Sam’s Southeast Asia Round-Up

28.01.11

Categorie: Asia, Sam Abrams, Southeast Asia Round-Up |
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Bus bomb

Bus bomb. Allvoices photo.

by SAM ABRAMS

Burma
Burma’s Supreme Court refused to allow Aung Suu Kyl’s pro-democracy party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), to participate in Burmese politics. An NLD lawyer told reporters that, the ruling was the party’s “last legal avenue.”

The NLD would remain an illegal organization, the court said, because it did not register in the last November’s election, the nation’s first since 1990 when the ruling military junta dismissed the NLD’s victory. The NLD sat out to protest election’s undemocratic conditions, the victors of which are to be sworn in Monday.

The Philippines
On Tuesday a bomb killed five and injured 13 bus passengers in Manilla. Among several measures to increase security, authorities deployed 300 bus marshals to monitor the city’s 7,000 buses. President Benigno S. Aquino III has offered a one-million peso ($22,700) reward for information regarding the attackers, while police have identified two persons of interest.

The first Philippines-U.S. Strategic Dialogue opened this week in Manilla. On Wednesday, Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. State Department and and Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio of the Filipino Department of Foreign Affairs held a news conference in which Campbell said the two countries would look for ways to boost the Philippine’s ability to control its “very substantial maritime domain.” China has become increasing assertive in the region, compelling the United States to show its commitment to local allies as they respond to Chinese pressure.

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