Asia - The Irrawaddy
South Korean Violinist Wants Border Concert With North Korea By

Violinist Won Hyung Joon wants to bring North and South Korean musicians together to perform on each side of the world’s most heavily armed border.

Sri Lanka Polls Timed Ahead of UN War Crimes Report to Foil Rajapaksa Comeback By

War-time President Mahinda Rajapaksa remarkably may see his popularity rise in coming months if criticized for war crimes in a UN report.


Drainage of peatlands to cultivate oil palm in Malaysia’s Rajang Delta is causing land subsidence that will bring large-scale floods in coming decades, researchers warn.


Clashes continue between government troops and ethnic Karen rebels in the lead-up to a major conference between the area’s non-state actors and government representatives.


China’s claims to the disputed South China Sea will come under international legal scrutiny for the first time this week.

Cambodia Faces Uphill Struggle to Reform its Orphanages By

Cambodia is in the grip of an orphanage boom, many of them unlicensed, with no safety checks and few real orphans.

Malaysian Leader Faces Risk of Criminal Charges Over Fund By

Malaysia’s prime minister risks criminal charges over allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled from a state fund to his personal bank accounts.

India’s Push to Save Its Cows Starves Bangladesh of Beef By

Some 30,000 Indian soldiers guarding the border with Bangladesh have a new mandate this year—stop cattle from crossing illegally into the Muslim-majority neighbor.

Southeast Asia Plans Fund to Help Migrants, But Offers Decried as Inadequate By

Southeast Asian nations propose setting up a fund to tackle illegal migration of so-called “boat people,” but rights groups dismiss the offers as mere tokens.

After Wifi at the Taj, Modi Revives Campaign for ‘Digital’ India By

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges companies to make electronic and digital goods, reviving a campaign promise to bridge India’s digital divide.

Turnout Slim as Thousands in Hong Kong Rally for Democracy By

Thousands of Hong Kongers take to the streets to renew their call for full democracy but the turnout is noticeably lower than in recent years.

Frustrated Indonesian Leader Launches Charm Offensive With Investors By

Exasperated by the performance of his economic team, Indonesia’s president has personally taken on the job of promoting Southeast Asia’s largest economy to skeptical investors.

Amid Protests Nepal Presents ‘Illegal’ New Constitution After Quakes By

Nepal presents a draft of its first republican constitution, but the country’s top court questions its legality after it was rushed through following devastating earthquakes.

Police: 141 Bodies Recovered from Indonesia Plane Crash By

The death toll from the crash of an air force transport plane in the Indonesian city of Medan jumps to more than 140.

UN Rights Office Urges Thailand to Free 14 Student Activists By

The UN human rights office calls on Thailand to release 14 student activists and drop charges filed against them for holding a peaceful anti-coup rally.

Indonesian Military Plane Crashes in Northern City, Killing at Least 30 By

A transport plane for the Indonesia military crashes into a hotel and residential area in Sumatra’s Medan, killing at least 30 people.

‘Voluntourism’ Boom Sparks Concerns over Local Benefits By

Development experts and charities are concerned that the phenomenon of ‘voluntourism’ is harming vulnerable communities across Asia.

India’s Next Weapon Against Climate Change? The Heat-Tolerant Dwarf Cow By

Climate change is forcing many dairy farmers in southern India to reduce their herds, but a solution may be simple and small: heat-tolerant dwarf cows.

China to Hold Some Veto Powers in New Asian Bank By

China will hold over a quarter of the votes in the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), giving it a veto in some key decisions.

Indonesian Army Inches Back Into Civilian Sphere By

The Indonesian military inches back into civilian roles, risking a setback for democracy in the Southeast Asian nation and perhaps even for the turbulent region.

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