ASIA - The Irrawaddy Magazine
Front Companies, Embassies Mask North Korean Weapons Trade: UN

North Korea has developed sophisticated ways to circumvent sanctions, including the suspected use of embassies to facilitate an illegal weapons trade, a UN report says.

Malaysia Air Force Chief Denies Saying Lost Plane Tracked to West

As the search for flight MH370 goes into a fifth day, there is still no sign of the plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew.

‘Killing Fields’ Producer Turned Trade Rep Backs Hun Sen

David Puttnam, best known for producing the movie “The Killing Fields”, has stunned journalists, diplomats and others by praising reviled Cambodian strongman Hun Sen.

Stigma Hinders Efforts to Combat Leprosy in India

After India successfully reduced its spread, fear surrounding the disease—which is not highly contagious or lethal—leads to a rise in new cases.

Hoping to Isolate Russia, US Woos China on Ukraine

The Obama administration is stepping up its attempts to court China’s support for isolating Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine.

Malaysia Air Probe Finds Scant Evidence of Attack: Sources

Investigators in Malaysia are voicing skepticism that the airliner that disappeared early Saturday with 239 people on board was the target of an attack.

With Legal Reforms, China Wants Less Interfering in Cases, Fewer Death Penalty Crimes

China curtails the power of the ruling Communist Party’s Political and Legal Committee, a secretive body overseeing the security services, to interfere in legal cases.

The Children of Fukushima Battle an Invisible Enemy

Parental concerns mean that many children near the site of Japan’s 2011 nuclear meltdown rarely play outside, causing physical problems and stress.

Vietnam Says Cannot Find Object From Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

Vietnamese searchers struggle to find an object spotted Sunday afternoon that was thought to be one of the doors of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

Malaysia’s Anwar Convicted of Sodomy, Political Future in Doubt

A Malaysian court convicts opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy and sentenced him to five years in prison on Friday, shattering his political plans.

Prominent Indian in Thailand Faces Expulsion Over Protests

Satish Sehgal, who has lived in Thailand since the 1940s but has never taken citizenship, is appealing to the King to stop his deportation.

China Takes Aim at Pollution After Years of Growth

Factory closures in China are part of the government’s recently declared ‘war on pollution,’ but the shifting policy priorities have taken a human toll.

Singapore’s Megachurches Move to Export Lucrative Religion

With a “prosperity gospel” that blends the spiritual and the material, Pentecostal megachurches in the wealthy Asian city-state have perfected a popular and lucrative model.

Trafficking Abuse of Burma’s Rohingya Spreads to Malaysia

Human traffickers keep hundreds of Rohingya Muslims captive in houses in northern Malaysia, beating them, depriving them of food, and demanding ransoms from their families.

India Announces General Elections to Start April 7

This year’s vote is seen as the most important election in more than 30 years, as voters lose faith in the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty.

China’s Civilian Fleet a Potent Force in Asia’s Disputed Seas

From harassing Filipino fishing boats to playing cat-and-mouse with the Japanese coastguard, China’s fleet of civilian patrol vessels have become enforcers in disputed Asian waters.

Three Times a Loser, Indonesia’s Megawati Is Pivotal in Elections

As Indonesia gears up for twin elections this year, the pivotal figure is a woman who was trounced all three times she contested for president.

Rights Group: Thai Fishing Sector Abuses Burmese Migrants

An environmental and human rights group charges that Thailand is not adequately addressing severe abuse against Burmese migrant workers in the Thai fishing industry.

China’s Xi Ramps Up Military Spending in Face of Worried Region

Amid territorial disputes with neighbors, the country’s defense budget will rise to more than $130 billion. The 12.2 percent increase is the largest for three years.

US Calls for ‘Urgent’ Restraint to Ease Japan, South Korea Tensions

The United States says its two main allies in Asia cannot afford to let their troubled history interfere with ensuring regional security.