For over five years, 33-year-old Maheshwar Basumatary, a member of the indigenous Bodo community, made a living by killing wild animals in the protected forests of the Manas National Park, a tiger reserve, elephant sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies on the India-Bhutan border.
China’s early-May decision to dispatch the state-of-the-art oil rig, HYSY981,
into Vietnam’s 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), has intensified ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea, raising fears of uncontrolled military escalation in one of the world’s most important waterways.
A draft law being readied for parliament that seeks to offer lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) couples the same legal rights as heterosexual couples could make Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise gay marriage.
With a propensity to devour everything in their path and spiral quickly out of control, leaving behind swathes of scorched earth, forest fires are considered a hazard in most parts of the world. In Indonesia, however, fires are the preferred method for clearing large areas of land for massive plantations of commercial crops.