By Kalinga Seneviratne 11 September 2022
SYDNEY (IDN) — The 12th and the first anniversary issue of Sustainable Development Observer started by IDN-InDepthNews Southeast Asia with no funding and a lot of passion is out now. The situation has not changed, and it is your feedback and encouragement that keeps us going.
This month, we address an important issue that is at the heart of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the state of democracy around the world. Multi-party democracy as a panacea to achieving development that is just— and latest buzzword ‘sustainable”—has been held up for long as a gospel truth. As we become more enlightened and have the confidence to think freely, gospels are always questioned and so should be democracy.
In recent years we have seen how young people, having been brainwashed to rise up for such democratic change have seen their hopes dashed as soon as jaded (and corrupt) leaders are driven out. A decade ago we saw it with the Arab Spring, in 2014 in Ukraine and also in countries like Thailand and Hong Kong (in recent years), where these uprisings were quickly dosed out.
In this issue, we bring you some insights into recent democratic change in different countries with different insights. In Latin American “leftish” democratic change is rising again with the latest being Colombia—would the USA allow “liberty” to flower in the continent this time around, so that SDGs may be achieved with a more social justice framework without American corporate interference?
There are interesting developments in Africa where coups rather than peaceful democratic change have been the norm in the post-independence era. We bring you some interesting perspectives on Kenya and Nigeria, also from Zimbabwe on why women shun politics.
Sri Lanka has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past few months and veteran journalist Neville de Silva takes a look at ironies of a failed “democratic” uprising in the island, which may have been precipitated from overseas to serve geo-political needs of powerful nations. We also bring you a perspective from a Sri Lankan peace activist on why political parties are the problem and democracy could be better served without them.
In the non-IDN story snippets, we alert you to the sad story of Libya where a misguided “democracy revolution” a decade ago has changed a prosperous state into a den of warlords and misery. From Brazil we alert you to how President Bolsonaro who came to power using the judiciary, now facing imminent defeat is trying to undermine the country’s judiciary. A story from Sri Lanka we are alerting you to focus on how the “regime change” uprising is creating a brain drain in a country that was well on the way to achieving many of the SDGs. [IDN-InDepthNews — 31 August 2022]
The PDF copy of Sustainable Development Observer Issue 12 can be downloaded from https://kalingasen.wixsite.com/sdomag/magazine by pressing download button under issue cover.
Image: IDN-INPS | SDO.
IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.