ASEAN IN FOCUS

6,700 Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar violence: MSF

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — At least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed in the first month of a Myanmar army crackdown on rebels in Rakhine state that began in late August, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Thursday. The figure is the highest estimated death toll yet of violence that erupted on August 25 and triggered a massive refugee crisis, sending some 655,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. The UN and US have described […]

RCBC accuses Bangladesh’s central bank of a “massive cover-up” over $81-million cyber-heist last year

The Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. on Tuesday accused Bangladesh’s Central Bank (BB) of a “massive cover-up” over an $81-million cyber-heist last year, as it rejected allegations it was mostly to blame. The statement came after Dhaka, Bangladesh’s Finance Minister A.M.A Muhith said over the weekend he wanted to “wipe out” RCBC, apparently frustrated over the small amount of money recovered from the overall amount stolen from BB. “Last year’s theft of $81 million of (BB) funds was […]

Rohingya refugee crisis a ‘grave security risk’ ICG warns

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Prolonged displacement of Rohingya refugees in squalid Bangladeshi camps poses a “grave security risk,” conflict analysts ICG warned Thursday, raising the specter of militants recruiting among the displaced and launching cross-border attacks on Myanmar. Raids by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on August 25 sparked the vicious Myanmar army response which has forced more than 620,000 Rohingya to flee Rakhine state for Bangladesh. ARSA “appears determined to regroup and remain […]

IT Ministers choose Thailand as hub for ASEAN Cyber-Security Training

Information Technology ministers chose Thailand as the hub for ASEAN Cyber-Security Training during the recently concluded it Ministers’ Meeting in Cambodia, hoping this decision will lead to a stronger cyber security ecosystem in the Southeast Asian region. Thailand is tasked with improving the skills of 1,200 trainees of different security-related agencies of ASEAN-member states by 2021. This will enable ASEAN to cope with increasingly sophisticated threats affecting state agencies, the private sector and digital users, […]

Indonesia seizes Chinese fishing ship, arrests 21 crew members of various nationalities

Indonesia, through its maritime affairs and fisheries ministry, has seized a Chinese fishing ship which was allegedly found fishing illegally over Indonesia’s eastern waters. The local authorities also seized 35 tons of fish, including tiger sharks, a protected species.  They also arrested the 21 crew members of the ship Fu Yuan Yu 831. The Jakarta Post reported that  the 21 crew members included nine Chinese, six Indonesians, three Myanmarese and three Vietnamese. They also found […]

South Korea’s Moon to visit China next week

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — South Korean President Moon Jae-In will visit China next week for talks on North Korea and other issues, his office said Wednesday, amid tentative signs of diplomatic movement after months of high tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile threats. The announcement came as a high-level United Nations representative held talks with a senior North Korean official during a rare trip to Pyongyang. Jeffrey Feltman, UN undersecretary general for political affairs, […]

Wealth inequality a threat to East Asia, Pacific: World Bank

  By Agence France Presse A rapidly growing gap between rich and poor in many developing East Asian nations is threatening the foundation for the region’s economic success, the World Bank said Monday. “The whole basis for East Asia’s success was this sense that everything was fair — you worked hard, you got ahead — but that is beginning to unravel a little bit,” said Sudhir Shetty, the bank’s chief economist for East Asia and […]

At least 11 dead as floods and landslide hit Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — At least 11 people have died in severe floods and landslides in the east of Indonesia’s main island of Java, an official said Tuesday. A landslide killed nine people at Pacitan in East Java province and two people died in floods triggered by heavy rain in the same area. Thousands of homes were flooded and 4,000 people forced to evacuate them, said a spokesman for the national disaster mitigation agency. The […]

Inspiring talks, learning sessions on films, programs for children fill 1st SEA Prix Jeunesse in Manila

By Jodi Bustos Eagle News Service   (Eagle News) — Different cultures with different traditions from the 10 Southeast Asian Nations were represented in a strong opening ceremony for the first-ever Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse on Monday, November 27 at the Peninsula Manila in the Philippines. The morning was filled with positivity and motivation when Dr. Hyunsook Chung, Executive Producer of Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) in Korea gave insightful talk about the stories of success […]

Finalists on youth-themed films presented in Manila as 1st Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse opens

  By Jodi Bustos Eagle News Service Delegates from the 10-member nations of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — gathered for the first-ever Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse (SEA PJ) at the Peninsula Manila from November 27 to 29, 2017. SEA PJ is a prestigious international video festival for children’s media, spearheaded by the Anak TV Foundation, […]

Big tobacco wins in smoke-friendly SE Asia: watchdog

    By Agence France Presse A global treaty to fight the health impact of tobacco has suffered substantial setbacks in Southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s highest concentrations of smokers, a watchdog group said Monday. The powerful tobacco lobby last year stopped proposed cigarette tax increases in Malaysia and Indonesia, while Vietnam waived all duties on dried tobacco imports from Cambodia, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance said in a report. “We […]

Bali raises volcano alert to highest level: officials

KARANGASEM, Indonesia (AFP) — The alert for a volcano belching huge plumes of smoke on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali has been raised to the highest level, officials said Monday, with fears a significant eruption could be imminent. The exclusion zone around Mount Agung, which is 75 kilometres (47 miles) from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been widened to 10 kilometers, with people living in the exclusion zone being urged to evacuate. “The volcano’s […]