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A short and entertaining Saturday morning read on visiting the famous Borobudur temple complex in Java is available here.


ASEAN in Manila


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Tis the season…to be talking.

Of course few bodies talk more and arguably achieve less than ASEAN, with the added distraction this time around with the presence of US President Trump at the meetings now taking place in Manila.

What will they discuss? What are the likely outcomes? A good summary for those interested is available here.

The summary? There will almost certainly be a lot of talk. And action? Well, if acting involves muliple statements, then yes, expect action.

And life and increasingly death for the Rohingya will continue, and the other urgent problems in the regon will be there unaddressed for the next meeting and further talks.

And some more Indonesian volcano pictures


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Mt Rinjani, with the infant volcano below

How can there be a better way to end the week than with some astonishing pictures from Indonesia’s volcanoes?

If the picture of Mt Rinjani above doesn’t impress you with its scale, have a look at the view from the summit of Mt Rinjani here with the pyramid shadow stretching into the distance.

Something a bit more dynamic is available by flying over Mt Tambora, which you can do here. For those readers a bit younger than me who weren’t around at the time, Mt Tambora last erupted in 1815 with possbly the biggest explosion since humans came down from the trees.

Perhaps I will end with this one here, a couple of thousand kilometres to the west. This is Mt Sinabung in North Sumatra filling the sky with volcanic ash and, flake by gritty flake, reshaping the Indonesian landmass with what will becom the most fertle soil on the planet.

Political trajectories; a regional summary


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An insighful analysis is available from New Mandala here with some disturbing implications for supporters of democracy in the region.

I hadn’t previously encountered the work of Dan Slater, but this is seriously good and I’ll clearly need to read more of his writings.

Pepinsky’s piece in a similar vein here is of also of the high standard you would expect.

Indonesian genocide footage


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Dipa Nusantara (DN) Aidit in 1955

Not quite sure it is quite the “news” that Reuters says it is, but some grim footage from the 1960’s genocide in Indonesia is available here.*

I recognise that this hasn’t been a happy week in the content of the blogposts here.

I am reluctant to seek out “good” news just because what is important is depressing and confronting, but I will look to diversify the topics covered in forthcoming posts.

* I am still learning with Twitter. Apologies if there is a better link or way to do this.