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All eyes are on India in the wake of U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit there, where he identified India as a key actor on the world stage. Obama said, “I don’t think India is emerging, I think it has emerged.” More

pSave Our Planet (IV) a huge success
SOP for Schools:
“Save The Planet For the Children”
By students of Garden International School, Bangkok
Friday, March 18, 2011,
Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

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Weekly NewsLetter
26  September  2011
    Vol.1 No.33

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The Editor's Corner


Floods hit Asean
Although most of the world’s headlines are about the financial difficulties in Europe and the United States, in Asean floods are affecting thousands of people in a much more tangible manner.

In Thailand, floods in the central region of the country, north of capital Bangkok, have been raging for two months. At least 140 lives and water management has suddenly become a priority for the new government.

The Chao Phraya River is the main water artery that carries water from north through Bangkok to the ocean. High water is expected to hit Bangkok next week, but experts say the city is safe. Thirty to 40 years ago, Bangkok, used to sustain weeks and month-long flooding but His Majesty King Bhumibol took necessary steps to control the deluge. These steps continue with a new tunnel to carry water directly into the ocean recently installed and at least two more are planned. Moving east to Cambodia, heavy rains since August and overflow from the Mekong river have left large areas waterlogged, affecting thousands of hectares (acres) of rice paddies, the National Committee for Disaster Management said.

The committee also estimated deaths from the flood at 58. “Flooding this year has caused more serious damage than in previous years," according to the committee. At least 5,633 families have been evacuated from their homes to higher ground.

Nearly 200 tourists, including foreigners, were airlifted from Cambodia's famed Angkor temple complex on Thursday after a road to one of the ruins was cut off by flash floods.

In Vietnam, the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s most prolific rice growing area, water in the Mekong River (Mekong) Delta's upstream provinces has risen to the highest levels since 2003 and will continue to rise rapidly by the end of this month, according to the Southern Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Nguyen Hung Trang, deputy chairman of the Hong Ngu town People's Committee in Dong Thap, said more than 2,000 hectares of rice were threatened by floods since many dikes had been breached or leaked and the water had nearly reached the top of the dikes.

A theory that I have heard is that global warming increase water evaporation and that in turn produces more water vapor that eventually condenses producing larger deluges.

If that is the case, planet Earth is in for a long siege to stay afloat.


Top News from Southeast Asia

September  25 , 2011


These were the most newsworthy stories published on Asean Affairs during the week of September 17-23.

S&P delays credit upgrades
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Wednesday said the persistent global uncertainties in advanced economies are delaying the possible upgrade in the credit quality of Asia-Pacific sovereigns.

Solar energy gets hot in Thailand
Suntech Power Holdings, the world's largest solar firm, may invest in a solar cell assembly plant in Thailand along with India and South Africa but is waiting for the new Thai government to clarify its solar energy policy.

SET to be upgraded
The Stock Exchange of Thailand said on Wednesday the Thai capital market was being upgraded from Secondary Emerging Market to Advanced Emerging Market status in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series, according to an announcement by FTSE Group, the global index provider.

Indonesia to be connected
The effort to wire Indonesia will lead to a Rp 30 trillion (US$3.4 billion) investment bonanza in information and communications technology in the next three years, a government official said on Wednesday.

New cyber security centre for Singapore
Singapore will set up a new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to boost its capability to counter cyber security threats.

China firm builds Cambodia
Shanghai Construction Group has announced it will complete US$700 million in projects in Cambodia over the next five years, highlighting China’s dominant and still-growing presence in Cambodia.

Pilot shortage may hinder regional growth
The looming shortage of pilots and technicians in the region is hampering the burgeoning civil aviation industry in Asia-Pacific that could account for nearly half of global air travel in the next two decades.

SCG buys stake in Indo company
Siam Cement Group (SCG) of Thailand plans to buy a 30 percent stake in PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk (CAP), Indonesia's leading integrated petrochemical company, for 13.5 billion baht as part of its Southeast Asian expansion drive.

Natalegawa to assess Myanmar chairmanship bid
Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says the opinion of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and civil society will influence whether Myanmar is invited to chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2014.

Jakarta monorail project stopped
After seven years and hundreds of billions of rupiah in public money, Jakarta on Monday finally pulled the plug on the city’s abortive monorail project.

Philippines to join Asean stock link
The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the participation of the Philippine Stock Exchange in a Southeast Asian cross-border trading platform.

Thai company goes green
Loxley Plc, one of Thailand's biggest trading conglomerates, is spending about 4 billion baht (US$124.7million) on its five-year renewable energy plan ending in 2014.

Job applicants improve, lack English skills
Employers see improvement in the quality of fresh graduates, but worry the youths are not changing fast enough to catch up with the demands of the working world.

Asia-Pacific stokes freight demand
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to command the highest growth of close to 300 percent in its air freighter fleet in the next 20 years, outpacing the total world demand of 115 percent.

Asian countries now see futility of Internet blockage
Governments around the world have tried for years to control the Internet, dismayed by its potential to incite violence, spread mischief and distribute pornography and dissent.

Vietnam asks for restraint in East Timor Sea
Vietnam has asked parties to refrain from actions that could complicate the situation in the East Sea and instead contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said Friday.

Indonesia needs to improve logistics
The State Enterprises Ministry says the nation’s logistics sector will need to improve if Indonesia is to be an active part of a regional network scheduled to start four years from now.

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