This is an interesting article that tries to get at an important, yet still unclear factor about the international reaction to the election of Pres. Barack Obama -- how will he perceived and what does his election mean for countries around the region? IPS does a good job of pulling out some of those issues in this article. Enjoy -- Phil
Obama Victory Spells Renewed
BANGKOK, Nov 7 (IPS) - In Indonesia, many know him as ‘’Barry’’. To others
‘’I remember he once wrote two stories titled ‘My mother, my idol’ and ‘I want to be a president’,’’ she said in a story appearing in Thursday’s ‘Jakarta Post’ newspaper. Obama was six when he came to live in
‘’I hope to see him become a good president and keep his campaign promises,’’ the former third-grade teacher added of the new
‘’This phenomena teaches us all that ethnicity, race and other labels are not important. What matters is our capability,’’ Jusuf Kalla, the country’s vice president, was quoted as having told the Indonesian national news agency Antara following Obama’s victory.
Kalla is a leader of Golkar, the country’s largest political party. But media reports note that the likelihood of him running for president in the 2009 elections are doubtful because of his origins. He is a member of the Bugis ethnic minority from the mountainous
Obama’s example would not have been lost on
‘’The U.S. election could inspire people from minorities in this region to think of what is possible,’’ says Phil Robertson, chairperson of Democrats Abroad Thailand, a group of U.S. citizens living here who campaigned for Obama, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.
‘’It could broaden people’s ideas that a person from a minority could rise to the post of political power based on the ideas he or she represents,’’ added Robertson in an interview. ‘’Obama’s victory is an inspirational moment.’’
The widely followed
An official response from the
For the 10-member ASEAN the Obama victory comes after growing concern among the region’s leaders that the George W. Bush administration was losing interest in the regional bloc. While Bush described South-east Asia as the second front in his ‘war against terrorism’ after the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the
‘’After 9-11 terrorism became the main priority for the Bush administration, it wanted immediate results, which ASEAN is not geared to. Defence is not its strength,’’ Robert Fitts, a former
With the Bush doctrine in tatters, a greater engagement with ASEAN is expected, underscoring Obama’s inclination towards multilateralism. ‘’He wants to reinvigorate multilateralism and that includes ASEAN,’’ says Fitts.
‘’Obama will create a new impetus for ASEAN-U.S. policy,’’ says Kavi Chongkittavorn, a senior editor and columnist on regional affairs at ‘The Nation’, an English-language daily in