Under the Radar News, 11.13.09

Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 by Kolby Hanson

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia.

National League for Democracy senior member Min Lwin announces that Burma’s military junta will release Aung San Suu Kyi before next year’s elections. The Irrawaddy
This comes just days after Japan promised more aid to Burma if they released her (Voice of America), and President Obama announced he would meet with Burmese PM Thein Sein (New York Times).

In Indonesia, new media is being employed to fight an old problem. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) reaches 1 million fans on Facebook. Antara

Two major ethnic insurgent groups in Burma, the Karenni National People’s Liberation Front and the New Democratic Army-Kachin, have been officially disarmed and have become border guard forces for the government. They are the first groups to do so in preparation for the elections next year. This could be the beginnings of general disarming in the longest-sustained set of armed conflicts in the world. Xinhua

Taiwan reaches an agreement for France to supply and sustain their Mirage 2000-5 jets, and another for the U.S. to supply Javelin anti-tank missiles. eTaiwanNews
Earlier this week, it had appeared that Western nations were courting China by refusing to supply arms to Taiwan. Taiwan had grounded nine of the jets because France had halted the production of spare parts. Taipei Times

EU’s attempts to sign free trade agreement with ASEAN or with specific ASEAN nations, including Indonesia, have stalled. Problem countries like Burma seem to be standing in the way of economic integration. Jakarta Post

Pakistan signs a $1.4 billion contract to buy 36 Chinese J-10 fighters. Defense Industry Daily

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