Southeast Asia Globe’s daily rundown of the region’s top stories
17 April 2017
Land rights activists hold police hostage in Vietnam
Villagers in Vietnam’s My Duc district have taken a number of police officers hostage after authorities arrested four land rights activists on Saturday for taking part in protests, which police say amounted to disrupting public order.
The residents are standing up against the seizure of 116 acres of farmland to be used by the country’s military-owned telecom operator, Viettel. [Time]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: No man’s land: Cambodia’s Boeung Kak lake
US court to dismiss case against Cambodian prime minister’s son
A lawsuit filed against Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet in the US will soon be dismissed, a lawyer said, because the judge overseeing the case believes there is inadequate evidence showing that Hun Manet had been served whilst on US soil.
Hun Manet was being sued by opposition official Meach Sovannara, a dual Cambodian and US citizen, for his “arbitrary, extra-legal and long-term detention”, after the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced him for “insurrection” in 2015. [The Cambodia Daily]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Sizing up Hun Manith, the enigmatic son of Cambodia’s prime minister
China-Myanmar pipeline vulnerable to attacks, analysts warn
Myanmar and China finally reached an agreement last week to begin using a $1.5 billion, 770km-long pipeline that had gone unused for two years. But analysts say ethnic groups in Myanmar could attack the pipeline in order to gain attention from China, who has recently taken a harder line against rebels along the border. [South China Morning Post]
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: One year after Myanmar’s historic elections, where is the country headed?
Missing social activist Peter Chong returns to Malaysia
Malaysian police say social activist Peter Chong has returned to Kuala Lumpur from Thailand, where he said he was abducted while trying to find information on the missing Christian pastor Raymond Koh, who disappeared in February 2016.
Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Divide and rule: the racist roots of Malaysia’s Redshirt movement
Canada wins Singapore Sevens for the first time
Canada was the shock winner of the Singapore Sevens rugby tournament, having teed up an all-North American final following impressive victories against New Zealand and England in earlier rounds. They beat their rivals the United States 26-19 to claim their first ever World Series Sevens title.
“This is huge for Canadian rugby. We’ve lost US$1 million in funding, our 15s results have been poor, so this just gives us a shot in the arm,” Canada’s coach Damian McGrath told AFP after the win. [Channel News Asia]