January 13, 2020

Amnesia triumphs: How one decade undid a century of lessons

Three countries. Two elections – in the Philippines, the United States – and one referendum, in Britain. I was to spend time following each of them, experiencing, in turn, some of democracy’s cruellest ironies. What were the odds that one writer would have witnessed such a succession of dramatic reversals? Later, I realised that history is always playing tricks on us and that the liberal democratic ideals of my youth were in danger of fading away.
January 13, 2020

A bitter Christmas for some in the Philippines

“If there was no ‘war on drugs’, I would have been able to spend Christmas with my son." 56-year old Normita Lopez’ voice crackles with fury. Her son, Djastin - just 23 years old - was shot dead two and a half years ago. He was one of the 5,526 documented victims of President Rodrigo Duterte’s wave of violence.
December 16, 2019

Aung San Suu Kyi: Lannister or Stark?

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi – the general’s daughter, presiding over a desperately fragile state has gone from being the Tatmadaw’s (military’s) nemesis to their apologist or, worse yet, enabler. As the proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gear up and her nation again comes under global scrutiny, many have asked how the much-revered Lady could have become so reviled?
December 11, 2019

Life (and death) in plastic

When I wake up every morning, I step into my bathroom and survey the shelves. There are rows of multi-coloured plastic containers: toothpaste, hair conditioners, hand soap, creams and eye lotions. Since I’m always travelling, I also have stacks of those cheap, single-usage shampoo sachets.Nowadays, (and because of the endless amounts of plastic that I seem to be using) I feel as if I’m a perpetrator and the killer of all those animals. But what is the truth about plastic?