Friday, 25 February 2011

the most recent addition to this blogroll is Andrew Spooner's Asia Provocateur at the Asian Correspondent site. Andrew spends part of his time in the UK so it seems fair that he opens his introductory column with the following UK-specific blast

As the title of this blog suggests Asia Provocateur will be an attempt to stir up intellectual engagement, intelligent debate and radical thinking on a range of issues facing the region and, in particular, Thailand. I won’t be aiming to please or to always be objective but I will hopefully bring in a spread of voices and concerns that are kept to the margins of the political and cultural debates.

In addition, I have always been struck how weak the UK left/liberal-leaning media is on Thai and Southeast Asia-related debates. When set against the blanket coverage and informed discussion surrounding the recent uprisings in the Middle East the paucity of intelligent analysis of the 2010 Red Shirt uprising and the subsequent Bangkok Massacre was striking. I hope, in at least some way, to redress this.

What is also an interesting facet of the Western media coverage of Thailand is the continual failure to even mention the self-censorship and repressive draconian atmosphere placed on coverage of the country via Thailand’s lese majeste laws.

the other most recent additions are Christian Bleuer's non-profit Tajikistan Research Resources, the blog of the proud liberal Muslim Egyptian woman Mona Eltahawy, and the musings of my man Marmaduke, a rather well-turned out Portsmouth-bred, London-based musician and singer, and the campaigners at 38 Degrees, who were among many concerned Britons that wanted to protest Tory-led plans to sell off national forests, a campaign that has forced a U-turn on the issue (though there is still this that concerns).

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Saturday, 19 February 2011

these magnificent convulsions currently taking place across much of north Africa and west Asia - isn't it shameful that Tony Blair (a man with babies apparently named after him in Liberia, and fair enough really, given his record there) - with his appalling and unjustified warm words for Hosni Mubarak - places himself on the side of the autocrats, the dictators, the police states, and the two constituencies easily among the worst in the entire democratic world, i.e., the Right in Israel and the Right in the USA?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

They call it a 'democratic coup d'etat,' see. You have to have lots of coups d'etat. Otherwise it isn't a democracy.

Khamsing Srinawk

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

If you want interrogation, you send them to Jordan. If you want torture, you send them to Syria. If you want them to disappear you send them to Egypt.

Anonymous American "source" quoted in the London Daily Mirror, Saturday 12th February 2011.

meanwhile, the dictatorship in Bahrain shot an unarmed protestor in the back, and then tear-gassed mourners and opened fire at mourners during his funereal procession, killing another human being in the process.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.

- Stephen Harper

Friday, 11 February 2011

There is nothing under the sun that the Thai police cannot do.

- Phao Sriyanond

Thursday, 10 February 2011

If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.

England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.

- James Connolly, January 1897

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Juba, Monday February 7, 2011

(photo Pete Muller, AP)

Friday, 4 February 2011

Egyptian Christians protect praying Egyptian Muslims

photograph from Cairo by Nevine Zaki

Thursday, 3 February 2011

'Big society' suffers setback in showcase Liverpool
City pulls out as key partner in Cameron initiative due to government-imposed spending cuts


how a Tory-led government can embark on ideologically motivated austerity when 18 members of that govt's cabinet are millionaires and MPs in that cabinet represent some very wealthy constituencies - when their programme will affect the poorest and most vulnerable constituencies and some of the most vulnerable people in the UK the most - is appalling, and something that needs to be consistently called out, among other ways of trying to oppose this outrageous shambles that a load of public schoolboys without a democratic mandate for their experimental lunacy are trying to foist on the rest of us

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

THIS > One guy in Tahrir had a "get out Mubarak" sign in Hebrew. "A message for Netanyahu," he said.