Political Promise

Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

That Cold… War Feeling

In Garreth Matthews on December 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Skirmishes between South Korea and North Korea? Potential Russian intervention? Snow and ice? Must be a cold war, says Garreth Matthews. Read the rest of this entry »

“The Big Asian Elephant In The Room”

In Oliver Cardinali on October 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Olly Cardinali charts the emergence of India and China as economic superpowers in light of the two country’s rather peppered histories. Read the rest of this entry »

Japan’s Motionless Foreign Policy

In Stephen Wager on August 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Is Japan’s prospects on the international stage starting to rise again? Stephen Wager finds out. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping it in the Family

In Dan Owens on August 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm


Daniel Owens on the Dispatches programme about cousins marrying. Read the rest of this entry »

Eastern Trouble Brewing?

In Matteo Bergamini on August 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm

By Matteo Bergamini

The lush hilly lands of Pakistan are as mysterious as its allegiance in the current Afghanistan conflict. Thanks to wikilinks this politically unstable land has been hit with another tremor which could send the Pakistan government falling into an abyss of chaos. Read the rest of this entry »

Ju Shardlow On… Lee Myung Bak for Good

In Ju Shardlow on May 24, 2010 at 10:51 am

President Lee Myung Bak this morning announced extreme sanctions against North Korea, notably in trade and shipping routes.

The plans have thrown up three important points not challenged enough in the Korean media: Firstly: the political stability of Lee Myung-Bak’s conservative government. The administration is slowly bowing to pressure from the far right by those wanting a more definitive military response to the Cheonan attack. Although it cannot pursue this option due to the North’s superior weaponry and nuclear capabilities, it makes us question where his sanctions are coming from and for whose interests. On the 2nd June, provincial elections will provide a necessary platform for scrutiny of the current regime, and Koreans will be watching the results closely.

Secondly: the relationship between China and North Korea. Beijing has always operated in a covert fashion, and many suspect it deals in luxury goods and industry material with Pyongyang. With a UN review imminent, it cannot plausibly retain its vote on the Security Council without making a statement on the Cheonan attack and being very frank in talks with the US this week.

Thirdly: the position of US military forces in the country. Whilst they may seem valuable to South Korea to ward off any attack by the North, everyone is suddenly worried about these trade sanctions for fear of retaliation. The USA is going to come out of this conflict looking like a headless chicken- it’s soldiers ready and willing for a fight (believe me, I’ve heard them shouting in bars) whilst its diplomats do everything in their power to avoid questioning Chinese interests and going at loggerheads with Kim Jong-Ils renegade generals.

Ju Shardlow On… Cheonan, Woah Man!

In Ju Shardlow on May 3, 2010 at 8:59 am

Cue Kim Tae-Young, riding out on a small pony with launce in hand. Cloaked in bulls-eye print whilst heralds chime “and first, Mr. Kim… the bravest and stupidest of them all”.

The South Korean Defense Minister took it upon himself this weekend to make a threatening statement against Kim Jong-Il’s military, blasting them for the ‘torpedo’ attack against the Cheonan warship in which 46 sailors died last month. Now, the sentiment I sympathize with. The English have a fantastic tradition where people with no change-making ability make embarrassingly bold international remarks. The Duke of Edinburgh, Kilroy-Silk versus the entire Arab world….But this is more like Chamberlain’s “peace in our time”. A monumentally hasty assumption that will cost jobs, political tension with the US and China, and most importantly motivate the North into increasing their nuclear arsenal.

Click here for more… Read the rest of this entry »

Buying Stolen Goods This Election

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 at 11:05 am

I will start by saying that I truly believe that one of the most important issues in the world right now is the plight of the Palestinian people. Whether you are pro or anti-Israeli it is hard to deny, that the Palestinian people are suffering and have been for over 50 years now.

This is why I want people hear about the Trade Union Congress and Palestinian Solidarity Campaigns to stop the selling of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These goods are consistently labelled as being from the West Bank deceiving those who would not wish to finance Israel, even worse some people believe by buying West Bank goods they are helping the humble Palestinian farmer. 

Goods such as fruits, herbs, beauty products and DIY Tools are sold to British supermarkets and shops despite the fact that the British government recognise these settlements as illegal and one of the largest barriers to peace in the Middle East. With 50% of the Israel’s agricultural exports going to the European Union supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, Waitrose, John Lewis, Morrisons, and Sainsbury all stock goods from the occupied territories. By boycotting these goods and putting pressure on supermarkets, shops and MP’s we can make a clear message of support to the Palestinian people who have had their livelihood stolen by Israeli settlers and show that the world will not stand for the abuse of the Palestinian people anymore.

In a time of political change in Britain, I know that internal issues will always take precedent especially in a time of economic turmoil. However this is an important global issue, so i call on you whether you support the Greens, Lid Dem, UKIP, Conservatives, Labour even the BNP it doesn’t matter, support the Palestinian people in a way that can really make a difference this General election. If you’re local MP or representative of any kind is not in the list below ask the hard questions, contact your MP or PPC and ask him to sign the Palestinian Solidarity Campaigns Elections pledges. All the details are on the link below


Joe Raffell

Burma’s Long Anticipated Election Is Not Worth The Wait

In Elliot Colburn on April 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

Burma has not had an election for 20 years, not since 1990 when the Burmese National League for Defence (NLD) won the election. However, they were never allowed to take power. Now, in the first election in Burma since then, the NLD are boycotting the election. This is as a result of “unjust” electoral laws.

The Leader of the NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been imprisoned for many years for her support of democracy. Under the new laws, anyone with a criminal record cannot run for election. This rules out Aung San Suu Kyi and many activists in the party. Some western citizens would generally agree that criminals shouldn’t be allowed to run for public office, however as Suu Kyi has been imprisoned for her liberal beliefs, this decision has been denounced. It also does nothing to quell international anxiety about Burmese political standards.

The NLD refuse to oust their leader and similarly have refused to take part in the upcoming election that the military has promised this year. This action has been supported by Suu Kyi, and consequently the party has been dubbed illegal. Some commentators believed that if unable to take part, the NLD would reject Suu Kyi, however they so far stand strong behind her. Nevertheless, this may also be a precautionary measure.  On Independence Day in January, Burma’s military leader Than Shwe urged people to make what he called the “correct choices” when elections are held. In reality this means ‘don’t vote NLD or you’ll be killed’.

Well the NLD has now removed that risk, as they are no longer standing, and let’s be honest, even if they stood and won, they wouldn’t be allowed to form the government anyway. The Burmese have lost their hope for democracy, and unless some intervention takes place, either by revolution or international intervention, it’ll never be introduced properly. Suu Kyi will not be leader of Burma this time, and who knows when the next election will take place?

Elliot Colburn