Southeast Asia

U.S. State Department Report highlights & criticizes countries that restrict religious freedom

July 31, 2012

“In Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, people have been killed, imprisoned or detained because they violated or criticized blasphemy laws. In Indonesia, a Christian was sentenced to prison for five years for distributing books that were considered “offensive to Islam.””

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Report: Russia hopes to establish its first naval base abroad since 1991 in either Cuba, Vietnam or Seychelles

July 28, 2012

“Russia has been increasing the reach of its navy in recent years, sending warships further afield as part of an effort to restore pride project power in a world dominated by the U.S. military.”

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Amnesty International: Muslims in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine being abused

July 22, 2012

“The rape and murder of a young Buddhist woman in Rakhine in May set off a chain of deadly religious clashes.”

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Analysis: No consensus on the South China Sea Dispute from ASEAN

July 21, 2012

“While China and Taiwan claim practically the entire resource-rich sea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have partial claims.”

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Cameras at the U.S. & Japanese Embassies may have captured footage of a Manila police officer’s killer

July 21, 2012

“Police Officer 2 Jesus Lapuz, 41, of the MPD-Traffic Management Enforcement Group, who was assigned to escort tourist buses, was riding his patrol motorcycle when he was shot dead by a man on a motorcycle near the Japanese embassy in Pasay City, whom he had chased from Manila.”

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Cambodian and Thai troops withdraw from a disputed area surrounding a 1,000 year-old temple

July 19, 2012

“The move is in compliance with an order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the two countries to withdraw their troops from land surrounding the Preah Vihear temple.”

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U.S. Secretary of State Clinton to Myanmar: Continue with economic and political reforms

July 14, 2012

“Activists are quick to point out that Myanmar has a long way to go and cite the unrest in the Rakhine state in the west as perhaps as big a test for Myanmar’s media as it is for its government.”

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Myanmar President U Thein Sein encourages U.S. business to return to Myanmar after a 25-year absence

July 13, 2012

“Across the region, most countries — with the Philippines as an exception — do more trade with China than with the United States.”

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Human Rights Groups: By allowing new investments in Myanmar, the U.S. is fueling human rights abuses

July 12, 2012

“The Obama administration eased financial and investment sanctions on Myanmar this week, praising the country for freeing hundreds of political prisoners and allowing the opposition to take part in elections.”

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American jailed in Thailand for translating a banned book has been freed by a Royal Pardon

July 11, 2012

“Joe Gordon, who was sentenced in December for translating excerpts of the book The King Never Smiles into Thai, was released from jail on Tuesday night.”

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Aung San Suu Kyi: There is too much “reckless optimism” surrounding Burma’s reform efforts

June 3, 2012

“Aung San Suu Kyi told the forum there is too much focus on Burma’s economic reforms and not enough on political ones.”

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NPR: Suu Kyi’s First Trip Out Of Myanmar Signals New Era

May 31, 2012

“Thousands of migrants from Myanmar turned out to greet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during her visit to Thailand. It was her first trip outside Burma for 24 years.”

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India & Myanmar exploring new initiatives for future bilateral ties and trade

May 29, 2012

“”We also hope to sign a number of agreements and MoUs to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in these areas, besides promoting people-to-people contacts,” Singh said.”

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Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim criminally charged for protesting

May 22, 2012

“Prosecutors charged Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and two of his allies Tuesday with breaking various laws during a massive street rally to demand electoral fairness.”

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Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi sworn-in as a lawmaker for the first time

May 2, 2012

“Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy campaigner who spent years under house arrest, traveled to the parliament in the capital, Naypyidaw, to take up the seat she won in elections last month.”

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