The semi-autonomous region called Republika Sprska within the functionally weak nation-state Bosnia-Herzegovina held a seemingly innocuous referendum on September 25, 2016. The referendum was on whether to celebrate a national day on January 9, the date when the Republika Sprska declared itself independent in 1992. For most other countries’ context, this would be so benign of an affair that such an issue would not need a referendum. However, in Republika Srpska the national day celebration is a much more complex affair with deep underpinnings of societal division.
Up to 800,000 of people in five towns have gathered to call for speedup of separation of Catalonia from Spain, taking the movement to a new level.
Hundreds of thousands of Catalonians have gathered in five different towns of Spanish autonomous community to encourage the speeding up of the process of breakaway from Spain, to which central government is fiercely opposed, according to reports of local media.
Following the disqualification of pro-Hong Kong independence candidates from the upcoming Legislative Council election, the Hong Kong government now wants to stop discussions on Hong Kong independence in schools.
While a majority of Hongkongers agree that independence for Hong Kong is politically impossible, more and more claim to support independence simply to agitate Beijing.
In a poll in July, about 17.4% of respondents said they were somewhat or even strongly supportive of Hong Kong independence.
As anticipated, that result has upset Beijing which has seemingly demanded the Hong Kong government stop people from talking and fantasising about separation with mainland China.
The Indonesian president, Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, recently finished his tour of the EU, signing five cooperation agreements with the UK during his stop in London. The protest that confronted Jokowi’s visit fractured his attempt to keep hidden one of Indonesia’s dark secrets: the 50 year war in its easternmost provinces. Here are five things you should know about Indonesian rule in West Papua:
1. It is one of the world’s longest-running military occupations.
Indonesia seized West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea, in 1963, shortly after the Dutch colonists pulled out. Political parties were immediately banned, nascent Papuan nationalism crushed, and tens of thousands of troops, police and special forces flooded in. In 1969 a UN-supervised sham referendum was held, and just over a thousand hand-picked representatives were bribed, cajoled and threatened into voting in favour of Indonesian rule.
A police state has shackled the vast region ever since, battling a low-level tribal insurgency and suppressing independence aspirations with such vigour that raising the Papuan national flag can land you 15 years in prison.