A new bill allowing more diversified investments by Timor-Leste's multi-billion dollar oil and natural gas sovereign fund, which underwrites the lion's share of the country's expenditure, has divided opinion, with some saying the step is necessary to maintain current levels of development spending and others calling the move risky.
From 1975 to 1999, Timor-Leste was ruled by the Indonesian army, which frequently confiscated land and forcibly relocated communities to break up resistance networks. When Timor-Leste achieved independence in 1999, most of the land was occupied without official title deeds.
Southern Laos’ coffee fields were devastated by war. Now, farmers are nursing them back to health so they can once again produce world-class beans.
Monk Forest is one of 13 community forests totaling more than 250 square miles in Odder Meanchey province whose value in fighting climate change is being marketed in an international exchange of what are called avoided deforestation carbon credits.
Sorng Rukavorn forest became a prized prayer ground at the turn of the century, when a senior Buddhist monk sought an undisturbed location for his disciples. Instead of living in peaceful isolation, however, the monks have had to fend off illegal loggers and corrupt local officials.
Encouraged by labor agitation in the region, tens of thousands of workers stage a walkout. It nets only a government proposal to discuss benefits in the future, but organizers call the strike a success.
A land dispute in March between a sugar-plantation developer and a small community in the province of Kampong Speu motivated military police stationed nearby to spring into action, ostensibly in order to prevent an eruption of violence. It didn't take long, though, for the villagers to view the supposed peacekeepers as intimidators.
Cambodia hastily deported 20 ethnic Uighur asylum-seekers back to China over the strong objections of Western nations. Two days later, Beijing followed through on a planned $1.2 billion infrastructure investment in Cambodia. The two governments denied any quid pro quo.