Road map for West Papua

I wrote a piece recently about the new Cabinet of the Indonesian government, including their new Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa who gained his PhD at the Australian National University.  As I’ve written a number of times, Indonesia has made very impressive progress in a range of areas in recent years.  I believe one of their…

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Mega oil spill reaches Indonesian Coast

A leaking oil rig off the north-western coast of Australia has been spewing oil into the marine environment for over two months.  Whilst there has been intermittent publicity about the ongoing oil spill, it certainly hasn’t galvanised wide-scale public concern in Australia. I have to confess that, like Northern Territory based blogger Bob Gosford, I am perplexed…

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Writings and doings

Writings and doings The asylum seeker debate is causing a lot of political and media flurry at the moment.  In one way that’s good, because it’s an important and complex issue with some crucial principles at stake.  But for years I have found it frustrating that an excessive focus on a very small number of…

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Wednesday night politics in Brisbane

Wednesday night politics in Brisbane Two forums are being held in Brisbane tomorrow night which may be of interest to some. One is a forum to debate Integrity & Accountability in Queensland. It is being held at the Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St  from  6pm.  Speakers include former state Attorney-General, Linda Lavarch, journalist Tony Koch,…

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Report on the Pacific & climate change forum

Last night I attended the public forum I wrote about here, featuring Pacific Island peoples speaknig about the impacts of climate change on their homelands, health and cultures. It was very well attended and the speakers were engaging and enlightening. I’ve published a piece about it over at Crikey at this link. If for some…

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Pacific Islanders speaking at climate change forum in Brisbane

Oxfam Australia has just http://www.oxfam.org.au/media/article.php?id=599 released a report on the impacts of climate change in the Pacific.  It details impacts which are already occurring for some Islands in the Pacific region. The report’s release is timed in the lead up to the http://www.smh.com.au/environment/global-warming/pacific-islanders-cry-for-help-20090726-dxio.html upcoming meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum, being held next week in…

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A couple more pieces about asylum seekers & Malaysia

A couple more pieces about asylum seekers & Malaysia The Taiwan News http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1009086〈=eng_news reports that “Malaysian authorities have arrested five immigration officers suspected of selling ‘illegal’ immigrants from Myanmar to human traffickers” – reportedly the “first time Malaysia has found evidence that government officials were involved in forced labour exploitation” Meanwhile, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25797512-7583,00.html Mike Steketee from…

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Malaysia and refugees

The political responses to asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat is starting to focus more and more on other countries in our region.  Until recently this has mostly involved Indonesia, but Malaysia is now being mentioned more frequently.  I recently wrote a piece for Crikey and also had a letter published in The Australian…

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Indonesian election

I’ve http://andrewbartlett.com/?cat=27 written on this blog about Indonesia quite a few times over the years, and had a couple of brief visits to Jakarta and once to Aceh. I’ve also tried to follow events in that country and speak with Indonesians – delegations and individuals – who are visiting Australia. The elections held in Indonesia…

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De-honouring Honourables

De-honouring Honourables The Times reports that the newly installed Speaker of the House of Commons, the 46 year old Conservative, John Bercow, is “poised to scrap the age-old practice of addressing MPs by the title ‘the honourable member’, (instead) MPs will be referred to by their first name and surname.” The article also reports that…

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Helping Iranians to speak, hear and be heard

The crucial role the internet is playing in enabling Iranians (and the rest of the world) to access uncensored information about what is happening in the post-election dispute http://blogs.crikey.com.au/bartlett/2009/06/17/the-revolution-will-be-twittered/ has been well documented.  It is obvious that social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs are very important, otherwise the Iranian government would not…

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The Speech

As the speech itself acknowledges, a single speech can’t resolve things.  But it is impossible to overstate how significant it would be if the vision President Obama expresses and aspires to in this speech is successful.  The text of the speech is here, or here for translations into 14 other languages.  It is worth taking…

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Malalai Joya returns

I first wrote on this blog about Afghan women’s rights activist, Malalai Joya, at the end of 2005.  In 2007 I got the chance to hear her speak in Brisbane.  I am pleasantly surprised that she has still managed to avoid being assassinated, and also pleased she will soon be visiting Australia again to speak…

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Blogs try to counter censorship in Fiji

In May 2007, months after Fiji had suffered its latest coup, I noted reports that the military was trying to prevent access to anti-government blogs. Now the transition to a military dictatorship is complete, the censorship crackdown on the local media has been redoubled, leaving local blogs and other websites as a crucial source of uncensored…

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Something else about March 21

March 21st meant election day in Queensland, which grabbed my attention more than I expected it too. But that date was also the 49th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa, when 69 people were killed and over 300 injured when police opened fire on demonstrators protesting against apartheid laws. This also led to…

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