Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Thursday, 10 January 2019

Operations Assistant Bhargava Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia


  • Yesterday the garment workers continued their strike for the fourth consecutive day. More than 50 people were injured and one person was killed in clashes between the police and the protesting workers. Protests and violent clashes were reported in several towns across the country including Dhaka, Savar, Ashulia, and other towns in Gazipur district.
  • The protest continued despite the assurances by the government of resolving the concerns of the factory workers. The government has formed a 10-member committee to review their demands on wages and other benefits. Protests can be expected to continue for a few more days as the trade unions negotiate with the government.
  • Clients are advised to note the disruptions and roadblocks caused by protesting garment workers. Avoid the smaller towns and areas affected by the protests.


  • Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered that the managing directors of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company be removed immediately from their posts.
  • Last month, the prime minister had ordered an inquiry into the dwindling supply of gas which not only forced industry closures across Punjab and Karachi, but even affected domestic consumers as residents in many parts faced outages.
  • Clients are advised to note that there is an ongoing gas crisis in Pakistan, a shortage of gas in the country is likely to increase the cost of alternate energy sources. Account for an increase in the operational cost due to the shortage. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.


Main Issues in East Asia Pacific


  • A bomb blast was reported in the Thepa district of Songkhla province in southern Thailand on Tuesday, January 8. Two policemen were injured in the attack. The authorities have detained three suspects and said the Barisan Revolusi Nasional insurgent group were responsible for the attack.
  • The Barisan Revolusi Nasional has not joined the Malaysia-brokered peace talks between the Thai government and insurgent groups in the region. The authorities said that the government will continue talks with Mara Patani, an umbrella organization of five insurgent groups.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the insurgents active in the region and avoid non-essential travel in the areas affected ongoing insurgency in southern Thailand.


  • Yesterday a Papuan rebel was killed and a soldier injured in an armed encounter with the security forces near the town of Timika in the easternmost province of Papua. The security forces were ambushed while on logistics mission in the region.
  • A low-level separatist insurgency has simmered in Papua province since the early 1960s. Armed encounters between the separatist rebels and the security forces are frequently reported in the province.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling to smaller towns and remote areas of the Papua province. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.
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