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 Myanmar military’s coup is a gluttonous grab for still more power despite the generals’ already entrenched role in the recent civilian governments. The country voted overwhelmingly for another Aung San Suu Kyi government last November and was already struggling under the impacts of COVID-19 and a recent surge in its civil wars.
As Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen suppresses political opponents in an attempt to protect his power and prepare for the next general election, many Southeast Asian countries, particularly Thailand, are facilitating his political repression.
Indonesia is pushing to protect peatlands and mangroves from annual fires that are disastrous for the world’s carbon emissions. The efforts are key to the global climate struggle but face a major challenge from the palm oil, pulp and paper and logging industries.
Southeast Asia appears open to blockchain technology and the digitization of currency despite the fact that the majority of the public remains reliant on cash.
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.
The arrest of Tse Chi Lop, head of Asia’s largest drug syndicate, does little to alter the structures that facilitate the region’s booming narcotics trade. From Myanmar’s ethnic armies and state-backed militias to Hong Kong triad organizations, the profits driving the trade will continue—Tse Chi Lop, like any link in the supply chain, is replaceable.
The new government of Laos, largely a reshuffle of party leaders, is set to continue policies that do little to achieve inclusive development while racking…
Pakistan’s national airline continues to run from one crisis to another. Malaysia’s impounding of the airline’s plane shows that unless a major overhaul takes place, Pakistan International Airlines faces a bleak and uncertain future.
The US ban on imports from one of the world’s biggest palm oil producers highlights the seriousness of human rights abuse issues. However, the ban on the Malaysian firm and ongoing media scrutiny are not likely to improve conditions for palm plantation workers unless the Malaysian government intervenes.