Regional Overview – Asia December 4, 2018

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Last week, demonstrations increased in South Asia and Southeast Asia, while organized violence remained generally unchanged. This week is characterized by two attacks on Afghan foreign troops by the Taliban, large-scale peasant protests in India, a surge in pre-election violence in Bangladesh, and a sharp increase in separatist violence in southern Thailand.

In AfghanistanThere has been a slight increase in violence between militant groups – mainly related to the Taliban, as well as the Islamic State (IS) – and Afghan security forces across the country. The most intense fighting took place in Helmand Province, Ghazni and Nangarhar provinces, the latter being the last major stronghold of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

In addition, last week the Taliban carried out two major attacks on foreign troops. First, NATO officials reported that a Taliban improvised explosive device attack occurred near the city of Ghazni, killing three American soldiers and injuring three others; an American contractor was also injured. This figure represents a large part of the number of deaths in the United States reported to date in 2018 and has now reached 12 people. In Kabul, the Taliban attack on the British security contractor G4S’s compound reportedly killed at least six people and injured 32 people, including civilians. The attack began with a vehicle-borne suicide attack (SVBIED) outside the facility, followed by a gun battle between the militants and internal private security forces.

In PakistanDespite the decline in the overall level of organized violence, security personnel continued to attack in the North Waziristan region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The demonstration level remains unchanged. The right-wing group succeeded in inspiring sparse support for mass protests in the Supreme Court's verdict, which sentenced a Christian woman to acquittal for blasphemy. After the arrest of the leaders of Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) in Pakistan the previous week, support for the protests has diminished. At the same time, protests and riots were recorded in anti-aggression actions against traders and shopkeepers of illegally constructed businesses in Karachi Metropolitan (KMC). Political parties such as Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) are at the forefront of anti-infringement demonstrations, claiming that the action is biased towards poor shopkeepers and traders (Dawn, December 1, 2018).

Last week, in controversial Kashmir According to reports, there has only been a cross-border violence between the Indian and Pakistani national armies.

In Jammu and Kashmir State of IndiaConflict between The militants and state forces continue to record a large number of casualties, including 14 militants, two soldiers and two civilians. The fatal experience triggered work stoppages, protests and riots in the Kashmir Valley.

In other places India, Post-election violence between State and Maoist insurgents continues in Chhattisgarh, where 11 insurgents and two members of the National Security Force are reported to have died (see more on this matter, see This past ACLED infographic). Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh also reported attacks by the Maoists on the national army and civilians.

some A massive protest movement took place in India last week. Farmers’ organizations have held protests on various issues across the country, including long-standing demands for loan exemptions. The largest protest rally was reported in the capital New Delhi, with thousands of farmers from all states – including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh – Street gatherings. They asked the parliament's special meeting on land crises to pass two bills – one to ensure one-time lending in full, and the other to implement long-term institutional measures to ensure that farmers no longer fall into debt (Economic Times, November 30, 2018). In addition, tea garden workers held protests in several areas of Assam, demanding new wage agreements and raising daily wages. In Mumbai, thousands of Maratha community members staged protest marches in support of their immediate request for quotas for communities in work and educational institutions.

In BangladeshThe continued process of nominations by all political parties for the upcoming general elections in December 2018 was more violent last week than in the previous two weeks. Various intra-party conflicts and factional infighting incidents have been recorded throughout the country, and six people were reported to have died (for more information on political violence in Bangladesh, see This past ACLED works).

In NepalActivists continue to take to the streets to support a variety of demands, including the challenge of seeking justice Nirmala Panta, a minor girl who was raped and murdered in July 2018.

Last week Sri LankaThe ongoing government crisis is further exacerbated (For more information, please see This past ACLED infographic). The parliament Vote to prevent the Prime Minister’s office from spending government funds. Legislators against the controversial Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa can pass the bill because legislators loyal to Rajapaksa boycotted parliamentary litigation on the fourth day (Associated Press, November 30, 2018).

At the same time, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, the chief of the Chief of Defense (CDS), was the highest-ranking military official in Sri Lanka and was arrested for allegedly participating in high-profile cases of kidnapping and murdering 11 Tamil youth between 2008 and 2009. Several journalists from a naval officer were beaten by his army entourage during his arrest. This development took place when the Tamil people in the north celebrated. Maaveerar Naal On November 27th, remember the people who died during the civil war. The commemoration of the commemoration was resolved in riots, protests and even armed conflicts in several areas.

Separatist violence in the south Thailand Significantly increased last week. Violence in Songkhla, Narathiwat and Yala province killed six people. On November 25, it was reported that in Songkhla, two defense volunteers and an assistant village chief were shot for suspected separatists. Later this week, on November 29, a Muslim woman was shot in front of her home in Narathiwat and reportedly killed. According to reports, a police chief of Yala was suspected of being separatist shots while returning home from the mosque. The next day, Yala’s border patrol police had a gun battle with the same separatists, killing one person.

inside PhilippinesThe military and the New People's Army (NPA) continue to clash. According to reports, on November 29, the fighting resulted in the death of four members of the National Action Plan in Sarangani. According to reports, in the province of Maguindanao, a land dispute was caused by three peasants killed by unidentified assailants. Despite ongoing drug wars, on November 29, three police officers were convicted of murdering a 17-year-old boy who was mistakenly identified as a drug promoter. Since Duterte took office in 2016, drug-related violence has been convicted for the first time since its inception (New York Times, November 29, 2018). (For more information on the Philippine drug war, see Recently this ACLED article. )

Continued clash between the Shan State Restoration Council/Shan State Southern Army (RCSS / SSA-S) and the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Northern Army (SSPP / SSA-N) Myanmar last week. Despite the efforts of the Dai People’s Democratic Alliance (SNLD) to promote peace between the two warring tribes, the conflict continues (Irrawaddy, November 27, 2018). SSPP / SSA-N is in line with the Palaung State Liberation Front / Ta' Ang National People's Liberation Army (PSLF / TNLA) to counter RCSS / SSA-S and continue to move north (for more on this matter, see Recently this ACLED article). RCSS / SSA-S recently announced that it will suspend its participation in the National Stopfire Agreement (NCA) executive body meeting.

The rally in support of the Burmese army continued in Myanmar and last week held a rally in Lashio, Shan State. Rakhine State’s protesters also expressed their opposition to the repatriation of Rohingya refugees. In addition, in Sittwe, and later in Kyaukphyu, Arakan natural resources and environmental network parade, called for control of Rakhine State's natural resources.

The anniversary of the birth of the West Papua nation on December 1, 1961 led to demonstrations in many provinces. Indonesia. The demonstrations in Surabaya were violently attacked by members of mass organizations who attacked the protesters with sharp bamboo sticks and bottles; several protesters were injured. In the provinces, the police arrested many demonstrators.

In CambodiaThe Phnong villagers held demonstrations at the Busra Commune to end the dredging work in the Wildlife Sanctuary. The villagers seized the dredging machine used in the operation. The sand trade between Cambodia and foreign countries has caused many of the country’s protests against the environmental impact of dredging operations on the local land (Radio Free Asia, November 26, 2018).

No political violence or protests were recorded Vietnam Either Laos last week.

Daniela Polman
Daniela Polman
Daniela Pollmann is the Asian Research Manager for ACLED. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the coding of political violence and protests in South and Southeast Asian countries. Ms. Pollmann holds a master's degree in conflict, security and development from the University of Sussex, focusing on the peace process. She has worked in the social sectors of Uganda and India, and her work focuses on empowering women, protecting children and combating human trafficking. She is currently based in New Delhi, India.
Elliot Bynum
Elliot Bynum
Elliott Bynum is the Asian Research Manager for ACLED. She is responsible for managing the codes of political violence and protests in Southeast Asia. She is a doctor. Candidate for International Relations at American Universities.
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Tom Hart
Tom Hart is a Middle East Research Manager for the Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data Project (ACLED), a part-time winemaker and genealogist. He earned a bachelor's degree in international history from Carleton University in Ottawa, focusing on colonial relations, cross-cultural interactions and geo-cultural perspectives. Mr. Hart currently works in Ottawa, Canada, and is fluent in English and French.

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