Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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Posts tagged repression

Burma’s election fever grips Yangon and its foreign observers

I feel incredibly humbled to have witnessed the first semi fair and almost free election in Burma in decades. I was at the NLD’s headquarters tonight where an exuberant and chaotic party atmosphere prevailed throughout. But as one Burmese told me, ‘the military are like chess players and they are planning their next move.’ That […]

Democracy in Southeast Asia – A Story Untold

I was recently commissioned by a Thai English language magazine to write a short satirical piece abut Democracy in SE Asia.  After much back and forth, the publication decided not to go ahead with the article, apparently due to the current political climate in Thailand. In the West – by which I generally mean the […]

Hell in our Time – The Rohingya of Sittwe

Here’s an account of my visit to Sittwe, home of many Rohingya, in August 2012. This is not a particularly hands-on story, nor did it involve any courage on my part. Better reportages on the same subject have surfaced in the media in recent days. But as Sittwe is now sealed off and as no […]

I fought the law and the law won – Punk’s Not Dead in Indonesia

Punk‘s been pretty dead in Europe for decades and in the US, this particular counterculture never really took off. But in today’s South and Southeast Asia, young kids turn to anti-culture in an effort to distance themselves from ultra conservative pears who leave no room for personal expression. Punks in Burma playing secret concerts in […]

From the Archives: Tom Vater’s Three Pagodas Pass republished in Traversing the Orient Magazine

At the Three Pagodas Pass, in the wild and beautiful far west of Thailand, the orchid and furniture trade is booming, shoot-outs between Burmese rebels and Thai soldiers are rare and the area remains one of those beauty spots that have not yet succumbed to mass tourism. Read Tom Vater‘s feature story on Thailand’s Three […]

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