Southeast Asia Globe’s daily rundown of the region’s top stories
25 April 2017
Lawyer files “crimes against humanity” case against Duterte
In a 77-page complaint arguing that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is culpable for the deaths of more than 9,400 people since 1988, Filipino lawyer Jude Josue Sabio asked the International Criminal Court yesterday to charge the populist leader and 11 other Philippine officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity.
Sabio represents two men that say they were members of the Davao Death Squad, a unit allegedly created by Duterte during his time as mayor of Davao City. Since becoming president last year, critics have increasingly called out his ‘war on drugs’ as a ‘reign of terror’ that disproportionately affects the poor. [The New York Times]
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Myanmar military refuses negotiation at upcoming peace talks
The Myanmar military has ruled out the possibility of revising the Nationwide Cease-fire Agreement (NCA), which was signed in October 2015, the country’s deputy commander-in-chief, vice-senior general Soe Win, said on Monday.
“Asking ethnic armed groups to sign the NCA is not asking them to abandon their weapons, but some groups have misunderstood this,” Soe Win said.
Aung San Suu Kyi has made the country’s ongoing peace process a priority of her administration, but negotiations have stalled in recent months. The next round of talks are scheduled for 24 May. [Radio Free Asia]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: One year after Myanmar’s historic elections, where is the country headed?
Malaysia launches 10-year programme to assist Indian community
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has hailed a new initiative to help improve the future prospects of the country’s Indian community as “historic”.
The community, which makes up 7% of the country’s population, has suffered due to an array of government policies that offer exclusive economic and social benefits to ethnic Malays.
Referred to as the Malaysian Indian Blueprint, or MIB, the programme will provide housing assistance, funding to Indian businesses, and help to send more Malaysian Indians to university. [The Straits Times]
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Thailand quietly approves $393 million China submarine deal
The Thai cabinet gave a silent nod to a deal proposed by the Royal Thai Navy to buy a submarine from China on April 18, a day after the Songkran holidays ended, Kongcheep Tantravanich, spokesman for the Defence Ministry, revealed yesterday.
The deal will see the Navy pay $393 million over the course of six years for one Yuan Class S26T submarine, with two further submarine purchases expected within the next 11 years. [Bangkok Post]
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Cambodia’s first sailing club ready to take on students
A boutique resort in Kep has teamed up with the Cambodian Sailing Federation (CSF) to offer officially sanctioned sailing courses, in a bid to introduce young Cambodians to the sport of sailing.
While Knai Bang Chatt has offered sailing rentals since the end of last year, it is the first time that the revamped Sailing Club has partnered with CSF. The resort has also been selected by the CSF as one of the training facilities for the 32nd SEA Games in 2023, which will be hosted by Cambodia. [The Phnom Penh Post]
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