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Southeast Asia Links: Human trafficking, UK in SEA, Thai-Vietnam trade, Hun Sen's hold and more

Southeast Asia Links: Human trafficking, UK in SEA, Thai-Vietnam trade, Hun Sen's hold and more
Published 28 Jul 2015   Follow @elliotbrennan

  • Human Rights Watch slammed the conviction of 11 opposition activists in Cambodia. The activists are from the Cambodian National Rescue Party and have been sentenced to between 7 and 20 years in prison for 'insurrection'.
  • Indonesia has begun repatriating irregular migrants from Bangladesh that are in Aceh. 
  • Meanwhile, a prominent Thai general was included on a list of 72 people indicted for suspected involvement in human trafficking. The move came ahead of the release of the 2015 Trafficking in Persons report.
  • Matthew Smith from Fortify Rights has written on Southeast Asia's boat crisis:
    For now, boat departures have slowed. The region has started to exhale, but it shouldn't. If Burma fails to end its systematic persecution of the Rohingya the 'sailing season' will begin again like clockwork, one way or another. And Rohingya will continue to perish.
  • CSIS's Greg Poling discussed the upcoming elections in the Philippines on the CogitAsia Podcast.
  • Thailand and Vietnam have boosted trade ties with an aim of reaching US$20 billion in bilateral trade by 2020.
  • The latest round of ceasefire talks has ended in Yangon with little result. The toughest issues remain unaddressed. The next round of talks will take place in August.
  • Ken Ward's new Lowy Institute Paper, Condemned to Crisis? (debated on these pages here), argues for a more realistic approach to Indonesia-Australia relations. Ross Tapsell took a critical look at the paper for New Mandala.
  • A raft of new laws in Cambodia, including one that restricts the operations of NGOs, will help Hun Sen hold onto power.
  • Myanmar-China relations, which have been dealt numerous blows in the past 12 months, have been further tested this week with the sentencing – most for a term of life in prison – of 153 Chinese nationals for illegal logging in Myanmar's north.
  • UK Prime Minister David Cameron is beginning his four-country tour of Southeast Asia this week, accompanied by a business delegation expected to sign deals worth US$1.2 billion. Here's why it is important: 

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