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Category Archives: Asia

Rough road ahead for powder keg Papua

As much as it will spark development in one of Indonesia’s most remote regions, Papuan leaders are growing increasingly concerned over the social impact of the new Trans-Papua Highway that will open highland tribal areas for the first time.

Papua Peace Network coordinator Neles Terbay says nothing has prepared the tribes for the expected influx of migrants from other islands, who he claims now outnumber indigenous Papuans by as much as 60-40 across the once-roadless territory.

http://www.atimes.com/article/rough-road-ahead-powder-keg-papua/

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Posted by on October 13, 2017 in Asia

 

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The Rusi report might tell us to ‘prepare for war in North Korea’, but the reality is very different

The title of the report is “Preparing for War in Korea” and it presents a vivid montage of apocalypse now, or in the very near future. We are about to experience, it says, the worst conflict since the Second World War, with “large-scale US-led air and cyber offensives and massive North Korean retaliation using conventional, chemical and possibly nuclear weapons”. This would be followed by an invasion of North Korea with “casualties likely to reach hundreds of thousands” of people.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/rusi-report-north-korea-donald-trump-usa-america-war-genocide-reality-a7972681.html?amp

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2017 in Asia

 

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Rohingya: The oil economics and land-grab politics behind Myanmar’s refugee crisis

Recent weeks have seen an escalation of violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine, the poorest state of Myanmar. A tide of displaced people is seeking refuge from atrocities—they are fleeing both on foot and by boat to Bangladesh. It is the latest surge of displaced people, and is exacerbated by the recent activity of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).Religious and ethnic differences have been widely considered the leading cause of the persecution. But it is becoming increasingly hard to believe that there are not other factors at play. Especially given that Myanmar is home to 135 official recognised ethnic groups (the Rohingya were removed from this list in 1982).In analysing the recent violence, much of the western media has focused on the role of the military and the figure of the de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Her status as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been widely questioned since the latest evidence of atrocities emerged.

Source: Rohingya: The oil economics and land-grab politics behind Myanmar’s refugee crisis — Quartz

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2017 in Asia

 

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Myths and realities behind the Rakhine crisis

The international outcry over Myanmar’s escalating Rohingya refugee crisis masks several ironies that have fueled an intensifying propaganda war since the Aug. 25 attacks by Muslim militants on security facilities in Rakhine state. The first is the resounding condemnation of the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, while the real commanders behind the brutal “clearance operations” targeting Rohingya communities have stayed out of the political frontline.On the international front, Suu Kyi has been widely criticized for her silence and her perceived refusal to halt a military campaign that has driven more than 300,000 refugees — mainly Muslim Rohingya — into neighboring Bangladesh in just over two weeks and razed dozens of villages amid reports of summary executions, detentions, torture and mob violence.

Source: Myths and realities behind the Rakhine crisis- Nikkei Asian Review

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2017 in Asia

 

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Aung San Suu Kyi was always against the Rohingya, but the world simply ignored the woman

Aung San Suu Kyi has finally spoken, and left the world disappointed.The Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar’s Rakhine State have been subject to what the United Nations (UN) head of human rights called “a textbook example of genocide.” And many had, till now, exhorted Suu Kyi to speak up against the state-sanctioned horrors.Though the Nobel Laureate “broke her silence” on Sept. 19, her speech all but denied the gravity of the situation and the Myanmar government’s hand in it. So, for many now, Suu Kyi is no longer the humanitarian who relentlessly fought for democracy in her country and spent 15 years under house arrest.

Source: Aung San Suu Kyi was always against the Rohingya, but the world simply ignored the woman — Quartz

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2017 in Asia

 

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A last look at icon of Cambodia’s ‘Golden Age’ before it is bulldozed to make way for condo tower

Once filled with music, cooking smells, chatter, laughter and children playing, the hallways of Phnom Penh’s iconic White Building are now being torn apart by bulldozers. One of the last examples of the modernist style epitomised by the bold New Khmer Architecture school in the 1960s, the White Building is making way for an upscale, 21-storey condominium block that will tower over homes and shops in the heart of the Cambodian capital.Many of the former residents, such as 62-year-old Chhey Sophoan, did not want to leave the crumbling structure. The retired teacher was among the first wave of people who moved back into the building after the Khmer Rouge – which decimated the country during its nearly four-year reign – fell to Vietnamese-led forces, in 1979. And he was one of the last residents to leave, bunking down in his nephew’s poky flat even after his wife had moved to their modern, newly built home on the outskirts of the city.

Source: A last look at icon of Cambodia’s ‘Golden Age’ before it is bulldozed to make way for condo tower | Post Magazine | South China Morning Post

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2017 in Asia

 

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Should Publications Compromise to Remain in China?

The C.U.P.’s decision to stand up to censorship made me feel pumped for a second, but then worried me. Without any leverage on the authoritarian state, foreign publications can only score moral victories by defying requests for partial self-censorship, while risking total censorship from the authorities.In the past four years, whenever I went home to Beijing, I was blessed with a V.P.N. from an Ivy League university, which not only gave me access to the indispensable Facebook and Gmail but also provided me with many key online library resources that made some of my research work possible. However, I also know that my friends at Chinese universities do not usually enjoy abundant academic resources in English because most of their coursework does not involve looking up foreign publications. Therefore, in China, foreign publications have a niche readership—the students and scholars who engage with English materials in their fields and whose institutions are willing to foot the relatively expensive bill for articles in foreign academic publications.Practically speaking, censoring 315 China Quarterly articles on certain “sensitive topics” does far less damage than lying about them in schoolbooks and sanitizing history on Chinese media. After all, the purpose of making these 315 articles available in China is not to teach 1.3 billion people the truths that they deserve to know; these articles would be lucky to have as many as 130 readers in China. And even the Chinese academics who do read the China Quarterly are not very likely to base their research on any of the English articles that cover “sensitive topics.” Just imagine a Chinese scholar applying for Chinese state funding from a Chinese university to buy access to academic papers that present the latest findings by unfriendly foreigners that hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.

Source: Should Publications Compromise to Remain in China? | ChinaFile

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Asia

 

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There is no place in academia for craven submission to Chinese censorship demands

Imagine if the British government could eradicate the miners’ strike from history. Not just by deleting all news coverage but by preventing the academic study of it. Imagine if, at university courses on the history of modern conservatism, all mention of it was banned. Imagine if, on top of that, a major global academic publisher voluntarily deleted all discussion of the miners’ strike from a prestigious journal.You now have a sense of the scale of what Cambridge University Press had done by deleting more than 300 articles from China Quarterly, following a request from the Chinese government. The decision, which has been reversed and the articles reinstated in the face of a threatened academic boycott, could lead to China blocking this and other related content. To which conflict I say: bring it on.Coming after the decision by Apple to stop selling, and Amazon’s Chinese partner to forbid hosting of virtual private networks – the tool needed to evade internet censorship in China – the move is part of a widespread and craven acquiescence by western corporations and governments with Xi Jinping’s project.

Source: There is no place in academia for craven submission to Chinese censorship demands | Opinion | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Asia

 

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The Guardian view on the Rohingya in Myanmar: the Lady’s failings, the military’s crimes

Aung San Suu Kyi’s long silence over the desperate plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar has been shameful. With tens of thousands now fleeing atrocities in Rakhine state, the Nobel peace prize winner’s aura of moral sanctity lies in tatters. The Muslim minority are denied citizenship by a government which claims, against the evidence, that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. After decades of discrimination, matters got much worse. Since 2012 the Rohingya have endured not just immiseration and the denial of basic rights and services – many live in internment camps – but three major waves of violence by government forces and Buddhist Burman nationalists. Myanmar’s de facto leader has turned a blind eye.

Source: The Guardian view on the Rohingya in Myanmar: the Lady’s failings, the military’s crimes | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Asia

 

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Why the Rohingya? Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing is driven by an irrational fear of Muslims becoming the majority

During the past 65 years of military rule in Burma [Myanmar], the army has killed thousands of people from almost every one of the country’s numerous minorities: Shans, Karens, Kachins, Karennis, Mon, Chin and many smaller groups. But the only ones who have faced genocide are the Rohingya, and it is happening right now.

Source: Why the Rohingya? Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing is driven by an irrational fear of Muslims becoming the majority | South China Morning Post

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Asia

 

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