When an Indonesian started talking to a Westerner

Inspiration, provocations, discussions and politics all meld here at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Take a look here, here and here. Perhaps the most encouraging part of the events in Bali is the involvement of local writers and participants. If the West and East melded a little more, the world would be in a…

On my way to Indonesia

For the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali. I’m invited again this year (after an amazing 2009 Indonesian book tour) and look forward to discussing politics, prose, passion and power. More very soon.

Don’t wear tight pants and be a good Muslim

Last year I visited the Indonesian province of Aceh and discovered a Muslim area though one with surprisingly liberal attitudes (in some parts, anyway). So this news, under the headline, “Tight Pants Ban Takes Effect in Indonesia’s Aceh“, is a little sad: Authorities in a devoutly Islamic district of Indonesia’s Aceh province have distributed 20,000…

Australia’s responsibility to asylum seekers

The following statement was released today by refugee activists from Australia, Canada and Indonesia: “The Merak refugees and the Indonesian Solution, not people smuggling, should be at the top of the agenda for discussions between the Australian government and Indonesian‚Ķ¬† President Yudhoyono,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “The Australian government is…