Author Archives: Ramesh Thakur

RAMESH THAKUR. Impeachment politics revisited

The doomed impeachment has helped Trump and damaged Biden. The election is now Trump’s to lose and the Democratic nomination is Sanders’ to lose.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

SUSHANT SINGH. With a flag, song and book (Indian Express 24-1-20)

As well as Australia Day, 26 January is an important day of celebration in India as Republic Day. The Constitution of India formally came into force on 26 January 1950.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The half-century miracle of Asian resurgence (Japan Times 6-1-20)

Is Japan Asian? Geographically, this is a silly question. Yet in an age in which identity politics have become increasingly critical, by economic logic, political orientation and geopolitical alliance, Japan is Western.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Australian bushfires: it’s not always about climate change (Straits Times 24-12-19)

Global warming and climate change are scientific facts, but beware of attempts to make them responsible for poor human decisions affecting the environment today.

Posted in Environment and climate | 8 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Modi’s project to make a Hindu India (East Asia Forum 30-12-19)

When Scott Morrison visits India later this month, he should temper his marketing enthusiasm. The Modi government is fast-tracking India into uncharted territory despite a forest of flashing amber signs of dangers ahead.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The Greens cruelled Australia’s last best chance for climate action ten years ago

Ten years ago, on 23 November, PM Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull had worked together to draft a compromise environmental policy for Australia that both could live with. That fleeting moment of bipartisan unity was sabotaged by Andrew … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 8 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The invisibility of Asian–Australians is a national scandal. The silence on this scandal is a disgrace

As I read through the opinion articles in The Canberra Times and The Australian on Saturday 9 November, I grew increasingly exasperated at the total absence of any Asian voice. I then did an online search of opinion articles in … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The risk of entrapment by self-fulfilling nuclear prophecy

As rising nuclear threats become harder to ignore, non-nuclear states have responded in one of two ways. The majority have sought to reduce the risks of deliberate or inadvertent nuclear war by doubling down on disarmament efforts, crystallised most eloquently … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. We Need to Stop Turning India into a Hindu Pakistan (The Wire 19-10-15)

This is the follow-up article promised yesterday. It was first published in October 2015 in The Wire, one of India’s premier online news and analysis site that has managed to remain independent and critical. I have added translations of common … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. A hometown lynching

This gut-wrenching story is from and about my hometown where I was born and grew up. I wish I could say I’m surprised as well as horrified but that would be a lie. This is the reality I grew up … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Schadenfreude, thy name is Tony Abbott: No one is above the law

If a law can be abused, it will be. This is as true of laws enacted in the name of national security and anti-terrorism as any other law. Why is this simple reality so hard for politicians to grasp?

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The P5 must reaffirm that nuclear war can’t be won and mustn’t be fought (Strategist 15-10-19)

There are three sets of reasons for a palpable rise in nuclear anxieties around the world: growing nuclear arsenals and expanding roles for nuclear weapons, a crumbling arms-control architecture, and irresponsible statements from the leaders of some nuclear-armed states.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The markets school Modi: India needs reform (Policy Forum 22-10-19)

The Indian government’s tinkering has not been enough to enact real change – Prime Minister Modi must listen to the market and undertake a serious structural transformation, Ramesh Thakur writes.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s least bad choice on North Korea (Japan Times 3-10-19)

If Japanese officials have conducted any clear-eyed, hard-headed analysis of the government’s policy options on North Korea’s nuclear challenge, they have managed to keep it well hidden.

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | Comments Off on RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s least bad choice on North Korea (Japan Times 3-10-19)

RAMESH THAKUR. ‘It’s no crime to be a refugee’.

Review of Kavita Puri, Partition Voices: Untold British Stories (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 297 pp. This is an important, interesting and elegantly written book. ‘It is no crime to be a refugee’, says one of the persons interviewed for the book. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 4: Partisanship on steroids

The timing of the impeachment inquiry shows frustration. With uncharacteristic honesty, Democratic Representative Al Green confessed in May: ‘I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected’. A speeded-up removal of Trump could well prove cathartic … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 3: Impeachment

The whistleblower’s complaint, made on 12 August, was based entirely on hearsay. The existing guidelines had said in bold, underlined, all-caps: ‘FIRST-HAND INFORMATION REQUIRED’. After receiving the complaint, the intelligence community inspector-general (ICIG) revised the internal guidance to permit evidence … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Relocating the United Nations (Valdai Discussion Club 10-10-19)

The United Nations is the world’s premier and its only universal international organization. It alone houses the divided fragments of humanity. But currently it faces a threat to the foundational principle of inclusivity. Its purpose-built headquarters was located in New … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 2: The Ukraine connection

We come back to the Russia collusion narrative. A lot of it seems to have had Ukraine connections, so much so that Ukraine was Ground Zero of that story. The primary motive of the Poroshenko administration would have been to … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 1: ‘Impeach the MF’

Fasten your seatbelts. With fresh revelations on almost a daily basis, we look set for convulsive politics over the coming weeks and months in the UK, the Mother of Parliaments, and in the US, the world’s most successful and powerful … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Time to kill the Private Health Insurance zombies

Two zombie policies stalk the Private Health Insurance (PHI) policy world: A ‘Hospital Benefits Schedule’ and ‘Medicare Select’. Here’s why both should have been put to rest long ago.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on STEPHEN DUCKETT. Time to kill the Private Health Insurance zombies

RAMESH THAKUR. PM Morrison tilts at UN windmill

During Scott Morrison’s recent trip to the US, did the PM absorb some of Donald Trump’s intellectual genius by a mysterious process of osmosis? How else are we to explain his incoherent, befuddled speech at the Lowy Institute on Thursday … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

ANU ANWAR. How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals (East Asia Forum 19-9-19)

Decades of astonishing economic growth have given China new tools for extending its influence abroad and achieving its political goals. Some of these tools are inducements, including Belt and Road Initiative projects and new development financial institutions. But China has demonstrated that it … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Comments Off on ANU ANWAR. How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals (East Asia Forum 19-9-19)

ROBERT REICH. Trump can do more damage than Nixon. His impeachment is imperative (Guardian 28-9-19)

Amid the impeachment furor, don’t lose sight of the renewed importance of protecting the integrity of the 2020 election.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

MARK BEESON. Morrison’s surprising character defects: faith and optimism

Being a leader, even of a lucky country like Australia, isn’t getting any easier. To be fair, these are difficult times for any leader, even the most competent ones. It’s worth asking how FDR, Churchill or even Bismarck would have … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

DER SPIEGEL. Tension in the Middle East: The Groundwork Is Laid for a Vast New Conflict (25-9-19)

The attacks on the country’s two biggest oil facilities last month represent an unprecedented humiliation for the Saudis and The kingdom feels disgraced, angry and injured. It also became clear that the Saudis are certain who was behind the attack. … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

JAMES LAURENCESON. Morrison’s visit to the US shows his common ground with China (AFR 25-9-19)

Scan the headlines generated by Scott Morrison’s trip to the United States and you could get the impression that the Australian government is increasingly tilting towards supporting Washington in its economic war against Beijing.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Julian Assange – ‘Find Justice and Make It Quick’ (American Herald Tribune 28-9-19)

With the US on the warpath and Australia sending military, air, and naval support for American activities in the Gulf, three Australian and British nationals are being made an example of in Iran, where they are in solitary confinement on charges of … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Media, Politics | 2 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. The judiciary is a part of government too (Canberra Times 27-9-19)

Australian politicians given to complaining that unelected judges are usurping the functions of ministers and of parliament would do very well to study this week’s British Supreme Court ruling holding the prorogation of the British Parliament by the Queen at … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM Bali alert! Busybodies at large

It was excruciatingly embarrassing. The hotel receptionist was adamant: We either proved our marriage or we left.  Voices were raised which drew more staff and onlookers to the foyer. Security guards appeared.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments