Category Archives: On this day in SEA history

On 17 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 17, 2018

1887: Foundation of the Indochina Union including the French protectorates of Cambodia, Annam and Tonkin

1943: The 415-km Thailand Burma railroad ( Death Railway ) between Bangkok, Thailand and Rangoon, Burma is completed. During the construction of the railway approximately 13,000 prisoners of war and 100,000 civilians. Part of the railway was “The Bridge on the River Kwai” which was later made into a movie.

1947: In London, Clement Attlee and Thakin Nu sign the « Treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Provisional Government of Burma Regarding the Recognition of Burmese Independence and Related Matters »

1950: Americano-Siamese security agreement

1953: Signature of a friendship and association treaty between France and Laos

1953: Franco-Cambodian agreement on the transfer of competences in military matters

1992: Death of Herman Johannes, Indonesian professor, scientist and politician, born on May 28, 1912

1992: Birth of Sam Concepcion, Filipino performer and actor

2009: Thousands of « red shirt » protesters rally in Bangkok, seeking a royal pardon for Thaksin Shinawatra, the country’s fugitive former prime minister

2013: Death of Sein Win, a renowned journalist in Myanmar who championed press freedom and endured three stints in prison as he chronicled several decades of his country’s turbulent history, at age 91.

2014: Six Myanmar journalists have been jailed by a Yangon court for « state defamation » amid mounting concern over a roll back of press freedom in the former junta-run state

2014: China and Vietnam agree to “address and control” maritime disputes, Chinese state media said, as differences over the potentially energy-rich South China Sea have spoiled relations between the two countries and other neighbours

2017: Declassified US files reveal new details of Indonesia’s mid-60s mass killings


On 16 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 16, 2018

1600: Dutch Olivier van Noort ships reach Philippines

1907: After the first elections to the Philippine Assembly, in July, the first session is opened. The Nacionalista Party of Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmena won the elections and will continue to dominate Philippine electoral politics until World War II

1931: Birth of Rosa Rosal, Filipina actress and humanitarian

1954: In Vietnam, a national congress, convened in Saigon by Bao Dai, refuses the adhesion to the French Union Française “under its current form”

1965: In Indonesia, the Chinese trade mission in Jakarta is ransacked (anti-China activities after the September 30 coup)

1967: John Baez is arrested in Vietnam protest

1968: Birth of Mark Lee, Singaporean actor and director

1973: Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the Paris peace accords. Kissinger accepted, but Tho declined the award until such time as « peace is truly established. »

1975: The Balibo Five, a group of Australian-based television journalists based in the town of Balibo in the then Portuguese Timor (now East Timor), are killed by Indonesian troops

2003: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad tells a summit of Islamic leaders that « Jews rule the world by proxy » and the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims should unite, using nonviolent means for a « final victory. »

2012: Myanmar’s reformist President Thein Sein is re-appointed as head of the ruling party at a key meeting aimed at reviving its flagging political fortunes against a resurgent opposition.

On 15 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 15, 2018

1914: Birth of Lim Yew Hock, second chief minister of Singapore (1956-1959) who died on November 30, 1984


1965: The National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam stages the first public burning of a draft card in the United States to result in arrest under a new law

1969: Millions march in US to protest against the continuing war in Vietnam

1990: United Nations General Assembly approves the Peace plan for Cambodia

1999: In Indonesia thousands of anti-Habibie demonstrators fought police and pressured the official assembly to go forward with reforms

2004: Indonesian prosecutors formally charged militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir with ordering his followers to launch a suicide attack on the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta last year.

2008: A Vietnamese court sentenced journalist Nguyen Viet Chien (56) to two years in prison, accusing him of writing inaccurate stories about one of the country’s most high-profile corruption cases. Fellow reporter Nguyen Van Hai (33) was sentenced on the charges to two years of « re-education without detention

2009: A Philippine military tribunal acquits 11 officers of plotting a foiled Feb, 2006, coup against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

2012: Cambodia former king Norodom Sihanouk dies aged 89

2012: The Philippines sign a framework peace plan with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The deal follows lengthy negotiations aimed at ending a 40-year conflict that has cost an estimated 120,000 lives.

On 14 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 14, 2018

1911: Birth of Le Duc Tho, Vietnamese Foreign minister and 1973 Nobel Peace Prize

1942: Birth of Evelio Javier, Filipino politician, lawyer and civil servant, gunned down on February 11, 1986

1943: After Japan declared Philippines independence, José Laurel is elected president up to August 14, 1945


1946: Netherland and Indonesia sign cease fire

1968: 27 soldiers are arrested at the Presidio in San Francisco for their peaceful protest of stockade conditions and the Vietnam War

1968:The United States Department of Defense announces that the United States Army and United States Marines will be sending about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours

1973: Thailand’s University Students protest for a democratic government. 77 are killed and 857 injured

1991: The Norwegian Nobel Committee decides to award the Nobel Price to Aung San Suu Kyi for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights

1996: Death of Tan Chee Khoon, Malaysian politician, born on March 4, 1919

2001: Giving in to political parties and Muslim associations, Indonesia president Megawati Sukarnoputri condemns US strikes on Afghanistan

2004: In Cambodia, Prince Sihamoni is unanimously selected by the throne Council as the next king (coronation on October 29)

2007: In Cambodia, Prince Ranariddh, former leader of the royalist party, is sentenced in absentia to 18 months in prison


2011: Burma law to allow labour unions and strikes forbidden since 1962

2013: According to a Malaysian court: ‘Allah’ is Muslim-only word. The Court says the Catholic Herald newspaper is banned from using Islamic term, in ruling that affects other publications.,-Christians-banned-from-using-Allah-.-Catholics-announce-appeal-29266.html

2016: The Sultan of Kelantan Muhammed V is named new Malaysian king for five years

On 13 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 13, 2018

1868 : Birth of Teresa Magbanua, the first Filipino woman fighter in Panay, known as the « Joan of Arc of the Visayas »,a school teacher and military leader


1966: 173 US airplanes bomb North Vietnam

1990: Death of Le Duc Tho, Vietnamese general and politician, recipient of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, born on 11 October 1911

Afficher l'image d'origine

2011: Luis Antonio Tagle succeds Gaudencio Rosales as Archibishop of Manila

2016: Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej dies after 70-year reign



On 12 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 12, 2018

1240: Birth of Trần Thánh Tông, emperor of Vietnam (then Đại Việt) who died on July 3, 1290


1868: Birth of Mariano Trías, Filipino politician, 1st Vice President of the Philippines who died on February 22, 1914

1946: Death of General Joseph W. Stilwell, the man who commanded the U.S. and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japanese incursions into China and Burma

1970: US president Richard Nixon announces that the US will withdraw 40,000 more troops from Vietnam before Christmas

1972: During the Vietnam War, a racial brawl broke out aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. Nearly 50 sailors were injured

2002: A bomb destroys a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida were blamed

2011: Myanmar freed an outspoken critic and a major ethnic rebel as it began releasing 6,300 convicts in its latest liberalizing move, but kept some political detainees behind bars, dampening hopes for a broader amnesty

2013: State funeral in Vietnam for war hero General Giap



On 11 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 11, 2018

1926: Birth of Thich Nath Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk

1939: Birth of General Khin Nyunt, Myanmar’s PM 2003-2004

1948: Van Mook resigns as Lt.-Governor of the East Indies

1954: One day after the return of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietminh takes control of North Vietnam

1971: Switzerland recognizes North Vietnam

1972: The building of the French legation in Hanoi is destroyed by a U.S. bombing. General delegate Susini is fatally wounded,745411

1972: End of negotiations which started on October 8 between US Kissinger and Vietnamese Le Duc Tho. Their agreement will be rejected by Hanoi

1996: Mgr Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo, bishop of Dili, and José Ramos-Horta win Peace Nobel prize for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor

Belo & Ramos-Horta

2008: The founder of Aceh’s separatist rebel movement, Hasan di Toro, comes back to Indonesia after nearly 30 years in exile and after a war that killed more than 15,000 people

On 10 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 10, 2018

1943: Double Tenth Incident in Japanese controlled Singapore

1954: The Viet Minh enter Hanoi as French forces withdraw from the city


1956: Birth of Taur Matan Ruak, president of East Timor

1965: In the first major operation since arriving the previous month, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) joins with South Vietnamese Marines to strike at 2,000 North Vietnamese troops 25 miles from An Khe in the Central Highlands

1972: Birth of Jun Lana, Filipino playwright and screenwriter

1977: In Beijing, opening of negotiations with Vietnam on the border question

1979: Birth of Wu Chun, Brunei born Taiwanese actor and singer

1995: The National League for Democracy defies the junta and reappoints Aun San Suu Kyi as its General Secretary

2011: Siegfried Blunk, who was responsible for indicting suspects at Cambodia’s UN-backed tribunal, said he had quit because of « repeated statements which will be perceived as attempted interference by government officials ».

2012: Death of Kyaw Zaw, Burmese military officer and later a communist politician, born on December 3, 1919

2014: Death of Damiana Eugenio, Filipino author and academic, born on September 27, 1921

Damania Eugenio

On 9 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 9, 2018

1740: Within Batavia, 5,000 Chinese are massacred by the Dutch and the following year, Chinese inhabitants will be moved to Glodok outside the city walls

1799: Death of Mgr Pigneau de Behaine (Qui Nhon), French Catholic priest best known for his role in assisting Nguyen Anh (later Emperor Gia Long) to establish the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam after the Tay Son rebellion, born on November 2, 1741

1966: Hanoi and the National Liberation Front (South Vietnam communists) turn down a British peace plan proposed by George Brown to the Labor party and the United Nations

1966: During the Vietnam War, Binh Tai massacre by South Korea forces

1970: The pro-American Khmer Republic is proclaimed in Cambodia by General Lon Nol

1978: Birth of Rossa, Indonesian singer

1979: Foundation of the Cambodian people Liberation National Front, including royalists and Khmer Rouge against the pro-Vietnam government

1995: Death of Kukrit Pramoj, PM of Thailand (1975-76), born on April 20, 1911


2006: Cambodian PM Hun Sen began a six-day official visit to Australia

2006: Thailand’s king approves a post-coup Cabinet lineup, ushering in an interim government expected to rule the country for one year until the next elections are held.

2009: Myanmar’s military government allowed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the country’s beleaguered democracy movement, to hold a rare meeting with foreign diplomats

2009-11-04 ASSK & Campbell

2009: In Vietnam 9 activists are sentenced up to six years for hanging democracy banners and other acts against the state. Some of the activists were linked to an outlawed pro-democracy grouping called Bloc 8406



On 8 October in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on October 8, 2018

1740 : Local Chinese assault on Diestpoort, Batavia

1879: Birth of Ernest Douwes Dekker, Indonesian freedom fighter, who died on August 28, 1950

1921: Birth of Abraham Sarmiento, Filipino Supreme Court jurist

1954: After the French defeat in Vietnam, Vietminh (communist guerilla) occupy Hanoi

1968: In the Vietnam War, United States and South Vietnamese forces launch Operation Sealords in the Mekong Delta

1970: Death of Mitr Chaibancha, Thai film actor, after falling from a helicopter, born on January 28, 1934

1970: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejects US President Richard Nixon’s October 7 peace proposal for an end of the Vietnam War as « a maneuver to deceive world opinion. »

1972: In Paris, first round of secret talks between U.S. Kissinger and Vietnam Le Duc Tho. Their agreement is rejected by Hanoi

1976: Tanin Kraivixien becomes Thai Prime Minister, up to October 20, 1977 coup d’état by Admiral Sangad Chalawyoo (Kriangsak Chomanan)

2003: Vietnam and US reached a tentative agreement that would allow the first commercial flights between the two countries since the end of the Vietnam war

2008: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announces that he will step down from office in next March

2009: In Indonesia controversial tycoon Aburizal Bakrie is elected to lead the Golkar party after the Suharto-era ruling party suffered its biggest electoral defeat

2012: Death of Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Filipino director, producer, and screenwriter, born on March 30, 1955

2016: US President Barack Obama lifts sanctions on Myanmar and pledges to assist the country’s civilian government led by de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in carrying on its efforts for political reform and broad-based economic growth