Rakhine in the throes of land grab?

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

BANGKOK, 29 September 2017: Battered by global outrage over an army crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, Myanmar has found comfort in an old friend – China, an Asian superpower whose unflinching support is tied to the billions it has lavished on ports, gas and oil in violence-hit Rakhine state.

Close to half a million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the last month after a militant attack sparked a vicious military campaign that the UN has called “ethnic cleansing”.

China — which is expected to speak later Thursday at a UN Security Council meeting on the crisis — has fallen out of step with much of the world in condemning the army-led crackdown. Read more

Tourism sidesteps Rohingya crisis

September 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

YANGON, 21 September 2017: Myanmar Tourism Marketing has made repeated impassioned pleas for tourists to continue visiting the country.

Nothing wrong with that, MTM is the official body that promotes the country’s tourism on behalf of its stakeholders.

Membership is made up of a multitude of travel firms, hotels and airlines and the government’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has a strong say in MTM directives. Read more

Trump tries again on travel ban

June 5, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 5 June 2017: President Donald Trump’s administration asked the US Supreme Court late last week to reinstate its temporary ban on travellers from six Muslim majority nations despite repeated setbacks in the lower courts.

In its filing, the government asked the top US court to rule on the legal standing of Trump’s order, appealing a ruling by the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a nationwide block of the travel ban.

It also asked the Supreme Court to lift another US-wide injunction issued by a federal judge in a separate case based in Hawaii. That case is currently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a decision is pending. Read more

Martial law in southern Philippines

May 25, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Philippines

MANILA, 25 May 2017: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law across the southern third of the country, after deadly clashes between security forces and Islamic State group-linked militants in a major city.

The announcement was made by his spokesman at a press conference in Moscow earlier this week.

Duterte was on an official visit, fulfils an often-repeated warning by the president that he would enforce military rule to quell security threats. Read more

Trump ban back in court

March 15, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 15 March 2017: President Donald Trump insists his amended travel ban will survive any legal challenge and it’s time to see if he’s right, with the first court hearings on it scheduled for Wednesday.

“SEE YOU IN COURT,” Trump tweeted after his first executive order on immigration was stayed by a judge, 3 February.

It would seem people have taken him at his word, given the number of complaints — by states and rights groups — filed against his travel ban. The new iteration is supposed to take effect Thursday. Read more

Rakhine resuscitate dead airport

February 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Myanmar, News

RAKHINE STATE, 20 February 2017: The Rakhine State government, in Myanmar, has invited private developers to accelerate construction of an airport at the ancient city of Mrauk U in northern region of the state.

Irrawaddy media quoted the regional transport minister, U Aung Kyaw Zan, saying the state government has called on private investors to bid for a build-operate-transfer contract that would speed up completion of an airport, now years behind schedule.

“We are calling on international and local companies to invest and to continue the project…it is estimated the finished project would cost 26 billion kyats (USD18.9 million).” Read more

Cambodia seeks more Muslim travellers

February 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

PHNOM PENH, 2 February 2017: Thailand will support Cambodia efforts to introduce more Halal food production in the country that should help it attract more Muslim tourists.

Thailand has promised to support with seminars and other programmes that will help to put in place more Halal food restaurants and support Cambodia in its efforts to set up a Halal standard.

Agence Kampuchea Presse identified discussions between Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Royal Thai Embassy in Cambodia, Darm Boontham, and Cambodia’ Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak, held on Monday. Read more

Trump’s blames protesters

January 31, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 31 January 2017: US President Donald Trump on Monday again rejected accusations that his ban on travellers from Muslim countries had prompted chaos in US airports, blaming protesters and a computer systems outage at Delta Airlines.

Trump’s executive order issued, Friday, temporarily banning travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries and suspending the arrival of all refugees prompted thousands to protest at major US airports amid outrage around the world.

“Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage, protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer,” he tweeted about the Democratic Senate minority leader who made an emotional vow on Sunday to fight Trump’s order. Read more

Malaysia tops Muslim travel index

April 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Malaysia, News

BANGKOK, 4 April 2016: Malaysia remains the top destination for Muslim travellers, according to MasterCard–Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2016.

The index said Malaysia and Singapore retained their positions as top destinations for the Muslim travel market, in OIC and non-OIC categories. (There are 57 member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.) The overall study covered 130 destinations a mix of OIC and non-OIC nations.

Malaysia took the first place out of all the 57 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations with the UAE moving up one spot to second place. Read more