US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Oct 2001 to Dec 2001

: Thai Prime Minister Thaksin’s visit to Washington is greeted with disappointment in the Thai press. Little of consequence in either economic or political benefits occurred, perhaps because of Thailand’s tentative support of the U.S. anti-terrorist campaign.

: U.S. praises the Thai military for its peacekeeping leadership role in East Timor and its drug suppression activities in Thailand.

: The U.S. Senate and House respectively pass separate resolutions thanking the Philippines for its support and sympathy since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

: U.S. lists the Philippine communist insurgent guerrillas on Washington’s terrorist list, a development hailed by the Philippine military.

: Hanoi ratifies a far reaching trade agreement with the U.S. that will lead to an average cut in U.S. tariffs on Vietnamese goods to about 4 percent.

: A Thai military source states that the 2002 “Cobra Gold” exercise would include an anti-terrorist scenario involving U.S. special forces.

: At a White House meeting, President Bush promises President Macapagal-Arroyo all the aid she needed to fight the Abu Sayyaf terrorists. He pledged up to $100 million in security assistance and a further $1 billion in trade benefits.

: Indonesian authorities criticize the new U.S. visa restrictions on Muslims from 25 countries as discriminating and undermining the U.S. claim that it is targeting terrorists not Islam.

: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad condemns new U.S. visa restrictions on Muslims from several countries including Malaysia.

: The U.S. State Department announces a five-fold increase in military financing to the Philippines from $2 million to $19 million in the 2003 budget.

: Indonesia’s two largest moderate Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama  and Muhammadiyah, discuss adopting a common strategy to counter small militant religious groups that have tarnished Indonesian Islam’s reputation through violent demonstrations against the U.S. and its allies.

: The U.S. Senate introduced several new conditions before direct military-to-military relations can be restored with Indonesia including the punishment of the individuals who murdered three humanitarian aid workers in West Timor, establishing a civilian audit of armed forces expenditures, and granting humanitarian workers access to Aceh, West Timor, West Papua, and the Moluccas.

: ASEAN summit in Brunei adopts a declaration of joint action to counter terrorism.

: U.S. officials claim that the Philippine terrorist group Abu Sayyaf has links to Usama bin Laden, though Philippine specialists do not believe the relationship has been active for about a decade.

: Indonesia, after a long delay, agrees to freeze bank accounts of terrorist suspects as the U.S. has requested.

: Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri urges the U.S. to halt military attacks on Afghanistan during Ramadan.

: The Council of Muslim Organizations of Thailand calls for a boycott of U.S. products while the war in Afghanistan continues.

: Thailand refuses a U.S. request to station supply ships in the Gulf of Thailand.

: Thailand orders 30 second-hand Huey helicopters from the United States to be added to the 90 already in service. Provided as a free gift by the U.S., Thailand will still pay $1 million per aircraft for refurbishment and transportation.

: Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar warns that prolonged military attacks on Afghanistan could destabilize the Islamic world.

: Police use water cannons to disperse some 4,000 demonstrators gathered around the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to protest U.S. air attacks on Afghanistan.

: Indonesian Vice President Hamzah Haz urges the U.S. to stop air attacks on Afghanistan and present solid proof to the world that Usama bin Laden was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

: Thai Defense Minister Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh dismisses reports that U.S. warplanes are using U-Tapao airbase to refuel on the way to Afghanistan. The Thai-U.S. military cooperation agreement allows U.S. planes to refuel in Thailand but not to stage attacks on third countries from Thai soil.

: The Philippines announces that the U.S. will send military advisors to Mindanao to provide training for Philippine forces in their hunt for terrorists linked to the al-Qaeda network.

: Anti-U.S. demonstrations erupt in four major Indonesian cities in the wake of U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan.

: Ralph Boyce sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia.

: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra states that Thailand supports U.S. strikes against the Taliban because they are authorized by the UN resolution against terrorism.

: The Philippines pledges to help the U.S. pursue the flow of money from al-Qaeda to terrorist networks in the Philippines.

: A U.S. Federal court finds Indonesian Gen. Tommy Lumintang liable for human rights violations in the 1999 East Timor elections and awards $66 million in damages to a group of East Timor plaintiffs.

: U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Richard Hecklinger states that the main form of cooperation against terrorism asked from Thailand is the sharing of intelligence and the enhancement of coordination between law enforcement agencies of both countries.

: Indonesia issues a political statement against terrorism and condemns anti-U.S. protests and harassment of Americans in Indonesia.

: Elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the southern Philippines threaten to retaliate against U.S. civilians if Afghanistan is attacked.

: U.S. Ambassador Robert Gelbard castigates the Indonesian government for not providing proper protection to Americans who are being threatened by radical groups.

: Vietnam welcomes the U.S. Senate’s ratification of the Vietnam-U.S. Trade Agreement.

: The Central Islamic Committee of Thailand asks the government to refrain from providing military bases to the U.S. for reprisal attacks on Afghanistan.

: U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Kent Widemann says he is confident the Hun Sen government is prepared to conduct a trial of the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders, although the UN has not yet been invited to initiate and help fund the tribunal.

: The Philippines announces that the U.S. has made a number of authorized overflights of the country to the Arabian Gulf area; a presidential spokesman says the U.S. would have to make a formal request for each overflight in the future.

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