Regional Outlook, Global Perspective

Last week, Indonesians celebrated Kartini Day, honoring the 19th century Javanese princess who inspired the movement for women’s emancipation. Kartini was of noble birth and, in accordance with the norms of the time, she was restricted to her home after completing her elementary education at a Dutch primary school. Her fate, like those of her contemporaries, was to be married off and start a family. Fortunately for future generations of Indonesian women, she was a prolific writer, sending lett... Read more...

Recently, groups and individuals opposing the closure of Boracay Island staged a caravan to protest the shutdown, which they said would severely hit the livelihood and income of residents and workers. About 50 vehicles including 20 motorcycles joined the 71-kilometer caravan that took off about 8 a.m. from the capital town of Kalibo and reached Barangay Caticlan in Malay town about 12:15 p.m. This highlights the much bigger problem of plastics, how they are unable to control the monster it unle... Read more...

The Islamist alliance that brought down the Jakarta governor in 2016 has broken up but it has made a major mark on Indonesian politics in two ways.  It has left many politicians convinced that they need conservative Muslim support to win elections, and it has convinced many Islamists that they can achieve their social and political goals by working through Indonesia’s democratic system. Still, the disunity in Islamist ranks suggests that hardliners may be a less potent force than is sometime... Read more...

In early March President Trump accepted an extraordinary invitation by North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un to meet this spring. It was unclear where the meeting would take place; the meeting would be by the end of May. It was totally unexpected because Trump has threatened ‘Fire and Fury’ and insulted the North Korean leader incessantly. Trump claims his belligerence has yielded results in moving Kim Jong-Un to yield from his position, but the question is, who stands to gain in North Korea. Tr... Read more...