The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Tuesday 26 March 2019
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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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Thai's elect Prayut Chan-o-cha over Thaksin Shinawatra as PM

Thai Prime Minister and commander of the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO) Prayut Chan-o-cha campaigning at Lumphini Park in Bangkok ahead of the elections on Sunday has absolute power over executive, legislative and judicial decisions under Article 44 of the interim constitution
From News Reports:
Bangkok, March 26: Preliminary results from the Thai elections on Sunday, the first elections held since 2011 including since the last military coup in May 2014, show the pro- Royal Thai Armed Forces party, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) that nominated Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, ahead in the polls, reports the Bangkok Post
The Election Commission (EC) says that of the 45 political parties registered the pro-military Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) was in the lead with
Pheu Thai, the party associated with fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra a close second, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Election Commission (EC) reports that of the 90 percent of votes counted on Sunday, 7.5 million went to the pro-military Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha nominated as the single candidate for Prime Minister.
The Pheu Thai Party, associated with fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in 2006, received 7 million votes, with the Future Forward newly founded party that reporteldy campaigned on military reform receiving 5.2 million votes.
The newly founded Future Forward party reportedly "achieved a surprisingly good result given the youth of the party" with 6000 votes counted at one of 6,000 polling stations in Bangkok.
Pornsiri Supkong, 23, a nurse at the Jula hospital at the Chulalongkorn University, said she voted for the Future Forward party because "it was time for Thailand to try something new after so many years of division."
"I looked back at the conflict and I thought I want to break from that," she said.
Thailand's oldest political party the Democrat Party, founded in 1946 as a conservative and royalist party, recieved 3.19 million votes under former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The Democrat Party won no seats in the 30 districts of Bangkok with 11 going to the Pheu Thai Party, 10 to the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP)
and nine to the newly founded Future Forward party.
Voter turnout was reportedly 65.6 percent, or 33.7 million of the 51.4 million eligible voters with invalid ballots at 1.9 million and the no vote at half a million.
The Election Commision concedes that the popular vote does not necessarily reflect the number of parliamentary seats that would be ultimately won with the Pheu Thai Party, associated with fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in a position to win the majority of the 500 House of Represenatatives seats due to the popularity of the party in the north and north-east of Thailand.
The Election Commision reports that the official results of the election will not be announced until after the coronation of King Vajiralongkorn in May.
The Southeast Asian Times

First election since 2014 coup to show direction of Thai democracy

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and commander of the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO) casts his vote in Bangkok in the first general election since the 2014 coup that ousted Prime Minister Lingluck Shinawatra
From News Reports:
Bangkok, March 25: About 51 million Thais including 7 million first time voters cast their vote at polling stations across Thailand in the first general election since 2011 and the first since the last military coup in May 2014 and despite several postponements, with the Election Commission (EC) saying "the result of this election will indicate the direction of Thai democracy", reports the Bankgok Post.
Electoral Commission (EC) chairman, Ittiporn Boonpracong, said he expected a high voter turnout yesterday with 80 percent compared with 75 percent in 2011, 74.5 percent in 2007, following a military coup, 72 percent in 2005 and 69.9 percent in 2001.
He said that a high turnout was expected following last weeks advance voting turnout with almost 87 percent of those who had registered casting their ballots.
"The result of this election will indicate the direction of Thai democracy," he said.
Last month the Election Commission (EC) rejected the Thai Raksa Chart Party nomination of Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, as a candidate for prime minister while approving 69 other nominees for prime minister from 45 political parties incuding Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-ch who is also the commander of the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO) who was nominated by the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).
The registration by the Thai Raksa Chart Party (TRC) of Princess Ubolratana as a presidential candidate is reportedly deemed by the Election Commission (EC) as "hostile to the constitutional monarchy."
In January pro-election activists called for elections to be held in March following Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha postponement of the scheduled February elections who gave assurances that the election would take place within the time frame stipulated by the constitution.
" Post-election activities such as the announcement of results, scrutiny of Member of Parliament qualifications and setting up of a new government should not overlap with the coronation of new Thai king Rama X in May," he said.
The Thai prime minister and commander of the National Council for Peace and order (NCPO), Prayut Chan-o-cha, under Thai martial law has the power to call an election under Article 44 of the interim constitution that gives Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha absolute power over executive, legislative and judicial decisions and allows it to overrule judicial and legislative authority.
In 2014 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 with martial law commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha saying that martial law was imposed under the 1914 Martial Law Act, giving the military authority to intervene during times of crises.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines defend China against allegations of crimes against humanity

China President Xi Jinping visits the Philippines for talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila November, 22, 2018
From News Reports:
Manila, March 24: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has defended China President Xi Jinping against allegations of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the South China Sea, lodged at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague last week, with President Duterte saying that the the International tribunal in The Hague does not have jurisdiction over the Philippines or China, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The alleged crimes against humanity that were lodged by former Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Philippines Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales accuse China President Xi Jinping of implementing a systematic plan to control the South China Sea, undermining food and energy security, causing destruction of the environment and depriving thousands of fishermen of their livelihoods.
"The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has no jurisdiction over the Philippines, especially not over China," said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
“China is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC),” he said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly withdrew from the International tribunal four days after the alleged crimes against humanity committed in the South China Sea were lodged at the International Criminal Court on March 13
China's claim over the South China Sea is contested by Asociation of South East Asian (ASEAN) member countries, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and was also contested by the Philippines under the Benigno Aquino III administration until the election of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.
In July 2016 the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea that included the West Philippine Sea.
China reportedly claimed that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid verdict on the South China Sea dispute with China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, saying then that the dispute was not covered by U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) because it was ultimately a matter of sovereignty not exploitation rights.
The China Foreign Ministry spokesman said then that "China's position of neither accepting nor participating in the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines remains unchanged".
United States Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel reportedly said in Washington then that as both Beijing and Manila are signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they are legally bound to abide by the the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision.
In November 2015 the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled that the court has jurisdiction to consider the Philippine case against the China claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Philippines under the Benigno Aquino III administration filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague against China in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines revive call for federalism ahead of May elections

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Aquilino Pimental who said that the drive for federalism remained a high priority for the Senate when both Houses of Congress resumed session in May
From News Reports:
Manila, March 23: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has revived his call for the proposed shift to federalism ahead of the general elections on May 13, with Senator Aquilino Pimental saying that the shift to federalism will gain more ground in the Senate under the 18th Congress, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Senator Aquilino Pimental said that he expected more federal government supporters after the polls, saying that "many of the winners will come from Duterte-backed candidates".
"We need to increase the number of federal government advocates in the Senate, he said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Deturte candidate, Francis Tolentino, said that he is confident that the shift to a federal government will get a boost in the next Congress.
"I think it will be revived", he said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called for a major revision of the constitution in order to pave the way for a shift to a federal government in a bid to decentralize powers of the state to the provinces from “Imperial Manila,” following his election to President in June 2016.
He said then that 260 legislators belonging to the majority coalition in the House of Representatives were amenable to the idea of dividing Congress into 12 states, saying that the 12 states would come from the existing regions that divide the country: Northern Luzon for Regions I, II and III and Cordillera Administrative Region; Central Luzon; Metro Manila; Southern Tagalog; Bicol; Western Visayas; Eastern Visayas; Central Visayas; Northern Mindanao; Western Mindanao; Southern Mindanao, and Bangsamoro.
"Federation would resolve decades-long unrest among Muslim Filipinos who have felt left out of economic development that has been achieved by other regions," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam calls for ASEAN unity and ASEAN intra-state liberalisation

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Vietnam represenative, Peter Girke, right, said at the workshop on ASEAN community: identity and centrality held in Hanoi on Tuesday, that Vietnam has built a stong community, was active in regional and global affairs and was open to learning from past experiences and international best practices, saying that these practices would benefit ASEAN when Vietnam takes the ASEAN 2020 chair
From News reports:
Hanoi, March 22: Vietnam's Ministery of Foreign Affairs called for Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) unity and the "fostering of intra-bloc liberalisation" at a workshop on ASEAN community: identity and centrality in Hanoi on Tuesday, ahead of Vietnam taking the rotating ASEAN chair in 2020, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs assistant, Nguyen Van Thao, said that the ASEAN chair in 2020 is an opportunity for Vietnam to make a contribution to the ASEAN community
"Vietnam attaches great importance in making careful preparation for the ASEAN chair,” he said.
The workshop that was held by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) was attended by more than 100 including diplomats from Vietnam and the ASEAN member states to discuss ASEAN Community identity and the ASEAN role in a changing world.
Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs assistant, Nguyen Van Thao, said that ASEAN has demonstrated its important role in acting as a “glue” to connect the peoples of ASEAN member states in Southeast Asia and in the Indo-Asia Pacific region since its establishment in 1967.
“Preserving ASEAN identity and fostering its central role requires active engagement of all ASEAN member states at both inter-governmental and national levels," he said.
Former Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marty Natalegawa, said that ASEAN required a cooperative outlook between member states, saying that this can only be accomplished by the development of state practice.
Former Vietnam deputy prime minister Vu Khoan said that ASEAN should concentrate on fostering intra-bloc liberalisation by shifting growth models and reducing reliance on a young labour force and depleting natural resources.
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Vietnam represenative, Peter Girke, said that an ASEAN's goal of building a people-centred united community as stated in the ASEAN Community Vision towards 2025 can assure long term success for a regional bloc like the European Union (EU) saying that "the same is true for ASEAN".
In January 2019 Thailand said from the position as Asean chair for 2019 that Thailand would push forward the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), that recognises ASEAN centrality, with the 10 ASEAN member states reaffirming the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) commitment to ASEAN centrality in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
The Southeast Asian Times


Timor-Leste calls for justice for 4000 missing during Indonesian occupation

Timore-Leste's Commission of Friendship, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) executive director, Hugo Fernandes, says that the perpretators of crimes against humanity are still living in Timor-Leste
From News reports:
Dili, March 21: The Timor-Leste Commission of Friendship, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) has called for justice for the victims of Indonesia's occupation of Timore-Leste from 1975 to 1999, saying that there has been no justice for the East Timorese survivors of crimes committed by Indonesia because "the perpetrators are still at large", reports the Dili Weekly.
Commission of Friendship, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) executive director, Hugo Fernandes, said that crimes against humanity in Timor-Leste were committed by Indonesian Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional IndonesiaTNI) and by pro-Indonesia militia, now living overseas.
"But some of the perpetrators are still living in Timor-Leste", he said.
He said that there is no justice for the victims of Indonesia's occupation of Timore-Leste because Timor-Leste does not have the judicial power to apprehend the perpetrators.
He said that the Commission of Friendship, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) has called on the Indonesian government to conduct investigations into the 4,000 Timorese who went missing during the 24 year Indonesian occupation, "but so far this has not happened," he said.
The Commission of Friendship, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) investigations reportedly show that children were removed from their families during the Indonesian occupation of Timore Leste to work for the Indonesian military, saying that "many of those taken to Indonesia did not return to Timor-Leste after 1999".
In June 2016 The Timore Leste parliament called on the Indonesian government to find thousands of Timorese who went missing between 1975 and 1999, with National Member of Parliament, Arao Noe de Jesus Amaral, saying that the Indonesian government has made no commitment to work with Timor-Leste "to find what happened to the missing Timorese."
"The Timore Leste government has allocated $100,000 to the Human Rights and Justice Ombudsmen to help find the missing,” he said.
Deputy head of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Dianto Bachariadi, said in 2016 that attempts to discuss the missing with the Indonesian government had failed but that the commission would continue to press the Indonesian government to work with the Commission to take action to locate the missing people.
The commission called on the Indonesian government to establish a special commission of inquiry "to find what happened to the missing people," saying that without the establishment of a special commission of enquiry "the responsibility of finding Timor's missing rested with organizations such as the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the Timor-Leste office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ).
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia issues arrest warrants for dissolved opposition party exiles

The Phnom Penh court has issued arrest warrants for dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) members including former party president, Sam Rainsy
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, March 20: Cambodia has issued an arrest warrant for eight former high ranking members of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) incuding former party president, Sam Rainsy, in exile in France, for plotting against the government and for incitement, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court also issued arrest warrants for former vice presidents Mu Sochua and Eng Chhai Eang, former legislators Long Ry, Men Sothavarin, Ou Chanrath, Tok Vanchan and Ho Vann, in the US all charged with plotting and incitement.
The eight former members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that was dissolved by the Phnom Penh Supreme Court in 2017 are reportedly charged with plotting to commit offences in Cambodia and other places on January 20, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 in accordance with articles 453, 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code.
The eight former high ranking members of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) are charged with holding meetings including in Lowell, Massachusetts in the United States on 20 January where the former members planned the return of the former president of the party, Sam Rainsy, to Cambodia, including the raising of funds and creating a network to welcome his return to Cambodia.
Former legislator of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Ou Chanrath, denied charges of plotting and incitement saying that the meeting on 20 January in the United States was the first meeting to be held following the reinstatement of Sam Rainsy as president of the re-activated Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
"I don't know the reason for these charges", he said.
The Cambodian Supreme Court dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) opposition party in November 2017 followed the arrest of the then Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party president, Kem Sokha, who had replaced exiled Sam Rainsy, on charges of plotting to overthrowing the Hun Sen government with the help of the United States.
The then party president was arrested on September 3 2017 and charged with treason on grounds that a 2013 video showed he had received assistance from the US.
Following the dissolution, Prime minister Hun Sen called on the Cambodia National Rescue Party's (CNRP) more than 5000 elected officials to defect to his Cambodian People's Party (CPP).
The majority of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) seats were allocated to the Prince Norodom Ranariddh's royalist National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative (FUNCINPEC) party or Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s Funcinpec party (NRP) that was registered with the National Election Committe (NEC) in May to contest the 2018 national elections.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnamese to stand trial in Malaysia despite calls for her release

Murder trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, to proceed in Malaysia despite calls for her release from Vietnam's Minister of Justice
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 19: The trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, charged with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, half brother of Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Chairman Kim Jong, is to proceed despite calls from Vietnam for her release following the withdrawal of similar charges against Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, 25, last week, reports Rueters.
The trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, who was charged together with Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, 25, with the murder of Kim Jong Nam is to continue despite the withdrawal of the murder charges against the Indonesian national at the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court last week, reportedly without grounds given for the withdrawal by the prosecution.
Judge Azmin Ariffin told the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court last week that Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah accused of applying the banned VX deadly nerve agent to Kim Jong Nam's face at the crowded Kuala Lumpur International airport, killing him within 20 minutes, was free to return to Indonesia.
Vietnam ambassador to Malaysia, Le Quy Quynh said that he was "very disappointed" with the decision by the court for the trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong to continue, saying that Vietnam's Minister of Justce Le Thanh Long had sent a letter to Malaysia's Attorney General, Tommy Thomas, asking Malaysia to free the Vietnamese woman.
Lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said that the courts decision to proceed with the trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong was "perverse", saying that the charges against Vietnamese national and Indonesian national Siti Aisyah were similar and that "Huong is entitled to the same consideration as Aisyah.”
"Very obviously, there is discrimination. The Attorney General favoured one party over the other,'' he said.
Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, maintained her innocence throughout the trial that began in October 2017 saying that she had been recruited by a North Korean at a Kuala Lumpur Hotel in January 2017 to star in a prank show, a month before Kim Jong Nam was found dead at the Kuala Lumpur International airport.
Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong whose trial began the day after the withdrawal of charges against Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, is also on trial for the murder of Kim Jong Nam, half brother of Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Chairman Kim Jong charges with applying the banned VX deadly nerve agent to Kim Jong Nam's face at the crowded Kuala Lumpur International airport where he was found dead on February, 13 2017.
Lawyers for the two women chargeed claim that photographs and recordings on mobile phones provide evidence that the women as claimed, believed they were acting in a television prankat the Kuala Lumpur airport on the day that Kim Jong-nam was found dead from the effects of the banned VX deadly nerve agent.
The lawyers claim that the women were pawns in a political assassination with clear links to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and that the prosecution failed to show the women had any intention to kill.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian Christians condemn attack on Muslims in New Zealand
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 18: The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) condemned the attack on Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday that left 50 dead and more than forty injured including three Malaysian Muslims, reports the Star.
“The Christian Federation of Malaysia condemns the senseless and deadly acts of violence", said chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), Archbishop Julian Leow.
The three Malaysian Muslims who are undergoing surgery in Christchurch were reportedly inside the Masjid al Noor mosque when Australian, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, armed with a semi-auto weapon shot and killed 50 including at a second mosque in suburban Linwood.
"We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and urge churches in Malaysia to pray for those who are grieving their loss,” said chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), Archbishop Julian Leow.
An unidentified Malaysian Muslim financier from Christchurch on business in Malaysia reportedly said that the Masjid al Noor mosque in Christchurch was 1 kilometre away from his home and was the mosque in which he attended Friday prayers.
He said it was the largest mosque in Christchurch and was attended by mostly Muslims from the Middle East and Somalians.
He reportedly said that he was very worried about his family's safety, saying that his daughter and her children were stranded at a daycare center during the lockdown.
"I wish they could leave Christchurch and come to Malaysia", he said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya said that it was not necessary to bring back the more than 1,200 Malaysian nationals living in Christchurch who were registered with the Malaysian High Commission in Christchurch.
“We will take necessary measures such as bringing them back if the situation became more serious," saying that "the tragedy was not a war but acts of terrorism carried out by an individual at a place considered to be peaceful and calm".
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said following the attack on the mosques in Christchurch on Friday that "it is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack."
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison described Australian, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, who was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of murder yesterday with further charges yet to be laid "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia calls on Muslims in New Zealand to remain cautious

Australian, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, who was arrested on Friday, appeared in a Christchurch court on Saturday to be charged with one count of murder with further charges to be laid, in the killing of 49 Muslims at two Christchurch mosques on Friday
From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 17: The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has called on 331 Indonesian Muslims including 134 students living in Christchurch New Zealand to remain cautious and to maintain vigilant, following the attack on two Muslim mosques in Christchurch on Friday that left 49 dead and more than 40 injured, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi said that six Indonesians were inside the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch when Australian, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, armed with a semi-auto weapon began shooting, killing 45 and a further 4 at a second mosque in suburban Linwood.
Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi said that three Indonesians survived the shootings but that three others remain unaccounted for, saying that
"the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington has dispatched officials to Christchurch, about 440 kilometers away from Wellington."
She said that Indonesian Embassy officials will coordinate with New Zealand security authorities, hospitals and the Indonesian Students Association (PPI) in Christchurch in order to locate three unaccounted Indonesians in the aftermath of the attack on the mosques.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said following the attack on the mosques on Friday that New Zealand had lifted the level of threat from low to high, saying that "agencies at the border, at airports and at every level have heightened their response."
"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack", she said.
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison described Australian, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, who was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of murder yesterday with further charges yet to be laid "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".
The Southeast Asian Times


"Boeung Kak 13" protest at Russian Embassy in Phnom Penh for release of imprisoned translator

Boeung Kak lake land rights activist, Nhet Khun, 77, one of the "Boeung Kak 13" says that she will continue to help Rath Rott Mony because she wants justice
From News Report:|
Phnom Penh, March 16: The "Boeung Kak 13" land rights activists who protested the eviction of thousands from Boeung Kak lake in Phnom Penh in 2012 are calling for help from the Russian Embassy in Phnom Penh for the release of Construction Workers Trade Union Federation (CCTUF) president Rath Rott Mony, imprisoned for his role as translator in a Russian documentary, accused of making false claims on sex trafficking in Cambodia, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The Construction Workers Trade Union Federation president Rath Rott Mony was arrested December 7, 2018 for his involvement in the production of a documentary that investigates sex trafficking in Cambodia, shown on Russian state news network RT with the title "My mother sold me."
Rath Rott Mony claims that his involvment in the production of the documentary was limited to the role of intermediary and translator.
Boeung Kak lake land rights activists, Nhet Khun, 77, one of the "Boeung Kak 13" arrested in May 2012 at the site of her former dwelling at Boeung Kak lake in Phnom Penh and sentenced to the Prey Sar prison for up to 30 months, has called on the Russian Embassy in Phnom Penh to intervene.
"We will continue to help Rath Rott Mony because we want justice,” she said.
The "Boeung Kak 13" activists including Kim Touch, were found guilty of “aggravated rebellion” and the illegal occupation of land when they appeared before Phnom Penh municipal court judge Phou Povsun in 2012 , reportedly without legal representation.
"Boeung Kak 13" activist Kim Touch, who said that the "Boeung Kak 13" would continue their protest for the release of Rath Rott Mony at the Russian Embassy if the Russians failed to intervene, says that "the Russian government is obliged to help free Rath Rott Mony".
She said that the Russian state news network RT is a Russian-controlled media company and that the Russian government is responsible for the production of the documentary, accused of making false claims.
"The arrest of Rath Rott Mony was unfair," she said.
“Rath Rott Mony was merely a translator but he was imprisoned," she said.
Long Kimheang, wife of detained Rath Rott Mony said that she will keep protesting at the Russian Embassy in Phnom Penh for the release of her husband.
She said that the Russian government should intervene to free the translator from prison, saying that "the film did not make false claims about sex trafficking in Cambodia."
The Southeast Asian Times


Three arrested for dumping toxic waste in Malaysia's Sungai Kim Kim river

School children suffered breathing difficulties, dizziness, nausea and vomiting after inhaling toxic fumes from chemical waste dumped in the Sungai Kim Kim river in the industrial town of Pasir Gudang in the Malaysian southern state of Johor last week
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 15: Two chemical factory operators and a worker were arrested on Wednesday for dumping toxic waste in the Sungai Kim Kim river in the industrial town of Pasir Gudang in the Malaysian southern state of Johor, poisoning hundreds including school children and teachers, reports Rueters.
More than 500, including school children received medical treatment after inhaling toxic fumes, with 44 admitted to hospital, six to intensive care, following the dumping of toxic waste in the river from a chemical factory and a factory that used chemicals to dissolve scrap metal last week.
Education Minister Maszlee Malik ordered the closure of 111 schools on Wednesday on the advice of Disaster Management and Relief Committee (DMRC) who believe that the poisoning of children and teachers was caused by fumes from toxic waste that was dumped in the Sungai Kim Kim river near the schools.
Illegally dumped marine oil into the river that emitted flammable methane and benzene fumes across a wide area reportedly caused breathing difficulties, dizziness, nausea and vomiting in those affected.
"I've ordered all schools within a three-kilometre radius to shut immediately," said Education Minister Maszlee Malik.
Disaster Management and Relief Committee (DMRC) chairman Osman Sapian said on Wednesday that "the situation along Sungai Kim Kim was under control, saying that there was no need to evacuate residents living along the river.
"The fumes mainly affected schools along the Sungai Kim Kim river and not residential areas in Pasir Gudang," he said.
The chairman said that school children were affected due to the open nature of schools that allowed the hazardous fumes to enter the buildings, saying that "the heat can trigger fumes".
"The clean-up work along the 1.5km stretch of contaminated river will be implemented immediately and is expected to be completed within a week," he said.
The owner of a chemical factory in Kulai and the owner and a worker of the scrap metal factor in Taman Pasir Puteh in Pasir Gudang who were arrested on Monday are to be charged under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 for dumping marine oil that is a scheduled waste and requires proper disposal due to its hazardous nature in the river.
If convicted the three accused face a maximum fine of RM500,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam wants Malaysia to give Vietnamese woman charged with murder of north Korean a fair trial

The trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, charged with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, half brother of Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Chairman Kim Jong, begins in Kuala Lumpur today
From News Reports:
Hanoi, March 14: Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has called on Malaysia's Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah for a fair trial for Vietnamese national, Doan Thi Huong, 28, who is on trial for the murder of Kim Jong Nam, half brother of Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Chairman Kim Jong, following calls for protection of her legal rights from the Vietnam Bar Association, reports the Vietnam News Service.
The Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF) has reportedly called on Vietnam's Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protect the legal rights of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong during her trial that begins in Kuala Lumpur today.
Representatives from Vietnam's embassy in Malaysia are to provide assistance to Doan Thi Huong during her trial with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
saying that the embassy in Malaysia has "closely monitored the case" since the her arrest for the alleged murder of Kim Jong Nam at the Kuala Lumpur International airport two years ago.
The trial of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, who was charged together with Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, 25, with the murder of Kim Jong Nam
is to continue today despite the withdrawal of the murder charges against Indonesian national Siti Aisyah at the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court on Monday, reportedly without grounds given by the prosecution for the withdrawal .
Judge Azmin Ariffin told the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court on Monday that Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah accused of applying the banned VX deadly nerve agent to Kim Jong Nam's face at the crowded Kuala Lumpur International airport, killing him within 20 minutes, was free to return to Indonesia.
Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong said following the withdrawal of charges against Indonesian national that she was surprised that the murder charge against her were withdrawn with her lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik saying that "Huong is entitled to the same kind of consideration as Aisyah.”
Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, maintained her innocence throughout the trial that began in October 2017 saying that she had been recruited by a North Korean at a Kuala Lumpur Hotel in January 2017 to star in a prank show, a month before Kim Jong Nam was found dead at the Kuala Lumpur International airport.
Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong is accused of applying the banned VX deadly nerve agent to Kim Jong Nam's face at the crowded Kuala Lumpur International airport where he was found dead on February, 13 2017.
Lawyers for Indonesian national Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong claim that photographs and recordings on mobile phones provide evidence that the women as claimed, believed that they were acting in a television prankat the Kuala Lumpur airport on the day that Kim Jong-nam was found dead from the effects of the banned VX deadly nerve agent.
The lawyers claim that the women were pawns in a political assassination with clear links to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and that the prosecution failed to show the women had any intention to kill.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian Court withdraws murder charge against Indonesian woman in death of North Korean

Indonesia's ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana, second left, said after murder charges against Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, 25, third left, were withdrawn: "We are pleased with the court decision"
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 13: One of two women charged with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, half brother of Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Chairman Kim Jong, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February 2017, was released from prison on Monday after murder charges against her were withdrawn, in a reportedly "shock decision", reports the Associated Press.
Judge Azmin Ariffin told the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court that Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, 25, accused of applying the banned VX deadly nerve agent to Kim Jong Nam's face at the crowded Kuala Lumpur International airport, killing him within 20 minutes, was "free"
"She can leave now," he said.
Judge Azmin Ariffin reportedly released Indonesian natinal, Siti Aisyah, after prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad asked the court to withdraw all charges against her.
Prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad reportedly gave no reason for the request that the murder charge against Siti Aisyah be withdrawn and that she be discharged.
Siti Aisyah maintained her inocence throughout the trial that began in October 2017 saying that she had been recruited by a North Korean at a Kuala Lumpur Hotel in January 2017, a month before Kim Jong Nam was found dead at the Kuala Lumpur International airport, to star in a prank show.
She told the court that the north Korean recruited her to rub oil or pepper sauce on strangers at malls, hotels and airports, recording the event, saying that she was paid $100-$200 for each prank and that she hoped the income would allow her to stop working as a prostitute.
The Indonesian woman said she was directed to apply various substances including oil and pepper sauce on strangers at the Kuala Lumpur airport for several days before the banned VX deadly nerve agent was applied to Kim Jon-nam's face.
Lawyers for Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, claim that photographs and recordings on mobile phones provide evidence that the women as claimed, believed that they were acting in a television prank show at the Kuala Lumpur airport on the day that Kim Jong-nam was found dead from the effects of the banned VX deadly nerve agent.
The lawyers claim that the women were pawns in a political assassination with clear links to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and that the prosecution failed to show the women had any intention to kill.
The murder trial for Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, that was to begin on Monday has been put on hold.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysia calls on Australia to take its radioactive waste home

Malaysia's Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Fuziah Salleh, says that water leach purification (WLP) thorium radio active waste from the Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) rare earth radioactive refinery in Gebeng industrial zone, Pahang must be sent back to its country of origin
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 12: Malaysia's Prime Minister's Department called on the Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) rare earth radioactive refinery in Gebeng industrial zone, Pahang to send the plants radio active waste back to Australia, reports the Star.
Malaysia's Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Fuziah Salleh, called on Australia's radio active processing plant in Malaysia to send its water leach purification (WLP) thorium radioactive residue back to Australia, accusing Lynas of "dilly-dallying."
She said that the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (MESTECC) was very clear that there should be no research into water leach purification (WLP) thorium radioactive residue that is produced during the rare earth extraction process.
Deputy Minister Fuziah Salleh said that the Australian rare earth radio active refinery in Malaysia was "obscuring public understanding of the health, safety and environmental aspects of the radio active processing plant by pushing for research into water leach purification (WLP) thorium radioactive residue."
Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) has proposed a study of Water Leach Purification (WLP) residue for possible thorium radioactive waste extraction reportedly to delay sending the waste to Australia.
"Rather than dilly-dally and talk about this and that, Lynas had better focus on the ministry's suggestion that Linas should send its water leach purification (WLP) thorium radioactive waste from its refinery in Malaysia back to Australia," she said.
She said that Malaysia's Prime Minister's Department was doing its best to assist Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) to send its water leach purification (WLP) thorium radioactive waste back to Australia.
Opposition to the construction of the Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) refinery in Malaysia began in May 2011 with then Kuantan Member of Parliament for the People's Justice Party and now Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Fuziah Salleh, coordinating protests against the proposed plant saying that "thorium radioactive waste would be left behind long after the rare earth from Australia was completely mined".
The Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) refinery had proposed to process ores from Lynas's Mount Weld mine in Western Australia in Malaysia with production beginning in September 2011 and with the expectation to earn up to $1.3billion a year.
In December 2012 four Malaysia government ministers warned Australian Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (lamp) that the licence for its rare-earth processing plant in the Gebeng industrial zone, Pahang, could be revoked if the waste generated was not exported.
“Should Lynas fail to comply with this condition, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board is empowered to suspend or revoke the license and order Lynas to immediately cease operation,” said the four ministers.
The Southeast Asian Times


First transgender candidate for PM
to stand for election in Thailand

Pauline Ngarmpring, 49, is Thailand's first transgender candidate to stand for election
From News Reports:
Bangkok, March 10: Thailand's first transgender candidate for Prime Minister is to stand for election in the general election to be held later this month, reports the Bangkok Post.
Pauline Ngarmpring, 49, a former news reporter, sports promoter and an advocate for Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights is one of three candidates selected by the Mahachon Party.
Pauline Ngarmpring claims that she had been invited to join a political party as a male not as a woman, saying that she was not in the 'right frame of mind' to join a political party until after she transitioned.
"I am ready, but are people ready to accept a transgender candidate?" she said.
The elections, to be held on 24 March, are reportedly set to be a contest between the Royal Thai Armed Forces retired general officer, head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), also serving as Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-ocha and supporters of former fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Former fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was charged with malfeasance for ordering the Finance Ministery to administer a rehabilitation plan for the bankrupt private company, Thai Petrochemical Industry (TPI) in 2003 but has since been acquited of the charges.
The Mahachon Party is reportedly campaigning on an agenda of human rights and equality across gender, social, economic and political lines.
Its manifesto includes decriminalising sex work and greater Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights including changing gender on official documents, not permitted in Thailand.
In March 2011 The Thai Defence Ministry changed the Conscription Act 1954 to accommodate new classifications for transgender conscripts to the Thai Royal Thai Armed Forces and Army Reserve Force.
Transgender conscripts to the Thai army were to be classified as “Type 2” or “Type 3” rather than suffering a “psychological abnormality” or a “gender identity disorder.”
Type 2 refers to men who have undergone breast augmentation, while Type 3 comprises people who have undergone gender change.
The purpose of the change was to eliminate the section that exempts transgender Thais from conscription because they were considered psychologically abnormal.
The Southeast Asian Times

West Papuan separatists ambush Indonesian military
From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 10: Indonesia's National Armed Forces (TNI) were reportedly attacked by armed West Papuan separatists as the soldiers arrived to secure the construction of the Trans-Papua road project in West Papua's Nduga district on Thursday, leaving three dead, reports the Jakarta Post.
National Armed Forces (TNI) spokesman Maj. Gen. Sisriadi said that the military was attacked by West Papuan separatists, Kelompok Kriminal Bersenjata (KKSB) led by Egianus Kogoya as the soldiers arrived in Mugi District.
He said that the West Papuan separatists attacked a platoon of 25 soldiers as they arrived in Mugi District to join the Gakkum Taskforce who had been deployed to secure the construction of the Trans-Papua road project earlier this week.
"The platoon was ambushed by about 50 to 70 men armed with military standard firearms," he said.
He said that the West Papua separatists fled into the jungle after multiple exchanges with the National Armed Forces (TNI) soldiers, saying that the separatists left one dead and weapons behind.
Earlier this week the 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 the construction of the Yigi River bridge in Nduga district in West Papua last week.
The construction of the Yigi River bridge in Nduga district in West Papua was suspended following the attack on construction workers by armed gunmen on December 2 last year.
The West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack on 2 December last year on construction workers employed by Indonesia's state-owned company, PT Istaka Kar, 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 attack on the construction of the Trans Papua road followed simultaneous rallies held by West Papuan pro-independence separatists in capital cities throughout Indonesia to mark the 57th anniversary of raising the West Papua independence Bintang Kejora or Morning Star separatist flag, calling on the Indonesian government to hold a referendum for West Papua independence.
The West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman Sebby Sanbom said then 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

Court orders dissolution of political party that nominated Thai Royal for PM

Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) party leader Lt Preechapol Pongpanich, center, said after the court ruling that he and other party executives were “deeply saddened” by the court order to dissolve the party
From News Reports:
Bangkok, March 9: The Thai Constitutional Court has unanimously ordered the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) party and banned its executive members from running for election for 10 years, for nominating Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, as a candidate for Prime Minister in the general elections to be held later this month, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Constitutional Court ruled 6 for and 3 against to dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) party and to ban 14 Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) party executives from running in the elections scheduled for March 24, citing customery law.
“The Raksa Chart (TRC) action must not have an adverse effect or undermine the rule of constitutional monarchy or compromise the political neutrality of the monarchy,” said the Court.
The Election Commission (EC) rejected the Thai Raksa Chart Party's nomination of Princess Ubolratana as its candidate for Prime Minister last month, citing the Thai Royal ruling that members of the royal family are above politics and are not permitted to stand for election.
Princess Ubolratana who relinquished her royal status in 1972, when she married a "commoner" an American, argues that she is a "commmoner with the freedom and rights of an ordinary Thai to register with the Election Commission (EC) to be the candidate for the Thai Raksa Chart Party (TRC)
“My acceptance of the Thai Raksa Chart Party’s invitation to be its PM candidate is a constitutional right, not a privilege,” she said.
Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn says that although princess Ubolratana, who is the eldest daughter of late Thai King Bhumibol and the elder sister of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, has relinquished her royal status she is still a royal family member by tradition, saying that "the princess still performed activities on behalf of the royal family."
The Constitutional Court ruling that is final and binding, was delivered at the court on Chaeng Wattana Road in Bangkok on Thursday afternoon amid 1,000-strong security within a 500m radius.
The Southeast Asian Times


Malaysia rules mandatory death sentence unconstitutional

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram says that "the death penalty was not commensurate punishment for all drug offences".
From News Report:
Kuala Lumpur, March 8: Malaysia's Federal Court ruled on Wednesday that it was unconstitutional to impose the mandatory death sentence for drug trafficking under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1983 that was introduced in March last year, reports the Star.
Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram said the amendment to the Act had removed the court's discretion to impose either life imprisonment or death sentence for the offence.
He said that the power to pass sentences and to determine the measure of punishment are both part of judicial powers, saying that "the judicial function must be exercised by the judiciary and not by Parliament."
He said the removal of the discretion by the legislature amounted to an interference of judicial function and went against the doctrine of separation of powers.
"The amendment to the Act had reduced the court's discretion to a mere "rubber-stamping" exercise", he said.
Judges were given the discretion to either impose the death penalty or life imprisonment after finding the accused guilty of drug trafficking before the
amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1983 on 15 March last year.
Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram. who is representing Peruvian Jorge Crespo Gomes, South Africans Letitia Bosman and Benjamin William Hawkes who were separately convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court between 2015 and 2016 for trafficking in drugs and who had lost their appeal, said that "the death penalty was not commensurate punishment for all drug offences".
The three convicted drug trafffickers cannot benefit from the Federal Court ruling on Wednesday that deemed the mandatory death sentence unconstitutional becasue the ruling does not have a retrospective effect.
Procecutor Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman said Parliament passed the law based on policy considerations of the executive at the time, saying that "the
reason for the mandatory death sentence being imposed was because the drug menace was serious and a threat to the security of the nation."
"The duty of the court is to pass a sentence according to the law as it stood", he said.
The death penalty in Malaysia is mandatory for 12 offences including murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms, drug trafficking and treason with 20 other offences punishable with discretionary death penalty.
In October 2018 more than 1200 death row inmates were set to win a reprieve with Malaysia's decision to abolish the death penalty to be tabled in the Parliament.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong, said then that the Cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty, saying "as of now all executions have been halted".
"The Attorney General (AG) has given the green light for the abolishment of the death penalty to be tabled in Parliament", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Student activists condemn red tagging by Philippine military

Students at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) protest against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) militarisation or red tagging of student activists
From News Reports:
Manila, March 7: The Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) University Student Council condemned the militarisation or red tagging of student activists by
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who were at the university on a recruitment drive for the National Service Training Program (NSTP) on Monday, believed to counter the "massive recruitment" of students by the New Peoples Army (NPA) the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), reports the Philippine Inquirer.
The Los Baños (UPLB) University Student Council said in a statement that it condemns the “red-tagging of students and organizations” saying that the
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on the recruitment drive for the National Service Training Program (NSTP) had "flashed pictures of student protest rallies and identified the students with the New Peoples Army (NPA) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, who was among the “high caliber military officials" who spoke at the campus forum attended by about 400 students, said that "recent armed encounters in Southern Tagalog showed there were Los Baños (UPLB) University students among the rebel ranks.
He said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) believed there had been a “massive recruitment” by the the New Peoples Army (NPA) the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) particularly at the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) University.
He said that the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) student John Carlo Alberto, who was killed in a clash between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the New Peoples Army (NPA) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was recruited by the New Peoples Army (NPA).
In December 2018 Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte signed the proclaimation that classifies the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People's Army as terrorists under the Republic Act 10168 and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
Organizations or group or persons under the Acts are reportedly defined as "any person or entity designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group under the applicable United Nations Security Council Resolution or by another jurisdiction or supranational jurisdiction.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called for the implementation of tactics used by President Suharto in 1965-66 to eliminate communists in Indonesia in eliminating the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New Peoples Army (NPA) in a speech to the 10th Infantry Division Headquarters at Camp General Manuel T. Yan Sr. in Mawab, Compostela Valley Province in Mindanao in the southern Philippines in December.
The President said that he would adopt the late President Suharto's campaign against communism that led to the killing of up to two million Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia's military deployed to secure construction of Trans Papua highway

Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Police (Polri) at the Soekarno-Hatta container terminal in Makassar, south Sulawesi on Sunday ready to secure the construction of the 4,600-kilometer Trans Papua road project
From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 6: Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Police (Polri) have deployed military personnel to secure the construction of the Trans-Papua road project following resumption of construction of the Yigi River bridge in Nduga district in West Papua that was suspended following the attack on construction workers by armed gunmen on December 2 last year, Reports Antara.
Chief of the Hasanuddin Regional Military Command XIV Major General Surawahadi deployed 600 military personnel to safeguard the construction of the Trans Papua road project on Sunday.
He called on the 450 military from the Battalion Infantry Raider 431 of the Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) and 150 military from the Combat Engineers Battalion"to perform their duties optimally while safeguarding the construction of the bridge on the Trans Papua road," at a ceremony held at the Soekarno-Hatta container terminal in Makassar.
"You have heavy tasks and responsibilities to safeguard the construction of the Trans Papua road including dealing with security threats from the armed separatist group," he said.
Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Police (Polri) established a joint security team to secure 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 attack on the construction of the Trans Papua road followed simultaneous rallies held by West Papuan pro-independence separatists in capital cities throughout Indonesia to mark the 57th anniversary of raising the West Papua independence Bintang Kejora or Morning Star separatist flag, calling on the Indonesian government to hold a referendum for West Papua independence.
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.
Indonesian House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo urged the United Nations (UN) to list the Free Papua Movement (OPM) as a terrorist organization, at the House plenary session in Parliament following the attack on the Yigi River bridge, saying "they have brutally murdered and terrorized innocent civilians."
"We urge the United Nations to put the Free Papua Movement (OPM) on the list of terrorist organisations as stated in the United Nations definition", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia calls on Islamic world to support Palestine independence

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the two day Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting "Fifty Years of Islamic Cooperation: Roadmap for Prosperity and Development" in Abu Dhabi on Sunday
From News Reports:
Indonesia, February 5: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) 57 country members
to provide support to Palestine at the 46th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting that ended in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Sunday, saying that all OIC country members should support the Palestine struggle for independence, reports the Jakarta Post.
"The only choice for the OIC is to strengthen solidarity and concrete support for Palestine", she said.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that Indonesia, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, will continue to provide its full support to the Palestinian cause, calling on OIC cooperation in the settlement of the Rohingya Muslim conflict in Myanmar.
She said that one of the concrete measures taken by Indonesia to help Palestine is to provide finanacial assistance to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for desalinating water facilities in Gaza.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi also called on the OIC to fully support ASEAN's efforts in the repatriation of Muslim Rohingya Rakhine refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar's Rakhin State.
"ASEAN continues to assist the repatriation process in providing suitable conditions in Myanmar's Rankin State for the repatriation of the Muslim Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh," she said.
The Indonesian government submitted three draft resolutions to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries on the establishment of the OIC Contact Group for Peace and Dialogue, the Global Pact on Migration and the Islamic Office for the Boycott of Israel.
In March 2016 member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called on the organisation and the international community to ban products made in or produced by Israel in an effort to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories at 5th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Extraordinary Summit on Palestine in Jakarta.
The call to ban Israeli products was reportedly made by 605 delegates from 55 countries including the United Nations and the European Union in support of Palestine.
In the week following the call to ban Israeli products, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who was scheduled to inaugurate the first honorary Indonesian consulate in the Palestinian territories, was denied entry to Palestine by Israeli officials.
Israel would not grant a flight permit for the helicopter that would fly the Indonesia foreign minister Retno Marsudi from Jordan to the West Bank.
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



"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

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


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


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


What they're saying open page here


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Australia

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Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

From News Reports:
Denpasar, April 14: Bali community-based tourism operators have called for amendments to regulations that stipulate that the local community pay the Bali regency administration 60 percent of their total tourism revenue.
Penglipuran tourist village in Bangli, community-based tourism manager, Nengah Moneng, said that he objected to the fact that his community received only 40 percent of the total revenue.
"We want to have 60 percent share of the tourist revenue to pay for operating costs", he said.
The Penglipuran tourism manager said that operating costs for trekking, traditional dance, cultural shows including religious rituals had increased.
The cost of operating lodges and community halls for tourism had also increased.
"An increase in revenue for not only the Bangli community but for tourism based communities across Bali would benefit tourism island-wide" said the tourism manager.
The Southeast Asian Times

Riau forest fires force Chevron to shut down oil wells
From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 21: PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI), the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based oil company Chevron has shut down 573 oil wells in the Riau province of Sumatra.
The deteriorating quality of air due to forest fires that have been raging for the last month has forced PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) to shut down its oil wells and evacuate workers and there families.
Indonesia's upstream oil and gas regulator, SKK Migas, public relations officer, Handoyo Budi Santoso, said that oil assets in Riau province are important to national crude oil production.
"The biggest production loss came from the shutdown of Rokan block, operated by Chevron Pacific Indonesia, the country's biggest producer of crude oil production", he said
The Jakarta Posts reports that potential losses are estimated at about 12,000 barrels of oil a day.
The Southeast Asian Times


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, March 5:
The New Straits Times reports that there was an 86 percent increase in tourist arrivals from China
to Sabah in the last two years.
Data from the Sabah Tourism Board reportedly shows that 193,010 tourist tourists arrived in Sabah from China in 2011 increasing to 360,361 in 2013
Sabah West Coast Coffeeshop Association chairman, Yong Chee Yun, said coffee shop operators were catering to the influx of tourists from China.
"Coffee shops displayed tourist friendly signs in Chinese saying 'how are you?' and menues included China's favourite foods", he said.
Sabah and Labuan Chapter chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels and general manager of the At Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort,
said that staff members are encouraged to learn Mandarin.
"So that they can converse better with guests" he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

From News Reports:
Jakarta,January 29: A pilots strike forced State-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines to cancelled all scheduled flights to Surabaya, Merauke and Timika on Saturday, reports The Jakarta Post.
Merpati corporate secretary Riswanto Chendra Putra said that the airline had not paid salaries to pilots and cabin crew for two months.
The Jakarta Post reports that PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines was required to restructure its operations.
Merpati corporate secretary Riswanto Chendra Putra says that Merpati has signed a memorndum of understanding (MoU) with PT Armagedon Indonesia and PT Bentang Persada Gemilang to restructure the company.
The airline has debts of Rp 6.5 trillion (US$533 million) reports the Jakarta Post.
"The management would pay the salaries around March or early April, said the Merpati corporate secretary.
Merpati’s workers union advisory board official, Erry Wardhana, said about 200 Merpati pilots planned to strike again next Saturday for an indefinite period.
"The pilots would strike until 1,600 Merpati employees were paid", he said.
The union advisory board official says that this is the first time that Merpati workers have gone on strike over unpaid wages.
The pilots are owed wages for December and January reports the Jakarta Post.
The Southeast Asian Times

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