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.

Several governments and political parties in Southeast Asia have raised the issue of foreign intervention this year. In Malaysia, the police are probing some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for receiving funds from a foundation owned by American businessman George Soros allegedly in order to topple the ruling party which has been in power since the 1950s. […]

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Myanmar’s Radical Buddhist Group Gets Rebuked

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Myanmar’s nationalist Buddhist group known as The Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion (Ma Ba Tha) has suddenly found itself losing support from government officials and the online community. First, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein boldly declared in public that Ma Ba Tha is “unnecessary and redundant” since there is […]

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Southeast Asia’s ‘Proxy’ Presidents

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Myanmar’s Htin Kyaw has received praise for being the country’s first civilian president in more than half a century. But the media has also labeled him a ‘”proxy” and even “puppet” president because his position was granted through the support of National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Interestingly, it’s not […]

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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 U Wirathu, an ultranationalist Buddhist monk from Myanmar, publicly insulted a United Nations human rights envoy who was visiting the country to assess the progress of reforms initiated by the government. The video of Wirathu insulting the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Yanghee Lee, has gone viral in Myanmar. Wirathu […]

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Malaysia Accused of Mistreating Refugees

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Written for The Diplomat A documentary produced by Al Jazeera has portrayed the Malaysian government as neglectful of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the country’s detention centers. The claims were supported by Richard Towle, the representative for Malaysia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). “Refugees are treated as illegal […]

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Written for The Diplomat More rioting between Buddhist and Muslim groups erupted in Myanmar early this month, killing two people and injuring 14 others. The fatalities included a young Buddhist man who was riding a bike and a Muslim bicycle shop owner. The riots – which took place over four days in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second […]

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Thailand’s ‘Happy’ Coup

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Published by The Diplomat Thailand’s coup regime is handing out freebies to prove its sincerity in bringing happiness back to the country. First, it arranged live broadcasts of all 64 World Cup matches on Thailand’s free TV. Then it lifted the night curfew in more than 20 provinces, allowing football fans and tourists to watch […]

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Myanmar’s Census Controversy

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Written for The Diplomat Myanmar is scheduled to hold a census next month but local and international monitoring groups are worried that it could inflame ethnic and religious tensions in the country. The census, supported by several UN agencies, is deemed important because it has been more than 30 years since a nationwide census was […]

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Written for The Diplomat It is common for unpopular governments to be accused by their enemies of committing serious human rights violations such as murder and kidnapping, but it is not often that genocide is included in the charge sheet. Even notorious dictators who are assumed to be guilty of committing the most heinous crimes […]

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