Andrew's Feed
Nov 11, 2013

In devastated Philippine city, anger grows, aid elusive

TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – Hung outside a shattered church in the Philippine coastal city of Tacloban, on a road flanked with uncollected corpses and canyons of debris, is a handwritten sign.

It read, “We need help!”

Relief supplies are pouring into Tacloban three days after Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, turned this once-vibrant port city of 220,000 into a corpse-choked wasteland.

Oct 1, 2013

As Obama plans Asia tour, postcard Philippines isle symbolises U.S. pivot

OYSTER BAY, Philippines, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Its
mangrove-fringed coral reefs support an abundant fish
population. Its deep, blue waters are unmuddied by the monsoons
that batter the western Philippines coastline.

But a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Asia
starting this weekend could herald the start of dramatic changes
to Oyster Bay, a postcard-perfect cove on Palawan Island that
the Philippines expects to transform into a port for its naval
frigates and eventually for American warships – all overlooking
the disputed South China Sea.

Sep 29, 2013

Special Report: Myanmar old guard clings to $8 billion jade empire

HPAKANT, Myanmar (Reuters) – Tin Tun picked all night through teetering heaps of rubble to find the palm-sized lump of jade he now holds in his hand. He hopes it will make him a fortune. It’s happened before.

“Last year I found a stone worth 50 million kyat,” he said, trekking past the craters and slag heaps of this notorious jade-mining region in northwest Myanmar. That’s about $50,000 – and it was more than enough money for Tin Tun, 38, to buy land and build a house in his home village.

Sep 18, 2013

Analysis: Punished at the polls, Cambodia’s long-serving PM is smiling again

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – His party is reeling from its worst-ever election result. His political opponents have grown bold and vocal. His people are protesting on the streets. So why is Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen smiling?

The long-ruling autocrat emerged beaming from lengthy closed-door meetings this week with his old political foe, Sam Rainsy, who says Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) cheated its way to a narrow victory in a July 28 general election.

Sep 10, 2013

Insight: With Japan’s help, an ex-soldier leads Yangon from backwater to megacity

YANGON (Reuters) – Every evening, long after Yangon’s office workers have squeezed onto packed buses for grueling commutes to the suburbs, a single room remains lit up on the top floor of City Hall.

Inside sits Toe Aung, a former army major who almost by accident bears one of the biggest responsibilities in reform-era Myanmar: planning Yangon’s unstoppable transformation from a regional backwater into Southeast Asia’s next megacity.

Aug 12, 2013

Fresh Myanmar clashes signal growing Muslim desperation

By Andrew R.C. Marshall

(Reuters) – Attempts to bring stability to Myanmar’s strategic northwest Rakhine State could be unraveling after police opened fire on Rohingya Muslims for the third time in two months, reviving tensions in a region beset by religious violence last year.

Villages outside the state capital Sittwe remain volatile after a dispute over custody of a dead Rohingya quickly escalated into a day of clashes on Friday in which police raked Rohingya crowds with gunfire, according to witnesses.

Jul 10, 2013

Faith healing: Going cold turkey in Myanmar behind locked doors

NAUNG CHEIN, Myanmar (Reuters) – A year ago, Wun Naung Lay left his village in northern Myanmar to look for work and found heroin instead. Today, the skeletal 25-year-old is locked up and going cold turkey beneath a filthy blanket in a bamboo cell.

Wun Naung Lay is one of more than 600 young men who have undergone primitive drug rehabilitation at the Youth for Christ Centre, a collection of tin-roofed shacks on a riverbank in Kachin State.

Jun 27, 2013

Special Report: Myanmar gives official blessing to anti-Muslim monks

YANGON (Reuters) – The Buddhist extremist movement in Myanmar, known as 969, portrays itself as a grassroots creed.

Its chief proponent, a monk named Wirathu, was once jailed by the former military junta for anti-Muslim violence and once called himself the “Burmese bin Laden.”

Jun 11, 2013

Myanmar minister backs two-child policy for Rohingya minority

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (Reuters) – Myanmar’s Immigration Minister has expressed support for a controversial two-child limit on a Muslim minority group that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the United Nations call discriminatory and a violation of human rights.

Khin Yi, Minister of Immigration and Population, is the most senior official to publicly support the recently announced enforcement by local authorities of a two-child policy in northwestern Rakhine State for Rohingya Muslims, a stateless minority termed “Bengalis” by the Myanmar government.

Jun 2, 2013

Insight: Presidency beckons for Jakarta’s rags-to-riches governor

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the governor of Jakarta, might well be the future of Indonesian democracy. Here’s why.

On a recent afternoon he visited Tambora, a densely populated area of west Jakarta, to inspect the aftermath of a slum fire. Within minutes, the narrow streets were a moshpit of jostling well-wishers. Women embraced him. Men kissed his hand. School children chanted “Long live Jokowi!”

    • 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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