The new international convention banning the use and production of cluster munitions takes effect on Sunday, with more than 30 countries having ratified the treaty. The Convention on Cluster Munitions is seen as a major step in disarmament, even as unexploded ordnance from the Vietnam War 40 years ago still extracts a deadly toll in southeast Asia, especially Laos.(...more)
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Sunday, 4 July 2010
BANGKOK — Thailand must immediately lift emergency rule imposed during the recent mass opposition protests and hold an election as soon as possible for national reconciliation, a leading think-tank said Monday.
The emergency decree was invoked across about a third of the country during the “Red Shirt” rallies in Bangkok that sparked clashes leaving 90 people dead, ending with an army crackdown on May 19 and a subsequent rampage by protesters.
The International Crisis Group (ICG) said the emergency law, which has handed sweeping powers to the police and military, had empowered authorities to stifle the anti-government movement and should be lifted at once.
“While the Red Shirts have no opportunity for open and peaceful expression because of draconian laws, their legitimate frustrations are being forced underground and possibly towards illegal and violent actions,” ICG said.(...more)