[soc.culture.asian.american] Proposal to create soc.culture.asean

harish@ece.orst.edu (Harish Pillay) (09/28/89)

 This is a first announcement about a proposal to create a newsgroup
possibly called SOC.CULTURE.ASEAN.

  ### History ###

  ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) was formed in 1967 as a 
regional grouping to help the nations of South East Asia climb the economic 
ladder and to foster regional peace and stability.  There were 5 original 
countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.  In 1984, 
when Brunei gained her independence, ASEAN admitted her as the 6th nation.  
Currently, Papua New Guniea has an observer status in the organization.

  ASEAN has been instrumental in disproving the "domino effect theory" popular
among many political commentators of the Vietnam war/Nixon era.  The turmoil 
and strife seen in the Indochinese countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos 
pretty much ended there after the Vietnam War.  The nations of ASEAN continued 
on the path of economic progress with the result of Singapore emerging as a 
Newly Industrialized Economy with Malaysia and Thailand on the brink of 
becoming a NIE.

  The last 10 years have seen the problem of the Vietnamese occupation of 
Cambodia occupy the center stage in ASEAN's concerns.  There was an ill-fated
Cambodia Peace Conference earlier this year in the light of the Vietnamese
withdrawal from Cambodia.  In any case, the ASEAN countries are poised to 
assist any government freely elected in Cambodia solve basic bread and butter 
problems and help the country get back on its feet.

  Apart from this, ASEAN is viewed as the most dynamic regional economic 
grouping with approximately 300 million people (almost the size of Europe 92)
and exceeding the USA.  The vast endowment of natural resources and dynamic 
and pragmatic governments of ASEAN have attracted large investments in 
industry by multinational companies based in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan.

  Lately there have been some concerns being expressed with regards to the
Philippine "Marshall Plan" and the proposal by Singapore to offer naval 
facilities to the US Navy.  This offer is seen as a blow to ASEAN's concept
of ZOPFAN (Zone of Peace, Freedom And Neutrality).

 ### Objective ###

  This newsgroup will serve as a discussion forum for the issues that face
the citizens of ASEAN.  It can also serve as a place where free and frank
discussion of so-called "sensitive" issues can be made.  It should be kept
unmoderated.  By removing the perceived fear of speaking up and discussing
issues that matter without the "government-led" "responsible" journalism
so pervasive in some of the ASEAN countries, it is hoped that this newsgroup
will help foster ASEAN solidarity and understanding.

  The newsgroup can be a channel where specific country related issues to be
discussed.  If in the future, the traffic for a specific country becomes
dominating in this group, a newsgroup for that country can be spawned off
off this group, for example, soc.culture.asean-singapore or whatever.

  One other aspect worth considering would also be future membership of the
3 Indochinese nations - Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.  

  Sometime this week, I'll post a formal call for discussion.

 If you have any questions or comments, send them to the above
address or to me:

     Internet: harish@ece.orst.edu
     UUCP:     uunet!ece.orst.edu!harish

  Please, wait until the Call for Discussion is posted to make
your comments in USENET.

  Thank you.

  Harish Pillay
  Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  Oregon State University
  Corvallis, Oregon 97331
  (503)-737-2554 (office)
  (503)-758-1389 (home)