The Southeast Asian Times
Darwin Ha Noi Cairns Singapore Derby Bangkok Port Hedland Kuala Lumpur Kununurra Manila Townsville Denpasar HCM City Surabaya Penang Dili Port Moresby Phuket Phnom Penh Jakarta
established 2000
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
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 senior 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

Read the letters to The Southeast Asian here

Residents have no say in construction of dams on the Mekong, says judge
From News Reports:
Bangkok, December 2: The Supreme Administrative Court of Thailand has given a preliminary judgement that residents from eight Mekong River provinces who claim to be adversley affected by the construction of dams including the Xayaburi hydropower dam have no legal say in the construction of dams on the Mekong River, reports the Bangkok Post.
A Supreme Administrative Court judge reportedly dismissed the demands made by Mekong River residents to have a say in the construction of the
Xayaburi hydropower dam on the grounds that the dam was not constructed by the Thai government.
The judge told the court that a process of public participation had been carried out under the Mekong River Commission (MRC) that included the construction of dams in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
The judge said that the court had considered whether the project to construct the dams on the Mekong belongs to the Thai government.
"Since the Xayaburi hydropower dam project is located in Laos and the investor is Thai company Ch Karnchang it is clear the Thai government does not own the project", said the judge.
The judge told the court that a process of local participation could not be carried out as requested by Mekong River residents because the Xayaburi hydropower dam project is not a Thai state owned project.
"All requests made by the Meking river residents should be dismissed," said the judge.
About 100 Mekong Basin community representatives from Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand from the newly established Mekong People’s Council called for regional governments to stop hydropower dam construction on the Mekong at a Mekong People's Forum held in Vietnam's An Giang Province last month.
Construction of the Xayaburi hydro dam that began in November 2012 is the first of eight the Laos government plans to build on the Mekong.
The newly established Mekong People’s Council issued a statement, "Mekong governments: Listen to the People" signed by more than 6,400 saying, "We have witnessed and experienced the destruction caused by the dams. For us, who live by the river and experience every change in the water systems, there is no question that such dams result in serious negative impacts for present and future generations, and should not be built".
The Southeast Asian Times

Former Malaysian diplomat pleads guilty to assault of NZ woman in Wellington
Former Malaysian diplomat Mohammed Rizalman Ismail, 39, pleads guilty to the indecent assualt of a New Zealand woman in the dock at the Wellington District Court yesterday
From News Reports:
Wellington, December 1: Former Malaysian diplomat, second warrant officer to the defence ministry Malaysia High Commission in Wellington, Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 39, who fled New Zealand in May last year after he was charged with sexual assault, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault in Wellington yesterday, reports the New Straits Times.
New Zealand police charged the former Malaysian diplomat, with breaking and entering and assault with intent to rape, of New Zealand woman, Tania Billingsley, 21, on 9 May 2014.
The Malaysian diplomat reportedly returned to Malaysia from New Zealand in May last year under diplomaic immunity protection claiming protection under the 1961 Vienna Convention that gives protection to diplomats and their embassy employees but not from "certain civil matters".
Malaysia foreign minister Anifah Aman said in July last year that the Malaysian diplomat would be extradited if there was a request from the New Zealand government for his extradition.
“Diplomatic immunity is not about having a licence to commit crime", he said
In July last year the Malaysian foreign minister gave his assurance to the New Zealand High Commission in Malaysia that Muhammad Rizalman Ismail would be tried under New Zealand law.
The return of Muhammad Rizalman Ismail to New Zealand in October last year for a preliminary court hearing in which he pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, followed months of delay as the diplomat underwent physical and mental examinations to ensure that he was fit to stand trial and as lawyers drafted an extradition document in lieu of an exradition treaty between Malaysia and New Zealand.
The Wellington District Court dismissed the original charges of sexual assault yesterday following the guilty plea to one count of indecent assault made by Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 39.
Former Malaysian diplomat allegedly followed New Zealand woman, Tania Billingsley, 21, woman to her home in in Brooklyn, the Wellington suburb where the Malaysian embassy is located on 9 May 2014 where the alleged assault took place.
The News Straits Times reports that the former Malaysian diplomat will be sentenced on Friday.

Biological Safety Bill does not protect Thai farmers against GMO contamination
From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 30: The draft Biological Safety Bill proposed by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry was passed by the Thai Cabinet amid warnings that the Bill would not protect Thai farmers against contamination of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), reports the Nation.
Biothai Foundation director Witoon Lianchamroon warned against the passing of the Biological Safety Bill by the Thai cabinet, saying "the Bill's intention is to protect Thailand from Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) but in fact the reverse is possible".
"This bill is largely in favour of the giant biotechnology conglomerates and severely ignores the participation of those on the ground
who are affected," he said.
"If this bill passes Parliament and becomes effective it will open the way for giant transnational biotechnology conglomerates to evade their responsibility for the damage Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) contamination can cause to the environment".
He says that contamination of crops would reduce crop biodiversity, alter the ecosystem and cause possible health problems in consumers.
"The bill did not include responsibility for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) contamination that could cost more than Bt10 billion."
Organic farmer, Chatchana Pradtanaruk, says that the introduction of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) would be the end of organic farming in Thailand.
"Organic farming relies on a healthy ecosystem to control pests and enhance soil fertility by natural means", he said.
He said that GMO farming in Thailand would decrease native crop species and "enslave farmers" because they would be forced to buy seed from large biotechnology companies each year.
Greenpeace coordinator for Southeast Asia, Nattawika Ewsakul said in 2012 that the Thai government had failed to control GMO contamination of papaya, corn and yellow-bean under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry 1964 Plant Quarantine Act, saying that the government should pass the Biological Safety Bill.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia is capital of terrorism in Southeast Asia, says Jakarta police chief
Jakarta Police chief Ins. Gen. Tito Karnavian claims that indonesia is the capital of terrorism in Southeast Asia
From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 29: Jakarta Police chief Ins. Gen. Tito Karnavian, has called Indonesia the capital of terrorism in Southeast Asia, naming Indonesian Islamic Group (NII) and Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) as two of the regions groups to spread radical propaganda, reports the Jakarta Post.
Jakarta Police chief Ins. Gen. Tito Karnavian said that the terrorist groups had thousands of followers in Indonesia and many had been arrested.
Police chief Ins. Gen. Tito Karnavian says that "Muslim Countries should lead the effort against radicalism in order to overcome terrorist groups" "The public should also assist the government in identifying newly formed networks", he said.
The Jakarta Post quotes Police chief Ins. Gen. Tito Karnavian as saying that an IT system would be a good mechanism to use to report radical group activity.
The claim that Indonesia is the capital of terrorism in Southeast Asia follows the return to Indonesia of about 60 to 70 Indonesian nationals who joined Islamic State (IS) in Syria, reports the Jakarta Post.
National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said some had returned voluntarily and others had been deported.
"An investigation into their identities has been completed", he said.
The police chief said that he had ordered police "to keep a close eye on the returning IS supporters so that they would not spread extremist propaganda in their neighborhood".
"We will continue to monitor their movement", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnam passes law that recognises transgenders
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Vietnam took to the streets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City after the National Assembly (NA) recognition in law of their identity rights
From News Reports:
Hanoi, November 28: The National Assembly (NA) has amended the law in order to recognise the identity rights of individuals who undergo transgender surgery, effective
January 1, reports Tuoi Tre News.
The National Assembly voted 282 for and 84 against the amendment of the Civil Code to include transgender identity rights.
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee said in its report that Vietnam should recognise the right of the transgender to an identity in law.
"Vietnamese law should meet public demand for the law to recognise transgender identity, conform with international practice and observe Vietnamese customs and traditions", the Standing Committee report said.
The amendment to the law that recognises the identity rights of transgenders was welcomed by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, estimated to be from about 270,000 to 400,00 in a population of about 90 million.
Member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, Nguyen Hai Yen, said that the amendment to the law offered essential new rights.
"Now that people accept that there is a transgender community, their legitimate rights will be ensured," he said.
Luong The Huy, also a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community said that the new law is a crucial step towards allowing transgender surgery.
"People will no longer have to travel abroad for transgender surgery," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia suspends executions on death row
From News Reports:
Jakarta Post, November 27: The Indonesian government has suspended executions on death row, citing the slow economy rather than humanitarian grounds for the suspension of executions, reports the Jakarta Post.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan said yesterday that the government was focusing on improving economic growth that was reportedly the lowest in six years at 4.67 percent this year.
“We are not thinking about carrying out death sentences while our economic growth is low,” he said.
More than 60 executions have been carried out in Indonesia since President Joko Widodo was elected in July 2014, including Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran who were executed in April.
The Indonesian House of Representatives Commission 111 called on President Joko Widodo following his election to either grant clemency or execute the prisoners on death row in order to reduce the number of prisoners in Indonesia's overcrowded prisons.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), that includes all Muslim organisations in Indonesia reportedly supports the execution of prisoners convicted of drug trafficking offences.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) deputy chairman Ma’ruf Amin said in March that the council had issued an edict to uphold the death sentence for serious crimes including drug trafficking.
The Indonesian Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) called on the government in October to abolish the death penalty and to revisit all cases to make sure that those facing the death penalty had been given a fair trial.
The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) researcher and human rights lawyer, Wahyudi Djafar says that a study of 42 death sentences handed down by Indonesia's district courts, state courts and the Supreme Court over 11 years for drug offences and premeditated murder reveals that a number of convictions were the result of "unfair judicial process".
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai academics call for military to stop detention of students
A statement calling for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to end military intimidation and detention of academics and students was signed by 323 academics from universities in Thailand and abroad
From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 25: Thai academics have called on the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to end military intimidation and detention of lecturers and students in a statement signed by more than 300 Thai and foreign lecturers, reports the Bangkok Post.
The academics submitted the statement under the Network of Lecturers Concerned for Detained Students to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, commander of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that was established following the declaration of Marshal Law.
Anusorn Unno, dean of the faculty of sociology and anthropology at Thammasat Univerity, said the the Network of Lecturers Concerned for Detained Students statement was directed at the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) for its actions against a group of lecturers.
The lecturers were charged under Section 116 of the Criminal Code with illegal assembly when they reportedly gathered under the banner "Universities Are not Military Camps" in Chiang Mai last month.
Anusorn Unno said that the lecturers had called for the release of their students, who had been "detained for expressing political opinions", had themselves been intimidated and detained.
"We are persistent in our opinion that universities are not military camps but places for seeking knowledge and exchange of ideas including on global change", he said.
He said that the Network of Lecturers Concerned for Detained Students asks the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO "to stop intimidating lecturers who sincerely express their political opinions; stop prohibiting students and the general public from holding political activities; and, stop interfering in the learning and teaching methods of universities".
"We think that the charge of illegal assembly that carries a jail term is a violation of rights and freedom and is an act of intimidation carried out by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in order to to stop academics and students from voicing opinions different from those of the NCPO," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Southeast Asia declared ASEAN Community
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak hands the signed documents on the Declaration on the Establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community to ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh. Prime Minister Najib Razak described the 27th Asean summit as a "monumental event" which brought Asean to the fore, saying that "the success of the global recognition of ASEAN was due to the level of camaraderie played by its leaders"
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, November 25: The Asian Economic Community (AEC) was officially launched by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries at its annual summit that began in Kuala Lumpur last week, reports the Associated Press.
The 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam signed the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community on Sunday.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the 27th Asean Summit will go down in history as the most significant summit since its inception in 1967.
"This summit in Kuala Lumpur would forever be remembered as the event where all 10 ASEAN member states declared themselves an Asean Community," he said.
The Asean single economy is reportedly forecast to become the fourth-largest global economy by 2030, after the European Union, the United States and China.
ASEAN Secretary General, Le Luong Minh said that the signing of the Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community
is part of a larger ASEAN Community that aims for political, security, cultural and social integration.
ASEAN is reportedly to become an inter-governmental organization centered on internal cooperation based on the ASEAN Charter adopted in 2007.
The Southeast Asian Times

Former West Papua governor sentenced to prison for corruption
From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 24: The Jakarta Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Corruption Court sentenced former West Papua governor Barnabas Suebu to four years and six months jail for "doctoring budget allocations" in the construction of hydro power plants by his own company, reports the Jakarta Post.
The former governor was also ordered to pay Rp 150 million in fines or spend a further three months in prison.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) charged the former governor of West Papua Barnabas Suebu with corruption under Article 2 Point 1 and Article 3 of the Corruption Law and Article 55 of the
Criminal Code on embezzlement of state funds which carries a maximum 20 year prison sentence and Rp 1 billion in fines.
Former West Papua governor Barnabas Suebu who was named “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, was sentenced to prison for corruption by the Jakarta Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Court
Judge Tito Suhud of the Jakarta Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Corruption Court said that the former governor received a lenient sentence because he cooperated with the Commission.
Former West Papua governor Barnabas Suebu was charged in July with corruption in the Jakarta Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Corruption Court for his involvement in the alleged loss of Rp 43 billion (US$3.2 million) to the state in the construction of renewable energy hydro power plants at Paniai and Sentani lakes in 2008 and Urumuka and Memberamo rivers in 2009 and 2010.
Former governor Barnabas Suebu who served two terms as governor from 1988 to 1993 during the Soeharto era and from 2006 to 2011 was found guilty of "doctoring budget allocations" in the provincial budget in the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) for the hydro power plants.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) official, Fitroh Rohcah-yanto said in July: “He violated the law by instructing the project committee to assign the project to his own company, PT Konsultansi Pembangunan Irian Jaya (KPIJ), without going through any tender process,” he said.
The Jakarta Post reports that the renewable energy hydro project was intended to protect forest areas and reduce emissions in West Papua but was abandoned following the discovery of corruption.
The Southeast Asain Times

Indonesian navy to stop nuclear waste ship heading for Australia from entering Indonesian waters
From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 23: The Indonesian navy is to stop a cargo ship on course for Australia with a cargo of nuclear waste onboard from entering Indonesian waters, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indoneisan Maritime Security, Vice Admiral, Desi Albert Mamahit said that the MV Trader carrying nuclear waste "was currently sailing along the southern coast of Africa".
He said that the ship that had reportedly left the French port of Cerbourg last month was on course to sail through Indonesian waters in order to reach Australia.
"Nuclear waste is very dangerous", he said.
"It has the potential to pollute Indonesia's waters", he said.
Vice Admiral, Desi Albert Mamahit said that the water police have been ordered to deploy patrol boats to stop the ship from entering Indonesian waters.
“Our ships are on standby, although the ship is still far from Indonesia", he said.
Indoneisan Maritime Security, Vice Admiral Albert Mamahit Desi said that MV Trader passed through Indonesian waters three months ago when it sailed from Australia to France.
MV Trader is reportedly returning 25 tonnes of processed nuclear waste that was sent to France for processing in 2001 by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
The nuclear waste, reportedly due to arrive in Australia at the end of the month, is to be stored at the Australian Lucas Heights nuclear facility south east of Sydney until a nuclear waste dump site is found and constructed.
Plans to locate Australia's first nuclear waste dump at the remote Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory were abandoned in 2014 after a long legal dispute with Aboriginal landowners.
Australia Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg said on Friday that "Australia has an international obligation to deal with its own low-level and intermediate nuclear waste that it creates".
The Southeast Asian Times

West Papuan political prisoner released from prison
From News Reports:
Jakarta November, 22: West Papuan political prisoner, Filep Semuel Karma, 56, sentenced to 15 years in prison for raising the banned Morning Star or Bintang Kejora flag was released from Abepura Penitentiary on Thursday, ahead of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) anniversary commemoration on December 2, reports the Jakarta Post.
Filep Karma,, 56, a former civil servant in Indonesian Education and Training, was found guilty of treason by the West Papuan Jayapura court on Deember 1, 2004 for raising the banned flag to celebrate the anniversary of the 1961 Papuan declaration of Independence from Dutch rule at Trikora Field, Abepura, Jayapura, West Papua.

Filep Semuel Karma was arrested together with West Papuan independence activist Yusak Pakage, who was sentenced to ten
West Papuan political prisoner, Filep Semuel Karma, 56, who was released from prison on Thursday, called on Indonesia's President Joko Widodo to voluntarily grant independence to West Papua when he was released from prison for a day on 15 November last year to attend his daughers wedding in Jayapura
years in prison, under the Criminal Code of Indonesia that relates to crimes against the security of the state and crimes against public order including incitement and conspiracy charges.
Lawyer Olga Hamadi said that Filep Karma had a right as an inmate to remission of 50 months.
“Remissions are given to an inmate if he or she does a good deed and has served his or her prison time for at least six years", he said
Filep Karmahas had served 11 years of his 15 year sentence.
The Jakarta Post reported in December 2014 that Indonesian police were prepared to disperse West Papuan separatists participating in the Free Papua Organization (OPM) anniversary commemoration that included the raising of the banned Morning Star or Bintang Kejora flag.
Papua regional police deputy commander Brigadier General Paulus Waterpauw said then that local police chiefs would not intervene if the Free Papua Organization (OPM) anniversary commemoration was conducted as a "religious rite".
"But firm action will be taken if the religious rite is accompanied by the raising of the separatist flag", he said.
He said that police will act against any activity linked to Free Papua Organization (OPM) anniversary commemoration.
Indonesia National Police chief Gen. Sutarman said during a visit to West Papua in December 2013 ahead of the 52nd Morning Star or Bintang Kejora flag raising ceremony that the national police will enforce the ban on flying the separatist flag.
"The police will restrain those that intend to separate from the unitary state of Indonesia including the enforcement of the ban on flying the Morning Star Bintang Kejora separatist flag", he said.
In December 2012 an estimated 700 police officers and troops were deployed toTimika to ensure the flag of the West Papua separatists, Morning Star or Bintang Kejora was not flown for the 51st anniversary of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
The Southeast Asian Times

Islamic extremists continue to obliterate Roman and Christian shrines in Syria, reports Chris here


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 page here

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


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

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

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


CLASSIFIED Advertisements click here

Copy of letter dated 29 May 2012 from Vietnam Womens Union to International Olympic 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

Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

ambodia. 2,891.43
East Timor.
Indonesia rupiah
. 9,929.02
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0666
Papua New Guinea
Philippines Peso..
Singapore dollar..

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
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

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