Asia - The Irrawaddy
China ‘Has the Power’ to Introduce Tough Security Laws in Hong Kong

Tough Chinese security laws could be introduced in Hong Kong, stoking fears China may tighten control there after last year’s pro-democracy street protests.

Brawl in Nepal Parliament as Clock Ticks on New Constitution

At least three people were injured during a brawl in Nepal’s parliament, with opposition legislators in a heated debate over the nation’s new constitution.

Threats of Jail, Walkout Put Cambodia Truce on Shaky Ground

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen takes a swipe at the country’s opposition and threatens its lawmakers with jail, accusing them of breaching a political truce.

Diplomatic Appeals Won’t Stop Drug Executions: Indonesia

Indonesia is sticking to its policy of executing drug offenders, including foreigners, despite the withdrawal of Dutch and Brazilian ambassadors from Jakarta.

China’s Transgender Sex Workers ‘Marginalized and Vulnerable’

Transgender sex workers are among the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in China, facing exposure to HIV and abuse by police, a rights group says.

Indonesia Rejects Foreign Appeals, Executes 6 Drug Convicts

Indonesia brushed aside last-minute appeals by foreign leaders and on Saturday executed by firing squad six people convicted of drug trafficking.

Indian Spy’s Role Alleged in Sri Lankan President’s Election Defeat

Sri Lanka expels the Colombo station chief of India’s spy agency, accusing him of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Loosening Beijing Embrace, Sri Lanka Reviews China Projects

Sri Lanka’s new government will review Chinese infrastructure projects awarded under the previous administration in a move bound to please Indian and Western powers.

Myth and Meaning in Tibet

Scholars probe the turbulent history of the territory known as the ‘roof of the world’ in a new book titled, “Tibet: An Unfinished Story.”

Thailand to Recognize ‘Third Gender’ in New Constitution: Panel

Thailand’s constitution will include the term “third gender” for the first time, in a move to empower transgender and gay communities.

Chinese Police Net Over 60,000 People in Drug Sweep

Police in China have arrested tens of thousands for drug-related crimes and seized more than 11 tonnes of narcotics in a vast, multi-city sweep.

Pope Tells Philippines Leaders to End Corruption, Hear Cries of the Poor

Pope Francis calls on the Philippine government to tackle corruption and help the poor suffering from “scandalous social inequalities” in Asia’s most Catholic country.

Asia Maritime Piracy Attacks Now 75% of Global Total

Asia accounted for three-quarters of global maritime piracy last year after a surge in tanker hijackings in the region.

In Catholic Philippines, Father-Priests Seek Papal Blessing

Filipino priest Jess Siva is a father in two senses of the word, a fact that the Catholic Church continues to take issue with.

New Sri Lanka Government Calls for Rajapaksa ‘Conspiracy’ Probe

Sri Lanka’s new government asks police to investigate what it called a “diabolical conspiracy” by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold on to power.

Japan Proposes Record $42b Military Budget to Counter China’s Rise

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government approved a record $42 billion military budget on Wednesday to counter China’s rising military might.

Critics Dog Cambodia’s Hun Sen as He Marks 30 Years in Power 

Hun Sen, Cambodia’s tough and wily prime minister, is one of a handful of political strongmen worldwide who have managed to rule for three decades.

Activists, Executives Advise Thailand How to Tackle Trafficking

Thailand must empower victims to complain and must crack down on corrupt officials if it wants to tackle its human trafficking problem, activists say.

Police in China Shoot Dead 6 in Restive Xinjiang

A group of “mobsters” tries to set off an explosive device in China’s troubled region of Xinjiang, prompting police to shoot six of them dead.

Pope Calls for Pursuit of Truth Over Sri Lanka’s Violent Past

Pope Francis says Sri Lanka needs to find out the truth its long civil war in order to heal scars between religious communities.