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.

Negotiating Peace in Southeast Asia

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Peace talks have been successfully initiated in Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines – three Southeast Asian countries where local wars and ethnic armed conflicts have been in existence for several decades. The peace initiatives in Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines are off to a good start. Will it all lead to the resolution of armed […]

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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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A ‘Prayut Effect’ in Southeast Asia?

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Written for The Diplomat Three new leaders have risen to power in Southeast Asia since 2014: Thailand’s Prayut Chan-o-cha, Indonesia’s Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi. In some ways, the three could not be more different. Prayut was the army chief who led a coup and established a new government in Thailand. […]

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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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Published by The Diplomat The good: Five million people in Myanmar signed a petition asking Parliament to remove the undemocratic provisions in the 2008 Constitution. The bad: Thai military authorities enacted an interim constitution that gives sweeping powers to the army. The half-serious: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III hinted that he is open to the […]

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The Legacy of Writer and Activist Win Tin

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Written for The Diplomat Myanmar is grieving the death of Burmese writer and pro-democracy leader U Win Tin, who died of renal failure on April 21 at the age of 85. Win Tin was editor of a popular newspaper in the 1960s, when he became critical of the military junta. Perhaps his most enduring legacy […]

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Suu Kyi Lectures Singapore on Materialism

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Written for The Diplomat Singapore received a stinging, albeit friendly criticism from Nobel Peace Laureate and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who reminded one of the world’s richest countries that there are greater goals to achieve in life than wealth. Suu Kyi attended a leadership summit in Singapore where she discussed, among other […]

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Burma’s Election Revelations

Friday, April 27th, 2012

The obligatory applause for the electoral victory of Burma’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi reverberated around the globe immediately after local officials confirmed that her opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), had won in 43 of the 44 constituencies where it fielded candidates in last Sunday’s by-election. Suu Kyi herself won a […]

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