June 6, 2018
The stunning, 2017 electoral defeat of Jakarta’s popular, non-Muslim governor, and his subsequent imprisonment for blasphemy, caught most Indonesians off guard. Indonesia was built on the premise of pluralism, writes Asia Foundation country director Sandra Hamid, and appeals to Islam had been largely ineffective in past elections. But as politician… Read more
February 3, 2016
At the South Asian Forum for Minorities (SAFM) last week, prominent parliamentarians, government functionaries, civil society activists, and journalists put forward a first-ever call to action to the leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation…
December 9, 2015
The last few years have seen some of the most brutal attacks against Pakistan’s religious minority communities, estimated to make up approximately 3-5 percent of the total population of over 190 million.
November 4, 2015
The Philippine Congress resumed session this week, and is potentially in its last stretch in deliberating on legislation that would establish the new Bangsamoro Government. In a recent pronouncement, both houses of Congress declared a self-imposed deadline…
October 14, 2015
On the evening of Aug. 14, 2015, the family of the late Haji Sulong – the revered voice of Malay-Muslim cultural identity and nationalism – convened a public event to commemorate the 61st anniversary of his unsolved disappearance. Haji Sulong’s efforts to secure the rights, recognize the unique cultural identity…
January 21, 2015
In the book, Voices of Hope: Stories of Women in Peace Process, Kamnung Chamnankij, whose husband and son had been charged in 2007 with the possession of chemicals associated with explosive devices and were subsequently arrested, recalled: “I had to sell my house, my only two cows, my husband’s fishing boat…
January 14, 2015
This past week the citizens of Sri Lanka demonstrated their extraordinary resilience by voting overwhelmingly for a new president. Belying all fears of large-scale violence on election day, the voting process was exceptionally smooth, with a record turnout of 81.5 percent at the polling centers. Just one month ago, it seemed that incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa would coast to an easy victory and retain his authoritarian hold on Sri Lanka’s electorate once again. But his electoral calculations went awry with the emergence of a worthy rival from his own camp, former Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena, who was put forward in November as the “common candidate” by a suddenly rejuvenated opposition.
December 10, 2014
Research has transformed medicine, agriculture, and sanitation, and has helped lift many millions out of poverty. Most of the extremely poor people in the world now live in states suffering from conflict. Scholars have studied wars for millennia, but are usually concentrated on how to win them.
October 8, 2014
On September 10, Philippine President Benigno Aquino personally turned over the draft Basic Law based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro to Congress after months of revisions and refinement. The move continues the roadmap set forth in negotiations…
September 10, 2014
On Sept. 9, 2013, Zamboanga City woke to an unfolding nightmare. Some 200 Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters under the charismatic commander Ustadz Habier Malik had landed. They professed, despite the fact that they were fully armed, an intention merely to have a peaceful march in support of independence for Muslim-dominated areas in the southern Philippines. When government security forces halted their march, MNLF forces took hostages as a string of human shields, tying them together with rope. As a nightmare, this was a recurrence…
August 13, 2014
In last week’s In Asia, I examined how the rise of Asia in recent decades has been accompanied by a growth in deadly subnational conflicts (SNCs). These conflicts are occurring across the continent, including in middle-income and otherwise stable states. Democratization has not been a cure. Asia’s subnational conflicts last twice as long as those elsewhere in the world.
August 6, 2014
On the third day of Eid-ul Fitar last week, two Hindu trader brothers from district Umerkot in Sindh Province were murdered in front of their home. An Ahmadi doctor was murdered in Chiniot in May 2014 while a Hazara Shia community in Quetta was attacked and two brothers were murdered by Lashakr-e-Jhangvi on Eid-ul Fitar in July 2014. The killing of Rashid Rehman…