Tag Archives: Thailand

A strong ASEAN will immensely benefit India: Narendra Modi

Newsroom24x7 Network

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the 16th ASEAN-India Summit, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.

Bangkok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, 3 October 2019 that a strong ASEAN will immensely benefit India.

The Prime Minister was addressing the 16th India – ASEAN Summit here. He said that India’s Act East Policy is a significant cornerstone of the Indo-Pacific strategy; adding that ASEAN is at the core of Act East Policy.

Modi highlighted steps being taken to improve surface, maritime, air and digital connectivity. One billion dollar Indian line of credit will prove beneficial for improving physical and digital connectivity, he said.

Prime Minister said that last year’s Commemorative Summit and Singapore Informal Summit’s Decisions implementation has brought India and ASEAN closer. India is willing to increase cooperation and partnership in areas mutually beneficial to India and ASEAN and expressed readiness to improve partnership and capacity building in the areas of agriculture, research, engineering, science and ICT.

The Prime Minister said that India wants to strengthen cooperation in the areas of maritime security and blue economy. He also welcomed the recent decision to review India ASEAN FTA saying it will improve economic partnership between the two countries.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister expressed happiness in being part of the 16th India – ASEAN Summit and thanked Thailand for the warm hospitality and extended best wishes to Vietnam for taking over as Chairman of next year’s Summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, on the sidelines of the 16th India-ASEAN Summit, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.

The Prime Minister met the President of Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo in Bangkok on Sunday on the sidelines of ASEAN/EAS related meetings.

PM Modi congratulated President Widodo on the start of his second term as the President of Indonesia and conveyed that as the world’s two largest democratic and plural societies, India is committed to work with Indonesia to strengthen ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges.

Noting that India and Indonesia are close maritime neighbours, both leaders reiterated their commitment to work together for peace, security and prosperity in order to achieve their shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely bilaterally and globally to tackle this menace.

Prime Minister Modi had a forward looking discussion on enhancing bilateral trade and highlighted the need for greater market access for Indian commodities including, pharmaceutical, automotive and agricultural products. While noting that Indian companies have made substantial investment in Indonesia, PM Modi invited Indonesian companies to use the opportunities presented in India for investment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Prime Minister of Thailand, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the sidelines of the 16th India-ASEAN Summit, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.

Modi also met Prime Minister of Thailand Gen (ret.) Prayut Chan-o-Cha on on the sidelines of 35th ASEAN Summit, 14th East Asia Summit(EAS) and 16th India-ASEAN Summit.

During the meeting both leaders reviewed the progress made in bilateral relationship and noted that frequent high level meetings and exchanges at all levels have created positive momentum in the relationship. Noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security fields, both sides agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in defence industries sector. Welcoming 20% growth in bilateral trade last year, leaders decided to task the trade officials to discuss ways and means to enhance trade and investment.

The Prime Ministers also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity. Both leaders welcomed the growing air connectivity between the two countries and start of a direct flight between Bangkok and Guwahati and also finalisation of agreements for cooperation between Ranong Port, Thailand and Indian ports in Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakapatnam.

The leaders also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Australia launches Australia-ASEAN Council

Newsroom24x7 Desk

australian govtSydney, Australia : With an eye on strengthening partnership bonds between Australia and South East Asian countries, the Australian government launched Australia-ASEAN Council. This initiative will work towards building links between all the countries of South-East Asia.

South-East Asia is the one of the most important strategic and economic regions in the world with a combined GDP of around 2.5 trillion US dollars, and a population of over 620 million people. The 10 member nations of ASEAN now represent almost 15 per cent of Australia’s total trade, with two-way trade valued at almost $100 billion in 2014. The 10 member ASEAN countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The Australia-ASEAN Council will shape Australia’s engagement with South-East Asia and strengthen partnerships through stronger business, education, science, arts and cultural links. It will also work closely with the New Colombo Plan and Australia Alumni networks to facilitate ongoing links between individuals and organisations.

Tiger Temple Report by Cee4life to expose illegal tiger trade

Newsroom24x7 Desk

tiger templeOnce upon a time, nearly 16 years ago, screams a Cee4life post on facebook,  a myth was born that would fool gullible people, intelligent people, professional people, animal loving people etc from all over the world.
The myth, according to Cee4life, was “the rescue of injured and orphaned Tiger cubs, by Monks in Thailand, at a place called Wat PA Luang Ta Bua Yansampanno, better known as The Tiger Temple…..

This fairytale grew into epic proportions because of “feel good” coverage, points out Cee4life, adding it is not the journalists or media fault, why wouldn’t you believe that kind loving Buddhist Monks were doing these seeming miracles with Tigers? Its unthinkable to think it was all a charade.

But just as there is good in every religion, faith, country or heart in the world, there is also the dark that lurks there too, Cee4life states while underscoring how in 1999 and 2000, 8 Tigers were bought through the illegal wildlife trade and there began the gargantuan foundation of lies that has grown into a monstrosity …

The 8 Tigers had parents, they were not injured or orphaned Tigers, they were Tigers illegally obtained via the illegal international trade in Tigers…..

Cee4life claims that it has gone to a tremendous extent and risk to gather and protect the undeniable evidence and information.

Due to the severity of “threats”, relevant “agencies” have been informed of who, why, what, when and where and theTiger Temple Report 2 report has been given to multiple sources so it is ensured that it will come to light. Cee4life has said in a statement.

The Tiger Temple Report by Cee4life will be released in the coming weeks. It is heavily controversial, and will reveal a most shocking corruption on international illegal Tiger trade that was founded in Wat PA Luang Ta Bua Yansampanno, The Tiger Temple, Thailand.

Cee4life has dedicated the report to “every Tiger that lost its life inside the Tiger Tempe and every Tiger that stands to lose their life in there right now.

Tiger-dead for fake Chinese medicineSybelle Foxcroft, founder Director of Cee4life says:

“I saw a comment that said “When money is offered even the most gentle souls are tempted”….. Tiger Temple.. you might be able to get away with that bribery with some of your high and mighty friends, but not this org my friend.. There is no amount of money that you could offer to make us turn a blind eye.

You think that the public will forget about every single tiger that you traded, killed, murdered, NEVER…..

We have asked that those within Tiger Temple, whether as a long turn volunteer or a paid staff member, to step forward now, before it is to late. You have this one last chance or you will be found as guilty as all those who have deliberately carried on after beautiful tigers lost their lives to wildlife trade, at the order of you leaders, the Abbot and Jakkrit. You foreigners that think you are so untouchable, you are not. Time is running out now. Step forward and relieve yourself of the guilt you have carried. The people who you walk beside in the Tiger Temple, who you think are your friends, are nothing but shells of soul less beings desperate to keep a job. A job that requires you to ignore deaths, unattended injuries, beatings and the ultimate crimes of wildlife trade. We speak so hard to you now, as we have the evidence, your faces, every one of you…. Step forward, before you pay with your own freedom….. The clock is at 5 to midnight, step forward TT and you may be given a reprieve.

Tiger Temple – You are NO LONGER hiding Behind the Cloak of Buddha because we have ripped your cloaks off and you are stark naked for all the world to see your CRIMES…..”

Missing Tigers of Tiger Temple

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Tiger Temple_Cee4lifeThis news is based on Cee4life statement regarding the raids and confiscations of illegally kept animals on the premises of Tiger Temple at Kanchanaburi in Thailand, followed by the further recent revelations of the Tiger Temple Veterinarian of 15 years regarding the disappearance of 3 Tigers, Dao Nau, Facram 3 and Happy 2.

The founder of Cee4life and renowned wildlife expert Sybelle Foxcroft has said in  statement  that her organisation fully supports the actions of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) Thailand and will assist in all areas related to this case to the best of our ability.

Cee4life states that the abuse and disappearance of Tigers from within the Tiger Temple has been occurring since the start of the Tiger Temples inception as a tourism business operation in 1999.  This has been proven repeatedly via evidence collected over an 8 year period by Cee4life.

 

In this time, multiple Tigers have disappeared and these disappearances were always witnessed by Temple staff workers, Monks, the dealer/trader of the Tiger Temple and some Volunteers.

 

The nature of the procurement and disappearances of the Tigers from the Tiger Temple was solidly confirmed after a pain staking and sometimes dangerous investigation, resulting in the following:

1. It is confirmed that the original 8 Tigers were illegally obtained by the Tiger Temple and were not orphaned Tigers.

2. The Tiger Temple was been involved in the wildlife trade of protected endangered Tigers in cross border trades with Laos, effectively breaching wildlife laws of Thailand and the CITES agreement.  However, for reasons unknown, at that time the evidence was not followed up.

3. The Tigers were being physically abused in multiple ways

4. The Tigers were not being cared for at an ethical standard and were void of correct enclosures, correct diet, correct enrichment, correct and timely veterinary aid.

5. The safety of the public was/is at high risk

It is from the animal ethics and welfare and wildlife law stance that Cee4life continued to carry out an intricate and complex 8 year continuous investigation into the Tiger Temple in pursuit of the safety for the lawfully protected listed endangered Panthera tigris sub-species of the Tiger Temple.

After the recent resignation of the Tiger Temple Veterinarian of 15 years, this long term professional employee came forward with information regarding three Tigers which have disappeared from the Temple grounds between 20 – 25th December 2014.  We commend the Veterinarian for coming forward with this evidence and information.

The three tigers are named Facram (number 3), Happy (number 2) and Dao Nau.  Tiger Temple has had a habit of renaming tigers or naming multiple tigers the same names in order to confuse. It does not matter how much confusion ensues, a Tigers stripes are the same as DNA and do not change.

Due to the grave concerns for the safety of these Tigers, Cee4life urges for all of the Tigers of the Tiger Temple be completely confiscated and for the Tiger Temple never to be allowed to house any CITES listed protected, endangered species, or animal species used in traditional Chinese medicines (animal body part use) again.

Cee4life also urges that all venues offering hands on touching of Apex predator carnivores cease these programs on the grounds of animal ethics and welfare and safety to the public.  Cee4life urges that ethical and humane management be implemented  for all species in a captive environment to enable these life forms to live free from harm for life.

Along with the three recently named missing Tigers (Facram 3, Dao Nua and Happy 2) we respectfully and humbly ask that the DNP investigate the disappearances of multiple other Tigers that vanished since the start of the Tiger Temple, and that those responsible for these crimes to be dealt with at the highest standards of justice for a criminal in Thailand.

The following Tigers are only a few which have vanished from the Tiger Temple between 1999 – present day:

Mek disappeared Dec 2005)

Payak (disappeared 2006) – noted on wildlife trade document of trader in Laos

Reung Dao (Born in Tiger Temple 2006 to Tigers, Hernfa and Saireung, disappeared June 2007)

Darika – disappeared July 2007

Sangton and Sangta – Disappeared April 2007

Fareung – disappeared August 2007

Famii – Disappeared 2007

Chomnapa number 2 – disappeared 2005)

Vayu – disappeared 2007

Isirah – Disappeared 2010, was female and was taken away for months, was returned as a male.

The above listed Tigers are only a few of the Tigers that have been confirmed as “missing”. We urge for a criminal investigation and legal justice for these Tigers that paid with their lives at the hands of greed.

It is estimated that the Tiger Temple has had over 400+ Tigers inside their grounds.  The breeding of cubs increased rapidly as “cub” petting programs were implemented and new cubs born every few weeks/months to multiple mothers to supply the Temple with ongoing tourist cubs.  As of today, 5th April 2015, the Tiger Temple has approximately 147 Tigers on their premises. It begs the question, “Where are the multiple missing Tigers?”

Cubs in these petting programs are kept until the age of approximately 3 months old before being replaced by new infant cubs. To keep this number of cubs available to the public, a massive over breeding regime was implemented, which has seen female adult Tigers forced into early breeding cycles repeatedly, the removal of their cubs between 7 – 12 days, in effect destroying their bodies, and providing cubs for tourism. At any point in time, 6 – 20, twelve day old– 3 month cubs were/have been available to the public all year round resulting in numerous Tigers born, yet many suspected as not recorded and then “disappearing”.

Cee4life has urged for the confiscation of all Tigers from the Tiger Temple and for Tiger Temple to receive a lifetime ban on owning or housing any CITES listed protected species, or any animal who’s body parts are used in traditional Chinese medicines.

Friends of the Lower Mekong and the sustainabilty initiative

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Xe DonWashington DC, Feb. 3: Friends of the Lower Mekong, a donor coordination group, have come together with the countries of the Lower Mekong to discuss the connection between water resources, energy needs, and food security.

Carrying forward this objective, US Counselor Tom Shannon and Senior Advisor to the Secretary Ambassador David Thorne led a U.S. delegation to the Extraordinary Meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong in Pakse, Laos on Monday. Accompanying Mr. Shannon and Ambassador Thorne were representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy.

The health of the Mekong River is essential to the economic growth and sustainable development of the region. In Cambodia, the Mekong supports the rich biodiversity of a watershed that provides more than 60 percent of the protein intake for the entire country. The river irrigates the “rice bowl” in Vietnam, where more than half of the nation’s rice production is concentrated in the provinces that make up the Mekong delta. In Laos, Thailand, and Burma, the Mekong is an important artery for transportation, a water source for aquaculture and agriculture, and a generator of electricity.

Meeting participants discussed the challenges of ensuring a future in which economic growth does not come at the expense of clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems. The meeting brought together senior officials from Laos, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam alongside representatives from the United States, the Mekong River Commission, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union, and the governments of Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

At the meeting, the U.S. delegation announced several new initiatives, including the launch of USAID’s Sustainable Mekong Energy Initiative (SMEI). Through the SMEI, the United States will promote the use of alternative energy and low-emission technologies. The delegation also announced that the Department of State will organize and send a Sustainable Energy Business Delegation to the region later this year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will provide technical assistance on hydropower management and the Mississippi River Commission signed a five year extension to its agreement with the Mekong River Commission to exchange knowledge, information, and best practices. In conjunction, Counselor Shannon and Ambassador Thorne announced that the State Department will contribute $500,000 in support of a Mekong River Commission study on the impacts of hydropower on the community and environment.

In a joint statement, the United States agreed to collaborate with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and others to support development of a national energy grid inLaos. When completed, this national energy grid will help provide stable, reliable electricity to millions of people throughout the country. Counselor Shannon announced that the State Department is working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government of Laos to develop a “smart hydro” project that will increase the efficiency and environmental sustainability of its existing small hydropower assets and help build technical capacity in hydropower management.

The Friends of the Lower Mekong will also work together to strengthen the capacity of Lower Mekong countries to more effectively implement social and environmental safeguards such as environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental analyses. The U.S. Government, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Government of Australia plan to jointly develop a Regional Impact Assessment Training Center at the Asian Institute of Technology Center in Vietnam.

Under the auspices of the Lower Mekong Initiative, the United States is continuing successful projects like Smart Infrastructure for the Mekong (SIM) to provide technical assistance to the region on land and water use management, renewable energy, and infrastructure development. This year, $1.5 million will be spent on SIM projects in the Mekong region.

US secretary of State John Kerry even shared his personal vision for promoting sustainabilty of the Mekong in an op-ed on Foreign Policy

 


Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and the People’s Republic of China to the Northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the South, and Thailand to the West.

Pakxe is the capital and most populous city in the southern province of Champasak, making it the third most populous city in Laos. Located at the confluence of the Xe Don and Mekong Rivers (wikipedia)

50 countries do not meet fiscal transparency requirements: US Report

Newsroom24x7 Flash

Department of StateThe US department of State has concluded that, of the 140 governments that were potential beneficiaries of foreign assistance and were evaluated 50 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. Of these, eleven governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

On January 14, US Secretary of State John Kerry released the FY 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report, assessing whether governments that receive U.S. assistance meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. The Department’s assessments evaluate the substantial completeness, reliability, and public availability of budget documents, as well as the transparency of natural resource extraction contracting and license procedures.

The Report is prepared under Section 7031(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014. The Report examines governments receiving bilateral allocations of assistance under the Act. In compiling the Report, the Department assessed the fiscal transparency of governments as of the date the Act became law.

Governments meeting fiscal transparency requirements

The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for FY 2014: Albania, Angola, Armenia, Argentina, The Bahamas, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Vietnam, and Zambia.

The following table lists those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency and identifies whether the governments made significant progress toward meeting those requirements:

Governments Assessed Pursuant to the Act as not Meeting Minimum Requirements of Fiscal Transparency for FY 2014

Significant Progress

No Significant Progress

Afghanistan

X

Algeria

X

Azerbaijan

X

Bahrain

X

Bangladesh

X

Burkina Faso

X

Burma

X

Burundi

X

Cambodia

X

Cameroon

X

Central African Republic

X

Chad

X

China

X

Comoros

X

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

X

Congo, Republic of the

X

Dominican Republic

X

Egypt

X

Ethiopia

X

Fiji

X

Gabon

X

Gambia, The

X

Guinea

X

Guinea-Bissau

X

Haiti

X

Kazakhstan

X

Laos

X

Lebanon

X

Libya

X

Madagascar

X

Malawi

X

Maldives

X

Nicaragua

X

Niger

X

Nigeria

X

Oman

X

Sao Tome and Principe

X

Saudi Arabia

X

Somalia

X

South Sudan

X

Sudan

X

Suriname

X

Swaziland

X

Tajikistan

X

Tanzania

X

Turkmenistan

X

Ukraine

X

Uzbekistan

X

Yemen

X

Zimbabwe

X

US views fiscal transparency as a critical element of effective public financial management since it helps in building market confidence, and sets the stage for economic sustainability. Transparency also provides a window into government budgets for citizens of any country, helping them to hold their leadership accountable. Reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance help to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is used appropriately and sustain a dialogue with governments to improve their fiscal performance, leading to greater macroeconomic stability and better development outcomes, the US department of State goes on to emphasise.

The Office of Monetary Affairs (OMA) monitors global macroeconomic developments and works to prevent and resolve financial crises in countries where U.S. interests are at risk. It seeks to increase the financial security of the United States and its key partners. OMA also works to expand global economic growth and development by advocating sound macroeconomic policies that foster economic stability and expand opportunities for U.S. trade and investment worldwide.

OMA provides the Secretary of State with expertise on global financial and macroeconomic issues, working in close cooperation with the Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs. OMA is also the Department’s liaison with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, OMA interacts with a wide range of foreign government officials and representatives of other international and non-governmental organizations. It also consults with representatives of private financial institutions to ensure that U.S. financial interests abroad are accurately and effectively reflected in U.S. foreign economic policy.

To help poorer countries overcome unsustainable debt burdens and improve their chances for economic growth and development, OMA promotes debt relief through the Paris Club, representing the Secretary of State as Head of the U.S. delegation. The Paris Club is the forum for coordinating debt relief policy among sovereign creditors and negotiating individual country debt treatments. Paris Club agreements can also affect non-member country and private sector creditors when debtor countries are required to seek comparable treatment. OMA also coordinates with the Treasury Department to formulate U.S. debt-relief policies more broadly and to promote initiatives through multilateral institutions.

OMA develops strategies to fight corruption and improve transparency from an economic and business perspective. OMA heads the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, coordinates the interagency to combat bribery of foreign public officials, and ensures compliance with the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in Internationals in International Business Transactions, also known as the Anti-Bribery Convention.

Click Here for Government by Government Assessment (Fiscal Transparency Report)