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  • Indonesia

    Indonesia: Elections an Opportunity for Improved Governance

    Upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Indonesia are heating up after the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) announcement that Jakarta’s popular governor, Joko Widodo (known as “Jokowi”), will run for president. As the vastly favored candidate, Jokowi’s popularity offers promise for consolidation of democracy. Improvement in Indonesia’s democratic credentials … More

    Abbott Tries to Mop Up Australia’s Immigration Problem

    Illegal immigration is a major issue in almost every developed nation, and Australia is increasingly becoming a flashpoint in the global debate. After six disastrous years of mismanagement under left-wing governments, conservative Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott is trying to stop the illegal smuggling of asylum seekers from Indonesia. According to … More

    Southeast Asia and the Limits of American Soft Power

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s swing through Southeast Asia last week was notable not for the headlines and handshake photos he generated but the ones generated by the Chinese. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was hosting the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers in Beijing during the Secretary’s … More

    Emerging Markets Have Caught a “Fed Cold”

    Stock prices and exchange rates in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia are taking a beating this week. The immediate cause is that the Federal Reserve just might reduce the gigantic amount of stimulus it’s been applying to the world economy. What’s really on display is the failure of … More

    Burma: Neighbors Call Out Regime on Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing

    Burma’s neighbors are finally speaking out about the ethnic cleansing occurring at their doorsteps. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have made public statements asking Burma to revisit its policy toward the Muslim minority Rohingya as violence continues to escalate in the nation. Earlier this week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa called … More

    Indonesia Continues to Disappoint on Religious Freedom

    The United States Commission on Individual Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has again rated Indonesia as a Tier 2 country. The Tier 2 designation indicates that “violations engaged in or tolerated by the government are particularly severe.” It means that the country is on the threshold of joining Burma, China, Saudi Arabia, … More

    U.N. General Assembly Adopts the Arms Trade Treaty

    This morning, by a vote of 154 nations in favor (including the United States), 23 abstentions, and three against (Syria, North Korea, and Iran), the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty will be open for national signature on June 3, 2013, and will enter into … More

    Threat of Terrorism Still Lurking in Asia

    Three individuals are currently under arrest in Malaysia for their alleged involvement in terrorist recruitment. Two of the individuals were charged with planning acts of terrorism that would have affected Syria. One of the suspects, Yazid Sufaat, was previously a high-profile individual arrested for his purported involvement in chemical and … More

    Indonesia Could Teach U.S. Some Fiscal Responsibility

    On July 11, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Indonesia as a model of government debt management. In absolute terms, though, Indonesia’s government spending and government debt has steadily increased. Indonesia’s robust fiscal standing comes first from economic growth with some help from controlling fuel subsidies. Indonesia’s government debt declined from … More

    Ike-Like Resolve Needed to Ensure Indonesian Religious Liberty

    Indonesians are proud of the respect for pluralism and tolerance embedded in their constitution. Indeed, Indonesia is largely tolerant of religious differences. Unfortunately, it is not yet fully governed by its constitution. Case in point: the continuing saga of GKI Yasmin church in Bogor, West Java. In the early 2000s, … More