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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   30 May 2013  

Indian navy warships call on South-East Asia

As part of India's policy to strengthen ties with South East Asia, a flotilla of Indian warships is visiting four countries in the region including the South China Sea, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
The vessels are led by Eastern Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Ajith Kumar and include India's newly inducted stealth frigate INS Satpura, Rajput class destroyer INS Ranvijay, corvette INS Kirch and replenishment vessel INS Shakti with more than 800 crew.
After leaving Indian shores on May 20, the warships have carried out the Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) with their Singaporean counterparts and will soon visit Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines before returning home the end of June.  
The battleships will be on a five-day visit to Malaysia.  
A passage exercise (PASSEX) has been planned with the Malaysian Navy which officials said would contribute towards furthering peace and maritime security in the region.  
"The spectrum of this exercise encompasses both conventional war time drills and cooperative military action against unconventional threats in the maritime domain," Rear Admiral Kumar had told reporters at Port Klang in Malaysia.  
The vessels will head to Vietnam after Malaysia before making a final port call to the Philippines.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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