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Thursday 13 Dec 2018 | 02:15 | SYDNEY
Thursday 13 Dec 2018 | 02:15 | SYDNEY

Southeast Asia links: Thai coup, human trafficking, South China Sea, ISIS, Cambodia and more



24 June 2014 08:32

  • Thai protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban says he has plotted the Thai coup with the army since 2010. But the country's new Junta deny it.
  • In the wake of the coup d'etat, the EU Council adopted a stronger stance on Thailand this week, stating that it was 'forced to reconsider its engagement' given a lack of a 'credible roadmap for a return to constitutional rule'. It has suspended official visits to Thailand as well as a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement until a democratically elected government is in place. 
  • Vietnam should take legal recourse and improve regional ties in response to China's oil rig move, argue Jonathan London and Vu Quang Viet. 
  • Malaysia has arrested more ISIS-linked suspects, bringing the number of arrests to 16. Videos of reported Southeast Asian ISIS fighters calling for more to join the Jihad circulated earlier in the week on YouTube before being removed (one video also claimed that Cambodian Muslims had joined the fight in Iraq).
  • Thailand's expulsion of illegal migrant workers from Cambodia has reached 180,000.
  • Myanmar's president asked the religious affairs minister to resign amid allegations of graft and ongoing investigations into his handling of his portfolio. He is the first minister to be sacked by the new government over corruption allegations.
  • Kyung-Wha Kang, the UN deputy emergency relief coordinator, had this to say about camps of internally displaced people, mainly Rohingya, in Myanmar's western Rakhine State:

     I witnessed a level of human suffering in IDP camps that I have personally never seen before, with men, women, and children living in appalling conditions with severe restrictions on their freedom of movement, both in camps and isolated villages. Many people have wholly inadequate access to basic services including health, education, water and sanitation.

  • The US State Department released a damning report on human trafficking this week, noting that Thailand and Malaysia are now among the worst trafficking hubs in the world. 
  • Implementation of Hudud (Islamic penal code) in parts of Malaysia could have wide-reaching and serious economic and political consequences if a recent campaign for its application is successful in Kelantan state, says Nigel Cory.
  • For those bemused by the overlapping claims in the South China Sea, the Council on Foreign Relations has released an excellent web page, including interactive maps and explainers on the region's maritime disputes.



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