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Aug 19, 2015

Thai police grapple for firm clues to Bangkok bomb suspects

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Forty-eight hours after a bomb blast tore through a shrine teeming with tourists in central Bangkok, Thai police appear to have few firm clues about who was responsible for the bloodiest attack the city has seen.

Making their job all the harder, crucial forensic evidence may have been lost or compromised in the chaotic aftermath of Monday evening’s blast.

Aug 17, 2015

Bomb in Thai capital kills 19, wounds scores in bid “to destroy economy”

BANGKOK, Aug 17 (Reuters) – A bomb planted at one of the
Thai capital’s most renowned shrines on Monday killed 19 people,
including three foreign tourists, and wounded scores in an
attack the government called a bid to destroy the economy.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast
at the Erawan shrine at a major city-centre intersection. Thai
forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the
predominantly Buddhist country’s south, but those rebels have
rarely launched attacks outside their heartland.

Aug 17, 2015

Bomb in Thai capital kills 16, wounds 81 in bid “to destroy economy”

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A bomb planted at one of the Thai capital’s most renowned shrines on Monday killed 16 people, including three foreign tourists, and wounded scores in an attack the government called a bid to destroy the economy.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast at the Erawan shrine at a major city-centre intersection. Thai forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the predominantly Buddhist country’s south, but those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their heartland.

Aug 13, 2015

Second term beckons for Myanmar president after rival ousted

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The ouster of a powerful political rival less than three months before a landmark election in Myanmar was dramatic confirmation of President Thein Sein’s desire for a second term in office, analysts said.

Shwe Mann was removed as chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) on Thursday after security forces surrounded its headquarters in the capital, Naypyitaw.

Jul 9, 2015

Special Report: Inside Thailand’s trafficking crackdown

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Sheltering in the backroom of a provincial Thai police station is a 35-year-old street vendor who triggered a human trafficking investigation that has reverberated across Southeast Asia.

He is a Rohingya Muslim, a mostly stateless group from western Myanmar. He had scraped a living for the past decade selling fried bread, or roti, from a push cart in Nakhon Si Thammarat, a city in southern Thailand.

Jun 15, 2015

In Myanmar’s election year, radical Buddhism heightens tension

MEIKTILA, Myanmar (Reuters) – When religious violence erupted in Meiktila in central Myanmar two years ago, local politician Win Htein spoke up for the minority Muslims who bore its deadly brunt. Many of his fellow Buddhists have never forgiven him.

At least 44 people were killed in March 2013 after a rampage by Buddhist mobs that Win Htein, a lawmaker for the National League for Democracy (NLD), tried to stop. 

May 29, 2015

Malaysians near border say illegal migrants seen in area for years

WANG KELIAN, Malaysia (Reuters) – Hassan Ismail wasn’t surprised when authorities found abandoned jungle camps near his village in northern Malaysia last week where 139 suspected human trafficking victims could be buried.

    For the past three years, he said, small groups of sickly, rake-thin men regularly turned up to beg for food at his mosque

May 28, 2015

Malaysia says only one body per grave found at trafficking camps

WANG KELIAN, Malaysia (Reuters) – The 139 graves uncovered near people-smuggling camps in northern Malaysia appear to hold only one body each, Malaysia’s deputy home minister said on Thursday, after earlier suspicions that they could contain multiple corpses of trafficked migrants.

“There is no mass grave. This is one person, one grave,” Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told reporters at a news conference near the sites, adding that the bodies had been buried with “proper white wrapping” and ceremonial camphor had been used.

May 27, 2015

Malaysian police reveal grim secrets of jungle trafficking camps

BUKIT WANG BURMA, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysian police forensic teams, digging with hoes and shovels, on Tuesday began pulling out bodies from shallow graves found in abandoned jungle camps where an inter-governmental body said hundreds of victims of human traffickers may be buried.

The Malaysian government said it was investigating whether local forestry officials were involved with the people-smuggling gangs believed responsible for nearly 140 such graves discovered around grim camps along the border with Thailand.

May 26, 2015

In Malaysian trafficking camp, evidence of abuse and fear

BUKIT WANG BURMA, Malaysia (Reuters) – It’s a one-hour trek through thick jungle from the nearest road to the ramshackle camp along Malaysia’s northern border, but for all its remoteness this was a perfect setting for human traffickers to ply their grisly trade.

Prisoners could be kept alive with water from a stream running through the gully where the now-abandoned camp was nestled and, thanks to a good mobile phone signal from Thailand, they could communicate with accomplices across a trafficking supply chain that begins in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

    • 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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