On 2 July 2020, over 170 people were killed in a landslide in the jade mines of Hpakant, Myanmar. This story of fictional characters surrounded by real events portrays the risks miners take and the suffering endured by their families.
For years, farmers and residents caught in agrarian conflicts throughout Indonesia have faced criminalisation, brutality and murder. The mandate to conduct social distancing, however, provides the authorities with further justification to thwart their fight.
The Lumad community in the Philippines is speaking out against ‘Cha-Cha’—Duterte’s proposed constitutional changes that would transfer power to the local level and lift restrictions on foreign investment. Mindanao’s indigenous community says this will leave them vulnerable to the increasing presence of extractive industry.
Over 500 informal jade pickers have been killed in landslides in Myanmar in the past five years. Unsafe conditions in the jade mines continue to put people at risk, and families of those who have been killed say that independent inspections and better law enforcement are urgently needed.
Among this week’s round-up of stories to watch in Southeast Asia: Pre-election posturing in Indonesia, power woes in Vietnam, and shock and horror over Singapore’s national costume for the Miss Universe pageant.
The stories to watch in Southeast Asia this week: a cyber-attack on personal data and health information in Singapore, while Suharto’s son announces he’ll run as a legislative candidate in Papua Province in next year’s elections.
New Naratif’s North Sumatra consulting editor takes a look at stories to watch across Southeast Asia, 20–27 May.
Precious gems could be an opportunity to earn one’s fortune, or bring tragedy to miners toiling in unforgiving circumstances. Can the industry pivot towards more ethical practices?