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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  1 October  2015  

Indonesia needs 3 years to tackle haze: President Joko Widodo

JAKARTA: It will take three years for results to be seen from efforts to end the huge annual forest fires that are causing the haze in the region, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told the BBC in an interview on Tuesday (Sep 29).

Mr Widodo said Indonesia had "gone to great lengths" to tackle the haze, "including sending 3,700 soldiers, nearly 8,000 police officers and four water-bombing planes to put out the fires".

The President also told the BBC that authorities are building water reserves in the forest and canals to get water to the hotspots, while also "making progress to enforce laws against forest-burning".

"You will see results soon and in three years we will have solved this," he said, adding that Indonesians were also victims of the haze.

Smog-belching blazes, an annual problem in South-East Asia, have intensified in Sumatra and the Indonesian part of Borneo island in the past three weeks, sending a cloud of acrid smog across the region.

The illegal fires are set to clear vast tracts of land to make way for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations, and Indonesia has failed to halt the practice despite years of pressure from its neighbours.

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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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