Category Archives: Community

On the Kerr letters

Re the Kerr Letters, in response to a friend who said former G-G John Kerr’s principle failure was in not informing the Queen of having sacked Australian PM Whitlam, my reply: There is absolutely nothing in parliamentary convention, much less the Constitution, which even remotely suggest the G-G can or should canvass advice from the […]

Review: ‘Working for the world: the evolution of Australian Volunteers International’

Working for the world: the evolution of Australian Volunteers International Peter Britton Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne If two approaches can be said to reflect many Australians’ approach to assisting others, they are probably volunteerism and working with communities. It was this approach which characterized Australia’s Volunteer Graduate Scheme (VGS), which from the early 1950s pioneered […]

Sri Lanka bombings; the wheel of violence continues to turn

For a country which gave the world the word ‘serendipity’, from an early Arab trader name for the island, Sri Lanka has been subject to extremist violence almost from the outset. Easter Sunday’s coordinated bomb blasts in the capital Colombo, which killed almost 300 and injured hundreds more, were just the latest event in a […]

War ‘declared’ in West Papua

On the last day of January 2019, the Free Papua Organisation (OPM) announced in Port Moresby that it recognized that West Papua was in a state of war with Indonesia and supported the OPM’s military wing, the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) is its own declaration of war against Indonesia early in 2018. […]

Jokowi releases a monster

In the next day or so, Indonesia’s Abu Bakar Bashir, the so-called ‘spiritual head’ of Jema’ah Islamiya which launched the 2002 Bali bombing which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, will be released from prison. He will be released under a presidential pardon by President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo. Unsurprisingly, Bashir’s impending release has generate much […]

Brexit vote to take the UK into uncharted territory

The vote by the UK parliament on whether to accept the European Union deal for an agreed exit of the UK from the EU on Tuesday (UK time) will mark the most important decision to be taken in that country’s post-war history. And it is very likely that the UK parliament will take the worst […]

West Papua violence escalates

West Papua is in turmoil with the killing of 31 construction workers and a soldier, widespread protests and the arrest of 537 West Papuan activists across Indonesia. These events follow what West Papuan sources say have been the killing of numerous villagers in recent weeks. Taken together, these events mark a significant escalation of the […]

Russia raises stakes in eastern Ukraine war

Russia’s firing on and then seizing three Ukrainian navy vessels attempting to pass through the Kerch Straits has raised fears of direct confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, following Russia’s intervention in the separation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. The blocking of Ukrainian naval access to the Sea of Azov has sparked […]

Timor-Leste in 2018

Timor-Leste started 2018 in political chaos and ended the year with a return to the confrontational politics of the past. What appeared to be the cooperation between key parties CNRT and Fretilin in the ‘government of national unity’ between 2015-17 was shattered following the 2017 elections. The political stalemate that arose under the 2017 minority […]

Sri Lanka crisis deepens

Sri Lanka’s constitutional crisis has deepened, with a split between President Maithripala Sirisena and the man he has, allegedly illegally, appointed as Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa. This follows President Sirisena’s decision on Friday to call a snap election for 5 January, which appears to be in breach of the country’s constitution. The new elections are […]