1 MARCH 2012
Chaotic scenes at Maldives parliament
Supporters of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed have clashed with police and stopped the country’s new leader from opening parliament, three weeks after he says he was forced to resign in a coup
Mongolia’s ‘Dalai Lama’ dies, had fought Stalin and Mao
Ninth Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa (Lord of refuge of Khalkha) lived 57 years in exile because of Soviet domination in Mongolia and Chinese rule in Tibet. Despite difficulties, he fought to revive his faith among Mongols
2 MARCH 2012
Pakistan poll: President Zardari party ‘makes gains’ in Senatorial elections
They show that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) won 19 seats, becoming the largest party with a total of 41 seats.
3 MARCH 2012
China’s rebel village holds council polls
Saturday’s vote for the committee governing Wukan went ahead with official approval after a long campaign by local people to end what they say was years of corrupt rule by Communist Party officials.
4 MARCH 2012
Continuing Buildup, China Boosts Military Spending More Than 11 Percent
China announced a double-digit increase in military spending on Sunday, a rise that comes amid an intensifying strategic rivalry between the United States and China in Asia and concerns in Washington about the secrecy surrounding the Chinese defense budget.
Another self-immolation hits China: rights group
A mother of four died after setting herself on fire in a Tibetan-inhabited region of southwest China on Sunday, a rights group said, in the latest self-immolation to hit the country.
6 MARCH 2012
India’s ruling Congress loses in state polls
India’s ruling Congress party has suffered a major election setback in crucial state polls, winning clearly in just one of five states contested.
China urges the U.S. to tread carefully on ‘core interests’
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Tuesday called on the United States to tread carefully on issues related to China’s core interests in order to build trust and avoid conflicts.
Explosion Kills Six British Soldiers in Afghanistan
Six British soldiers were killed when their armored vehicle struck an explosive device in southern Afghanistan, the British government announced on Wednesday, in the deadliest attack on British forces in six years.
Timor-Leste independence leader dies
Timor-Leste’s first and shortest-serving president Francisco Xavier do Amaral died on Tuesday 6 after a long battle with cancer, a presidential spokesman said. The popular veteran of the nation’s resistance struggle against Indonesia’s brutal 24-year occupation died aged 74 in a hospital in the capital Dili
7 MARCH 2012
South Korea threatens ‘revenge’ for any North Korea attack
South Korea’s defence chief on Wednesday urged his soldiers to launch strong counter-attacks if provoked by the North as the two Koreas exchanged tirades despite a recent nuclear deal. Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin said any fresh attacks from the North must be turned into a chance for the South’s military to « avenge » the North’s 2010 bombardment of a South Korean frontline island
Asian military spending to pass Europe in 2012: think tank
Military spending in Asia will top that in Europe for the first time this year, a London-based think-tank said Wednesday in its annual assessment of the strength of the world’s armies. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said shifts in global economic power were increasingly reflected in military spending
9 MARCH 2012
Pakistan bans Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat Islamist group
Pakistan’s government has issued orders banning the country’s largest Islamic extremist group. Activists from the pro-al-Qaeda group formerly known as the Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), or Soldiers of the Companions of the Prophet, have been convicted of killing hundreds of Shia Muslims.
11 MARCH 2012
Afghans killed in rampage by US soldier
Sixteen Afghan civilians including three women and nine children have been shot dead in their homes by a rogue US soldier in a pre-dawn rampage.
12 MARCH 2012
Bangladesh given 90 days to restore caretaker gov’t
Addressing tens of thousands of opposition supporters who gathered in the capital defying government restrictions, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday gave the Hasina administration a 90-day ultimatum to announce the restoration of the caretaker system.
13 MARCH 2012
Philippines: Arrest warrants for Gloria and Jose Arroyo
A Philippine court has issued arrest warrants for former President Gloria Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo over corruption, reports say.
14 MARCH 2012
China’s Wen Jiabao says ‘reforms urgent’
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has delivered a strong warning about the »urgent » need for reforms, without which, he said, tragedies such as the Cultural Revolution could still happen.
China passes new law allowing secret detentions
Chinese legislators Wednesday approved changes to the country’s criminal code that will allow the police to hold certain suspects at secret locations. The nation’s state media applauded the overhaul of the criminal procedure law — the first in more than 15 years — as a step forward for human rights.
15 MARCH 2012
Bo Xilai removed by China from Chongqing leader post
Bo Xilai, once seen as one of the rising stars of Chinese politics, has been removed from his prominent provincial post after a scandal involving one of his key deputies.
15 MARCH 2012
Bangladesh claims victory in Bay of Bengal dispute
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday 15 termed the triumph over Burma in the maritime boundary dispute case at Hamburg a victory of the whole nation.
16 MARCH 2012
US warns North Korea satellite launch could scrap nuclear, food deals
The United States warned North Korea on Friday its plan to launch a satellite with a long-range rocket could violate its February agreement on a nuclear moratorium and scuttle U.S. plans to resume food aid.
17 MARCH 2012
East Timor in test vote
East Timor voted Saturday 17 in the country’s second presidential election as a free nation, seen as a key test for a young democracy taking charge of its own security as UN forces prepare to leave.
Thousands of Tibetans attend funeral of farmer who set himself afire in protest
A Tibetan farmer burned himself to death in southwestern China on Saturday 17, the latest in a wave of self-immolations protesting against Beijing’s control over Tibetan areas of the country, a rights group said. Several thousand Tibetans attended Sonam Thargyal’s funeral on the same day, many of them protesting against Chinese rule, UK-based Free Tibet said.
East Timor’s president fails to make election run-off
East Timor’s President Jose Ramos-Horta on Sunday failed to make the run-off in the country’s presidential election, preliminary poll results indicated. The second-round vote will likely see Francisco Guterres face off against Taur Matan Ruak.
19 MARCH 2012
UN judge quits Cambodia war crimes tribunal
An international judge has resigned from the UN-backed Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal, citing political interference by Cambodia’s government after he tried to investigate more suspects. Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, the Swiss co-investigator, whose predecessor Siegfried Blunk quit for similar reasons in October, said he had been constantly undermined by his Cambodian counterpart, You Bunleng.
21 MARCH 2012
Myanmar invites foreign election monitors
Myanmar has invited international observers, including from the European Union and the United States, to monitor the by-elections to be held next month, an official has said. Observers from the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] have also been invited for the April 1 polls, a Myanmar government official said on Wednesday.
Chinese Lawyers Chafe at New Oath to Communist Party
China’s Justice Ministry has issued a requirement that new lawyers and those reapplying for licenses swear an oath of loyalty to the Communist Party, another step in a campaign to rein in lawyers who continue to challenge the political and legal systems by which the party maintains power.
22 MARCH 2012
India abandons rail price hikes in latest setback
India’s struggling government caved in to pressure over the first increase in rail fares for eight years on Thursday, announcing a sweeping rollback just days after a coalition ally forced the resignation of the railways minister.
UN adopts resolution on Sri Lanka war crimes probe
The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution urging Sri Lanka to investigate alleged abuses during the final phase of war with Tamil rebels.
Singh under fire over new India scandal
India’s coalition government was rocked by a fresh corruption scandal on Thursday after it was accused of forgoing $210bn in potential revenues by selling coal assets too cheaply to some of the country’s top industrialists.
Closer cross-Straits relations welcomed
Top officials from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) met in Beijing for the first time since the KMT’s victory in the island’s leadership election in January.
23 MARCH 2012
« Organ donations from condemned prisoners will be abolished within five years »
For years, Beijing has tried to sidestep the issue, but this week, it admitted that death row prisoners have been used for organ donations after their execution. The decision to stop does not stem from any humanitarian considerations, but from the fact that organs come from donors with high infection rates
Tokyo prepares a defence system, in response to North Korean missile
The Japanese defence minister ordered the preparation of a « missile defense system », which will be located near the island of Okinawa. The international community is concerned about the escalation of tension. Ban Ki-moon: a launch could discourage international donors and stop humanitarian aid to Pyongyang
24 MARCH 2012
Sri Lanka rejects UN war resolution
Acting Foreign Minister Dew Gunasekera told parliament on Friday 24 that Sri Lanka will resist outside help to investigate violations of humanitarian law, a key demand in the US-initiated Human Rights Council resolution from Geneva on Thursday.
25 MARCH 2012
Leung Chun-ying elected Hong Kong’s new leader
An election committee of about 1,200 Hong Kong notables picked Beijing-loyalist Leung Chun-ying as the city’s next leader on Sunday, after a fraught campaign which will intensify pressure on China to keeps its promise to allow Hong Kong a direct leadership election in 2017.
Obama Warns North Korea to End ‘Bad Behavior’
President Obama on Sunday warned North Korea that its threats and provocations would only deepen its international isolation and jeopardize the resumption of American food aid, and he called on the North to scrap its plans to launch a satellite next month.
Taliban threaten Pakistani lawmakers who support resumption of NATO supplies to Afghanistan
The Taliban on Sunday 25 threatened to attack Pakistani lawmakers and their families if they support allowing NATO to resume shipping supplies through the country to troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
26 MARCH 2012
Japan’s Tepco shuts its last nuclear facility
Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company [Tepco], the operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima power plant, has shut its last operating nuclear reactor, leaving the country with only one nuclear facility still operating.
UK wants probe into death of businessman linked to Bo Xilai’s family
The British government has asked Beijing to investigate the death of a businessman who claimed to have links to the family of dismissed top official Bo Xilai, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Tibetan sets himself on fire before India’s parliament in New Delhi as more arrests occur in Tibet
The incident happened this morning during a protest against Hu Jintao’s visit to India. Police detains four monks from Bora Monastery in Sangchu County
S. Korea, China, Russia show rare unity over N.K. rocket launch plan
In a rare show of unity, South Korea, China and Russia on Monday urged Pyongyang to scrap its plan to launch a long-range rocket and focus instead on improving the livelihoods of its people
28 MARCH 2012
US suspends food aid to North Korea
The US has suspended food aid to North Korea because Pyongyang has broken its promise to refrain from missile launches and cannot be trusted to deliver the aid to those who need it, a Pentagon official has said.
Sikhs protest en masse against execution of back-up suicide bomber
Thousands of Sikhs throughout India – and even abroad – took to the streets Wednesday 28, wearing bright orange, the colour of the Sikh flag. They demanded the government scrap its plans to execute Balwant Singh Rajoana for his role in the 1995 murder of Punjab state’s chief minister.
29 MARCH 2912
Billionaire Kwok brothers arrested for graft in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption on Thursday arrested the chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties, brothers Raymond and Thomas Kwok, on suspicion of corruption, the company said
Japan executes first three prisoners since 2010
Japan is one of the few advanced industrialised nations to retain the death penalty. It is usually reserved for multiple murders.
Dalai Lama wins $1.7 million prize
The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, has won $1.7 million after being awarded the 2012 Templeton Prize for his work linking science and wider questions of faith and religion.
30 MARCH 2012
Websites closed, six detained for spreading rumors
Chinese authorities closed 16 websites and detained six people responsible for « fabricating or disseminating online rumors, » the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) and Beijing police said Friday 30.
31 MARCH 2012
Indonesia parliament votes against fuel price hike
Indonesia’s parliament rejected Saturday 31 a plan to hike the heavily subsidised fuel price by a third, instead voting in a law that would allow future hikes if global oil prices rise further
Bombs kill 10, injure more than 100 in southern Thailand
Pattani, Thailand – At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded as three bombs detonated in Thailand’s strife-torn far south Saturday, the authorities said.