Asia - The Irrawaddy
Tourism Thrives in Malaysia Despite Association With Tragedy

Two Malaysian airplane catastrophes don’t seem to have harmed the country’s tourism industry, with visitor numbers showing their strongest growth in years.

Hong Kong Arrests 38 as Anti-China Protesters Scuffle with Police

Hong Kong police arrest 38 people after demonstrators clash with police, in the latest sign of tension caused by China’s influence in the city.

Pollution Documentary Attracts Huge Interest in China

A new documentary on China’s environmental woes racks up more than 28 million online views in two days, underscoring growing concern over the impact of pollution.

Bangladesh Rallies for Free Speech after US Blogger’s Murder

Bangladeshis gather to pay tribute to an American blogger and critic of religious extremism who was hacked to death in Dhaka.

North Korea Test Fires 2 Short-Range Missiles

North Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, warning of “merciless strikes” against its enemies as Seoul and Washington launch annual military drills.

Activist Monk Seeks Buddhism Overhaul in Thailand Over Corruption Fears

Amid a series of Sangha scandals, a monk calls for radical overhaul of Thai Buddhism, fearing that huge donations and rapid modernization are corrupting monks.

Foreign Tourists Posing Nude at Temples Infuriate Cambodians

At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at Cambodia’s sacred site of Angkor Wat.

Singapore’s Founder Sedated, on Life Support

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s 91-year-old founding father, is on life support in intensive care while being treated for severe pneumonia.

China Bans Ivory Imports for 1 Year to Protect Elephants

China imposes a one-year ban on ivory imports amid criticism that its citizens’ appetite for ivory fuels poaching that threatens the existence of African elephants.

Stuck in Limbo, Bangkok’s Hidden Urban Refugees Scrape By

A growing number of refugees live in cities and towns around the world, where they lead lives of tenuous legality and struggle to survive.

Thai Bill to Restrict Protests Sails Through First Reading

Thailand’s parliament votes in favor of a bill that restricts political demonstrations, something critics fear will be used to smother dissent after martial law ends.

UN: North Korean Company Renames Ships to Evade Sanctions

A shipping company that famously tried to hide fighter jets under a cargo of sugar later sought to evade UN sanctions by renaming its vessels.

Overfishing Driving Slavery on Thailand’s Seafood Boats 

A sophisticated network of brokers and agents recruits Burmese and Cambodia laborers through trickery and kidnapping to work on Thai fishing vessels in slave-like conditions.

Philippine Troops Attack Abu Sayyaf Militants, 7 Killed

Philippine troops battled about 300 Abu Sayyaf rebels in fighting Wednesday that left two soldiers and five militants dead in the country’s restive south.

Reunions and Ransoms: A Day Online in Burma’s Rohingya Camps

In a camp for displaced Rohingya Muslims, it’s easy to overlook the Internet huts. The raw emotion they generate is much harder to ignore.

Japanese Media Self-Censorship Growing under Abe’s Reign

Journalists and experts say news organisations are toning down criticism of Prime Minister Abe’s government for fear of sparking ire and losing access to sources.

Indonesia Says Executions Won’t Be Delayed Despite Mercy Pleas

Indonesia’s president says the planned execution of 11 convicts on death row, most on drugs charges, won’t be delayed, warning foreign countries not to intervene.

Cambodia PM Says Work on Mega-Dam Will Not Start Until 2018

Construction of a massive dam in Cambodia will not start until at least 2018, in an apparent effort to stop heavy opposition to the project.

Death Toll Rises to At Least 70 in Bangladesh Ferry Disaster 

The death toll from a ferry disaster in Bangladesh rises to 70, as divers finish their search after the vessel was lifted to the surface.

Thai Theater Duo Found Guilty of Insulting Monarchy

A court in Thailand sentenced two theater activists to prison on Monday over a play commemorating the anniversary of a student uprising.