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Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Thursday, 17 January 2019

Bhargav Reddy of APAC Assistance Asia Pacific team discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • In the southern state of Kerala, the trade unions representing the workers of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation have called for an indefinite strike from today. The workers are demanding a single-duty roster, resolution of a crisis in schedules, reinstatement of dismissed employees, and periodic wage revision. The trade unions have claimed that even after submitting a strike notice to the corporation management 16 days ago, no actions have been taken.
  • The indefinite strike is likely to disrupt the transport network across Kerala this week. The state-owned corporation is the only transport operator to offer services to all parts of the state. Private transport operators are also likely to be affected by the strike due to an increase in congestion with more passengers.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the transport disruptions expected in Kerala this week. Avoid prominent landmarks in major cities expected to host protest by the trade unions.

SRI LANKA

  • Sri Lanka is reportedly considering an offer from Bank of China for a loan of USD 300 million which can be raised to US$1 billion. The loan will help Sri Lanka with debt repayments of USD 5.9 billion this year, USD 2.6 billion of which is due in the first three months.
  • A quarter of Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt is from China. Sri Lanka has already borrowed about USD 8 billion from China to build ports, highways and other major investments.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the economic situation and be aware of the possible tax reforms and austerity measures by the government to boost revenues and repay the loans. It could also lead to anti-austerity protests by political parties in the opposition. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC Assistance for further updates.

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

The PHILIPPINES

  • Security has been tightened in Cotabato City in the southern island of Mindanao ahead of the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law scheduled on Monday, January 21. Cotabato City is under the control of the Commission on Elections for the plebiscite and Mindanao is under martial law. Military and police checkpoints have been set up on main streets, and entry and exit points of the city.
  • The Bangsamoro Organic Law is expected to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region governed by a parliament elected by the people in Bangsamoro Region. Frequent attacks by Islamist terror groups like the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Moro Islamic Liberation Front have been reported in the region.
  • Clients are advised to employ extreme caution in the region. Avoid traveling outside the city limits of Cotabato without a security detail.

JAPAN

  • Mount Shindake volcano has erupted this morning within the vicinity of Yakushima town on the southern Kuchinoerabu Island. The volcano last erupted on December 18, 2018.
  • The volcanic eruption is likely to cause disruptions on the island and in the air traffic over the region.
  • Clients are advised to follow the directions of the local authorities and monitor the flight schedules for possible cancellations and delays.

THAILAND

  • The Election Commission is reportedly considering March 10 for the general elections to meet the 150-day deadline set by the constitution. The General Secretary of the Election Commission, Jarungvith said yesterday that to prevent possible charter violations, the commission plans to hold the election and announce the results within the 150-day time frame.
  • Jarungvith further said that the commission is authorized to set the election date while the government is responsible for announcing the election. The commission will need around 45 days to prepare for the election, it should announce the election date by January 25 if it wants the election to be held on March 10.
  • Clients are advised to avoid all political events before the elections. Political campaign demonstrations are expected before the elections across the country. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC Assistance for further updates.

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Tuesday, 15 January 2019

APAC Assistance’s Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia.

Main Issues in South Asia

BANGLADESH

  • Yesterday more than 7000 garment workers protested in several towns across the country. They were protesting the pay hike offered by the owners of garment factories on Sunday. A meeting was convened by the committee formed by the government to deliberate on the dispute over wages levels of garment factory workers.
  • Workers from more than 10 factories tried to block a highway in the Ashulia area of Dhaka. Leaders of trade unions said that the workers were unhappy with an unchanged basic income. One person was killed and more than 80 people were injured in protests and violent clashes last week.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of disruptions caused by the protests. More protests by the garment workers are likely this week.

SRI LANKA

  • Yesterday a protest to demand the abolition of the executive presidency was held in front of the Fort Railway station in the capital city, Colombo. Several leaders of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna including Anura Kumara Dissanayake participated in the protest.
  • Small demonstrations and low-key protests urging abolition of the executive presidency have been reported in Colombo since the political crisis last year. Several political parties including the ruling United National Party have called for the abolition of executive president.
  • Clients are advised to monitor political developments in Sri Lanka. Monitor APAC Assistance alerts and advisories for further updates.

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in SOUTHERN THAILAND

  • An election candidate and his wife were shot dead in the Kabang district of Yala on Sunday night. The police suspect the killings were politically motivated. The candidate was preparing to contest in the impending elections from the Thai Nation Power Party.
  • Officers from Kabang police station and a special unit assigned to tackle the southern insurgency are jointly investigating the shooting. A separatist insurgency continues to plague the southern provinces of Thailand.
  • Clients are advised to employ caution while traveling in the southern provinces of Thailand.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

More than nine people were killed in heavy rains and flooding across the Central province. Homes and gardens were reportedly destroyed in the floods. Overflowing rivers have left many bridges unusable, stranding travelers in the Central province.

  • A tropical storm continues to lash the southern coast since December last year, it has also caused rain and flooding in the north and central parts of the country. The authorities have warned of more rains in the upcoming weeks.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling to the Central provinces and other areas affected the tropic storm.

EAST TIMOR

  • Loes River in northern East Timor has overflown and destroyed more than 200 hectares of agricultural land in Liquisa Municipality.
  • People in the region have called on the government to solve the problem of flooding and control the overflow. Floods have disrupted transport and power supply in the region.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the northern region affected by the overflowing Loes River.

 

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Tuesday, 15 January 2019

APAC Assistance’s Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in East Asia Pacific.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in SOUTHERN THAILAND

  • An election candidate and his wife were shot dead in the Kabang district of Yala on Sunday night. The police suspect the killings were politically motivated. The candidate was preparing to contest in the impending elections from the Thai Nation Power Party.
  • Officers from Kabang police station and a special unit assigned to tackle the southern insurgency are jointly investigating the shooting. A separatist insurgency continues to plague the southern provinces of Thailand.
  • Clients are advised to employ caution while traveling in the southern provinces of Thailand.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

More than nine people were killed in heavy rains and flooding across the Central province. Homes and gardens were reportedly destroyed in the floods. Overflowing rivers have left many bridges unusable, stranding travelers in the Central province.

  • A tropical storm continues to lash the southern coast since December last year, it has also caused rain and flooding in the north and central parts of the country. The authorities have warned of more rains in the upcoming weeks.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling to the Central provinces and other areas affected the tropic storm.

EAST TIMOR

  • Loes River in northern East Timor has overflown and destroyed more than 200 hectares of agricultural land in Liquisa Municipality.
  • People in the region have called on the government to solve the problem of flooding and control the overflow. Floods have disrupted transport and power supply in the region.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the northern region affected by the overflowing Loes River.

 

Main Issues in South Asia

BANGLADESH

  • Yesterday more than 7000 garment workers protested in several towns across the country. They were protesting the pay hike offered by the owners of garment factories on Sunday. A meeting was convened by the committee formed by the government to deliberate on the dispute over wages levels of garment factory workers.
  • Workers from more than 10 factories tried to block a highway in the Ashulia area of Dhaka. Leaders of trade unions said that the workers were unhappy with an unchanged basic income. One person was killed and more than 80 people were injured in protests and violent clashes last week.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of disruptions caused by the protests. More protests by the garment workers are likely this week.

SRI LANKA

  • Yesterday a protest to demand the abolition of the executive presidency was held in front of the Fort Railway station in the capital city, Colombo. Several leaders of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna including Anura Kumara Dissanayake participated in the protest.
  • Small demonstrations and low-key protests urging abolition of the executive presidency have been reported in Colombo since the political crisis last year. Several political parties including the ruling United National Party have called for the abolition of executive president.
  • Clients are advised to monitor political developments in Sri Lanka. Monitor APAC Assistance alerts and advisories for further updates.

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Monday, 14 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses Main Issues in South Asia.

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in SRI LANKA

  • Yesterday two people were shot dead in the Wattala (wat-ta-la) area of the capital city Colombo. The police suspect the shootout was gang-related and the two people killed had connections to the underworld. A machine gun was used in the shootout.
  • Violent clashes between criminal gangs are a major concern for law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka. More than 200 people were killed in gang-related murders in 2018.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of gang-related violence in Colombo and other major cities. Avoid Colombo night-life areas where the gangs are known to be active.

PAKISTAN

  • Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Saturday that the federal government has decided not to enter into an International Monetary Fund programme for now. He made the statement during an interaction with businessmen at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Pakistan has been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for an economic assistance package since November last year. The statement comes after China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE offered a generous economic aid of over USD 15 billion to mitigate the economic crisis.
  • Clients are advised to monitor major reforms in taxation and tariffs that the Pakistani government may introduce to tackle the economic crisis. Monitor APAC Assistance alerts and advisories for further updates.

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Today, Paul will look at issues in Timor Leste, PNG and in Thailand.

THAILAND

  • Yesterday a protest was held by pro-democracy activists at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok. The activists were protesting an expected delay in elections and called for elections to be held before March 10, being the 150-day deadline set by the constitution. The activists threatened to hold a rally at the Democracy Monument on Saturday, January 19, if a royal decree announcing the election is not published by Saturday.
  • The pro-democracy group was led by Nuttaa Mahattana, Parit Chiwarak, and Sirawith Seritiwat. The group gave itself the most imaginitative of names “People Who Want Elections”. They were closely monitored by the police.
  • Clients are advised to avoid all political gathering before the elections. More protests are expected and may spread nationwide if major political parties join the protests.
  • We have written an in depth assessment on this issue and its ramifications for our members. Non-members can purchase for view at www.apacassistance.com

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

  • The Shadow Justice Minister Kerenga Kua says Members of Parliament must put more effort on understanding implications of the Bougainville referendum.
  • Bougainville is expected to hold a referendum on June 15, this year, on whether to retain its autonomy status or become an independent country. After the vote, the national parliament will have the final vote on the matter.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments on the referendum and consider its ramifications on operations in Bougainville, especially clients in the resource sector.

EAST TIMOR

  • Last week the National Parliament of Timor Leste approved the amendment to the 2005 Petroleum Activities Law. President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo vetoed the law in December 2018.
  • The amendments of the law will allow Timor-Leste and its public companies to participate in the Greater Sunrise development project. It also changes conditions on the use of Petroleum Fund to finance the oil and gas development.
  • Clients are advised to consider implications of the amendment on business operations in the country.

 

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Monday, 14 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses Main Issues in East Asia Pacific.

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Today, Paul will look at issues in Timor Leste, PNG and in Thailand.

THAILAND

  • Yesterday a protest was held by pro-democracy activists at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok. The activists were protesting an expected delay in elections and called for elections to be held before March 10, being the 150-day deadline set by the constitution. The activists threatened to hold a rally at the Democracy Monument on Saturday, January 19, if a royal decree announcing the election is not published by Saturday.
  • The pro-democracy group was led by Nuttaa Mahattana, Parit Chiwarak, and Sirawith Seritiwat. The group gave itself the most imaginitative of names “People Who Want Elections”. They were closely monitored by the police.
  • Clients are advised to avoid all political gathering before the elections. More protests are expected and may spread nationwide if major political parties join the protests.
  • We have written an in depth assessment on this issue and its ramifications for our members. Non-members can purchase for view at www.apacassistance.com

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

  • The Shadow Justice Minister Kerenga Kua says Members of Parliament must put more effort on understanding implications of the Bougainville referendum.
  • Bougainville is expected to hold a referendum on June 15, this year, on whether to retain its autonomy status or become an independent country. After the vote, the national parliament will have the final vote on the matter.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments on the referendum and consider its ramifications on operations in Bougainville, especially clients in the resource sector.

EAST TIMOR

  • Last week the National Parliament of Timor Leste approved the amendment to the 2005 Petroleum Activities Law. President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo vetoed the law in December 2018.
  • The amendments of the law will allow Timor-Leste and its public companies to participate in the Greater Sunrise development project. It also changes conditions on the use of Petroleum Fund to finance the oil and gas development.
  • Clients are advised to consider implications of the amendment on business operations in the country.

 

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in SRI LANKA

  • Yesterday two people were shot dead in the Wattala (wat-ta-la) area of the capital city Colombo. The police suspect the shootout was gang-related and the two people killed had connections to the underworld. A machine gun was used in the shootout.
  • Violent clashes between criminal gangs are a major concern for law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka. More than 200 people were killed in gang-related murders in 2018.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of gang-related violence in Colombo and other major cities. Avoid Colombo night-life areas where the gangs are known to be active.

PAKISTAN

  • Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Saturday that the federal government has decided not to enter into an International Monetary Fund programme for now. He made the statement during an interaction with businessmen at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Pakistan has been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for an economic assistance package since November last year. The statement comes after China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE offered a generous economic aid of over USD 15 billion to mitigate the economic crisis.
  • Clients are advised to monitor major reforms in taxation and tariffs that the Pakistani government may introduce to tackle the economic crisis. Monitor APAC Assistance alerts and advisories for further updates.

 

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Friday, 11 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

BANGLADESH

  • 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.

PAKISTAN

  • 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

TAIWAN

  • 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.

THAILAND

  • 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.

SOUTHERN THAILAND

  • 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.

 

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Friday, 11 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

TAIWAN

  • 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.

THAILAND

  • 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.

SOUTHERN THAILAND

  • 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.

 

Main Issues in South Asia

BANGLADESH

  • 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 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.

PAKISTAN

  • 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.

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Tuesday, 8 January 2019

 

Main Issues in South Asia

INDIA

  • Yesterday statewide protests against the Citizenship bill were reported in the northeastern state of Assam. The proposed Citizenship bill grants citizenship to the religious minorities who have fled religious persecution in neighboring countries. The protests are expected to continue today alongside the nationwide strike called by the Central Trade Unions association.
  • The bill has been controversial in Assam where thousands of people belonging to minority communities from Bangladesh have migrated and settled. Frequent protests and clashes between the local people and the migrants have been reported in Assam and other northeastern states.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments on the Citizenship bill. More protests over the bill are likely before the elections expected in April 2019.

BANGLADESH

  • Yesterday protests were reported in Gazipur district in central Bangladesh. Garment workers were protesting to demand an increase in wages. Clashes were reported between the protesters and the police. Fourteen people were injured in the clashes.
  • In Uttara (ut-ta-ra) town, the protesters allegedly set fire to a bus and caused a massive traffic jam. The protesters blocked the traffic for a second day in the area and more protests are expected.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Gazipur district until the protests have been called off. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.

You can check us out at www.apacassistance.com, where you can purchase our East Asia Pacific or South Asia Risk Management memberships or buy our materials on a pay for view basis.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

MALAYSIA

  • Malaysia’s constitutional monarch, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicated on Sunday, January 8. He is the first reigning king in Malaysia to abdicate. Yesterday the Conference of Rulers decided to elect a new king on January 24. Sultan Nazrin of Perak, the deputy king, will serve as acting head of state.
  • The abdication is unlikely to cause political instability in Malaysia. Kings in Malaysia have avoided involvement in political matters often making it hard to decipher their influence and indeed their relevance.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments for any new controversies over the succession of a new king.

THAILAND

  • Confusion over the delay in elections continues as the military government is expected to seek an interpretation of the 150-day deadline by the Constitutional Court.
  • A member of the Constitution Drafting Committee has opined that the 150-day deadline means the elections should be held within 150 days of the enactment of the organic law. The law governing the elections was enacted on December 11. As per the 150-day deadline, May 9 will be the latest date the Thai elections may be held.
  • Prolonged indecision on the elections is likely to cause more protests and potential unrest in the country. Clients are advised to always avoid political protests in Thailand as clashes with the authorities and protesters have occurred historically.

You can check us out at www.apacassistance.com, where you can purchase our East Asia Pacific or South Asia Risk Management memberships or buy our materials on a pay for view basis.

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Tuesday, 8 January 2019

APAC Assistance Director Paul Quaglia discusses Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

MALAYSIA

  • Malaysia’s constitutional monarch, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicated on Sunday, January 8. He is the first reigning king in Malaysia to abdicate. Yesterday the Conference of Rulers decided to elect a new king on January 24. Sultan Nazrin of Perak, the deputy king, will serve as acting head of state.
  • The abdication is unlikely to cause political instability in Malaysia. Kings in Malaysia have avoided involvement in political matters often making it hard to decipher their influence and indeed their relevance.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments for any new controversies over the succession of a new king.

THAILAND

  • Confusion over the delay in elections continues as the military government is expected to seek an interpretation of the 150-day deadline by the Constitutional Court.
  • A member of the Constitution Drafting Committee has opined that the 150-day deadline means the elections should be held within 150 days of the enactment of the organic law. The law governing the elections was enacted on December 11. As per the 150-day deadline, May 9 will be the latest date the Thai elections may be held.
  • Prolonged indecision on the elections is likely to cause more protests and potential unrest in the country. Clients are advised to always avoid political protests in Thailand as clashes with the authorities and protesters have occurred historically.

You can check us out at www.apacassistance.com, where you can purchase our East Asia Pacific or South Asia Risk Management memberships or buy our materials on a pay for view basis.

 

Main Issues in South Asia

INDIA

  • Yesterday statewide protests against the Citizenship bill were reported in the northeastern state of Assam. The proposed Citizenship bill grants citizenship to the religious minorities who have fled religious persecution in neighboring countries. The protests are expected to continue today alongside the nationwide strike called by the Central Trade Unions association.
  • The bill has been controversial in Assam where thousands of people belonging to minority communities from Bangladesh have migrated and settled. Frequent protests and clashes between the local people and the migrants have been reported in Assam and other northeastern states.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments on the Citizenship bill. More protests over the bill are likely before the elections expected in April 2019.

BANGLADESH

  • Yesterday protests were reported in Gazipur district in central Bangladesh. Garment workers were protesting to demand an increase in wages. Clashes were reported between the protesters and the police. Fourteen people were injured in the clashes.
  • In Uttara (ut-ta-ra) town, the protesters allegedly set fire to a bus and caused a massive traffic jam. The protesters blocked the traffic for a second day in the area and more protests are expected.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Gazipur district until the protests have been called off. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.

You can check us out at www.apacassistance.com, where you can purchase our East Asia Pacific or South Asia Risk Management memberships or buy our materials on a pay for view basis.

 

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Monday, 7 January 2019

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

Main Issues in South Asia

INDIA

  • A countrywide strike has been called by the Central Trade Unions tomorrow. Workers from the industrial and banking sectors are expected to join the strike. Private transport and banking services are likely to be affected by the strike.
  • The strike is being called against the Modi government’s inaction to safeguard the rights of industrial workers. Political parties like the Telangana Rashtra Samiti have supported the strike.
  • Clients are advised to note the disruptions that are expected tomorrow. Avoid prominent landmarks in major cities expected to host demonstrations by the trade unions. Expect major highways and streets to be blocked.

BANGLADESH

  • Prime Minister Sheik Hasina has reportedly excluded members of allied parties from the new cabinet expected to be formed this week. The Bangladesh Awami League party had formed a pre-election alliance with other smaller parties like the Jatiya Party.
  • The Awami League party won the election held on December 30 with an absolute majority of 267 seats and its allies won 22 seats out of 300. The opposition only mustered 11 seats. The exclusion can potentially cause dissolutionment of the pre-election coalition and increase the strength of the opposition in the parliament, albeit with a very small minority.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the political developments in Bangladesh. Protests and demonstrations are expected by the opposition parties who have disputed the elections. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

MYANMAR

  • Violent clashes have been reported in the Rakhine State of Myanmar between Buddhist rebels and the security forces. Thirteen officers were killed, and thousands of people were displaced in the violence.
  • The clashes were reportedly over the government’s decision to repatriate thousands of Rohingya refugees back to the Rakhine State.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling to the Rakhine state. Employ caution while traveling to remote rural areas in the region. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC Assistance for further updates.

INDONESIA

  • An earthquake of 6.6 magnitude was reported this morning 174 km northwest of Ternate on the Molucca Islands. There was no tsunami risk after the earthquake. The earthquake was followed by aftershocks of 5.1 magnitude.
  • The earthquake was not felt in Ternate and unlikely to affect other islands and cities like Jakarta. No damages or casualties have been reported
  • Clients are advised to be vigilant of earthquakes and tsunami warnings in Indonesia. The country is prone to frequent earthquake and a tsunami killed more than 400 people last month. Monitor alerts and advisories from APAC assistance for further updates.

THAILAND

  • On Saturday, January 5, a protest was reported by a group of prominent anti-military government activists against the expected delay in elections scheduled on February 24. The protest was held near the Victory Monument in Bangkok. More than 150 people attended the protests. The protest was reportedly monitored closely by the police, though they did not intervene.
  • Prominent anti-military activists, such as Rangsiman Rome, Parit Chiwarak, Nuttaa Mahattana, and the Future Forward Party’s secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul participated in the protest.
  • The leader of protesters, Sirawith Serithiwat said if the Election Commission does not announce an official poll date soon, the group will organize another protest on January 8 at Ratchaprasong intersection.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the developments on the delayed elections. Avoid Ratchaprasong intersection on January 8 during the protest, clashes between the protesters and the police are likely if they try to arrest the protesters.

NORTH KOREA

  • President Donald Trump has said that negotiations are ongoing on the location of their next summit. He indicated that the summit is expected to be held “in the not too distant future.”
  • Despite the negotiations on the expected summit, the Trump says the sanctions against North Korea will remain and has yielded positive results.

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