The Diplomat

Confronting Southeast Asia’s Troubled Media Landscape

Earlier this month, Maria Ressa, a prominent journalist and outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was found guilty of cyber libel in another concerning development for media freedom in the country. While the incident was notable on its own terms, it also spotlighted the wider troubles ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

China’s Control of the Mekong

A recently published report by Eyes on Earth, Inc. has pointed the finger at Chinese dams holding back water as having significantly contributed to the major drought impacting the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. The drought’s effects have been felt by millions and hamper efforts to ...

Philip Citowicki

Myanmar’s 2020 Elections: What Does the Future Hold?

Later this year, Myanmar is scheduled to hold its third general election in six decades in a landmark development for the country’s democratic transition. While details remain unclear amid the global coronavirus pandemic, as of now the Southeast Asian state is set to hold its ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

Why COVID-19 Will Worsen Inequality in Thailand

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand’s capital was the world’s most visited city. Now Bangkok’s once-bustling streets are quiet. With its struggling economy, the timing of the crisis could not be worse for Thailand. Exports have been falling since 2019 while the GDP growth rate remained one of the lowest ...

M Niaz Asadullah and Ruttiya Bhula-or

What’s in Vietnam’s New Coronavirus Assistance to Cambodia and Laos?

Late last week, Vietnam handed over some assistance to Laos and Cambodia as the two fellow Southeast Asian states continue to manage the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. While the development was in line with what Hanoi had previously signaled, it nonetheless put the ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

China’s Mekong Security Role in the Headlines with New Joint Patrols

Last week, China conducted another iteration of its joint patrols with three riparian countries in the Mekong River. The development spotlighted one aspect of Beijing’s continued effort to advance collaboration in the Mekong subregion and Southeast Asia more generally. As I have noted before, as China ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

China’s ‘Development Approach’ to the Mekong Water Disputes

Even as COVID-19 is wreaking havoc and uncertainty around the globe, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta declared an emergency over the devastating drought in early March. Studies suggest that the frequency and severity of droughts in the Mekong region has increased in the past decades, and many blame ...

Zhang Hongzhou

The Truth About Hun Sen and the Media in Cambodia

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen seems to have forgotten who he is. Praising journalism and defending reporters? That is not the Hun Sen of yore. Yet this month, amid a trial of two Radio Free Asia reporters on “baseless espionage charges,” according to Human Rights Watch, the ...

David Hutt

What Does Myanmar’s First Submarine Mean for Its Security and the Region?

Earlier this week, we saw another round of headlines tied to Myanmar’s receiving of its first-ever submarine from India. The focus on the capability addition, which has been the subject of speculation over the past few months, has once again spotlighted its significance both for ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ vs ‘Bengali’ Hate Speech Debate

Rohingya activists have accused the Myanmar Press Council, a quasi-government media adjudication and ethics body,  of defending the practice of using the word “Bengali” to refer to the Rohingya. Rights groups and Rohingya advocates argue that the term amounts to “hate speech” and that it is ...

Shafiur Rahman

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