Tribal Peoples NGO Decries Kaziranga Shoot-on-Sight Policy

Tribal Peoples NGO Decries Kaziranga Shoot-on-Sight PolicySurvival International, the London-based NGO that seeks to protect the rights of tribal peoples, is calling on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to condemn so-called “shoot-on-sight” conservation policies that were the subject of a March 16 Asia Sentinel story on India’s Kaziranga National Park. In a letter to the…

India’s Treasured National Park Under Fire

India’s Treasured National Park Under FireIndia’s Kaziranga National Park, a stunning forest refuge on the banks of the Brahmaputra River south of the Himalaya mountain range, has become the center of worldwide concern over charges that it is a killing field of tribal people in the name of protection of park animals. Survival International, the London-based tribal rights organization, issued a…

Reining in the Philippine Mining Industry

Reining in the Philippine Mining IndustryJustina Yu, the mayor of an obscure town in Davao Oriental Province, has had a passion for the environment since she moved to a rural town in Mindanao on her wedding day five decades ago. In her new home she had a view of a mountain that she felt was calling her, watching it shrouded…

Death in the Philippines

Death in the PhilippinesIt was still dark when, at 5:30 in the morning of February 5, 1999, Prisoner N94P-2347 was taken out of his cell. Four escort guards pushed a handcuffed Leo Echegaray through a scrum of photographers to get him out of the building. Light bulbs flashing, their lenses aimed at the lone tangerine shirt that marked…

Purging the Past

Purging the PastFalse news is in the news. Preachers of alternative truth are everywhere. But just as insidious as news creationism is the trend to purge the memory of unpleasant facts, and to judge the past entirely in terms of the values of the present.  Singapore is a place not normally seen as squeamish about its colonial…

The Needle’s Eye and US Immigration: Equally Difficult

The Needle’s Eye and US Immigration: Equally DifficultFor anybody who has ever tried to get a loved one into the United States, there is one central truth: it is harder to immigrate to the US to live and work than perhaps any major country on the planet. It is easier to get into China. Nonetheless, during the Republican primaries for last year’s…

Jaipur Lit Fest gets massive crowds for books and fun

North India’s two annual cultural jamborees have this year again pulled in tens of thousands of expanding crowds from home and abroad as they reach their ten-year anniversaries – the Jaipur Literature Festival last month and the India Art Fair next year. Both provide a mixture of culture, education and entertainment, having begun in a relatively…

Gambling on Chinese Investment in Laos

Gambling on Chinese Investment in LaosWith its massive cupolas, one shaped like a green crown and the other painted bright gold, Kings Romans Casino does not blend in with the forests of rural Southeast Asia, but the establishment is the heart of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GT-SEZ), a controversial gambling hub in northern Laos. The area has mostly…

Malay Scholars Find Fault in Malay Leaders

Malay Scholars Find Fault in Malay LeadersThe United Malays National Organization (UMNO) presents itself as the guardian of Malay interests, culture and language. So what do the 1MDB and other scandals say about the fundamental problems of this long-dominant ruling party, the institutional arm of the Malay elite?  The disappearance of vast sums from the accounts of the state-backed 1MDB investment…

Duterte’s Drug War and Abuse of Power

Duterte’s Drug War and Abuse of PowerTrue to his style, President Rodrigo Duterte held a late-night press conference on Jan. 30 at the presidential palace, wearing a denim jacket and flanked by his men, among whom was his chief of police Roland de la Rosa, who subsequently announced the infamous drug war will be put on hold after “internal cleansing” in…