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Southeast Asia links: Market turmoil, Myanmar peace, Typhoon Goni, #BangkokBlast and more

Southeast Asia links: Market turmoil, Myanmar peace, Typhoon Goni, #BangkokBlast and more
Published 25 Aug 2015   Follow @elliotbrennan

  • Southeast Asian stock markets stumbled on Monday. Meanwhile, the region's dwindling currency reserves are plunging states deeper into a currency war
  • Malaysia found another 24 bodies in a mass grave near the border with Thailand.
  • The Thai junta has been heavily criticised for its handling of last week's attack in Bangkok (see an excellent wrap here). Many argue that the junta has turned the tragedy into farce, claims supported by the arrest of a foreign journalist for carrying a helmet and body armour following the attack. The search for the bomber has turned up few clues. Separately, the attack has provoked a spike in interest in insurance against political violence.
  • Myanmar's best hope for peace lies with the nationwide ceasefire agreement, but it needs more support, says Thant Myint-U. Phuong Nguyen looked at why the endgame of the ceasefire deal is proving so difficult (see new reference guide to process here and roundup of excerpts rom the NCA here). Aung Din wrote on the low point in civil-military relations in Myanmar. 
  • An excellent post on these pages highlighted Myanmar's ruling-party purge. Now there are growing calls for unity ahead of the elections. The Economist argued that the military want the elections clean enough for investment to continue but dirty enough to win. 
  • Myanmar can learn from Cambodia's post-conflict experience, says Youk Chhang.
  • Over at ASPI's The Strategist, Graeme Dobell looked at Singapore and Australia's mismatched mateship
  • Typhoon Goni lashed the Philippines this week, with reports of over a dozen dead
  • The new and long awaited draft Thai constitution has been released (here in Thai). Unsurprisingly, it cements the role of the military as overseer of any democracy through what is being termed a 'super board' of military-appointed officials. Once approved, the draft will go to a referendum in 2016. If it is rejected, the process will begin again and elections will be further postponed. As such, the draft will be seen by many as an intentionally flawed document designed to keep the junta in power.
  •  Mahathir renewed his calls for the ousting of Najib and apologised for his choice of successors.

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