|Asia News Digest
Indian Space Agency Has a 'Grand Success'
April 21 (EIRNS)With the successful launching of the 17th Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and three satellites at an exact altitude, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has come out of despondency that followed the failure of the Geo-Stationary Launch VehicleD3 last April. ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan called the mission "a grand success," because the satellites reached their orbits with great precision.
Of the three satellites launched, two are of particular interest. One is the Resourcesat-2, whose remote-sensing images would be used by countries across the world. The images from the satellite would be useful in monitoring the Earth's resources, including crop yields before harvest; the snow cover on mountains; glaciers advancing or retreating; changes in the coastal zones and the urban landscape; locating groundwater; and realigning roads in rural areas.
Dr. R.R. Navalgund, director of the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad, called the Resourcesat-2 "an extremely important satellite" because it had three cameras mounted on a single platform with high resolution, medium resolution, and coarse resolution. "You can collect data from the entire globe. So, there will be a great demand for this kind of data which is available from the Resourcesat-2. It can provide data more frequently. It will become the workhorse for monitoring the resources of the entire earth for the global community," Dr. Navalgund said.
Another satellite, Youthsat, is a joint Indo-Russian stellar and atmospheric satellite mission with the participation of students from universities at the graduate, post-graduate, and research scholar level. With a lift-off mass of 92 kg, Youthsat is a mini-satellite whose mission is to investigate the relationship between solar variability and thermosphere-ionosphere changes. The satellite carries three payloads, of which two are Indian and one Russian. Together, they form a unique and comprehensive package of experiments for the investigation of the composition, energetics, and dynamics of Earth's upper atmosphere. The Russian payload: Solrad is for monitoring the solar X-ray and gamma ray fluxes and to study solar cosmic ray flux parameters and conditions of their penetration in the Earth's magnetosphere.
The third satellite, X-sat, is Singapore's first indigenous micro-satellite which would help carry out for the next three years research associated with Earth remote-sensing applications, it was said.
Thai Monarchy and Military Impose Cold Coup
April 23 (EIRNS)The Thai military and the monarchy, which answers directly to the European monarchies, have now openly declared that they, not the government, rule Thailand, and are proceeding to destroy both Thailand and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as a whole, on behalf of the British Empire. The Thai military, with the support of the Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and the monarchical fascist gang known as the Yellow Shirts, has reactivated military assaults on neighboring Cambodia for the past two days, with two days of artillery exchanges, hitting targets 21 km within Cambodia territory, and leaving a dozen dead on the two sides.
The last military exchange was in February, which led to massive international pressure on the Thai government to accept mediation from ASEAN, which is now chaired by Indonesia. The Thai prime minister reluctantly agreed, and after a meeting of the two sides in Indonesia, the Thai government agreed to the Cambodian call for Indonesian observers (representing ASEAN) to set up camp in the conflicted border areas. At the same time, the Thai government agreed to call elections, tentatively set for June.
However, the Thai military refused to accept any Indonesian observersand appears ready to sabotage the elections as well, which would almost certainly be won by the supporters of the deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. It became clear over the past month that the military, headed by Gen. Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the bloody architect of the military massacre against the Red Shirt opposition demonstrations last year (and the 2006 coup against Thaksin), has decided that the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjijiva was incapable of gaining any support from the Thai population, and that the military must step in. Prayuth, while repeatedly denying any intention to carry out a coup, has in fact carried out a cold coup by simply taking charge, and ignoring the government's decisions.