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The case for seating overseas legislators in Southeast Asian parliaments

Around 1.7 million Indonesians living overseas are registered to vote in this month’s presidential and legislative elections, a mammoth task for the General Elections Commission, which has had to prepare 828 voting booths at Indonesian representative offices worldwide, as well as 1,579 mobile voting boxes and 652 drop boxes for absentee voting.  How many overseas…

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Eight songs that didn’t make it into China’s Lunar New Year gala

As people across China welcome the Year of the Dragon, the ruling Communist Party’s propaganda machine has stepped up a campaign of “positive energy” and “good news” about the economy despite widespread reports of slashed bonuses, unpaid wages and youth unemployment and disenchantment. Yet the songs that have truly resonated with people during the past…

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Arakan Army claims capture of third city in Myanmar’s west

An ethnic armed organization in Myanmar announced it has now captured three major cities, according to a statement from the Three Brotherhood Alliance.  Rakhine state’s Arakan Army (AA) claims to have captured the last major junta territory in Mrauk-U, effectively taking control of the city. On Thursday, the group captured Police Battalion 31, following earlier…

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Senate confirms Kurt Campbell as No. 2 US diplomat

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Joe Biden’s top Asia foreign policy aide, Kurt Campbell, as deputy secretary of state.  Campbell, previously the Indo-Pacific Affairs coordinator on the White House’s National Security Council, was confirmed in an overwhelming 92-5 vote to replace Wendy Sherman, who retired in July. During his confirmation hearing in December,…

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Myanmar resistance army deports nearly 60 Chinese nationals

An armed resistance group in northern Myanmar handed over nearly 60 Chinese nationals accused of online fraud and owning illegal weapons, according to the army’s statement on Monday night.  The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, which occupies Kokang region on the country’s border with China, deported 59 Chinese citizens between Sunday and Monday, the army’s…

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