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Deakin Speaking

Boycotting Myanmar

In July 2015, the then still relatively new Australia Myanmar Institute held an international conference at Yangon University. It was the first time that an international conference had been held at that university and the first time that politics had been openly discussed there since 1962. It was a great moment, before the elections which […]

Cambodia’s slide towards dictatorship nearing completion

Blighted by anti-colonial war, revolution, a genocidal regime and then a civil war, it was hoped that the United Nations intervention in Cambodia a quarter of a century ago would result in a stable multi-party democracy. In recent days, however, Cambodia’s long slide back towards naked dictatorship has become all but complete. Last weekend, Cambodia’s […]

Australia and East Timor agree on the Timor Sea

Australia’s agreement with East Timor to settle a permanent maritime boundary in the Timor Sea appears to bring to an end a long-running and often bitter dispute which has marred relations between the two countries. It also marks another chapter in Australia bullying its tiny near neighbor into acquiescing to a deal that is less […]

Yes, President Trump, talking IS the answer!

It’s fair to say that no-one who understands the basics of international relations believes that President Donald Trump also understands how they work. His latest statement – sorry, Tweet – that ‘talking is not the answer’ regarding tensions with North Korea is a glaring case in point. Trump’s threats and ‘show of force’ over North […]

Aid agencies flee following Rohingya – Myanmar clashes

When Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy was elected to government in November 2015, there was a wave of relief across Myanmar, and the world, that, after decades of repression, things would change for the better. For many citizens of Myanmar there has been positive change, if most of it occurring prior to […]

Timor-Leste heading towards minority, but stable, government

Although unlikely to be formalized before 22 August, the shape of Timor-Leste’s next government is starting to become clear. It appears that Fretilin, as the ‘most voted’ party, will form a minority government, probably in alliance with the ‘youth’ party, KHUNTO. This alliance will give the government 27 seats in the 65 seat parliament. The […]

Pakistan’s PM is kicked out but expect little to change

Last week the Supreme Court of Pakistan unanimously declared that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not “honest” and that therefore he was “disqualified to be a member of Parliament”. Mr Sharif subsequently resigned, promising to use all available legal and constitutional means to challenge the verdict. This long-awaited decision was the culmination of over a […]

Timor-Leste’s political unity ended

Timor-Leste went into the 2017 parliamentary elections with a general expectation that the two major parties, CNRT and Fretilin, would continue to dominate the small country’s politics and return to the coalition they had since 2015. That coalition gave Timor-Leste stability and promised stability into the future, if at the expense of a viable opposition. […]

The China-India face-off in Bhutan

In a world that seems to be more rather than less prone to confrontation, China and India are now squaring off against each other on a remote plateau in a corner of the almost as remote country of Bhutan. Bhutan, an ally of India, is wedged between the two Asian powers, with China claiming a […]

Preliminary Statement, Timor-Leste Parliamentary Election 2017

Damien Kingsbury and Michael Maley The Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission (ATLEOM) wishes to congratulate the people of Timor-Leste on a peaceful and successful 2017 parliamentary election. The ATLEOM project also congratulates the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) and the National Electoral Commission (CNE) on conducting a successful election. The election marks a deepening […]