Asia - The Irrawaddy
Slum Kids Confront Sexism as India Grapples With Abuse of Women

New school initiatives in India focused on gender plant the seeds of change in a country grappling with inequality and violence against women.

Lee Kuan Yew, Founder of Modern Singapore, Dies at 91

Modern Singapore’s founder, both feared for his authoritarian tactics and admired for turning the city-state into one of the world’s richest nations, is dead.

Sri Lanka Says Rajapaksa Officials Stashed Over $2B in Dubai

Sri Lankan investigators locate $2 billion that was secretly transferred to accounts in Dubai by officials of the administration of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

For Hong Kong, a Chill Sets in As Rich China Tourists Shop Elsewhere

Chinese tourists are rapidly deserting Hong Kong, threatening retailers who built businesses around mainland demand and squeezing the whole city’s visitor-dependent economy.

Thai Junta Denies Torturing Grenade Attack Suspects

Thailand’s junta on Thursday denied accusations of torturing suspects in a bombing investigation, as human rights groups stepped up their criticism of the military regime.

Indonesia Defers Execution of Foreign Drug Traffickers 

Jakarta backs off from imminent execution of 10 drug smugglers, saying the sentences might not happen soon because some of them have legal appeals pending.

After Nun Rape, India Cardinal Says Protect Humans, Not Just Cows

The head of India’s Catholic bishops says the country should be as concerned about the welfare of its people as it is about its cows.

Bangladesh Court Indicts 8 in Dhaka Blogger Murder

A court in Bangladesh’s capital has indicted a leader of an Islamist group and seven students in the 2013 hacking death of an atheist blogger.

Thai PM Says to Limit Use of Martial Law, Military Courts

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha calls for a reduction in the use of martial law, but makes no mention of plans to scrap it.

US Urges Allies to Think Twice Before Joining China-led Regional Bank

The US urges countries to think twice before joining a new China-led Asian development bank that Washington sees as a rival to the World Bank.

Indian Opposition Unites to Oppose Modi Land Reform Push

India’s opposition parties joined forces on Tuesday for a march against a bill to ease land acquisition rules, threatening the Prime Minister’s economic overhaul plans.

Malaysian Police Arrest Daughter of Jailed Opposition Leader

Police arrested the daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for alleged sedition on Monday, a move slammed by critics as a clampdown on dissent.

Four Thai Activists to Face Military Court in ‘Landmark Case’

Thai activists face military court on charges of violating orders banning public gatherings in what has been called a “landmark case” by the Thai junta.

UN Says 24 Dead in Vanuatu After Cyclone Pam 

Relief workers try to reach Vanuatu’s remote islands that were smashed by a cyclone, amid UN reports that 24 people are dead and 3,300 displaced.

US Ambassador Attack Renews Focus on Contentious South Korean Security Law

Efforts to charge a nationalist over a knife attack on the US ambassador renew debate about using a state security act as a political weapon.

Aid Teams Report Devastation and Death After Vanuatu Cyclone

Early reports from the outer islands of Vanuatu paint a picture of utter destruction after a monster cyclone tore through the South Pacific island nation.

China to Press on with Reform Despite Pain for Some

Premier Li Keqiang has expressed determination to press ahead with reforms to reduce government direction of the economy, despite the threat to vested interests.

Secret Historians Preserve Past in China Amid State Amnesia

For China’s secret historians, who risk personal security to unravel a past concealed by the state, truth-telling is nothing less than an act of defiance.

Is China’s Biggest Public Political Event Relevant?

The Chinese public is increasingly disenchanted over its lack of involvement in an annual legislature that does little to hold the government to account.

Chinese Police Detain Five Women’s Rights Activists

China detains five women’s rights activists, apparently for planning to demonstrate against sexual harassment on public transport, paving the way for formal charges.