Having watched popular protests, from the color revolutions in the former Soviet Union to the Arab Spring, challenge their counterparts’ power, the world’s autocrats have been adopting legal measures aimed at incapacitating civic groups, including pro-democracy movements and human-rights NGOs. Among the most sweeping measures are those enabling officials to monitor and punish activists’ online activities. For activists, pushing back against draconian cyber laws and other forms of digital repression will not be easy, not least because it remains uncharted territory. By Janjira Sombatpoonsiri.
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Results for Opinion
Friday 10 May 2019
Since the massive mobilization effort that preceded the 2009 Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen, the world has begun translating words and intentions into real action on climate change. European leadership – from government, civil society, and business – has played a pivotal role in driving progress. Given how much remains to be done, such leadership must continue – and become stronger.
Monday 6 May 2019
Can Tonga grow its economy? Asked if it was possible I would answer with a resounding Yes! There may be a need for some outside help, but there is an excess of unused talent and a large underutilized work force here that has proven itself in the past. - Dean Bishoprick
Friday 3 May 2019
New Haven, USA
This is a big year for anniversaries in China. On May 4, the People’s Republic will commemorate the centennial of the May Fourth Movement, the student-led protests in front of Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate in 1919 that marked the birth of Chinese nationalism. And then, one month later, on June 4, will come the 30th anniversary of the violent suppression of pro-democracy student protests on the same site. This milestone, by contrast, will not be officially acknowledged, much less commemorated, in China.
Thursday 2 May 2019
The problem is staggering, even existential. Global emissions of greenhouse gases – especially carbon dioxide – are rapidly driving up global temperatures, transforming life as we know it. If those temperatures reach 2oC above pre-industrial levels, scientists warn, the results will be catastrophic. An international conference is called, under the auspices of the United Nations. Politicians declare that the world must curb CO2 emissions to avoid exceeding the 2oC threshold. And then nothing substantial happens. By Mats Persson.
Saturday 27 April 2019
New Delhi, India
The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka rank among the deadliest terrorist attacks in modern history, and underscore the metastasizing scourge of Islamist violence in Asia. Radical Islamic groups, some affiliated with larger extremist networks, have been quietly gaining influence in an arc of countries extending from the Maldivian to the Philippine archipelagos, and the threat they pose can no longer be ignored.
Tuesday 23 April 2019
Are you affected by the Foreign Exchange Control Act of 2018? This is a question we should all ask.... Even if this Act was intended to stifle foreign investment in Tonga, why put the severe restrictions on what the residents of Tonga can or cannot do with their money? - Dean Bishoprick
Thursday 18 April 2019
‘Oku ou tui fakapapau ko e feinga ko eni ke liukava’i e ngaue mo e fa’unga pule na’e maa’imoa kiai ‘a Tupou I ‘oku lolotonga fai ‘a e feinga ke fakahoko kamata mei he loto’i Pule’anga ‘o fakatefito ‘i Fale Alea ‘aki e ivi paloti ‘oku nau ma’u ai. – ‘Inoke Fotu Hu’akau.
Wednesday 10 April 2019
Auckland, New Zealand
Tongan people, a product of centuries of monarchy and social hierarchy, are never born free or equal, and the Tongan language has no word for ‘rights’ as in ‘to have rights’, nor a conventional way of saying that one has a voice in something. Dr Melenaite Taumoefolau examines the gulf between modern and traditional Tongans and why the language has no term for human rights. She says the knowledge gulf between the two camps is huge.
Wednesday 10 April 2019
Te u kole fakamolemole ki he fonua pehe ki he ngaahi Ha’a hotau Fa’unga Fonua na’a takua kuo te tamulea ka ‘oku ‘i ai e tui ‘a e motu’a ni na kuo taimi ke fola e fala ka tau alea telia e mahino ‘e hilioo ai e kaha’u hotau fonua kae ‘uma’aa e Tonga kotoa, “Pehee ne ‘osi hono ‘alo’i o Taufa’ahau pea ne me’a mai ‘a Hoa-mo- Fale’ono ki Tongatapu kia Ma’afu. Lava e ngaahi ta’u kuo toe tu’itu’ia e Ta’ahine ni ‘o pehee e tala ko e tu’itu’ia kia Nuku. - ‘Inoke Fotu Hu’akau.
Monday 8 April 2019
Scenic Hotels left Tonga abruptly two weeks ago after 8 years in their facility near the airport. Whether it was a problem with their landlord, their partner, or their own decision; one thing is clear – they were not making money and except for walking away from a large investment did not appear to be unhappy to leave Tonga. - Dean Bishoprick
Thursday 28 March 2019
Ko hono tataki ‘o ha fakalakalaka ‘o ha fonua kuopau ke mahino lelei he fakakaukau ‘a kinautolu ‘oku nau ngaue’i ha fa’ahinga kaveinga fakalelei pe liliu. Ko e taha hono ‘eleminiti mahu’inga ko e tukunga fiemalie mo e nonga e ‘I ai e fonua ‘i hono lao ‘o tokoni kiai ‘etau fatungamotu’a fakasosiale. - 'Inoke Fotu Hu'akau.
Thursday 28 March 2019
Ko e faha’i ‘Fakaanga’ (Opposition) ko e taha ia ha tu’unga (structure) ‘iha Falealea, pea ‘oku mahino ‘aupito ‘a hono fiema’u kae lava ke ngaue lelei ‘a e Falealea ‘iha Pule’anga Faka-Temokalati. - Viliami Makasiale Naulu.
Saturday 23 March 2019
Oxford, United Kingdom
The Commons originally elected a Speaker to help it speak truth to power, find strength in numbers, and resist intimidation. The voices of the less important were no longer drowned out or fragmented, and could challenge entrenched authority. Where did the Speaker come from, and why was the position created during England’s so-called “Good Parliament” of 1376? By Marion Turner
Wednesday 20 March 2019
Kau talanoa atu mu’a ki ha visone ‘oku toutou ho’ata mai mei he Pule’anga fekau’aki mo e liliu Faka-Politikale ‘oku teke ‘i hotau fonua. - 'Inoke Fotu Hu'akau.
Monday 18 March 2019
Celebrating Easter on the right date has always been a source of worry for the Christian churches. Because what is the right date? In early centuries, one tried to follow the Jewish Passover, but that was wrought with problems. Our calendar, or rather the Roman calendar, as it was in use at that time, is based on the yearly movement of the sun, while the Hebrew calendar follows the moon. By Firitia Velt.
Monday 18 March 2019
Wellington, New Zealand
I arrived in New Zealand on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, which became a day of massacre. Like the assassination of Olof Palme in Sweden in 1986, the 9/11 attacks in the US, and the murderous rampage of Anders Breivik in Norway in 2011, March 15 will mark the day New Zealand lost its innocence and entered the age of postmodern mass terror. By Ramesh Thakur
Thursday 14 March 2019
On the Ides of March (March 15), the day by which ancient Romans were expected to settle their debts, young people in 60 countries around the world will stage a school walkout to press world leaders for more urgent action on climate change. It is a tragedy that younger generations are forced to speak out against the injustice they will suffer as a result of choices made by others; yet, at the same time, it is deeply reassuring to witness their power and passion as they try to change the course of history. By Éloi Laurent
Wednesday 13 March 2019
New York, USA
Climate change poses an unprecedented threat to humanity, one that appears increasingly likely to reduce global standards of living dramatically within our lifetime, and cause untold damage in the longer term. And, because addressing such a daunting planetary challenge requires radical approaches, there have been wide-ranging discussions about what the world must urgently do to limit the rise in global temperature to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. By Ban Ki-moon.
Monday 11 March 2019
We have long known that the accumulation of plastic in the world’s landfills and oceans represents a growing environmental risk. More recently, we have come to understand that plastic poses an urgent – even deadly – threat to public health, too. And yet, global efforts to address the plastic crisis remain consistently focused on the wrong end of the life cycle: waste management. The debate that will resume this month at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) is a case in point, because it will focus on “marine litter and microplastics.” By Lili Fuhr and Jane Patton.