Three years after the failed military coup in Myanmar, there is genuine hope within the country for democratic resistance. By the end of 2023 and into the beginning of 2024, Myanmar reached a turning point, with significant successes achieved by the revolutionary movement, particularly on the battlefield. For the first time since the coup, there is a growing possibility that the resistance movement may prevail against the military dictatorship.
  • The Rohingya have been forcibly displaced throughout Asia, including India, with repatriation to Myanmar deemed impossible. How are they being treated in India, a country lacking refugee laws and international commitments? According to Indian laws and the policies of the current BJP-led government, they are viewed as “aliens” who pose a security threat and are excluded by the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act. Do Indians endorse this view?
  • Massimo Nava 11 July 2024
    A republican jolt, a democratic tremor, a belated injection of prudence and wisdom. The descriptions of the historical and incredible result of the snap elections in France have been abundant. In just seven days, between the first and second rounds, the political majority shifted from the far right to the far left. The majority of the French, from a host of backgrounds, blocked the path of the National Rally, the party of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, who went from euphoria to despair in the same breath.
  • Renzo Guolo 3 July 2024
    In the Iranian presidential elections, the moderate reformist Masoud Pezeshkian and the hard-line conservative Saeed Jalili are heading to a runoff. This is the result of the first round of elections held to designate Ebrahim Raisi’s successor, who died in a plane crash in May. The elections require a candidate to secure 50 percent of the votes to be elected in the first round.
  • Maria Tavernini 28 June 2024
    The re-election of Narendra Modi, who has taken oath as prime minister for a rare third consecutive term, came with a bitter taste and mixed feelings. As is often the case in India, opinion and exit polls that foresaw a landslide victory for the incumbent prime minister failed to accurately predict the outcome of the world’s largest elections, which were held in seven phases from April 19 to June 1. When poll results started to roll in, it was clear that Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had lost their parliamentary majority for the first time in 10 years.
  • Ali Kosha 25 June 2024
    The Taliban’s 2021 return to power in Afghanistan, erasing much of the progress made in the previous two decades, raises critical questions about the international community’s efforts and the country’s short democratic experiment. Sima Samar, a human rights advocate and former Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), provides her perspective on these events in her new book, Outspoken: My Fight For Freedom and Human Rights in Afghanistan.
  • After 1967, Israel rediscovered itself as a strong state, capable of imposing its will on Arab enemies and setting the rules of the game. In a country that had just a few days earlier feared for its existence in the face of a joint Arab attack, the stunning military victory achieved in the Six-Day War sparked huge relief and considerable national pride for the technical and military achievements attained in less than twenty years of national history. Since then, the project of creating new settlements in the OPTs has faced opposition only from the more radical anti-Zionist and leftist factions at the fringes.
  • Fabio Turco 20 June 2024
    Things will not be the same for Slovakia following the attempted assassination of Premier Robert Fico. It will prove to be a watershed moment in the history of the country. Fico remains under strict medical supervision, but his conditions are improving day after day. Now is the time to speculate on the possible repercussions for the future of Slovakia. Both positive and negative. Something similar happened six years ago: the murder of reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnirová. That tragedy resulted in increased social and political instability, which eventually led, in turn, to those five gunshots aimed at Fico. More blood has been spilled, but perhaps this second episode of violence will compel Slovakia to turn over a new leaf.
  • The far right is poised to make dramatic gains in the European elections this weekend. One could draw hope from an increase in the youth vote. Turnout among the young has been rising in national and European elections. Moreover, Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Malta are extending the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds (and Greece to 17-year-olds). The latest Eurobarometer registers a fairly high interest in the elections among voters under 24, with most (63 percent) vouching to vote and an overwhelming majority (86 percent) agreeing voting is important to keep democracy strong.
  • The Dalai Lama has visited Taiwan three times – in 1997, 2001, and 2009 – and there are calls for his return. Since his first visit, Tibetan Buddhism in Taiwan has grown significantly. The total number of Tibetan Buddhist centers has increased from 82 in 1996 to 473 in 2018, while the community of Tibetan Buddhists soared to approximately half a million. From this perspective, the Dalai Lama’s visits to Taiwan have achieved their goal of disseminating Tibetan Buddhism, making his potential return to Taiwan of paramount religious significance. But there is also a political significance to his visits.
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