Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Thursday, 3 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses security issues for South Asia and East Asia Pacific.

Main Issues in South Asia

SRI LANKA

  • More than 95,000 suspects were arrested by Sri Lanka police for drug possession during countrywide raids in 2018. The suspects were arrested for possession of toxic drugs such as heroin, cocaine, hashish, cannabis, and methamphetamine. Over 736 kg of heroin with an approximate street value of USD 4.5 million were seized during the raids.
  • Drug trafficking by criminal gangs is a major concern for law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka. More than 200 people very killed in gang-related murders in 2018.
  • Clients are advised to be vigilant in Colombo and other major cities. Avoid traveling around Colombo at night when the gangs are known to be active.

INDIA

  • Violent protests were reported across the south-Indian state of Kerala yesterday after two women in their forties entered the Sabarimala (sa-ba-ri-mala) temple. One supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party was killed in clashes during the protest in Pandalam (pan-da-lum). The supporters of Communists Party of India – Marxist who are in support of entry of wemon of all ages inside the temple allegedly attacked the protest.
  • Several people were injured in such clashes across the state and several buses were stoned in Thiruvananthapuram (tri-van-drum), Kollam (ko-lum), and Kochi. The protesters forced shops to close in many towns and blocked traffic.
  • Clients are advised to avoid prominent landmarks expected to host further protests. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

THAILAND

Yesterday, high profile politician Suthep Thaugsuban, campaigned in the red stronghold of the Northeast to seek voter support.

  • He is co-founder of the action coalition for Thailand party
  • Though he is not running for a position is supporting the party with his significant presence.

Why is this significant?

Firstly, some background on Suthep:

  • Suthep came from Surat Thani province in the South. Until 2011, he was secretary-general of the democrat party and a deputy prime minister under Abhisit Vejjajiva.
  • Interestingly he became vice president of the Democratic Party
  • Suthep won the Asia Society’s Person of the Year in 2013,
  • His claim to fame was for ridding Thailand of corruption is fairly radical: toppling the existent elected ruling party and installing a council of wise leaders to purify Thailand. (earning him 112,000 votes)
  • Note this was a year before the 2014 coup, or what I describe more correctly without any functioning civil or political entities, as a necessary military intervention
  • When Suthep won he achieved 10 times more votes than the 2012 winner, Imran Khan in Pakistan.
  • The runner up behind Suthep was Itmalala Yousafzai, the female education rights activist from Pakistan, with 12,000 votes
  • Suthep resigned from parliament in November 2013
  • He became Secretary-General of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which was conducting mass protests trying to unseat the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
  • After the military coup of May 22, 2014, Suthep was temporarily detained and placed under arrest by the Military Government
  • Entered a Monkhood
  • In 2016 Suthep backed the Military Government’s constitution which had been put to a National Referendum on 7 august 2016.
  • In a country where pluralism and changes of mind are non-existent Suthep is a rare free thinker and has shown pluralistic traits

Why is this campaign in the Northeast significant?

  • A man from Suraththani that supported the military getting a warm greeting in Thailand may well indicate that Thais are accepting of the upcoming elections and therefore the new constitution
  • Perhaps 30 years of abuses of power by politicians has created a yearning for stability

ALSO, IN THALAND

  • Tropical Cyclone Pabuk
  • All Southern provinces
  • Three to five metre waves
  • Heavy wind and rain and floods
  • Power outages can be expected and should be planned for

PHILIPPINES AND INDONESIA also experienced fatal mudslides

  • The disasters occurred in the central Philippines following the Usman cyclone and in Sukabhumi Western Java
  • There have scores of fatalities and others remain missing in the incidents

 

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Thursday, 3 January 2019

 

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses security issues for East Asia Pacific and South Asia.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

THAILAND

Yesterday, high profile politician Suthep Thaugsuban, campaigned in the red stronghold of the Northeast to seek voter support.

  • He is co-founder of the action coalition for Thailand party
  • Though he is not running for a position is supporting the party with his significant presence.

Why is this significant?

Firstly, some background on Suthep:

  • Suthep came from Surat Thani province in the South. Until 2011, he was secretary-general of the democrat party and a deputy prime minister under Abhisit Vejjajiva.
  • Interestingly he became vice president of the Democratic Party
  • Suthep won the Asia Society’s Person of the Year in 2013,
  • His claim to fame was for ridding Thailand of corruption is fairly radical: toppling the existent elected ruling party and installing a council of wise leaders to purify Thailand. (earning him 112,000 votes)
  • Note this was a year before the 2014 coup, or what I describe more correctly without any functioning civil or political entities, as a necessary military intervention
  • When Suthep won he achieved 10 times more votes than the 2012 winner, Imran Khan in Pakistan.
  • The runner up behind Suthep was Itmalala Yousafzai, the female education rights activist from Pakistan, with 12,000 votes
  • Suthep resigned from parliament in November 2013
  • He became Secretary-General of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which was conducting mass protests trying to unseat the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
  • After the military coup of May 22, 2014, Suthep was temporarily detained and placed under arrest by the Military Government
  • Entered a Monkhood
  • In 2016 Suthep backed the Military Government’s constitution which had been put to a National Referendum on 7 august 2016.
  • In a country where pluralism and changes of mind are non-existent Suthep is a rare free thinker and has shown pluralistic traits

Why is this campaign in the Northeast significant?

  • A man from Suraththani that supported the military getting a warm greeting in Thailand may well indicate that Thais are accepting of the upcoming elections and therefore the new constitution
  • Perhaps 30 years of abuses of power by politicians has created a yearning for stability

ALSO, IN THALAND

  • Tropical Cyclone Pabuk
  • All Southern provinces
  • Three to five metre waves
  • Heavy wind and rain and floods
  • Power outages can be expected and should be planned for

PHILIPPINES AND INDONESIA also experienced fatal mudslides

  • The disasters occurred in the central Philippines following the Usman cyclone and in Sukabhumi Western Java
  • There have scores of fatalities and others remain missing in the incidents

Main Issues in South Asia

SRI LANKA

  • More than 95,000 suspects were arrested by Sri Lanka police for drug possession during countrywide raids in 2018. The suspects were arrested for possession of toxic drugs such as heroin, cocaine, hashish, cannabis, and methamphetamine. Over 736 kg of heroin with an approximate street value of USD 4.5 million were seized during the raids.
  • Drug trafficking by criminal gangs is a major concern for law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka. More than 200 people very killed in gang-related murders in 2018.
  • Clients are advised to be vigilant in Colombo and other major cities. Avoid traveling around Colombo at night when the gangs are known to be active.

INDIA

  • Violent protests were reported across the south-Indian state of Kerala yesterday after two women in their forties entered the Sabarimala (sa-ba-ri-mala) temple. One supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party was killed in clashes during the protest in Pandalam (pan-da-lum). The supporters of Communists Party of India – Marxist who are in support of entry of wemon of all ages inside the temple allegedly attacked the protest.
  • Several people were injured in such clashes across the state and several buses were stoned in Thiruvananthapuram (tri-van-drum), Kollam (ko-lum), and Kochi. The protesters forced shops to close in many towns and blocked traffic.
  • Clients are advised to avoid prominent landmarks expected to host further protests. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.

 

 

 

 

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Wednesday, 02 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses East Asia Pacific security issues.

SINGAPORE-MALAYSIA

  • Singapore’s transport ministry raised concerns with Malaysia over the latter’s establishment of a permanent Restricted Area for military activities over Pasir Gudang from 2 January.

SOUTH KOREA DEMONSTRATIONS

  • Economic based
  • Attempt to reduce work time to achieve employability achieved the opposite

NORTH KOREA

  • Kim Jong Un willing to have second summit meeting with Trump but threatens nuclear confrontation if sanctions persist
  • September 2017 nuclear test triggered 2019 earthquake in North Korea’s North Hamgyong province

THAI ELECTIONS

  • An election process controlled by the system itself
  • The 2,761 road accidents nationwide over the first five days of the New Year holidays have claimed 314 lives.
  • A son in law not feeling welcomed shoots dead six family members including his two small children

CAMBODIA

  • Cambodia continues to be a democracy only in name
  • Cambodia is now more under Chinese influence than it has ever been. It has been economically more and more under the control of China

INDONESIA

  • In Yoygyakarta, an anti-terror policeman was found dead
  • Elections in May where the one-term incumbent faces a challenge from yet another rightwing populist candidate.
  • Two police officers were shot at by suspected members of the East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT)while attempting to move the body of a beheaded person at the village of Salubanga in Sausu, Parigi Moutong, Central Sulawesi on Monday.
  • Indonesia’s tsunami early warning system:
    • Donated by the world post the Aceh tsunami
    • Not maintained
    • Sold for valuable parts
    • The system failed Lombok, Palu and Krakatau tsunamis
    • Now Indonesia will install their own one
    • Still no capability to police it

JAPAN

  • Nine people were hurt, when a man deliberately ploughed his car into crowds celebrating New Year’s Eve along Harajuku street in Tokyo

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Wednesday, 2 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses South Asia secuity issues. 

PAKISTAN

• Yesterday four soldiers were killed, and two others were injured in an attack by insurgents in Loralai town of Baluchistan province in south-west Pakistan. Four insurgents were killed by the security forces when they attacked a police training center in the town.
• The security situation in the country has been deteriorating with multiple political assassinations and terror attacks reported over the last two months. Baluchistan province is plagued by a separatist insurgency, insurgents had attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi in November 2018.
• Clients are advised to avoid traveling to remote areas of Baluchistan province. For business missions, it is critical to take satellite telecommunication devices and appropriately qualified people who can plan and conduct the close protection you require. Planning and the intelligence required cannot be done by the members of the close protection detail.

INDIA

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an interview yesterday that any decision on introducing a law to resolve the Ram Temple dispute will be taken after completion of the judicial process. The government is under pressure from right-wing groups to introduce a law to build a temple for the Hindu deity Ram on a disputed land also claimed by Muslims at Ayodhya in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
• The right-wing Hindu groups have conducted multiple rallies in Ayodhya and Delhi to demand a law to build the temple while the case is still pending in the Supreme court.
• Clients are advised to monitor any announcements on protest rallies by the right-wing groups which are likely to raise communal tensions in the country.

Audio Overview of SOUTH ASIA, Tuesday, 1 January 2019

INDIA In the south-Indian state of Kerala, the state government is organizing statewide demonstrations in support of the Sabarimala (Sha-ba-ri-mala) verdict today. The Supreme Court verdict in October allowed entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala (Sha-ba-ri-mala) temple. The demonstration is being called “women’s wall” as millions of women in support of the verdict are expected to participate in the event. Opposition parties in Kerala have alleged that the women’s wall event is communal and can polarize the society. Right-wing groups and the Bharatiya (ba-ra-ti-ya) Janata Party have opposed the verdict by holding numerous protests across the state.
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MAIN ISSUES IN EAST ASIA PACIFIC Monday, 24 December 2018

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses security issues in East Asia Pacific. INDONESIA A tsunami triggered by the eruption of Anak Krakatau volcano killed more than 200 people and is rising. The tsunami injured more than 800 others in Banten and Lampung provinces. The tsunami also damaged hundreds of structures and destroyed many. Experts fear more tsunamis could be coming as the volcano continues to be active. A special mining permit given to Freeport Indonesia is valid up to 2031 and could be extended to 2041. Indonesia now owns approximately 51.2% of Freeport Indonesia. Freeport remains the operator of the mine. PHILIPPINES On December 22, President Duterte ordered a Suharto-style liquidation of the country’s communists. He also said he would order the isolation of indigenous people’s communities in Mindanao to keep them out of the communist rebels’ influence. • Duterte’s order and plan, if followed by the military, will result in more violence and human rights violations.
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Main Issues in South Asia Monday, 24 December 2018

SRI LANKA More than 45,000 people have been stranded by flash floods triggered by heavy rains last night in the northern province. The five affected districts are Mullaithivu, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna. The search and rescue teams have been mobilised together with boats. The Sri Lanka navy and the army personnel have been deployed for relief and rescue missions. INDIA On December 21, the Government of India has authorized 10 central law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor call and data from any electronic device in the country. The agencies authorized include Central Board of Direct Taxes, Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau. PAKISTAN Last week, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has offered to deposit over $ 3 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan. The deposit will help revive a deplete foreign currency reserve in the country. Pakistan has been in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and several of its allied countries to seek economic assistance. The country is in an economic crisis due to a mounting debt and depleted foreign currency reserve.
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