Old habits die hard

June 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

YANGON, 30 June 2017: Myanmar’s civilian government on Wednesday defended the detention of three journalists who were reporting on an armed ethnic group, an incident that has fueled alarm at the erosion of press freedom.

The journalists were among seven people detained by the military, Monday, as they left a drugs-burning ceremony organised by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), one of several rebel groups fighting the state.

The journalists, who have been held incommunicado since then, included reporters from The Irrawaddy and DVB, which for years challenged the former junta’s iron grip on free expression with their covert reporting. Read more

Bombing continues in Philippines

May 30, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Philippines

MARAWI, THE PHILIPPINES, 30 May 2017: Security forces traded heavy gunfire with Islamist militants inside a southern Philippine city, Monday, as fears grew for up to 2,000 people unable to escape a week of fighting that has left women and children among the dead.

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the southern third of the Philippines shortly after the fighting erupted, warning the gunmen were involved in an effort by the Islamic State group to set up a local caliphate.

But street-to-street battles and a relentless military bombing campaign has so far failed to end the crisis in Marawi, one of the biggest Muslim cities in the mainly Catholic Philippines, and authorities expressed alarm about the fate of those trapped. Read more

BA dumps passengers at military base

April 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

LISBON, 27 April 2017: British Airways offloaded a couple from a London to Jamaica flight at a Portuguese air force base, Wednesday, after a row broke out over their demands for an upgrade to business class, military officials said.

“The pilot decided to land in Lajes in the island of Terceira because of a dispute between cabin crew and a couple.

They wanted to be transferred from economy class to first class,” an air force spokesman told AFP. Read more

Bohol terrorists on the run

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Philippines

MANILA, 24 April 2017: Four gunmen have been killed on a Philippine tourist island as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military on Sunday to kill remnants of an Islamic militant group behind a foiled mass kidnapping attempt there.

Authorities said the dead suspects and three others on the run were stragglers from a boatload of southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf gunmen who sailed to the central island of Bohol this month as part of a plot to kidnap tourists.

The fighting in Bohol, about 500 kilometres (300 miles) away from Jolo and 800 kilometres (500 miles) south of Manila, caused a scare for the Philippines’ important tourism industry. Read more

Lotte halts China project

February 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

BEIJING, 9 February 2017: A South Korean conglomerate has been forced by Chinese authorities to suspend a multi-billion-dollar theme park project, as tensions grow over the deployment of a US missile defence system.

The plan by Seoul and Washington to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in response to threats from North Korea has drawn fire from China, which fears it will undermine its own ballistic capabilities.

Seoul has earmarked a golf course in the southern county of Seongju owned by the Lotte Group, a food, retail and hotel operator that is South Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate, for the THAAD system. It has offered it a plot of military-owned land east of the capital in exchange. Read more

Turkey coup falters

July 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BANGKOK, 16 July 2016: The BBC reported, earlier today, that some 2,839 soldiers, including high-ranking officers, have been arrested over an attempted coup that is now over, according to Turkey’s PM Binali Yildirim.

In related news a soccer team from Singapore was stranded at Istanbul’s international airport, among thousands of international travellers who use Turkish Airlines to fly to Asian destinations.

An estimated 161 people have been killed and 1,440 wounded in the failed coup attempt.

Explosions and gunfire were heard in Ankara, Istanbul and elsewhere overnight and thousands of Turks heeded President Erdogan’s call to rise up against the coup-plotters.

It is not clear who is behind the coup.

Earlier in the day AFP reported a Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets was waging a coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Saturday, but the strongman returned to Istanbul defiantly claiming to have regained control.

Soldiers and tanks took to the streets late on Friday and multiple explosions rang out throughout the night in Ankara and Istanbul, the two biggest cities of the strategic NATO country of 80 million people.

Dozens of soldiers backing the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul that they had held throughout the night, holding their hands above their heads as they were detained, television pictures showed.

A group of Singaporeans consisting of 13 footballers, two coaches and six parents are stranded at Antalya Airport.

A MFA spokesman said: “MFA and the Singapore Embassy in Ankara are in touch with the Singaporeans and are providing consular assistance to them”

Earlier in the day MFA said in statement it was concerned about developments in Turkey and was monitoring the situation closely.

“Until the situation becomes clearer, we advise Singaporeans to avoid non-essential travel to Turkey for the time being. Singaporeans who are in Turkey should stay indoors, monitor the news closely and e-register with MFA. They should let their family and friends know that they are safe.”

Singapore was the only ASEAN nation to issue a travel advisory on events in Turkey.

A travel advisory posted by the Australian government, this evening, said Ataturk international airport and Sabiha Gokcen international airport in Istanbul have resumed limited operations although delays and possibly flight diversions were still likely. All inbound and outbound flights at Esenboga airport in Ankara have been cancelled until late evening local time.

Egyptian forces attack Mexican tourists

September 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

CAIRO, 15 September 2015: Egyptian security forces have mistakenly killed 12 people including Mexican tourists while chasing jihadists in the country’s vast Western Desert, drawing condemnation and calls for an investigation from Mexico.

A joint police and military operation Sunday “chasing terrorist elements” had “mistakenly” targeted four pick-up trucks carrying Mexican tourists, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not give a breakdown of the casualties but said “the incident led to the death of 12 Mexicans and Egyptians and the wounding of 10 others.”

Read more

Military detains Samui bomb suspect

April 13, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK 13 April 2015: Thailand’s military has detained a man for questioning after the car bomb attack which wounded seven people on the resort island of Samui as security was tightened there, police said Sunday.

Samui was packed with tourists just just two days ahead of Songkhran festival when the car bomb exploded in a shopping mall car park. However, tourism officials on the island said the incident had not deterred travellers or caused booking cancellations.

Military officers detained the man for questioning late Saturday in Nonthaburi province, on the northern outskirts of Bangkok, in connection to the explosion, national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told AFP

Read more