Category Archives: On this day in SEA history

On 20 November in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on 20 November 2017

1873: Francis Garnier captures Hanoi, the capital of Tonkin where he will be killed by the Black Flag Army on December 21

1946: In the Battle  of Marga (Indonesia), the resistance on Bali led by Ngurah Rai is defeated by  Dutch forces,_Tabanan

1953: French General  Navarre chooses Dien-Bien-Phu as strong position to stop Vietnamese communist offensive  in Indochina

1968: Birth of Chew Chor Meng, Singaporean actor

1969: The Cleveland  Plain Dealer publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lay  massacre in Vietnam

1990: The International Herald Tribune and Asian Wall Street Journal are pulled from  distribution in Indonesia due to articles on the business enterprises of the  Suharto family

1991: Cambodia Prince  Sihanouk is proclaimed head of state

1992: Xanana Gusmao,  leader of the Fretilin,  is captured in Timor. He will be sentenced to life in prison

2007: ASEAN accelerates the integration process by the signing of the ASEAN Charter


2012: Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) decided to ask China to start formal talks “as soon as possible” on crafting a legally binding code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) aimed at preventing violence over disputed territories.,-no-agreement-between-the-U.S.-and-Cina-regarding-the-South-China-Sea-26402.html


On 19 November in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on November 19, 2017

1850: Birth of Isabelo Tampinco, Filipino sculptor, who died on January 30, 1933

Isabelo Tampinco

1946: A French patrol  boat is fired on whilst seizing a Chinese junk in Haiphong harbor. Viet Minh  forces also attack a French detachment at Langson

1971: Cambodians appeal to Saigon for help as communist forces move closer to Phnom Penh

1980: Start of three days of anti-Chinese rioting break out in Surakarta (Indonesia). Violence spreads to Semarang, Pekalongan, and Kudus. Military is brought in to restore order

1999: Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

2001: 600 partisans of Nur Misuari, leader of the  Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) attack a barrack in Jolo, opposing 26 November local elections

2004: Death of  George Canseco, Filipino composer, born April 23, 1934

2007: Khieu Samphan, head of state of the Khmer Rouge from 1976 to 1979, is arrested

2009: Philippine President Arroyo quits as ruling party head

2012: Burma is on a « remarkable journey » of reform that has much further to go, Barack Obama said as he made the first visit to the South East Asian nation by a serving US president.

2014: Jakarta’s first Christian governor in nearly 50 years, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, is sworn in amid protests from religious hardliners opposed to a non-Muslim taking over one of Indonesia’s most powerful political jobs

2015: Death of Korrie Layun Rampan, Indonesian author, poet, and critic, born on August 17, 1953

2015: Indonesia releases prominent West Papuan pro-independence leader Filep Karma from jail

On 18 November in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on November 18, 2017

1668: By the Treaty of Bungaya, sultan Hasanuddin is forced to give the Gowa kingdom to the Dutch East India Company (VOC ) and Sultan Hasanuddin has no more influence outside the general area of the city of Makassar

1928: Birth of Salvador Laurel, Filipino politician, vice-president of the Philippines, who died on January 27, 2004


1932: Birth of Yoyoy Villame, Filipino novelty singer and movie actor, who died on May 18, 2007

1961: United States President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam

1970: At the United  Nation Malaysia says it is for the PRC as China member

1970: U.S. President  Richard Nixon responds Cambodian PM Lon Nol ask for help by requesting Congress  to approve $155 million in supplemental aid for the Cambodian government ($85 million was allocated for military assistance.)

1981: Birth of Gian Magdangal, Filipino singer and actor

2011: The party of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has agreed to re-enter the political process and contest parliamentary elections

2011: Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is arrested in her hospital room on electoral fraud charges in a high-profile tug of war set off by her attempts to leave the country ostensibly for medical treatment

2012: Southeast Asian leaders endorse a controversial human rights pact. Heads of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hail their declaration on human rights as a landmark agreement that would help protect the region’s 600 million people

2016: The former Philippine dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, is given a hero’s burial with military honours, a deeply controversial move three decades after he was ousted in a “People Power” revolution


On 17 November in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on November 17, 2017

1846: Pagan Min is  enthroned king of Burma succeeding his father Tharrawaddy Min, up to 1853

1869: The Suez Canal  is opened to traffic, offering direct sea link between Europe and Asia

1891: Eulogio Despujol becomes governor-general of the Philippines

1898: In the Philippines, a provisional revolutionary government of the District of Visayas is inaugurated

1921: Pa Chay Vue, Hmong Nationalist against the French is assassinated

1942: Birth of Khang khek leu (nicknamed Dutch) who has been the head of  a torture center during the Khmer Rouge rule (1975-1979) and captured in 1999

1949: Birth of Nguyen Tan Dung, Vietnam Prime Minister since  2006 to 2016

1965: In Vietnam, the US 1st Cavalry unit ambushed in the Ia Drang Valley


1967: Vietnam War:  Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, US President Lyndon  B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, « We are  inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress. »

1970: Vietnam War:  Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre

1971: In Thailand,  military coup d’état. Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn seizes power

1975: East-Timor  declares itself independent from Portugal

1982: General Prem is  the first Thailand Prime Minister to go to China

1985: Death of Lon Nol who overturned Sihanouk in March 1970 and  proclaimed the Republic, born on November 13, 1913

2010: The results of the November 7 general elections  in Burma are announced,_2010

2011: Cambodia’s U.N.-backed tribunal rules a former senior Khmer Rouge leader unfit to stand trial for genocide and other crimes because she has Alzheimer’s disease. The tribunal said the illness diminishes Ieng Thirith’s mental capacity and ordered the 79-year-old defendant freed from detention.


On 16 November in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on November 16, 2017

1873: Thai King Chulalongkorn, who succeeded his father on October 1868, is crowned for a second time

1890: Birth of Elpidio Quirino, 6th President of the Philippines (1948-1953) who died on February 28, 1956

Elpidio Quirino

1938: Netherlands  government rejects the 1936 autonomy petition for Indonesia

1953: In Cambodia, after Penn Nouth resigned, Chan Nak cabinet is formed

1961: Kennedy decides  to increase military aid to Saigon

1969: The U.S. Army  announces that several had been charged with massacre and the subsequent  cover-up in the My Lai massacre in Vietnam on March 16, 1968

1970:  South-Vietnamese president Ky defends South Vietnamese operations in Cambodia

1987: Death of Zubir Said, a Singapore composer who composed the  national anthem

2000: Bill Clinton  becomes the first serving U.S. president to visit Communist Vietnam

2009: Cambodia’s  parliament strips opposition leader Sam Rainsy of his immunity from  prosecution. The move was prompted by his reported encouragement to villagers  to uproot border markers on the frontier with Vietnam last month

2010: Thailand extradites accused  Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout to the U.S. to face terrorism charges,  siding with Washington in a tug of war with Moscow over whether to send him to  stand trial or let him go home

2011: A controversial amnesty decree is endorsed by Thailand’s cabinet that could pave the way for the return of Thaksin Shinawatra, the country’s fugitive former prime minister


On 15 November in Southeast Asian history

1946-11-15 Linggajati agreement


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Updated on November 15, 2017

1895: Philippine newspaper “La Solidaridad” stops publication

1923: Birth of Văn Cao, Vietnamese composer, poet, and painter, author of the national anthem, who died on July 10, 1995

Van Cao

1935: Manuel L. Quezon is inaugurated as the second president and first of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, up to August 1, 1944ón

1935-11-15 Quezon taking the oath

1946: By the Linggajati agreement, Dutch recognize Republic of Indonesia authority in Java, Sumatra and Madura. Both sides agree to form United States of Indonesia with Netherlands crown as symbolic head. On March 25, 1947, the  agreement will be formally signed

1946-11-15 Linggajati agreement

1951: Communist rebels kill 11 people in an attack on a rubber plantation in Malaya

1956: Birth of Ong Ka Ting, chairman of the Malaysian Chinese Association (2003-2008)

1967: Hanoi rejects November 11 US president Johnson for a summit

1969: 250,000 war protesters stage a peaceful march and rally in heart of Washington

2008: One of Myanmar’s most prominent activists was sentenced to 65 years in jail along with two other pro-democracy leaders in connection with the 2007 anti-junta protests, family members said . Min Ko Naing is considered Myanmar’s top activist after detained Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

2011: The Philippine government defies a Supreme Court ruling that allowed former President Gloria Arroyo to travel abroad for medical treatment

2012: Myanmar’s president grants 452 prisoners Amnesty

2012: Death of Khin Maung Toe, Burmese singer-songwriter and guitarist, born on April 2, 1950

2014: Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung survives a confidence vote in parliament with 64 per cent of the delegates giving a vote of ‘high confidence’ in his leadership and 14 per cent showing’low confidence

On 14 November in Southeast Asian history

1991-11-14 Sihanouk retour


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Updated on November 14, 2017

1875: Birth of Gregorio del Pilar, Filipino general, who was killed on December 2, 1899

1885: Beginning of the third war between Great-Britain and Burma. The Burmese king and his country are taken completely by surprise by the rapidity of the advance with no time for them to collect and organize any resistance

1905: Birth of Sanoesi Pane, Indonesian author, who died on January 2, 1968

1935: American president Roosevelt announces that The Philippines will be a Commonwealth member and will get full independence in 1946 

1945: Sutan Sjahrir is the first Prime Minister of Indonesia (with Sukarno as president), up to June 20, 1947]

1950 : the Quirino-Foster agreement is signed in Philippine Baguio City

1959: A technical  cooperation agreement is signed between France and Vietnam

1965: During the  Vietnam War, the Battle of the Ia Drang begins – the first major engagement  between regular American and North Vietnamese forces

1966: US Navy bombs  North Vietnam coast

1967: During the  Vietnam War, Major General Bruno Arthur Hochmuth, commander of the Third Marine Division, becomes the first general to be killed in Vietnam by enemy fire

1972: Nixon promises  Thieu that U.S. will continue to support South Vietnam

1979: The United  Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution demanding the withdrawal of all  foreign forces in Cambodia

1984: Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco, a prominent critic of the  government of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated in his home  city

1990: 70 Indonesian  soldiers are killed in a battle with Fretilin guerillas near Ainaro, East  Timor. Army lands several thousand reinforcements later in the month

1991: Prince Sihanouk  comes back to Cambodia after 13 years in exile

1991-11-14 Sihanouk retour

2008: In Myanmar, Ein  Khaing Oo, a journalist is sentenced to two years in prison for critical  coverage of the military government’s response to a devastating cyclone

2010: Democracy  leader Aung San Suu Kyi first day of freedomafter  she has been released from house arrest

On 13 November in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on November 13, 2017

1907: Birth of Sri Savang Vatthana, last king of Laos (1959-1975), who died in a Pathet Lao labor camp in June 1978

1913: Birth of Cambodian Marshal Lon Nol, president of the Khmer Republic (1972-1975), who died on November 17, 1985

1968 : USA demand that Saigon authorities should take part in a four-party conference. Saigon has always refused to talk with National Liberation Front

1969: In United States, anti-war protesters in Washington, DC stage a symbolic March Against Death in Vietnam

1998: Agreement  between Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen and his rival prince Norodom  Ranariddh, ending an year and half crisis that blocked the institutions. Hun  Sen will lead a government coalition

2000: Philippine House Speaker Manuel B. Villar, Jr. passes the articles of impeachment against Philippine President Joseph Estrada

2007: An explosion hits the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Quezon City, killing four people, including Congressman Wahab Akbar, governor of Balisan, and wounding six

2010: Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest

2015 : With more than 80% of contested seats, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has more than the two-thirds it needs to choose the president, ending decades of military-backed rule

On 12 November in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on November 12, 2017

1899: Incapable of further resistance, Filipino military leaders decide to disband the army and to continue to fight by guerrilla warfare

1916: Birth of Rogelio de la Rosa, Filipino actor and politician who died on November 10, 1986

1926: the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) revolts in Banten, Batavia, Bandung, Padang. PKI declares a republic. Revolt is crushed by the Dutch, who make over 13,000 arrests

1945: Jendral Sudirman is elected the first commander-in-chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces

Jendral Sudirman

1969: An American  journalist,Seymour Hersh, reveals the massacre of the population of the Vietnam  village of My Lay on 16 March 1968

1971: In the Vietnam  war, as part of Vietnamization, US President Richard M. Nixon sets February 1,  1972 as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from  Vietnam

1978: Chinese leader  Deng Xiaoping in Singapore for a two-day visit

1978-11-12 Deng arrive à Singapour

1991: In Dili  (East-Timor), Indonesian forces open fire on demonstrators causing 271 deaths  and 250 missing people

2007: In Cambodia,  police arrest Ieng Sary, the former minister of the Khmer Rouge, along with his  wife the former social affair minister of the Khmer Rouge government

On 11 November in Southeast Asian history


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 Updated on November 11, 2017

1743: In now Indonesia,  Pakubuwono II gives to Dutch VOC Surabaya, Rembang, Jepara and claims to eastern most Java and West Madura. VOC receives a say in court appointment

1858 : Birth of Martin Teofilo Delgado, Filipino revolutionary general, who died on November 12, 1918

1873: Dutch invade Aceh again, and maintain their positions, but would sustain heavy losses due to  disease

1896 : In the Philippines, end of the two-days Battle of Binakayan, at Cavite el Viejo (present day Kawit), Cavite

1945: in Indonesia, Sutan Sjahrir moves a proposal through KNIP to take powers away from the President and transfer them to a Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The effect is to make Sukarno’s position less powerful for a while

1960: A military coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam is crushed

1960-11-11 Failed coup

1967: One more time, US president Lyndon Johnson says he is ready to meet North Vietnam leaders

1967: During the Vietnam War, in a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, three American prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to « new left » antiwar activist Tom Hayden

1968: Beginning of Operation Commando Hunt. The goal is interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh trail throught Laos into South Vietnam

1972: The huge American military base of Long Bing is given to South Vietnam authorities. End  of the direct engagement of the USA in Vietnam

1977: Kriangsak Chomanan is sworn in as Thai prime minister, up to March 1980

1977: Prime Minister Pham Van Dong issued Resolution 297 severely restricting religious practices in Vietnam and allowing the government to confiscate church properties and to forbid the « spread of superstitions. »

1977: Death of Abraham Sarmiento jr, Filipino journalist and activist while in prison, born on June 5, 1950

1978: The tragedy of the 2500 boat people on Haï Hong ship who are denied to shore on Malaysia is revealed

1980: Birth of Pinkan Mambo, Indonesian singer and actress

2001: Theys Eluay, leader of the independence movement for Papua (Irian Jaya), is found dead in a town east of Jayapura. Several military officers will be later arrested for the murder

2008: A closed court Myanmar sentence at least 11 dissidents involved in last year’s pro-democracy protests to 65 years each in prison