Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004

About

@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Written for The Diplomat Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking apology from those who criticized him in 2012 when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) failed to issue a joint communique for the first time in the organization’s history during Cambodia’s chairmanship. In 2012, some analysts accused Cambodia, then the ASEAN chair, of […]

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What Made Headlines in Southeast Asia in 2015?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Written for The Diplomat A look back at some of the top stories from Southeast Asia in 2015: 1. Landslide victory for Myanmar’s National League for Democracy. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be constitutionally barred from becoming president of Myanmar but her party secured an historic victory in the general election. A tenth […]

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Written for The Diplomat The 48th foreign ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Malaysia concluded by releasing a communique last week. As expected, most media reports focused on the position of ASEAN with regard the South China Sea dispute involving China. This is newsworthy because the issue has regional implications and […]

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Written for The Diplomat Two months ago, the world was shocked to discover the persecution endured by the Rohingya ethnic group, which drove many of them to seek asylum in several Southeast Asian countries. The majority of the boat refugees came from Myanmar. But the refugee problem could be worse. Consider these statistics provided by […]

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Written for The Diplomat One of the major projects of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community, which aims to integrate Southeast Asia’s diverse economies, a region with 600 million people and a combined gross domestic product of $2.4 trillion. But several civil society organizations are moving to […]

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Rethinking ASEAN Integration

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has plans to fast track the integration of its member countries over the next few years. Aside from encouraging cooperation through traditional diplomatic and cultural activities, there are also ambitious proposals for ASEAN to issue a single visa and currency, and even form a […]

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Human Rights Declaration Falls Short

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The document is a proclamation of governmental powers disguised as a declaration of human rights. This was the scathing reaction of more than 50 human rights groups in Southeast Asia to the recent unveiling of a Human Rights Declaration drafted by the 10-member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The signing of […]

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Geopolitics of Southeast Asia

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Written for The Diplomat The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the largest, and the official, political organization in Southeast Asia. But given where it sits—south of China and Japan, east of India, and north of Australia—the political landscape in this part of the world is not exclusively dictated by ASEAN dynamics. The Indochina […]

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Scarborough Shoal a Precursor?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

French philosopher Voltaire once wrote a story about the mad behavior of men going to war over a “few lumps of earth.” In Southeast Asia, there are numerous small and midsize conflicts between countries over temples, borders, islets, reefs, shoals, and even puny rock formations that disappear during high tide. For example, Thailand and Cambodia […]

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Change the ASEAN Model

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

A smartphone app called ASEAN One, which translates popular business phrases into 11 languages of the Southeast Asian region, was launched last week in Bangkok. Private sector initiatives like this, which promote the concept of a Southeast Asian community, should be encouraged. Aside from ASEAN One, there are bigger projects that seek to foster unity […]

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