Tag Archives: politics

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. […]

Aceh whippings hide deeper problem with Indonesian Islam

Reporting of two gay men being publically whipped in the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh has sparked concerns that Indonesia’s long-vaunted ‘tolerant’ Islam is turning fundamentalist. Islam in Indonesia is in a process of change and a more fundamentalist version of the faith is increasingly prominent. The ‘Aceh whippings’, however, may be misleading. Aceh was […]

Fall-out from execution of Chan and Sukumaran

The execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has had a riveting, almost cathartic, effect on many Australians, including its political leaders. The overwhelming response has been one of rejection, sadness and, in some cases, anger. Given that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said last year that this issue would not be allowed to affect […]

Pace at last in Timor-Leste?

As Timor-Leste went to the second round of the presidential elections, the peace that marked the first round appears to be holding. Apart from an incident in Viqueque District, there have been no notable outbreaks of violence, so far, to mar this electoral process. Many have congratulated Timor-Leste for this important achievement. The peaceful environment […]

Timor-Leste’s presidential run-off

Following Timor-Leste’s presidential election last Saturday, the two leading candidates, Fretilin’s Francisco ‘Lu-Olo’ Guterres and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao-backed Taur Matan Ruak, will now progress to a second round of voting in mid-April. Their success to date reflects perhaps more the relatively high level of party loyalty within Timor-Leste than support for the two as […]

Democracy as Lulic?

Amongst Timor-Leste’s traditions, there is none more central to how Timorese understand themselves in relation to their world than that of lulic, or that which is ‘sacred’. While a sense of lulic is not always visible, especially in life that is affected by elements of modernity, such as in a town or in Dili, it […]

Timor-Leste: Mother tongue or national language?

The current debate in Timor-Leste about whether to use a ‘mother tongue’ or home language for the first years of education or whether to focus on building Tetum as a national language has raised a number of important points. These include whether local languages are, in the long term, viable and whether they could promote […]

Parking Politics 101

I hope my political science colleagues in the Faculty of Arts & Education very carefully document everything that is happening in the Deakin University parking discourse (which, I hear from reliable sources, will go down into history as ‘The Great Deakin Parking Battle of 2011’). Virtually every aspect of the issue lends itself to exquisite […]

The Middle East should not adopt Western democracy

In order for democracy to really take hold in the wake of the recent Arab Revolutions, the people of the region should be careful not to conform to Western ideas of democracy and instead develop their own model, one relevant to their own cultural norms and in tune with their own rich history of democracy. […]

Australia's Mideast relationship is easy as 1,2,3

Although Australia has repeatedly expressed its solidarity and support with the Arab uprisings and has called for a no-fly zone to be imposed on Libya, what exactly Australia should learn from the popular democratic movements sweeping across the region has yet to be considered. The dramatic sequence of pro-democracy movements that are emerging in the […]