ALYSSA MONTALVO WRITES — It’s scarcely big news that the political culture of Thailand is heavily influenced by the monarchy. And because of this – and the alliance between the extensive Thai military and Crown, one of the world’s longest running monarchies – issues of basic human rights and equity…Full Article THAILAND: THOSE ‘ANNOYING’ COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL PROTESTERS
MANAGING EDITOR ZHI JIAO DANIELLE GOH — First it was Hong Kong and Taiwan. Then it was Thailand. And now Myanmar. What’s going on in Asia? Perhaps the Milk Tea Alliance can help you understand the situation in the region. The Milk Tea Alliance began with a tweet by Thai…Full Article ASEAN: THE MILK TEA MOVEMENT BREWS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
LAMA ALTAHER WRITES – Although the recent military coup in Myanmar saw a democratically elected government overthrown, the events were reminiscent of the Arab Spring protests across Asia and Africa in 2010. The Myanmar military junta has a long history of using excessive force to crack down on protests, which…Full Article MYANMAR: STOP THE STEAL. RESPECT DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS
MARY SANDRINE BERNOS WRITES — The Thailand protests are caused by three things: resignation of the prime minister, rewriting of the military-drafter constitution, and reform of the monarchy’s absolute power. Citizens of Thailand are angered at the fact that their current prime minister was still appointed despite causing a military…Full Article THAILAND: PROTESTS IN A CONTINUING BATTLE TOWARDS DEMOCRACY
ROBERT BORN WRITES– Sunday, March 24, marked the first time in five years that the Thai government allowed an election years after promising one. In 2014, a military coup removed the government of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s party–then headed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Since then, the military junta…Full Article THAILAND: Free and Fair Elections? Not So Fast – OR TOO SLOW?
MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES – Strong-armed President Rodrigo Duterte might be fresh from victory after the Philippine Senate voted to demote a vocal critic, but on her way out the door Sen. Leila De Lima warned Duterte to not rest on his laurels. On September 19, the Philippine Senate voted…Full Article PHILIPPINES: STRONGMAN VS. STRONG WOMAN
SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – On Nov. 3rd, the South Korean government made the controversial, yet entirely legal decision to rewrite history textbooks. Many scholars and political opponents of the Park administration immediately condemned this move. Two weeks later, 70,000 protesters congregated in Seoul in an attempt to confront the South Korean government’s move…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: How ‘Democratic’ Is It, Really?
EMILY ROCHA WRITES – Media coverage of the recent monumental meeting between Chinese and Taiwanese presidents differs between the two states, as each attempts to push their own agenda. On November 7, in Singapore, a historic handshake between the Beijing and Taipai leaders occurred, the first since the declaration of…Full Article THE MAINLAND VS. TAIWAN: Good News, or Bad?
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Since the end of World War II, Japan has successfully avoided war as a way to settle international conflicts. The country’s constitution intentionally promotes peace by de-emphasizing its military. That may no longer work. Early Saturday morning, September 19, the upper house of Japan’s parliament passed…Full Article JAPAN: War! What is it Good For?
ARACELI PALAFOX WRITES- In September, there was a turn in media in Cambodia when Cambodia’s Center for Independent Media (CCIM) applied for radio and television licenses. If granted, CCIM would operate it’s Voice of Democracy (VOD) program through the Ministry of Information. VOD was established in 2003 under Cambodia’s Center for Human…Full Article CAMBODIA: Democracy in (Radio) Waves
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The world’s largest democracy may finally be set to host the world’s most expensive elections. In the months leading to India’s April-May congressional election, the competing Congress and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, or the People’s Party) will spend upwards of $5 billion on TV, print, radio, and…Full Article INDIA: Elections Could be the Costliest Ever
ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – Thailand’s Democrat Party leaders are using momentum from the country’s current protests to further their own, longstanding cause: The overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinowatra and the dominant Pheu Thai Party. Protests first erupted between royalists (locally coined as “yellow shirts”) and those loyal to Thaksin (the…Full Article THAILAND: Might Equals Right?
ARACELI PALAFOX WRITES – Want to figure out how democratic a country really is? You don’t have to go far. The freedom of its press goes a long way toward revealing its overall democratic values and practices. And in Cambodia, the lack of democracy has been revealed both at home…Full Article CAMBODIA: A Call on the Political Elite for the Rights to Media Freedom
To me, the Hobbesian state of nature unfolding now in Egypt is the colossal story of the current epoch. In our idealistic quest for political perfection, what sometimes happens? We create darkness. When we agree to see a regime deposed (or help push it over the cliff), it night well…Full Article GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Egypt as Iconic Tragedy
The Korea Times appears to be taking a very unbiased approach when reporting current events. In an article discussing a North Korean soldier’s desertion and a recent leak of military secrets, South Korea’s newspaper maintained a very neutral stance, focusing on stating concrete facts instead of relying on opinion-based writing…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: Telling It Like It Is
It seems that Taiwan’s journalists are not in agreement about how “free” their island democracy really is.In fact, there is a trend surfacing in Taiwanese newspapers with many articles implicitly asking the same question of its readership: Are we a democracy? Certain journalists argue that Taiwan is far too influenced…Full Article TAIWAN: Free At Last?