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Asia Undercovered #39: 400,000+ displaced by flooding in South Asia

Floods in South Asia

Massive floods have displaced upwards of 400,000 people in Bangladesh, and thousands more in neighboring countries. This should be a huge story, but besides this Reuters piece, it’s gotten little coverage. This, sadly, is not new. Natural disasters in Asia merit little attention in global media.

Also Undercovered this week

Five years after a military coup, and months after “democratic” elections, little has changed in Thailand. Marwaan Macan-Markar writes for Global Asia on the machinations behind military-democracy in the country.

Oil Palm is expanding into the few remaining pristine areas of the Philippines. Now, local opposition is growing against the ever-growing menace, reports Rob Harbinson.

This could be big. Indonesia’s President hints at a shift away from coal. For a country that’s the largest exporter of coal and has massive coal plants, this could have huge impacts for the global energy industry (Mongabay).

There are growing concerns about press freedom in Pakistan. Now under threat, Dawn, the country’s paper of record, whose reporters I’ve featured numerous times in this newsletter (Umer Ali, GIJN)

We all know about how people use VPNs to get around the Great Firewall of China. What about using VPNs to get back in, and access China-only content? This piece by Tianyu Fang in Inkstone gives insight into some of the peculiarities of the global splinternet.


Japan held upper-house (think House of Lords) elections last week. No surprises here – Shinzo Abe’s coalition won big, but perhaps not big enough to push through constitutional reforms (Straits Times).


The protests in Hong Kong, which are getting more tense by the week, are leading some protesters to flee to neighboring Taiwan. But the island country, long a refuge but lacking an actual refugee law, does not have a process to handle the newcomers (Margaret Lewis, Taiwan Insight).

Chinese investment has transformed Cambodia in just a few years, making it a centerpiece of the Belt and Road Initiative. But, as Yaqui Wang finds, all is not well from the ground weeks after 28 people died when a Chinese-owned building collapsed (China File.)

Asia Undercovered: Journalist Nithin Coca's weekly roundup of the news, events, trends and people changing Asia, but not getting enough attention in the US media.