Northeasterners Mark 50th Anniversary of the Communist Armed Struggle | The Isaan Record

From: Northeasterners Mark 50th Anniversary of the Communist Armed Struggle | The Isaan Record

quote12015 AUGUST 13 NAKHON PHANOM – Fifty years ago, Comrade Tang fought for communism in the first violent clash between communist fighters and Thai security forces. Last week, at 88 years old, he marked the anniversary with a call for democracy.

quote1In the early morning on August 7, villagers and local politicians flocked through the gate of Nabua’s village temple to commemorate the incident that came to be known as the “Day the First Gunshot Rang Out.” Against the military’s demands, the crowd of 250 not only celebrated the former communists, but also rallied for freedom from the current military rule in Thailand.

quote1On August 7, 1965 Nabua, an ethnic Phu Thai village, made headlines all across Indochina when Thailand’s first-ever physical confrontation between communist fighters and Thai security forces occurred. According to eyewitnesses, eight communist villagers were involved, one of whom was shot dead during the incident after the town was surrounded by state forces.

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Even-handed temple ruling cools heat in Thailand, Cambodia | Bangkok Post

Both Thailand and Cambodia were claiming victory Monday after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on disputed border territory near an 11th-century temple, but tempers seemed to be cooling in both countries.

The court ruled that Cambodia’s sovereignty extends to all of the natural promontory bearing the monument, but rejected its claim to a nearby hill, called Phnum Trap in Cambodian and Phu Makua in Thai.

The decision essentially leaves Thailand and Cambodia to decide between them on most of the 4.6 square kilometres adjacent to the temple that were the source of the recent conflict, analysts said.

“I think it was a success for the Thai team that they convinced the court not to rule on the sovereignty of the disputed territory,” said Puongthong Pawakapan, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University.

“It’s still considered overlapping territory, so the two sides will need to negotiate it further,” she said.

Thailand may have lost a small portion of the territory it originally claimed, she conceded.

In Phnom Penh, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said on his Facebook page: “This is the victory of all the nation and the reward to the political maturity of the current Royal government of Cambodia.\”

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, was more constrained.

“For both governments, Phnom Penh and Bangkok, the common ground is peace,” he said.

via ANALYSIS: Even-handed temple ruling cools heat in Thailand, Cambodia | Bangkok Post: news.

Kachin girls fall easy prey on the China-Myanmar border | Bangkok Post

JE YANG CAMP – A 17-year-old Kachin girl was locked in a room for three weeks while a Chinese couple tried to sell her as a “temporary wife” to the highest bidder.

“I cried all the time, but they just told me I had to marry the man they chose for me and that I would never go back home again,” said Seng Pan, recently returned to Je Yang refugee camp from her ordeal across the border in Yunnan, China.

“Some men offered 20,000 Chinese yuan (3,200 United States dollars) to 30,000 yuan for me, but the couple wanted to get at least 50,000 yuan,” she said.

Seng Pan was lucky her captors were so greedy. One day when the couple left the house she managed to break out of her room and call authorities at Je Yang to inform them of her plight.

Camp officials alerted Chinese police.

“The police sent an undercover agent to pretend he wanted to buy me, and then then arrested the couple for human trafficking,” she said. “They sent me back to the camp.”

Since June 2011, when fighting broke out between the Myanmar military and the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an estimated 140,000 civilians in the northern state have been displaced and forced to live in refugee camps, many of them situated along the Chinese border.

Many women in the camps have been forced to seek work in China to support their families, making them vulnerable to abuses.

“Human trafficking is common in the Kachin state, especially in refugee camps near the boarder,” said Khon Ja, a woman leader from the non-governmental Kachin Peace Network.

After a 17-year ceasefire with the government fell apart more than two years ago, the Kachin state has been divided into areas under state control and those under the control of the ethnic rebels.

According to government figures, there are nearly 43,000 displaced people living in 106 camps under state control, and more than 80,000 living in KIA-controlled camps.

via Kachin girls fall easy prey on the China-Myanmar border | Bangkok Post: breakingnews.

Meth Seizures on the Rise in East and Southeast Asia, Says UNODC – Southeast Asia Real Time – WSJ

BANGKOK – Seizures of methamphetamines and meth-related arrests in Asia reached record highs in 2012, according to a new report, but the news is likely a sign that despite a crackdown by drug enforcement agencies, some drugs are still readily available and others are becoming more so.

A total of 227 million meth pills were seized in East and Southeast Asia in 2012, according to a report released on Friday by the United Nations’ Office of Drugs and Crime, or UNODC. The staggering number represents a 59% surge from 2011, and a more than seven-fold increase since 2008.

Meth pill seizures in 2012 were almost exclusively from countries in the Greater Mekong sub-region, led by China, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, respectively, according to the report.

via Meth Seizures on the Rise in East and Southeast Asia, Says UNODC – Southeast Asia Real Time – WSJ.

Learning how to survive in Asia’s flood prone disaster areas | Asia Pacific | ABC Radio Australia

Learning how to survive in Asia's flood prone disaster areas | Asia Pacific | ABC Radio Australia

Representatives from South and Southeast Asian nations meet in Bangkok on Wednesday, to discuss flood risk management in urban areas.

Learning how to survive in Asia\’s flood prone disaster areas (Credit: ABC)

The two-day meeting will allow experts and participants to share knowledge on building resilience in flood-prone delta regions of the Mekong, Chao Phraya and Ganges-Brahmaputra.

Presenter: Sen Lam

Speaker: Dr Bhichit Rattakul, former governor of Bangkok and currently, special advisor to the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre

BHICHIT: Well, the conference taking place today will be an exchanging of experience and learning the lessons from each other among the four deltas. This is  very important, because these four deltas —  one in Vietnam, in Thailand, in Myanmar and in Bangladesh — are the delta that there are more than 100 (word indistinct) inhabitants around these deltas living people,  and almost 70 per cent of the rice volume exported to the world came from this four deltas. And it\’s also very interesting that the international climate change organisation, has been point out that these four deltas are very highly vulnerable to the climate change impact, both the water from the north from part of this delta, and the water from the ocean, which is called a storm surge.

LAM: As you say, I\’m sorry to interrupt. But as you say, it\’s an information sharing meeting. Now, Thailand has suffered quite bad flooding in recent years. What lessons will you be taking to the meeting?

BHICHIT: Well, the most important message from Thailand is that the lesson that we have learned from 2011 flood and also the same thing happened in Vietnam of the Mekong Delta as well. They have flood as well in 2011, but the casualty taking place in those delta of Mekong in Vietnam only about 10 per cent of the life lost in whatever happened in Thailand and this is because of the Vietnam delta, the Mekong Delta has prepared themselves for almost 8 or 9 years about the flood way, about the irrigation, and about the prevention  of the storm surge by plantation of lots of mangrove. So I think very good experience from both Thailand and Vietnam could be share among these four deltas, and we could eventually become the network of the deltas.

And these network of delta could not be formed if we don\’t have the support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Norwegian government who host this conference.

via Learning how to survive in Asia’s flood prone disaster areas | Asia Pacific | ABC Radio Australia.

Laos women falling victim to fraudster matchmakers | Vientiane Times

Lao women have fallen victim to fraudsters masquerading as matchmaking service providers offering a life with a foreign husband, according to a senior government official.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee, who did not wish to be named, said the mostly-uneducated women had been lured into leaving the country to marry and live with foreign men.

The women were introduced to foreign men who claimed they wanted to get married. However, once the victims arrived in their supposed-fiancées’ countries, they were passed onto to other groups. The people responsible for the service were paid by unidentified parties.

For instance, cases have been reported of girls fleeing to the Lao Embassy in the Republic of Korea seeking help to return home.

The official said cases occasionally surfaced, but he could not confirm if the incidences were carried out by human trafficking groups.

Cases of a similar nature had also been reported among Lao girls in the northern provinces, who had been lured to China but returned home safely.

via Vientiane Times.

Vietnam, Laos: Officials Involved in Abduction, Trafficking, and Sex Slavery of Women, Children – Yahoo News

Ethnic Hmong, Lao and Montagnard girls, including children, are being abducted and forced into marriage and prostitution at an alarming rate by corrupt government and military officials in Vietnam and Laos according to statements issued jointly today by non-governmental organizations.

The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc., (LHRC) and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) are issuing a statement of concern about the increasing role of government and military officials in the abduction and violent trafficking of women and children in Vietnam, Laos and Southeast Asia.

“The growing problem of institutional violence, abduction, forced marriage, abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking directed against minority Hmong and Lao women and children by corrupt government and military officials is especially egregious in the border areas of Laos and Vietnam, including Vietnam’s province of Nge Anh bordering Laos’ Xiang Khouang province,” said Philip Smith of the CPPA in Washington, D.C., which focuses on human rights issues.

via Vietnam, Laos: Officials Involved in Abduction, Trafficking, and Sex Slavery of Women, Children – Yahoo News.