Category Archives: Community

Dictators still ride to and fro upon tigers …

China’s formalization this week of Xi Jinping as president0 for life marks that country’s turn away from partially accountable leadership to a model that is, in effect, a dictatorship. This runs counter to not only China’s post-Mao Zedong 10 year changes of leadership but also a more general global trend towards democracy. Yet Xi is […]

When Trump meets Kim

There is still some way to go before US President Donald Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and, at this stage, the proposed meeting could still be derailed. But some scenarios for the meeting are becoming a clearer. The two leaders will meet in what both […]

Sri Lanka’s communal tensions boil over again

For an island that gave its name to the word ‘serendipity’, Sri Lanka is a troubled and often bloodied country. The latest round of communal violence has pitted majority Sinhalese Buddhists against minority Muslims, causing the government to declare a 10 day state of emergency. Sinhalese make up around two-thirds of the population of Sri […]

Timor Sea agreement does not end Timor Sea dispute

It’s about Greater Sunrise. It was always about Greater Sunrise. The Timor Sea boundary agreement has now been signed in New York, but the key to the dispute – the $50 billion Greater Sunrise liquid natural gas field – remains unresolved. Timor-Leste has argued for many years that the agreement which saw the joint exploitation […]

Syrian government backs separatist Kurds

In what might be seen to be an odd move, Syrian government forces appear to be moving to push Turkish soldiers out of the north-western Afrin canton in a bid to assist the separatist Kurdish forces. The Turkish army invaded northern Syria last month to extinguish the creation of a 30,000 strong, Kurdish-dominated “border security […]

Israel’s dangerous game with attacks on Iran in Syria

Israel has entered a dangerous new stage with its attacks on military targets in Syria following th e downing of an Israeli F-16 jet on the weekend. It has been more than 50 years since Israel has lost a jet in combat, but the continued attacks reflect more than just revenge for the jet’s loss. […]

Papua sensitivity sends another journalist packing

The arrest and expulsion of Australian journalist Rebecca Henschke from the Indonesian province of (West) Papua again highlights the sensitivities of the Indonesian military, the TNI over the territory. It also shows, again, that while Papua is more open to journalists than in the past, that openness remains limited, reflecting the TNI’s deep paranoia about […]

Afghanistan braces for Spring offensive

If one was to believe the US UN ambassador Nikki Haley’s latest statement on the war in Afghanistan, it is going well for the US-backed government and the Taliban is moving towards peace. The reality is somewhat different. The weekend’s bomb blast in Kabul which killed more than a hundred people and injured well over […]

Turkey set to invade northern Syria to stop Kurd military

It has been a long time coming, but Turkey was never going to tolerate an independent Kurdish military on its border. As a result of the United States helping the Syrian Kurdish Self-Protection Units (YPG) establish a 30,000 strong anti-Islamic State ‘border security force’ in northern Syria, Turkey has massed forces along the northern Syrian […]

Trashing the US presidency ‘brand’

Just when one might be forgiven for thinking it can’t get any worse, or that the end must surely come soon, the rolling freak show that is the Donald Trump presidency has taken the US and, by extension, the world to new levels of incredulity. There have been so many personal boasts, so many gross […]