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Southeast Asia links: Picking on Prayuth, Strangio's Cambodia, Cobra Gold and more

Southeast Asia links: Picking on Prayuth, Strangio's Cambodia, Cobra Gold and more
Published 3 Feb 2015   Follow @elliotbrennan

  • Sebastian Strangio held an excellent Brookings Institution forum on Cambodia's political landscape.
  • Thai authorities are investigating two pipebombs that exploded in Bangkok's busy Siam shopping district. The junta says it demonstrates the need to maintain martial law and denied it was a plot to prolong martial law
  • China will join the Cobra Gold military exercise for the first time, reports the Bangkok Post.
  • The ASEAN Economic Community will adopt English at the end of the year. While this will be good for business, few in the bloc are linguistically proficient, says Luke Hunt.
  • Negotiators in the Philippines peace process have agreed to call the killing of 44 policemen by insurgents an 'accident'. Zach Abuza looked at the implications on the peace process for CogitAsia. Also see Malcolm Cook's excellent post here on The Interpreter.
  • Meanwhile, the FBI is trying to ascertain if one of the dead is that of the Malaysian bomb maker Marwan, who carried a $5 million bounty on his head. Reports suggested the US had shared intelligence with police that led to the assault. 
  • What challenges lie ahead for Vietnam's Communist Party in 2015?
  • Human rights in Myanmar are going backwards and other Southeast Asian countries aren't doing so well either, says a new HRW report.
  • UNDP revealed an insightful report on the state of local governance in Mon state in Myanmar.
  • Asian Correspondent has continued to give a blow by blow account of the 'most baffling, amusing, confusing, outrageous and appalling quotes from Thai politicians and other public figures'. This week included the quote from Prayuth Chan-ocha, the head of Thailand's junta, speaking at a press conference: 'I am not mad on power. You don't understand it. You keep picking on me.'
  • The Thai economy is also feeling the pinch, according to the Heritage Foundation:

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