, the Philippines has been playing an increasingly provocative role in the South China Sea in asserting its stake in the disputed waters, especially against China.
By John Roberts, 20 May 2011
The court not only ruled that the prosecution had a prima facie case against Anwar, but declared that the evidence of its chief witness was “reliable”.
By our correspondent, 14 May 2011
Tens of thousands flocked to opposition rallies before the election to express their anger over the PAP’s pro-business policies.
By Joseph Santolan, 12 May 2011
Aquino’s plan aims to simultaneously clear urban land for private developers and to stem the mounting threat of a food crisis.
By John Roberts, 12 May 2011
At present, the border conflict appears to be driven primarily by internal political considerations but both Washington and Beijing are no doubt calculating how best to exploit the Thai-Cambodian tensions to their own advantage.
By Joseph Santolan, 9 May 2011
Like almost every boxing figure before him, Manny Pacquiao came from a life of grinding poverty. It is this history—the intimate shared reality of suffering and struggle—that the vast majority Filipinos identify with.
By John Roberts, 6 May 2011
Any ruling by the judge to acquit Anwar would run counter to the government’s determined campaign to remove the opposition leader from the political scene.
By Joseph Santolan, 3 May 2011
China, Taiwan and the Philippines have each stepped up their rhetoric regarding the contested oil-rich Spratly Islands and deployed troops to the region.
By John Roberts, 27 April 2011
Clashes erupted last Friday near two ancient temples, about 160 kilometres west of the Preah Vihear temple where fighting took place in early February.
WikiLeaks’ cables reveal:
By Patrick O’Connor, 25 April 2011
The Australian government, then led by John Howard, targeted Alkatiri because of his perceived alignment with rival powers, especially Portugal and China.
By John Roberts, 23 April 2011
None of the divisions within the ruling elites that led to last year’s military crackdown has been resolved.
By Joseph Santolan, 22 April 2011
The spectacle is an annual celebration of gore and obscurantism, an international media circus, and a tourist bonanza.
By Joseph Santolan, 15 April 2011
The public furor over possible rice shortages has exposed the precarious position in which Aquino administration’s policies have left the country’s food supply.
By Wasantha Rupasingha, 12 April 2011
Despite official displays of concern, hundreds of quarries are permitted to operate in Vietnam without proper safety measures.
By Joseph Santolan, 9 April 2011
Supposedly called to discuss ASEAN aid for Japan following the March 11 quake, the summit’s hidden agenda is to promote the Japanese nuclear industry.
By Joseph Santolan, 5 April 2011
The three prisoners became pawns in a vast geopolitical game involving the China, the Philippines, the US and the Association of South East Asian Nations.
By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2011
The Thai government headed by Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai is being hailed in the world's financial centres as a model for the International Monetary Fund's intervention into the Asian economic crisis.
By Wasantha Rupasingha, 21 March 2011
In the first two months of this year, more than 20 strikes have been reported, triggered by surging prices.