The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Saturday 30 April 2016 
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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Malaysia arrests Filipino claimnants
to Sabah

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, April 30: Five supporters of the territorial claim made on Sabah by the family of the late Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram, in the Philippines, were arrested in Sabah this week, reports Bernama.
Deputy Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said that Malaysia's Home Ministry's monitoring of activities to extend the Philippine Sulu sultanate influence in Malaysian Sabah has led to the arrests.
"They were detained in Sabah for involvement in what is believed to be activities threatening the security and sovereignty of the state", he said.
He said that Malaysia's Home Ministry is constantly wary of the activities of the Sulu militants from the Philippines because they have attacked Malaysia.
Philippine president Aquino ordered a review of the Jamalul Kiram claim on Sabah following an attack by the sultans younger brother, Agbimuddin Kiram, in February 2013 on the Sabah coastal town of Lahad Datu.
Two local police were killed when Agbimuddin Kiram and about 200 armed supporters of the territoral claim attacked Lahad Datu in an effort to reclaim Sabah.
Malaysian security forces reportedly responded by sending ground troops and launching air strikes on the Agbimuddin Kiram position.
In October 2013 the self proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram, said on his death bed that the fight to repossess Sabah from Malaysia must continue on belhalf of all Filipino's.
Philippine deputy president spokeswoman, Abigail Valte said following the death of Jamalul Kiram, that his death does not mean the end of the Philippine government’s claim to Sabah.
The Philippines gave Malaysia notice that it would file an "ejectment" suit in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The Southeast Asian Times
 

Golkar chairman candidate calls for return to Suharto New Order tripartite rule
Golkar Party chairman candidate Priyo Budi Santoso (in white shirt) with old supporters on April 21 in Jakarta
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 29: Golkar Party chairman candidate Priyo Budi Santoso, who is standing for election as chairman at the national meeting in Bali next month, has called for the revival of Suharto New Order tripartite rule, reports the Jakarta Post.
Golkar Party chairman candidate Priyo Budi Santoso said that if elected he would reunite the big family of Anak Baru Gede (ABG),
the military, bureaucrats and Golkar politicians.
"This does not mean I want to involve the military in the bureaucracy, as that is prohibited by law,”he said.
He said that if elected he would seek retired generals, police officers, teachers and civil servants to lead the party.
Under Suharto and the Anak Baru Gede (ABG) tripartite rule that included the military, the Golkar party became the largest party in Indonesia, sweeping all six general elections from 1971 until 1997 with an average of over 60 percent of the vote.
The resigantion of former President Suharto in 1998 reportedly led to a significant drop in the Golkar vote in the 1999 general election and defeat for the first time.
The political reformation of 1999 that included decentralisation and that ended party-membership of the Indonesian Military
and civil service, that had formed two of the three blocks of the Golkar party membership.
Golkar Party members including party executive Idrus Marham, lawmaker Azis Syamsuddin and House of Representatives Speaker Ade Komarudin have also declared their candidacy for the party’s chairmanship.
The Southeast Asian Times


PNG Supreme Court orders closure of Australian detention centre on Manus Island
From News Reports:
Port Moresby, April 28: The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court in Port Moresby found on Tuesday that Australia's detention of asylum-seekers on Manus Island is unconstitutional, ordering Papua New Guinea and Australia to shut down the Manus Island detention centre, reports the Associated Press (AP)
Lawyer Loani Henao, who lodged the court action on behalf of Papua New Guinea former opposition leader Belden Namah, said the decision meant that the detention centre on Manus Island must be shut down immediately and the about 850 asylum seekers set free and sent to Australia.
“They are in jail against their will for no reason,” he said.
Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court decision binds the Papua New Guinea Government not the Australian Government.
He said the detainees’ options were to go back to the country they used to call home, or to settle in Papua New Guinea.
“People who have attempted to come to Australia illegally by boat and are in the Manus facility will not be settled in Australia.”
Under Australian immigration policy, asylum-seekers who attempt to arrive in Australia by boat are turned back or sent to Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for processing.
Those found to be refugees are resettled in the Papua New Guinea community or in Cambodia.
In September 2015 Australia agreed to provide $US28.3 million in aid to Cambodia and to spend an estimated A$15.5 million more to fund resettlement services for refugees who agree to move from Nauru to Cambodia.
Papua New Guinea accepted A$20 million in aid from the Australian Government in 2001 for the establishment of the Nauri detention centre in Papua New Guinea for up to 800 refugees in the Australian Government effort to circumvent the settlement of the asylum seekers in Australia.
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippine government gives drought stricken farmers 2000 bags of rice
Drought stricken farmers received 2000 bags of rice from the Philippine Government Department of Social Welfare and Development on Monday with the proviso that they stop their protest and go home
From News Reports:
Manila, April 27: Drought stricken farmers, from the southern Philippine province of Cobato in Muslim Mindanao, protesting the government inaction in providing starving farmers with rice, received the bags of rice on Monday with the proviso that they stop their protest and return home.
The Philippine Government Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Mindanao reportely gave the farmers 2000 of the 15,000 bags that the farmers said they required.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, spokesman, Joselito Roxas said that the farmers will terminate their protest.
"The delivery of rice from the Philippine Government Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Mindanao to the farmers proved that the government had rice stock after all, he said.
The about six thousand North Cotabato drought stricken farmers who demanded rice from the North Cotabato provincial government were dispersed with firearms and water cannon by riot police earlier this month.
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza said that the farmers, who had been protesting at the National Food Authority (NFA) in Kidapawan, did not have a permit."
The National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) spokeswoman Olalia said that lawyers have called for an investigation into the violent dispersal of farmers.
"Governor Mendoza exhibited unparalleled remorselessness, arrogance and self-righteousness in stubbornly justifying the premeditated attack on unarmed, starving, protesting farmers as a ‘clearing operation’ purportedly due to a lack of a permit to peaceably assembly, " said the spokeswoman.
The Southeast Asian Times

Number of Communists killed in 1965-1966 under Suharto could reach 3 million
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 26: Victims of the 1965-1966 massacre of Communists in Indonesia reaffirmed at the national two day symposium "Dissecting the 1965 tragedy" in Jakarta last week that the number killed could reach 3 million with upto 26 million affected, reports the Jakarta Post.
Murder Victims Research Foundation ( YPKP ) 1965-1966, spokesman, Bedjo Untung, said that there are "plenty of mass graves located in Java, Sumatra and Bali, including seven mass graves in Pati, and five in Pemalang in Central Java.
"If we count the affected survivors the number could reach 26 million," he said.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan dismissed the estimated number of Communists killed in the 1965-1966 massacre of Communists in Indonesia, saying that the number killed was closer to about 80,000.
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.
The judges said 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

Pattaya transgenders arrested for assault of German tourist
Transgender sex workers Phumin "Nane’’ Saranan, 20, and Nopporn “Por” Jitsom, 21, confessed to the assault and theft of German tourist Lutz Möller, left
From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 25: Two transgender sex workers are in police custody following their arrest for assault and theft of a German tourist in Pattaya on Friday night, reports the Bangkok Post.
Chon Buri police chief, Pol Maj Gen Amporn Buarubpornduring told the media on Saturday that Phumin "Nane’’ Saranan, 20, and Nopporn “Por” Jitsom, 21, face charges of theft and assault.
German national, Lutz Möller, was allegedly approached by the two transgenders as he walked along Jomtien Beach Road and was about to turn into Soi 5.
He told police that he repeatedly declined their offer of sex saying that the transgenders "grew angry" with one hitting him on the head and face with a brick.
The transgenders reportedly stole 4,000 baht in cash before fleeing on a motorcycle.
Police were alerted to the assault of German national, Lutz Möller, by the Pattaya Memorial Hospital where he was admitted with head injuries.
Police reportedly arrested the two transgender sex workers at a rented house in Pattaya.
The transgenders confessed to the charges after the tourist identified
them
.
The Southeast Asain Times

Indonesian government called on to restore the reputation of former President Sukarno

From News Reports
Jakarta, April 2016: The Indonesian government was called on to restore the reputation of the victims of the 1965 massacre of Communists including the reputation of former President Sukarno this week, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) historian Asvi Warman Adam said at the national two day symposium "Dissecting the 1965 tragedy" held this week in Jakarta that "the Indonesian government must remove the stigma and discrimination of supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) including the reputation of former President Sukarno.
"The reputation of the victims of the 1965 massacre of Communists have to be restored including Sukarno’s reputation,” he said.
Indonesian Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), that is incorporated in Indonesia's largest Muslim clerical organistion, the Indonesian Ulema Council Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) called on the government last week to tell the truth
about the 1965 -1966 massacre of members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI)
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) spokesman Imam Aziz, says that the government should reveal the truth on the killing and the unjust imprisonment of millions of members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
"Revealing the truth would put an end to the “glorification” of the perpetrators, who regard themselves as victors and heroes", he said.
The Jakarta Post reports that the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) was allegedly complicit in the Communist purge under former Indonesian president Suharto.
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.
The judges said 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

Investigation finds land illegally acquired in Thai National Park

From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 2016: An initial investigation by the Thai Ministery of Justice into the encroachment of Khao yai National park in Nakhon Ratchasima Province has revealed that 17 plots of public park land were illegally acquired by Thai companies including Thai politicians, reports the Bangkok Post.
Deputy permanent secretary for justice, Pol Col Dussadee Arayawuth, said that a map of the encroached areas will be compared with the 'One Map' showing the boundaries of state land that were drawn under the Ministery of Justice.
"So far, the ministry has examined four to five plots", he said.
The Ministery of Justice Special Investigation Department have so far found encroachment off public land that includes reserved forest land at the Lam Takhong settlement and at the Sor Por Kor 4-01 reform land that is reserved for landless farmers.
The Special Investigation Department are also investigating alleged encroachment of public land for use as a dairy in Ban Hin Phloeng Moo 1 in Pak Chong district.
Ban Hin Phloeng Moo 1 residents have accused the company of illegally obtaining land deeds for use as a dairy and building fences that blocked the residents from entering their village.
Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichian Chantharanothai said that he had ordered an investigation into the public road to the village that was allegedly blocked by the fences.
"The dairy firm was accused of illegally acquiring title deeds for more than 200 public land plots", he said.
In April 2015 a raid on the Bonanza Golf and Country Club that was reportedly used for red-shirt rallies in support of former fugitive Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, found that a golf course and an international speedway were constructed on land issued with fraudulent land title deeds.
Provincial Police Region 3 deputy commissioner Maj General Tanet Sunthornsuk said that the Bonanza International Speedway that was constructed between 1993 and 2006 had encroached on more than 100 rai of reserved forest land, agricultural land and public waterways.
The Southeast Asian Times

Independents stand for election in HCMinh City
HCMCity Fatherland Front Committee chairman, Nguyen Hòang Nang, says there was no discrimination in the approval of candidates for the HCM City’s People’s Council or for the 14th National Assembly between the candidates nominated by the agencies and independents
From News Reports:
Hanoi, April 2016: Four of 25 independent candidates from 175 that included non members of the Vietnam Communist Party and that stood for seats on the HCM City’s People’s Council for 2016 – 2021 were approved by the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Committee in HCM City on Sunday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Of the 175 candidates that stood for seats on the HCM City’s People’s Council, 23 are reportedly not members of the Viet Nam Communist Party, 75 are women, 32 are below 35 years old, 9 are from minority ethnic groups, and 11 represent various religions.
The approval in HCMCity of the four independent candidates, HCM City Institute for Economic Research and Management, head Tran Quang Thang, Cau Tre Food Processing Company worker, Nguyen Thi Huyen, HCMCity Hà Hai Law lawyer, Hà Hai and Bachy Soletanche Viet Nam Company general director, Lê Nguyen Minh Quang have been submitted to the HCM City Election Committee and National Election Council.
The Viet Nam Fatherland Front Committee also selected 36 candidates that included non Communist party members to stand for seats in the 14th National Assembly for approval by the HCM City Election Council and National Election Council.
Two of the 36 candidates standing for seats in the 14th National Assembly are independents Tien Phong Technology Company general director, Lâm Thiu Quân and Bình Chánh District Tân Túc High School teacher, Nguyen The Hung Chuong.
Of the 36 candidates standing for National Assembly seats, five candidates are not members of the Viet Nam Communist Party, 15 are female, six candidates are below 40 years old, three are from minority ethnic groups and two represent religious groups.
The Vietnam News Service reports that more independent candidates for the 14th National Assembly were expected but that the level of credibility, confidence, and quality of the independent candidates did not meet regulations.
The Southeast Asain Times


Indonesian Muslim organisation calls on the government to tell the truth about the 1965 -1966 Communist massacre

From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 21: Indonesian Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), that is incorporated in Indonesia's largest Muslim clerical organistion, the Indonesian Ulema Council Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) has called on the government to tell the truth
about the 1965 -1966 massacre of members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), reports the Jakarta Post.
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) spokesman Imam Aziz, says that the government should reveal the truth on the killing and the unjust imprisonment of millions of members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
" Revealing the truth would put an end to the “glorification” of the perpetrators, who regard themselves as victors and heroes", he said.
The Jakarta Post reports that the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) was allegedly complicit in the Communist purge under former Indonesian president Suharto.
Coordinating Minister for Politics, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said last month that government would settle past human rights violations including the 1965 killings of communists in Indonesia through "reconcilition" .
"We have searched for evidence but we could not find it, therefore the government will take it to a non-judicial settlement," he said.
In 2000 former President Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid publicly apologized to the victims of the 1965 -1966 massacre of members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) on behalf of Pemuda Ansor, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) youth wing, "for helping the Indonesian military commit atrocities".
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) spokesman Imam Aziz, said that while Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) members maintain "an uncompromising stance on
the what they see as the necessity of the Communist killings, a number of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) members have apologized on behalf of their predecessors in forums held in cities across Java".
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.
The judges said 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

Australian Federal Police investigate Oz gold mine in Cambodia
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, April 19: Australian Federal Police (AFP) have expanded investigations into Australian gold mining company, OZ Minerals, that include allegations of bribery in Cambodia, reports the Phnom Penh Post
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is reportedly expanding its investigation of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed company, OZ Minerals, into "the buyout" of its partner in a joint venture gold exploration project at the Okvau mine in Mondulkiri province in 2009.
Bribery allegations have persisted against Australian gold mining company, OZ Minerals following the sale of the Okvau mine to Australian company, Renaissance Minerals, in 2012 for $18 million.
"OZ Minerals is continuing to cooperate with the the Australian Federal Police (AFP),” reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The Australian mining company, OZ Minerals, stands accused of paying more than $1 million to three board members of Cambodian company, Shin Ha Mining Co., who reportedly had "highly placed relatives in the Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy".
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) reportedly first opened an investigation into the claim that OZ Minerals engaged in bribery in Cambodia in 2011 but dropped the case after investigators found insufficient evidence of "criminal wrongdoing".
Investigations were reopened in 2013 after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) criticised the lack of action on the case.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) had reportedly reopened investigations into claims that OZ Minerals had engaged in bribery in Cambodia in 2014.
Cambodian Association for Mining and Exploration Companies (CAMEC) president Richard Stanger, said that the bribery investigation has been going on for a long time.
"Formal charges had yet to be filed", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Filipino sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Vietnam
Filipino woman, Donna Buena Mazon, 41, sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Ho Ch Minh City People's Court on Friday
From News Reports:
HCMCity, April 19: The Ho Chi Minh City Peoples Court handed down the death sentence to a Filipino woman who was found guilty of trafficking in almost 1.5 kilograms of cocaine in Vietnam, reports Thanh Nien.
Donna Buena Mazon, 41, was arrested with two bags containing cocaine on arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport on December 31, 2013.
The Filipino woman arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on a Qatar Airways flight from Brazil.
She told the court that she was hired by a person identified as Precious Rudica to carry the drug to Vietnam for a fee of US$3,000.
She was reportedly provided with airline tickets and a visa.
Twenty-nine crimes carry the death penalty in Viet Nam including murder, armed robbery, treason, drug trafficking, the sexual abuse of children, and economic crimes, including the embezzlment of VND500 million (US$24,000) or more of state property.
The Justice Ministry reportedly proposed to abolish the death penalty for robbery, treason and drug trafficking but not for murder or corruption in April 2015.
Death by lethal injection replaced death by firing squad in 2013.
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

Indonesian government warned that 1965 massacre of Communists is irreconcilable
From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 18: Human rights activists have warned the government not to use the two day national symposium on the massacre of members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) 1965 -1966 to be held in Jakarta this week to force the government initiated "one sided" reconciliation, reports the Jakarta Post.
The two day national symposium that begins today, held by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres), includes the construction of memories of the 1965-1966 massacre, Indonesian society under President Suharto in the reformation era, Indonesian society after the resignation of President Suharto in 1998 and on the future of Indonesian society.
Setara Institute researcher, Ahmad Fanani Rosyidi, said that the international symposium , attended by academics, human rights activists, survivors of the 1965-1966 killings, "the symposium must not be used as a justification by the state to force a reconciliation,"
"Reconciliation can only be a result of a truth-revealing process", he said.
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Feri Kusuma, says that "the national symposium does not aim to determine who was right and who was wrong".
"The symposium risks becoming a fig leaf for the government," he said.
The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said last month that at least six major human rights violations including the 1965 -1966 massacre of members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) would be settled by May 2.
He said that the settlement will be conducted through reconciliation as the government faced "hurdles" in settling past human rights violations through the legal process.
"We have searched for evidence but we could not find it, therefore the government will take it to a non-judicial settlement," 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.
The judges said 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



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

 

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


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


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

 

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

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




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

 


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

 

What they're saying open page here

 

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


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

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com






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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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