Category Archives: On this day in SEA history

On 23 July in Southeast Asian history

2001-07-23 Wahid démis


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Updated on July 23, 2017

1864: Birth of Apolinario Mabini, Filipino political theoretician and Prime Minister (1899) who died on May 13, 1903

1953: Birth of Najib Abdul Razak, current Malaysia’s Prime Minister

1962: Conference of Geneva on Laos which becomes a neutral country with the Pathet Lao taking part in the government as ceasefire becomes effective

1978: Birth of Stefanie Sun, Singaporean singer

1982: Birth of Zanjoe Marudo, Filipino actor

1988: General Ne Win, effective ruler of Burma since 1962 through the Burma Socialist Programme Party, formaly resigns as chaiman of the party after pro-democracy protests.

1997: Myanmar and Laos join the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN)


2001: In Indonesia, protected by Army and Police, the National Assembly impeachs president Wahid who is replaced by Megawati Sukarnoputri

2001-07-23 Wahid démis


2009: Abu Bakar Bashir, a prominent cleric in Indonesia, defends July 17’s twin bombings in Jakarta which killed nine people and left more than 50 injured saying that  the use of terror is justified in the war against non-Muslims

2011: Nguyen Cao Ky, the flamboyant former air force general who ruled South Vietnam with an iron fist for two years during the Vietnam War, dies at 80



On 22 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 22, 2017

1802: Emperor Gia Long conquers Hanoi and unified Viet Nam, which had experienced centuries of feudal warfare

1864: Birth of Apolinario Mabini, Filipino political theorician and first prime minister who died on May 13, 1093

1907: Birth of Zubir Said, a Singapore composer who composed the national anthem who died on November 16, 1987

1963: Sarawak gets full independence from the British

1968: North Vietnam condemn Honolulu conference between US president Johnson and South Vietnam president Nguyen Van Thieu

1976: Japan completes its last reparation to the Philippines for war crimes committed during the imperial Japan’s conquest of the country in the Second World War

1997: After losing the leadership, Pol Pot is sentenced to life imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge


2001: Indonesian president Wahid announces the  suspension of parliament and declares state of emergency

2014: The Indonesian election commission said Mr Widodo – widely known as Jokowi – won 53.15% of the vote with his rival, ex-general Prabowo Subianto, on 46.85% for the presidential election

2014: Thai King has endorsed interim charter, says Gen Prayuth

2014: Prime Minister Hun Sen and Cambodian opposition parties agree on a joint solution to end a political deadlock and the opposition’s yearlong boycott of the national legislature

On 21 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 21, 2017

1786: Tay Son rebellion leader Ngyuyen Hue captures the capital of Dai Viet (Vietnam), Thang Long (Hanoi)

1947: In Indonesia, Dutch troops launch the Operation Product, aiming to take control of the more useful eras of Java and Sumatra

1954: End of the Conference of Geneva on Indochina. Vietnam is cut in two eras separated by the 17th parallel. Hanoi signs but Saigon refuses

1955: Birth of Taco Ockerse, Indonesian singer

1964: Riots in Singapore by Malays demanding the same privileges as in the other parts of the Federation of Malaysia

1964-07-21 Riots

2005: In Myanmar, former PM Khin Nyunt is sentenced to 41 years in prison

2006: Death of Ta Mok, Khmer Rouge leader “The Butcher”, born in 1930

2013: In Cambodia, Sam Rainsy, who was greeted by huge crowds on Friday after his return from self-imposed exile in France, was removed from the electoral register late last year and is unable to run as a candidate in the July 28 polls.


Holidays and observances

Singapore: Racial Harmony 

On 20 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 20, 2017

1947: Police in Burma arrest former Prime Minister U Saw and 19 others on charges of assassinating Prime Minister U Aung San and six members of his cabinet

1947: The Duch cancel the Linggadjati agreement signed with the Indonesian on the creation of the United States of Indonesia. Dutch troops occupy West Java, East Java, Madura, Semarang, Medan, Palembang, Padang, bomb many cities

1954: The General Conference on Indochina declares a demilitarized zone at the 17th parallel with the North under communist rule and the South under the leadership of Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem. Officially signed on 21

1961: In Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew expels his opponents inside his People’s Action Party

1962: In South Vietnam, the National Liberation Front publishes its manifesto

1964: During the Vietnam War, Viet Cong forces attack the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, Cai Be, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of which are children)

1966: Birth of Agot Isidro, Filipino actress

1973: In testimony by Assistant Secretary of Defense Jerry Friedheim to the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, the US Defense Department admits it lied to US Congress about bombing Cambodia

1976: After the Vietnam War, the US military completes its troop withdrawal from Thailand

1979: Birth of Claudine Barretto, Filipino actress

1989: Burma’s ruling junta puts opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for the first time

1989: Birth of Witwisit Hirunwongkul, Thai actor

2011: South China Sea dispute: Philippine MPs visit Spratlys. The politicians landed on Pagasa island, the only island in the Spratlys chain populated by Filipinos, and sang the national anthem with residents

2014: Death of Panna Rittikrai, Thai actor, director, and stuntman, born on February 17, 1961

On 19 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 19, 2017

1943: Birth of Han Sai Por, Singaporean sculptor

1944: During the Philippine Sea War, in the Marianas, Japanese aircraft carriers Taiho, Shokaku and Zuikatu are sunk by US submarines

1947: Prime minister of shadow Burma government, Bogyoke Aung San and 6 of his cabinet and 2 non-cabinet members are assassinated on order of Galon U Saw

1947: Death of Aung San, Burmese nationalist (assassinated), born on February 13, 1915)

1947: Death of U Razak, Burmese politician (assassinated), born on January 20, 1898

1958: Establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia

1964: At a rally in Saigon, South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Khanh calls for expanding the war into North Vietnam

1984: Birth of Alessandra De Rossi, Filipino actress

2013: Myanmar is set to profit from a preferential trade agreement with the European Union (EU) starting on July 19, according to an EU press release.

2013: Thousands of cheering supporters greeted Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy as he returned from self-imposed exile to spearhead his party’s election campaign against well-entrenched Prime Minister Hun Sen.

2013: Myanmar President Thein Sein is not preparing himself at the moment to contest the 2015 presidential election and has « no objections » to Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi running, he said in an interview aired on Friday.

2014: Thousands of cheering supporters greet Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy on his return from a trip abroad, at a time when political tensions are high because of the arrests of eight of his party colleagues

2014: Prime Minister Hun Sen said he will block the establishment of a Taiwanese trade office in Cambodia because of the government’s rigid observance of the One-China policy, despite business leaders calling for more practical steps to boost investment from Taiwan

2016: The Philippine Supreme Court dismiss a plunder charge against former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ordering her immediate release after nearly five years of hospital detention


Holidays and observances

Burma: Burmese Martyrs’ Day

On 18 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 18, 2017

1695: Death of Johannes Camphuys, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (1684-1691), born on July 18, 1634

1875 : Birth of Marina Dizon y Bartolome, heroine of the Philippine revolution

Marina Dizon

1977: Signature of a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation between Laos and Vietnam

1995: Death of Srinagarindra, mother of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, born in 1900

2008: Philippine government and the Milf agree to extend the Muslim region in Mindanao

2010: William Burns, US Under-Secretary of State for political affairs, said military aid from the United States to Cambodia was intended to boost a civil-military relationship that was essential to a « healthy political system »

2011: The Vatican and Malaysia have agreed to establish diplomatic ties, following a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s-visit-to-the-Pope-launches-diplomatic-relations-22131.html

2011: The UN’s highest court orders Thailand and Cambodia to immediately withdraw their troops from a disputed area around an ancient temple on the border between the two Asian neighbours

2012: Cambodia and Thailand pulled hundreds of soldiers out of a disputed border area, a year after a ruling by the UN’s highest court, replacing them with police and security guards. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 18 last year ordered the neighbours to demilitarise a strip of land adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple which was the scene of deadly clashes in 2011

On 17 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 17, 2017

1708: Amangkurat III, sultan of Mataram, surrenders himself at Surabaya, after receiving a false VOC (Dutch Indies Company) promise of lands and freedom in exchange for surrender

 1883: Death of Tu Duc, emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty of Vietnam since 1847, born on September 22, 1829

1966: Ho Chi Minh orders a partial mobilization of North Vietnam forces to defend against American air strikes

1976: Annexed East Timor becomes the 27th province of Indonesia

1998: A violent tsunami hits Papua New Guinea causing more than 2,000 deads

2009: At least nine people have been killed and scores injured in near simultaneous bomb blasts at two luxury hotels in the Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta

2013: Death of Maj-Gen Sanyahak Phomvihane, a fast-rising star in the ruling communist party in Laos, aged 45

2014: Malaysian jet MH17 is ‘shot down’ over Ukraine killing all 298 people abord

On 16 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 16, 2017

1918: Birth of Bayani Casimiro, Filipino dancer and actor who died on January 27, 1989

1945: Draft of constitution for the Republic of Indonesia completed by Sukarno

1965: South Vietnamese Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo, an undetected communist spy—was hunted down and killed after being sentenced to death in absentia for a February 1965 coup attempt against Nguyễn Khánh

1970: Birth of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thai film director

1981: Mahathir Mohamad becomes the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, replacing Tun Hussein Onn, until October 31, 2003

Mahathir jeune

1990: The Luzon Earthquake strikes in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac, Philippines, with an intensity of 7.7 Killing over 1,600 people

2001: For the first time, Aung San Suu Kyi, don’t attend  the Martyrs’ Day ceremony in memory of the assassination of her father in 1947

2004: Brunei sultan announces the restoration of the Legislative Council suspended since 1984

2012: In East Timor protesters angry that their party was shut out of the incoming government have thrown stones at officers, burned or destroyed 58 cars and damaged some houses. The protesters are supporters of the Fretilin party, which finished second to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao’s party in July 7 parliamentary elections

On 15 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 15, 2017

1942: Wenceslao Vinzons, Filipino politician and resistance leader, is bayoneted to death, born on September 28, 1910

1946: Birth of Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei

1966: The United States and South Vietnam begin Operation Hastings to push the North Vietnamese out of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.

1974: Birth of Chot Ulep, Filipino musician

1975: The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Provisional Revolutionary Government (South Vietnam communists) ask their admission to the United Nations

1982: Nguyen Co Tach announces the beginning of the first Vietnamese troops withdrawal from Cambodia

2011: Three U.S. Navy ships are welcomed by former foe Vietnam for joint training, despite China’s irritation following weeks of fiery exchanges between the communist neighbors over disputed areas of the South China Sea

2012: In Vietnam, more than 10 thousand Catholics marched in different areas of the diocese of Vinh to demand respect for religious freedom against threats and violence of the government. On the eve of the marches, to intimidate the Catholics, the authorities deployed tanks outside the bishop’s residence, with patrols by gangs of thugs and soldiers

On 14 July in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on July 14, 2017

1885: Birth of Laos king Sisavang Vong (1904-1959) who died on October 29, 1950

Sisavang Vong 2

1897: Birth of Plaek Pibulsonggram, twice prime minister of Thailand  (1938-1944 and 1948-1957), who died on June 11, 1964

1946: Following the independence, Americano-Philippine agreement on US military bases in the Philippines

1964: US military intelligence publicly charges that North Vietnamese regular army are fighting in South Vietnam

1978: Kampuchea Khmer Rouge Vice Premier Ieng Sary, pays a visit to Bangkok

1980: Birth of Jed Madela, Filipino singer

1984: In a telegram to Khieu Samphan, Prince Sihanouk threatens to resign as chairman of the coalition government of Democratic Kampuchea if Khmer Rouges forces don’t stop its attacks against his National Army

1985: Khmer Rouge announce that a future Cambodia government should be « liberal on economy and parliamentary in politics »

2003: Indonesian Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi, member of Jemaah Islamiyah, who planned deadly attacks in the Philippines, escapes from jail with the complicity of Philippine officers

2004: Giving in to the blackmail of the kidnappers of a Filipino in Irak, Manila starts to withdraw its 51 soldiers in that country

2004: In Cambodia, following an agreement between Funcipec and PPC parties signed on June 30, king Sihanouk reappoints Hun Sen as Premier, putting an end to an 11 months crisis. Hun gets 60 % of the members of the cabinet

2008: Indonesia is blamed by a joint commission for 1999 violence in East Timor

2011: After revealing that Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel had ordered the rigging of the 2007 senatorial elections in Maguindanao, Zaldy Ampatuan also claimed that the former president got some P200 million in kickbacks from road projects in the ARMM.