The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Saturday 23 July 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, 2015: 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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US, UK and Australia complicit in 1965 killings of communists in Indonesia
The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in the Hague in November 2015 listen to the indictment against the Indonesian state for crimes committed in 1965 and 1966. No case for the defence was presented
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 23: The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in the Hague found on Wednesday that the US, the UK and Australia were directly involved with the 1965 killings of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members, reports the Jakarta Post.
Presiding judge Zak Yakoob said that "the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia were all complicit to different degrees in the commission of these crimes against humanity."
"The governments of US, the UK and Australia were fully aware of what was taking place in Indonesia through their diplomatic reports, from contacts in the field and accounts in the Western media," he said.
Presiding judge Zak Yakoob said that by the beginning of 1966, the number of killings that were reliably reported to Washington, London and Canberra ranged from a minimum of 100,000 to four times that count.
The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in the Hague found that Indonesia is guilty of Crimes Against Humanity under the 1948 International Genocide Convention for the 1965 killings of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members, reports the Jakarta Post.
Presiding judge Zakeria Yacoob said that "the facts brought before the tribunal by the prosecution include acts that fall within those enumerated in the Genocide Convention,"
"Indonesia was bound by the 1948 Genocide Convention under international law," he said.
He said the acts committed by the state had targeted a significant and substantial section of the Indonesian nation which should have been protected according to the Genocide Convention.
"Such acts were conducted with the specific intent to annihilate or destroy that section in whole or in part,” he said.
In November 2015 Judges of the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in The Hague concluded that the Indonesian government was responsible for the 1965-1966 killings of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters but stopped short of a finding of genocide.
The judges said then that the killings under president Suharto of up to two million Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters had "the political objective of removing the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its sympathizers from the Indonesian political scene".
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia found guilty of genocide for mass killing of communists
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 22: The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in the Hague found on Wednesday that Indonesia is guilty of Crimes Against Humanity under the 1948 International Genocide Convention for the 1965 killings of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members, reports the Jakarta Post.
Presiding judge Zakeria Yacoob said that "the facts brought before the tribunal by the prosecution include acts that fall within those enumerated in the Genocide Convention,"
"Indonesia was bound by the 1948 Genocide Convention under international law," he said.
He said the acts committed by the state had targeted a significant and substantial section of the Indonesian nation which should have been protected according to the Genocide Convention.
"Such acts were conducted with the specific intent to annihilate or destroy that section in whole or in part,” he said.
In November 2015 Judges of the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in The Hague concluded that the Indonesian government was responsible for the 1965-1966 killings of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters but stopped short of a finding of genocide.
The judges said then that the killings under president Suharto of up to two million Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters had "the political objective of removing the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its sympathizers from the Indonesian political scene".
International People’s Tribunal (IPT) spokeswoman, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, said that Wednesday's conclusion comes as an "unexpected" addition to the nine count indictment against the Indonesian government on human rights violations presented by prosecutors at the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in The Hague in November 2015.
In May a report showing evidence that mass graves in Java and Sumatra contain the bodies of victims of the 1965 killings of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters was handed to the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister in Jakarta.
Murder Victims Research Foundation ( YPKP ) 1965-1966, who began compiling evidence in 2000 of the killing of communists in Indonesia reportedly found 122 mass graves in 12 provinces across Java and Sumatra, with the highest number of 50 graves in Central Java, said then that the number of mass graves are expected to increase.
The Southeast Asian Times

China warns of payback for any attempt to force submission to Hague court ruling
US Navy Operations Admiral John Richardson, left, began a three day official visit to China in Beijing at a welcome ceremony held at the Chinese Navy Headquarters on Sunday, with Commander of the Chinese navy, Admiral Wu Shengli, right
From News Reports:
Beijing, July 21: China Navy Admiral, Wu Shengli, warned of retaliation to those who use military force in the attempt to force China into submission following China's rejection of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict last week that ruled against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, reports Xinhua.
China Navy Admiral, Wu Shengli, reaffirmed China's response to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict last week that ruled in favour of the Philippines at a welcome ceremony for US Navy Operations Admiral John Richardson held at Navy Headquarters in Beijing on Tuesday.
China Navy Admiral Wu Shengli told visiting US Admiral John Richardson that China would not sacrifice its sovereignty and rights in the South China Sea, saying they are China's core interests and pivotal to the Communist Party's governance, national security and fundamental interests of the Chinese people.
He also said that China would not leave construction on the disputed Spratly Islands "half-finished" regardless of external pressure, saying that these efforts are "completely logical, reasonable and legal" given that the islands are China's territories.
"How much defensive facilities we need will depend on the level of threat we face. Those who attempt to flaunt their military muscle to force us into submission will only see their efforts backfire," said China Navy Admiral Wu Shengli.
China Navy Admiral Wu Shengli reportedly said that China and the US should implement codes of conduct and rules of engagement for aerial and naval encounters to prevent accidental clashes.
US Navy Operations Admiral John Richardson said that the US was keen to work with China on improving mutual trust between their militaries.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
China argues that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam to deport Chinese nationals illegally employed as tour guides

From News Reports:
Hanoi, July 20: Authorities in Danang in Vietnam's Khanh Hoa Province are to deport 64 Chinese nationals who were apprehended while employed as tour guides for an unregistered travel agency, reports Thanh Nien.
Khanh Hoa province Culture, Sports and Tourism Department claim that the Chinese nationals were employed by the inregistered Silent Bay travel agency that has since been banned from operating in the province.
An inspection of the Silent Bay travel agency by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism found that the travel agency did not keep a record of business transactions.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism found that the travel agency had forged business registration documents in order to employ the 64 Chinese nationals.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism instructed the Khanh Hoa province Culture, Sports and Tourism Department to
"step up" surveillance of travel agencies in order to detect the employment of illegal tour guides.
Da Nang Sports and Tourism Department deputy director, Tran Chi Cuong, said that Vietnamese tour guides complaining about the illegal employment of Chinese tour guides have provided photos and videos as evidence.
He said that the evidence showed that the Chinese tour guides were operating illegally.
An illegal Chinese tour guide had reportedly taken a group of Chinese tourists to the Linh Ung Pagoda and told the tourists that Vietnam was a part of China 14 centuries ago before independence.
The Da Nang Sports and Tourism Department deputy director said that Chinese tour companies operate with a local travel agency that acts as a 'front'.
"Most of the illegal Chinese tour guides work for these companies, he said.
A Chinese tour guide reportedly told the group of Chinese tourists that "Vietnam depends on China."
The Southeast Asian Times


Filipinos oppose burial of Ferdinand Marcos in cemetery reserved for national heroes
Catholic priest Fr. Robert Reyes said in Quezon City in the Philippines on Sunday: "To let Marcos be buried as a hero is to create a big dark hole into which this country will sink."
From News Reports:
Manila, July 19: Protesters including victims of martial law under the late Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos vowed to oppose the proposed burial of the late president at the cemetery reserved for national heroes, saying they will block the decision to bury Ferdinand Marcos at the heroe's cemetery, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Newly inaugurated President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly said that he "favoured" the burial of former president Marcos at the Libingan cemetery, saying that the Ilocanos considered Marcos their hero and wanted the President buried in Libingan ng Mga Bayani.
Protesters including Catholic priest Fr. Robert Reyes claim that the burial of Marcos at the Libingan cemetery in Taguig City would "ruin the reputation of the cemetery as a resting place for heroes."
Fr. Robert Reyes said that the proposal to bury former president Marcos at the Libingan cemetery "is a terrible insult to history and the country itself.”
In April, 2011 the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines asked members of the House of Representatives who signed a resolution endorsing the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos in the heroes’ cemetery to withdraw their support.
Two-hundred-and sixteen congress members reportedly signed the resolution initiated by House of Representatives member Salvador Escudero.
The association, the major organised group of Catholic schools and institutions in the Philippines, says claims that Ferdinand Marcos was a war hero are false and warns school administrators to be vigilant against the attempt to revise history.
In 1995 the Philippine government and representatives of more than 1,000 Filipinos - or their descendants - arrested, tortured and executed during the 13 years from 1972 in which Ferdinand Marcos ruled by decree and martial law won US$2.7-billion in exemplary damages against the former president’s estate at a hearing in the United States federal court, Hawaii.
The Federal Court of Hawaii found Marcos guilty of grave human-rights violations.
A "people power" revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, forcing him and his family to flee to Hawaii, where he died in exile in 1989.
His body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 and is preserved in a refrigerated crypt at his Batac hometown in Ilocos Norte.
The Southeast Asian Times

Hanoi police arrest protesters against China claim over the South China Sea
Protesters against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea outside the Philippine Embassy in Hanoi on Tuesday in support of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict that ruled in favour of the Philippines
From News Reports:
Hanoi, July 18: Police arrested protesters against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea at Hoan Kiem Lake in central Hanoi yesterday ahead of the yet to be passed Law on Demonstration that would allow public protests, reports the Associated Press.
About 20 Vietnamese protesters were arrested and "bused" away from the lake as they gathered support for the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict last Tuesday that ruled in favour of the Philippines and against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea.
Associated Press reports that police presence was "heavy" and that vehicles were banned from the road surrounding the lake.
The protest was reportedly organised by No-U group in Hanoi that opposes the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict ruling against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea was welcomed by Vietnam on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson, Le Hai Bình, said that "Vietnam strongly supports the resolution of the disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means, including diplomatic and legal means and refrained from the use or threats or force in accordance with international law."
He said that Vietnam would continue to assert its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Paracels (Hoang Sa) and Spratly (Truong Sa) islands including its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zone and Vietnam’s continental shelf.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
China argues that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights.
China President Xi Jinping said following the Hague court ruling on Tuesday that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea "shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards."
The Southeast Asian Times

Laos declares support for China in claim of sovereignty over South China Sea
From News Reports:
Ulan Bator, July 16: Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has declared his support for China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict on Tuesday that ruled against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, reports Xinhua.
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith declared his support for China at a meeting with China President Xi Jinping following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling in favour of the Philippines.
President Xi Jinping of China said on Tuesday following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea "shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards."
Lao prime minister Thongloun Sisoulith said that Laos is ready to work with China to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region and to promote the development of ASEAN-China relations.
"Laos is willing to join hands with all relevant parties to make the activities marking the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relationship a success," he said.
Laos as the ASEAN rotating chair for 2016 is reportedly responsible for the consolidation of views and position on the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict that ruled against China in favour of the Philippines.
Laos reportedly informed the 10 ASEAN member countries following the Hague court ruling that there would be no joint statement “because no consensus could be reached.”
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in November last year that the court has jurisdiction to consider the Philippine case against the China claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
China argues that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights, saying that China will not accept the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague jurisdiction over the South China Sea nor will China participate in the proceedings initiated by the Philippines.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines call for restraint and sobriety in wake of South China Sea ruling against China
Philippine Foreign Secretary, Perfecto Yasay who is expected to call on heads of state and governments from Asia and Europe includong the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat and the European Union attending the 11th ASEM11 (AEM11) summit held in Mongolia this weekend, to respect the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague that the China claim to the resource-rich and strategically vital South China Sea had no legal basis
From News Reports:
Manila, July 15: The Philippines have called for “all those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety” following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict on Tuesday that ruled against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, saying that the China claim to the resource-rich South China Sea had no legal basis, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said that he will discuss the "Philippines’ peaceful and rules-based approach to the South China Sea and the need for parties to respect the recent decision" at the 11th ASEM11 (AEM11) summit to be held in Mongolia this weekend and that will be attended by President Xi Jinping of China.
President Xi Jinping of China said on Tuesday following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea "shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards."
China assistant foreign minister, Kong Xuanyou, reportedly insisted that the maritime dispute should not be included in the 11th ASEM (AEM11) Summit agenda, saying that the meeting was “not an appropriate venue” to discuss the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague verdict.
Newly inaugurated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not be attending the 11th ASEM11 (AEM11) two day summit that will be attended by 53 heads of state and governments from Asia and Europe the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat and the European Union and that will address maritime security.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in November last year that the court has jurisdiction to consider the Philippine case against the China claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Southeast Asian Times


China calls on EU to remain neutral on Hague ruling on South China Sea
President Xi Jinping, right, said at the 18th China-EU Summit held in Beijing attended by European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, on Tuesday following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling against China that China shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards
From News Reports:
Beijing, July 14: President Xi Jinping of China called on the European Union to maintain an objective stance and neutrality on the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision on Tuesday that ruled against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, reports Xinhua.
President Xi Jinping of China told the 18th China-EU Summit held in Beijing on Tuesday that the South China Sea Islands have been China's territory since "ancient times."
He said that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea "shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards."
"China opposes and will never accept any claim or action based on those awards," he said.
The president said at the Summit in Beijing on Tuesday that was attended by European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that "China is firmly committed to peace and stability in the South China Sea and to settling the disputes with countries directly involved, through peaceful negotiations based on the recognition of historical facts and in accordance with international law," he said.
Judges of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in favour of the Philippines against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea following the courts ruling in November 2015 that the court has jurisdiction to consider the Philippine case against the China claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources including fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
China argues that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights, saying that China will not accept the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague jurisdiction over the South China Sea nor will China participate in the proceedings initiated by the Philippines.
The Southeast Asian Times


Arbitration Court in the Hague rules against China

From News Reports:
Manila, July 13: Judges of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague have ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of “historic rights”over the South China Sea, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
"There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line'," the judges said.
The Philippine Inquirer reports that China rejects the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
China reportedly claims that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid verdict on the South China Sea dispute yesterday.
China states that it is against the Aquino III administration of the Philippines request to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague
to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in November 2015 that the court has jurisdiction to consider the Philippine case against the China claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Philippines filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.

The Southeast Asian Times

Philippine navy postphones visit to Vietnam ahead of court ruling on South China Sea

From News Reports:
Manila, July 13: The Philippine navy postphoned a scheduled port visit to Vietnam ahead of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling on the Philippines complaint against China's claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Navy public affairs director Captain Lued Lincuna said the scheduled departure for BRP Ramon Alcaraz was postponed last week “due to unavoidable circumstances of the operation of the Navy vessel.”
The BRP Ramon Alcaraz with about 200 Philippine Navy personnel onboard, was scheduled to conduct a port visit to Cam Ranh in Vietnam from July 11 to 15.
The Philippine Inquirer reports that the visit was intended to be a show of support for the Vietnam People’s Navy and to “send a strong message of cooperation between the two navies to the regional community.”
The Philippine Inquirer reports that a Camp Aguinaldo military spokeperson said that "the postponement had indeed to do with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling.
"Our allies may react aggressively either in Scarborough or our areas in the Kalayaan Island Group LT-57," he said.
Vietnam condemned the seven day military exercise conducted by China in the Paracel Islands, saying that the military exercise that began on 5 July and ended a day before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling rulimg yesterday "was in serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty.
Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said that the military exercises conducted by China around Hoang Sa or Paracel Islands defies international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
The military exercises conducted by China in the South China Sea from the east of Hainan Island including the Paracel Islands ended a day ahead of the the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on seven of 15 complaints submitted by the Philippines against China in 2013.
The Philippines asked the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang reportedly said that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights.
The China Ministry of National Defense said that China will not accept the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague jurisdiction over the South China Sea nor will China participate in the proceedings that were initiated by the Philippines.
The Southeast Asian Times


Gunman who shot dead Cambodian broadcaster on Sunday under arrest
About 2000 gathered at the Phnom Penh gas station on Monivong Boulevard following the fatal shooting of broadcaster Kem Ley, 46, on Sunday morning shouting: “I don’t believe it” to the claim made by the gunman that he killed the broadcaster over an unpaid debt
From News Rews Reports:
Phnom Penh, July 12: Police have arrested the alleged gunman who shot dead broadcaster Kem Ley, 46, on Sunday morning at a Phnom Penh gas station where he regularly stopped for coffee, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Phnom Penh municipal police chief, Chuon Sovann, said that the alleged killer, a 38-year-old Cambodian male from Banteay Meanchey Svay district was arrested within half an hour of the killing at 8.30 am at about 1.5 km northeast of the gas station.
The suspected killer claims he purchased a pistol while in Thailand in order to kill Kem Ley over money the broadcaster had owed him for over a year.
"He borrowed $3000 from me to help villagers", he told police.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court doctor, Norng Sovannaroth, said that Kem Ley, 46, was shot "execution-style" behind his left ear and under his left arm.
Center for Alliance of Labour and Human Roghts official and friend of the slain broadcaster, Moeun Tola, rejected the idea that his friend was killed in broad daylight due to an unpaid debt, saying that "anyone who wanted to kill the broadcaster would know where to find him."
He said that broadcaster Kem Ley was a very outspoken critic of the Cambodian government.
"Only two days ago he was on Radio Free Asia talking about the Global Witness report,” he said on Sunday.
Broadcaster Kem Ley reportedly said on Radio Free Asia on Friday night, two nights before he was shot dead, that the London-based internatioanl organisation Global Witness report showed how Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family controlled Cambodian society.
The Global Witness report that reportedly details the vast business holdings of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family drew a fierce rebuke from the the Prime Minister and his family.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for an investigation into the killing of political analysist and broadcaster Kem Ley, 46, saying that he condemned "the cruel and savage act by the gunman.”
The Southeast Asian Times

Japan Ministry of Defence to begin economic conscription
From News Reports:
Tokyo, July 11: The Japan Ministry of Defence is to establish a scholarship loan programme, “economic conscription,” that would require recipients to enlist in the Self Defense Forces (SDF) in order to repay the loan, reports the Japan Press Weekly.
The proposed loan program was described by the Japan Ministry of Defence as the Japanese version of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in the United States.
The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program is reportedly "a college-based officer training program that is offered to mostly low income students, on campuses across the United States".
Students are reportedly required to attend military and training classes including service in the U.S. forces after graduation in exchange for a loan.
The Japanese version of the United States Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) reportedly only applies to science graduate and undergraduate students who receive a loan of 54,000 yen a month.
Students who enlist in the Self Defense Forces (SDF) after graduation are not required to repay the loan.
National Defense Academy of Japan, that trains graduates for service in the Self Defense Forces (SDF) reports a decline in recruits since the passing of the National Security Bill that took effect on March 29.
The Bill allows the Japanese government to dispatch Japanese Self Defense Forces (SDF) abroad to defend its allies.
Nationwide protests have been held throughtout Japan in opposition to the passing of the National Security Bill that would allow Japan to use the right of self-defense as defined under the United Nations charter and the right to use force to aid an ally under attack even if Japan itself is not under attack.
The Japan government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe submitted the bills to the Diet on May 15, 2015 arguing "that a changing security situation in the Asia-Pacific region propelled by the assertion of territorial claims by China in the East and South China seas and the North Korean missile and nuclear weapons development were justification for the security reforms".
A new reading of the Constitution was adopted by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2014 in order to facilitate the passing of the National Security Bill and submitted to the Diet.
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
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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.7512
Brunei...
1.0152
C
ambodia...3,062.20
China..Yuan
..5,0383
East Timor.
..0.7512
Euro..
0.6790
Hong
sKong..
.5.8285
Indonesia Rupiah
.9,838.46
Japan..79.4225
Laos..6,069.22
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0000
Myanmar..889.857
Papua New Guinea
..2.3774
Philippines Peso..
35.2390
Singapore dollar...
1.0154
Thailand...Baht..
26.2942
Viet
Nam
Dong..16,767.09

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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