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Jun 17, 2014

Insight – Thailand’s war-weary southerners fear coup will erode new freedoms

PATTANI Thailand (Reuters) – They talked about corruption and politics, about healthcare and women’s rights, about the anxiety of bringing up children in a corner of Thailand where war has killed 6,000 people in the last decade.

Then they fell silent.

For years, Media Selatan was one of the most popular community radio stations in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces, where Muslim separatists have fought government troops since 2004. But when the Thai military seized power in a May 22 coup, it ordered the closure of thousands of independent stations nationwide – Media Selatan among them.

Apr 22, 2014

Reuters Wins Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting

Reuters Wins Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, Finalist for Investigative Reporting and Breaking News Photography

NEW YORK, April 14, 2014 – Reuters, one of the world’s largest multimedia news providers, was today awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. Reuters journalists Jason Szep, Andrew R.C. Marshall and team were honored with the first-ever text Pulitzer Prize to be won by Reuters for their series on the oppression of the Muslim Rohingya of Myanmar.

Apr 10, 2014

Special Report: Flaws found in Thailand’s human-trafficking crackdown

SATUN, Thailand (Reuters) – After a two-hour trek through swamp and jungle, Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot halts in a trash-strewn clearing near Thailand’s remote border with Malaysia.

“This is it,” he says, surveying the remains of a deserted camp on a hillside pressed flat by the weight of human bodies.

Mar 25, 2014

New-style Indonesian leader takes on world’s oldest profession

SURABAYA, Indonesia (Reuters) – She has revamped its parks, kickstarted its port development and given free health and education to its poor. But for Tri Rismaharini, the celebrated mayor of Indonesia’s second-largest city of Surabaya, one big challenge remains: shutting down Dolly.

That’s the name of a brothel complex established in the 1970s in what is now central Surabaya. Each of Dolly’s 60 or so brothels hosts up to 100 sex workers, according to Yayasan Abdi Asih, a local NGO. A thousand more women work at hundreds of smaller brothels in neighboring Jarak.

Mar 17, 2014

Despite scandal, Indonesia election could entrench political dynasties

MAKASSAR, Indonesia (Reuters) – Makassar is a scrappy, traffic-choked port city in South Sulawesi where everybody knows your name. If, that is, your name is Limpo.

The family of Syahrul Yasin Limpo, the second-term governor of this resource-rich Indonesian province, has dominated local politics for three generations, and a fourth waits in the wings. Eight of Limpo’s close relatives will run in the country’s parliamentary elections on April 9: two sisters, one brother, two brothers-in-law, two nephews and a daughter.

Mar 14, 2014

Suspected Uighurs rescued from Thai trafficking camp

- HAT YAI, Thailand, March 13 (Reuters) – About 200 people rescued by police from a human trafficking camp in southern Thailand are suspected Uighur Muslims from China’s troubled far-western region of Xinjiang, Thai police sources said on Friday.

The discovery is further evidence that human smugglers in southern Thailand – already a notorious trafficking hub for Rohingya boat people from Myanmar – are exploiting well-oiled networks to transport other nationalities in large numbers, despite an ongoing crackdown by Thai police.

Feb 13, 2014

Thai police target human traffickers but rescued Rohingya may face more abuse

SADAO, Thailand (Reuters) – Thai police have announced a new campaign against human traffickers, although the officer in charge said hundreds of recently rescued Rohingya boat people could end up back in the clutches of the regional smuggling networks they had escaped from.

After two raids last month freed a total of 636 people, mostly Rohingya, police said they planned to target the trafficking “kingpins” who routinely smuggle humans through southern Thailand to Malaysia with impunity.

Feb 2, 2014

Political paralysis looms as Thais start voting

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand went to the polls under heavy security on Sunday in an election that could push the divided country deeper into political turmoil and leave the winner paralyzed for months by street protests, legal challenges and legislative limbo.

The risk of bloodshed at the ballot remains high, a day after seven people were wounded by gunshots and explosions during a standoff between supporters and opponents of embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a north Bangkok stronghold of her Puea Thai Party.

Jan 31, 2014

Insight: How Thaksin’s meddling sparked a new Thai crisis for PM sister

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Yingluck Shinawatra’s journey from political nobody to prime minister was breathtakingly swift. Her premiership’s descent into crisis has been just as rapid.

A political neophyte when she took office in 2011, the 46-year-old former business executive surprised many observers by steadying Thailand after years of often bloody political unrest.

Jan 30, 2014

Insight: Thailand braces for violence as PM Yingluck’s charm runs out

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Six unmarked vehicles with pitch-black windows threaded quietly through Bangkok’s northern suburbs on a recent Thursday afternoon. Inside one sat the curiously unruffled figure at the heart of Thailand’s latest political maelstrom: caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Four months ago, police cars with wailing sirens would have whisked her through the city.

    • 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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