Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Wednesday, 13 February 2019

APAC Assistance Operations Assistant Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in the PHILIPPINES

  • Police have confirmed yesterday that a package retrieved by fishermen off the coast of Vinzons town in the eastern province of Camarines Norte of Luzon contained USD 86,418 worth of cocaine.
  • The Drug Enforcement Agency has reported that from 2016 to 2018 more than 5,000 people were killed in the anti-drug trafficking operations by the police. Philippine Commission on Human Rights allege that the deaths could be as high as 27,000 and investigating the deaths was complex because police withheld records on anti-drug operations.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of armed encounters between the police and criminal gangs frequently reported in major cities in the Philippines.


  • Landslides caused by heavy rains have killed a man and destroyed many houses in the Raicoast district of northern Madang province last week. The flood situation is critical due to a swelling lake near the Boroki village in the Finisterre Range.
  • The Ramu Highway, Surinam Bridge, and several other roads have been inundated by heavy rain causing traffic chaos. Continuous heavy rain along Usino-Bundi, Middle Ramu and Rai Coast districts in the Madang province is forcing various creeks and streams to burst their banks, destroying roads and bridges.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling to Madang province until the heavy rains recede.


  • Mount Dukono volcano on the eastern island of Halmahera has been spewing ash since yesterday, with continuous fog exploding from the main crater.  The Volcanic Survey of Indonesia has put Dukono on a “level two” alert as the volcano is spewing out 7000ft of ash.
  • The local authorities have warned that people should not travel near the volcano, and an aviation notice has been issued advising pilots not to fly. A separate warning for people traveling nearby says that volcanic ash could be dangerous to the respiratory system
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Halmahera Islands and expect air travel delays in the region.

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • Internet services have been suspended in the north eastern state of Manipur and a curfew has been imposed after protests by various Civil Society Organisations yesterday against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Imphal and other parts of Manipur.
  • Protests reportedly turned violent in various parts of Manipur. Police resorted to use of force to stop the protesters.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the frequent protests in the northeastern states and note that disruptions in the internet services in Manipur. Avoid prominent landmarks in major cities like Imphal expected to host the protests.


  • Martadi-Kolti highway has been closed for this month due to muddy and slippery conditions caused by heavy snowfall at Porke hill in the western Bajura district.
  • Emergency services have been also affected and supply chain disruptions in the area have led to an increase in the prices of essential commodities.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Bajura district and note the transport disruptions in the area.
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