YSEALI: America’s Quiet Colonisation of Southeast Asia

September 22, 2016 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – The US State Department’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) claims on its official US government website to build “the leadership capabilities of youth in the region and promotes cross-border cooperation to solve regional and global challenges.”


It not only consists of US-based educational and professional “fellowships” for Southeast Asian participants, but also a funding component to help alumni establish foreign-funded organisations posing as “nongovernmental organisations” (NGOs), enhancing the already large presence of US-funded organisations operating across Asia in the service of American interests.

Under an initiative called, “Generation: Go NGO!,” YSEALI claims:

This is an opportunity for young NGO leaders to advance their professional skills and competencies with the aim to grow, scale, and take the organizations they work for, or those they founded, to new heights. 

From developing baseline metrics to creatively pursuing financial and in-kind resources to assertively applying social media to advance mission, this workshop will bring together individuals from across ASEAN to learn and collaborate on ways to build capacity, message, and impact.

Beyond this, YSEALI also conducts other workshops across Southeast Asia to help prepare what is essentially a parallel political establishment that serves not Southeast Asian institutions or the population, but the US State Department and the corporate and financial interests it represents, quite literally an ocean and continent away.

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