Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Thursday, 7 March 2019

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


Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in THAILAND

  • Police will reportedly deploy more than 1,200 officers at the Constitutional Court today. Deputy National Police chief said there will be checkpoints 500 meters from the court.
  • The Court is expected to rule on the petition to dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart party after the party nominated Princess Ubolratana as its prime minister candidate. The Election Commission had asked the court to dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart Party as it violated Section 92 of the 2017 Organic Law on political parties for offending the monarchy.
  • Clients are advised to avoid all political event and areas around the Constitutional Court in Bangkok. Supporters of the Thai Raksa Chart party can potentially stage massive protest rallies if the party is dissolved by the court today.


  • The commander of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has raised concerns over presence of a large number of firearms with criminals. There have been frequent attacks by criminals on civilians and on police stations.
  • A referendum is scheduled to be held in October this year seeking independence or greater autonomy of Bougainville Island from Papua New Guinea government.
  • Clients are advised to employ extreme caution and be aware of armed criminal gangs on Bougainville


  • Manam volcano located 13 km off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea has recently started erupting again. A warning of level 4 has been issued.
  • Manam volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Its continuous eruption has led to the evacuation of the whole island.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the area around Manam Island and be aware of the likely disruption of the sea and air travel along the northern coast of Papua New Guinea due to the large quantity of fly ash.


  • The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested a suspected drug seller yesterday who allegedly worked for a drug syndicate in Cotabato and Maguindanao cities of southern Mindanao Island. The agency seized 50grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride from the suspect with an estimated market value of more than USD 6000.
  • The Police said the suspect violated Section 4 and 5 of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 of the Philippines, which stipulates life imprisonment with fine of USD 9,560 to USD 19,130 for sale, distribution, and delivery of the banned
  • Drug-related violence is a major concern on Mindanao Clients are advised to employ extreme on the island and be aware of the frequent gunfights between police and drug peddlers.


  • A manhunt for a high-profile fugitive is being conducted by the police in Cebu City. The fugitive is an alleged contract killer reportedly hired by a politician for the May 2019 mid-term elections.
  • May 2019 elections will be contested for various elected positions in the Senate, the House of Representatives and at the provincial, city and municipal level.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the increased security measures before the elections.


Main Issues in South Asia


  • A level three warning has been issued in the ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra due to thunderstorms and rain in the area. At least 2000 tourists are stranded on Saint Martin’s island in the Bay of Bengal due to the closure of ship services. Forecasts suggest the bad weather will continue for the next 24 to 48 hours.
  • All fishing vessels are advised to avoid venturing out to sea until further notice. North Bay of coastal Bangladesh and adjoining areas are likely to be affected by the thunderstorms.
  • Clients are advised to employ caution due to bad weather and to expect delays in ports and closure of major services in the area.


  • On the directives of the federal government, the Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan governments have sealed several establishments run by Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Isaniat Foundation.
  • The action comes after the Ministry of Interior conducted a meeting with provincial governors to implement National Action Plan, 2014 for banning of organizations accused of terror activities by UNSC.
  • The order to ban the organizations was also done to meet the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force which monitors illegal money transfers and terror-related financing.


  • The Indian Air Force displayed parts of an AMRAAM air-to-air missile as evidence to prove that Pakistan allegedly deployed US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets during an aerial raid targeting Indian military stations in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • India and Pakistan conducted air raids on each other’s territory after a suicide bomber killed 44 Indian soldiers by attacking their convoy on February 14.
  • According to the foreign arms sales agreement between the US and Pakistan, Pakistan is not allowed to use F-16s for offensive actions against another country. If proven, there might be serious escalation between Pakistan and the US.


  • The Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal withdrew its support to the central government yesterday.
  • The decision came as a protest after its elected member of parliament and eleven others who are accused of murder were sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Major protests by the Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal are likely in major cities of Nepal.
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