APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses Main Issues in South Asia
Main Issues in South Asia
- Yesterday in the first meeting of the 10-member committee to resolve the factory workers issues, the representatives from the government and the workers failed to reach any resolution on the dispute over wages. The 10-member committee includes representatives of both the garment factory owners and the garment factory workers.
- The committee is expected to reconvene on Sunday, January 13. Garment workers continue their protests for the fifth consecutive day yesterday. More than 80 people have been injured and one person was killed in violent clashes during the protests this week.
- Clients are advised to note the disruptions being caused by the protests. More protests can be expected this Avoid the smaller towns and areas affected by the protests.
- Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau Javed Iqbal said yesterday that if the leader of the opposition can appear before the bureau then the prime minister has no right to skip the proceedings. The National Accountability Bureau is a judicial agency set up to investigate corruption and financial crimes in the country.
- The bureau has been controversial since the dismissal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges in 2017. Several leaders of opposition parties are under investigation on corruption charges. There have been reports of an investigation into improper use of a government helicopter by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
- Clients are advised to monitor the developments in the corruption cases on politicians including the prime minister. Expect another political crisis if Prime Minister Imran Khan is summoned by the bureau as his supporters are likely to cause unrest. Monitor our written and audio alerts and advisories on this issue.
Main Issues in East Asia Pacific
- Premier William Lai said yesterday that he is resigning along with the entire cabinet. His Pro-Independence party was defeated in the elections held in November 2018.
- President Tsai is expected to appoint a new Premier next week. Tsai is also from the Pro-Independence party.
- Clients are advised to monitor the political development in Taiwan. Though budgets were passed before the resignations businesses relying on interactions with the government should expect delays until a new premier, and a new cabinet are sworn in.
- Yesterday the Pheu Thai party was denied permission to conduct a political rally at the provincial administration organization’s sports stadium in the northern Phayao province. Later a crowd of more than 1,000 people from 166 villages in Dok Kham Tai and Phu Kam Yao districts gathered on the road in front of the stadium. The Pheu Thai leaders led by Laddawan Wongsriwong made campaign speeches from the back of a pickup truck.
- The Pheu Thai party leaders called the denial of permission for a political rally at the provincial administration organization’s sports stadium an act of “political persecution”. The provincial administration has claimed that the use of a government venue like the stadium would give the party an unfair advantage over other political parties. The military government denied any involvement in the matter and said it was a local issue.
- Clients are advised to avoid all political gathering before the elections. Denial of permission to use campaign venues can cause more protests and disruptions as the gatherings take place on public roads.
- Four Thai civil defense volunteers were shot dead yesterday while guarding a school in the Yarang district of southern Pattani province.
- The separatist insurgents in the region are suspected of the attack.
- Clients are advised to employ caution while traveling in the southern provinces of Thailand.