Bureau Chief, Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina, Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore
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Mar 6, 2015

Thai Airways says could sell assets to cover 2015 losses

BANGKOK, March 6 (Reuters) – Thai Airways International PCL
will sell some of its 15.5 billion baht ($481 million)
of non-core assets to cover any losses this year from one-off
hits for cutting its fleet and workforce, the company’s
president said on Friday.

A sharp drop in fuel costs should save Thailand’s national
carrier around 16 billion baht in 2015 and return it to
operating profit for the first time since 2012, Charumporn
Jotikasthira told Reuters in an interview.

Nov 13, 2014

China offers ASEAN friendship treaty as South China Sea tension bubbles

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) – China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang proposed a “friendship” treaty with Southeast Asian countries on Thursday but reiterated that territorial disputes in the South China Sea should be settled directly between the countries involved.

China, Taiwan and four Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have competing claims in the sea where concern is growing of an escalation in disputes even as the claimants work to establish agreements to resolve them.

Nov 12, 2014

ASEAN to pressure China to stick to diplomacy on maritime disputes

NAYPYITAW Myanmar (Reuters) – Southeast Asian leaders will welcome China’s Prime Minister Le Keqiang with fanfare on Wednesday but behind closed doors will push their giant neighbor to take a less bellicose approach to overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

Myanmar hosts summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) followed by the East Asia Forum, which U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend.

Nov 11, 2014

Stalled reforms, South China Sea to dominate Myanmar’s ASEAN party

NAYPYITAW Myanmar (Reuters) – World leaders will descend on the surreal capital of Myanmar this week, an unthinkable event when it was run by a brutal military junta for almost half a century.

Shortly after winning a one-sided election four years ago, the army veterans stunned the world, ushering in a wave of liberal change that convinced the United States and other Western powers that Myanmar was no longer the pariah it was.

Jun 5, 2014

Group of Thai politicians plan overseas movement to resist coup

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Around 15 Thai political leaders allied to the ousted government plan to establish a movement outside Thailand to lead a campaign of civil disobedience to military rule, two members of the group said on Thursday.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power on May 22 and has since led a determined crackdown that has stifled dissent and silenced the “red shirt” supporters of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother, billionaire former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Jun 1, 2014

Huge Thai security force deployment stifles coup protests

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s military government sent thousands of troops and police into central Bangkok on Sunday and effectively stifled protests against its seizure of power on May 22, limiting them to small groups of demonstrators in and around shopping malls.

The military took over on May 22 after the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had been weakened by months of protests that had forced ministries to close for weeks on end, hurt business confidence and caused the economy to shrink.

May 31, 2014

Protesters to test Thai junta, no vote for over a year

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Protesters will test Thai coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha this weekend after he said there would be no elections in Thailand for more than a year to give the military time to engineer reforms.

Prayuth ousted the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on May 22 after months of sometimes violent protests. The general set out a plan for reconciliation and reform late on Friday in a televised address to the nation.

May 25, 2014

Old-school Thai junta faces new adversary: social media, flash mob protests

BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) – The Thai military may have a
well-rehearsed coup playbook after overthrowing a dozen
governments, but it’s never come up against the power of social
media, as used by dissenters worldwide to share information –
and that may prove a game-changer.

Since seizing control of the state on Thursday, Thailand’s
armed forces have arrested protest leaders, banned gatherings,
gagged domestic media, blocked cable news networks and captured
weapons from militant opposition groups. But they are struggling
to deal with protests in cities that are erupting more like
flash mobs than political rallies.

Jun 8, 2012

More U.S. waivers to Iran sanctions likely next week

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will announce a new list of countries that will receive exceptions to financial sanctions on oil trade with Iran as soon as early next week, a government official said on Thursday.

Not all of Iran’s oil buyers are likely to get the waivers, said the source, who declined to elaborate. Around two thirds of Iran’s crude exports flow to Asia, where the biggest buyers are China, Japan, India and South Korea.

Jun 7, 2012

More U.S. waivers to Iran sanctions as early as next week

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will announce a new list of countries that will receive exceptions to financial sanctions on oil trade with Iran as soon as early next week, a U.S. official in Washington said on Thursday.

The latest round of U.S. sanctions come into effect on June 28 and aim to cut Iran’s oil revenue to pressure Tehran into halting its nuclear program. Western powers suspect Iran is aiming to develop nuclear arms, but Tehran says the program is for civilian purposes.

    • About Simon

      "Simon Webb is the bureau chief for Reuters in Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina and is based in Bangkok. Simon guides news coverage from five countries with top stories including the political unrest in Thailand and Myanmar's struggle to emerge from decades of dictatorship. Before taking on bureau chief responsibilities, Simon was Asia commodities editor based in Singapore. Members of his team were part of a group that won scoop of the year at Reuters' 2012 journalism awards for coverage of the impact of international sanctions on the flow of oil from Iran. Simon has previously worked in Dubai and London ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      English, Spanish
      Reuters C&E Journalist of the Year 2009
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