Thailand’s Lethal Muslim Conflict

Thailand’s Lethal Muslim ConflictFor four months, Thailand’s pro-royalist People’s Democratic Reform Committee has led anti-government protesters in Bangkok to work toward toppling the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the youngest sister of 2006 coup-ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra. But while all eyes are on the conflict in Bangkok, where bombings and shootings have left at least 20 dead…

TIMELINE: Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case

TIMELINE: Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy caseAsia Sentinel has followed Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case since it broke in 2008. See our previous stories on the case: July 2008: Were the Anwar Sodomy Charges Faked? A medical report surfaces saying the male aide who filed charges against the opposition leader wasn’t molested August 2008: Anwar’s Sodomy Charge Complicates Political Struggle Economy may…

A New Security Alliance for Asia-Pacific

A New Security Alliance for Asia-PacificOn April 4, 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was born, formed in part to deter Soviet expansionism and to establish a North American presence in Europe, in addition to integrating Europe and preventing the rise of militant nationalism. Although one can certainly debate the relevance of NATO in the world today, elsewhere however, such…

‘Killing Fields’ Producer Turned Trade Rep Backs Hun Sen

‘Killing Fields’ Producer Turned Trade Rep Backs Hun SenDavid Puttnam, the once-brilliant film-maker who is best known for producing the amazing movie of Khmer Rouge terror, “The Killing Fields” has stunned journalists, diplomats and others, by praising the current Khmer government and its leader Hun Sen, for “its commitment to ending corruption.” The current member of Britain’s House of Lords, speaking in one…

Anwar ‘Guilty’ Again in Malaysia

Anwar ‘Guilty’ Again in MalaysiaThe guilty verdict against Anwar Ibrahim in a Malaysian court Friday was met with derision even by government supporters, who worry it could boost the opposition leader's political standing and damage the ruling Barisan Nasional. Anwar was sentenced to five years in prison and granted bail awaiting further appeal. The long-running case, which was on…

Japan’s Troubling Denial of Comfort Women

Japan’s Troubling Denial of Comfort WomenFor the past year, Northeast Asia has been in the grip of a worsening spiral of tensions provoked by territorial disputes and nationalist statements by political leaders. Careful diplomacy to defuse the deepening crisis is urgently needed. So the announcement by Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on February 28 that the Japanese government intends…

China’s Annual Government Conclave Set for This Week

China’s Annual Government Conclave Set for This WeekChina gets its annual two-week dual conclave off the ground Monday with 3,000 delegates in Beijing for what is being called the most important such meeting in recent memory. The concurrent meeting of the National People’s Congress, the country’s parliament, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a broader advisory body, comes at a time…

Fund Scandal Looms in Malaysia

Fund Scandal Looms in MalaysiaPolitical insiders in Malaysia say Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak could be facing a fresh political crisis due to the murky dealings of a sovereign fund established five years ago to drive investment in strategic domestic industries. A widening circle of critics, fed in part by exhaustive reporting on independent news sites such as Malaysiakini,…

Warning About [Travel] Warnings from Thailand

Warning About [Travel] Warnings from ThailandOne of the most prominent American business executives in Thailand has complained to foreign governments that “unnecessarily severe travel advisories are... having a major impact on the livelihoods of Thai people across the country.” William Heinecke, the chairman and chief executive officer of Minor International, a leading tourism operator in Thailand, made the remarks in…

Pakistan’s Afghan Conundrum

Pakistan’s Afghan ConundrumWhat if what’s been called the world’s most unstable and dangerous country were to take over the destiny of one of the world’s most impoverished, insecure and fragmented ones? The 13-year Afghan war is expected to wind down this year with the departure of the bulk of NATO troops, with the likelihood that Pakistan will…