News

Vietnam’s tourist industry marks 55th anniversary amid challenges

Vietnam is celebrating the 55th anniversary of its tourist industry amid a mountain of challenges, highlighted by falling international tourist numbers. Fifty-five years after the tourist industry was founded in 1960, the industry has obtained many achievements, but “new challenges and difficulties have also arisen,” Vietnam ...

Over 100 muslims linked to Arakan violence released

Local prison authorities in Arakan State’s Buthidaung Township say more than 100 “Bengalis” were released this week after serving the duration of their sentences in connection with violence between Buddhists and Muslims that wracked the state in 2012.   Prison staffer Win Kyaw confirmed the release of ...

Putting productivity on the menu

An ILO project that provides free lunch at garment factories is proving to be a hit with workers, but whether or not this 50-cent per worker “experiment” catches on will depend on factory owners and the brands they supply. Last July, eight garment factories in Phnom ...

Myanmar bill limits women's right to wed non-Buddhists

Myanmar’s parliament has approved a law that would regulate marriages between Buddhist women and men from outside their religion. The move by legislators was condemned by activists and human rights groups, who said the law was passed under pressure from hardline Buddhist monks. The bill is one ...

Myanmar sets historic general election date

Myanmar will go to the polls on 8 November in its first open general election in 25 years, officials say. Reform in Myanmar has been under way since 2010 when military rule was replaced by a military-backed civilian government.   The ruling USDP faces a head-to-head contest with ...

Bail set at $10k for 11 Letpadan activists

Bail has been granted to 11 activists detained after a brutal crackdown on student demonstrations earlier this year, family members said, while five other requests were denied by a court in central Burma.   A hearing culminated with the decision to release 10 students and one supporter ...

In meeting with election body, NLD complains of voter verification ‘obstruction’

The National League for Democracy, Burma’s main opposition party, complained of obstruction from some sub-commissions as NLD cadres have sought to ensure an accurate roster of eligible voters ahead of the general election. Representatives from the NLD said Union Election Commission officials pledged to address the party’s ...

Lao authorities charge woman with ‘slander’ for alleged extortion photos

Authorities in Laos have formally charged a young woman who has been detained since May after a photo she took was posted on Facebook, allegedly showing police officers extorting money from her brother during a stop for a traffic violation, according to an official source.   Phout ...

The real importance of Japan’s new strategy for the Mekong

On July 4, the leaders of Japan and the five countries in the Mekong subregion – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – convened for the Seventh Mekong-Japan Summit in Tokyo. True to form, much of the media focus was on the dollar amount that Japan ...

China climate targets prompt fears over surge in dam construction

China’s plan to cut carbon emissions commits Beijing to a surge in construction of ecologically destructive hydropower dams that heralds the end of free-flowing rivers in the country, experts say. Beijing last week formally submitted its 2030 goals for generating energy from non-fossil fuels, garnering international praise as nations ...

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