Southeast Asia Bureau Chief
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Jun 7, 2011

Special Report: Defiance in Thailand’s “red shirt villages”

NONG HU LING, Thailand (Reuters) – Its brilliant green rice paddies, thatched-roof huts and overgrown jungle resemble most rural villages in northeast Thailand. But the red sign looming over a quiet dusty road in the community of Nong Hu Ling is something different.

“Red Shirt Village for Democracy,” it reads, proclaiming its allegiance to the red-shirted, anti-government movement whose protests paralyzed Bangkok last year and sparked a bloody military crackdown that ended with 91 people killed and hundreds of activists arrested.

May 25, 2011

Thaksin’s sister shakes up tense Thai election

UDON THANI, Thailand (Reuters) – With her telegenic good looks and powerful political support, Yingluck Shinawatra is shaking up Thailand’s first parliamentary election since a wave of political violence last year.

The 43-year-old businesswoman, sister of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has vaulted swiftly into front runner status in the July 3 vote, tapping support in the rural north and northeast heartland where her brother remains a populist hero five years after he was toppled in a coup.

Apr 25, 2011

Analysis: Odds favour PM in coming election, but unrest a worry

BANGKOK (Reuters) – When television broadcasters suddenly went off the air in Thailand recently, many people thought it could only mean one thing: the start of a military coup.

Authorities were quick to assure the public the three-hour blackout on April 21 was the result of a faulty satellite, not a putsch. But the coup speculation in a country that has seen 18 military takeovers since the 1930s illustrates the depth of uncertainty ahead of elections in late June or early July.

Apr 23, 2011

Odds favour Thai PM in coming election, but unrest a worry

BANGKOK (Reuters) – When television broadcasters suddenly went off the air in Thailand recently, many people thought it could only mean one thing: the start of a military coup.

Authorities were quick to assure the public the three-hour blackout on April 21 was the result of a faulty satellite, not a putsch. But the coup speculation in a country that has seen 18 military takeovers since the 1930s illustrates the depth of uncertainty ahead of elections in late June or early July.

Apr 23, 2011

Analysis: Odds favor Thai PM in coming election

BANGKOK (Reuters) – When television broadcasters suddenly went off the air in Thailand recently, many people thought it could only mean one thing: the start of a military coup.

Authorities were quick to assure the public the three-hour blackout on April 21 was the result of a faulty satellite, not a putsch. But the coup speculation in a country that has seen 18 military takeovers since the 1930s illustrates the depth of uncertainty ahead of elections in late June or early July.

Apr 10, 2011

Thousands of Thai “red shirts” commemorate Bangkok unrest

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thousands of red-shirted anti-government protesters gathered on Sunday in Bangkok’s old quarter to mark the one-year anniversary of a violent confrontation with the military in which 26 people were killed and more than 800 wounded.

“We are mourning the loss of innocent lives a year ago. We are remembering the violence against Thai people last year. We are asking for justice,” Nattawut Saikua, a protest leader, told Reuters in an interview.

Apr 10, 2011

Thousands of Thai ‘red shirts’ rally to commemorate Bangkok unrest

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thousands of red-shirted anti-government protesters gathered on Sunday in Bangkok’s old quarter to mark the one-year anniversary of a violent confrontation with the military in which 26 people were killed and more than 800 wounded.

“We are mourning the loss of innocent lives a year ago. We are remembering the violence against Thai people last year. We are asking for justice,” Nattawut Saikua, a protest leader, told Reuters in an interview.

Mar 16, 2011

Thriving metropolis or ghost town? Crisis transforms

TOKYO (Reuters) – Areas of Tokyo usually packed with office workers crammed into sushi restaurants and noodle shops were eerily quiet. Many schools were closed. Companies allowed workers to stay home. Long queues formed at airports.

As Japanese authorities struggled to avert disaster at an earthquake-battered nuclear complex 240 km (150 miles) to the north, parts of Tokyo resembled a ghost town.

Mar 16, 2011

Thriving metropolis or ghost town? Crisis transforms Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Areas of Tokyo usually packed with office workers crammed into sushi restaurants and noodle shops were eerily quiet. Many schools were closed. Companies allowed workers to stay home. Long queues formed at airports.

As Japanese authorities struggled to avert disaster at an earthquake-battered nuclear complex 240 km (150 miles) to the north, parts of Tokyo resembled a ghost town.

Mar 15, 2011

Radiation fears spark panic, evacuations in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Scores of people fled Tokyo on Tuesday and residents stayed indoors over fears that radiation from an earthquake-stricken nuclear plant could waft over one of the world’s biggest and most densely populated cities.

Despite assurances from the city government that low levels of radioactivity detected in Tokyo were for now “not a problem,” residents, expatriates and tourists decided staying in Japan’s capital was simply too risky.

    • 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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