APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses South Asia security issues.
The government of Odisha has evacuated over 20,000 people in Gajapati district yesterday. Cyclone Phethai made landfall near Katrenikona in East Godavari district yesterday at around 2:45 PM (local time). Miraculously no casualties were reported. The power supply was disrupted in several districts.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the election manifesto of the Awami League party today. Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League party will adopt a zero-tolerance policy for corruption if voted to power again.
APAC Assistance’s Bhargav Reddy discusses the main issues for South Asia for WE 15 December 2018.
India: The national leadership of the Congress Party confirmed Ashok Gehlot as the chief minister of Rajasthan today. Sachin Pilot has been confirmed as the deputy chief minister. The Congress Party in Rajasthan was descending into leadership crisis due to indecision on the chief minister position after winning the assembly elections. The tensions between the supporters of the two leaders caused protests and demonstrations in several districts of the state.
With the compromise between the two leaders, tensions on the streets are likely to be relieved. More protests and clashes can be expected until the two leaders are formally sworn-in.
Clients are advised to avoid areas with party offices until the two leaders are formally sworn-in by the Governor.
Bangladesh: Jatiya Oikya Front chief Dr. Kamal Hossain’s motorcade was attacked in Dhaka on yesterday. Leaders of other opposition parties including Jatiya Samajtantrik and Gono Forum were also targeted. Gono Forum Media Wing accused the followers of local Bangladesh Awami League candidate Aslamul Haque for the attack. Hundreds of people have been injured and dozens have been killed in the pre-election violence this month.
Expect more violence in major cities before the elections scheduled on December 30. The Election Commission has announced the deployment of armed forces on December 24 which should control the violence to some extent.
Clients should avoid the areas with political offices and venues known for political events. Monitor media and APAC Assistance for updates.
Pakistan: Six security personnel were killed in an attack by insurgents in Turbat, Baluchistan. Four terrorists were also killed in the armed encounter. Baluchistan has long been plagued by separatist insurgency. The state has major projects part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) including Gwadar port. Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) had recently attacked Chinese consulate in Karachi.
The insurgents in Baluchistan pose a severe threat to foreign investments and industries in the province. Military operations against the insurgents are ongoing.
Clients should employ caution while traveling to interior regions of Baluchistan. Foreign nationals can be targeted for kidnappings. Avoid traveling without a security detail.
Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah has resigned as vice president of the ruling People’s Justice Party (PKR). She has also relinquished her appointment as the chair of Penang PKR. Nurul has decided to no longer serve the Malaysian federal government in any capacity.
United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn-in as the prime minister (PM) by President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday, December 16. President Sirisena said that he has given the premiership to Wickremesinghe to honor the parliamentary tradition and democracy.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department said that Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, eastern Johor, as well as Sarawak and Sabah, will have strong winds and high waves this monsoon season. Wind strength can reach 40 km per hour to 50 km per hour while the waves can rise up to 3.5 meters.
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has confirmed the death sentence of 15 terrorists on Sunday, December 16. The terrorists were involved in killing civilians and abetting the suicide attacks in the Christian colony of Peshawar in 2016.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
A ‘Santa rally’ for investors looks increasingly unlikely. Wednesday’s US Fed interest rate decision is now critical.
A .25% rise is expected and will increase our pain. No change &/or dovish commentary may be enough for Santa to appear:
“If Santa fails to call, the bears will roam on Broad and Wall” old Wall St maxim
CHART OF THE WEEK:
With Trump’s tax cuts and the lowest interest rate regime since the Bronze Age, US companies took full advantage in 2018.
Ytd stock buyback authorizations exceeded US$1trn, up 72% v 2017. That’s almost 25% higher than the prior record set ominously just before the GFC in 2007.
United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn-in as the prime minister (PM) by President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday, December 16. President Sirisena said that he has given the premiership to Wickremesinghe to honor the parliamentary tradition and democracy.
Tribesmen in Nduga district in Papua province are reportedly scared for their lives after the massacre of Indonesian construction workers in early December. The Jakarta Post reported Rev. Benny Giay, chairman of the Kemah Injili Church Sinode of Papua, as saying two people in Mbua and three in Yigi were shot and killed by the Indonesian soldiers when they tried to retrieve the bodies of 16 slain construction workers.