ASIA Centre inks MOU with Calcutta University

Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre and Professor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee, Vice Chancellor, Calcutta University’s signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 8 February 2019 in Kolkata, India.The MOU signing was part of the Government of West Bengal’s push for its universities to collaborate with knowledge partners abroad.  The event was witnessed by Kolkata’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banarjee during the 5th Bengal Global Business Summit that took place on 7-8 February 2019. For ASIA Centre, the MOU signings form part of the Centre’s strategy to engage externally and build more partnerships globally.Asia Centre will be undertaking more…

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Quality Journalism Not Effective Against Fake News

Quality journalism has been thrown up in discussions that search for measures to combat fake news on social media. Proponents argue that if quality journalism is boosted, the proliferation of fake news and its consumption can be mitigated if not overcome. However, it is unclear if the promotion of quality journalism alone is indeed an effective answer. Emerging evidence suggests that quality journalism boosting is no match to the viral power of fake news over online platforms. In Southeast Asia, there is a trust deficit in traditional journalism or mainstream media in many countries due to government control. Even when…

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Asia Centre engages with Indian Universities and Think-Tanks

Over February to March 2019, Asia Centre will participate in several meetings organised by Indian universities and think-tanks in Kolkata. Kicking-off, Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre will be Calcutta’s University delegate to the Bengal Global Business Summit on 7th and 8th February 2019. The annual flagship event, organized by Government of West Bengal, is positioned as the business gateway to South-East Asia and North-East India. During the occasion, Asia Centre will sign an Memorandum of Understanding with Calcutta University to formalise cooperation between the two entities. A month later, from 8 to 9 March 2019, Tessa…

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ASIA Centre Takes Fake News Discussion to Indonesia

Asia Centre and local partner – Indonesian alumni of Asian Public Intellectuals - co-organised two seminars on fake news or “berita hoax” in Jakarta on 16 and 17 Jan 2019. The seminars are part of a series of activities around fake news Asia Centre will undertake with partners in Indonesia in 2019. On 16 January 2019, the first seminar entitled “Fake News and Freedom of Expression” was hosted by venue partner KineForum at a theaterette at the Tun Ismail Marzuki arts complex. Speakers included, Asia Centre’s Dr. James Gomez, Dr. Sri Nuryanti, LIPI political researcher and former Election Commissioner (2007-2012),…

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4th Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable: Chinese Nationalism

China’s rise and its increasing assertive efforts to re-shape the world order have far-reaching consequences, in particular in Southeast Asia. In the age of information and disinformation, China’s ambitions as a global power must be appreciated critically, inclusive of the fact that Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are means to an end - removing China’s sense of being ‘encircled’ by its global competitors, namely the United States and its allies. To dissect China’s foreign policy and its impact on the region, Asia Centre held its 4th Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable entitled “Chinese Nationalism and Its…

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Asia Centre on The SDGs, Climate Change and Human Rights: The Indonesian Palm Oil Industry

As states seek to address climate change resilience following the Paris Agreement by committing to ‘foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development’, they appear to be willing in so far as such measures do threaten food production” (SDG Indicator 13.2.1). An analysis of the palm oil industry in Indonesia exposes a potential rights conundrum amidst the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Asia Centre’s Dr. Robin Ramcharan dissected this apparent conundrum in relation to the Palm Oil industry in Indonesia in a lecture to the Leuven Center for Global Governance in Belgium on 20 December 2018. The palm oil…

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Asia Centre Develops Partnerships in New Zealand

Asia Centre has built two partnerships around impact projects on Fake News and the Rohingya refugee crisis in Southeast Asia during its New Zealand outreach from 21-31 October 2018 to seek out collaboration opportunities. Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre, kicked off the first leg of the trip as an Activist-in-Residence at the Massey University-Center for Culture-Centered Approach (CARE) on October 23rd-26th. One focus during this residency was to collaborate with CARE on “Communication, Democracy and Freedom in Asia” highlighting the “Fake News” challenge to democracy. The issues were delivered in the form of a public lecture…

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Asia Centre Reaches Out to Australian Networks

15 November 2018 - The return visit by Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA) Jill Biddington and Tom Addy to discuss collaboration marks Asia Centre successful outreach to activist networks in Australia.  Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors of Asia Centre visited Sydney and Canberra from 16 to 21 October 2018 where he gave several public talks and engaged with academics and activists to build solidarity as well as identifying opportunities for policy advocacy in Australia for issues affecting Southeast Asia. At the University of Sydney, co-hosted by Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and Malaysia and Singapore Society of Australia (MASSA), Dr Gomez spoke on…

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Asia Centre’s Japan Outreach

As part of Asia Centre’s regional outreach, Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre visited Tokyo, Japan during the first week of October 2018. This visit builds on a series of activities over the last three years the Centre has undertaken with Japanese academia, civil society and other supporting institutions.  During the visit, on 2 October, Dr. Gomez was invited by Professor Yasushi Katsuma to lecture on “Fake News and Elections in Southeast Asia” for the graduate students at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University in Tokyo. One of the main discussion points was around the question…

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ASEAN’s non-interference policy hinders Rohingya justice

In spite of the United Nations (UN) Fact Finding Commission’s indictment on 28 August 2018, recommending Myanmar’s military officials “be investigated and prosecuted” for “genocidal intent” and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya and other minority groups in Myanmar, the pursuit of justice for the victims and accountability for crimes perpetrated will be hard to achieve at the regional level as ASEAN continues to provide Myanmar protective cover through the bloc’s non-interference policy.Add to this, regional commercial interests in Myanmar and a regional geopolitical climate that does not favour the protection of human rights, then justice for the Rohingyas slips…

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