Five things about unrest-hit Papua

Papua has plunged into chaos with deadly riots and mass demonstrations breaking out across Indonesia's easternmost territory, fanned by racial tensions and fresh calls for independence.Here are five things to know about the unrest:What started the riots?The riots appear to have been sparked by the arrest this month of dozens of Papuan students in Indonesia's second-biggest city Surabaya.Police in riot gear stormed a dormitory to force out students accused of destroying an Indonesian

1 September 2019

Bombs rattle Bangkok during ASEAN summit

Two men from Thailand's insurgency-hit south have been arrested and linked to several small bombs which rattled Bangkok Friday as it hosted a regional summit attended by United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, leaving four people wounded but not disrupting the diplomatic event.Thailand, which has a grim history of political violence and is fighting a long-running rebellion in the Muslim-majority south, remains deeply divided after a controversial March election returned a junt

3 August 2019

Thailand: Land of torture?

Recently, Thai authorities confirmed that four more people were killed in a late-night attack by Muslim insurgents on a military outpost in the south.

30 July 2019

Four dead in rebel attack on Thai army base

Four people were killed in a late-night attack by Muslim insurgents on a military outpost in Thailand's violence-wracked south, authorities said Wednesday, as dramatic footage emerged showing security forces diving for cover from a hail of gunfire and a grenade blast.The attack comes as anger snowballs over the case of a Muslim rebel suspect who was left in a critical condition after spending several hours in a notorious army interrogation unit. The 15-year conflict in the Malay

25 July 2019

Intolerance hijacking Thai election

Thailand’s election is mere weeks away and regardless of who ends up the victor, developments throughout the period of the military junta’s rule since 2014 should provide several lessons for the country’s future leader.

12 March 2019

Two linked to Thai school shooting killed

Two insurgents believed to be tied to a motorcycle drive-by shooting at a school in Thailand's south were shot dead Saturday, police said, as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) warned of trauma for children near the scene of the lunchtime violence.Since 2004 clashes between Malay-Muslim rebels and the Buddhist-majority Thai state that annexed the area over 100 years ago have killed nearly 7,000 people, mostly civilians of both faiths.The conflict rar

14 January 2019

Papua massacre shines light on forgotten conflict

The recent massacre of civilian workers by separatist rebels in Indonesia's restive Papua province has cast a spotlight on one of the world's longest-running insurgencies, with no end to the bloody conflict in sight.The killings are a marked escalation from decades of mostly sporadic skirmishes between poorly armed and disorganised guerrillas and a powerful Indonesian military accused of gross human rights abuses against civilians.Some 16 employees of a state-owned contractor were m

9 December 2018

Putting a lid on religious intolerance

When speaking of religious intolerance in ASEAN member states, it’s likely that images of marginalised Rohingya in Myanmar, the increasingly conservative stance of Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo seems to have recently taken, and clampdowns on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual (LGBT) community in Muslim majority countries like Malaysia and Brunei are among the first pictures that come to mind.

17 October 2018

Is the insurgency ending?

On 14 August 2018, Pattani Islamic Mujahideen Movement deputy leader Nasori Saeseng surrendered at an army rangers’ unit in Kapor, Pattani. This, coupled with a record low number of deaths last year has risen hopes that the insurgency may be coming to a halt in favour of the government. Whether this marks the beginning of the end to the deep South Thailand insurgency conflict is yet to be seen.

13 September 2018