The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
Darwin Ha Noi Cairns Singapore Derby Bangkok Port Hedland Kuala Lumpur Kununurra Manila Townsville Denpasar HCM City Surabaya Penang Dili Port Moresby Phuket Phnom Penh Jakarta
established 2000
Friday, 18 April 2014
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 
Indonesia votes for new parliament and new president
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 10:
Indonesians voted for a new parliament yesterday in a poll that will decide who will run for president in the presidential elections scheduled for July 9, reports the Jakarta Post.
About 75 percent of the more than reportedly 186 million registered voters caste their vote for almost 236,000 candidates in about 500,000 polling stations yesterday.
A party or coalition requires 112 of the 560 seats in the lower house of parliament to nominate a candidate for the presidency
The Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) is the only party out of 12 parties nationawide seen as having a chance of achieving this result without forming a coalition, reports the Jakarta Post.
The PDI-P has been ahead in the opinion polls and reportedly extended its lead with the nomination of Jakarta governor, Joko Widodo, 52, known as "Jokowi".
PDI-I had almost 20 percent of the reportedly 30 percent of votes counted at 2,000 polling stations yesterday or almost 20 percent of about 50 percent of total votes counted.
The official results of the legislative elections are not expected to be announced until 9 May.
The Southeast Asian Times


Malaysia's migrant rights activist
dies at 67
Irene Fernandez
18 April 1946 - 29 March 2014
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, Thursday 3: A funeral service for Irene Fernandez, 67, advocate for the rights of migrants and women in Malaysia, will be held at the Church of Divine Mercy in Shah Alam, Selangor, today.
Irene Fernandez died of heart failure at the Serdang Hospital on Monday,
She received numerous awards in recognition of her work including the Human Rights Montor award in 1996, the Amnesty International Award in 1998; the International PEN Award in 2000; the Jonathan Mann Award in 2004; and the Right Livelihood Award in 2005
She established the Tenaganita, or Women’s Force, Non Government Organisation in 1991 to represent the rights of migrant workers.
She was arrested on March 18, 1996, and charged under Section 8A (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and found guilty of publishing the memo entitled
“Abuse, torture and dehumanised treatment of migrant workers at detention camps” on August 25, 1995.
She was sentenced to one year's jail in 2003 and immediately appealed.
High Court judge Mohammad Apandi Ali overturned her conviction and acquitted her on November 24, 2008.
She had not been allowed to leave Malaysia or stand for election till then.
In May 2012 Tenaganita, or Women’s Force, director Irene Fernandez told the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission that Malaysia’s law-enforcement officers regularly harassed the country’s “guest workers” and forced them to pay bribes.
She provided the commissioner with six examples of harrassment and asked the commission to investigate.
The Southeast Asian Times


Map of China in Chinese passports includes Indonesian waters

From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 27:
Map of Chna in Chinese passports includes part of the Natuna waters in Indonesia's Riau Islands, reports the Antara newsagency.
Assistant deputy to the chief security minister for defense strategic doctrine, Commodore Fahru Zaini said that China included the Natuna Islands in its territorial map with nine dash lines.
"China has claimed Natuna waters as their territorial waters," he said .
The Natuna waters are named after the Riau islands.
The islands are located along the southern part of the strategic Malacca Straits in the South China Sea.
Commodore Fahru Zaini reportedly said that China's nine-dash line is not transparent.
"it doesn't include precise coordinates", he said.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have part of their territory also included in the Chinese passport map, reports the Jakarta Post
The Southeast Asian Times


Jakarta yet
to ratify indigenous rights

From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 25: The Indigenous People's Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) Secretary-general, Abdon Nababan, called on the Indonesian government to ratify the indigenous people's rights, acknowledgement and protection bill.
“We urge the Indonesian government to immediately implement the Constitutional Court and House of Representatives’ decisions to pass a bill on the acknowledgment and protection of indigenous people’s rights,” he said.
He said that slow progress to revoke the Ministry of forestry decree that requires Indonesia's indigenous peoples to provide documents to claim their customery lands had caused ongoing conflict.
The Constitutional Court ruled in May last year to delete the word “state” from Forestry Law Article 1 of the 1999 Forestry Law that read , “customary forests are state forests located in the areas of custom-based communities” read
“customary forests are forests located in the areas of custom-based communities” after the Constitutional Court ruling last year.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) secretary general, Abdon Nababan, says that the Ministry of Forestry should revoke the decree immediately as it ontradicts the Constitutional Court and House of Represenatatives decision to pass a bill on indigenous people's rights, acknowledgement and protection.
The Southeast Asian Times.


Indonesian President called on
to give indigenous peoples their la
nd
back
From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 30: Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been called on to revoke a 2013 Ministry of Forestry decree that requires Indonesia's indigenous peoples to provide documents to claim their customery lands.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) secretary general, Abdon Nababan, says that the Ministry of Forestry should revoke the decree immediately as it contradicts the Constitutional Court decision that recognises the indigenous peoples of Indonesia claim to their land.
"Indigenous people don't have official documents to prove that land and forests belong to them since they have been living on them for hundreds of years, " he said.
The Constitutional Court ruled in May last year to delete the word “state” from Forestry Law
Article 1 of the 1999 Forestry Law that read , “customary forests are state forests located in the areas of custom-based communities” read
“customary forests are forests located in the areas of custom-based communities” after the Constitutional Court ruling last year.
The ruling by the Cobstitutional Court was seen as a victory for Indonesia's indigenous people, reports the Jakarta Post.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) secretary general, Abdon Nababan, says that the Ministry of Forestry decree is seen as a repudiation of that victory.
He said that the decree shows the government is not consistent in uphold-ing the law and in protecting indigenous land rights.
"We want the President to come to the rescue by issuing a decree to render the Ministry of Forestry decree that requires indigenous peoples to provide documents to claim their customery lands void,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

 

Read the letters to The Southeast Asian Times...open here

Military adopts new strategy to curb separatism
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 18: Indonesian National Armed Forces or Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) have adopted a new strategy to deal with security threats in West Papua, reports the Jakarta Post.
TNI commander Gen. Moeldoko said that while the military would pursue the alleged armed separatists who fled over the border into Papua New Guinea last week, it would use a new strategy to curb separatism.
"We have developed a cultural approach and will no longer use the security approach:, he said.
He said that the military has told its officers to do whatever they can to 'win West Papuans hearts and minds', reports the Jakarta Post.
The Jakarta Post reports that the (TNI) is working with police to find the about 40 Free Papua Movement (OPM) members who allegedly fired on a watch tower at an Indonesian military post in Wutung and fled over the West Papua border into Papua New Guinea.
An Indonesian soldlier was injured during the exchange of gunfire beween police and alleged Free Papua Movement (OPM) members on the border military post.
The separatists set a billboard on fire and took down the Indonesian flag and raised the Free Papua Movement (OPM) separatist Morning Star flag, reports the Jakarta Post. Cenderawasih military command Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua, who is in command of the Indonesian National Armed Forces or Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) operations in Papua New Guinea and West Papua province said that the Papua New Guinea Government should act against armed civilians who hid in Papua after threatening security in West Papua.
"Gangs of armed men often cross the border to Papua New Guinea after causing trouble in the West Papuan Indonesian frontier but we cannot pursue them beyond the border," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cosmetic surgeon charged with defiling a corpse
Cosmetic surgeon, Nguyen Manh Tuong, 41, on the Thanh Tri Bridge showing police where he threw his patients body into the Hong or Red River
From News Reports:
Hanoi, April 17: Cosmetic surgeon, Nguyen Manh Tuong, 41, who was arrested last October for the murder of his patient at his Hanoi surgery has been charged with 'defiling a corpse' and 'violating regulations related to medical treatment' reports Thanh Nien.
Le Thi Thanh Huyen, 39, died while undergoing breast implant surgery at the Cat Tuong Beauty Beauty salon in Hanoi's Ba Trung district last October.
Police have also charged alleged accomplice, security guard, Dao Quang Khanh, 18, who was also arrested last October for the murder of the patient, with "defiling a corpse and robbery".
Hanoi Health Department, chief inspector, Nguyen Viet Cuong said that the Cat Tuong Beauty Salon was not licensed to perform cosmetic surgery.
Nguyen Manh Tuong has reportedly been suspended from the Bac Mai Hospital where he had worked since 2006 as an orthopaedic surgeon after graduating from the Hanoi Medical University in 1999.
Director of the Bac Mai Hospital, Do Doan Loi said that the hospital board management had been unaware that Nguyen Manh Tuong ran a private cosmetic surgery clinic outside his hospital duties
"Nguyen Manh Tuong was not specialised in cosmetic surgery", said the director of the Bac Mai Hospital.
Nguyen Manh Tuong, charged VND30 to 60 million (US$1,442 to US$2,845) for surgery performed at the Cat Tuong Beauty Salon.
Police chief of the Hanoi Criminal Investigation Department, Colonel Giap Van Duong, said at a press conference that three nurses were in attendance when the patient was anesthetized prior to surgery.
"The patient had difficulty breathing after Nguyen Manh Tuong had completed the breast implant surgery, said police chief, Colonel Giap Van Duong.
Three nurses were in attendence when Nguyen Manh Tuong was injected with unidentified medication.
"Nguyen Manh Tuong gave his patient oxygen and other emergency treatment but failed to save his patients life, "said the police chief.
The cosmetic surgeon allegedly instructed his employee, security guard, Dao Quang Khanh, to dispose of his patients motorbike and personal belongings in an effort to conceal the death of his patient.
Nguyen Manh Tuong and Dao Quang Khanh then attempted to dispose of the patients body.
The womans body was reportedly transported in the vehicle belonging to the cosmetic surgeon to the Thanh Tri Bridge where the duo allegedly threw her body into the Hong or Red River.
The Southeast Asian Times

Rare clam species seized in Natuna waters
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, April 16: Twenty tonnes of a rare clam species were seized from five Vietnamese fishing vessels and nine crew arrested in Natuna waters in Indonesia's Riau Islands last week, reports the Jakarta Post.
The clams, an endangered and protected marine species, were seized from fishing vessels operated by a Sabah and Vietnam joint venture company.
Sabah marine police arrested nine Vietnamese crew who they believe have been harvesting the clams for some time.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said that police would conduct an investigation into the Sabah joint venture company.
"The arrest of the crew and seizure of the protected marine species was the first arrest and seizure of its kind ," he said.
He said that the clam shells that were used for cosmetic and decorative purposes were protected and cannot be harvested or sold without a license.
Seven of the 10 world's rare clam species are reportedly found in Sabah waters
The Jakarta Post reported Indonesia's Assistant deputy to the chief security minister for defense strategic doctrine, Commodore Fahru Zaini as saying last month that China has claimed part of Natuna waters as their territorial waters.
The Southeast Asian Times

Religious affairs official sentenced to jail for bribery
Former senior Religous Affairs Ministry official, Ahmad Jauhari, who was sentenced to jail for bribery, says that he was "made a scapegoat to take the fall for his superiors"
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 15: The Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced a former senior official of the Religious Affairs Ministry, to eight years jail for bribery in the procurement of Korans, reports the Jakarta Post.
Former director of Sharia guidance at the Religious Affairs Ministry, Ahmad Jauhari, was found guilty of bribery by the Corruption Eradication Commission or Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) under the 2001 Corruption Eradication Commission Law.
The Corruption Court found that Ahmad Jauhari received Rp 100 million in bribes for his part in the embezzlement of Rp 27 billion in the procurement of the Korans in 2012.
He was ordered by the court to reimburse the state.
KPK prosecutors said that Ahmad Jauhari collaborated with others at the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Golkar Party, PT Adhi Aksara Abadi Indonesia and at PT Sinergi Pustaka Indonesia, the company that supplied the Korans, in the embezzlement of funds involved in the purchase of the Korans.
Ahmad Jauhari called on the KPK to charge his colleagues at the Religious Affairs Ministry under the 2001 Corruption law.
He said that the corruption erradication campaign would not be successful if the court sentenced only him.
"It's my colleagues and other players who set me up", he said before Corruption Court Judge Annas stopped him.
The Corruption Eradication Commission or Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) says that the Religious Affairs Ministry was the most corrupt institution of 22 government agencies in 2011, reports the Jakarta Post.
The anti Corruption Court was established under the Corruption Eradication Commission Law, instead of the law governing the judiciary.
The aim was to establish a system whereby corruption courts are available at all district courts in the country’s 33 provinces.
The Southeast Asian Times

Asylum seekers to be evicted from Puncak
From News Reports:
Jakarta April 14: Bogor authorities are to evict asylum seekers and refugees from the mountainous resort region of Puncak despite testimonies from residents saying that they don't object to their presence or activities and that they have not caused trouble in the community, reports the Jakarta Post.
The jakarta Post quotes Batu Kasur residents at Batulayang as saying that the asylum seekers should not be removed.
Resident, Waspud Budi, who is renting his house to the asylum seekers and refugees in Batu Kasar said that they are abiding by the rules set by the community, reports the Jakarta Post.
He said that the presence of asylum seekers and refugees in Batu Kasur were of great benefit to the local economy.
“They spend money at our warungs and markets, helping to boost the local economy", he said.
Bogor public security agency head Rizal Hidayat said that residents testimonies contradict a statement from a Bogor official who said that asylum seekers and refugees had caused trouble at Batu Kasur.
“We want the regency of Bogor to be free of asylum seekers due to the trouble they have caused to local communities,” he said.
He said that residents had complained about unruly behavior.
The asylum seekers were bringing sex workers to their homes and were rowdy, the Jakarta Posts reports the Bogor public security head as saying.
"Their presence has become a nuisance", he said.
The Jakarta Post reports that a large number of asylum seekers, mostly from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, are using the Puncak area of Bogor regency as a transit centre while they apply for official refugee status at the Jakarta office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"Most of them hope to reach a third country such as Australia, due to the peaceful conditions and the perceived job prospects there", said Bogor public security agency head Rizal Hidayat.
The Southeast Asian Times

President calls for review of court sentences
Relatives of suspected burglar, Thanh Kieu 32, who died in police custody say that the sentence given by the Phu Yen south-central Vietnam province court to the police responsibe for his death was too lenient
From News Reports:
Hanoi, April 13: President Truong Tan Sang has instructed the Chief justice of the Supreme People's Court to review the sentences given last month to five former police officers who were found guilty of beating suspected burgler, Thanh Kieu, 32, to death while in police custody.
The Phu Yen south-central Vietnam province court sentenced three of five former police officers to jail terms of 18 months, two years and five years and two others were put on probation for 12 and 18 months for their part in the death of the suspected burgler.
Phu Yen Judicial director, Nguyen Cong Danh, said that he thought the sentences were too lenient.
"The sentences should be reviewed", he said
Police detained Thanh Kieu at his home at the Hoa Dong Commune in Tay Hoa District at 3.15 am on 12 May 2012.
He was handcuffed and taken to the commune police station for questioning.
Thanh Kieu and two others were suspected of carrying out burglaries in Tuy Hoa, the capital of Phu Yen province.
At about 8 am he was transferred to the Tuy Hoa police station where he was repeatedly beaton with a rubber baton during questioning by police.
At about 2 p.m. Thanh Kieu was taken to hospital with multiple injuries.
He died on the same day.
A post-mortem showed that Thanh Kieu died of head injuries.
The family of the suspected burgler say they will appeal the sentences given to the five former police officers.
The Southeast Asian Times

New party to contest 2016 Philippine elections
From News Reports:
Manila, April 12: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who signed a Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), with the Philippine government last month have formed a political party called the United Bangsamoro Justice Party, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The Muslim political party will reportedly field candidates in the 2016 elections in the mostly Catholic southern Philippines
The establishment of the party follows the signing of the agreement between the Philippine government and southern Philippines Mindanao seccessionists last month.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) included the surrender of weapons in exchange for an agreement on wealth and power sharing in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Under the agreement that included the yet to be ratified Bangsamoro basic law (BBL) bill, a ministerial form of Bangsamoro government will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negitiator, Mohagher Iqbal, said that the 11,000 strong MILF seccessionists would eventually be transformed into a social movement that would rebuild former battlefields into vibrant communities with schools, hospitals and public infrastructure.
"We will continue the struggle but no longer wth arms", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Death sentence upheld for Thai drug trafficker
Ho Chi Minh City court upholds the death sentence for convicted Thai drug trafficker, Chaimongkol Suracha, 32
From News Reports
Ho Chi Minh City, April 11: The Ho Chi Minh Peoples court upheld the death sentence for a Thai woman, convicted of trafficking in drugs, reports Thanh Nien.
Chaimongkol Suracha, 32, was convicted and sentenced to death for trafficking 2 kilogrammes of cocaine - a mandatory death sentence in Viet Nam.
The Thai woman was found guilty by the Ho Chi Minh City's People's Court in August 2013 for illegally transporting narcotics to Viet Nam and was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Vietnamese authorities reportedly found the cocaine hidden in two photo albums in the woman's luggage on arrival from Brazil at HCMCity's Tan Son Nhat airport on October 1, 2012.
Chaimongkol Suracha told the court that she was duped into trafficking the drug.
She said she had been asked by an African in Brazil to take two photo albums to a car trader in Vietnam.
The Ho Chi Minh City's People's Court judges said in sentencing "that Chaimongkol Suracha had to be responsible for the crime."
Drug trafficking is one of 39 crimes punishable by death in Vietnam.
Death by lethal injection replaced death by firing squad in August 2013.
Vietnam exempts women with children from the death sentence.
In April 2013 the Ho Chi Minh City's Peoples Court sentenced Thai woman, Chutima Khonkla, 30, to life in prison for trafficking in six kilograms of methamphetamine becasue she was the mother of a one month old child when sentenced.
The Southeast Asian Times

Sepratists attack Indonesian border military post
From News reports:
Jakarta April, 10: An Indonesian soldlier was injured during an exchange of gunfire beween police and alleged Free Papua Movement (OPM) members on the Papua New Guinea and West Papua border on Sunday, reports the Jakarta Post.
A number of buildings including a car wash were reportedly destroyed and burned on the border during the exchange of gunfire.
Cendrawasih Military Command, spokesman, Lt.Col. Hikas Hidayatullah, said that first Sgt. Tugiono was wounded by shattered glass during the gunfire but would make a full recovery.
He said that about 40 Free Papua Movement (OPM) members fired on a watch tower at a military post in Wutung Jayapura.
“The separatists also set a billboard on fire and took down the Indonesian flag and raised the Free Papua Movement (OPM) separatist Morning Star flag, he said.
The Jakarta Post reports that the separatists fled over the border into Papua New Guinea.
Cenderawasih military command Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua, who is in command of the Indonesian National Armed Forces or Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) operations in Papua New Guinea and West Papua province said that the Papua New Guinea Government should act against armed civilians who hid in Papua after threatening security in West Papua.
"Gangs of armed men often cross the border to Papua New Guinea after causing trouble in the West Papuan Indonesian frontier but we cannot pursue them beyond the border," he said.
The Indonesian National Armed Forces or Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI)The military closed the border on Saturday ahead of the legislative elections on April 9. The border will remain closed until April 12.
Six reporters, who were heading for Vanimo in Papua New Guinea to cover the legislative elections were held up at the Wutung Jayapura miliary post.
We were stuck there and had to wait until the gunfire was over to return to Jayapura, Elshinta radio station, reporter, Aman Hasibuan said.
West Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said that West Papua police are working with Papua New Guinea police to find and arrest the Free Papua Movement (OPM) members responsible for the shoot out on the border.
The West Papua police chief said that those involved in the shoot out have been identified from evidence found on the border.
"They are under the leadership of Mathias Wenda" he said.
He said that Mathia Wenda had been based in Victoria village in Papua New Guinea and was known to be operating near the border.
The Southeast Asian Times

Family of dead customs officer to sue government
Widow of customs officer, Maziah Manap, said she filed the civil claim becasue she wants to know the truth about her husbands death
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, April 9: The family of the Selangor Customs assistant director who was found dead while in the custody of the Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2011, is suing the Government, MACC and seven others for alleged unlawful killing.
The family is seeking RM2mil in damages for misfeasance of public office, RM2mil each for aggravated, exemplary and vindicatory damages, and
special damages to be assessed by the court.
Customs officer, Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed, 56,was found dead on the first floor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office in Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur, on April 6.2011, believed to have fallen from the third floor.
The customs officer had been based at Port Klang and was among 62 Customs officers detained earlier by the anti-corruption commission investigators.
Anti-Corruption Commission investigators recovered gold bars and cash totalling up to ringgit 600,000, about US$198,306, at the residences of several Customs officers during their raids.
Luxury watches and expensive cars were also seized.
Investigators reportedly seized millions of ringgit from at least five of the 62 Customs officers arrested for the alleged failure to pay duty, tax evasion and money laundering.
An arrested Customs director allegedly had millions of ringgit in several bank accounts.
Those caught were aged between 24 and 56.
The Coroner's Court, on Sept 26, 2011, delivered a verdict of misadventure and ruled that there was no elements of suicide, homicide or third party involved in the death of Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed.
N. Surendran, lawyer for the widow of customs officer, Maziah Manap, said that his client had never accepted the verdict of the inquest held into the death of Ahmad Sarbaini and wanted to challenge it through civil proceedings at the High Court.
The Southeast Asian Times

Veteran reporter gunned down at home
From News Reports:
Manila, April 8: Police are investigating the killing of veteran reporter Rubylita Garcia, 52, who was gunned down in her home in Philippine province of Cavite on Sunday in full view of her ten-year-old granddaughter, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The reporter was shot multiple times in the upper body and arm at about 10.00am on the first floor of her home in Bacoor City by two intruders who neighbours say fled on a motorbike.
Rubylita Garcia, died five hours later at the St Dominic Hospital in Bacoor City while undergoing surgery.
Cavite police director, Senior Supt. Joselito Esquivel, said that police are looking at politicians and police as possible suspects behind the killing of the reporter.
"We all know how hard hitting she was", he said.
Rubylita Garcia was a correspondent at the Remate newspaper in Bacoor City for the last 20 years and a broadcaster at the Bacoor City radio station.
She was a member of the National Press Club and the president of a newly formed group of journalists in Calabarzon, the Confederation of Active Media Practitioners Organization.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) reports that Rubylita Garcia is the 20th reporter to be killed under the Aquino administration and the 160th since 1986.
"This latest killing shows that the government’s pronouncements on eliminating the culture of impunity surrounding the killings of journalists, lawyers, environmentalists and activists among others, have been nothing but lip service,” the NUJP said in a statement.
The Southeast Asian Times


Young Sydney woman Reme Sakr risked her life to travel to war-torn Syria in an attempt to convince her father to return to Australia. Chris Ray charts her journey...open page here

 

Australian reporter Chris Ray reports from Damascus on the looting of precious artifacts and in turn the theft of Syrian cultural identity ...open page here



Australian reporter Chris Ray was in Damascus last week asking questions about two Australian Islamists who left Sydney to bring down the Syrian government....open page here



.MEDIA CHECK
A new regulation that will apply from Thursday, December 20 will make reporting easier for foreign journalists in Viet Nam...Open here

 

Copy of letter dated 29 May 2012 from Vietnam Womens Union to International Olympic Committee...open here

 

What they're saying open page here

 

A cartoon goes inside the tour bus in Manila on the day that ended with the slaying of eight Hong Kong tourists ...Open page here

 

Bombed by the Americans for Christmas in 1972, Ha Noi Bach Mai hospital is still a war zone...Christina Pas reports...Open page here

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory Australia
PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.9364
Brunei..
1.1708
C
ambodia. 3,7249.32
China..Yuan
5.8272
East Timor.
...0.9364
Euro..
0.6769
Hong Kong..
.7.2647
Indonesia rupiah
..10,703.06
Japan..
95,5890
Laos..7,515.79
Malaysia Ringgit....3.0354
Myanmar...899.366
Papua New Guinea
..2.5879
Philippines Peso..
41.6257
Singapore dollar..
.1.1706
Thailand...Baht..
30.1753
Viet
Nam
Dong..19,739.92

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue
From News Reports:
Denpasar, April 14: Bali community-based tourism operators have called for amendments to regulations that stipulate that the local community pay the Bali regency administration 60 percent of their total tourism revenue.
Penglipuran tourist village in Bangli, community-based tourism manager, Nengah Moneng, said that he objected to the fact that his community received only 40 percent of the total revenue.
"We want to have 60 percent share of the tourist revenue to pay for operating costs", he said.
The Penglipuran tourism manager said that operating costs for trekking, traditional dance, cultural shows including religious rituals had increased.
The cost of operating lodges and community halls for tourism had also increased.
"An increase in revenue for not only the Bangli community but for tourism based communities across Bali would benefit tourism island-wide" said the tourism manager.
The Southeast Asian Times

Riau forest fires force Chevron to shut down oil wells
From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 21: PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI), the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based oil company Chevron has shut down 573 oil wells in the Riau province of Sumatra.
The deteriorating quality of air due to forest fires that have been raging for the last month has forced PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) to shut down its oil wells and evacuate workers and there families.
Indonesia's upstream oil and gas regulator, SKK Migas, public relations officer, Handoyo Budi Santoso, said that oil assets in Riau province are important to national crude oil production.
"The biggest production loss came from the shutdown of Rokan block, operated by Chevron Pacific Indonesia, the country's biggest producer of crude oil production", he said
The Jakarta Posts reports that potential losses are estimated at about 12,000 barrels of oil a day.
The Southeast Asian Times


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 5:
The New Straits Times reports that there was an 86 percent increase in tourist arrivals from China
to Sabah in the last two years.
Data from the Sabah Tourism Board reportedly shows that 193,010 tourist tourists arrived in Sabah from China in 2011 increasing to 360,361 in 2013
Sabah West Coast Coffeeshop Association chairman, Yong Chee Yun, said coffee shop operators were catering to the influx of tourists from China.
"Coffee shops displayed tourist friendly signs in Chinese saying 'how are you?' and menues included China's favourite foods", he said.
Sabah and Labuan Chapter chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels and general manager of the At Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort,
said that staff members are encouraged to learn Mandarin.
"So that they can converse better with guests" he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

From News Reports:
Jakarta,January 29: A pilots strike forced State-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines to cancelled all scheduled flights to Surabaya, Merauke and Timika on Saturday, reports The Jakarta Post.
Merpati corporate secretary Riswanto Chendra Putra said that the airline had not paid salaries to pilots and cabin crew for two months.
The Jakarta Post reports that PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines was required to restructure its operations.
Merpati corporate secretary Riswanto Chendra Putra says that Merpati has signed a memorndum of understanding (MoU) with PT Armagedon Indonesia and PT Bentang Persada Gemilang to restructure the company.
The airline has debts of Rp 6.5 trillion (US$533 million) reports the Jakarta Post.
"The management would pay the salaries around March or early April, said the Merpati corporate secretary.
Merpati’s workers union advisory board official, Erry Wardhana, said about 200 Merpati pilots planned to strike again next Saturday for an indefinite period.
"The pilots would strike until 1,600 Merpati employees were paid", he said.
The union advisory board official says that this is the first time that Merpati workers have gone on strike over unpaid wages.
The pilots are owed wages for December and January reports the Jakarta Post.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodian public servants to be paid electronically
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, December 17:
Public servants from 39 Cambodian government ministries are to be paid via a newly established electronic banking system instead of by cash from next year.
The Phnom Penh Post reports that Secretary of State for the Ministry of Economy and Finance Chu Kim Leng
announced the new payroll system earlier this month.
"This is beginning of the end for cash payments in the government sector", said the secretary.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance signed an agreement with the ACLEDA Bank and The Canada Bank.
The Ministry also signed an agreement with WING, a company that allows clients to make and receive payments using a mobile phone.
The Phnom Penh Post reports that the government will deposit wages into the accounts of the participating banks or with WING from January .
Cambodia opposition National Rescue Party chief whip Son Chhay said that the government should make sure that those who receive wage payments are all legitimate government employees.
The Southeast Asian Times


Foreign donations barred from indonesian elections

From News Reports:
Jakarta, December 3: Indonesia's general election supervisory agency (Bawaslu) says that political parties in next years general election are barred from accepting donations from foreign countries, reports the Antara News Agency.
West Sulawesi chapter of Bawaslu chairman, Busaran Riandy said that foreign funds are often used by political parties during campaigning.
"Foreign funds are funds given by foreign citizens, countries, governments and
companies. They also include funds from Indonesian companies in which a majority
of shares are held by foreign parties, foreign non-governmental organizations
and foreign mass organizations," he said.
Campaign funds received must be reported and submitted for an audit by public accountants in next years elections, reports the Antara News Agency.
The Southeast Asian Times


National budget
to pay for reconstruction after typhoon
From News Reports:
Manila, November 16: The
proposal to take monies out of the P2.26 trillion 2014 national budget to establish a multibillion-peso rehabilitation fund for the areas destroyed by Typhoon “Yolanda” will be included in a Senate committee report on Monday.
“The unfavorable business environment in the areas affected by the destruction wrought by the typoon will arrest revenue collection, says senate president Pro Tempore , Ralph Recto.
Senate President, Franklin Drilon, said that the proposed
rehabilitation funds should also go towards the reconstruction of Bohol that was devastated by an earthquake last month and to the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City that was attacked by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in September.
The committee report on the 2014 national budget taht is to be submitted on Monday is expected to contain amendments to include the establishment of a rehabilitation fund.
The Southeast Asian Times

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