Category Archives: Community

Australia sends Tamil asylum seeker back to be arrested.

When it comes to asylum seeker policy in Australia, one of its biggest blind spots concerns Sri Lanka and the people, mostly ethnic Tamils, who have been fleeing there in fear of their lives. Sri Lanka continues to marginalize and persecute Tamils, continuing to chase the ghost of the long destroyed Tamil separatist organization the […]

Trump’s Helsinki coup de grace after disastrous European visit

A colleague tried to (seriously) explain Donald Trump’s behavior as possibly reflecting the onset of a serious brain disease. My take is that, while it is difficult to find a rational explanation for his behavior, that let’s him off far too lightly. Trump is emotionally undeveloped, hugely egocentric/narcissistic and a very long way from being […]

The beginning of the end of the Syrian civil war

The surrender of Daraa by Syrian rebels to Syrian government forces marks the beginning of the end of the Syrian civil war. Although the rebel forces remain concentrated in the north and east of the country, the Assad regime will now be able to concentrate its forces and those of its allies to defeat remaining […]

Mexico’s populist victory driven by crime and compensation

Following a global trend against the status quo, Mexicans have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a populist as their new president. The election of former Mexico City mayor, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with 53% of vote in a five cornered contest, represents an overwhelming rejection of Mexico’s slide into profound violence and corruption. In […]

Turkey moves further away from the West

The election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey’s new executive president marks a significant step towards Turkey becoming an autocracy, and further separates Turkey from the West as a strategic partner. Turkey has been an important member of NATO, but it is increasingly doubtful whether it would now act in concert with its alliance partners […]

When Trump meets Kim

When President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, for their meeting to have been deemed a success, all they will have to do is walk away saying they have agreed in principle to some relatively low level matters and leave the details to their officials. That the summit between the two leaders […]

High stakes for the on-off-on US N Korea summit

Short of President Trump changing his mind – again – the meeting between himself and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks like it will proceed as originally scheduled in Singapore on or close to 12 June. North Asia, and the world, should be able to breathe a sigh of relief. President Trump’s decision to cancel […]

Why Trump has abandoned the Iran deal

If US President Donald Trump is good at one thing, it’s keeping his word on election promises; the promises may have been utterly crazy, but President Trump does appear to be sincere about trying to deliver. Abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with the ‘strongest sanctions in history’ is a key case in point. Apart […]

No Dancing, No Dancing: inside the global humanitarian crisis

Danis Dragovic’s ‘No Dancing, No Dancing: inside the global humanitarian crisis’ (Odyssey, 2018) is an important reflection on the aid and disaster industries, revisiting sites of previous aid work – South Sudan, Iraq and Timor-Leste – to discover what, if anything, has remained of earlier aid efforts and, where there has been failure, to seek […]

Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission 2018 report

Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission 2018 (ATLEOM 2018)   STATEMENT ON ELECTORAL PROCESS   The Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission (ATLEOM) congratulates Timor-Leste’s National Elections Commission (CNE) and Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) for their sound organisation of the 2018 parliamentary election. As in the past, the poll presented significant logistical and organisational challenges, […]