Divided Lands and Lives

The diverse religions and cultures of Southeast Asia have always been good kindling for revolution. While the land is fertile and resources are plentiful, the region's ethnic diversity, religious tensions and often corrupt governments have made easy prey for opportunists seeking to exploit those resources. That's one reason the region was on the front lines of the cold war.

For more than a thousand years before that, Southeast Asia had no clear national boundaries. Loosely partitioned rival kingdoms corralled subjects of distinct cultures and religions who spoke different languages. Its modern borders, which haven't really changed since they represented the boundaries...

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