Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Tuesday, 5 February 2019

APAC Assistance Operations Assistant Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has continued her sit-in protest for the second day today at the Metro Cinema in Kolkata. She began the protest on Sunday evening after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s attempted to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner, Rajeev Kumar in an investigation on a financial scam.
  • The CBI and the central government approached the Supreme Court yesterday alleging that Rajeev Kumar has destroyed evidence in an investigation on a financial scam. They accused the state government of blocking them and detaining their officer when they tried to question Rajeev Kumar. The Supreme Court has asked evidence of Rajeev’s involvement and has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow.
  • The central government accused Mamata of shielding a corrupt official and staging a protest to serve political interest months before the general elections in April 2019. Opposition parties have sent their leaders to Kolkata in support of her protest.


  • Police have arrested 90 people yesterday at Hingurakgoda near Dambulla in central Sri Lanka for possession of narcotic drugs. Police recovered methamphetamine, opium, cannabis and narcotic tablets from the suspects.
  • The arrests were made after the police raided a party at a hotel in Hingurakgoda. Police said that the party was organized on Facebook. Law enforcement agencies have intensified their operations against drug trafficking in the last two months.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the nightlife areas in Colombo and other major cities. Avoid social gatherings organized on social media.


Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in the INDONESIA

  • At a recent event in East Java, Widodo said there was another campaign team playing dirty tricks by disseminating hateful propaganda with the help of a foreign consultant, which divided society and raised concern among the public. He claimed the opposition doesn’t care whether or not the propaganda makes people feel insecure.
  • A spokesman for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, called the accusation made by Widodo naive and nonsensical. Widodo’s campaign claimed that by producing massive hoaxes, the opposition’s strategy aims to overturn all data and facts to influence the people in voting.
  • The accusations are being made while the rival camps are preparing for the second presidential election debate between Jokowi and Prabowo, scheduled for 17 February.


  • Prominent lawyer Sithambaram is expected to join the prosecution team for Najib Razak’s trial scheduled to begin on February 12. Sithambaran may join Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah and his team from the Attorney General’s office in the trial.
  • Sithambaram is a veteran criminal lawyer with experience over 30 years experience. Last year, Attorney General Tommy Thomas, opted out of leading the prosecution for the 1MDB case against the former prime minister Najib Razak. Thomas has appointed Sulaiman to lead the prosecution team.
  • Najib is facing seven criminal charges in the 1MDB case, including three criminal breaches of trust, one for abuse of power, and three money laundering charges.


  • More than 5,800 constituency candidates turned out to register on the first day of registration. The number of candidates has increased from 3,900 in 2007. The Election Commission started the registration yesterday, the registration process will this Friday February 8.
  • Supporters of various political parties assembled outside the registration offices in large numbers. Political parties are expected to conduct nationwide rallies from this week for the general elections.
  • The general elections are scheduled to be held on March 24 which will be the first election in four years after the military intervention in 2013.
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