Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Tuesday, 8 January 2019


Main Issues in South Asia


  • Yesterday statewide protests against the Citizenship bill were reported in the northeastern state of Assam. The proposed Citizenship bill grants citizenship to the religious minorities who have fled religious persecution in neighboring countries. The protests are expected to continue today alongside the nationwide strike called by the Central Trade Unions association.
  • The bill has been controversial in Assam where thousands of people belonging to minority communities from Bangladesh have migrated and settled. Frequent protests and clashes between the local people and the migrants have been reported in Assam and other northeastern states.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments on the Citizenship bill. More protests over the bill are likely before the elections expected in April 2019.


  • Yesterday protests were reported in Gazipur district in central Bangladesh. Garment workers were protesting to demand an increase in wages. Clashes were reported between the protesters and the police. Fourteen people were injured in the clashes.
  • In Uttara (ut-ta-ra) town, the protesters allegedly set fire to a bus and caused a massive traffic jam. The protesters blocked the traffic for a second day in the area and more protests are expected.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Gazipur district until the protests have been called off. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.

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Main Issues in East Asia Pacific


  • Malaysia‚Äôs constitutional monarch, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicated on Sunday, January 8. He is the first reigning king in Malaysia to abdicate. Yesterday the Conference of Rulers decided to elect a new king on January 24. Sultan Nazrin of Perak, the deputy king, will serve as acting head of state.
  • The abdication is unlikely to cause political instability in Malaysia. Kings in Malaysia have avoided involvement in political matters often making it hard to decipher their influence and indeed their relevance.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments for any new controversies over the succession of a new king.


  • Confusion over the delay in elections continues as the military government is expected to seek an interpretation of the 150-day deadline by the Constitutional Court.
  • A member of the Constitution Drafting Committee has opined that the 150-day deadline means the elections should be held within 150 days of the enactment of the organic law. The law governing the elections was enacted on December 11. As per the 150-day deadline, May 9 will be the latest date the Thai elections may be held.
  • Prolonged indecision on the elections is likely to cause more protests and potential unrest in the country. Clients are advised to always avoid political protests in Thailand as clashes with the authorities and protesters have occurred historically.

You can check us out at, where you can purchase our East Asia Pacific or South Asia Risk Management memberships or buy our materials on a pay for view basis.

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