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Southeast Asia

The Takeaway

Ahmed Rashid on what's next for Pakistan

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Pakistani government agreed early this morning to reinstate the former chief justice of the Supreme Court. Many see it as a major concession to opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, who was threatening to stage a mass protest after he broke free from alleged house arrest at his residence. Joining The Takeaway with analysis on what's next for Pakistan is Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist and author of Decent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.

"We're going to see now the army playing a much more critical role in the domestic fabric of Pakistan, controlling foreign policy through the Prime Minister, controlling domestic policy through the Prime Minister, and isolating and weakening those areas further."
— Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid on new developments in Pakistan

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The Takeaway

Bad sports as Pakistani gunmen open fire on Sri Lankan cricket team

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bad sportsmanship took an ugly turn as Pakistani gunmen attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to play in the Pakistani city of Lahore. At least five Pakistani policemen protecting the team's bus were killed, while seven cricketers and their assistant coach were injured. For more we turn to Schwaib Hassan, the BBC's Pakistan correspondent, who joins us from Karachi.

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The Takeaway

Southeast Asian nations face down global economy

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Association of South East Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, is usually thought to be more of a figurehead organization that rarely takes real action. That might be changing though as the group of ten countries is working together in the face of the global economic slowdown. Finance ministers have been very proactive and have already agreed to establish a $120 billion currency stabilization fund, which will take on a role similar to that of the IMF. For more we are joined by the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok, Thailand.

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The Takeaway

Bangladesh prime minister threatens tough action on border guards

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh warned that she'd take tough action against a mutiny by paramilitary border security guards if they did not surrender their weapons immediately. The violence arose from grievances on pay and treatment from army commanders. New York Times reporter Somini Sengupta joins the show to talk about the standoff in Bangladesh.

Read Somini Sengupta's article, Army’s Border Guards Rebel in Bangladesh, in the New York Times.

UPDATE: The Associated Press is now reporting that the Bangladeshi government says all mutinous border guards have laid down their arms.

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The Takeaway

Hillary Clinton makes a stop in Jakarta, Indonesia

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

As she continues her inaugural trip across Asia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Indonesia today. As the Obama administration makes a push to strengthen relations with Southeast Asia, what will the Secretary of State be hearing from her Indonesian hosts? To answer that question we turn to Iwan Aziz, professor of economics and regional science at Cornell Business School.

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The Takeaway

Thirty years later, the Khmer Rouge is on trial

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thirty years after more than a million people died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, a United Nations-backed trial is finally underway. A former Khmer Rouge leader was in court for opening hearings yesterday. For what this means for Cambodia we are joined by Jonathan Head, the BBC's South Asia correspondent.

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The Takeaway

India responds to Pakistan's capture of Mumbai suspects

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pakistan says it has in custody a ringleader and five suspects in November's terrorist attack in Mumbai. But while India says it welcomes Pakistan's latest response, it says Pakistan needs to take more steps to crack down on terror groups existing in that country. For more on the response from India we turn to Sanjoy Majumder, BBC correspondent in Delhi.

India's Junior Foreign Minister Anand Sharma says Pakistan must enforce international law.

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The Takeaway

Sri Lankan Independence Day marred by violence

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sri Lanka marks its 61st Independence Day today, but the celebrations have been muted by ongoing skirmishes between the government and separatists. The President declared that the military has nearly crushed the 25-year Tamil rebellion for a separate homeland, but fighting continues and the humanitarian crisis worsens. For more we are joined by Somini Sengupta, the South Asia bureau chief for the New York Times.

For more, read Somini Sengupta's article, Wounded Flee Shelling of a Hospital in Sri Lanka, in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Civilians caught in crossfire of Sri Lankan civil war

Friday, January 30, 2009

As the civil war in Sri Lanka continues, the Sri Lankan army has hemmed in the rebels, the Tamil Tigers, in the northeast corner of the country. Caught in the crossfire are an estimated 250,000 civilians who live in the area. Food stocks are dwindling, and Sri Lanka's president today is urging Tamil Tiger rebels to allow the civilians trapped there to leave. For a closer look at these troubling events, we turn to Somini Sengupta, the New Delhi bureau chief for the New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Sri Lankan forces working to crush rebel alliance

Monday, January 26, 2009

The long struggle between the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Tamil Tigers continues, but the Sri Lankan military says that after intense fighting, its troops have captured the rebel stronghold town of Mullaittivu. Government forces are on a major offensive aimed at crushing the Tamil Tigers and ending their fight for a separate state for the Tamil minority. We are joined by BBC correspondent Anbarasan Ethirajan in Sri Lanka.

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The Takeaway

Two al-Qaida leaders killed in Pakistan

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pakistan says two key al-Qaida leaders were killed in a U.S. missile attack near the Afghan border last week. This is a confirmation of earlier reports by the U.S. One of the men killed is believed to be behind last year's Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad and an assassination attempt against Benazir Bhutto. Meanwhile, Vice-President-elect Joe Biden is in Islamabad for talks on regional issues. Joining our discussion of these events is the BBC's Charles Haviland in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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The Takeaway

Sri Lankan government launches offensive against Tamil tigers

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

For more than 25 years, the Tamil rebels have been fighting for independence from the government of Sri Lanka. Today the Sri Lankan army is continuing a massive military assault to force the rebels to give up much of the territory they have won. The BBC World Service's Roland Buerk joins us from Colombo, Sri Lanka for an update on the situation.

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