Southeast Asia Bureau Chief
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Jan 31, 2014

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 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.

Dec 13, 2013

Powerful forces revealed behind Thai protest movement

BANGKOK (Reuters) – His whistle-tooting crowds of supporters are dwindling. His threats against Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra veer from the bold to the bizarre.

But behind Thailand’s fiery anti-government protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, are two powerful retired generals with palace connections, a deep rivalry with the Shinawatra family and an ability to influence Thailand’s coup-prone armed forces.

Dec 6, 2013

U.N. calls for urgent investigation after Reuters Rohingya report

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The United Nations called on Friday for an urgent investigation into allegations in a Reuters report that Thai immigration officials moved Myanmar refugees into human trafficking rings.

The report, published on Thursday and based on a two-month investigation in three countries, revealed a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

Dec 5, 2013
via FaithWorld

Special Report – Thailand dumps Myanmar’s Muslim refugees into trafficking rings

Photo

(Bozor Mohammed from the Rakhine state in Myanmar is pictured after an interview at his house in Kuala Lumpur November 8, 2013. Picture taken November 8. To match Special Report THAILAND-ROHINGYA/ REUTERS/Samsul Said)

One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Dec 5, 2013

Special Report: Thailand secretly dumps Myanmar refugees into trafficking rings

RANONG, Thailand (Reuters) – One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Thai immigration officials said he was being deported to Myanmar. In fact, they sold Ismail, 23, and hundreds of other Rohingya Muslims to human traffickers, who then spirited them into brutal jungle camps.

Dec 5, 2013

Thailand’s anti-trafficking effort loses steam

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department is gathering information for its next Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report, due to be published in June. It ranks countries on their efforts to combat human trafficking. Thailand faces an automatic downgrade to Tier 3, the lowest rank, unless it makes “significant efforts” to improve its record, the State Department says.

In an interview with Reuters, Police Maj-Gen Chatchawal Suksomjit of the Royal Thai Police defended Thailand’s record for investigating and prosecuting traffickers and the Thai officials who help them.

Dec 4, 2013

Thailand secretly dumps Myanmar refugees into trafficking rings

RANONG, Thailand, Dec 5 (Reuters) – One afternoon in
October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and
Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Thai immigration officials said he was being deported to
Myanmar. In fact, they sold Ismail, 23, and hundreds of other
Rohingya Muslims to human traffickers, who then spirited them
into brutal jungle camps.

Nov 30, 2013

Security tightened as Thai protesters seek PM’s downfall

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Police tightened security in Thailand’s capital on Saturday as thousands of protesters rallied outside a state telecommunications group and vowed to occupy Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s office to paralyze her administration.

Faced with dwindling support, demonstrators have started to up the ante and burst into the headquarters of the army on Friday, urging it to join their side in a complex power struggle centered on the enduring political influence of Yingluck’s billionaire brother, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Jul 17, 2013

Smugglers and security forces prey on Asia’s new boat people

PADANG BESAR, Thailand (Reuters) – The beatings were accompanied by threats: If his family didn’t produce the money, Myanmar refugee Abdul Sabur would be sold into slavery on a fishing boat, his captors shouted, lashing him with bamboo sticks.

It had been more than two months since Sabur and his wife set sail from Myanmar with 118 other Rohingya Muslims to escape violence and persecution. Twelve died on the disastrous voyage. The survivors were imprisoned in India and then handed over to people smugglers in southern Thailand.

    • About Jason

      "As Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, Jason Szep manages text, pictures and television news operations across 10 countries for Reuters. He has been a Reuters correspondent, bureau chief and editor since 1990 and won the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award in 2007. He is a Boston native and has had postings with Reuters in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Boston and Bangkok. His assignments have ranged from Kabul and Islamabad to the U.S. presidential campaign trail during the 2008 election."
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