Asia - The Irrawaddy
Thai Junta Promises Peace ‘Within a Year’ in Insurgency-Hit South

Thailand’s military government vows to bring peace to the Muslim-dominated south within a year, despite stalled peace talks aimed at ending the insurgency.

Trouble Brewing in South Korea’s Plastic Surgery Paradise

South Korea’s booming plastic surgery industry faces backlash, with formal complaints about botched procedures and dodgy doctors doubling in 2013 from a year earlier.

British Banker Charged With Murder of Two Women in Hong Kong

A British banker appears in a Hong Kong court charged with murder after police find the bodies of two women in his apartment.

Bangladesh Power Back on After Nationwide Blackout

Power is back on across Bangladesh after the impoverished, energy-starved nation was plunged into a nationwide blackout when the transmission line from neighboring India failed.

Survey: Asia Finds Money Brings Happiness

Emerging Asian nations find out what developed ones did years ago: Money — and the stuff it buys — brings happiness, or at least satisfaction.

North Korea Cracking Down on a Distant Threat: Ebola

North Korea announces it will quarantine foreigners entering the country for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.

Hong Kong Protests a ‘National Security Issue’ for China

A Chinese lawmaker says Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have escalated into a national security issue threatening Chinese sovereignty over the Asian financial center.

Thai PM says New DNA Tests Can Be Done in British Probe Into Koh Tao Murders

Thai prime minister says new DNA tests can be done as concern grows that two Burmese men arrested over the killings might have been framed.

From Duck Eggs to Fiscal Deficit, the Journey by Indonesia’s Economics Minister

Indonesia’s new economics minister once sold duck eggs on the street to pay school fees; now he’s managing Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Thai Youth Fear Junta’s School Reforms Will Dim Job Prospects

The junta prioritizes school reforms to inculcate a strong sense of national identity, with some questioning the emphasis in a competitive, global 21st century economy.

No Hope for Survivors in Sri Lanka Landslide, Over 100 Dead

Hopes of finding survivors under mud and rubble of a landslide in south-central Sri Lanka fade as the estimated death toll hovers around 100.

Thai Court Throws out Defamation Case Against British Rights Activist

A Thai court dismisses on a technicality a defamation case brought against British human rights activist Andy Hall by a Thai fruit company.

India to Supply Vietnam With Naval Vessels Amid China Disputes

India will be supplying naval vessels to Vietnam; the first significant military transfer to Hanoi comes at a time of a territorial dispute with China.

Vast Majority of Hong Kong Activists Say They Will Fight On for a Year

Nearly nine of 10 Hong Kong protesters say they will stay on the streets for more than a year to push for full democracy.

India Uncovers Suspected Plot to Assassinate Bangladeshi PM: Security Officials

India’s top counter-terrorism agency uncovers a suspected plot by a banned militant group to assassinate the prime minister of Bangladesh and carry out a coup.

Indian Tribes People Duped Into Leaving Forest Homes for Tigers: Rights Group

Hundreds of tribal people in eastern India are duped out of ancestral forest homes by authorities in a bid to conserve the country’s tiger population.

Party is Over on Thai Islands Though Full Moon Bash Avoids Ban

Thai authorities ban beach parties on some holiday islands to stop gatherings that could get out of control after the murder of two British backpackers.

China, Vietnam Say They Want Lasting Solution to Sea Dispute

China and Vietnam agree to use an existing border dispute mechanism to resolve a territorial dispute, which led to confrontations in the South China Sea.

Indonesia President Appoints Technocrats to Top Economic Posts

Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo, names professional technocrats to lead the top economic ministries and implement much-needed reforms.

US Official Urges Vietnam to Improve Human Rights

A US official says Vietnam has made progress on human rights, but must do more if it is to forge closer economic and security ties with Washington.