Vol. VI No. 17 - Tuesday
June 19, - June 25, 2007
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by Saichon Paewsoongnern

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Regional news in brief

Regional news in brief

PM pledges to eradicate ‘cancer of corruption’
The “cancer” of corruption must be eradicated from Thailand if the country is ever to become a thriving democracy, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said.
“We as a nation will not achieve good and honest government if we allow corruption and disregard for the rule of law to continue,”
Surayud said during Thaksin’s administration, “the rule of law came under fierce attack from the powerful, the rich and cronies. Corruption washed through our government.”
Thais fear election will be delayed
The latest Suan Dusit Rajabhat University survey has found that nearly half of all respondents believe that the critically important general election scheduled to be held this December will be delayed.
Better known as the Suan Dusit Poll, the survey interviewed 3,174 persons in 12 provinces nationwide June 4-10.
There are many reasons that would put off the general election, the Suan Dusit poll makers explained. Nearly half of the respondents, 48.05 per cent, said political conflicts, especially ongoing demonstrations against the Council for National Security and the interim government would be the chief reason for delaying the election.
Cambodian PM lashes out
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen angrily denied reported comments by a retired Thai general that some Cambodian Muslims were fanning an Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand.
Retired Gen. Wattanachai Chaimuenwong, now a security affairs adviser to Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, reportedly said that some Cambodian Muslims were part of Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional terror network and had been involved in the insurgency in southern Thailand.
China trade surplus up 73 percent
China’s monthly trade surplus soared 73 percent in May from a year ago amid U.S. pressure on Beijing for action on its yawning trade gap or face possible sanctions.
Exports exceeded imports by US$22.5 billion, citing data from China’s customs agency. That figure, close to the all-time record high monthly surplus of US$23.8 billion reported in October, came despite repeated Chinese pledges to take steps to narrow the gap by boosting imports and rein in fevered export growth.
Yahoo sued
China should not punish people for expressing their political views on the Internet, Yahoo Inc. said one day after the mother of a jailed Chinese reporter announced she was suing the U.S. company for helping officials imprison her son.
Yahoo’s statement didn’t specifically mention the case of jailed journalist Shi Tao, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 after sending an e-mail about Chinese media restrictions. The company has acknowledged sharing information about Shi with Chinese authorities.
Sanctions on Myanmar pointless
Western sanctions to force democracy on Myanmar are pointless because the country will survive as long as it is supported by China and India, a senior Southeast Asian official said.
“Sanctions for what?” said Ong Keng Yong, the secretary-general of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations of which Myanmar is also a member.
“Myanmar is not part of the global economy. They are no big shakes. Even if you pull out everybody from Myanmar, every economic investor, they are not going to collapse simply because their two big neighbors will always be willing to sustain them,” Ong said, referring to China and India, which are not members of ASEAN.
Blind contractor’s bridge collapses
Two Chinese officials have been jailed for letting a blind contractor build a bridge that collapsed during construction, injuring 12 workers.
A court in the southern province of Jianxi sentenced Huang Wenge, to 18 months in jail, and local party leader Xia Jiazhong to 12 months.
Last November the two hired for a bridge-building project a contractor, who then transferred the construction to another contractor, Xia Huaqing, who is blind.
(CMM Reporters/TNA/AP)

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