Duterte’s Victory in Philippines Could Bring Hope to Disillusioned Democrats

DuterteAnalysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

SINGAPORE (IDN) – Both in the Philippines and internationally, corporate media predicted doom for Philippines’ democracy after Rodrigo Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of Davoa in southern Philippines, won a landslide victory at the presidential polls (on May 9) in one of the world’s most vibrant democracies. Rather than heralding in a new era of dictatorship, it may well bring hope to those who are disillusioned with democracy around the world.

The tough campaign rhetoric to kill criminals and override Congress if it got in his way, and his sometimes crude or vulgar language may have alarmed the Filipino elites, but it hypnotised the masses of marginalised Filipinos who voted for the “Mayor” in droves.

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Building Regional Connectivity Key to China’s ‘Silk Route’ Projects


 Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne


BANGKOK (IDN) – China is keen to demonstrate that its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, dubbed the “New Silk Route” by the media, is not geared to exclusively serve China’s economic interests, but to build connectivity in the region and beyond for the benefit of all.

This was the message from a high-powered Chinese team taking part in a ‘side-event’ organised by China at the 72nd UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) sessions here May 17-19. It is also an idea that ESCAP is strongly endorsing as it embarks on promoting a new development paradigm for the region.

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South Pacific Seeks Action to Solve Climate ‘Terror’ Not of Its Making

Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – Pointing out that three tiny South Pacific nations – Kiribati, Tuvalu and Marshal islands – are “destined to slip below the waves altogether”, feisty Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Bainimarama has appealed to the international community to help Fiji and the other South Pacific island states build resilience to the impact of climatic change, which he described as the “terror of the extreme weather events”.

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