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ASEAN’s AEC 2015 and Vision 2020
This ASEAN Emerging Issues Paper presents a number of key challenges facing the region at this time, particularly as it moves towards the full implementation of the AEC by 2015 and the ASEAN Vision 2020 which have both been endorsed by members. 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
9 May 2011
    Vol.1 No.13

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The Editor's Corner


Civil liberties still an Asean Achilles heel
          As the 18th Asean Summit takes place in Jakarta this weekend, the Asean community can celebrate the growing economic prosperity of its member states and the absence of conflict between them, the recent Thai-Cambodian flare-up notwithstanding.

However, turning to the domestic situation in each of the countries it’s a less attractive picture, particularly in the areas of civil liberties.

Here are a few news items that illustrate the dire situation in a number of Asean countries:

Thailand is heading toward an election in late June or early July. Recently authorities have clamped down on red shirt media and last month police raided more than a dozen local radio stations sympathetic to their cause. The justification was that a red shirt leader had made a speech defaming Thailand’s monarchy and the community radio stations had broadcast the speech.

Last year, civil organizations had to move their meetings to Bangkok from Asean meetings in Hanoi due to constant harassment from authorities in communist Vietnam.

The killing of journalists is not unusual in the Philippines. More than 30 reporters were massacred by partisans of a powerful clan on Mindanao Island in 2009. The accused have still not been brought to trial in the Philippines.

In other areas, people’s right to redress has been ignored. More than 4,000 families have been ordered off of their homes along side Boeung Khaek Lake in Cambodia as the land is being cleared for a development by a senator in Cambodia’s ruling party. The amount the families have been offered for their homes is far less than the homes are worth. Protesters have recently been beaten by police.

In the 2010 World Press Freedom Index compiled by French-based Reporters Without Borders, Asean countries don’t do well. Out of 175 countries here are the Asean results:





Thailand -153


Vietnam -165

Laos -168


As Asean matures and strengthens perhaps mechanisms may emerge that give civil society a platform to address injustices within countries that fly in the face of the lofty language embodied in the Asean Charter.


Top News from Southeast Asia

May 8 , 2011


These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of April 30-May 6.

Laos to vote for communist-dominated assembly
Voters in Laos go to the polls today (May 30) to choose a legislature that will be entirely controlled by the ruling communists, despite signs of growing clout in recent years.

Malaysian PM calls for reform  
Malaysia’s economic competitiveness will continue to be threatened if it continues to depend on cheap foreign labor and is reluctant to innovate, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Thai PM says government ready for ICJ  
Cambodia's request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for legal clarification to settle the border dispute around the Preah Vihear temple is not unexpected, according to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Lao-China railway project hits delays 
Laos' ambitious plan to build a 7-billion-dollar high-speed railway track linking its border with China to Vientiane has stalled on Chinese politics and social and environmental concerns.

Indo VP goes after China investments  
Indonesian Vice President Boediono has called on Chinese businesses to open factories in Indonesia to benefit from the country’s wealth of natural resources, favorable labor conditions and growing domestic market.

Indonesia still needs reforms  
When Standard &Poor’s upgraded Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating to BB+ in April, it meant all three mainstream ratings agencies had the country at just one notch below investment-grade level.

Iron ore exploitation destroys lake  
Ba Be Lake in the Vietnamese national park of the same name, is slowly being filled up with rock and earth from the exploitation of iron ore.

Thailand’s CP eyes new markets 
Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) has identified India, Vietnam, Russia and the Philippines as its top priority markets for expansion in a five-year business plan as these countries have potential growth in population, variety of consumption, low numbers of competitors and lack of farm technology.

Gas supplies dwindle as Japan buys  
The Thai Energy Ministry is preparing measures to cope with fuel shortages caused by Japan's nuclear power crisis.

Reducing corruption key to Asia's growth  
Reducing corruption and improving government accountability are the greatest challenges to making Asia the world's wealthiest region by 2050, says a draft report for the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Indonesia to introduce Shariah equities index  
The Indonesia Stock Exchange plans to launch its first index of Shariah-compliant companies next week as part of efforts to diversify the country’s investor base and attract more investment from the Middle East.

No press freedom in Cambodia  
The targeting of Cambodian journalists through defamation and disinformation legislation and the closure of an opposition newspaper were responsible for a decline in Cambobia's world ranking for press freedom last year, according to a report released yesterday.

Challenges loom for Malaysia  
Malaysia's march towards the "Asian Century" as described by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its latest report will depend on how well the country confronts the difficult economic, political and social questions cropping up as reforms take place.

Thai mutual funds get good grades  
Thailand's mutual fund industry ranks third after the United States and Singapore for information disclosure, regulations and taxation policies.

VW to build factory in Indonesia  
Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker, plans to build a factory in Indonesia by the end of this year at the latest, Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat said.

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