Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s unenviable choice

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The proposed arrangements for electing Hong Kong’s leader in 2017 have drawn protests from pro-democracy parties and activists—but  KERRY BROWN sees some possible consolations for the democrats. In 2009, I was working on a project analysing in what ways foreign support was helping the cause of democracy in Greater China. After a trek through the […]

Indonesia

Beautiful virgins: the hard road to becoming an Indonesian policewoman

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Being pretty and having a good body are key recruitment attributes for policewomen in Indonesia, writes SHARYN GRAHAM DAVIES. Late in 2014, Al Jazeera ran a story entitled ‘Virginity tests on Indonesia police condemned: Rights group says female police required to strip and undergo “two-finger test” to prove virginity before recruitment.’ The story, based on […]

Indonesia

The ‘shame’ of Indonesia’s widows and divorcees

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Popular culture in Indonesia exposes divorced or widowed women to prejudice and stigmatisation, writes NICHOLAS HERRIMAN. One of the most popular and enduring images of femininity in Indonesia is the janda. The term refers to either a widow or a divorcee because, in the popular imagination, how she has become unmarried is not particularly relevant. […]

Japan

Truth the first casualty in reporting on Japan’s whaling culture

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The Japanese people are hearing only one side of the argument about their country’s ‘scientific’ whaling program, writes TETS KIMURA Since the International Whaling Commission (IWC) adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, Australia and Japan have had ongoing altercations. This was exacerbated when Japan discovered a loophole to conduct ‘scientific’ whaling in the […]

Indonesia

Jokowi on the death penalty: hypocritical or consistent?

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Indonesia’s protest over the execution of one of its citizens this week by Saudi Arabia has raised questions about its consistency in relation to its own policy on the death penalty, writes COLIN BROWN. Siti Zaenab was beheaded in Saudi Arabia on 14 April, having been sentenced to death for murdering the wife of her […]

Indonesia

Lessons of Tambora ignored—200 years on from the world’s greatest modern eruption

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Amidst commemorations of the Gallipoli landing, writes ANTHONY REID,the anniversary of another, perhaps more significant disaster for humanity, slipped by largely unnoticed. Australia is spending many millions commemorating in April 2015 the centenary of one disaster. The Gallipoli landing symbolises for Australians one of the greatest man-made catastrophes. We have almost completely ignored the bicentenary […]