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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   11 November 2013  

HK Legislative Council votes to virtually cut ties with PHL

The Legislative Council of Hong Kong has voted to virtually cut ties with the Philippines as it passed a non-binding resolution calling for economic sanctions over the 2010 Manila bus hostage crisis.

However, the resolution will still need action from the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region before the proposed sanctions can be implemented.
According to a document posted on the website of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, lawmakers have approved the resolution calling for the following sanctions against the Philippines:
    The Hong Kong Government to suspend the procurement of Philippine products.
    The Hong Kong Government to suspend the new round of negotiations on areas such as air freedom rights and trade
    Except for the hostage incident, the Hong Kong Government to suspend all its dealings with the Philippine Government;
    The Hong Kong Government to suspend inviting Philippine cultural organizations to Hong Kong to participate in the cultural and arts activities organized by the Hong Kong Government
    The Hong Kong Legislative Council to suspend its friendship exchanges and liaison with the Congress of the Philippines
    The Hong Kong Government to call on the Hong Kong community and commercial sector to suspend their commercial and cultural exchanges with the Philippines, and call on the public to boycott Philippine goods

They also voted 41 to three in favor of former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee's amendment calling on the Hong Kong SAR government to scrap the visa-free access granted to Filipinos.
"This Council calls on the public to unite and hold the Philippine Government responsible, and urges the Government to impose strong and forceful economic sanction measures, so as to press the Philippine Government to make a prompt and formal response to the four demands of the victims’ families," the document read.
The Council said the four demands are for the Philippines to apologize to the victims’ families, to offer compensation to the victims’ families, to penalize officials for "dereliction of duty in the Philippine hostage incident", and to implement measures to protect tourists.

More than 100,000 Filipino domestic helpers are currently working in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong tourists, meanwhile, are among the top ten tourist groups arriving in the Philippines with 86,396 arrivals from January to August this year. — JDS, GMA News

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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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