The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Friday 7 October 2022
GATHERINGS:
An informed guidexto happenings throughout
the region.  

China calls emergency COVID-19 meeting with ASEAN in Laos
From News Reports:
Beijing, February 19: An emergency meeting of foreign ministers from China and the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) that was proposed by China is to be held in Vientiane, Laos on Thursday and Friday to discuss the COVID-19 virus epidemic.
The COVID-19 virus has so far killed 1,869 and infected 73,336 in China and has spread to the 10 ASEAN member states.
The meeting that was proposed by China is reportedly intended to share information and to improve coordination between China and the 10 ASEAN member states in order to combat the COVID-19 virus.
China Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi is reportedly to discuss China's measures in countering the COVID-19 virus epidemic at the meeting in Laos, with focus on strengthening joint prevention and control measures against the virus.
The meeting is also to explore the idea of establishing a long term and effective collaboration mechanism on public health to safeguard the region, with China Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying " China and Asean countries have been in close communication since the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.
Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who will be attending the emergency COVID-19 virus epidemic meeting, said that the meeting will be an opportunity for the foreign ministers to discuss measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"The meeting will help strengthen cooperation between ASEAN member states in the midst of this global health threat," he said.
His said that Cambodia's participation in the emergency meeting that was proposed by China will demonstrate Cambodia’s support of China and confidence in the measures taken by the China government to address the coronavirus outbreak.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam opens consulate in Macau

From News Reports:
Hanoi, January 9: Vietnam's Hong Kong Consulate General launched a consulate office in the Macau Special Administrative Region of China on Friday, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Consulate General of Hong Kong, Tran Than Huan, said at the launching ceremony that the office aims to better ensure the rights of Vietnamese citizens and tourists in the region.
He said that the consulate office in Macau will provide easier access to information about Vietnam, saying that
it would boost friendship and co-operation between Vietnam and Macau.
The Consulate General said that the office expected to recieve support from local organisations including the Vietnam Fellow Countrymen Friendship Association in Macau.
More than 20,000 Vietnamse are employed as domestic workers, in the service industry at Macau's casino's.
Vietnamese also operate tourist and services companies.
The Southeast Asian Times

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

Hanoi, July 6, 2015: The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam will visit the United States from July 6 to July 10 at the invitiation of the United States State Department in a "landmark" visit, Rueters reports.
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong will meet United States President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Rueters quotes a se
nior state department official saying that the meeting between the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the President of the United States "would skirt protocol" because the General Secretary is "not part of a government".
"Obama saw the visit as crucial", Rueters reports the senior state department official as saying.
Rueters also quotes the senior state department official saying that "there was a broad agreement that it made sense to treat General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong as the visit of "the top leader of the country".
"It's a pretty big event," Rueters quotes the state department official as saying.
The Southeast Asian Times

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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Fact-finding team to investigate 125 deaths at FIFA soccer game stampede in Indonesia

Residents mourn the victims of the stampede at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java that killed 125 spectators on Saturday October 1, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 6, 2022 A fact-finding team is to be formed to investigate the 125 deaths in a stampede at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java on Saturday, with the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs ministry calling on police "to identify and punish those responsible for the stampede" and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) saying "If there hadn't been any tear gas there wouldn't have been chaos," reports Reuters.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said the Indonesia government would form a fact finding team of academics, soccer experts and officials to investigate the stampede at the Kanjuruhan Stadium that killed 125 including 32 children.
"The fact-finding team has been asked in the next coming days to reveal the culprits that were involved in the crime," he said.
He said that on Sunday the crowd at the Kanjuruhan Stadium was beyond capacity, saying "42,000 tickets were sold for a match in an arena designed to hold 38,000."
"Victims' families would receive 50 million rupiah ($3,300) in compensation and treatment for hundreds of injured spectators would be free," he said.
Two boys, Ahmad Cahyo, 15, and Muhammad Farel, 14, were among those who died in the stampede, with their sister Endah Wahyuni, saying
"my family and I didn't think it would turn out like this."
"They loved soccer, but had never watched the Arema Footnall Club play live at Kanjuruhan stadium before, " she said.
National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) commissioner, Choirul Anam, said at the Kanjuruhan Stadium that "If there hadn't been any tear gas maybe there wouldn't have been chaos," after police fired tear gas at Arena Football Club supporters who had run onto the field.
Police fired tear gas to disperse Arema Football Club supporters who had run onto the field after a 3-2 home defeat to Persebaya Surabaya despite
Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regulations that firearms or crowd control gas should not be used at football matches.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to suspend all football matches planned for the season in Indonesia until the investigation by the fact-finding team is complete.
The Southeast Asian Times

Manila Radio broadcaster shot dead in motorbike drive-by ambush

Radio broadcaster Percy Lapid, 59, talked about the dangers of red-tagging in his last radio broadcast on Friday September 30, 2022

From News Reports:
Manila, October 6: Radio broadcaster, Percy Lapid, 59, was shot dead by a drive-by gunman in an ambush in metro Manila on Monday with the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) calling on the public to condem the killing of the veteren journalist, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
"The killing shows that journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country," spokesperson for the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.
The spokesperson said that the killing that took place in Metro Manila indicates how brazen the perpetrators were, saying "the killing indicates how authorities have failed to protect journaists as well as ordinary citizens from harm."
"The killing shows that journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country," said the spokesperson.
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) spokesman said that "Radio broadcaster Percy Lapid was a staunch critic of the Rodrigo Duterte administration and officials of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.government."
The spokesperson said that Radio broadcaster Percy Lapid had spoken up on the dangers of red-tagging, saying that he had spoken-up about the threats made against Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar after she threw out the Department of Justice’s proscription case against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
"Radio broadcaster Percy Lapid, also criticised the historical distortion of Martial Law and warned about the dangers of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs)," said the spokeperson.
Radio broadcaster Percy Lapid hosted the commentary program, Lapid Fire, that aired on DWBL 1242 radio where he delivered criticisms of alleged government abuses and irregularities.
Radio broadcaster Percy Lapid, talked about the dangers of red-tagging in his last radio broadcast on Friday September 30, 2022.
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines(NUJP) spokesperson said that Radio broadcaster Percy Lapid is the second journalist to die under the Marcos administration, after the stabbing of radio broadcaster Rey Blanco in Mabinay, Negros Oriental on Sunday September 18, 2022 saying "we call on the public to join us in condemning yet another murder of a journalist."
"We call on the Philippine National Police to hold the perpetrators accountable," said the spokesperson.
In December 2021 reporter, Jesus Malabanan, who contributed to Reuters in the investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs campaign" became the 22nd reporter to have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in July 2016.
Philippine National Police (PNP) said in a statement that Jesus Malabanan was shot in the head in Calbayog on the central island of Samar on Wednesday December 9, 2021 by two unidentified drive-by assailants, saying then "the assailants have not been arrested."
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) an American independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, based in New York City, New York, said there have been 87 media practitioners killed in the line of duty in the Philippines since 1992, when it first started collecting data worldwide.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia calls on NAM member countries including ASEAN to end Israel occupation of Palestine

Indonesia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York Monday September 26, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 4: Indonesia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, called on the 120 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM ) member countries that includes ten ASEAN member countries of which Indonesia is a member "to work together and end the Israel occupation of Palestine once and for all," at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM ) Committee for Palestine meeting held on the sideline of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last week, reports Antara.
"The Non-Aligned Movement should consolidate its position on Palestine," she said.
Indonesia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, said that "one of the reasons why the Palestinian issue remains on the agenda of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and is still unresolved is because there is a gap between commitments and what NAM had actually implemented."
"We do not do walk the talk, we only talk, but do not do anything," she said.
Indonesia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, said that Indonesia is proud to be able to stand at the forefront of fighting for Palestinian independence, saying "Indonesia supports the two-state solution."
She called on the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to play a bigger role in encouraging the start of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, saying "the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has 120 member states that constitute 60 percent of the votes in the
United Nations."
She said that 60 percent of the votes in the UN will obviously make a difference , saying "there are five Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that are non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council."
She said that 139 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries have recogised Palestine as a state, saying "the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) must continue to fight for Palestinian independence until it is achieved."
Indonesia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, called on Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries to voice three new
paradigms, saying "strategic trust needs to be put forward, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be upheld, and peaceful resolution of conflicts must be prioritized."
In December 2017 about 10,000 Indonesians protested outside the United States embassy in Jakarta against the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that was announced by United States president Donald Trump, with protests that were organised by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) held in capital cities throughout Indonesia.
The Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) president Sohibul Iman said that the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is "a form of humiliation and provocation against Muslims all over the world."
"Indonesia as the world's largest Muslim country has the largest responsibility toward the independence of Palestine and the management of Jerusalem," he said.
He urged the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states and UN Security Council and the international
community "to respond immediately with more decisive and concrete political and diplomatic actions in saving the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation and its collaborator, the United States of America."
Indonesia's president Joko Widodo condemned the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying that "the United States decision has violated United Nations resolutions and could shake global security and stability."
"Indonesia is a strong supporter of the two-state solution and an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side with Israel," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand Constitutional Court rules
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha tenure expires in 2025 not 2022

Protesters against the Constitutional Court ruling in Bangkok Friday September 30, 2022 that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha tenure expires in 2025

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 4: Thailands Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's eight year tenure ends in 2025, ruling that under the constitution Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha began his term in 2017, over ruling a petition signed by 171 Members of Parliament from six opposition coalition parties claiming that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha term expired in August 2022, reports the Bangkok Post.
"The tenure of the prime minister from April 6, 2017, to Aug 24, 2022, has not reached its limit and the court rules by a majority vote that his premiership has not ended in accordance with the 2017 constitution," said the Constitutional Court ruling.
The Constitutional Court ruled that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's tenure has not reached its eight-year limit inaccordance with Section 158 of the Constitution that maintains that the maximum term of a prime minister is eight years,
saying "Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tenure expires in 2025."
In August 2022 coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court seeking a ruling on the end of the tenure of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, claimed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha maximum eight-year tenure ends on August 24, 2022.
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup," he said.
The Constitutional Court suspended General Prayut Chan-o-cha as Prime Minister after receiving the petition on August 17, 2022 that was signed by 171 Members of Parliament from six opposition coalition parties, saying "General Prayut Chan-o-cha remains caretaker prime minister pending the Constitutional Court ruling on his tenure."
The Constitutional Court voted 5-4 for former Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, to be caretaker Prime Minister, suspending former Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Prime Minister but allowing the former Prime Minister to maintain his position as Defence Minister.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act at Bangkok military headquarters in May, 2014.
The Bangkok Post reported in May 2014 that the Royal Thai Army declared martial law on the grounds that ongoing protests between political rivals were a threat to Thailands security and to the safety of life and property.
Martial law was declared after a meeting that failed to find a solution to the political deadlock that was mediated by Military commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and attended by representatives of the red-shirt movement, the government, The Pheu Thai party, the Democratic party, the Peoples Democratic Reform Committe, the senate and the Election Commission.
The Southeast Asian Times


Ministers expelled from Communist Party of Vietnam for bribery in Covid-19 repatriation flights

Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, To Anh Dung, 58, was arressted on Thursday April 15, 2022 for allegedly recieving bribes in repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens in the Covid-19 pandemic

From News Reports:
Hanoi, October 3: The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Assistant to the Standing Deputy Prime Minister have been expelled from the Communist party of Vietnam (CPV) by the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission, Secretariat for recieving bribes in repatriation flights for citizens returning to Vietnam in the Covid-19 pandemic, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, To Anh Dung, and Assistant to the Standing Deputy Prime Minister, Nguyen Quang Linh, who were arrested in April, 2022 under Article 354 of the criminal code for bribery, were expelled from the Communist party of Vietnam (CPV) after the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission, Secretariat ruled that the ministers had violated the Communist party of Vietnam's regulations.
The Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission, Secretariat ruled that "Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, To Anh Dung, lacked a sence of responsiblilty while leading, directing and organising repatriation flights for Vietnem citizens in the Covid-19 pandemic."
"Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, To Anh Dung received bribes," said the Secretariat.
The Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission, Secretariat ruled that "Assistant to the Standing Deputy Prime Minister, Nguyen Quang Linh, abused his position, violated working principles and regulations, and violated Communist party of Vietnam regulations and State laws."
"Assistant to the Standing Deputy Prime Minister, Nguyen Quang Linh, abused and violated Communist party of Vietnam regulations and State laws while he proposed and sought permission for businesses to organise repatriation flights during the Covid-19 pandemic," said the Secretariat.
The Secretariat ruled that Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, To Anh Dung, and Assistant to the Standing Deputy Prime Minister, Nguyen Quang Linh, had violated the Communist party of Vietnam (CPV) and State law regulations on corruption, saying "the ministers had caused very serious consequences, stirring public concern, and negatively affecting the Communist party of Vietnam's reputation."
In January 2022 Director of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Lieut. Gen. To An Xo, ordered the Investigation Security Agency to investigate bribery allegations in the organisation of almost 800 repatriation flights for more than 200,000 Vietnamese citizens from over 60 countries and territories during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The Investigation Security Agency has launched criminal proceedings into "giving and taking bribes" in repatriation flights ," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


UN Human Rights shocked by reports of mutilation and murder of civilians in Papua by military

Acting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Commissioner, Nada Al-Nashif, said at the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that ends October 7, 2022 that she was shocked by the report of the murder and mutilation of civilians in Nduga in Timika, Mimika regency, Papua

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 2: Acting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Commissioner Nada Al-Nashif, said at the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that she was "shocked by the report of the murder and mutilation of civilians by the military in Nduga in Timika, Mimika regency, Papua," reports Indoleft.
"I am shocked by recent reports of the dismembered bodies of four indigenous Papuan civilians found outside Timika in West Papua Province," she said.
The mutilated bodies of Arnold Lokbere, 29, Irian Nirigi, 38, Lemaniol Nirigi, 29, and Atis Tini, 23, were found by their families four days after they were murdered on 22 August floating on the Pigapu River in Timika.
Commissioner, Nada Al-Nashif, said at the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that ends October 7 that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reports of intensified violence in Nduga in Timika, Mimika regency.
"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has received reports of clashes between the Indonesian security forces and armed groups resulting in unknown numbers of civilian casualties and fatalities and internal displacement", she said.
Commissioner, Nada Al-Nashif, said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) notes the Indonesian government's initial efforts to investigate the murder and mutilation of civilians in Nduga in Timika, Mimika regency, Papua, saying "at least six military personnel have been arrested."
Six Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) personnel from the Kostrad Army Strategic Reserves Command Division 3 Raider 20 Ima Jaya Keramo Infantry Brigade with the initials Major Hf, Captain Dk, Master Private Pr, Private First-Classes Pc, R, and Ras, have been charged with the murder and mutilation of civilians in Nduga in Timika, Mimika regency.
Four civilians with the initials RMH, DU, R and APL alias Jeck are also alleged to have been involved in the murders of the civilians.
In March 2019 Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Police (Polri) deployed 600 military personnel to secure the construction of the Trans-Papua road project following resumption of construction of the Yigi River bridge in Nduga in Timika, Mimika regency in Papua that was suspended following the attack on construction workers by armed gunmen on December 2, 2018.
Chief of the Hasanuddin Regional Military Command XIV Major General Surawahadi on the 450 military from the Battalion Infantry Raider 431 of the Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) and 150 military from the Combat Engineers Battalion at a ceremony held at the Soekarno-Hatta container terminal in Makassar "to perform their duties optimally while safeguarding the construction of the bridge on the Trans Papua road."
Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Police (Polri) established a joint security team to guard the construction of bridges and roads that are part of the 4,600-kilometer Trans Papua road project following the attack on the Yigi River bridge
Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto suspended construction of Yigi bridge following the attack that left up to 31 Indonesian construction workers dead, reportedly describing the armed gunmen as "armed criminal group members"
The West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack on construction workers employed by Indonesia's state-owned company, PT Istaka Kar December 2 last year, saying they were not armed criminals as claimed by Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, "but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua".
The West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman Sebby Sanbom said that "through this attack on the construction of the trans Papua highway we are telling the colonialist country of Indonesia that we are not armed criminals but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua,” saying that the workers shot dead were not civilians but Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) engineers.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australian advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to jail for violation of Secrets Act in Myanmar military court

Australian economist, Professsor, Sean Turnell, who served as adviser to former Mynamar State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military courtroom at the Naypyitaw prison compound in August, 2022

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, October 1: Australian economist, Professsor, Sean Turnell, who served as adviser to former Mynamar State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, was sentenced to three years in prison at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military court for violation of the Burma Official Secrets Act 1923, with Asia director at Human Rights Watch calling for his immediate release, reports Reuters.
Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, called for the immediate release of Professsor, Sean Turnell, saying "the politically motivated conviction of Australian Sean Turnell is a cruel injustice."
"He was convicted after a trial in a closed court without proper access to legal counsel," she said.
"It's critical that the Australian government take all necessary steps to pressure Myanmar's junta to immediately release Turnell and send him home."
Professor Sean Turnell, pleaded not guilty to violation of the Burma Official Secrets Act 1923 at the Myanmar military court that was relocated from Naypyitaw city to the Naypyitaw prison compound in June, 2022.
Australian economist, Professor Sean Turnell, who was sentenced to three years in prison for violation of the Burma Official Secrets Act 1923, also faces prosecution under the Burma Immigration (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1947,
In June 2022 ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, called on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC) appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, to release Aung San Suu Kyi from solitary confinment at the Naypyitaw prison.
He called on Myanmar's State Administration Council (SAC) appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, "to exercise compassion and return former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi to house arrest on humanitarian grounds in light of her fragile health and overall well-being."
The trial of former State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi for incitement under Section 505(b), that criminalizes speech deemed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to incite public unrest, was conducted at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar courtroom in Naypyidaw after the takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) in February 2021 but was continued at a purpose built military court at the Naypyitaw prison from June, 2022.
In September 2022 Former National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, was sentenced to a further three years imprisonment for alleged election fraud in the Myanmar November 8, 2020 elections that had resulted in the National League for Democracy (NLD) party winning the popular vote with 97 percent of Yangon regional seats
On February 1, 2021, three months after the elections, the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar declared a state of emergency cancelling the League for Democracy (NLD) dominated session of the parliament, in an address broadcast on the Myanmar military-owned television network based in Yangon and Naypyiday, saying that power had been handed to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
The Southeast Asian Times


US-Pacific sign declaration of partnership, Solomon Islands inclusion undetermined

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and East-West Center President Suzanne Puanani Vares-Lum at the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit 2022 in Washington Wednesday, September 28, 2022

From News Reports:
Washington, September 30: United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin began a two day U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday, with a document showing a declaration of partnership between the United States and the Pacific Island countries, but with a signature from the Solomon Islands to the US.-Pacific Islands agreement yet to be determined, reports the Associated Press.
United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin said that the document showing a declaration of partnership between the United States and the Pacific Island countries, showed that "the United States and the Pacific have a shared vision of the future and a determination to build that future together."
"A shared vision that's underpinned by shared history, values, and enduring people-to-people ties," he said.
He said the shared vision recognises the preservation of a free and open Indo-Pacific where every nation regardless of size has the right to choose its own path.
"This summit reflects our deep, enduring partnership with the Pacific Islands," he said.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare reportedly said that he would not sign the U.S. - Pacific Island declaration of partnership at the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price declined to say whether the declaration of partnership between the United States and the Pacific Island countries had been agreed to by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit.
"we've been in a position to make tremendous progress." he said.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and China signed a Framework Agreement on bilateral security cooperation in April 2022, with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare saying "the agreement does not invite China to establish a military base,"
He said that Solomon Island Government is conscious of the security ramification of hosting a Chinese military base, saying "the government will not be careless to allow such an initiative to take place under its watch."
He said that it is clear that the Solomon Islands needs to diversify relationships with other countries, saying "but existing security arrangements with Australia would remain."

The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia commits to strengthen unity and centrality of ASEAN at United Nations General Assembly

Indonesia Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, said that the ASEAN collaboration paradigm will guide Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023 at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Monday, September 26, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 29: Indonesia Minister of Foreign Affairs said that "ASEAN is an example where the collaboration paradigm is always put forward" at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Monday, saying "Indonesia is committed to strengthening unity and centrality of ASEAN," reports Antara.
Indonesia Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) collaboration paradigm will guide Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023, saying" Indonesia is committed to strengthening unity and centrality of ASEAN."
"Indonesia is committed to the reinforcement of ASEAN's centrality in shaping regional order in the Indo-Pacific," she said.
She said that Indonesia is committed to reinforce ASEAN centrality in shaping regional order in the Indo-Pacific in order to forge unity as a locomotive for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.
"Indonesia is committed to reinforce ASEAN centrality to ensure ASEAN matters for our peoples, for the region, and for the world," she said.
She said that Indonesia will continue to strengthen cooperation with Pacific countries, saying "Indonesia will work together to address our shared challenges including climate change."
Indonesia Minister of Foreign Affairs also said at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that "ASEAN will continue to seriously address the situation in Myanmar," saying "the support of the international community, in particular the neighboring countries of Myanmar, is very important to bring back democracy in Myanmar."
"Indonesia is deeply concerned by the military's lack of commitment to implementing the Five-Point Consensus," she said.
She said that Myanmar and ASEAN agreed to a Five-Point Consensus to immediately end violence in Myanmar, for dialogue between all relevant parties, the appointment of a special envoy, the distribution of humanitarian assisatance by ASEAN and the visit of the ASEAN special envoy to Myanmar to meet with all parties.
In January 2022 ASEAN chair for 2022, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, urged Myanmar to implement the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus
that was introduced at the urgently called ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta in April 2021 following the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February 2021.
Singaporean, Noeleen Heyzer, who was appointed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar in October, 2021, said that she would work together with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen on behalf of the United Nations to bring Myanmar out of a state of crisis."
"I am committed to working with ASEAN and the Cambodian ASEAN chair for 2022 to do everything possible to keep the situation in Myanmar from deteriorating further,” she said.
She said that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and ASEAN chair 2022 could coordinate and deliver assistance to affected communities through all existing channels and address the multiple priority needs of the people across Myanmar, the saying "this would include civilian protection as well as food security, socio-economic resilience, humanitarian and Covid assistance."
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia introduces a National
Anti-Corruption Commission bill that includes public hearings

Australian Labor Party (ALP) Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said that one of the deficiencies of the Liberal Party of Australia (LP) proposed National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) bill was that "Ministers could not be called to public hearings."

From News Reports:
Canberra, September 28: The newly elected Australian Labor Party (ALP) is to introduce a National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) bill to the Canberra parliament on Wednesday, with Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus saying "public hearings will be a key part of the proposed National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) bill," reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Australian Labor Party (ALP) Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said that one of the deficiencies of the former Liberal Party of Australia (LP) proposed National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) bill was that "Ministers could not be called to public hearings."
"In order for an anti-corruption commission to be fully effective, there must be the possibility of public hearings," he said.
He said that the Australian people voted for a government which will deliver a powerful, transparent and independent national anti-corruption commission, saying "the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will have jurisdiction to investigate serious or systemic corruption of or by a public official."
"The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will form a central pillar in the integrity framework of our country," he said.
Transparency International Australia (TIA) Chief Executive Officer, Clancy Moore, said it was important for the National Anti-Corruption Commission NACC) to have the power to hold both private and public hearings, saying "the National Anti-Corruption Commission NACC) would develop reports for the public."
"A federal anti-corruption body is an important step to addressing transparency and accountability," he said.
He said that public hearings are essential, saying that "several state anti-corruption commissions hold private hearings apart from instances wherein a case passes a public interest test."
In July 2008 the Australian government provided $500,000 to Vietnam to support a training programme for 25 senior officials to strengthen Viet Nam’s corruption prevention, detection and enforcement efforts.
Australia's foreign minister, Stephen Smith, said then that corruption was a "major threat" to Vietam's future economic growth and development.
In April 2017 the Vietnam Anti-Corruption Central Steering Committee established eight task forces to investigate corruption in Vietam's 20 provinces and cities, with orders issued by the Anti-Corruption Steering Committee Chairman, Party General Secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong, to provide resources to continue investigations into the alleged corruption of the Vietnam Petroleum Construction Corporation (PVC) that include the arrest and extradition of the former head of the State-owned enterprise, Trinh Xuan Thanh.
He also ordered the investigation of the former chairman of Oceanbank, Ha Van Tham, who allegedly caused a loss of VNÐ2 trillion (US$88.1 million) to the state.
Investigation into the practices of former chairman of Vietnam Construction Bank, Pham Cong Danh, who is accused of causing VVND9 tillion ($396 million) loss to the state is also to be continued.
Party General Secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong, also approved the plan for concluding the investigation and trial of 12 other related cases including those involving the Sacombank, the TPBank, The BIDV and the State Bank of Vietnam.
In November 2008, Vietnam and Indonesia agreed to cooperate in the fight against corruption at a meeting in Jakarta attended by a delegation from the Vietnam State Inspectorate and the Indonesiam Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
Vietnam and Indonesia agreed to exchange information on measures to combat corruption incuding the Indonesiam Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) plan to introduce an education programme on anti-corruption in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established in December 2003 with the swearing in of five commissioners by the then President Megawatti.
Indonesia established - anti-corruption courts in 33 provinces in 2011 each with six judges with two of the judges attached to the higher court. The corruption courts reportedly hold trial hearings with their secretariats at existing district courts.
The Southeast Asian Times

Papua governor ignors Corruption Commision summons, denies allegation of money laundering at casino's

Papua governor, Lukas Enembe, has ignored two Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) summons to undergo questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta Monday September 26, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 27: The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta is investigating allegations of money laundering at casino's by Papua governor, Lukas Enembe, with the Papua governor denying all allegations and ignoring two summonses to undergo questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta, reports Tempo.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Ali Fikri said that "clues and trials often lead to money laundering in corruption investigations."
"An investigation into corruption that includes bribery and gratification often develops into money laundering offences," he said.
He said that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) would continue to broaden the investigation into Papua governor Lukas Enembe, saying "there are reasons to suspect that the investigation into money laundering at casino's is not only about bribery and gratification."
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta began investigating money laundering allegations after the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) submitted a report showing financial records for Papua governor Lukas Enembe since 2017.
The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) showed that Papua governor Lukas Enembe had made cash deposits of up to
Rp 560 billion ($37 million) to casinos, with chief Ivan Yustiavandana saying that he suspects that "Papua governor Lukas Enembe's gambling is more than just a hobby"
"The agency suspects gambling is a way for the governor to launder money," he said.
He said that there are suspicions of money laundering saying "that is was why we submitted the report to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for investigators."
The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) showed that Papua governor Lukas Enembe had misappropriated the provincial budget in 2017 and the Papuan student scholarship fund in 2016.
Papua governor Lukas Enembe has reportedly received gratuities worth Rp 1 billion (US$66.200) from the private sector in a bid to win the contract for the provincial procurement of goods and services.
Papua governor Lukas Enembe has denied all allegations, ignoring two Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) summons to undergo questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta.
The Southeast Asian Times

QUAD signs partnership on Indo-Pacific Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

United States Foreign Minister, Antony Blinken, Australia Foreign Minister, Penelope Wong, India Foreign Minister, S. Jaishankar and Japan Foreign Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi signed guidlines for the ‘Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific’ on Friday September 24, 2022

From News Reports:
New York, September 26: United States, Australia, India and Japan Foreign Ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) signed operation guidelines for the 'Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific' at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Friday, saying that "a request for international assistance is needed before Quad partners may act in coordination under the partnership," reports the United States State Department.
"Response operations will be guided by the core principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality as outlined in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 46/182 on the provisions of humanitarian assistance."
The signing of the operation guidelines for the ‘Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific by Foreign Ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) "marked a significant moment in Quad cooperation that traces its origin from the 2004 ad hoc Tsunami Core Group," reports the United States State Department.
United States, Australia, India and Japan Foreign Ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) signed the guidlines for the ‘Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific that traces the origin of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) from the 2004 ad hoc Tsunami Core Group in the region.
"The the 2004 ad hoc Tsunami Core Group catalyzed international response efforts in the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated many countries in and around the Indian Ocean," said the United States State Department.
In May 2022 the launch in Tokyo of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) planned to reassert United States economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific, with United States National Security Council, Kurt Campbell, saying "the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact is aimed at countering the influence of China in the Indo-Pacific."
He said that Washington remains focused on the Indo-Pacific and the long-term challenge of China, saying "we are not asking countries to make a choice between the United States and China."
"We want to make clear, though, that the United States seeks stronger relationships," he said.
ASEAN member country Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said ahead on the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact in Tokyo that ASEAN countries "generally welcome trade with China," saying "regional countries want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by China;s economic growth."
"China has been engaging the region systematically through its Belt and Road Initiative," he said.
He said that Singapore is supportive of the China engagements with the region, saying "we think that it is positive."
"It is far better that China is prospering and engaged in the region than that it is operating on its own outside the rules which apply to everybody else, not properly integrated and coordinated with the rest of the region,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia calls for seat on United Nations Security Council warning of conflict in the Indo-Pacific

Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penelope Ying-Yen Wong, at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Saturday September 24, 2022

From News Reports:
New York, September 25: Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, called for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2029-2030 in her first speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Saturday, warning that conflict in the Indo-Pacific would have a 'catastrophic' impact on Australia and other Asia-Pacific nations, reports Reuters.
Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, forwarned that "it would be 'catastrophic' for the prosperity of Australia and other Asia-Pacific nations if conflict were to break out in the Indo-Pacific", saying "the cost would extend far beyond our region."
"The Australian people want to be better involved, and more helpful members of the Pacific family," she said.
She said at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA in New York on Saturday that "Australians want to enhance our defence, maritime and economic cooperation with Pacific Island Countries, saying "we want to be the Pacific's partner of choice for development and security."
"It is why we seek a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2029-2030," she said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, said that Australia seeks reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), saying "reform with greater permanent representation for Africa, Latin America, Asia, including India and Japan."
"We cannot leave it to the big powers," she said.
In October 2020 United States National Security advisor, Robert O'Brien, said that the United States as a Pacific power
would conduct maritime security missions in the western Pacific, saying in a statement that the presence of the United States Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacifc ensures that the United States will remain the maritime partner of choice in the region,
He said that new-generation Coast Guard vessels would conduct maritime security missions including fishing patrols in the western Pacific in order to enhance maritime-domain awareness and enforcement efforts.
He said that the United States maritime security missions would be conducted in the western Pacific in collaboration with regional partners that have limited offshore surveillance and enforcement capacity.
"China's illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of countries in the Indo-Pacific threatens United States sovereignty and the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors, endangering regional stability," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Khmer Rouge Tribunal upholds life sentence for Khieu Samphan, 91, for crimes against humanity and genocide

Former Khmer Rouge economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan, 91, at the Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on Thursday, September 22, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, September 24: The Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal upheld the 2018 life sentence verdict issued to former Khmer Rouge economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan, 91, with the Supreme Court Chamber president saying "the decision is final and cannot be appealed further," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Supreme Court Chamber president Kong Srim said in handing down the verdict on Thursday "the life sentence issued to Khmer Rouge economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan, by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in 2018 is just"
"The life sentence handed down in 2018 was based on the atrocities suffered by the people of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror," he said.
In November 2018 the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), found Khmer Rouge, economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan between 1975 and 1979, guilty as charged with crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions that includes genocide against the Cham and Vietnamese between 1977 and 1979.
Defence lawyer Kong Sam Onn called on the Trial Chamber in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), to overturn the life sentence handed by the court in 2018 on technical grounds, saying "the Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal did not follow required procedures."
“The verdict has no legal effect and should be annulled, he said.
He said that the Trial Chamber had issued a ruling which violated the procedures set forth in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), saying "violation of procedures rendered subsequent activities including the imposition of a life sentence, unlawful."
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal was established following an agreement between the Cambodian government and the United Nations to try senior members of the Khmer Rouge for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide between April 1975 and January 1979.
The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) began hearing evidence in February 2016 with Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, 75, being the first of only three to go on trial.
Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch who was the former warden of Security Centre S-21 was found to be responsible for a minimum of 12,272 deaths and is serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
In June 2016 Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch testified against Nuon Chea, 92, former second in command to Pol Pot, Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea between 1975 and 1979.
In November 2018, Nuon Chea, 92, was found guilty of crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions that includes genocide against the Cham and Vietnamese between 1977 and 1979
The Southeast Asian Tiimes


Japan PM calls for reform of UN over Russian veto of invasion of Ukraine

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) annual meeting in New York Wednesday, September 21, 2022

From News Reports:
New York City, September 23: Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida called for reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) annual meeting in New York on Wednesday, saying "integrity of the United Nations is at risk because of the Russian veto of invasion of Ukraine by Russia," reports Reuters.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that "Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is conduct that tramples the philosophy and principles of the UN charter", saying "it should never be tolerated."
"Russia is a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) member," he said.
He said that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) must face the reality that the integrity of the United Nations is at risk because of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
He called for reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), "that gives five states including Russia veto in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He said that reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was first proposed by Germany, India and Brazil in 2004, saying "what we need is action towards reform not just talk."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the threat of nuclear weapons armament by Russia following the failure of negotiations last month to reach an agreement with Russia on the United Nations Nuclear Nonprolification Treaty after Russia vetoed the final draft that would disarm Russia of nuclear weapons.
In March 2022 ASEAN foreign ministers issued a statement demanding immediate ceasefire in Ukraine following the special emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that voted in favour of the resolution that condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with abstentions from two of eight ASEAN memeber countries, Laos and Vietnam.
Of the 193 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) members, 141 voted in favour of the resolution, with 5 against including Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria and with 35 abstentions including ASEAN member countries Laos and Vietnam and including China and India.
Eight ASEAN member states including ASEAN rotating chair for 2022 Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, voted in favour of the resolution that demands that "Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia supports "One-China" policy and China vision of common China-Cambodia community

Thailand Minister of National Defence, General Tea Banh, right, and China Ambassador to Cambodia, Wang Wentian, at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training Centre in Cambodia Wednesday September 22, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh. September 22: Cambodia reaffirmed support for China's "One-China" policy, that recognises the People’s Republic of China's (PRC) sovereignty of Taiwan and Hong Kong, at the handover ceremony of military equipment donated by China at the Phnom Chumreay International Military Training Centre in Cambodia on Wednesday with China's ambassador to Thailand saying, "military cooperation between China and Cambodia is an important part of building a community of common destiny," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodia Minister of National Defence, General Tea Banh, said at the handover of 117 vehicles and military equipment donated by China’s Ministry of Defencede, "I would like to firmly reiterate the stance of the Ministry of National Defence in giving unwavering support to the "One-China" policy and the vision of a common community between China and Cambodia."
"The tense geopolitical situation caused by the Sino-US rivalry remained a problem and a source of risk for the stability and prosperity in the region and the world," he said.
He said that China's military equipment was provided under the annual cooperation between Cambodia's Ministery of National Defence and China's Ministry of Defence, saying "assistance was rendered by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China."
"The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China assistance included Covid-19 vaccines, infrastructure construction and special exercises and training sessions aimed at improving the readiness and capabilities of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF)."
China's ambassador to Thailand said at the handover ceremony of military equipment in Thailand that "the bonds of friendship between China and Cambodia have long been established, saying "military cooperation between China and Cambodia is an important part of building a community of common destiny between an inseparable China and Cambodia."
ASEAN member, Indonesia said "Indonesia sees Taiwan as a part of China" during the United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August, 2022, with Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah, saying "Indonesia continues to stick to the "One-China" policy, "
He said then that Indonesia is concerned by the increasingly intense rivalry between the superpowers, saying "it holds the potential for open conflict that will disrupt stability and peace, including in the Taiwan Strait."
"Indonesia sees Taiwan as a part of China", he said.
Pending 11th ASEAN member, Timor-Leste Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno, said in June 2022 that Timor-Leste would continue to adhere to the "One-China" policy that includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, saying "the one-China policy is the cornerstone of developing bilateral relations."
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said then that China appreciated that Timor-Leste abides by the "One-China" policy that was reached by consensus in the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Timor-Leste in 2002.
"The one network, one expressway and one port projects in Timor-Leste that were jointly built by China and Timor Leste t under the Belt and Road Initative (BRI) have become a benchmark for practical cooperation," he said.
Papua New Guinea Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Soroi Eoe, upheld the "One-China" policy in talks with China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, in Guiyang City, Guizhou provinc in June, 2021 reaffirming China's claim that the People's Republic of China is the legal government representing all China's citizens in Taiwain, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said then that China values Papua New Guinea's recognition of the "One-China" policy and non-interference in China's internal affairs in Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, saying "China would support Papua New Guinea on its development path." he said.
Papua New Guinea became the second Pacific nation after East Timor to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippines senators call for ban on Offshore Gaming Operators from China

Philippines Senate President, Juan Miguel Zubiri, calls for ban on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China in the Philippines Monday September 19, 2022

From News Reports:
Manila, September 21: Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri called for ban on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China, working in the Philippines, saying he would support other senators in the ban after reports of serious crimes, including killings and abductions in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
"We must weigh the social costs of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China against the meager income they give to the national coffers of only P3 billion a year," he said.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China do not employ Filipinos, saying "there is no added benefit to our local labor force."
Senate Aquilino Pimentel III called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to heed calls for a total ban on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China, saying "undesirable foreigners were turning the country into a playground for crime."
"Allowing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China to continue working in the Philippines was dangerous."
He said that allowing the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China to work in the Philippines can cause massive disruption to peace and order in the Philippines, saying "we are beginning to see kidnappings and other violent activities related to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry"
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said he had proposed several safety nets to deal with the rise in the number of crimes linked to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) to Senator Ronald Bato dela Rosa.
Senator Ronald Bato dela Rosa, chairman of the Senates Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs opened an investigation into the reported kidnapped and killings linked to the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry last week.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has proposed that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO)
workers must show that there were no pending arrest warrants against them from their home countries.
Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), online gambling operations were closed under community quarantine (ECQ) orders in March 2020 but resumed gaming operations two months later under the then Rodrigo Duterte government to raise funds to combat Covid-19 in the Philippines Presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, said then that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), that cater to online gamblers in China, are not subject to closure under quarantine orders,
Chairwoman of the statutory corporation that regulates gaming, the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Andrea Domingo, said then that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) had deprived the government of P600 million in monthly earnings under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) orders in March.
She said that the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the largest contributor of revenue to the government after the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs, saying "revenue from the Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) could help to augment funds to combat Covid-19."
The Southeast Asian Times


National Assembly to inlude Communist Party of Vietnam resolutions in passing of land laws

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for the draft Land Laws to be understandable and conducive to enforcement ahead of National Assembly sessions this month

From News Reports:
Hanoi, September 20: The Prime Minister called for Land Laws in Vietnam to be understandable and conducive to enforcement ahead of National Assembly sessions this month, saying "the draft Land Laws must institutionalise the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) relevant resolutions, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for the draft Land Laws to be understandable and conducive to enforcement, supervision and examination ahead of the three National Assembly sessions this month, saying "the draft Land Laws, bidding, cooperatives, and prices must institutionalise the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) relevant resolutions."
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called on the draft Land Laws to include the opinions of government, experts, scientists, and other parties ahead of submission of the draft Land Laws to the National Assembly this month.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for restrictions to land access for foreign-investors in areas designated for national defence and security.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for provision in the draft Land Laws for foreign ownership of land, saying "foreigners who are allowed to own commercial properties should be issued with a land certificate."
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said the draft Land Laws should specificy the criteria and conditions for the expropriation of land for public use in the construction of commercial housing projects."
"The establishment of a support fund for land holders has been expropriated but whose working capacity is limited should be implemented by local authorities," he said.
He said that investors in industrial zones would allocate a proportion of land area for the state to implement
its land policies, saying "investors would establish a land fund for the People's Committee to relocate small and medium-sized enterprises affected by envirommental pollution."
"It is necessary to give authority to localities to determin how to support enterprises and how to access the land fund," he said.
He called on business and individuals who do not engage directly in agriculture production to be eligible to recieve rice-producing land in the draft revised Land Law, saying "eligibility for business and individuals to rice-producing land is a major issue."
He said that the impact of rice-producing land for those not engaged directly in agriculuture must be exhaustively assessed, saying
"stringent regulations and conditions must be attached."
"Farmers must have land for growing crops," he said.
In 2020 the National Assembly called the government out for its failure to submit the proposed amendments to the Land Law,
for review as listed in the legislative agenda 2020, with Kien Giang Province deputy, calling for accountability for the delay of the "much-anticipated amendments to the land law".
She called for accountability for the withdrawal of "the much-anticipated amended Vietnam Land Law," to the plenary session next week, saying "the government has moved to withdraw the submission for review of the land law from the agenda altogether."
"The government withdrew review of the Vietnam Land Law on the grounds of insufficient preparation, "she said.
She said that the proposed legislative draft review of the Vietnam Land Law was also withdrawn from the 2019 sitting of the National Assembly.
"The majority of legal complaints from the public was to do with land disputes, she said.
Bac Kan Province National Assembly deputy, Trieu Thi Thu Phuong said that in 2019 the government withdrew the submission of four legislative draft proposals and introduced nine new legislative draft proposals.
"The government moved to withdraw legislatve draft proposals completely from the 2019 agenda," she said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Illegal gold miners buried alive in landslide in West Kalimantan

House of Representatives (DPR) Commission IV deputy speaker, Dedi Mulyadi, urged the Indonesia government to take action to recover state forests used for illegal plantation and illegal mining in January 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 19: Illegal gold miners working in Indonesia's Bengkayang Regency, in West Kalimantan province on Borneo were reportedly buried alive in a landslide on Thursday with the Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) saying that surviving gold miners do not know how many miners were buried in the landslide, reports Tempo.
Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) Dwi Berta said that illegal gold miners were buried alive in the landslide in Secepu Hamlet, Kinande Village, Lembah Bawang District, Bengkayang Regency, in West Kalimantan, saying that seven gold miners were found dead with five injured on Friday.
He said that the landslide occurred at night at 20.15pm on Thursday, saying that "at that time a number of residents panned for gold on the hill in the area."
He said that the Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) received information from the Sub-District Head of Lembah Bawang in Bengkayang Regency in West Kalimantan that "due to heavy rains the bare hill land had exprienced landslides and buried residents."
Bengkayang Regency police chief, Bayu Seno, said that the Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) rescue reinforcements were on their way to the landslide in Secepu Hamlet from the nearest city, Pontianak, more that 160 kilometres from the landslide area.
"The search for the missing gold miners and residents could take a week, but if rain continues the effort will have to be postponed to avoid more landslides," he said.
In January 2021 House of Representatives (DPR) Commission IV deputy speaker, Dedi Mulyadi, urged the government to take immediate action to recover state forests across Indonesia that are used for illegal plantation and illegal mining activities.
"Devastating data has been presented to the Forestry and Environment Ministry during a House hearing
showing that there are 8,456,772,05 hectares of illegal plantations and 8,713,167.58 of illegal mining areas in eight Indonesian regions," he said.
He said that the data presented to the Forestry and Environment Ministry showed that there are 3,934,963 hectares of illegal plantations and 3,570,519.20 hectares of illegal mining areas in Central Kalimantan, saying that "in East Kalimantan there are 750,829 hectares of illegal plantations and 774,519 hectares of illegal mines."
"In West Kalimantan there are 5,748,109 hectares combined for illegal mining and illegal plantations areas", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai opposition calls for investigation into Minister of Transport over illegal possession of land

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob accused of illegal possession of land that is administered by the Transport Ministry in the Parliament on Thursday September 15, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 18: Thailand's six opposition coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) submitted a petition against Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Thursday calling for an investigation into the alleged failure by the Transport Ministery to order the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to reclaim land in Khao Kradong in Muang district of Buri Ram in Buriram Province that was in the possession of the Transport Minister, reports the Bangkok Post.
Opposition coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) claim that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was neglegent in his duty in his failure to order the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to reclaim land in Buriram Province.
Opposition coalition parties claim that the land in Buriram Province is in the illegal possession of Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and his relatives, saying "Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob operates a business on the land that is under the administration of the Transport Ministry."
"Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was motivated to hold the land in his possession for as long as possible," said the opposion parties.
Opposion coalition parties also claim that Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, has concealed ownership of two companies that have a building contract with the Transport Ministry, saying that Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob did not declare ownership of the companies in the required assett declarations form to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
The opposition alleges that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob holds shares in two companies that have done business with his ministry.
"The non-declaration of assetts to the NACC constitutes a legal violation," said the opposion parties.
Opposition coalition parties have called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to forward the findings into the alleged failure of the Transport Ministery to order the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to reclaim land in Buriram Province to the Supreme Court, saying "If found guilty the Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob is liable to a lifetime ban from politics for gross violation of ethics as a political post holder."
In January 2021 Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was one of 10 Cabinent ministers, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, included in the third motion of no-confidence submitted to the House of Representatives by a coalition of eight opposition parties, led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP), the largest opposition party in the legislature.
Pheu Thai secretary-general, Prasert Chantararuangthong, said then that the cenure debate will include malfeasance, actions deemed benefiting interest groups, administrative failures and lack of legality and justice, saying "with solid evidence, you can be sure that we will deliver a number of telling blows."
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam Health Minister charged with embezzlement in drug manufacture for 2006 bird flu epidemic

Luong Van Hoa, former director of Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco), is charged with the embezzlement of more than US$3.8 million in the supply of the antiviral drug for the prevention of A (H5N1) Avian flu in the 2006 bird flu epidemic

From News Reports:
Hanoi, September 17: The Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam has charged a former Deputy Health Minister and officials with involvement in the embezzlement of more than US$3.8 million for the supply of the antiviral drug for the prevention of A (H5N1) Avian flu in the 2006 epidemic, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco), that was extablished in 2004 with 51.7 percent state capital funding, was directed by the Health Ministry to produce the antiviral drug Oseltamivir or Tamiflu to ensure the supply of the medicine for the prevention of influenza A (H5N1) epidemic in Vietnam in 2006.
The Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam has charged former deputy health minister, Cao Minh Quang, former head of the ministry of Financial Planning, Duong Huy Lieu, and former head of Drug Administration of Vietnam, Nguyen Viet Hung, with "lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences,"
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) former director Luong Van Hoa, former deputy director general, Nguyen Thanh Tong and a further two company officials are charged with "abusing their position and power while performing official duties."
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) imported 520 kg of raw medical materials to produce the antiviral drug Oseltamivir or Tamiflu from Mambo Company Pte Ltd in Singapore worth US$9.1 between February and April 2006.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) paid Mambo Company Pte Ltd in Singapore $5.25 million agreeing to pay the remaining $3.848 million within six months after receiving the raw medical material.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) allegedly requested that Mambo Company Pte Ltd in Singapore discount the remaining $3.848 million owed when the price of the raw medical material fell.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco), former General Director, Luong Van Hoa, directed officials "to legalise reports and documents to conceal the discount of $3.848 million."
Officials of the Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) also legalised records in order to conceal the discounted $3.848 million to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance with the aim of retaining the amount.
The Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam said that former deputy health minister Cao Minh Quang and officials "were irresponsible, improperly performed, did not fully fulfil their assigned responsibilities and tasks, did not consider and evaluate the implementation of the control and negotiation of the purchase price of raw materials, and did not check financial reports and invoices."
"This resulted in the failure to discover that Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Company was entitled to a discount and retained the amount of US$ 3.848 million.
The Southeast Asian Times


President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. defends his father's imposition of Martial Law

Newly inaugurated Philippine President, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., 69, in May, 2022 son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, defends his fathers imposition of Martial Law in the 1970's

From News Reports:
Manila, September 16: Newly inaugurated Philippine President, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., 69, son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, defended his fathers imposition of Martial Law in the 1970's, ahead of preparations to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September, 21, reports Reuters.
Philippine President, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., who was elected 17th President of the Philippines in May 2022, repeated his father’s justification that martial law was crucial to fight growing Muslim and Communist insurgencies, saying "those were the dangers, the perils the country was facing."
"It was necessary in my father’s view at the time, to declare Martial Law not to stay in power but because the government had to defend itself," he said.
In August 2016 the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned the then newly inaugurated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte decision to give the late former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial, saying "by claiming that Marcos deserves to be buried with other former soldiers, President Duterte is helping perpetuate the historical lies surrounding Ferdinand Marcos’ bogus medals and phony Maharlika guerrilla unit."
"By ordering that Marcos be accorded military honors befitting a former head of state, Mr. Duterte is “virtually deleting Marcos’ bloody record as a military despot and the fascist violence, human rights violation, corruption and economic hardships he made the Filipino people suffer through 14 years of dictatorship,” the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) statement said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) statement said that giving Marcos a hero’s burial “will complete the Marcoses’ political restoration and will complete the whitewash of all the crimes they perpetrated against the people.”
In 1995 the Philippine government and representatives of more than 1,000 Filipinos - or their descendants, who were arrested, tortured and executed during the 13 years from 1972 of Ferdinand Marcos rule by decree and Martial Law, won US$2.7-billion in exemplary damages against the former president’s estate at a hearing in the United States federal court in Hawaii.
The Federal Court of Hawaii found Marcos guilty of grave human-rights violations.
A "people power" revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, forcing him and his family to flee to Hawaii, where he died in exile in 1989.
His body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 and was preserved in a refrigerated crypt at his Batac hometown in Ilocos Norte until he was given a hero's burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani national heroes cemetery in 2016.
Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta said that former president Marcos, who was in the military before World War II and during the Japanese Occupation, was discharged from the service honorably and is qualified for burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani under Department of National Defence (DND) guidelines.
"The DND, in turn, is under the Office of the President," the court said, stressing that the order to prepare for Marcos' burial there is within the president's powers," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Calls for Thailand's Anti-Corruption Commission to reopen assett declaration investigation into acting PM Prawit Wongsuwon

Acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, while he was Deputy Prime Minister, wearing a luxury watch and diamond ring at an official ceremony at Bangkok Government House Monday December 4, 2017

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 15: Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to reopen the assett declaration investigation into the ownership of luxury gold watchs worn by the acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon while he was Deputy Prime Minister, who claimed to have "borrowed the gold watches from a long-time collector friend," reports the Bangkok Post.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Theeratchai Panthumas, called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to reopen the investigation, saying "new information has emerged."
"One of the timepieces that was seen worn by the Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was never declared in the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) required assett declarartion " he said.
He said that the timepiece seen worn by the Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was not part of the inheritance of close friend and long-time collector, Pattawat Suksriwong, as the Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has claimed.
"The wristwatch in question was seen on the then Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon wrist during a group photo session for newly sworn-in cabinet ministers at Government House," he said.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Theeratchai Panthumas said that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has failed to deliver a report into the investigation into the declaration of assetts by acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon while he was Deputy Prime Minister, saying the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)
committee voted 5-3 to dismiss the investigation in December 2018.
"This case has no grounds that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had intended to hide the truth or had intended to hide the origins of the assets," said National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) deputy secretary-general Worawit Sukboon in December 2018.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) investigation found that all watches worn by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan belonged to his now-deceased friend, Pattawat Suksriwong.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Theeratchai Panthumas said that former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was photographed wearing a Richard Mille designer wristwatch worth about Bt3 million that had reportedly not been included in the required assett declaration with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) when he became a Cabinet minister.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was also photographed with a diamond ring on his finger that reportedly was also not included in the required assett declaration with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
Former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the ring belonged to his parents and the watches were lent to him by a long-time collector friend, saying "the friend had passed away."
Photographs show that former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon who is the acting Prime Minister possessed at least 22 luxury wrist watches with a combined estimated worth of more that Bt20 million.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said he had returned all the watches to their rightful owners being the children of the deceased long-time collector friend who he claimed to have borrowed the gold watches from.
The Southeast Asian Times


Bangkok court convicts woman under Lese Majeste Law for imitating Queen Suthida in fashion show

A Bangkok Court sentenced Jatuporn Saeoueng to two years in prison under the Lese Majeste Law for mocking the monarchy by imitating Queen Suthida in a fashion show in Bangkok on Thursday October 29, 2020

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 14: A Bangkok Court sentenced a political activist to two years in prison with a fine of 1,000 baht on Monday under the Lese Majeste Law for insulting Thailand monarchy in 2020 during mass street protests in Bankok that called for reform of the monarchy, with Jatuporn Saeoueng, 25, pleading not guilty of insultinng the monarchy in a fashion show, reports Reuters.
Jatuporn Saeoueng, 25, was found guilty of mocking the monarchy by imitating Queen Suthida during mass protests in Bangkok streets calling for the repeal of the Lese Majeste Law that disallows criticism of the King under section 112 of the Criminal Code.
Political activist Jatuporn Saeoueng was found guilty under the Lese Majeste Law under section 112 of the Criminal Code that makes it illegal to defame, insult, or threaten the monarch of Thailand.
Jatuporn Saeoueng was found guilty of violation of the Lese Majest Law by the Bangkok Criminal Court for imitating Queen Suthida in walking on red carpet that was laid out on the street.
The Bangkok Court found that an umbrella held by an attendent over Jatuporn Saeoueng as she walked on the red carpet made a mockery of the monarchy.
The Bangkok Court also found that protesters seated at her feet in a manner that Thailand traditional culture demands in the presence of Thai royalty was a mockery of Queen Suthida.
Jatuporn Saeoueng pleaded not guilty to the Lese Majeste charge that disallows criticism of the monarchy, saying she had "no intention of mocking anyone."
" I dressed for myself on that day, for a version of myself in a Thai traditional dress, what’s wrong with that," she said.
Amnesty International deputy secretary general, Kyle Ward, said that Amnesty International "urges the authorities to immediately drop all charges against those who have merely exercised their human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and release those arbitrarily detained."
He said the mock fashion show was a satirical take on the political situation of the country , saying "Participants should not be punished for participating in a peaceful assembly."
In August 2020 a 10 point manifesto was submitted to the Parliament calling for reform of the monarchy under the Lese Majeste Law but stated that demand for amendements did not include a proposal to abolish the monarchy but a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy.
The 10 point manifesto called for repeal of the criminalisation of criticism of the Thai King under the Lese Majeste law, repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command, repeal of the law that gave the new King full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings and repeal of the monarchy empowerment to endorse a military coup.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Hanoi and HCMCity

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son writes in the book of condolences at the residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Vietnam in Hanoi at the passing of Queen Elizabeth 11 in Scotland on Thursday September 8, 2022, aged 96

From News Reports:
Hanoi, September 13: Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in the book of condolence at the residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Vietnam in Hanoi, with the Foreign Minister extending his deepest condolences to the Royal Family and to the government and people of the United Kingdom, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son showed his respect for Queen Elizabeth 11 in the book of condolences that was opened by the United Kingdom Embassy in Hanoi on the passing of Queen Elizabeth 11 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday September 8, 2022 aged 96.
The United Kingdom Embassy in Hanoi and the United Kingdom Consulate General in HCMCity have opened books of condolences for the public in Vietnam to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
"Among the delegation were the most recent former Vietnamese Ambassadors to the United Kingdom and it was chance for us to hear their memories of Her Majesty The Queen," said the United Kingdom Embasssy in Hanoi.
Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son paid his repects to Queen Elizabeth 11 for the Queen's fine sentiments towards Vietnam and the Queen's support for fostering cooperation between the Vietnam and the United Kingdom.
Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan sent a message of condolence to King Charles III, Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh extended condolences to new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth Truss, and National Assembly Chairman, Vuong Dinh Hue, extended condolences to Speaker of the House of Lords, John McFall, and Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle.
Queen Elizabeth 11, the United Kingdom's longest reigning monarch and head of state, was crowned queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon on June 2, 1953.
Prince of Wales, Charles, 73, has become King Charles 111 and head of state of 56 Commonwealth independent states.
Commonwealth states transitioned from Empire to Commonwealth during the 70 year tenure of Queen Elizabeth 11 as monarch and head of state and are included in an intergovernment organisation of 56 independent Commonwealth member states.
The Southeast Asian Times


United States led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to engage with Asia

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, left, and United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade negotiations in Los Angeles on Thursday, September 8, 2022

From News Reports:
Washington, September 12: The United States and 13 Indo-Pacific countries, including 7 ASEAN member countries, agreed on parameters for trade negotiations, environment and economic ties in the new US-led Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Los Angeles on Thursday, with United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo saying "the talks are part of a US effort to re-engage economically with countries in Asia." reports Reuters.
Trade ministers from Australia, Fiji, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and ASEAN member countries Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, , Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam at the United States-led Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade negotiations represent about 40 percent of global GDP.
The United States-led Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade negotiations concluded with agreement on trade date flows and labor rights, supply chain resilience, green energy and environment standards, anti-corruption and tax measures as the four major pillars of future agreements.
United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) will not include tariff cuts that are the bedrock of traditional free trade deals, saying "the talks are part of a US effort to re-engage economically with countries in Asia."
"Our intention now is to move towards negotiations with our partners on each pillar with the first round of discussions," she said.
She said that President Joe Biden launched the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) on May 12, 2022 in Washington promising the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to spend $150 million on infrastructure, security, pandemic preparedness and other efforts, with the U.S. State Department saying that the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact is aimed at countering the influence of rival China in the Indo-Pacific."
Deputy Assistant to United States President Joe Biden and Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs on the United States National
Security Council, Kurt Campbell, said "Washington remains focused on the Indo-Pacific and the long-term challenge of China,"
saying "We need to step up our game in Southeast Asia."
"We are not asking countries to make a choice between the United States and China. We want to make clear, though, that the United States seeks stronger relationships," he said.
He said that the United States would raise areas of cooperation with ASEAN leaders in the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact launched by President Joe Biden.
"The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) commits the United States to work with partners on key economic priorities including ensuring smooth supply chains, fighting corruption and promoting green energy," he said.
He said that unlike traditional trade pacts the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) would not guarantee market access to the United States, saying "the United States is the usual sweetner to persuade nations to make concessions."
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian port service contractor
'on the run' after bribing US navy to stop in ports in Southeast Asia

Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), Leonard Glenn Francis, 53, who is under house arrest, escaped from his home in San Diega on Sunday September 4, 2022 three weeks ahead of the beginning of a prison sentence

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, September 10: A Malaysian port service contractor, who is under house arrest in the United States for fraud and offering bribes to United States Navy officers in order to secure contracts for his Singapore based company, has escaped from his home in San Diega, reports the Star.
Malaysian port service contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis, 53, eascaped from house arrest three weeks ahead of the begining of a prison sentence, with a Supervisory Deputy United States Marshall saying "Leonard Glenn Francis cut off his GPS monitoring ankle bracelet sometime on Sunday."
Supervisory Deputy United States Marshall, Omar Castillo, said that San Diego police officers discovered that Leonard Glenn Francis was not at his home, saying "the United States federal agency conducted a welfare check on him."
Port service contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, from Penang in Malaysia, who was under house arrest in San Diego due to several health issues, is reportedly "on the run" with San Diego police officers, saying "Leonard Glenn Francis may already be in neighbouring Mexico."
Malaysian port service contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis pleaded guilty in March 2015 to providing US Navy officers and civilians with meals, alcohol, luxury hotel accomodation and prostitutes to ensure US Navy ships stopped at ports in South East Asia where his Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), operated.
Leonard Francis admitted he reportedly "bilked" the US military of tens of millions of dollars by routinely overbilling for fuel, tugboat services and sewage disposal.
In June 2016 United States Navy Rear Admiral, Robert Gilbeau, 55, commander of Defense Contract Management Agency Internationa, responsible for the global administration of the Department of Defence contracts outside the United States, pleaded guilty in the San Diego federal court to making a false statement to Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in the investigation into fraud and bribery in the Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) operated by Leonard Glenn Francis.
US Navy Rear Adm. Robert Gilbeau, 55, a one star Admiral, is the ninth naval officer to plead guilty to charges of accepting bribes and favours including fraud to ensure that US Navy ships stopped at ports in Southeast Asia where Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), operated.
US Navy Rear Adm. Robert Gilbeau, 55, is the fourteenth naval officer or civilian charged in what prosecutors have called "a massive bribery and fraud scheme" following the Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) investigation named the "Fat Leonard" case after Malaysian port service contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis.
The Southeast Asian Times


Queen of the Commonwealth, Elizabeth 11, dies in Scotland age 96

Britains monarch and head of state, Queen Elizabeth 11, transitioned Empire states to Commonwealth states since crowned Queen of the British Empire on June 2, 1953

From News Reports:
London, September 10: Queen Elizabeth 11, Britains longest reigning monarch and head of state, who was crowned queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon on June 2, 1953, died at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeen in Scotland on Thursday aged 96.
The eldest son of Queen Ellizabeth 11, Prince of Wales, Charles, 73, who has become King Charles 111 to 56 Commonwealth independent states and head of the commonwealth said "we mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother."
He said that the death of his beloved mother was of great sadness for him and his family and that her loss would be deeply felt around the world.
"I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world," he said.
The Commonwealth was founded through the independence of 15 former British colonies and dependencies including Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu.
Commonwealth states transitioned from Empire to Commonwealth during the 70 year tenure of Queen Elizabeth 11 as monarch and head of state and are included in an intergovernment organisation of 56 independent Commonwealth member states.
The Southeast Asian Times


Darwin reporter John Loizou asks a survivor of the 1965 killings in Bali "why didn't you try to stop them" in "Remembering the slaughter in Paradise"
........open page here


Kang-Fu the Red Kangaroo is relentless in his fight to protect Australia's sovereignity...Open page here


Kang-Fu the Red Kangaroo is relentless in his fight to protect Australia's sovereignity...Open page here


What they're saying 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



MEDIA CHECK
Cambodia-China Journalist Association (CCJA) launched in Phnom Penh ...open here



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Indigenous Australians in the northern Queensland town of East Trinity aim for economic independence from eco-cultural tourism, reports Christine Howes in "Australian indigenous eco-cultural tourism venture wins best small project national award " ...open here


Kavi Chongkittavorn talks about the UK application to become an ASEAN dialogue partner in "New dynamics of Aseans external ties," with consensus yet to be reached on admitting a former colonial master of four ASEAN member countries into the Southeast Asian bloc....open

Esther Samboh talks about the choise between thousands dying of Covid-19 or from hunger in densely populated Jakarta in the new normal in "Medics dying, infections soaring - it's still the economy" ...open page here



Australian reporter, Chris Ray, investigates why Australia dropped five spots in the World Press Freedom Index...open


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Read what Son Nguyen has to say about the impact of China's virus on Vietnam's economy in "When the economy gets sick" open here



Has the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra suffered a fatal blow, or will it rise again? asks Australian reporter Chris Ray... Open page here

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Darwin reporter John Loizou asks a survivor of the 1965 killings in Bali "why didn't you try to stop them" in "Remembering the slaughter in Paradise"
........open page here



"Goodbye America" says B.A. Hamzah as he calls for Asians to determine their own political destiny in "Time for Asia to set it's own course, minus the U.S."...open here


Is prescribed burning of grasslands in northern Australia out of control? ......Chris Ray reports ... open page here

"Rockefeller and the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi" by Kerry B. Collison "is undoubtedly fictional but by no means improbable, " says Johannes Nugroho ....open page here

Viet Nam is planning to go nuclear by the year 2020.reports
John Loizou
in "Calculating the costs of nuclear energy in Vietnam" ...open page here



The founder of the Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor (Fretilin), Mari Alkatiri, the now former Prime Minister of Timor Leste, after losing the May 12, 2018 election to the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) party, led by Xanana Gusmao, has accused the opposition of a coup attempt.
Twelve years ago Mari Alkatiri also accused the opposition of a coup attemp claiming then that the crises that led to his resignation was the result of a conspiracy. "I have no doubt about that" he told Darwin reporter John Loizou in an interview in Dili on 6 November 2006
......open page here

 

Cuba's 302 physicians in East Timor work at five hospitals and remote villages throughout the republic...writes Darwin reporter John Loizou ...open page here

 

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

 

Benedict Anderson, a man without a country, dies in Indonesia Jeet Heer reports.....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

 

Copy of letter 29 May 2012 from Vietnam Womens Union to International Olympic Committee...open 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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Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
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US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
C
ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
..5,0710
East Timor.
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Euro..
0.6794
Hong
sKong..
.5.8808
Indonesia Rupiah
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Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
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iet Nam Dong..16,849.44

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
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