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Asia Undercovered #40

Crisis in Kashmir

Earlier this week, the Indian government announced that it would change the constitution, making Kashmir lose its special status and turning it into a union territory. Right now, there’s little to no information at all coming out of the region due to widespread internet and cellular communication cut-offs. It is likely that massive human rights violations are taking place, and, unless there is substantial global outrage, things will likely get a lot worse before they get better.

Whether it is in Kashmir, Tibet, West Papua or Xinjiang, Asia’s occupied peoples are facing horrific suppression and getting little to no attention in the western press.

Also Undercovered this week

Last week, Li Peng, the former premier of China and the man who ordered the use of force against protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, passed away. He leaves a legacy of corruption and injustice.

Despite environmental and climate concerns, Pakistan is sticking to Chinese-backed coal projects. Zofeen Ebrahim writes about how cronyism, corruption, faulty infrastructure, and debt are all playing into the country’s coal addition (China Dialogue)

Moderation of social media content is being outsourced to the Philippines. This excellent investigation in The Washington Post looks at the people in charge of sifting through our content, and the challenges they face psychologically.

New Naratif published this piece by Maggi Quadrini exploring the state of feminism in Thailand, a historically patriarchal society.

And a prominent Thai dissident currently living in Japan was attacked last month. A worrying trend where opponents of authoritarianism are targets no matter where they reside (Prachatai).


Japan’s upper house election was tame, with Shinzo Abe’s LDP party winning handily. There was one surprise, though – the election of two people with heavy disabilities to represent the more than 1 million who supported Reiwa Shinsengumi a new, left-wing party. Daisuke Minami on what this means for The Diplomat.

Meanwhile, Lev Nachman and Brian Hioe caution against assuming that the Hong Kong protests mean that incumbent Tsai Ing-wen will win handily in Taiwan.

Lighter Note: Armenians in Myanmar

This piece, by Jared Downing, illuminates the history and lives of a community I knew nothing about – the Armenians of Myanmar, who have built a strong heritage in the country and host Yangon’s oldest Christian house of worship. An excellent read (Frontier Myanmar).

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.