ASIA - The Irrawaddy Magazine
‘Railway Man’ Revisits War Prisoner’s Horror and Forgiveness

New movie tells the story of a former British Army officer who was one of thousands forced by Japan to build the Thailand-Burma “Death Railway.”

Australian PM Confident Sounds Are From Flight 370

Signals thought to be from the missing flight’s black box have narrowed the search to an area of seabed about the size of Los Angeles.

Flaws Found in Thailand’s Human-Trafficking Crackdown

Thailand excludes Rohingya kept in camps in its southern provinces from a report to the US State Department, claiming they are only “smuggled.”

Philippines: Invite All Southeast Asia to Pacific Pact

A US-backed trade pact could cause resentment in Southeast Asia as it would advantage some nations in the region over others, a Philippine official says.

Russia Says Long-Sought China Gas Supply Deal Is Close

Russia hopes to sign long-sought deal to sell natural gas to China, an agreement that could help Moscow now that it is facing Western sanctions.

Indonesia Election Count Suggests Tougher Ride for Presidential Hopeful Jokowi

Indonesia’s likely next leader may have a bumpier-than-expected route to the presidential palace after his party fared less well than expected in parliamentary elections.

Philippine, Vietnamese Navies to Unite Against China Over Beers and Volleyball

A party on the Vietnam-held island of Southwest Cay is a sign of evolving partnerships across Asia driven by fear of China.

Indonesian Vote Colored by Corruption Fatigue and a Fresh Face

Indonesians vote in parliamentary elections, with the polls coming ahead of a presidential election in which the yet-to-be-chosen lawmakers will play a crucial role.

As Japan Weighs Energy Options, Costs Mount for Idled Reactors

The bill is coming due for another consequence of the Fukushima disaster—shutting down Japan’s 48 remaining nuclear reactors for costly safety reviews.

More Underwater Pings Heard in Hunt for Plane

An Australian navy ship has detected two new signals, but finding the wreckage of MH370 will be tough in seas about 4,500 meters deep.

US Defense Chief Gets Earful as China Visit Exposes Tensions

Tensions between China and America are laid bare as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces questions in Beijing about the US position in Asian territorial disputes.

UN Rights Expert Urges Debt Relief for Philippines

Outstanding overseas debts are costing the country billions as it tries to recover from the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, which caused massive destruction five months ago.

Gloves Off As India’s BJP Woos the Hindu Vote in Northern Heartland

India’s BJP appears to be returning to its Hindu nationalist roots in the general election, raking up divisive issues in an area with inter-religious tensions.

Indonesia’s Presidential Favorite Lacks Only One Thing—A Policy Platform

In the world’s third-largest democracy, no one is sure what the presidency under a man widely known as Jokowi would look like.

Smartphone-Wielding Indonesians Tasked With Ensuring Fair Elections

Election watchdogs in Indonesia deploy an electronic application that allows ordinary citizens to report election-related violations through their smartphones ahead of elections this week.

Ships Race to Investigate Signals in MH370 Jet Search

Underwater sounds picked up by a Chinese ship crew using a hand-held device are thought to have potentially come from the Malaysia Airlines black boxes.

US Defense Chief, in First, to Visit China’s Aircraft Carrier

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will visit China’s sole aircraft carrier when he arrives Monday, a U.S. official said, in an unprecedented opening by Beijing.

India Kicks Off World’s Biggest Election in Remote Northeast

Election begins in northeastern states bordering Burma, and will run over five weeks, with some 815 million people registered to vote.

Indonesia Military Worries Over Asia Arms Race, Territorial Tensions

Armed forces chief warns about the potential for “provocations” as the Asia-Pacific arms itself rapidly and the United States increases its presence in the region.

Chinese Police Detain 39 Mongol Herders Over Land Rights Protest

Chinese police detained 39 ethnic Mongol herders protesting over land rights in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, a US-based rights group says.