Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Surin Pitsuwan’

9th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that some media outlets are noting the comparatively positive aspects of the economies which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In order to provide further insight to the reader it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The Wall Street Journal, WSJ.com:

JAKARTA—Investors and companies should look to Southeast Asia as they seek shelter from the world-wide markets meltdown, said the secretary general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Surin Pitsuwan noted that Southeast Asia is growing, it is nestled between India and China and it dealt with its own scary debt problems over a decade ago, making it an attractive alternative amid the global volatility triggered by concerns about how the U.S. and Europe will deal with their debt, as well as whether the U.S. economy will slide into recession again. “If they are looking for a safer haven, this is it,” he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. “The Chinese and the Japanese that are worried will want to look around for better prospects for their investments and this is one of the hopeful regions…”

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this well written article by Eric Bellman in detail.

Frequent readers may recall that the ASEAN region as a whole, and the component jurisdictions therein, have shown tremendous economic strength in recent months. Meanwhile, these jurisdictions are believed by some to have substantial economic potential in the future. There has been some discussion in recent weeks regarding the prospect of a possible ASEAN visa not unlike the Schengen system currently employed in Europe. Whether such a program will ultimately be implemented remains to be seen. In any case, there is certainly strong evidence to support the inference that the ASEAN jurisdictions will be increasingly important in a geopolitical and economic context moving forward.

In news pertaining to the continuing struggle for LGBT Equality in the United States, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States appears to be refusing recognition of same sex marriages, even those legalized and/or solemnized in an American State jurisdiction. To provide further information this blogger is compelled to quote directly from the official website of MSNBC at MSN.com:

For all those same-sex newlyweds in New York, Lawrence S. Jacobs has a message: Enjoy the Champagne and the honeymoon, but expect no gifts from the IRS. Jacobs, a lawyer in Washington, specializes in estate planning for same-sex couples — and in delivering the bad news that their unions aren’t legal in the eyes of the IRS, a policy that will cost them time and money during tax season.Same-sex couples in Washington, which last year legalized gay marriage, must fill out a federal return to make calculations required for their D.C. joint return. But then they must set that work aside and fill out separate federal returns because the IRS doesn’t regard their union as legal, Jacobs says. “You just spent decades getting your marriage recognized, and now the feds say, ‘No, you’re not,’” says Jacobs, who as a partner in a same-sex marriage has firsthand experience of the problem.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages interested readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to view this story in detail.

Frequent readers may recall that the issue of same sex marriage has been a “hot button” issue in recent months as Senate Judiciary hearings have recently been held to scrutinize the Constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) in light of proposed replacement legislation in the form of the bill colloquially referred to as the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA). In an immigration context, the issue of federal recognition of same sex marriage is of substantial importance since agencies such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and each and every US Embassy or US Consulate overseas is legally compelled to disregard a same sex marriage when adjudicating family visa matters pursuant to the provisions of DOMA. Therefore, bi-national same sex couples cannot obtain a travel document such as a K-1 visa, CR-1 visa, or IR-1 visa in the same manner as their different-sex counterparts. Meanwhile, there is some hope that this current legal discrimination will be overcome as some US Courts have ruled that DOMA’s non-recognition, at least at the federal level, of State licensed same sex marriage is Un-Constitutional. Concurrently, the United States Bankruptcy Courts have begun allowing joint bankruptcies for same sex married couples.

It remains to be seen whether same sex couples will ever be accorded the same benefits as their different-sex counterparts in the eyes of American law, but the overall situation appears to be gradually improving.

For related information please see: Americans Resident Abroad.

more Comments: 04

24th March 2011

The tragic situation in Japan (a country recently plagued by Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, and finally Nuclear Meltdown)  is apparently causing other nations in East Asia and Southeast Asia to rethink their options with regard to the proliferation of nuclear power plants. A recent posting on the website AsiaOne.com discussed some of these issues in some detail. To quote directly from the website AsiaOne.com:

Singapore – Japan’s nuclear crisis is likely to prompt Southeast Asian states to look more carefully at their plans to tap atomic energy for power generation, the head of the regional bloc said Monday.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said Japan’s struggle to prevent a reactor meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant will have a “psychological” impact on some ASEAN members.

“They will continue to explore, but I think the sense of urgency will certainly be contained a little bit,” Surin told reporters on the sidelines of a regional economic conference in Singapore.

The administration of this blog highly encourages readers to click on the links above to read more of this article.

Clearly, a disaster of the magnitude of the events unfolding in Japan can have a tremendous “psychological” effect around the world, but what is interesting about the above quotation is the fact that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional organizations that is becoming increasingly important in geopolitical matters, seems to be uniformly ambivalent towards nuclear power as of the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Thailand, an important member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is rethinking its position on the issue of nuclear power. To quote directly from Eco-Business.com:

Thailand has frozen its plans to build its own nuclear power plants in the wake of the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan following a series of meltdowns at the quake-hit power complex in Fukushima.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban announced yesterday that the government would indefinitely halt all plans to build nuclear facilities in the Kingdom.

Again readers are highly encouraged to click on the links above to read more from this posting.

In this blogger’s personal opinion, this decision to “freeze” plans for a Thai nuclear plant is both prudent and necessary. The decision is prudent because it provides the Thai government and people the opportunity to watch the events in Japan unfold. This will provide the Thais with the opportunity to see the extent of the problem in Japan and this opportunity will allow Thai authorities to take a firsthand look at the possible dangers inherent in constructing and maintaining a nuclear facility. Such measures are necessary because failure to be prudent could be costly later, as evidenced by the situation in Japan. This nuclear disaster in Japan is obviously no one’s “fault,” but perhaps failure to take into consideration the fact that Japan, and the reactors present therein, is situated upon one of the most tectonically active locations on Earth may help to explain the nuclear disaster. At this time, fixing the blame for this tragedy should not be at the forefront of people’s minds as the brave Citizens of Japan struggle to overcome this situation, but evaluating the proliferation of nuclear facilities in the ASEAN with a critical eye may help avoid such tragedies in the Southeast Asia of the future.

As economic activity in the ASEAN region, China, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia expands it stands to reason that energy needs will remain an acute concern for the business community as well as governmental authorities, but such considerations would appear to be being weighed in light of the recent events in Japan, as well they should be.

For related information please see: business in China.

more Comments: 04

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.