New & Noteworthy
From Thailand to Bali, a huge increase in tourists, many from China and other rapidly developing economies, is straining sensitive ecosystems to the breaking point. Some countries are trying to control the boom, with a few closing popular destinations to allow damaged areas to heal.
Fareed Zakaria GPS, the weekly international news program on CNN, featured a segment on Indonesia based on an article in The New York Review of Books by Margaret Scott, who is one of the founders of the New York Southeast Asia Network.
Scott's "Indonesia's New Islamist Politics" is available here.
Kety Haji Jalla serves her community as an educator, imparting life and job skills where a large portion of the economy is powered by low-paying agricultural work. A former politician from incumbent president Joko Widodo’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), she is supporting like-minded office seekers across eastern Indonesia as a respected matriarch. But since she is a transgender woman, Indonesia as a whole is debating her place in society as intolerant rhetoric and targeted violence is on the rise ahead of this week’s contentious elections.
This report is in Thai.
Disinformation Crisis and Southeast Asian Elections: Behind the Scenes of Fake News Production and Fact-Check Interventions
This talk explores the everyday digital labor of fake news production and the fact-check interventions that attempt to combat the disinformation crisis particularly in Southeast Asia.
Experts from Human Rights Watch and the Yale Law School answers questions from the audience as they give their assessments of the current state of human rights in the region.
Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, gives a regional overview of the human rights situation in Southeast Asia.
Andreas Harsono, Indonesia Researcher at Human Rights Watch, discusses the current human rights situation in Indonesia.
Katherine Munyan, researcher at the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale University, discusses the current human rights situation in Myanmar.
Carlos Conde, the Philippines researcher at Human Rights Watch, discusses the current human rights situation in the Philippines.
Andreas Harsono, Researcher at Human Rights Watch, discusses the role of Islam, identity, and populism in the 2019 presidential campaign season in Indonesia. This discussion will also preview his upcoming book, “Race, Islam, and Power: Ethnic and Religious Violence in Post-Suharto Indonesia.”
“Sold Like Fish”: Crimes Against Humanity, Mass Graves, and Human Trafficking from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Malaysia
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and Fortify Rights find reasonable grounds to believe that a human-trafficking syndicate committed crimes against humanity in Malaysia and Thailand against Rohingya men, women, and children from 2012 to 2015.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte makes his own rules. His war on drugs has led to the deaths of thousands of alleged drug users and dealers. His violent rhetoric and rape jokes have shocked people around the world. Yet he’s hugely popular. Reporter Aurora Almendral delves into what made him the leader he is today. Her investigation starts in his hometown in the Philippines. The FRONTLINE Dispatch reports.
Before 2018, journalism in Malaysia was a risky profession. But last year an election abruptly shifted the atmosphere, and brought unexpected freedoms, especially for the media. Nithin Coca writes for Columbia Journalism Review.
A young Cambodian islander, Phalla Vy, has dedicated herself to monitoring and speaking out against the sand dredging. Kalyanee Mam’s exquisite short documentary, Lost World, co-produced by Emergence Magazine and Go Project Films, evokes the pain of losing one’s land—and way of life—through Vy’s eyes.
Thailand will go through the motions of free elections in March, but the likely result will be entrenched authoritarian rule and further instability. Joshua Kurlantzick writes for the Council on Foreign Relations.