Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Friday, 22 February 2019

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

Main Issues in South Asia


  • One lane of the Katunayake Expressway which connects Colombo with Bandaranaike International Airport and Negombo in the Western province is closed for a week until February 27.
  • The closure is due to an ongoing repair work one of the lanes. Road Development Authority said all other lanes will be open for traffic as usual.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the traffic delays between Colombo and the airport.


  • An emergency has been declared in the Lasbela district of Balochistan province due to flash floods which have killed three people since yesterday. Provincial Disaster Management Authority said 450 families have been affected by the flood.
  • Authorities are trying to evacuate the affected families from the area. Major roads and highways have been blocked.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Lasbela district in Baluchistan.


  • The federal government has imposed a ban on Jammat-ut-Dawa and its humanitarian arm Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation. The Ministry of Interior has ordered the freezing of assets associated with the two organizations and directed provincial governments to implement the orders.
  • The Ministry of Law and Justice had announced that former president of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, amended the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 via Ordinance No II of 2018 to proscribe entities banned by the United Nations (Security Council) Act 1948. The government had also barred companies and individuals from giving donations to banned
  • Jammat-ut-Dawa network includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house, and ambulance services. Supporters of Jammat-ut-Dawa are likely to hold protests and demonstrations in major cities. The ban can potentially trigger violent clashes between the police and the supporters of Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly from the PHILIPPINES

  • Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary said that there are more than 10 foreign groups, including the groups which train suicide bombers linked to the Islamic State on the southern island of Mindanao. The terrorists are remnants of the forty foreign extremists deployed to help the IS-inspired Maute Group during the Marawi City siege in Mindanao province in 2017.
  • Authorities have so far no intelligence of a planned attack. These terror groups are allegedly from Yemen, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt.
  • Clients are advised to employ extreme caution while traveling in Mindanao.


  • Police have advised the public to be wary of unsolicited calls from scammers, saying that scammers can use technology to mask their actual phone number and display bank’s ID instead. Police have advised against disclosing personal details to anyone over phone, e-mail or texts.
  • There has been an increase in such scam calls. since November 2018 more than ninety scam calls complaints have been received. Ministry of Finance has also issued a warning on the fraudulent calls.
  • Clients are advised to be wary of fraudulent calls and do not reveal any personal or commercial details over the phone.


  • A suspected drug smuggler was shot dead yesterday during an encounter between two drug traffickers and police in the Mae Chan district of the northern Chiang Rai province near the Myanmar border.
  • Police recovered a shotgun and a pistol from the trucks driven by the traffickers. The trucks were carrying 25 large black-plastic wrapped bundles containing 5 million amphetamine pills.
  • Clients are advised to employ extreme caution in the province bordered Myanmar where cross border drug trafficking is a major concern.


  • More than 60 civil rights groups are expected to hold a protest march in Taipei on Sunday, February 24 to mark the 72nd anniversary of the 228 incident.
  • The 228 incident refers to an anti-government uprising in Taiwan that was violently suppressed by the Kuomintang-led Republic of China government, which killed thousands of civilians on 28 February 1947. The number of Taiwanese deaths from the incident was estimated to be between 5,000 and 28,000. The march will begin at Tianmia Tea house in the Datong district and will proceed to Executive Yuan at the Zhongzheng district. Huge numbers are expected to take part in the march.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling between Datong and Zhongzheng districts on Sunday to avoid travel delays.
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