Southeast Asia Theater

Indonesia: Christian militiamen face execution

Note that this is being portrayed openly as a tit-for-tat to counter-balance the scheduled execution of those convicted in the Bali bombings. Note also that the Indonesian military itself has been accused of enflaming the Sulawesi violence through proxy militias. And note that the Pentagon has openly broached intervention in the Sulawesi conflict. From Asia News, Aug. 10:

Ramos Horta to lead East Timor

Jose Ramos Horta, winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, is a figure of towering moral authority, and will hopefully be able to restore both stability and real sovereignty to his nation. But it is painful to watch him take power as the East Timor he struggled to liberate from Indonesia is under de facto occupation by Australia and other foreign powers. From Austrialia's The Age, July 11:

Aussie imperialism exploits East Timor unrest

Exactly four years after winning its independence from Indonesia, East Timor is tragically descending into chaos, and Australia has sent a "peacekeeping" force. Excerpts from a Reuters account via TV New Zealand, May 27:

Gangs of youths allied to feuding East Timor police or army units went on the rampage in parts of the capital on Saturday, torching houses and vehicles, as Australian and Malaysian peacekeeping troops stepped up their patrols.

Australia-Indonesia cartoon wars

From Reuters, March 30:

CANBERRA - An Indonesian cartoon depicting Australia's prime minister and foreign minister as fornicating dingoes was "grotesque", Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on Thursday as bilateral tension flared with Jakarta.

Religious violence in Thailand

As we observed in the recent case in Nazareth, the choice of religious targets by the "mentally ill" is not so apolitical as it seems. If nothing else, it reflects a zeitgeist. From Reuters, March 25:

Thai Muslim killed after smashing Hindu god image
BANGKOK — A mentally-ill Muslim smashed a landmark Hindu statue in central Bangkok, worshipped by people of many religions, and was then beaten to death, police said on Tuesday.

Deadly protests and sweeps in West Papua

Another escalation in the ongoing struggle in West Papua. From AP, March 20:

Calm returned to Papua Province yesterday after three days of tension following a deadly protest against a massive US-owned gold mine in the eastern Indonesian province.

State of emergency in Philippines

A rather ironic way to note the 20th anniversary of the "People Power" revolution that ousted longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Those who marched in Manila to commemorate the revolution over the weekend did so in defiance of a state of emergency that bans all public gatherings. (BBC, Feb. 27) And one of those arrested in the alleged plot against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is a hero of the 1986 revolution. Details from this Feb. 27 Al-Jazeera account:

Protests halt West Papua mine operations

The latest escalation of the secret war in West Papua is even more eclipsed from the news than usual by the current hideous escalation in Iraq. But, as we witnessed in India last month, tribal peoples armed with bows and arrows are confronting state security forces with automatic weapons to defend their lands. You can be sure they are paying closer attention in the board rooms of Freeport McMoRan...

Syndicate content