Asia - The Irrawaddy
Death Toll From TransAsia Plane Crash in Taiwan Rises to 31

The death toll from a TransAsia Airways plane that crashed in Taiwan rises to 31 and could climb higher with 12 people still missing.

China Tightens Rules on Internet Use, Online Comments

Users of blogs and chat rooms will be required to register their names with operators and promise to avoid challenging the Communist political system.

India Eyes US Aircraft Carrier Technology as Arms Ties Deepen

India wants to use state-of-the-art US technology to boost the potency of a planned aircraft carrier, a move aiming to counter China’s regional military influence.

Sri Lanka Slow to Release Prisoners, Return Land: Tamil Leaders

Tamil leaders say that the government is not moving fast enough to free prisoners detained without trial and return private land seized by the military.

Hardline Indian Hindus Become Modi’s Enemies From Within

Hardline elements in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party are dragging on the government’s economic reform agenda as they push a strident brand of Hindu nationalism.

Casino City Macau in Flux as China Squeezes High Rollers

The Asian gambling capital of Macau’s winning streak is cooling after a decade of red hot growth, with a high-profile corruption crackdown deterring high-rollers.

UN Official: North Korean Human Rights, Cult of Kim Can’t Coexist

A December UN resolution is putting increasing pressure on the international community to back its tough words on North Korea’s human rights situation with action.

Thai PM Tightens Security After Mall Bombs Rattle Bangkok

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha orders security to be tightened in Bangkok after two small bombs rattled a luxury shopping mall.

In Red Heartlands, Thai Army Keeps a Lid on Dissent

Since seizing power and declaring martial law, Thailand’s military has snuffed out dissent in the rural stronghold of deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Pro-Democracy Protesters Back in Hong Kong, No Violence

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters return to the streets of Hong Kong in the first large-scale rally since demonstrations rocked the global financial hub last year.

Okinawa Islanders face off with Tokyo over bases

Perennial anger over Okinawa’s hosting of US troops has flared to a new level after the election of an anti-base governor late last year.

Thai Junta Blocks Discussion of Media Censorship

Thailand’s junta has forced a German foundation to cancel a prominent forum on media restrictions imposed since the military toppled an elected government last May.

Sri Lanka Says It Will Return Private Land in Civil War Area 

Sri Lanka’s new government plans to return private land seized by the military in the civil war-ravaged north and release several hundred detainees.

Thai Vigilantes Take up Fight Against Human Trafficking

Frustrated by their government’s response to human trafficking, armed volunteers in southern Thailand have taken up the role of monitoring seaside jungles for suspicious activity.

Rohingya Refugees Say Traffickers in Malaysia Abuse and Kill

Rohingya activists say widespread abuse of the persecuted Muslim minority by human traffickers in Malaysia includes extreme methods to protect their lucrative but illegal business.

Thailand Accuses US of Meddling in its Politics

Thailand accuses the United States of meddling in its political affairs, following remarks of a US envoy who criticized actions by the ruling military junta.

Sri Lankan President Reinstates Impeached Chief Justice

Sri Lanka’s former chief justice, who was impeached two years ago after refusing to grant wider powers to the former president’s brother, has been reinstated.

Hostage Crisis Trips Up Japan as It Seeks Global Security Role

Tokyo appeared ill-prepared when the Islamic State set a ransom deadline and purportedly killed a Japanese man that the extremist group had taken hostage.

China Police Suspended After Dining on Enormous Salamander

The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has suspended 14 police officers and is investigating a police chief on suspicion of feasting on an endangered salamander.

AirAsia Probe Vets Possible Computer Glitch, Crew Response

Investigators probing the crash of an AirAsia jetliner examine records of its automated control systems, and how pilots may have handled a failure.