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Indonesia's presidential race and Asean
July 7, 2014 6:26 am

Indonesia's presidential race and Asean

For Indonesians, only two choices come on Wednesday. The first candidate is an "ex-war commander" with a chequered history of rights abuses, Prabowo Subianto. The second is Joko Widodo or Jokowi, the charismatic governor of Jakarta with an...

NCPO urgently needs better media relations
June 30, 2014 1:00 am

NCPO urgently needs better media relations

The latest move by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to micro-manage the traditional and new media after the May 22 power seizure could seriously tarnish or even paralyse the NCPO's public diplomacy within Thailand and abroad.

Japan is back, without having left
June 23, 2014 1:00 am

Japan is back, without having left

Japan has always been with Southeast Asia in good and bad times, or in the years between. To say that Japan is back, as many scholars or new headlines claim, is quite a misnomer. Rather, Japan today is no longer the country that we are accustomed to,...

Thai HR policy and hedging diplomacy
June 16, 2014 1:00 am

Thai HR policy and hedging diplomacy

The coup has reset the country's domestic and external environment in the most radical ways with far-reaching implications. Internationally speaking, there was no ambiguity anymore. Thailand is at the bottom of the pit.

Now is the Best time to reassess, reinvent ties with US
June 9, 2014 1:00 am

Now is the Best time to reassess, reinvent ties with US

Unlike our previous infamous coups, the May 22 fait accompli has been a blessing in disguise as it has torn down literally all possible pretences related to Thai-US relations, the region's oldest partnership. It also laid bare the fragility and...

NCPO diplomatic priorities during crisis
June 2, 2014 1:00 am

NCPO diplomatic priorities during crisis

The mood was friendly with mutual understanding at the first meeting abroad in Singapore followed the May 22 coup between Foreign Minister Shanmugam and Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, who is serving as acting foreign...

Post-Cold War: emergence of tri-polar paradigm
May 19, 2014 1:00 am

Post-Cold War: emergence of tri-polar paradigm

As never before seen, the US, Russia and China - representing three different world views and practices - are competing head-on in shaping the norms and values of modern international system that has seen operating since the end of World War II.

Thailand as a regional haven for human trafficking
May 12, 2014 1:00 am

Thailand as a regional haven for human trafficking

Throughout the past five months, a total of 426 asylum-seekers from Central Asia landed in various parts of Thailand. These new arrivals were unusual and different from the Rohingya arriving in boats from the Andaman Sea, a pattern set over the past...

Asean centrality rests on peoples not leaders
May 5, 2014 1:00 am

Asean centrality rests on peoples not leaders

When the Asean senior officials got together recently in Singapore for the discussion on South China Sea, the situation in Ukraine was discussed on the sideline. There was a proposal from some Asean members to issue a joint statement on the...

AICHR can do more to protect Asean citizens
April 28, 2014 1:00 am

AICHR can do more to protect Asean citizens

The fate of Laotian civil society activist Sombath Somphone will serve as a test case on whether the dictum of a people-oriented Asean community, expounded recently by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, or people-centred community advocated by...