US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jun 2007 to Oct 2007

: UN special envoy Gambari extends his stay and travels to Naypyidaw with the hope of meeting Gen. Than Shwe.

: UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari arrives in Burma on what the UN secretary general calls an “urgent mission” to broker negotiations between the military government and the pro-democracy opposition.

: The military junta in Burma cracks down on protestors. Reports on the number of casualties vary widely from the official government figures of nine as the junta closes down telephone access to the country.

: President Bush announces in an address to the UN General Assembly new economic and diplomatic sanctions against the leaders of Burma’s military junta and its financial supporters. He also calls on other members of the UN to join the U.S. in forcing change in Burma.

: Thousands of monks and supporters including students gather in Rangoon. Meanwhile, the government moves military forces into positions around the city, bans gatherings of more than five people, orders a dusk to dawn curfew in both Rangoon and Mandalay, and places both cities under the control of the local military commanders for 60 day.

: U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Ralph Boyce states that Washington has no plans to closely monitor the forthcoming December Thai elections, but would observe the elections in the same way it has in the past.

: Six Burmese labor activists are sentenced up to 28 years in prison for organizing a seminar at the U.S. embassy last May.

: President Bush meets Philippine President Macapagal Arroyo prior to the Sydney APEC conference to discuss counter-terrorism and U.S. military assistance.

: President Bush hosts a lunch meeting for all ASEAN leaders attending APEC, as a substitute for the U.S.-ASEAN summit he canceled.  At the luncheon, the president announces he intends to appoint an ambassador to the grouping.

: U.S. and Malaysian defense intelligence chiefs convene a 19-country conference on Asian anti-terrorist intelligence cooperation in Kuala Lumpur.

: U.S. State Department dismisses Burma’s new constitution as a sham because the national convention was made up of the junta’s hand-picked delegates.

: U.S. Ambassador to APEC Patricia Hasloch asserts Southeast Asia’s continued importance despite Secretary Rice’s absence from the ARF earlier this month and Bush’s decision to leave the Sydney APEC meeting before its conclusion next week.

: A U.S. Congressional delegation visits Vietnam and discusses enhanced trade, investment, and public health concerns.

: Scot Marciel, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia, urges Thailand not to exclude anyone from running in its forthcoming national election, including those who oppose the coup leaders.

: A State Department spokesman calls on Burma’s junta to release 13 democracy advocates arrested for protesting the regime’s human rights violations and the arbitrary doubling of fuel prices.

: Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Agung Laksono, requests through the new U.S. ambassador, Cameron R. Hume, that the U.S. to lift its weapons embargo and travel warning for Indonesia.

: USPACOM and Indonesia co-host the “Pacific Airlift Rally 2007” that includes 21 countries focusing on dealing with natural disasters.

: USPACOM commander Adm. Timothy Keating visits Cambodia.

: A referendum to approve a new constitution for Thailand, which paves the way for elections in December, is passed with 57.8 percent of the votes in favor.

: Navies from the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the U.S. hold the sixth annual anti-terrorism Southeast Asian Cooperation against Terrorism (SEACAT) exercise.

: The U.S. Navy concludes a CARAT exercise with Brunei’s navy, involving a U.S. ship and two Brunei vessels in boarding and search and rescue maneuvers.

: U.S. Marines from the Special Operations Training Group conduct marksmanship training with Indonesian Marines at their camp as well as aboard the USS Harpers Ferry as part of the bilateral Naval Engagement Activity, Indonesia 2007.

: U.S. and Indonesian navies conduct an exercise on disaster response.

: Secretary Negroponte praises ASEAN’s proposed Charter, its human rights commission, and strengthened democratic values at the Manila ASEAN post-ministerial conference.

: Secretary Negroponte attends the 14th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference held in Manila as the designated U.S. envoy to the ARF. He reaffirms that the U.S. would remain strongly engaged in the region and that ASEAN ties are a “critical component” of U.S. dealings with East Asia.

: Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte holds bilateral talks in the Philippines prior to the ASEAN meetings.

: The USS Peleliu, operating as part of the Navy’s Pacific Partnership Program leaves Vietnam after a 10-day humanitarian visit where medical and dental personnel treated 3,500 patients in areas around Danang.

: U.S. repatriates the head of an Angkor-era sculpture that had been stolen and smuggled from Cambodia.  The U.S. and Cambodia have an agreement to protect Cambodia’s cultural heritage.

: The U.S. extends political and economic sanctions for another year in Burma for continued human rights violations.  The sanctions have been in place since 2003.

: Indonesian and U.S. Air Forces begin a 10-day Teak Iron joint exercise involving cargo drops and paratroops.

: The U.S.-based World Food Prize Foundation awards Thai King Bhumibol the first Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Medallion for his “great contributions to feeding people and enhancing human life.”

: Burmese military leader Brig. Gen. Kyaw San states that his country wants to work with the U.S. for mutual benefit.

:  The White House confirms President Bush has postponed his September trip to the ASEAN summit in Singapore, but expects to meet Southeast Asian leaders later in the year.

: U.S. lead trade negotiator for Southeast Asia Barbara Weisel tells reporters in Kuala Lumpur that the U.S. expects free trade talks with Malaysia by June 2008.

: The U.S., India, Japan, Australia, and Singapore announce plans for a large-scale joint naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal to be held in September.  China responds by asking for a clarification of the purpose of the exercise.

: The U.S. Navy ship USS Peleliu leaves the Philippines after providing medical and civic action services, the first stop on a four-month, five-country humanitarian visit in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

: ASEAN-USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trade Office) Workshop for Intellectual Property Enforcement Officials, Public Health Officials, and Agricultural Officials on Intellectual Property Enforcement is held in Bangkok.

: President Bush postpones the U.S.-ASEAN summit originally scheduled for Singapore in September “for scheduling reasons.”

: The U.S.-Malaysian navies CARAT exercise takes place with at-sea war fighting, safety, and boarding, search and seizure practice.  Onshore activities include humanitarian medical aid and civilian construction activities.

: Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Timothy Keating visits the Philippines for high-level military and political discussions.

: A U.S. Navy delegation led by Adm. Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations, visits Vietnam for talks with the Vietnam Navy High Command.

: Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet visits the U.S., emphasizing enhanced economic relations but encounters human rights concerns in Congress.

: The two top leaders of the Southeast Asia al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah are apprehended by the elite U.S.-trained Detachment 88 of the Indonesian National Police, significantly weakening the terrorist group’s leadership.

: State Department releases its 2006 Human Trafficking Report which blacklists Malaysia (with a Tier Three designation) for the first time for failing to prevent thousands of young women and children from falling victim. The Philippines is also listed as not fully complying with minimum protection standards.

: Indonesia and the Hawaii National Guard announce an agreement to collaborate on non-lethal equipment maintenance and disaster relief operations.

: Vietnam release Nguyen Vu Binh, a prominent government critic, before the trip of President Nguyen Minh Triet to the U.S.

: Through its Rewards for Justice Program, the U.S. pays out over $10 million to four former Abu Sayyaf terrorist group members who provided information that led to the death of two top Abu Sayyaf leaders in Sulu.

: Laos commends the U.S. for arresting Hmong leader Vang Pao and eight others for plotting to overthrow the Lao government.

: Gen. Peter Pace visits Kuala Lumpur to discuss cooperation between the two countries’ militaries. He also addresses students at the Malaysia Armed Forces Staff College.

: Defense Secretary Gates meets Singapore PM Lee to discuss bilateral defense cooperation and regional security. Gates expressed appreciation for Singapore’s reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan.

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