ASIA - The Irrawaddy Magazine
In Contested Election, Indonesia’s Democracy on the Line

It will be up to two key institutions, both with bruised reputations, to decide which of the two men who contested the poll becomes president.

Four Bodies Found in India’s Volatile Northeast, Army Deployed

Discovery prompts fears of a fresh round of clashes after the region saw sectarian clashes in the run-up to India’s national election in May.

In Vietnam, a World Cup Loss Is a Whole Different Ball Game

The Communist government has attempted to crackdown on strictly illegal sports betting during this year’s tournament, but the taste for gambling is deeply ingrained.

Petro-Pirates Plague Busy Southeast Asia Shipping Lanes

Since April, at least six fuel tankers have been hijacked and drained in the Malacca Strait or nearby waters of the South China Sea.

US Lawmakers Criticize Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma

Members of Congress in Washington liken the conditions faced by Rohingya in western Burma to concentration camps and question whether a genocide is taking place.

Australia Denies ‘Offensive’ Accusations Sri Lanka Asylum Seekers Ill-Treated

Thirty-seven Sinhalese and four Tamils have claimed they were mistreated Australian Customs officials at sea while being returned to Sri Lanka.

Both Candidates in Indonesia Election Claim Victory

Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and ex-general Prabowo Subianto both say they have won the presidential election based on quick counts of votes.

Thai Junta to Hold Largest ‘Happiness Fair’ in Latest PR Push

The new military government in Bangkok has held festivals in parks and squares to win public support, while also moving to curtail freedom of expression.

Indonesia Divided in Close Presidential Race 

The world’s third-largest democracy heads to the polls to choose between a soft-spoken reformist and an ex-army general with close links to the former dictator.

China’s Xi Warns Confrontation With US Would Be Disaster

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew are in Beijing for two days of talks with the Chinese leadership.

Indonesian Presidential Hopeful Prays Mecca Trip Will Win Votes

Joko “Jokowi” Widodo aims to bolster his bid for the presidency after a smear campaign suggesting he was a Christian has hurt his popularity.

China Holds Ceremony to Mark China-Japan War

President Xi Jinping criticizes people who “beautify the history of aggression” as China marks the 77th anniversary of the start of a war with Japan.

Thai Junta Says Peace in Restive South a National Priority

Thailand’s military government says peace in the Muslim-dominated south is an “urgent national priority” for the Buddhist-majority country following a decade of unrest.

Indonesia’s Tight, Dirty Presidential Race May Be Decided in West Java

Voters face a clear choice between a relatively untested, untainted Jakarta governor and a tough nationalist who is dogged by decades-old allegations of army brutality.

Sri Lanka Accused of Turning Blind Eye to Violence

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is under fire for failing to protect Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority and allowing radical Buddhists to spew hate speech with impunity.

China’s Top Graft-buster Says No Limits to Probes

No part of China’s ruling Communist Party is off limits for its crackdown on corruption, the country’s top graft buster was quoted as saying.

With One Eye on Washington, China Plots Its Own Asia ‘Pivot’

Beijing appears set on shaping Asia’s security and financial architecture, and is working on a strategy to try to counter Washington’s “pivot” to the region.

China Leader Snubs North Korea in Visit to Seoul

The visit follows a flurry of missile tests by Pyongyang, seen in part as a demonstration of its anger at being jilted for its archrival.

Ivory Sales Boom in Bangkok, Mocking Thai Pledge to End Trade

A survey of more than 100 shops shows that sales of ivory items have surged, despite a government pledge to end to the trade.

Video of Japan Politician Weeping Goes Viral

The video shows Ryutaro Nonomura, 47, a Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman, bursting into tears, uttering nonsensical phrases and banging on the desk.