South East Asia Regional Law News

by Admin on July 11, 2012

Thailand Getting Competition from Neighbor Myanmar

Myanmar’s rapidly growing tourism  industry is now putting the number of visitors to Thailand at risk.

Myanmar’s deputy tourism minister U Htay Aung told the Sasin Bangkok Forum that his country was ramping up its tourism infrastructure to cope with a sharp rise in the number of visitors.

He went on to say that between January and June of this year, the number of foreigners flying into Yangon and Mandalay airports was 50 per cent higher than the same period in 2011.

U Htay Aung said a tourism master plan has been drawn up and has received backing for its efforts from the Norwegian government. This includes plans for an international airport and new hotels.

Charoen Wangananont, secretary-general of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said the government must adopt a constructive strategy to enjoy mutual benefits from Myanmar’s development. He also said inconsistent policies made Thailand vulnerable to losing tourists to other countries in the region.

Mining Bringing in the Prostitutes

Australia’s mining communities are bringing in more prostitutes targeting lonely, mostly male, workers. While these women have financially benefitted from the boom, there are growing concerns that more women are being brought in from overseas and exploited by criminals.

According to police officer Inspector Paul Briggin the women coming from overseas are putting pressure on legalized brothels in Queensland. He also said a majority are coming from Asia and have been exploited due to poor education and being easily tricked.

 Cambodian Children’s Deaths

After a number of Cambodian children mysteriously died it is believed the cause was hand, foot, and mouth disease. According to the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry, lab tests have confirmed that a virulent strain of the disease called EV-71 was responsible for some of the 59 cases of illness reviewed in Cambodia.

Epidemiologists are now interviewing parents and trying to determine the cause for all cases, especially where the children were not tested before they died.

EV-71, which can cause paralysis, brain swelling, and death, has been reported in other regions of Asia, including Vietnam and China. Most of the Cambodian children were under age 3 and developed neurological symptoms and severe respiratory symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the disease is typically mild and most children recover in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment. The CDC also noted that the disease is most contagious during the first week of illness but can still spread long after symptoms have disappeared.

Laos Drug Centre Under Fire

The Somsanga Drug Detention Centre in Vientiane, Laos is under scrutiny for poor conditions and Human Rights Watch has called it an “inhumane detention centre.”

The centre holds homeless adults and children as well as those who suffer from drug abuse or mental illness.  And according to a Human Rights Watch many of these people are held against their will inside the facility surrounded by high walls, barbed wire, and guards.

Now the issue is that the centre is no longer a drug treatment centre but a detention centre where those inside have no access to legal counsel, to appear before a judge, or to appeal their detention.

Former detainees said that anyone who tried to escape was beaten and many reported a number of suicides inside.

Now organizations such as Human Rights Watch are calling on the US government to release detainees and stop funding to the centre and others like it around Laos.


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