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Sri Lanka war crimes in the spotlight as UN rights chief visits
9 February 2016 (IRIN ), Sri Lanka's president is unlikely to cave in any time soon to pressure for international participation in a war crimes tribunal, as the United Nations rights chief urged today. But he could turn the situation to his advantage by offering up less controversial reforms to win back domestic political support and satisfy the international community.
139 children die in one month in drought-hit Pakistan district
4 February 2016 (IRIN ), At least 139 children died of waterborne disease in January in Pakistan's impoverished desert district of Tharparkar, which has been devastated by drought since 2013. Civil society groups and opposition politicians say the Sindh provincial government’s response to the crisis has been insufficient to prevent widespread hunger and disease.
El Niño-linked drought kills crops and people in PNG
28 January 2016 (IRIN ), People are dying of malnourishment and disease in remote, drought-stricken communities in Papua New Guinea, which will need food aid for the next few months to prevent more deaths.ño-linked-drought-kills-crops-and-people-in-PNG
The cost of America’s “secret war” in Laos
26 January 2016 (IRIN ), The United States may increase the $15 million a year it spends on dealing with the legacy of its “secret” bombing of Laos. But that figure pales in comparison with the $17 million a day the US spent bombing the country for nine years. How much is enough to make amends for the past?
Activist arrest puts foreign NGOs in China on edge
25 January 2016 (IRIN ), Foreign NGO employees in China watched in horror last week as a Swedish rights activist went on state television to deliver what colleagues described as a “forced confession”. With the Chinese government already preparing legislation expected to severely curtail NGO activities, it isn’t just human rights lawyers and activists who are running scared.
Breakthrough in Cambodia malaria row
22 January 2016 (IRIN ), Malaria-carrying parasites in Cambodia have developed resistance to both of the main drugs used to fight the disease, putting millions of lives potentially at risk should that resistance spread. To make matters worse, a corruption scandal led to the freezing of millions of dollars of vital funding to combat malaria in Cambodia. The WHO tells IRIN the row has been resolved, but has the damage already been done?
Boomtime for fuel smugglers in Nepal
20 January 2016 (IRIN ), A severe fuel shortage has crippled Nepal, causing added hardship for millions of people already trying to recover from a devastating earthquake. But not everybody is suffering – a flourishing black market is enriching both smugglers and police.
Ex-Tamil Tigers go jobless in Sri Lanka
18 January 2016 (IRIN ), Almost seven years after the end of Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war, the majority of former Tamil Tiger rebels are struggling to find jobs despite billions of dollars of extra investment in their regions.
How politics delayed Nepal reconstruction
14 January 2016 (IRIN ), After delays due to political haggling, Nepal’s government has finally authorised a National Reconstruction Authority to begin rebuilding the earthquake-devastated country, although the actual reconstruction will not begin for a couple of months – almost an entire year after the quake that killed about 9,000 people.
Why can't Myanmar clear its landmines?
7 January 2016 (IRIN ), Myanmar has a massive landmine problem, but there has been no attempt at all to fix it. Clearance efforts have thus far been stymied by ongoing conflict, as well as uncooperative military regimes. Will Aung San Suu Kyi's new government make it possible?
Sri Lanka’s torture machine continues in peacetime
6 January 2016 (IRIN ), Sri Lanka’s new government has been lauded for efforts at reconciliation after a devastating civil war. Yet, civilians are still being abducted, tortured and sexually abused by security forces, according to a report published today.
The world’s clogged asylum system
4 January 2016 (IRIN ), Refugees that make it to Indonesia are often stranded there for years as they await resettlement elsewhere. But wait times are even longer now, because the crisis created by Syria’s civil war means there are even fewer opportunities for refugees in Southeast Asia to be resettled.
Briefing: Will a political dispute become a humanitarian disaster in Nepal?
21 December 2015 (IRIN ), Eight months after a huge earthquake devastated Nepal and killed almost 9,000 people, an import-crippling border blockade provoked by a political dispute has sent prices skyrocketing and is stalling efforts to rebuild. If left unresolved, hundreds of thousands of quake survivors, many of them still living without proper shelter, could suffer shortages this winter.
School closures fuel Taliban recruitment
16 December 2015 (IRIN ), Intensifying conflict in Afghanistan's Helmand Province has forced more than 50 schools to close, leaving about 100,000 students vulnerable to recruitment by the Taliban.
Rohingya refugees vanish from Indonesia
14 December 2015 (IRIN ), Hundreds of Rohingya refugees have vanished from camps in the northern reaches of the Indonesian island of Sumatra in recent months, raising concerns that they are once again turning to dangerous smuggling rings in a bid to reach Malaysia.
India border trouble blocks medicines to Nepal
9 December 2015 (IRIN ), Seven months after two devastating earthquakes, Nepal is facing “critical” shortages of life-saving medicines as political unrest along its border with India prevents imports of medical supplies and fuel.
COP21: Sri Lanka’s $675 million plan to harness floods
7 December 2015 (IRIN ), As delegates in Paris search for new ways to mitigate the effects of climate change, an innovative scheme that does exactly that is in the works in Sri Lanka.
COP21: How glacial melt and toxic waste could spell disaster in Kyrgyzstan
2 December 2015 (IRIN ), High in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan Mountains, the twin effects of climate change and gold mining have combined to pose a potential environmental and human health disaster. A melting glacier is feeding a rapidly expanding lake, which experts fear could burst its banks and overrun a mine tailings pond, releasing toxic waste into the region’s water system.
Lull in fighting allows access to thousands displaced in Myanmar
1 December 2015 (IRIN ), Aid workers are planning to take advantage of a lull in fighting in Myanmar’s Shan State to assess the needs of thousands of people displaced by clashes between the military and an ethnic armed group that began eight weeks ago.
Nepal unlocks quake funds: It only took 7 months!
26 November 2015 (IRIN ), Seven months after a massive earthquake devastated Nepal, the government has taken preliminary steps to begin spending billions pledged for reconstruction.

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