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Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Monday, 18 February 2019

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

 

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in BANGLADESH

  • Gas supply will be suspended in several areas of Dhaka on Tuesday this week to facilitate the construction of metro rail. Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited said the suspension will affect most parts of the city on Tuesday for 12hours.
  • More than 2.5 million households and 11,000 commercial users are dependent on Titas gas supply. Taking advantage of the gas crisis, some unscrupulous traders and restaurateurs have increased the price of food and bottled LPG gas.
  • Clients are advised to be prepared for the disruption in gas supply. Protests are likely to be held around the offices of the gas company.

PAKISTAN

  • Islamabad local administration has declared a public holiday today to avoid inconvenience to the public during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the city. Emergency services will remain open.
  • Massive security arrangements have been made and many areas of Islamabad have been closed for traffic. The metro bus service will be suspended between the Blue Area and the Secretariat. The National Assembly has rescheduled today’s sessions to Wednesday.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the travel disruptions caused by the closure of major roads in Islamabad and Rawalpindi during the high-profile visit.

NEPAL

  • Yesterday government doctors have threatened to stop all health services and resign en-masse. The doctors have threatened to go on strike to pressurize the Ministry of Health and Population to implement the agreement for better working environment signed with the Government Doctors Association of Nepal on January 14.
  • The agreement between the government and Government Doctors Association of Nepal stated that the Ministry of Health and Population will ensure that doctors and officer level health workers will be appointed by the Public Service Commission with a standardized pay scale.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the disruptions at the hospitals and expect bigger crowds in government hospitals and private clinics.

INDIA

  • Two Youth Congress workers were killed by unidentified assailants in the northern district of Kasargod in Kerala yesterday.
  • The Congress party leaders accused at the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the murders. However, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has categorically denied any involvement of the party in the murders. Clashes between the supporters of political parties have been frequently reported in smaller towns and villages in Kerala.
  • Clients are advised to avoid all political events in Kerala before the general elections in April this year. Election-related violence is likely to increase due to extreme political rivalries among the political parties in the state. Employ extreme caution while traveling to smaller towns and rural areas in Kerala.

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in INDONESIA

  • An explosion was reported near the Sultan Hotel in Central Jakarta yesterday. The hotel is the venue for an upcoming presidential debate. No casualties were reported in the explosion.
  • Authorities are unclear on the motives behind the explosion and an investigation is ongoing. Terror attacks on the political events before the elections are a major concern for the law enforcement agencies. More than 200,000 troops have been deployed across major cities for security during the campaign period before the elections.
  • Clients are advised to avoid political events in Jakarta and other major cities before the elections in April this year.

The Philippines

  • Yesterday a suspected gangster involved in drug trafficking was killed in the Sitio Upper Centro village near the Cebu City in southern Philippines. Two men on motorbikes fired at the gangster’s car killing him instantly.
  • Authorities suspect the shooting was an inter-gang conflict. Clashes between criminal gangs pose a threat to civilians and businesses in the proximity.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of drug trafficking gangs active in the Philippines. Avoid traveling to impoverished areas of major cities and smaller towns where the gangs are reportedly more active.

VIETNAM

  • More than 300kg of methamphetamine pills were seized yesterday in Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam. A Laotian suspect was arrested during the operation while another suspect managed to escape.
  • According to Vietnamese law, suspects caught with more than 600g of heroin can be sentenced to death.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the heightened security checks in the provinces bordering Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

 

 

 

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Monday, 18 February 2019

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

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in INDONESIA

  • An explosion was reported near the Sultan Hotel in Central Jakarta yesterday. The hotel is the venue for an upcoming presidential debate. No casualties were reported in the explosion.
  • Authorities are unclear on the motives behind the explosion and an investigation is ongoing. Terror attacks on the political events before the elections are a major concern for the law enforcement agencies. More than 200,000 troops have been deployed across major cities for security during the campaign period before the elections.
  • Clients are advised to avoid political events in Jakarta and other major cities before the elections in April this year.

The Philippines

  • Yesterday a suspected gangster involved in drug trafficking was killed in the Sitio Upper Centro village near the Cebu City in southern Philippines. Two men on motorbikes fired at the gangster’s car killing him instantly.
  • Authorities suspect the shooting was an inter-gang conflict. Clashes between criminal gangs pose a threat to civilians and businesses in the proximity.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of drug trafficking gangs active in the Philippines. Avoid traveling to impoverished areas of major cities and smaller towns where the gangs are reportedly more active.

VIETNAM

  • More than 300kg of methamphetamine pills were seized yesterday in Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam. A Laotian suspect was arrested during the operation while another suspect managed to escape.
  • According to Vietnamese law, suspects caught with more than 600g of heroin can be sentenced to death.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the heightened security checks in the provinces bordering Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

 

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in BANGLADESH

  • Gas supply will be suspended in several areas of Dhaka on Tuesday this week to facilitate the construction of metro rail. Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited said the suspension will affect most parts of the city on Tuesday for 12hours.
  • More than 2.5 million households and 11,000 commercial users are dependent on Titas gas supply. Taking advantage of the gas crisis, some unscrupulous traders and restaurateurs have increased the price of food and bottled LPG gas.
  • Clients are advised to be prepared for the disruption in gas supply. Protests are likely to be held around the offices of the gas company.

PAKISTAN

  • Islamabad local administration has declared a public holiday today to avoid inconvenience to the public during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the city. Emergency services will remain open.
  • Massive security arrangements have been made and many areas of Islamabad have been closed for traffic. The metro bus service will be suspended between the Blue Area and the Secretariat. The National Assembly has rescheduled today’s sessions to Wednesday.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the travel disruptions caused by the closure of major roads in Islamabad and Rawalpindi during the high-profile visit.

NEPAL

  • Yesterday government doctors have threatened to stop all health services and resign en-masse. The doctors have threatened to go on strike to pressurize the Ministry of Health and Population to implement the agreement for better working environment signed with the Government Doctors Association of Nepal on January 14.
  • The agreement between the government and Government Doctors Association of Nepal stated that the Ministry of Health and Population will ensure that doctors and officer level health workers will be appointed by the Public Service Commission with a standardized pay scale.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the disruptions at the hospitals and expect bigger crowds in government hospitals and private clinics.

INDIA

  • Two Youth Congress workers were killed by unidentified assailants in the northern district of Kasargod in Kerala yesterday.
  • The Congress party leaders accused at the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the murders. However, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has categorically denied any involvement of the party in the murders. Clashes between the supporters of political parties have been frequently reported in smaller towns and villages in Kerala.
  • Clients are advised to avoid all political events in Kerala before the general elections in April this year. Election-related violence is likely to increase due to extreme political rivalries among the political parties in the state. Employ extreme caution while traveling to smaller towns and rural areas in Kerala.

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Friday, 15 February 2019

APAC Assistance Operations Assistant Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • More than 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in a suicide bomb attack on their convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. Authorities said that the death toll may increase because dozens more were “critically injured”.
  • A car loaded with explosives rammed the bus carrying paramilitary troops to Srinagar. Islamist terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Clients are advised to expect increased security measures on the major highways and cities in Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces are likely to launch a counter-offensive resulting in more frequent encounters with the terror groups. Clients are advised to avoid leaving the high-security zone established in major cities including Srinagar and Jammu.

BANGLADESH

  • Mainuddin Manu, a convicted gangster,  was killed during an armed encounter between two groups of robbers in Kamalnagar town of the southern Lakshmipur district. Mainuddin was absconding after being convicted to life imprisonment.
  • Mainuddin had several cases in different police stations in the area.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the rising gun violence in southern Avoid traveling to smaller towns and villages in Bangladesh.

PAKISTAN

  • A gang notorious for forced prostitution and drug trafficking was busted in Islamabad yesterday.
  • Authorities raided the Golden Heights apartments in Sector F-11 of Islamabad after receiving complaints of a domestic Drugs and human trafficking are rampant in Pakistan.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the frequent clashes between the police and criminal gangs. Women need to take extreme caution while traveling to smaller towns and village where the human trafficking criminal gangs are known to be more active.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in SINGAPORE

  • The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said that a supply vessel capsized and sank in Singapore territorial waters yesterday. The Dominica-flagged supply vessel, Ocean Cooper 2, was in the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme when it sank about three nautical miles from Pedra Branca, a small island 40 km east of Singapore.
  • Crew members were rescued unhurt by an accompanying supply vessel. No oil pollution was reported.
  • Clients are advised to expect stricter traffic management in Singapore Strait following the accident which might cause delays for ships entering and leaving the port.

THAILAND

  • Unidentified gunmen shot dead two farmers at a remote fruit plantation area in Yaha district of southern Yala province. Investigators said the two men were attacked while on their way home.
  • Investigators have retrieved bullet shells from the crime scene, and they are reportedly considering the involvement of insurgents. Police suspect at least two gunmen were involved in the crime. Islamist separatists have frequently attacked businesses and civilians in the southern provinces.
  • Clients are advised to take extreme precaution while traveling in the southern provinces of Thailand.

TAIWAN

  • The pilots of China Airlines are expected to end their unprecedented seven-day strike following the fourth round of negotiations lasting more than 10 hours yesterday. The management of Taiwan’s largest carrier and the Taoyuan Union of Pilots reportedly reached a consensus on all of the strikers’ demands.
  • Negotiations were overseen by the Ministry of Transportation and attended by representatives of Taoyuan City. The strike had affected thousands of passengers during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.
  • Clients are advised to consider other carriers in Taiwan until the operations of China Airlines are restored.

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Friday, 15 February 2019

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

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in SINGAPORE

  • The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said that a supply vessel capsized and sank in Singapore territorial waters yesterday. The Dominica-flagged supply vessel, Ocean Cooper 2, was in the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme when it sank about three nautical miles from Pedra Branca, a small island 40 km east of Singapore.
  • Crew members were rescued unhurt by an accompanying supply vessel. No oil pollution was reported.
  • Clients are advised to expect stricter traffic management in Singapore Strait following the accident which might cause delays for ships entering and leaving the port.

THAILAND

  • Unidentified gunmen shot dead two farmers at a remote fruit plantation area in Yaha district of southern Yala province. Investigators said the two men were attacked while on their way home.
  • Investigators have retrieved bullet shells from the crime scene, and they are reportedly considering the involvement of insurgents. Police suspect at least two gunmen were involved in the crime. Islamist separatists have frequently attacked businesses and civilians in the southern provinces.
  • Clients are advised to take extreme precaution while traveling in the southern provinces of Thailand.

TAIWAN

  • The pilots of China Airlines are expected to end their unprecedented seven-day strike following the fourth round of negotiations lasting more than 10 hours yesterday. The management of Taiwan’s largest carrier and the Taoyuan Union of Pilots reportedly reached a consensus on all of the strikers’ demands.
  • Negotiations were overseen by the Ministry of Transportation and attended by representatives of Taoyuan City. The strike had affected thousands of passengers during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.
  • Clients are advised to consider other carriers in Taiwan until the operations of China Airlines are restored.

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • More than 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in a suicide bomb attack on their convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. Authorities said that the death toll may increase because dozens more were “critically injured”.
  • A car loaded with explosives rammed the bus carrying paramilitary troops to Srinagar. Islamist terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Clients are advised to expect increased security measures on the major highways and cities in Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces are likely to launch a counter-offensive resulting in more frequent encounters with the terror groups. Clients are advised to avoid leaving the high-security zone established in major cities including Srinagar and Jammu.

BANGLADESH

  • Mainuddin Manu, a convicted gangster,  was killed during an armed encounter between two groups of robbers in Kamalnagar town of the southern Lakshmipur district. Mainuddin was absconding after being convicted to life imprisonment.
  • Mainuddin had several cases in different police stations in the area.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the rising gun violence in southern Avoid traveling to smaller towns and villages in Bangladesh.

PAKISTAN

  • A gang notorious for forced prostitution and drug trafficking was busted in Islamabad yesterday.
  • Authorities raided the Golden Heights apartments in Sector F-11 of Islamabad after receiving complaints of a domestic Drugs and human trafficking are rampant in Pakistan.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the frequent clashes between the police and criminal gangs. Women need to take extreme caution while traveling to smaller towns and village where the human trafficking criminal gangs are known to be more active.

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Thursday, 14 February 2019

APAC Assistance Operations Assistant Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • Indigo Airlines will reportedly cancel 30 flights per day until March 31 this year. Indigo canceled 50 flights yesterday due to an acute shortage of pilots.
  • Indigo is in the process of recruiting foreign pilots which requires approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The flights canceled constitute 2% of Indigo’s daily operations.
  • Clients are advised to avoid Indigo until the situation stabilizes and consider other airlines.

BANGLADESH

  • Over 50 people including police personnel were injured during a protest by Islamist organizations yesterday. The protest was against a planned convention of the Ahmadi Muslim community in Ahmednagar in the northern district of Panchagarh.
  • Protestors attacked and destroyed many shops and houses belonging to the Ahmadi Additional forces have been deployed by the police.
  • Tensions between the Islamist organizations and the Ahmadi community can potentially cause more protests and clashes in other districts. Clients are advised to avoid the Panchagarh district and employ extreme caution while traveling to smaller towns in Bangladesh.

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in INDONESIA

  • A dengue fever outbreak has claimed eight lives in the East Sumba district of the southern East Nusa Tenggara province. Eighteen people have been killed in 2019 in the East Nusa Tenggara province.
  • More than 15,000 dengue cases and 145 deaths have been reported in Indonesia in 2018-19. The regional authorities have intensified efforts to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • Clients are advised to take necessary precautions while traveling in the East Nusa Tenggara province.

The PHILIPPINES

  • Threats against human rights activists, teachers, and missionary workers have reportedly increased in the southern Mindanao province. The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in the Northern Mindanao sub-region said that their missionary workers have received threats through a series of text messages from an unidentified sender.
  • More than 225 cases of attacks against Lumad schools were reported last year. Such threats have led to protests by several missionary organizations in the Mindanao region.
  • Clients are advised to employ extreme caution in the Mindanao province and avoid deserted places on the island. The region is plagued by sectarian violence and separatist insurgency by the Islamist groups.

THAILAND

  • Army Chief Apirat Kongsompong has dismissed the reports of a coup and asserted that the armed forces will maintain political neutrality. He said that the armed forces need to be very careful about every step they make to prevent them from being targeted.
  • Speculative reports of a coup have been rising after Princess Ubolratana was registered as a prime ministerial candidate by the Thai Raksa Chart party. The reports started circulating after army tanks rolled through streets in Sa Kaeo, Prachin Buri, and Chon Buri provinces. Apirat clarified that those vehicles were heading to take part in an exercise.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the political developments in Thailand before the elections.

TAIWAN

  • Thirty-six flights by China Airlines have been canceled until Friday this week as the pilot strike continues. The US, Europe, and Japan routes are the most affected.
  • More than 600 pilots of China Airlines have continued their strike after talks with the management failed. The strike has affected more than 20,000 passengers.
  • Clients are advised to consider other airlines while traveling to Taiwan until the strike is called off.

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Thursday, 14 February 2019

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

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in INDONESIA

  • A dengue fever outbreak has claimed eight lives in the East Sumba district of the southern East Nusa Tenggara province. Eighteen people have been killed in 2019 in the East Nusa Tenggara province.
  • More than 15,000 dengue cases and 145 deaths have been reported in Indonesia in 2018-19. The regional authorities have intensified efforts to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • Clients are advised to take necessary precautions while traveling in the East Nusa Tenggara province.

The PHILIPPINES

  • Threats against human rights activists, teachers, and missionary workers have reportedly increased in the southern Mindanao province. The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in the Northern Mindanao sub-region said that their missionary workers have received threats through a series of text messages from an unidentified sender.
  • More than 225 cases of attacks against Lumad schools were reported last year. Such threats have led to protests by several missionary organizations in the Mindanao region.
  • Clients are advised to employ extreme caution in the Mindanao province and avoid deserted places on the island. The region is plagued by sectarian violence and separatist insurgency by the Islamist groups.

THAILAND

  • Army Chief Apirat Kongsompong has dismissed the reports of a coup and asserted that the armed forces will maintain political neutrality. He said that the armed forces need to be very careful about every step they make to prevent them from being targeted.
  • Speculative reports of a coup have been rising after Princess Ubolratana was registered as a prime ministerial candidate by the Thai Raksa Chart party. The reports started circulating after army tanks rolled through streets in Sa Kaeo, Prachin Buri, and Chon Buri provinces. Apirat clarified that those vehicles were heading to take part in an exercise.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the political developments in Thailand before the elections.

TAIWAN

  • Thirty-six flights by China Airlines have been canceled until Friday this week as the pilot strike continues. The US, Europe, and Japan routes are the most affected.
  • More than 600 pilots of China Airlines have continued their strike after talks with the management failed. The strike has affected more than 20,000 passengers.
  • Clients are advised to consider other airlines while traveling to Taiwan until the strike is called off.

 

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • Indigo Airlines will reportedly cancel 30 flights per day until March 31 this year. Indigo canceled 50 flights yesterday due to an acute shortage of pilots.
  • Indigo is in the process of recruiting foreign pilots which requires approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The flights canceled constitute 2% of Indigo’s daily operations.
  • Clients are advised to avoid Indigo until the situation stabilizes and consider other airlines.

BANGLADESH

  • Over 50 people including police personnel were injured during a protest by Islamist organizations yesterday. The protest was against a planned convention of the Ahmadi Muslim community in Ahmednagar in the northern district of Panchagarh.
  • Protestors attacked and destroyed many shops and houses belonging to the Ahmadi Additional forces have been deployed by the police.
  • Tensions between the Islamist organizations and the Ahmadi community can potentially cause more protests and clashes in other districts. Clients are advised to avoid the Panchagarh district and employ extreme caution while traveling to smaller towns in Bangladesh.

 

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Wednesday, 13 February 2019

APAC Assistance Operations Assistant Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • Internet services have been suspended in the north eastern state of Manipur and a curfew has been imposed after protests by various Civil Society Organisations yesterday against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Imphal and other parts of Manipur.
  • Protests reportedly turned violent in various parts of Manipur. Police resorted to use of force to stop the protesters.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the frequent protests in the northeastern states and note that disruptions in the internet services in Manipur. Avoid prominent landmarks in major cities like Imphal expected to host the protests.

NEPAL

  • Martadi-Kolti highway has been closed for this month due to muddy and slippery conditions caused by heavy snowfall at Porke hill in the western Bajura district.
  • Emergency services have been also affected and supply chain disruptions in the area have led to an increase in the prices of essential commodities.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Bajura district and note the transport disruptions in the area.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in the PHILIPPINES

  • Police have confirmed yesterday that a package retrieved by fishermen off the coast of Vinzons town in the eastern province of Camarines Norte of Luzon contained USD 86,418 worth of cocaine.
  • The Drug Enforcement Agency has reported that from 2016 to 2018 more than 5,000 people were killed in the anti-drug trafficking operations by the police. Philippine Commission on Human Rights allege that the deaths could be as high as 27,000 and investigating the deaths was complex because police withheld records on anti-drug operations.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of armed encounters between the police and criminal gangs frequently reported in major cities in the Philippines.

 PAPUA NEW GUINEA

  • Landslides caused by heavy rains have killed a man and destroyed many houses in the Raicoast district of northern Madang province last week. The flood situation is critical due to a swelling lake near the Boroki village in the Finisterre Range.
  • The Ramu Highway, Surinam Bridge, and several other roads have been inundated by heavy rain causing traffic chaos. Continuous heavy rain along Usino-Bundi, Middle Ramu and Rai Coast districts in the Madang province is forcing various creeks and streams to burst their banks, destroying roads and bridges.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling to Madang province until the heavy rains recede.

INDONESIA

  • Mount Dukono volcano on the eastern island of Halmahera has been spewing ash since yesterday, with continuous fog exploding from the main crater.  The Volcanic Survey of Indonesia has put Dukono on a “level two” alert as the volcano is spewing out 7000ft of ash.
  • The local authorities have warned that people should not travel near the volcano, and an aviation notice has been issued advising pilots not to fly. A separate warning for people traveling nearby says that volcanic ash could be dangerous to the respiratory system
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Halmahera Islands and expect air travel delays in the region.

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Wednesday, 13 February 2019

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

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in the PHILIPPINES

  • Police have confirmed yesterday that a package retrieved by fishermen off the coast of Vinzons town in the eastern province of Camarines Norte of Luzon contained USD 86,418 worth of cocaine.
  • The Drug Enforcement Agency has reported that from 2016 to 2018 more than 5,000 people were killed in the anti-drug trafficking operations by the police. Philippine Commission on Human Rights allege that the deaths could be as high as 27,000 and investigating the deaths was complex because police withheld records on anti-drug operations.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of armed encounters between the police and criminal gangs frequently reported in major cities in the Philippines.

 PAPUA NEW GUINEA

  • Landslides caused by heavy rains have killed a man and destroyed many houses in the Raicoast district of northern Madang province last week. The flood situation is critical due to a swelling lake near the Boroki village in the Finisterre Range.
  • The Ramu Highway, Surinam Bridge, and several other roads have been inundated by heavy rain causing traffic chaos. Continuous heavy rain along Usino-Bundi, Middle Ramu and Rai Coast districts in the Madang province is forcing various creeks and streams to burst their banks, destroying roads and bridges.
  • Clients are advised to avoid traveling to Madang province until the heavy rains recede.

INDONESIA

  • Mount Dukono volcano on the eastern island of Halmahera has been spewing ash since yesterday, with continuous fog exploding from the main crater.  The Volcanic Survey of Indonesia has put Dukono on a “level two” alert as the volcano is spewing out 7000ft of ash.
  • The local authorities have warned that people should not travel near the volcano, and an aviation notice has been issued advising pilots not to fly. A separate warning for people traveling nearby says that volcanic ash could be dangerous to the respiratory system
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Halmahera Islands and expect air travel delays in the region.

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • Internet services have been suspended in the north eastern state of Manipur and a curfew has been imposed after protests by various Civil Society Organisations yesterday against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Imphal and other parts of Manipur.
  • Protests reportedly turned violent in various parts of Manipur. Police resorted to use of force to stop the protesters.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the frequent protests in the northeastern states and note that disruptions in the internet services in Manipur. Avoid prominent landmarks in major cities like Imphal expected to host the protests.

NEPAL

  • Martadi-Kolti highway has been closed for this month due to muddy and slippery conditions caused by heavy snowfall at Porke hill in the western Bajura district.
  • Emergency services have been also affected and supply chain disruptions in the area have led to an increase in the prices of essential commodities.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Bajura district and note the transport disruptions in the area.

Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Tuesday, 12 February 2019

APAC Assistance Operations Assistant Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in INDIA

  • Facebook has partnered with local organizations to curb the spread of fake news identified through an international fact-checking network. It is expected to reduce the spread of fake news by 80% before the elections in April this year.
  • The partnerships will expand its fact-checking capability, in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam and Marathi languages. Pages and websites that repeatedly shared false news will be curtailed with their ability to advertise and monetize removed.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the fake news expected to be propagated on social media platforms before the elections.

Also in INDIA

  • The northeastern state of Nagaland came to a standstill yesterday during a complete shutdown by the Nagaland Gaon Burhas Federation to protest the Citizen Amendment Bill. Shops. Business establishments and educational institutions remained closed, and vehicular traffic in all eleven districts was suspended.
  • “There is no report of any untoward incident from any part of the state. The shutdown has brought life to a standstill,” a police official said. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that the state government, remains opposed to the Bill.
  • Clients are advised to expect more demonstrations and protests in the North Eastern states of India.

NEPAL

  • Yesterday two Indian nationals were arrested in Birgunj municipality of Parsa district along the southern border with India and one Nepali suspect was arrested in Lalbandi Municipality of Sarlahi district in two separate cases of cross border drug smuggling operation.
  • Police recovered nine kg of hash from the two Indian nationals and five kg from the Nepali. Cross border drug and arms smuggling along the India-Nepal border by organized criminal gangs is a major concern for law enforcement agencies of both the countries. The criminal gangs have targeted local businesses and civilians for extortion and kidnapping.
  • Clients are advised to be vigilant of drug smugglers and employ extreme caution in the areas near the border. Increased security checks at border-crossing checkpoints may cause delays in supply chain and travel.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

INDONESIA

  • Volcanic ash and lava spewing out from Mount Karangetang on the Siau island in North Sulawesi province have cut off the roads and bridges in the area.
  • Bad weather in the region has hampered the evacuation operations. Local authorities are trying to evacuate 508 villagers from the area.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Siau island and follow the directions of the local authorities.

MALAYSIA

  • A house in the Seberang Perai Tengah district of Penang province believed to be a drug factory was raided by the police yesterday. Two handguns, a grenade, and more than 300 live bullets were found in the raid.
  • Police said that the suspects are still at large and they believed that the ammunition belonged to a drug syndicate.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the heavily armed drug syndicates in Penang. The drug syndicate can potentially lead reprisal attacks after raids posing a threat to civilians and businesses in the region.

The Philippines

  • A senior police officer was shot dead by unidentified gunmen along the national highway in North Cotabato on the southern island of Mindanao late evening on Sunday.
  • After the shooting, gunmen were reportedly headed towards Maguindanao. Police said a hot pursuit is ongoing to catch the perpetrators.
  • Clients are advised to expect police raids and check posts in different parts of the city Maguindanao and the neighboring areas. Employ extreme caution while traveling in the southern region.

THAILAND

  • The Election Commission of Thailand disqualified Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya from her bid to become prime minister for the Thai Raksa Chart party. The Election Commission announced yesterday that the “monarchy must remain above politics.”
  • Earlier the King Vajiralongkorn had opposed the move by Princess Ubolratana to run for prime minister stating that it is inappropriate and unconstitutional for royal family members to enter politics.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the political developments before the general elections. The disqualification can potentially trigger protests by the supporters of the princess and Thai Raksa Chart party.

Audio Overview of East Asia Pacific Issues, Tuesday, 12 February 2019

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

 

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly from INDONESIA

  • Volcanic ash and lava spewing out from Mount Karangetang on the Siau island in North Sulawesi province have cut off the roads and bridges in the area.
  • Bad weather in the region has hampered the evacuation operations. Local authorities are trying to evacuate 508 villagers from the area.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the Siau island and follow the directions of the local authorities.

MALAYSIA

  • A house in the Seberang Perai Tengah district of Penang province believed to be a drug factory was raided by the police yesterday. Two handguns, a grenade, and more than 300 live bullets were found in the raid.
  • Police said that the suspects are still at large and they believed that the ammunition belonged to a drug syndicate.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the heavily armed drug syndicates in Penang. The drug syndicate can potentially lead reprisal attacks after raids posing a threat to civilians and businesses in the region.

The Philippines

  • A senior police officer was shot dead by unidentified gunmen along the national highway in North Cotabato on the southern island of Mindanao late evening on Sunday.
  • After the shooting, gunmen were reportedly headed towards Maguindanao. Police said a hot pursuit is ongoing to catch the perpetrators.
  • Clients are advised to expect police raids and check posts in different parts of the city Maguindanao and the neighboring areas. Employ extreme caution while traveling in the southern region.

THAILAND

  • The Election Commission of Thailand disqualified Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya from her bid to become prime minister for the Thai Raksa Chart party. The Election Commission announced yesterday that the “monarchy must remain above politics.”
  • Earlier the King Vajiralongkorn had opposed the move by Princess Ubolratana to run for prime minister stating that it is inappropriate and unconstitutional for royal family members to enter politics.
  • Clients are advised to monitor the political developments before the general elections. The disqualification can potentially trigger protests by the supporters of the princess and Thai Raksa Chart party.

 

Main Issues in South Asia

INDIA

  • Facebook has partnered with local organizations to curb the spread of fake news identified through an international fact-checking network. It is expected to reduce the spread of fake news by 80% before the elections in April this year.
  • The partnerships will expand its fact-checking capability, in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam and Marathi languages. Pages and websites that repeatedly shared false news will be curtailed with their ability to advertise and monetize removed.
  • Clients are advised to be aware of the fake news expected to be propagated on social media platforms before the elections.

Also in INDIA

  • The northeastern state of Nagaland came to a standstill yesterday during a complete shutdown by the Nagaland Gaon Burhas Federation to protest the Citizen Amendment Bill. Shops. Business establishments and educational institutions remained closed, and vehicular traffic in all eleven districts was suspended.
  • “There is no report of any untoward incident from any part of the state. The shutdown has brought life to a standstill,” a police official said. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that the state government, remains opposed to the Bill.
  • Clients are advised to expect more demonstrations and protests in the North Eastern states of India.

NEPAL

  • Yesterday two Indian nationals were arrested in Birgunj municipality of Parsa district along the southern border with India and one Nepali suspect was arrested in Lalbandi Municipality of Sarlahi district in two separate cases of cross border drug smuggling operation.
  • Police recovered nine kg of hash from the two Indian nationals and five kg from the Nepali. Cross border drug and arms smuggling along the India-Nepal border by organized criminal gangs is a major concern for law enforcement agencies of both the countries. The criminal gangs have targeted local businesses and civilians for extortion and kidnapping.
  • Clients are advised to be vigilant of drug smugglers and employ extreme caution in the areas near the border. Increased security checks at border-crossing checkpoints may cause delays in supply chain and travel.

 

 

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