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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        30  May 2011

Vietnamese police can’t wear sunglasses

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Communist Vietnam has banned police from wearing black sunglasses, chatting, smoking and putting their hands in their pockets while they are on duty in public places, a media report said.

A new order from the Ministry of Public Security states, officers must also "keep appropriate manners and be in the right position when on duty," said the English-language website of state-controlled Tuoi Tre newspaper.

"This means traffic cops must not hide behind trees to ambush" and issue fines. The report, published on Saturday, also said on-duty police were now banned from reading books, making or answering non-work related phone calls, drinking alcohol or eating at restaurants that illegally encroach onto pavements.

Vietnam's traffic police are seen by citizens as notoriously corrupt.

Last year US-based Human Rights Watch urged Vietnam to investigate "widespread police brutality", saying it had documented 19 incidents of reported brutality by law enforcers over the previous year, resulting in 15 deaths.

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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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