Category Archives: Uncategorized

East Timor, 17 years on: a troubled past, a fragile future

Today [30th Au], 17 years ago, in the small town of Balibo, as elsewhere in East Timor, voters queued from before dawn to vote on whether their country would become independent. Having voted, they fled into the hills to await the coming storm. Pro-Indonesian militia already ruled the town, directed by the Indonesian army. In […]

Autonomy in Hong Kong may mean less in practice than in theory

Hong Kong’s ‘one country, two systems’ is sometimes referred to as constituting Hong Kong’s autonomy from China. This is, in principle, confirmed under Hong Kong’s 1997 Basic Law. However, autonomy arrangements can reflect less, and rarely more, than their legal framework implies. Issues in determining the functional status of autonomy arrangements include the terms of […]

A way forward with North Korea … if the US wants it

The bellicose rhetoric emanating from North Korea recently would have outsiders believe the world is but a step or two away from a military show-down, including the possibility of nuclear war. The threat from North Korea is a serious one if perhaps, for the moment, overstated. North Korea is long on confrontational commentary but, at […]

Timor-Leste Politics: responses to questions from World Politics Review

1. How did the substance of this campaign compare to past campaigns, and what does that say about how the country is evolving more than a decade after the 2006 crisis? Timor-Leste’s 2017 presidential elections were overwhelmingly peaceful, if colorful and sometimes noisy. The campaign process marked an increasing turn towards the normalization of politics […]

Asymetric diplomacy and regime change in Syria

Within 24 hours of the US air strike on an air base in Syria last week, the US claimed it was not pursuing regime change. That was a ‘kiss of death’. Four days later, as he landed on Russian soil, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Syria’s President Bashar al Assad must go. […]

The Dalai Lama provokes an assertive China

China’s regional assertiveness has entered a new phase with the Dalai Lama provoking China in its long disputed border region with India. China has warned India ‘not to complicate issues’ by allowing the Dalai Lama to use a visit to a border area to promote Tibetan separatism. Tibet has long been a sensitive issue for […]

Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission 2017 Official Statement

AUSTRALIA TIMOR-LESTE ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION (ATLEOM) 2017 TIMOR-LESTE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 20 MARCH 2017 OFFICIAL STATEMENT 23 March 2017 Damien Kingsbury and Michael Maley The Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission, auspiced by the Victorian Local Governance Association and supported by the Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network, is pleased to announce that the conduct of Timor-Leste’s presidential election […]

Timor-Leste presidential elections

Timor-Leste goes to the polls on Monday to elect a new president. After a profoundly troubled history, this small and still impoverished country the election should, happily, be relatively unproblematic. The elections have so far seen limited conflict, with a Fretilin-PD disturbance in Dili’s outer west reportedly leaving some homes burned. Election rallies have otherwise […]