Category Archives: On this day in SEA history

On 23 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 23, 2017

1762 : A British flotilla lands in Manila Bay, marking the beginning of the British invasion of the Philippines


1906: Dutch advance on Tabanan, Bali. Raja of Tabanan offers to surrender on condition that he be allowed to retain his title and lands. The Dutch resident takes the Raja into custody where he will commit suicide

1914: Birth of Omar Ali Saifuddin III, 28th Sultan of Brunei (1950-1986) who died on September 7, 1986

1944: The Proclamation No. 30 declares the existence of a state of war between the Philippines (Under Japanese control) and the United States and the United Kingdom

1954: Bao Dai sends a telegram inviting Diem to resign the office of Prime Minister of Vietnam. Diem refuses, announcing that he is reorganizing his government with participation of the religious sects (Hoa Hao and Cao Dai)

2000: Aung San Suu Kyi is again put under house of arrest

2008: Myanmar’s longest-serving political prisoner Win Tin is released after the government announced an amnesty that saw more than 9,000 inmates freed

2010: Sam Rainsy, leader of opposition to Hun Sen, is sentenced to 10 years in prison while in voluntary exile in France. According to the opposition party the sentence is seen as a way to eliminate opposition,-leader-of-opposition-to-Hun-Sen,-sentenced-to-10-years-in-prison-19531.html



On 22 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 22, 2017

1829: Birth of the Vietnamese Emperor Tu Duc, the 4th Emperor of  the Nguyen dynasty (1947-1883)


1940: Following an ultimatum, France authorizes the use of the Tonkin airfields by the Japanese forces

1943 : The Philippine national anthem and the national flag are declared official symbols by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 211

1952: Birth of M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, Thai politician, current Governor of Bangkok

1970: Tunku Abdul Rahman resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia and is succeeded by Abdul Razak

1971: In Vietnam war, Captain Ernest Medina is acquitted of all charges relating to the My Lai massacre of March 1968. His unit was charged with the murder of over 200 Vietnamese civilians, including women and children

1977: Birth of Thu Minh, Vietnamese singer and entertainer

2006: In Thailand, the king adopts the foundation of the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) with General Sonthi Boonyatratkalin as head

2015 : A new Malaysian opposition coalition called Pakatan Harapan (Hope Alliance) is formed comprising People’s Justice Party (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and National Trust Party (Amanah)

On 21 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 21, 2017

1629: Jan Pierterzoon Coen, head of the Dutch East India Company, passes away

1957: Pote Sarasin general secretary of South-East Association Treaty Organization (SEATO) becomes Thailand premier

1965: Singapore is admitted as part of the United Nations

1967: Thai troops arrive in Saigon

1972: Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines signs Proclamation N° 1081 placing the entire country under the martial law

1972-09-21 Martial Law

1981: Birth of Meilinda Soerjoko, Indonesian-Australian actress

1984: Brunei joins the United Nations

2001: In East Timor, the first government, led by Mari Alkatiri, leader of Fretilin, is sworn in

2009: More than a dozen Abu Sayyaf fighters have been killed after government forces attempted to arrest rebel leaders in the southern Philippines

2013: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak faced down a threat to his leadership after nominations closed without anybody contesting his presidency of the ruling party

On 20 September in Southeast Asian history



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Updated on September 20, 2017

1519: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan leaves Spain to find a route to the Spice Islands in the current Indonesia. Magellan will be killed during the trip, but one of his ships eventually will make the journey

1853: Birth of Siam King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who died on October 23, 1910

1925: Birth of Ananda Mahidol, king of Siam (Rama VIII) from March 1935 through his assassination in June 1946

1931: Birth of Cherd Songsri, Thai filmmaker, who died on May 21, 2006

1968: U.S. officials defend use of défoliants in Vietnam Waréfoliants

1977: The first boat people arrived in San Francisco from Southeast Asia under a new US resettlement program

1977: Dissolution of SEATO

1977: The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is admitted to the United Nat

1990: Birth of Erich Gonzales, Filipina actress

1992: Chuan Leekpai is appointed Thai premier for the first time, up to May 24, 1995


1994: Gen. Tan Shwe and Gen Khin Nyunt of SLORC meet Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time since she have been put under house arrest

1998: After he talked to thousands of people, Malaysian ousted vice-premier Anwar Ibrahim is arrested

1999: A United Nations multinational force arrives to East-Timor to protect the population from pro-Indonesia militias

2009: Thailand « Yellow Shirt » protesters clash with police and villagers at an ancient temple in territory at the centre of a dispute between Thailand and Cambodia

2010: Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim fails in his latest attempt to have a sodomy charge against him dropped

2012: The editor and publisher of an independent journal in Burma have been charged with defamation after publishing a story about alleged corruption in government


Holidays and observances

Thailand: National Youth Day

On 19 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 19, 2017

1919: Birth of Thich Huyen Quang, leader the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and dissident, who died on July 5, 2008

1963: Empress Nam-Phuong of Vietnam dies in France

1966: Indonesia which, on January 7, 1965,  had withdraw from United Nation in protest of the admission of the Federation of Malaysia announces that it comes back

1971: Montagnard troops of South Vietnam revolt against the rule of Nguyen Khanh, killing 70 ethnic Vietnamese soldiers

1997: After the Hun Sen coup d’état, United Nation decides to keep vacant the seat of Cambodia, up to the situation is cleared in the country

2001: Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri is the first head of state of a Muslim country to visit Washington after September 11 attacks. She gives her support to the fight against terrorism and gets a 400 million $ aid from the USA

2006: The Thai military, led by General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin  stages a coup in Bangkok, toppling prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The constitution is revoked and martial law declared

2008: Malaysian opposition MP Teresa Kok is released from jail, one week after being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA)

2010: Philippine troops clash with Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Basilan island and kill Abdukarim Sali, a long-wanted militant who helped in the 2001 kidnapping of three American and 17 Filipino tourists

2012: US Lawmakers united by their respect of Burma democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi present her with Congress’ highest civilian honor in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama

On 18 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 18, 2017

1811: Dutch surrender to British at Salatiga (Java)

1948: In Dutch Indies PKI attempts a coup in Madiun and kills pro-government officers there

1949: In Cambodia, dissolution of the parliament

1959: Laotian rightist Phoumi Nosavan, with Thailand support, attacks Vientiane, but the neutralists, with the help of the Phatet Lao and the Soviets, repulse the attack

1964: North Vietnamese Army begins infiltration in South Vietnam

1988: Military coup in Burma. The constitution is suspended. The military starts a deadly offensive against pro-democracy demonstrators, killing thousands and found the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc)

2007: Buddhist monks join anti-government protesters in Myanmar, starting what was called the Saffron Revolution

2008: In Singapore, foundation of the Reform Party by J. B. Jeyaretnam

2016: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is honoured as the 2016 humanitarian of the year by students and faculty at the Harvard Foundation

On 17 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 17, 2017

1900: Battle of Mabitac. Filipino fighters outmaneuver and rout American forces on Luzon

1904: Death of Raden Ajeng Kartini (Raden Ayu Kartini), Indonesian female hero, born on 21 April 1879


1928: Birth of Syed Hussein Alatas, Malaysian academician and former politician who formed the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan), who died on January 23, 2007

1957: Malaysia joins the United Nations

1957: In Thailand , after the coup d’Etat of General Sarit Thanarat, PM General Pibul Songkram goes in exile

1962: Birth of Dustin Nguyen, Vietnamese American actor

1963: After they did not recognize that the United Kingdom gave to it its territories in Borneo, the Federation of Malaysia breaks off its diplomatic relations with The Philippines and Indonesia 

1970: The People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) for South Vietnam presents a new peace plan at the Paris talks

2008: In Burma, the military authorities order around 5,000 people to leave two refugee camps in Laputta Township, according to local residents and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) operating in the area

2008: In Thailand, Thaksin’s brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat is elected new Thai prime minister

2009: Indonesia’s most-wanted militant Noordin Mohamed Top, who was linked by investigators to the 2005 Bali bombings, is killed

2012: Burma frees 514 prisoners in political reforms on humanitarian grounds in Burma, just days ahead of a trip by Aung San Suu Kyi to the United States

On 16 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 16, 2017

1792: Death of Quang Trung, Tay Son dynasty’s emperor of Viet Nam born in 1753

1923: Birth of Lee Kuan Yew, father of Singapore independence who died on March 23, 2015

1945: British Rear Admiral Patterson lands in Jakarta. He announces that the British mission is « to maintain law and order until the time that the lawful government of the Netherlands East Indies is once again functioning »

1957: In a coup in Thailand, Premier Plaek Phibun Songkhram is deposed

1963: Malaysia is formed from Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak


1966: Beijing says that two US warplanes have attacked two Chinese hamlets on September 9. (On September 19 Washington admitted saying there was an mistake with North Vietnam targets)

1967: United Nations General Secretary U Thant asks again the stopping of US bombing on North Vietnam

1969: US President Richard Nixon announces the withdrawal of 35,000 soldiers from Vietnam before December 15

1975: Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia

2002: In Singapore, the government announces the arrest of 19 Singaporean members of Jemaah Islamiya and of 2 members of the Philippine MILF

2002: Death of Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, Vietnamese cardinal, born on April 17, 1928

2002: In Thailand, beginning of talks between Sri Lankan government and LTTE Tamil separatists with Norwegian mediation

2010: Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes tribunal indicts four former Khmer Rouge leaders. Nuon Chea, deputy to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, will stand trial next year, along with former head of state Khieu Samphan, former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith

2013: Chin Peng, former secretary-general of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), died at a hospital in Bangkok on Monday morning. He was 90 years old.


Holidays and observances

Malaysia: Hari Malaysia (formation of Malaysia, 1963)

Papua New Guinea : Independence Day (from Australia, 1975)

On 15 September in Southeast Asian history



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Updated on September 15, 2017

1892: Birth of Silpa Bhirasri an Italian man who was the father of modern arts in Thailand. Died on May 14, 1962

1898: Following the declaration of independence from Spain on June 12, 1898 by the Revolutionary Government, a congress is opened in Malolos, Bulacan Province to draw up a constitution for the First Philippine Republic


1906: Major Dutch advance on Bali begins. Netherlands Indies fleet anchors off Sanur

1935: Manuel L. Quezon is elected first President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines,_1935

1972: Birth of Kit Chan, Singaporean singer

1974: Air Vietnam flight 706 is hijacked, then crashes while attempting to land with 75 on board

1999: The United nations security Council authorizes the use of an international force in East Timor

2003: Cardinal Jaime Sin, archbishop of Manila is succeeded by Gaudencio Barbon Rosales

2011: The Malaysian government will abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Emergency Ordinance, a relic of British colonial rule which allow indefinite detention without trial, PM Najib says


Holidays and observances

Thailand: Silpa Bhirasri Day

On 14 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 14, 2017

1946: After the failure of the Fontainebleau Conference, a motus vivendi is signed in Paris between Marius Moutet, the French Minister of Colonies and Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh

1966: In Vietnam, Operation Attleboro is launched in War Zone C (Cambodian border)

1973: Birth of Tony Bui, Vietnamese film director

1985: Penang Bridge, the longest bridge in Malaysia, connecting the island of Penang to the mainland, opens to traffic.

2009: Indonesia’s province of Aceh passes a new law making adultery punishable by stoning to death. The law also imposes severe sentences for rape, homosexuality, alcohol consumption and gambling

2011: A Dutch court orders the government to compensate the widows of seven villagers who were summarily executed and a man shot and wounded in a notorious massacre during Indonesia’s bloody battle for independence from colonial rule

2013: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces fresh measures to benefit the country’s ethnic Malay majority despite an earlier pledge to reform the controversial affirmative action policy