MY WORK

Chris Fitzgerald is a freelance journalist based in Melbourne.

He writes well-researched and persuasive articles on domestic and global political, humanitarian and human rights issues.

Chris is a regular contributor to the South China Morning Post and Asia Times. His work has also appeared in the Southeast Asia Globe, Politics.co.uk and 9Dashline.

He is also Director of the Platform for Peace and Humanity's Indo-Pacific programme.

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No voter love for Modi's politics of hate

India’s six-week election campaign came to an end on Tuesday, with 640 million people voting in the world’s largest poll.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to cruise to victory and win a third term off the back of his widespread popularity. Instead, voters largely rejected his and his Bharatiya Janata Party’s election platform, with both falling back to earth with a resounding electoral thud.

The BJP is projected to win 240 seats in India’s Lok Sabha, falling short of the 272-seat mark

President Biden is destroying international law to protect Israel

The wheels of justice move slowly but they appear to be quickly catching up with Israel, leading to hopes of justice for Palestinians in Gaza. But the response of Israel’s ally the United States suggests the latter would rather destroy the international legal order it helped create rather than hold Israel to account for war crimes.

This comes as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan QC, announced this week that he would be seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minis

Opinion | Why China should step up aid to Afghanistan

Flooding has also been reported in Badakhshan, Ghor and Herat provinces. The main road between Kabul to northern Afghanistan is reportedly closed, impeding relief efforts.

Heavy rains have caused devastating floods in northern Afghanistan , ripping through towns and villages and sweeping away homes. Baghlan province has been the hardest hit, with the World Food Programme saying over 300 people have been killed.

Afghanistan is facing another setback. This time, natural disasters are taking live

Will new police chief end Philippines war on drugs?

The President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., named Major General Rommel Francisco Marbil as the country’s new police chief last week. Marbil replaces General Benjamin Acorda Jr., who retired at the start of April, only three months after his term had been extended by the president. The appointment has raised hopes of an end to the country’s lethal war on drugs.

Speaking at his first press conference on Tuesday, Marbil promised a new approach, stating that “there is no need for a drug

9DASHLINE — Strongman politics are returning to Southeast Asia

February’s presidential election in Indonesia saw a return to strongman politics after Prabowo Subianto swept to victory. But this has not been isolated to Indonesia, with Filipinos electing populist leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr in 2022.

A strongman is a leader with an authoritarian streak who seeks to curtail democratic institutions while in power. While the typical strongman hails from a military background, others gain power as populists in democratic elections claiming to be the only leader c

Pakistan has run out of patience with the Taliban over terrorism

Pakistan’s patience with the Taliban has run out. Islamabad is increasingly willing to violate Afghanistan’s sovereignty to combat deadly terror attacks. This is indicative of a wider regional dilemma, with Afghanistan’s wicked problems are spilling out across the region.

This comes as Pakistan’s military conducted airstrikes on suspected hideouts of terror groups in Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces on Monday. According to the Taliban, eight civilians were killed, all women and childre

Human rights takes back seat, as Australia rolls out red carpet for Marcos

The Australian Government's embracing of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr marks yet another instance of complicity in foreign human rights concerns, Chris Fitzgerald reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN leaders, diplomats and officials flew into Melbourne last week to attend a three-day summit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Australia’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This is the largest gathering of world leaders in Australia since 2018 when former Prime

Modi riding the politics of hate to reelection

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stepped up attacks on minority groups in the lead-up to India’s general election, sparking fears Muslims will be targeted as the two-term leader seeks to divide Indians and stoke tensions for his and his ruling party’s political gain.

This coincides with this week’s rollout of controversial legislation, known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which makes religion a determining factor for people to become Indian citizens.

Under the law, only Muslims are un

Strongman politics returning to Southeast Asia

History is repeating in Southeast Asia. Filipinos and now Indonesians have elected leaders with links to their countries dark pasts, raising questions about whether strongman politics is back in the region and whether it is here to stay. Its return could risk hard-won progress on democracy and human rights.

When Indonesians went to the polls this month, Prabowo Subianto was the overwhelming victor, winning in the first round with 58% of the vote. While the General Elections Commission has until

Opinion | If Taliban wants legitimacy in Afghanistan, it must renounce al-Qaeda

The report said the terrorist group had re-established itself in Afghanistan and “continues to pose a threat to the region, and potentially beyond”. Al-Qaeda has reportedly built eight new training camps, runs safe houses in Kabul and Herat, has stockpiled weapons in the Panjshir Valley, and operates five madrasas in the east of the country.

In particular, the UN’s report on Afghanistan released last month revealed a disturbing rise in activity by al-Qaeda.

Islamic extremism is on the rise aga

Taliban’s latest attempt to punish women could backfire

The Taliban have brought in the new year by stepping up their campaign against women and girls in Afghanistan.

Having already banned women from education and employment, the regime is now targeting women on the streets for their appearance. This is a dangerous new phase in the Taliban’s attempts to dominate women and girls and erase them from public life.

The Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has reportedly detained and imprisoned dozens of women and girls in Kabul for “no

Human rights at stake in Indonesia’s presidential election

Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, will go to the polls next month. The country’s 200 million voters, and 1.75 million members of the Indonesian diaspora, will vote to elect a new president and vice-president.

The stakes are high. President Joko Widodo will leave office with a flawed but positive legacy on human rights, including an attempt to right the wrongs of Indonesia’s dark past. But this year’s election threatens a return of that past, with Indonesia’s old guard looking to r

Opinion | World is betraying Afghan women by legitimising the Taliban

This is a recognition that the status quo isn’t working and that solving Afghanistan’s problems begins and ends with the Taliban, rulers of Afghanistan since the withdrawal of US-led forces in August 2021. No country has officially recognised the Taliban government due to its links with terrorist groups and poor human rights record.

On December 29, the UN Security Council passed a resolution on the Afghanistan independent assessment, meant to be a blueprint of “forward-looking recommendations”

How landmark court decisions in the UK and Australia could turn the tide on cruel border policies

Courts in the United Kingdom and Australia have handed down landmark decisions overturning key government policies on border protection. This rulings have left the Sunak and Albanese governments scrambling for alternatives. This is a significant moment that may mark the beginning of the end of inhumane border policies designed to deter asylum seekers.

This comes as the Australian High Court ruled on 8 November that the indefinite detention of people was illegal and unconstitutional. The Chief J

The US response to the Israel-Hamas conflict has exposed a dangerous double standard

Last year, United States President Joe Biden told reporters he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “war criminal” in response to civilian casualties in Ukraine.

When a Russian airstrike hit a children’s hospital is the Ukrainian city of Mariupol last March Biden slammed the attack was an “injustice” and a “disgrace to the entire world”.

When confronted with the hundreds of mass graves in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Biden did not hesitate to describe Russia’s actions as “genocide”.

Opinion: How China can stop Pakistan from worsening Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis

The Taliban condemned the move, demanding that Pakistan not “deport Afghans by force and without preparation” and that it should consider “good neighbourliness, Islamic brotherhood and humanity”.

By the November 1 deadline , more than 60,000 Afghans had been deported. Those remaining have reported coercion to leave by Pakistani officials, and harassment, beatings, extortion and detention.

Pakistan announced on October 3 that all illegal migrants and asylum seekers had 28 days to leave or face

9DASHLINE — Challenges remain in the Philippines despite Maria Ressa’s court victory

In September, Maria Ressa, chief executive and co-founder of the Filipino news website Rappler, celebrated her acquittal from her fifth and final tax evasion charge. This follows the Philippine government’s 2018 accusation that Ressa and Rappler avoided tax payments related to the sale of depository receipts to foreign investors.

Ressa’s acquittal is not only a rare victory for press freedom, but it offers the Philippines a chance to distance itself from the brutal regime of the former Presiden

Opinion | How the Taliban’s extremism is driving its own demise

The Taliban had promised a general amnesty for former officials and members of the armed forces when it retook power in 2021. At the time, spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed that “nobody will be harmed in Afghanistan” and that “there is a huge difference between us now and 20 years ago”.

This includes at least 800 cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, and enforced disappearance against government officials and members of the armed forces. The UN mission’

Syrians are rising up against Assad, and this time things could be different

Tensions have boiled over in southern Syria this week as thousands protest deteriorating living conditions. This has triggered a movement not seen since 2011 and could threaten President Bashar Al-Assads grip on power.

Protests originated in the southern city of Sweida, where hundreds of people hit the streets carrying signs and chanting “Syria is ours and it is not for Al-Assad’s family”. One video shared on social media showed a banner of Al-Assad being hung in the main square of the city, wh

9DASHLINE — While the world softens on the Taliban, Afghans continue to suffer

United States officials met with senior Taliban representatives in Doha during the last week of July, raising concerns that the international community is softening its stance in terms of officially recognising the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. The meeting was confirmed by the US Department of State, which used a press release to reveal that a US delegation led by Thomas West, the Special Representative for Afghanistan, met with Taliban representatives between 30 and 31 July in Qatar

Thai leadership hopeful hits familiar roadblocks in search for power

Transnational crime is an issue that directly intersects with human security. The development of the world is still ongoing and offers various conveniences in all respects for human life. But at the same time, this convenience also has consequences for the security of the world community and requires them to be more careful about possible adverse impacts that may occur. The freedom that is created can trigger the practice of cross-border crimes committed by individuals, even organized groups who

Philippines drugs crackdown continues as Marcos Jr. marks first anniversary

At the end of June, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will mark 12 months since he became the 17th president of the Philippines.

During his election campaign, the son of former strongman ruler Ferdinand Marcos Sr. promised to take a new approach to the ‘war on drugs’. This was likely an attempt to distance himself from then-President Rodrigo Duterte, whose violent campaign against illicit drugs cost the lives of thousands of Filipinos between 2016 and 2022.

In an interview last year, Marcos Jr. stated that
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Will new police chief end Philippines war on drugs?

The President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., named Major General Rommel Francisco Marbil as the country’s new police chief last week. Marbil replaces General Benjamin Acorda Jr., who retired at the start of April, only three months after his term had been extended by the president. The appointment has raised hopes of an end to the country’s lethal war on drugs.

Speaking at his first press conference on Tuesday, Marbil promised a new approach, stating that “there is no need for a drug

9DASHLINE — Strongman politics are returning to Southeast Asia

February’s presidential election in Indonesia saw a return to strongman politics after Prabowo Subianto swept to victory. But this has not been isolated to Indonesia, with Filipinos electing populist leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr in 2022.

A strongman is a leader with an authoritarian streak who seeks to curtail democratic institutions while in power. While the typical strongman hails from a military background, others gain power as populists in democratic elections claiming to be the only leader c

Pakistan has run out of patience with the Taliban over terrorism

Pakistan’s patience with the Taliban has run out. Islamabad is increasingly willing to violate Afghanistan’s sovereignty to combat deadly terror attacks. This is indicative of a wider regional dilemma, with Afghanistan’s wicked problems are spilling out across the region.

This comes as Pakistan’s military conducted airstrikes on suspected hideouts of terror groups in Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces on Monday. According to the Taliban, eight civilians were killed, all women and childre

Human rights takes back seat, as Australia rolls out red carpet for Marcos

The Australian Government's embracing of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr marks yet another instance of complicity in foreign human rights concerns, Chris Fitzgerald reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN leaders, diplomats and officials flew into Melbourne last week to attend a three-day summit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Australia’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This is the largest gathering of world leaders in Australia since 2018 when former Prime

Modi riding the politics of hate to reelection

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stepped up attacks on minority groups in the lead-up to India’s general election, sparking fears Muslims will be targeted as the two-term leader seeks to divide Indians and stoke tensions for his and his ruling party’s political gain.

This coincides with this week’s rollout of controversial legislation, known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which makes religion a determining factor for people to become Indian citizens.

Under the law, only Muslims are un

Strongman politics returning to Southeast Asia

History is repeating in Southeast Asia. Filipinos and now Indonesians have elected leaders with links to their countries dark pasts, raising questions about whether strongman politics is back in the region and whether it is here to stay. Its return could risk hard-won progress on democracy and human rights.

When Indonesians went to the polls this month, Prabowo Subianto was the overwhelming victor, winning in the first round with 58% of the vote. While the General Elections Commission has until

Opinion | If Taliban wants legitimacy in Afghanistan, it must renounce al-Qaeda

The report said the terrorist group had re-established itself in Afghanistan and “continues to pose a threat to the region, and potentially beyond”. Al-Qaeda has reportedly built eight new training camps, runs safe houses in Kabul and Herat, has stockpiled weapons in the Panjshir Valley, and operates five madrasas in the east of the country.

In particular, the UN’s report on Afghanistan released last month revealed a disturbing rise in activity by al-Qaeda.

Islamic extremism is on the rise aga

Taliban’s latest attempt to punish women could backfire

The Taliban have brought in the new year by stepping up their campaign against women and girls in Afghanistan.

Having already banned women from education and employment, the regime is now targeting women on the streets for their appearance. This is a dangerous new phase in the Taliban’s attempts to dominate women and girls and erase them from public life.

The Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has reportedly detained and imprisoned dozens of women and girls in Kabul for “no

Human rights at stake in Indonesia’s presidential election

Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, will go to the polls next month. The country’s 200 million voters, and 1.75 million members of the Indonesian diaspora, will vote to elect a new president and vice-president.

The stakes are high. President Joko Widodo will leave office with a flawed but positive legacy on human rights, including an attempt to right the wrongs of Indonesia’s dark past. But this year’s election threatens a return of that past, with Indonesia’s old guard looking to r

Opinion | World is betraying Afghan women by legitimising the Taliban

This is a recognition that the status quo isn’t working and that solving Afghanistan’s problems begins and ends with the Taliban, rulers of Afghanistan since the withdrawal of US-led forces in August 2021. No country has officially recognised the Taliban government due to its links with terrorist groups and poor human rights record.

On December 29, the UN Security Council passed a resolution on the Afghanistan independent assessment, meant to be a blueprint of “forward-looking recommendations”

How landmark court decisions in the UK and Australia could turn the tide on cruel border policies

Courts in the United Kingdom and Australia have handed down landmark decisions overturning key government policies on border protection. This rulings have left the Sunak and Albanese governments scrambling for alternatives. This is a significant moment that may mark the beginning of the end of inhumane border policies designed to deter asylum seekers.

This comes as the Australian High Court ruled on 8 November that the indefinite detention of people was illegal and unconstitutional. The Chief J

The US response to the Israel-Hamas conflict has exposed a dangerous double standard

Last year, United States President Joe Biden told reporters he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “war criminal” in response to civilian casualties in Ukraine.

When a Russian airstrike hit a children’s hospital is the Ukrainian city of Mariupol last March Biden slammed the attack was an “injustice” and a “disgrace to the entire world”.

When confronted with the hundreds of mass graves in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Biden did not hesitate to describe Russia’s actions as “genocide”.

Opinion: How China can stop Pakistan from worsening Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis

The Taliban condemned the move, demanding that Pakistan not “deport Afghans by force and without preparation” and that it should consider “good neighbourliness, Islamic brotherhood and humanity”.

By the November 1 deadline , more than 60,000 Afghans had been deported. Those remaining have reported coercion to leave by Pakistani officials, and harassment, beatings, extortion and detention.

Pakistan announced on October 3 that all illegal migrants and asylum seekers had 28 days to leave or face

9DASHLINE — Challenges remain in the Philippines despite Maria Ressa’s court victory

In September, Maria Ressa, chief executive and co-founder of the Filipino news website Rappler, celebrated her acquittal from her fifth and final tax evasion charge. This follows the Philippine government’s 2018 accusation that Ressa and Rappler avoided tax payments related to the sale of depository receipts to foreign investors.

Ressa’s acquittal is not only a rare victory for press freedom, but it offers the Philippines a chance to distance itself from the brutal regime of the former Presiden

Opinion | How the Taliban’s extremism is driving its own demise

The Taliban had promised a general amnesty for former officials and members of the armed forces when it retook power in 2021. At the time, spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed that “nobody will be harmed in Afghanistan” and that “there is a huge difference between us now and 20 years ago”.

This includes at least 800 cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, and enforced disappearance against government officials and members of the armed forces. The UN mission’

Syrians are rising up against Assad, and this time things could be different

Tensions have boiled over in southern Syria this week as thousands protest deteriorating living conditions. This has triggered a movement not seen since 2011 and could threaten President Bashar Al-Assads grip on power.

Protests originated in the southern city of Sweida, where hundreds of people hit the streets carrying signs and chanting “Syria is ours and it is not for Al-Assad’s family”. One video shared on social media showed a banner of Al-Assad being hung in the main square of the city, wh

9DASHLINE — While the world softens on the Taliban, Afghans continue to suffer

United States officials met with senior Taliban representatives in Doha during the last week of July, raising concerns that the international community is softening its stance in terms of officially recognising the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. The meeting was confirmed by the US Department of State, which used a press release to reveal that a US delegation led by Thomas West, the Special Representative for Afghanistan, met with Taliban representatives between 30 and 31 July in Qatar

Thai leadership hopeful hits familiar roadblocks in search for power

Transnational crime is an issue that directly intersects with human security. The development of the world is still ongoing and offers various conveniences in all respects for human life. But at the same time, this convenience also has consequences for the security of the world community and requires them to be more careful about possible adverse impacts that may occur. The freedom that is created can trigger the practice of cross-border crimes committed by individuals, even organized groups who

Philippines drugs crackdown continues as Marcos Jr. marks first anniversary

At the end of June, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will mark 12 months since he became the 17th president of the Philippines.

During his election campaign, the son of former strongman ruler Ferdinand Marcos Sr. promised to take a new approach to the ‘war on drugs’. This was likely an attempt to distance himself from then-President Rodrigo Duterte, whose violent campaign against illicit drugs cost the lives of thousands of Filipinos between 2016 and 2022.

In an interview last year, Marcos Jr. stated that

Prigozhin's mutiny won’t succeed, but Vladimir Putin is finished

At the beginning, it was referred to, in a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin, as “special military operation” aimed largely at “demilitarization” and “denazification” in neighboring Ukraine. We know from history that both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. After the Soviet’s collapse in 1991, all the Soviet republics became independent states, and have legal claims to their individual territorial integrity and political sovereignty within the international law recognised b

Australia's painful legal reckoning with its Afghan operations has only just begun

Australia’s ‘defamation case of the century’ is a victory for journalism and human rights

Last week, the Federal Court in Sydney handed down a landmark decision that brought down Australia’s most decorated living soldier and provided a much-needed victory for journalism and human rights.

This came as Justice Anthony Besanko dismissed Ben Roberts-Smith defamation suit against newspapers owned by Nine Entertainment, finding that the former soldier murdered unarmed civilians while serving in Afgh

Bombing of the Kakhovka Dam could be the worst, and most desperate war crime yet

Social media was abuzz on Tuesday morning with footage showing the Kakhovka Dam had been breached, with water surging down the Dnipro River.

Later in the day, the southern command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed the dam, which is in Russian-controlled territory, was blown up with explosives.

Russia’s TASS news agency confirmed the dam had “collapsed” and that nearby areas were beginning to flood.

The dam itself is huge, 30 metres in height and hundreds of metres wide. It forms part of the K
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Opinion | How the Taliban’s extremism is driving its own demise

The Taliban had promised a general amnesty for former officials and members of the armed forces when it retook power in 2021. At the time, spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed that “nobody will be harmed in Afghanistan” and that “there is a huge difference between us now and 20 years ago”.

This includes at least 800 cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, and enforced disappearance against government officials and members of the armed forces. The UN mission’

Syrians are rising up against Assad, and this time things could be different

Tensions have boiled over in southern Syria this week as thousands protest deteriorating living conditions. This has triggered a movement not seen since 2011 and could threaten President Bashar Al-Assads grip on power.

Protests originated in the southern city of Sweida, where hundreds of people hit the streets carrying signs and chanting “Syria is ours and it is not for Al-Assad’s family”. One video shared on social media showed a banner of Al-Assad being hung in the main square of the city, wh

9DASHLINE — While the world softens on the Taliban, Afghans continue to suffer

United States officials met with senior Taliban representatives in Doha during the last week of July, raising concerns that the international community is softening its stance in terms of officially recognising the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. The meeting was confirmed by the US Department of State, which used a press release to reveal that a US delegation led by Thomas West, the Special Representative for Afghanistan, met with Taliban representatives between 30 and 31 July in Qatar

Thai leadership hopeful hits familiar roadblocks in search for power

Transnational crime is an issue that directly intersects with human security. The development of the world is still ongoing and offers various conveniences in all respects for human life. But at the same time, this convenience also has consequences for the security of the world community and requires them to be more careful about possible adverse impacts that may occur. The freedom that is created can trigger the practice of cross-border crimes committed by individuals, even organized groups who

Philippines drugs crackdown continues as Marcos Jr. marks first anniversary

At the end of June, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will mark 12 months since he became the 17th president of the Philippines.

During his election campaign, the son of former strongman ruler Ferdinand Marcos Sr. promised to take a new approach to the ‘war on drugs’. This was likely an attempt to distance himself from then-President Rodrigo Duterte, whose violent campaign against illicit drugs cost the lives of thousands of Filipinos between 2016 and 2022.

In an interview last year, Marcos Jr. stated that

Prigozhin's mutiny won’t succeed, but Vladimir Putin is finished

At the beginning, it was referred to, in a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin, as “special military operation” aimed largely at “demilitarization” and “denazification” in neighboring Ukraine. We know from history that both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. After the Soviet’s collapse in 1991, all the Soviet republics became independent states, and have legal claims to their individual territorial integrity and political sovereignty within the international law recognised b

Australia's painful legal reckoning with its Afghan operations has only just begun

Australia’s ‘defamation case of the century’ is a victory for journalism and human rights

Last week, the Federal Court in Sydney handed down a landmark decision that brought down Australia’s most decorated living soldier and provided a much-needed victory for journalism and human rights.

This came as Justice Anthony Besanko dismissed Ben Roberts-Smith defamation suit against newspapers owned by Nine Entertainment, finding that the former soldier murdered unarmed civilians while serving in Afgh

Bombing of the Kakhovka Dam could be the worst, and most desperate war crime yet

Social media was abuzz on Tuesday morning with footage showing the Kakhovka Dam had been breached, with water surging down the Dnipro River.

Later in the day, the southern command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed the dam, which is in Russian-controlled territory, was blown up with explosives.

Russia’s TASS news agency confirmed the dam had “collapsed” and that nearby areas were beginning to flood.

The dam itself is huge, 30 metres in height and hundreds of metres wide. It forms part of the K

Thailand has just seen a political awakening, but can it survive the military?

The Philippines has a long history of political upheaval and social unrest. A former Philippine senator is one of the most divisive people in recent memory. Despite the contentious past of his family, Bong-Bong Marcos, the late dictator’s son, has established himself in politics.

And on May 25, 2022, the Philippines witnessed the election of its 17th President, Bong Bong Marcos. As a result of this historical event, there have been numerous debates and arguments about Marcos’ ascent to power, e

Are Australians ready to ditch the Royals?

The coronation of Charles III has again raised the question of whether Australia and Australians are ready to become a republic. Polls suggest they are.

The coronation of King Charles III has again raised the question of whether Australians are ready to ditch the monarchy and embrace a republic, with an Australian as head of state.

This comes as more than 3 million Australians tuned in on Saturday night to watch the coronation of the new king. 3.46 million Australians also watched the funeral

Afghan dilemma prolongs suffering

Last week, an international meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan, along with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, met in Doha to discuss the dire situation in Afghanistan.

Representatives from 25 countries, including the United States, China, Russia and Pakistan, as well as major European aid donors, attended the two-day meeting.

The Taliban, the de facto leaders of Afghanistan since August 2021, were not invited.

The Taliban’s ambassador-designate to the UN, Suhail Shaheen,

Indonesia’s commitment to human rights in question

Last month, the Indonesian government made a firm commitment to the United Nations to improve the human-rights situation in the country.

This comes as the UN Human Rights Council adopted Indonesia’s Fourth Cycle Universal Periodic Review Report at its meeting in Geneva on March 27.

As part of the review, the UNHRC provided 269 recommendations relating to human rights in Indonesia. Most related to the rights of women, children and minority groups, and the strengthening of the legal system and i

Parliament votes against urgent refugee evacuation bill

Despite a promise to show compassion, the Labor Government has sided with the Liberals and One Nation, turning down a bill to rescue asylum seekers imprisoned overseas, writes Chris Fitzgerald.

EARLIER THIS MONTH, the Albanese Government voted against the Migration Amendment (Evacuation to Safety) Bill 2023.

The bill, introduced by the Greens Senator Nick McKim, proposed to urgently evacuate 150 refugees still held in detention in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

These refugees would be able to re

Don’t listen to the naysayers, the ICC’s arrest warrant for Putin is a game changer

A year into the conflict between Russia and the West turning into a proxy military confrontation, the most important lesson learned in terms of the international consequences of these developments is that such a large and powerful country really cannot be isolated in terms of foreign policy. It is difficult to say with certainty how much this is connected with the merits and activity of the Russian state itself, and what simply turned out to be an inevitable consequence of the changing world ove

Philippines human rights violations persist despite EU optimism

The EU may think the human rights situation in the Philippines is improving, but events on the ground tell a different story

The delegation of the European Parliament’s human rights subcommittee met with politicians and judges in the Philippines from 22-24 February to assess the country’s human rights situation.

The overall verdict seemed to be that the situation had improved since Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. took the reins as president last June. Delegation member Hannah Neumann told a pr

The G20 foreign ministers’ summit will be an uncomfortable one for India

Nepal successfully conducted their parliamentary elections in November 2022. No single political party attained a majority of seats in the elections. The Nepali Congress Party and the Communist party of Nepal (MaoistParty), led by the incumbent Sher Bahadur Deuba and Pushpa Kamal Dahal (nom de guerre Prachanda), respectively. However, at the time of forming a coalition government, in a move that shocked the whole nation, the Maoist Party went ahead and formed a government with the Unified Marxis

Sri Lanka election delay a bad move

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s refusal to fund local elections sets a dangerous precedent that puts Sri Lankan democracy at risk. If the government is serious about political reform, voters need to have their voices heard.

The National Election Commission informed the Sri Lankan Supreme Court last week that local elections planned for March 9 would be indefinitely postponed because of a lack of available funds.

The commission’s hand was forced by the Wickremesinghe government’s refusal to pr

Assad is playing politics while people in Idlib suffer

This week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkiye has decimated northwest Syria, leaving the international community scrambling to provide humanitarian assistance. With the region in need of urgent help, Bashar al-Assad’s regime needs to show some rare humanity instead of playing politics with people’s lives.

The earthquake has so far killed 1,932 people in Syria. This number is expected to rise over the coming days as rescue efforts continue.

In response to the earthquake, the Syrian ambassador

Indonesia’s Past And Present Human Rights Violations

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s recent acknowledgement that his government regrets past human rights violations is an important step in national healing. However, this will mean little if current attacks on human rights are not addressed.

At a press conference in January, Widodo cited 12 “regrettable” events and stated that he “strongly regret that those violations occurred”. The president went further, offering an apology to Indonesians by stating: “with a clear mind and an earnest heart, I

Australia’s moment of truth

The battle over ‘The Voice’ indigenous advisory body shows a deep divide in Australian politics

This week, the ‘no’ group launched its “Recognise a Better Way” campaign in preparation for this year’s referendum on an indigenous ‘Voice’ to parliament.

The referendum, a key election commitment of the government, is asking Australians to vote on whether the Constitution should be updated to include an indigenous Voice to Parliament.

The Voice would be an advisory body made up entirely of indigen
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