Bangladesh’s Nationalist Party (BNP) has boycotted its January 7th election. The party is led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. This boycott has led Bangladesh to reelect its current leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s and her Awami League (AL), for a fourth consecutive five-year term.
The first anniversary of Jina Amini’s death just passed. On September 13, 2022, a woman by the name of Jina Amini, also known as “Mahsa,” was arrested by Iran’s morality police for “improperly” wearing her hijab.
For more than 2,000 years China was ruled by emperors. These men who commanded the country possessed absolute authority and governed by divine right. During this time, cycles of political struggle and war facilitated the rise and fall of dynasty after dynasty. Of course, no empire lasts forever, and in the autumn of 1911, the last Chinese dynasty (the Great Qing) was toppled by a coalition of revolutionaries.
February 2022 marks the 36th anniversary of the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) People Power Revolution in the Philippines, when the population overthrew dictator and kleptocrat Ferdinand Marcos and abolished the martial law implemented during his rule. However, history is at risk of repeating itself as Marcos’ son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., won the presidential elections in May 2022, marking the Marcos family’s return to Malacanang after 36 years.
Dear Thay (as your students refer you ‘Master’)…
Nichidatsu Fujii (1885-1985) was a Japanese Buddhist monk and peace activist who founded the Buddhist order Nipponzan Myōhōji in 1918. Nipponzan Myōhōji is a small lay and monastic order of about 1500 people that continues to be active to the present day, and scholars consider it to be one among Japan’s many new religious movements, albeit much smaller in terms of its size and scale than other groups in this category.
Japan’s devastating defeat in World War II led many ordinary Japanese people to develop a general antipathy and aversion to war and militarism. Pacifism was enshrined in the famous Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which states that Japan “forever renounce(s) war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”
SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy) was a student organization founded in May 2015 as part of the protest movement against Shinzō Abe and his government’s legislations to reinterpret the Japanese Constitution to allow Japan to engage in collective self-defense on behalf of its allies, e.g., the United States.
Toyohiko Kagawa (1888-1960) was a Japanese social reformer, labor activist and Christian evangelist known as “Japan’s Gandhi.” As a social activist, pacifist and public figure, Kagawa was well-known during his lifetime – both in his home country of Japan as well as in the United States. He was nominated for the Nobel Prizes in literature and peace on numerous occasions.
In 2014, the world saw Hong Kong stop in its pace to make way for the Umbrella Movement. The protest started in response to a decision made by China that would allow elections in Hong Kong in 2017, but only from a list of candidates pre-approved by the Chinese government.