The Myanmar military’s political power is tied in part to its web of private enterprises across the energy, mining, banking, telecom and other industries. These military-owned companies have hindered development and are the clearest target for foreign governments and companies as they move to support Myanmar’s growing resistance.
Cambodia has expanded government monitoring of social media to include apps like TikTok, WhatsApp and Telegram in a bid to target fake news. Though intended in part to combat misinformation about COVID-19, the announcement has raised concerns about a new wave of censorship of independent media and political opposition in the country.
Asia’s drug syndicates are becoming increasingly sophisticated as the region’s narcotic trade continues to expand despite the pandemic, major arrests and record drug seizures.
An indigenous Karen community in Thailand has returned to their land in a national park years after being forcibly evicted and seeing their homes burned by authorities. The move has prompted heightened tensions in the saga of Kaeng Krachan National Park as the Thai government threatens to remove the villagers once again and prosecute them.
The release of the suspected mastermind behind Bali bombings from prison has not only brought back memories of the fateful attack for victims and families but has also raised concerns about Indonesia’s counterterrorism policy.
It is unclear if Cambodia’s apparent criticism of Chinese coronavirus vaccines is meant to refute the country’s reputation as China’s proxy. If that is the case, then Cambodia needs to do far more to introduce balance to its foreign policy.
Philippine authorities shot and killed nine indigenous Tumandok leaders on the island of Panay who were flagged as communist insurgents after they allegedly resisted arrest. But indigenous rights advocates say the victims were targeted for their resistance to militarization and damaging government-backed infrastructure projects.
Thailand’s large migrant population is facing racist backlash as the country works to contain a new outbreak of COVID-19 tied to a seafood market in Samut Sakhon province, near Bangkok, where a significant portion of the country’s migrants from Myanmar live.
Facebook’s reported compliance with the Vietnamese government’s censorship requests does not set an encouraging precedent. The practice is likely to encourage authoritarian regimes as more repressive governments may adopt similar strategies against the tech giant.
China’s construction of a fence along parts of its varied border with Myanmar has prompted questions about Beijing’s changing approach to the frontier.