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Nov 8, 2015

In Myanmar, a festival of democracy tinged with doubt

YANGON, Myanmar (Reuters) – Factory manager Shein Win and his wife, Khin Myat Maw, arrived holding hands to cast their votes in Yangon in Myanmar’s first free election in a quarter-century. Both now 46, they took part in a 1988 democracy protest that brought Aung San Suu Kyi to prominence.

“We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Khin Myat Maw as they stood in line.

Nov 7, 2015

With Suu Kyi banned, Myanmar voters ponder ‘proxy presidents’

YANGON (Reuters) – In a ramshackle hospital in Myanmar’s largest city, at the end of a corridor milling with patients, sits the man some people believe will be the country’s next president.

Tin Myo Win is the long-time personal physician of Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party is expected to win Sunday’s landmark general election. That position has earned him a place on a list of presidential candidates, some of them improbable.

Nov 5, 2015

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi says will be above president in new government

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Thursday she would be “above the president” if her party wins a historic election on Nov. 8, defying a constitutional ban on becoming head of state herself.

The general election is the first since a quasi-civilian government took power in 2011 after nearly 50 years of a military dictatorship, and is widely regarded as a referendum on Myanmar’s reform process.

Nov 3, 2015

Spurred by Myanmar radicals, Thai Buddhists push for state religion status

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A campaign to enshrine Buddhism as Thailand’s state religion has been galvanized by a radical Buddhist movement in neighboring Myanmar that is accused of stoking religious tension, the leader of the Thai bid said.

Experts say the campaign could appeal to Thailand’s military junta, which is struggling for popularity 18 months after staging a coup, and tap into growing anti-Muslim sentiment in a country that prides itself on religious tolerance.

Nov 1, 2015

A lone Muslim campaigns in Myanmar’s stronghold of radical Buddhism

MANDALAY, Myanmar (Reuters) – The city of Mandalay in northern Myanmar is a Buddhist religious center so crowded with temples, monasteries and monks that they can sometimes seem innumerable.

Much easier to count is the number of Mandalay Muslims standing in Myanmar’s historic general election on Nov. 8. That would be one.

Nov 1, 2015

A lone Muslim campaigns in Myanmar’s stronghold of radical Buddhism

MANDALAY, Myanmar (Reuters) – The city of Mandalay in northern Myanmar is a Buddhist religious centre so crowded with temples, monasteries and monks that they can sometimes seem innumerable.

Much easier to count is the number of Mandalay Muslims standing in Myanmar’s historic general election on Nov. 8. That would be one.

Sep 23, 2015

As Malaysia’s PM struggles in graft scandal, his party plays the race card

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – When thousands of Malay Muslims marched through Kuala Lumpur last week to support his scandal-wracked government, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak kept his distance.

    He neither attended nor officially endorsed the racially charged rally by members of Malaysia’s majority community.

Sep 15, 2015

Thailand’s reluctant leader prolongs his grip on power

BANGKOK (Reuters) – He repeatedly presents himself as a reluctant leader, and yet Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is now on track to become his country’s longest-ruling strongman since the 1970s.

Prayuth seized power in May 2014 to, as he put it, rescue his turmoil-racked nation and “return happiness to the people”.

Aug 28, 2015

Unseen security footage underscores patchy Bangkok blast probe

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Eleven days after Thailand’s deadliest bombing police have yet to review CCTV footage taken minutes after the blast which features a man dressed like the chief suspect, Reuters has found.

    The blast tore through the crowded Erawan Shrine on Aug. 17, killing 20 people, most of them tourists, and injuring scores. Within minutes of the blast, say police, the suspect was dropped off by a motorcycle taxi at a nearby park and disappeared.

Aug 21, 2015

Bangkok blast tests Thailand’s next police chief

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The investigation into a deadly bombing in Bangkok’s tourist heartland is led by a U.S.-trained officer with close ties to Thailand’s powerful military, who oversaw a high-profile tourist murder case in which the conduct of Thai police was questioned.

Chakthip Chaijinda was chosen as the country’s next police chief on Aug. 14, just three days before a blast tore through the crowded Erawan Shrine in the Thai capital, killing 20 people, mostly foreigners. The current chief retires next month.

    • About Andrew

      "I am Southeast Asia Special Correspondent for Reuters and winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. I have lived in and reported from Asia for 20 years. I am the author of The Trouser People, a political travelogue about Myanmar and football, and co-author of The Cult at the End of the World, about Japan’s Aum Supreme Truth Cult and high-tech terrorism."
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