The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Tuesday 28 June 2016 
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House
From News Reports:

Hanoi, July 6: The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam will visit the United States from July 6 to July 10 at the invitiation of the United States State Department in a "landmark" visit, Rueters reports.
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong will meet United States President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Rueters quotes a se
nior state department official saying that the meeting between the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the President of the United States "would skirt protocol" because the General Secretary is "not part of a government".
"Obama saw the visit as crucial", Rueters reports the senior state department official as saying.
Rueters also quotes the senior state department official saying that "there was a broad agreement that it made sense to treat General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong as the visit of "the top leader of the country".
"It's a pretty big event," Rueters quotes the state department official as saying.
The Southeast Asian Times

France agrees to return Aboriginal remains home to Australia
From News Reports:
Canberra, November 25: French president Francois Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have agreed to work together to return Aboriginal remains to Australia during the first official visit by a French head of state to Australia last week, reports Australian Associated Press.
The French head of state and the Australian prime minister said that a joint expert committee is to be established to help identify the origin of the Aboriginal remains held in France.
The head of state and prime minister said in a joint statement that the identification process would respect the sensitivities and values of the two countries and consider the requests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including the French legal system.
"The French government will examine possible solutions to enable the return of the Aboriginal human remains to their community of origin." the statement said.
Australia believes the remains of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are being held in Museum collections around the world including in Europe and the
United States.
In 2010 a British museum agreed to return 138 sets of Aboriginal skeletal remains to Australia including the severed head of Australian Aboriginal warrior, Yagan, to the Noongar of South West Western Australia after being missing in action for about 177 years. Yagan was shot dead for his resistance to British settlement on the Swan river.
The Southeast Asian Times


"No " to proposal to delete religion from Indonesian national identity card

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 10: Islamic-based political party politicians oppose the proposal put by the newly selected Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, that national identity cards (KTP) do not include the religion of the car holder.
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Aboebakar Al Habsy said that not to include the religion of the card holder on national identity cards (KTP)
contradicted the country’s founding philosophy of Pancasila
“If we believe that Pancasila is our state ideology and our national identity, then why should we be ashamed of including our religion on our national identity card," he said
Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo also proposed that the regious beliefs of Indonesian citizens be omitted from official government documents.
He said that the religion of Indonesian citizens on national identity cards (KTP) or in official government documents should not be imposed.
"It's up to the people", he said.
The Souheast Asian Times

The Wolf bridge: An insult to Thai monarchy
From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 31: Thai University students, Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Pornthip Mankong, 26, were charged in the Ratrachada Court on Monday, with defamation of the Thai monarchy in a play titled "The Wolf Bridge" performed at the Thammasat university in October 2013, reports the Bangkok Post.
The students were charged with insulting the Royal Thai family in the fictional depiction of the monarchy in a play performed in commemoration of the 37th and 40th anniversaries of the October 6, 1976 and October 14, 1973 pro-democracy student uprisings at Thammasat University.
The prosecution cites nine passages from the plays's script, a work of fiction that depicts a fictional monarch, that allegedly insults the monarchy and as such is in violation of the lese majeste law.
Patiwat Saraiyaem, actor and Pornthip Mankong, producer of the play, in detention since arrested on 13 August, have been refused bail are scheduled to appear in court to enter pleas on December 29.
The Southeast Asian Times

World including
Asean PM's and Presidents to attend inauguaration of Indonesian president
From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 18: World Prime ministers, Presidents and State representatives including US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will attend the inauguaration of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as President of Indonesiaon on Monday.
The speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Zulkifli Hasan said that representatives from the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member nations have also been invited to attend the swearing in of the former governor of Jakarta, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as president of Indonesia.
"The Prime Ministers and Presidents of Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea are also expected to attend", he said.
He said that the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) has also invited "domestic VIP's" including former Presidents and Vice-Presidents.
“All chairpersons of political parties have also be invited,” said the speaker.
The Southeast Asian Times


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 12: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag found flying from a coconut tree in Aceh on Sunday has been torn down, reports the Jakarta Post.
The discovery of the banned ISIS flag was reportedly the first in Aceh.
Police chief First Inspecter Azwan said that the flag of the nationally banned movement was discovered by chess players sitting at a food stall near the coconut tree in the Sungai Raya district of East Aceh regency in Aceh.
He said that a bomb disposal team inspected the area before the flag was taken down.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced Indonesia's rejection of the State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and banned the teaching of ISIL ideology in Indonesia last month at his parliamentary state-of-the-nation address and ahead of the 69th anniversary of Indonesias Independence.

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

From News Reports:
Singapore, August, 18: The passing of the 2014 Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Act by the Singapore parliament last week will enable Singapore regulators to sue individuals or companies in neighbouring countries for causing severe air pollution in Singapore.
The Act that was first proposed in 2013 would enable Singapore to impose fines of up to S$2 million on companies that cause or contribute to transboundary haze pollution in Singapore.
Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that under the Act, Singapore will have the legal right under the Objective Territorial Principle to take legal action against air polluters.
"While neighbouring countries have the sovereign right to exploit their natural resources in accordance with their policies they also have a responsibility to ensure that "slash and burn" agricultural practices do not cause damage to Singapore", he said.
The passing of the 2014 Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Act gives Singapore the legal power to serve notices on those that do not have assets or a presence in Singapore.
Indonesia is yet to ratify an Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution that was signed by ASEAN member counries in November 2003 in order to
address haze pollution arising from land and forest fires.
A bill passed in the Indonesian House of Representatives in July 2013 gave the Indonesian goverment the power to seize assetts gained from illegal logging and illegal clearing of forests for palm oil plantations.
The new bill, designed to protect more than 13 million hectres from deforestation, gave the Indonesian government a mandate to establish a task force including police to monitor the prevention and eradication of deforestation.
The Southeast Asian Times

Papua Biak massacre remembered in Sydney
with 136 white carnations
From News Reports:
Sydney, July 5: A ceremony to mark the 16th anniversary of the Biak Massacre in West Papua ua on 6 July 1998 will be held at the Waverley Cliffs cemetery in Sydney on Sunday.
The Waverley Cliffs community will throw 136 white carnations from the waverley cliffs into the Pacific Ocean in memory of the Biak massacre.
A citizens tribunal, hosted by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney last year on the 15th anniversary of the Biak massacre found that 136 West Papuan protesters were thrown into the sea by Indonesian security forces.
The tribunal heard eye witness testimony that the West Papuan demand for the right to vote for independence from Indonesia was met with gunfire by Indonesian security forces.
Survivors of the massacre told the international team of jurists that the unarmed West Papuan protesters were surrounded and shot by Indonesian security forces and that survivors were thrown into the sea on 6 July 1998.

The Southeast Asian Times


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Former Vinashin shipping officials charged with embezzlement
From News Reports
Hanoi, June 28: The Ministry of Public Security has laid criminal charges against three former officials of the State-owned Viet Nam Ship Building Industry Group, Vinashin, for abuse of power and the violation of economic-management regulations with subsequent loss to the State, reports Tuoi Tre News.
Former CEO of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd., Tran Van Liem, former sales manager of Vinashinlines, Giang Kim Dat and former
chief accountant,Tran Van Khuong are charged with the embezzlement of $16 million over two years from 2006 from state-owned companies affiliated with Vinashin.
Giang Van Hien, 66, who is the father of former sales manager of Vinashinlines, Giang Kim Dat, faces money laundering charges
Giang Kim Dat, who was arrested in July 2015 after he fled an arrest warrant in 2012, purchased two apartments in Singapore, one costing $3.6 million.
Tuoi Tre News reports that at least 40 luxury apartments and villas including five cars were found in the name of relatives of the former sales manager of Vinashinlines, Giang Kim Dat,
In March 2012 nine former executives of the State-owned Viet Nam Ship Building Industry Group, Vinashin, were sent to jail from three to 20 years and ordered to pay "hundreds of billions of dong in damages" after they stood trial in the Hai Phong People’s Court for intentionally violating regulations governing economic management with subsequent losses to the State of more than $US43 million.
Former Vinashin Financial Company director Ho Ngoc Tung, 54, and former Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company business manager Giang Kim Dat, 34, who were also charged reportedly fled Viet Nam.
The abuse of power and violation of economic-management regulations with subsequent loss to the State included the purchase of the vessel Hoa Sen; the sale of the vessel Bach Dang Giang and the lease of the vessel Binh Dinh as well as investment in the construction of the Song Hong thermal power plant in northern Nam Dinh province and the Cai Lan diesel- thermal power plant in northern Quang Ninh province.
During the trial, the judge described the failure of Vinashin, which almost collapsed in 2009 with debts of more than $4 billion, as “particularly serious” because in addition to damaging the economy “it led to delays in business and production, badly affected the foreign investment environment in Viet Nam and negatively impacted on the lives of workers.”
The Southeast Asian Times

Timore Leste parliamentarian wants Indonesian government to find missing Timorese

Timore Leste National Member of Parliament Arao Noe de Jesus Amaral wants Indonesia to take action to find Timor’s missing.

From News Reports:
Dili, June 27: The Timore Leste parliament has called on the Indonesian government to find thousands of Timorese who went missing between 1975 and 1999, reports the Dili Weekly.
National Member of Parliament, Arao Noe de Jesus Amaral, said that the Indonesian government has made no commitment to work with Timor-Leste "to find what happened to the missing Timorese."
"The Timore Leste government has allocated $100,000 to the Human Rights and Justice Ombudsmen to help find the missing,” he said.
The Dili weekly reports that Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) data shows that 4,000 Timorese went missing from the time of the invasion of Timore Leste by Indonesia in 1975 and the Timore Leste independence referendum in 1999, saying that many have still not been found.
Children were reportedly removed from their families during the Indonesian occupation of Timore Leste to work for the Indonesian military.
Many of those taken to Indonesia did not return to Timor-Leste after 1999.
Deputy head of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Dianto Bachariadi, said attempts to discuss the
missing with the government had failed.
"Komnas HAM would continue to press the Indonesian government to work with the Commission to take action to locate the missing people," he said.
Deputy head of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Dianto Bachariadi, called on the Indonesian government to establish a special commission of inquiry "to find what happened to the missing people."
He said that without the establishment of a special commission of enquiry "the responsibility of finding Timor's missing rested with organizations such as the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the Timor-Leste office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ).
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesian police foil sale of baby to Singaporeans
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 25: The Riau Islands police have arrested three alleged human traffickers in Batamn in their attempt to sell a three month old infant to a Singaporean.
Riau Islands Police, Adj. Sr. Comr. Hartono said that the three identified by their initials BAH, aged 55; YA, 31; and EA, 47 were apprehended at the Bengkong Cahaya Garden residential complex in Batam on Wednesday.
Adj. Sr. Comr. Hartono said that police acted on a information provided when they raided the Batam house arresting three Indonesians - the father of the baby, a midwife and a broker.
He said that the parents of the three month old baby were believed to be of Chinese decent.
Police seized a receipt confirming the transaction of a baby for US$8,000
Chairman of the Anti Trafficking Movement NGO (LSM GAT), Syamsul Rumangkang, said that brokers travel to Singapore to deliver the infant at the expense of the buyers who are "mostly Singaporean middle class couples"
He said that the infants are sold in Songapore from S$5,000 to S$10,000.
“This is done by a network of accomplices.
The Southeast Asian Times


Former WTO director general urges ASEAN to focus on RCEP and review TPP
Former World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Supachai Panitchpakdi told the Executive Programme in Commerce and Trade held by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce that Thailand should play a more vital role in strengthening unity in the region to reinforce the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN power in negotiating with other trade blocs
From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 25: Former World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Supachai Panitchpakdi urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN to focus on the Regional Cooperation on Economic Partnership (RCEP) that recognises ASEAN centrality, reports the Bangkok Post.
The former World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general said that the ASEAN member countries that include Thailand "should review their stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)"
He said that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) should not allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to disintegrate Asean.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a political tool used by the United States to maintain power in the Asia-Pacific in order to arrest the increasing influence of China," he said.
The US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed in February in Auckland by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam but excluded Thailand.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act in May 2014, said in March at the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a state visit to Washington that Thailand would eventually become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) .
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesian president visits Natuna Islands in South China Sea to assert sovereignty
From News Reports:
Jakarta Post, June 24: The visit by president Joko Widodo to the Natuna Islands in Indonesia's Riau Islands yesterday onboard a navy warship following the arrest earlier this month of the captain and crew of a Chinese registered fishing vessel for alleged poaching in the Natuna Islands is intended "to assert sovereignty over the southern reaches of the South China Sea," reports the Jakarta Post.
President Joko Widodo who was accompanied by Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, National Development Planning Minister Sofjan Djalil, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung and Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmayanto reportedly held a cabinet meeting on the economic development of the archipelago onboard the Indonesian Navy warship KRI Imam Bonjol 383.
Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said that the visit by the president to the resource-rich Natuna waters off the northwest coast of Kalimantan in Indonesian exclusive economic zone ( EEZ ) was reportedly aimed at promoting infrastructure development in order to demonstrate Indonesian sovereignty.
"Natuna belongs to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and that's final," he said.
Indonesia is not a claimant in the disputed South China Sea, but has raised concerns over China's inclusion of the resource-rich Natuna Islands in its so-called "nine-dash line", a controversial border that indicates most of the sea belongs to China.
China says it does not dispute Indonesia's sovereignty over the Natuna Islands.
The Southeast Asian Times

Rifles and amunition seized on Indonesian Timor Leste border
Indonesian Military (TNI) on the Indonesia-Timor Leste border in Motamasin, Belu regency, East Nusa Tenggara province
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 23: The Indonesia-Timor Leste Border Protection Task Force has confiscated dozens of rifles and ammunition on the Indonesian Timor Leste border and is holding the arsenal at its headquaters in Kupang in West Timor, reports the Jakarta Post.
East Nusa Tenggara province, field battalion Artery 11 commander Lt. Col. Arm Teguh Tri Prihanto Usman said on Tuesday that 71 American made Springfield rifles, three active assembled long firearms, and ammunition from several homes in North Timor Tengah regency have been seized.
The rifles and ammunition are reportedly suspected to have been used in World War II and the Timor Leste and Indonesia conflict in 1999.
“Dozens of firearms were left behind by ancestors and stored in customary homes,” says the commander.
He said that the American-made Springfield rifles will be submitted as evidence to the 161 Wirasakti Kupang military command post's (Korem) headquarters before being destroyed.
In February the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposed a survey of the border at a meeting in Dili after the governments of Timor Leste and Indonesia could not resolve a border dispute.
The survey was to be conducted in disputed areas that include the Citrana-Noelbes area in Kupang regency and Oecuse and Manusasi in Central North Timor regency and involved traditional and community leaders who have lived in coexistence on the disputed border area.
Indonesia reportedly wants the boundary line of the 4.5 kilometer long river to be located on the western side of the river but Timor Leste reportedly "has a different point of view."
The Southeast Asian Times

Central Criminal Court established for corrupt Thai officials
From News Reports:
Bangkok, June 22: The Thai National Legislative Assembly voted 160-0 to pass the third and final reading of the bill that will establish a Central Criminal Court to deal with graft and misconduct by state officials, reports the Bangkok Post.
State officials indicted for breaching anti-corruption laws, abusing their position, money laundering, price collusion, demanding and taking bribes, extortion and seizure of assetts due to unaccounted wealth will be tried in the new Central Criminal Court.
State officials reportedly include state officials of foreign governments and international organisations.
Corrupt politicians will reportedly continue to be tried in the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders as was the former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Last month the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders in Bangkok ordered former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to pay Baht 286.64 billion to the state in compensation for alleged massive corruption in the government rice subsidy programme.
The former prime minister, whose trial began on January 17, was charged in March last year with violating Article 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the 1999 Counter Corruption Act for committing nonfeasance and malfeasance while holding the post of Prime Minister and for failing to stop alleged massive corruption in the government rice subsidy programme.
The Central Criminal Court jurisdiction covers greater Bangkok but judges are able to rule on cases committed outside this area.
The Central Criminal Court will reportedly take effect on the publication of the announcement in the Royal Gazette.
The Southeast Asian Times


Protesters call for removal of U.S. military base from Okinawa
Protesters in Okinawa said on Sunday: "Our anger has reached its limit" about the U.S. military base on the southwestern island of Okinawa
From News Reports:
Tokyo, June 21: More than 50,000 Japanese who gathered on the island of Okinawa on Sunday in protest of the "heavy U.S. military presence" and "violent crimes" allegedly carried out by U.S. personnel, demanded that the U.S. remove the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station facility from the island, reports the Japan Times.
The protests that followed the rape and murder of 20-year-old Rina Shimabukuroa on the island in April, began in Okinawa with a moment's silence.
Protests was held simultaneously in Tokyo where 10,000 gathered at the Diet and called for a revision of the 1960 Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in the belief that the agreement provides undue protection to U.S. servicemen and base employees who commit crimes.
About 1,000 also protested in the streets of Sapporo and Nagoya, showing solidarity with the Okinawan protesters.
Protesters also reportedly want plans made by Washington and Tokyo to move the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma facility located in the center of the island to waters off the northern coast of Okinawa "scrapped for good".
Okinawa Governor, Takeshi Onaga, reportedly wants the US Marine facility located in the populated area of Ginowan "to move off the island altogether".
The plan to move the base from Okinawa was followed by the rape of a 12-year-old girl in 1995 by three American servicemen but has been held up by "local opposition and legal maneuvering."
The United States Navy imposed a drinking ban on the Navy's 19,000 personnel in Japan earlier this month, ordering them confined to their bases after a sailor who had allegedly "been drinking" was arrested on thOkinawa island following a car accident that left two Japanese civilians injured.
United States imposed a 30-day nightime curfew on military personnel on the island and prohibited drinking in public.
The Southeast Asian Times

Fishing in decline in West Timor since 2009 oil spill
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 19: The West Timor Care Foundation (YPTB) says that fishing is in decline in East Nusa Tenggara following the explosion aboard the Atlas 3 oil rig in the Montara field about 100 kilometres from Timor in 2009, reports the Jakarta Post.
Kupang-based West Timor Care Foundation director (YPTB) Ferdi Tanoni said that oil spilled about 250 kilometres off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia into the Timor Sea has resulted in a change of fish migration patterns.
“Massive pollution due to the oil spill from the Montara oil rig is the main cause of fish depletion in the Timor Sea,” he said.
He said that the depletion of fish is made worse due to the use of large fish traps by ships from Bali known as 'rumpun'
"Pollution in the Timor Sea has caused changes in fish migration from Australia," he said.
The West Timor Care Foundation director (YPTB) Ferdi Tanoni says that pollution had destroyed seaweed farming in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) including in coastal areas on Rote Island, south of Timor Island and Sumba Island.
He said that whales were found dead and dolphins stranded off Savu and Lembata islands believed to be the result of the 2009 oil spill in the Timor Sea.
In September 2012 the Australian subsidiary of Thailand’s State-owned oil-and-gas company, PTT, was fined about US$526,371 in the Darwin in Australia's Northern Territpry magistrate’s court after it admitted its responsibility for the explosion aboard the Atlas 3 oil rig in the Montara field on Friday, August 21, 2009
The charges against Thai PTTEP Australasia were made by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.
Three were governed by Clause 9(4) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 and the fourth by Section 569(1) which is designed to ensure that oil-field operations are conducted 'in a proper and workmanlike manner and accord with good oilfield practice.
Sixty-nine workers were evacuated from the oil rig after a blowout which spewed millions of oil into the Timor Sea and took more than two months to staunch.
“From the outset we have admitted responsibility for the incident and deeply regret it occurring,” company chief executive Ken Fitzpatrick told reporters after the company’s guilty plea.
In July 2012 the Centre for Energy and Environmental Studies, Jakarta, reported that the pollution which followed the explosion continues to cost the fishing villages of eastern Indonesia more than $1.5 billion each year.
The centre had found the oil and chemical dispersants were still affecting marine ecosystems and costing coastal communities, reported its director, Dr Mukhtasor.
The Australia and Indonesia government as well as Thai PTTEP Australasia, which commissioned the drilling, should be obliged to fund a full investigation and pay compensation, he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

United Nations warns Philippine president elect off plan for return of death penalty and offer of bounty
From News Reports:
Manila, June 18: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has warned Philippine president elect, Rodrigo Duterte, that the reinstatment of the death penalty and the offer of a bounty for drug dealers would lead to "chaos", urging the the Philippine government to reconsider such initives.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday "the offer of bounties and other rewards for murder by vigilantes and the encouragement of extrajudicial killings by security forces are massive and damaging steps backwards that could lead to widespread violence and chaos.”
Philippine president elect Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte vowed brutal but quick solutions to crime and poverty in the Philippines that reportedly has increased despite strong economic growth under President Benigno Aquino III after winning the elections last month.
President elect Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said that his law and order platform was the key to his success.
“If I make it to the presidential palace I will do just what I did as mayor" he said at a presidential campaigne rally.
" You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings had better get out because as the mayor, I’d kill you.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called on Philippine president elect Rodrigo Duterte
to reconsider his plan to offer up to 5 million pesos (US$108,098) for the killing of drug lords in the Philippines including his offer
in Cebu of 5.5 million pesos bounty for every slain drug lord.
“I remind the incoming President of the Philippines that international law, which is binding on his administration, requires him to protect the rights of all his people, including journalists, civil society activists and human rights defenders who expose malfeasance,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
The Southeast Asian Times

Police deny detention of protesting West Papuans
Papuans held a protest in Sentani West Papua on Wednesday, demanding that the government conduct an independence referendum
From News Reports:
Jakarta, June 17: Papua police have denied claims that they have detained more than 1,000 Papuans who held a protests in Jayapura, Baliem, Fakfak, Sentani, Sorong, Timika and Yalimo including Malang in East Java on Wednesday.
The Papuans demand that Indonesia hold an independence referendum for self determination, for the release of political prisoners and for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), reports the Jakarta Post.
Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpaw denied that police has arrested or detained the Papuan's.
"Police ordered them to disperse,” he said.
The Papua Police chief said that the government had instructed police to ensure security in Papua.
He said that the protesters are pushing for the separation of West Papua from Indonesia.
"The anti-Indonesia National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) was behind the mobilization of the Papuan people and had frequently
tried to organize massive demonstrations," he said.
Jakarta Legal Institute, Veronica Koman, said that more than 1,000 Papuans were detained at the Jayapura police station on Wednesday.
and that 31 Papuans were arrested in Malang in East Java.
“They are still in police custody,” she said
On May 30 hundreds of Papuans were arrested across Indonesia and Papua as they prepared a protest rally for the release of political prisoners, self determination and for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
National Committee for West Papua (KNPB ) chairman Victor Yeimo said: “336 Papuans were arrested in several cities as we prepared to rally for self-determination for Papua."
"The arrested Papuans were among thousands of demonstrators who have attended a series of rallies under the banner of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)" he said.
On May 3 about 100 West Papuans in support of the meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) held in London and in support of the membership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), were arrested at the University of Cenderawasih (Uncen) in Jayapura, Papua.
The Southeast Asian Times

 

Chris Ray investigates the impact of poisoned water on residents and fishing in Williamtown in the southern Australian state of New South Wales .....open page here


Benedict Anderson, a man without a country, dies in Indonesia. ...Senior editor at the New Republic , Jeet Heer, reports .....open page here

 

The Southeast Asian Times wishes its readers a happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year with a special thankyou to its treasured letter writers


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Land granted to Australian Aborigines under the Land Rights Act is up for grabbs by developers.
Aboriginal Land Rights activist, Dr William B Day urges former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon. Ian Viner, AO QC to act .........open page here


Indonesia ready for big 'brother' role in ASEAN
By Prashanth Parameswaran
.......open page here

 

Timor-Leste justice threatened by firing of foreign judges
By Susan Marx ...open page here

Thousands of Northern Australia's indigenous rock art sites are under threat from buffalo, fire and feral animals. Tim Lee reports ........open page here




.MEDIA CHECK
The Yogyakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) want the murder of Yogyakarta journalist in 1996 remembered in proposed Anti-Violence against Journalists Day...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

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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.7415
Brunei...
1.0066
C
ambodia...2,993.97
China..Yuan
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East Timor.
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Euro..
0.6722
Hong
sKong..
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Indonesia Rupiah
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Philippines Peso..
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Singapore dollar...
1.0067
Thailand...Baht..
26.2034
Viet
Nam
Dong..16,508.15

Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

From News Reports:
Yangon, November 25: Singapore's largest property developer, the Far East Organization, is to partner with Myanmar's local property sales and marketing company, Min Zin Agency, in Yangon to sell condos in Singapore.
Managing director of the Min Zin Agency in Yangon, Ko Kyaw Min Zin, said that Singapore's Far East Organization has expanded its sales and marketing efforts into Myanmar.
“The Far East Organisation has been selling their Singapore properties to Myanmar buyers since 2009,” he said.
The Far East Organisation reportedly have over 750 properties in Singapore’s residential, hospitality, retail, commercial and industrial sectors,
including 45,500 or one in every six private homes in Singapore listed with the Min Zin Agency in Yangon.
The Southeast Asian Times


China to invest in rail and road construction
in Indonesia
From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 10:
Indonesia's Railway Corporation (PT KAI) and state construction company PT Jasa Marga signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with China Investment Fund (CIF) to develop indonesia's railway services and toll road construction.
Witness to the signing, coordinating Minister for the Economy Sofyan Djalil, said that the MoU will provide the groundwork for further cooperation between China Railway and P KAI and China Investment Fund (CIF).
"The MoU is the first step towards further development of public services between China and Indonesia" he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia, Xie Feng said that the MoU would spark more cooperations between China and Indonesia and would bring about "real benefits to the public."
The Southeast Asian Times

Penang health department shuts down soya bean factory
From News Reports:
Penang, October 19: Five Penang food factories including a 100 year old soya bean factory at Tanjong Bungah were ordered closed by the state health department for failure to observe health standards.
State health, food safety and quality division, deputy director Ku Nafishah Ku Ariffin said soya bean products were processed in an unclean "rusty and moldy kitchen".
"Our inspectors found that wet products were left to dry on "dirty" bamboo sticks along with bathing towels. The bamboo sticks were also dirty and dusty," she said.
A "sweets" factory in Teluk Kumbar, a noodle factory in Simpang Ampat and a sauce factory in Bukit Metajam were also closed by the state health department
The Southeast Asian Times

Fuel smugglers including military personnel under arrest
From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 15: Riau Islands Police have arrested 30 suspects including several Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel and seized 64 cars, two boats and 106 tons of fuel.
Riau Islands Police chief Brig. Gen. Arman Depary said in Batam last week that the seized cars had been modified to hold 100 litres of fuel.
"The Military (TNI) personnel are suspected of fuel smuggling and have been handed over to the military base", he said.
TNI Commander Gen. Moeldoko said that the alleged suspected fuel smugglers are honor-based service military personnel.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai coup blammed for fall in tourist arrivals
From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 18: The Thai tourism sector suffered its largest fall in international visitors to Thailand in June, the first month after the establishment of marshal law and the military seizure of the Yingluck Shinawatra government.
Tourism reportedly accounts for 10 percent of the Thai economy.
Data from the Thai Department of Tourism shows that inernational tourist arrival numbers in July fell by 10.9 percent compared to the same time last year.
International arrivals in July totalled 1.91 million compared to 2.15 million in July 2013.
Arrivals from China with a18 percent share of all visitors to thailand and the largest group of visitors to Thailand, fell by 25.3 percent.
Arrivals from the United Kingdom with a 4 percent share of all visitors to Thailand, was one of the few large markets to record a gain, of 6.2 percent
The Southeast Asian Times

US Senate approves sales of nuclear equipment to Vietnam
From News Reports:
Hanoi, July 31: The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations passed legislation approving a 123 agreement on civil nuclear commerce with Vietnam at a business meeting of the committee last week.
The 123 agreement under the US Atomic energy Act of 1954 establishes a civil nuclear commerce agreement that allows the US to export nuclear reactors, research information and equipment to Vietnam.
The civil nuclear commerce agreement between the US and Vietnam is "part of Vietnam's effort to ease its shortage of energy towards meeting over 10 percent of the domestic power demand by 2030", reports the Vietnam News Service
The Southeast Asian Times

Court for construction
Industry
established
in Malaysia
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, May 3: The first two Construction Courts for Malaysia were opened by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam last week, reports the Star.
The courts will deal with disputes in the construction industry.
Works Minister Datuk Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof said that the establishment of the courts will transform the way the construction business in the country operates.
"The construction industry stakerholders can now have their disputes resolved by judges with expert knowledge and experience in construction industry disputes', he said.
The proposal by the Construction Industry Board (CIDB) for the establishment of the construction courts was first put to the Judiciary in January 2013.
Britain is the only other country that has a specially designated court that deals with construction industry disputes.

The Southeast Asian Times

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


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