Category Archives: On this day in SEA history

On 21 August in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on August 21, 2018

1963: The Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces loyal to Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, vandalises Buddhist pagodas across the country, arresting thousands and leaving an estimated hundreds dead. Martial law is declared

1971: A bomb exploded in the Liberal Party campaign rally in Plaza Miranda, Manila, with several anti-Marcos political candidates injured

1983: Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. is assassinated at the Manila International Airport

1984: 900,000 Filipinos hold an anti-Marcos parade

1984 manifs

2009: Death of Rex Shelley, Singaporean author, born on November 27, 1930

2014: Thailand’s junta-picked national assembly chooses coup leader, General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, as prime minister in a one-horse race that entrenches the military’s hold on power

2014: Indonesia’s highest court unanimously upholds last month’s presidential election result, paving the way for Joko Widodo to take over as leader of the world’s third largest democracy


Holidays and observances

Philippines: Ninoy Aquino Day

On 20 August in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on August 20, 2018

1883: Battle of Thuan An, a clash between the French and the Vietnamese during the period of undeclared hostilities which preceded the Sino-French War (August 1884 to April 1885

1887: Birth of Phan Khoi, Vietnamese journalist and scholar who died on January 16, 1959

1888: Birth of Tôn Đức Thắng, Vietnamese politician, 2nd President of North Vietnam who died on March 30, 1980

1899 : An agreement (Bates Treaty) is signed in Jolo between United States General John C. Bates and the Sultan of Sulu, Hadji Mohammed Jamalul Kiram II

1899-08-20 Bates Treaty

1906: Birth of Misiem Yipintsai, Thai painter and sculptor

Misiem Yipinstoi Coy girl

1939: Birth of Fernando Poe Jr., Filipino actor and politician who died on December 14, 2004,_Jr

1954: The USA decides to support Vietnam’s leader Ngo Dinh Diem

1971: Birth of Jonathan Ke Quan, Vietnamese American actor

1971: General Duong Van Minh and Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, fellow candidates for the October presidential election in Vietnam, accuse incumbent President Nguyen Van Thieu of rigging the election and withdraw from the race

1974: US Congress votes to reduce aid to South Vietnam from $1 Billion to $700 Million. Majority of the cuts were for military supplies

2010: Death of Dang Phong, Vietnamese historian, born in 1937

2012: In Burma, newspapers and broadcasts of political or religious nature are no more subject to prior examination. Last year, the government had already removed controls on less ideologically « sensitive » newspapers and magazines“all-media”-censorship-after-50-years-25583.html

On 19 August in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on August 19, 2018

1816: Dutch return to Batavia. Cornelis Elout continues Raffles’ reform policies

1878: Birth of Manuel Quezon, President of the Philippines (1935-1944), who died on August 1, 1944

1902: Birth of J. B. L. Reyes, Filipino jurist, who died on December 27, 1994

1945: In Vietnam, Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh take power in Hanoi

1945-08-19 Vietmin prend Hanoi

1957: Birth of  Li-Young Lee, Indonesia-born American poet

1970: Cambodia and US sign military aid pact

1998: Birth of Ella Guevara, Filipino child actress

2003: Birth of Xyriel Manabat, Filipino child actress

2007: At a very large majority, Thai people approve the new constitution proposed by the military junta, opening the way for elections and a civilian government

2011: Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meets with President Thein Sein in the highest-level talks yet between the democracy icon and the leaders of a nominally civilian government made up of retired military men elected in March

On 18 August in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on August 18, 2018

1841: James Brooke is officially enthroned rajah of Sarawak (Borneo)

1908: Birth of Armijn Pane, Indonesian writer (Belenggu) who died on February 16, 1070

1945: Sukarno takes office as the first president of Indonesia with Hatta as vice-president, following the country’s declaration of independence the previous day and the constitution is adopted

1945-08-18 Constitution adopted

1965: In the Vietnam War, Operation Starlite begins – United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in the first major American ground battle of the war

1966: In Vietnam War, the Battle of Long Tan occurs, when a patrol of Royal Australian Regiment encounter the Viet Cong

1966-08-18 Long Tan

 1971: Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam

1975: Insurrection in the Portuguese province of East-Timor for independence

On 17 August in Southeast Asian history

1947-08-17 Indépendance


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Updated on August 17, 2018

1798: The Vietnamese Roman Catholics report a Marian apparition in Quảng Trị, an event which is called Lady of La Vang

1938: Birth of Abu Bakar Bashir, spiritual leader of the Islamist terrorist movement Jemaah Islamiyah

1945: Sukarno proclaims Indonesia independence

1947-08-17 Indépendance

1945: General Leclerc is appointed commander in chief for French forces in Far East, and Admiral  d’Argenlieu administrator of French Indo-China

1945: President Jose P. Laurel announces the dissolution of the Republic of the Philippines established during the Japanese occupation

1949: Death of Gregorio Perfecto, Filipino jurist & politician, born on November 28, 1891

1950: The United States of Indonesia changes itself in the Republic (united) of Indonesia

1953: Birth of Korrie Layun Rampan, Indonesian author, poet, and critic who died on November 19, 2015

1960: Indonesia break up its diplomatic relations with Netherlands

1970: Death of Rattana Pestonji, Thai filmmaker, born on May 22, 1908

1973: The United States and Thailand agree to begin negotiations on the reduction of American troops in Thailand

1991: Birth of Qory Sandioriva, Indonesian beauty queen, Puteri Indonesia 2009

1996: Birth of Ella Cruz, Filipina child actress

1999: Sellapan Rama Nathan is elected president of Singapore

2009: Thousands of supporters of Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, have joined a rally in Bangkok to present a petition to the king, seeking a royal pardon for his 2008 corruption conviction

2015 : A bomb explodes close to a shrine in the centre of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 100


Holidays and observances

Indonesia : Independence Day

On 16 August in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on August 16, 2018

1891: The Basilica of San Sebastian in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed

1945: Thailand denounces its declaration of war on Allies

1945: Following the Japanese capitulation, beginning of the Vietnamese August Revolution

1964: After a January 30 coup d’état Duong Van Minh is replaced by General Nguyen Khanh as President of South Vietnam. A new constitution is established with aid from the U.S. Embassy

1966: The House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigations of Americans who have aided the Viet Cong. The committee intends to introduce legislation making these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 people are arrested

2001: In a speech, Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri apologies for human rights in Aceh and Irian Jaya but excludes independence

On 15 August in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on August 15, 2018

1939: Foundation at Rangoun of the Communist Party of Burma (6 members). Aung San is elected General Secretary

1950 Sukarno proclaims the unitary Republic of Indonesia and becomes its first President

1962: Signature of the agreement on Western New Guinea between the Netherlands and Indonesia. The territory will be administrated by the United Nations up to May 1, 1963, then by Indonesia up to a referendum late 1969

1969: Woodstock begins in upstate New York

1973: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends

1995: Ven. Thich Quang Do and five other monks and laity are tried by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City and convicted of « sabotaging government policies and damaging the interests of the state. » Ven. Thich Quang Do received a prison term of five years!topic/soc.culture.vietnamese/fXo9OvrmsuQ

Thich Quang Do 2

2005: Agreement between the Free Aceh Movement (Gam) and the Indonesian government


On 14 August in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on August 14, 2018

1642: Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sail from Jakarta with two ships. He will discover several islands, one of them will be named Tasmania

1898: End of the siege of Manila by the US forces led by General Wesley Merrit

1945: The Viet Minh launches August Revolution amid the political confusion and power vacuum engulfing Vietnam

1945: Son Ngoc Thanh becomes prime minister of Cambodia

1973: US bombing of Cambodia comes to a halt

1982: Death of Mahasi Sayadaw, Burmese monk, born on July 29, 1904

2008: Cambodia and Thailand reach a deal to withdraw their troops from disputed temple

2010: Summer Youth Olympic Games, first ever Youth Olympics, officially starts in Singapore

2011: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi maids her first political trip outside the nation’s main city since her release from seven years of house arrest


Holidays and observances

Indonesia: Pramuka Day

On 13 August in Southeast Asian history


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Upgrated on August 13, 2018

1898: Mock battle of Manila won on the Spanish. Start of the American occupation

1945: In Laos, foundation of the anti-French Lao Issara movement

1945: In Vietnam, the National Insurrection Committee orders a general uprising

1950: US President Harry Truman gives military aid to Vietnamese regime of Bao-Dai

1965: In Vietnam, US Marine Corps launches a massive operation with 76 anti-SAM mission, but it fails

1966: Prince Norodom Sihanouk, ruler of neutral Cambodia, criticizes the United States

1972: In Vietnam War, communist sappers raid Long Binh ammunition dump

1990: Birth of Shila, Malaysian pop singer-songwriter

2015 : Myanmar President Thein Sein consolidates his power in the country’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) by forcing out his chief rival Shwe Mann as party chairman

2015 : Prime Minister Hun Sen orders the arrest of opposition senator Hong Sok Hour for “treason” over a fake treaty the senator posted to Facebook that purported to show Heng Samrin, as Cambodia’s head of state in 1979, pledging to dissolve the border between Cambodia and Vietnam


Holidays and observances

Laos: Lao Issara, Day of the Free Laos

On 12 August in Southeast Asian history


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Upgrated on August 12, 2018

1902: Birth of Mohammad Hatta, Indonesian vice-president (1945-1956) who died on March 14, 1980

1907: Birth of Benjamin Henry Sheares, second President of Singapore (1971-1981), who died on May 12, 1981

1910: Birth of Yusof bin Ishak, first President of Singapore (1965-1970), who died on November 23, 1970

1932: Birth of Queen Sirikit, Queen of Thailand

1955: In Indonesia, Masyumi-led government takes power just before elections. Harahap is Prime Minister

1969: In South Vietnam, Viet Cong launch a new offensive

1969: Birth of Aga Muhlach, Filipino actor

1984: Birth of Marian Rivera, a Philippine actress

1988: General Sein Lwin, elected the 6th president of the Union of Burma on July 27, is forced to resign after street demonstration

2004: Lee Hsien Loong is appointed Prime Minister of Singapore, succeeding Goh Chok Tong

2008: Thailand’s Supreme court issues arrest warrants for former PM Thaksin and his wife after they fled to Britain

2009: Indonesia’s Constitutional Court rejected opposition complaints of irregularities surrounding last month’s presidential polls, confirming Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s re-election

2011: Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD movement should join Burma’s « national reconciliation », the government has said in its first-ever news conference

2012: Myanmar opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi meets president for first time as parliamentarian


Holidays and observances

Thailand: HM the Queen’s Birthday and National Mother’s Day