The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA

.MEDIA CHECK .Southeast Asia and Northern Australia

 

Indonesia's Journalists petition president to declare August 16 "Anti-Violence against Journalist Day"
   
The Yogyakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) have reported the unresolved case of the murder in 1996 of journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin, or Udin from the Yogyakarta daily newspaper, Bernas, to the National Police Commission (KKN), the Presidential Advisory Council,
the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), the United Nations (UN) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), but to no avail

From News Reports:

Jakarta, August 19: A petition for August 16 to be declared "Anti-Violence against Journalist Day" to commemorate Yogyakarta daily newspaper, Bernas, journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin, or Udin , who was murdered in 1996 while investigating alleged corruption, was handed to president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo last week.
The Yogyakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), media watchdog Rumah Perubahan Lembaga Penyiaran Public (House for Public Broadcasting Institution Reforms), Society Concerns About Media (MPM) and Media Regulator and Regulation Observer (PR2Media), including a number of Non Government Oganisations (NGO's) have petitioned the government to declare August 16 "Anti-Violence against Journalist Day" as from next year.
The Bernas journalist was attacked and brutally beaton in Gedongan village, Bantul, Yogyakarta on August 13, 1996 and died of his injuries three days later.
Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI),Yogyakarta deputy chairman Pito Agustin Rudiana said that the declaration of "Anti-Violence against Journalist Day" would show respect for journalists who were committed to ideals.
The murder of Bernas journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin, or Udin followed articles he wrote that were critical of the local administration in Bantul, Yogyakarta.
“The day Udin died should be commemorated as Anti-Violence against Journalists Day because the Udin case is the most outstanding case of violence against
journalists in Indonesia, it has captured both national and international attention,” he said.
Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI),Yogyakarta deputy chairman Pito Agustin Rudiana said that police have exhibited an unwillingness or an inability to identify and arrest those responsible for the death of the Bernas journalist.
He said that it is a possibility that the Udin case will be closed without resolution under the criminal code (KUHP) that stipulates that a case can be closed after 18 years if unresolved.
Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI),Yogyakarta official, Hendrawan Setiawan, said that should the case fail to be resolved in court, it would set a
precedent for future cases of violence against journalists.
"I strongly rejected the closure of the Udin murder case", he said.

The Southeast Asian Times







The news
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
The Southeast Asian Times, Wednesday 11 June 2014
First published in the Bangkok Post, Saturday 7 June 2014

The BBC is back and one of the first clips I see about Thailand is a report by
Jonathan Head.
It’s the usual drivel.
The casual viewer wouldn’t think much about it because Jonathan seems such a nice casual guy just reporting the facts.
For anyone who really knows what is going on (and I’m pretty sure Jonathan does,
unless he’s here only on holiday), this is misrepresentation by selective reporting.
The report begins with someone explaining how the coup-installed temporary
government (let’s just call it SMART for the purposes of this letter) is
desperately trying to restore the economy which has dived ever since the coup
was announced.
It says SMART had to resort to the same populist measures used by the government they ousted (let’s just call the latter STUPID for the purposes
of this letter).
The fact is that the economy has perked up within just a week or two.
The release of the funds owed to the rice farmers has suddenly sparked confidence
and given new life to the moribund upcountry economy.
This is not a populist measure by SMART, only a discharge of obligations by the state, something that STUPID was unable to do.
STUPID had run out of money and tried to borrow the needed funds from local banks who were aware that its caretaker status prevented it from doing so legally.
The economy is going to revive with all the measures now being undertaken.
Funds from the current year’s budget will be released on time.
Next year’s budget will now no longer be held up.
There’s a good chance that politicians and cronies with not much knowledge will be replaced with professionals on state enterprise boards.
Restructuring to reduce economic and political inequality is being studied.
There is a real honest attempt by SMART at reconciliation.
It may not be wholly successful, but it will not be from a lack of sincere effort.
This is giving hope to the ordinary citizen who’s pretty fed up with partisan politics.
The BBC report goes on to say that the anti-coup three-finger movement is
gaining in strength.
They may be right.
In Thailand, the news is still censored, but there’s no sign on the streets of this so-called great anti-coup movement.
Maybe they are getting this three-finger secret info from Robert Amsterdam who
has his finger in every pie.
I read somewhere that he is setting up a government in exile.
Many countries are supposed to have offered this so-called government a domicile.
I also read that Thaksin has not heard about it.
I suspect that this is a plan hatched by his lawyers who want to give him a surprise birthday present.
According to the BBC, SMART wants to revive the same infrastructure projects
that STUPID was promoting.
It may find itself bumping against the same public opposition faced by STUPID. SMART will come to realise that it has to grapple with the same issues that politicians had to contend with.
But the protesters against STUPID were not against the projects per se.
They wanted only those projects that were financially viable and that could get the
Environmental Impact Assessment green light.
The most important condition for the protesters was that financing be within the
budget and subject to normal checks and balances.
STUPID had wanted to take out a massive loan of 2 trillion baht with no questions asked and spend it with no subsequent auditing.
Thailand may be the only country that still retains its reset button.
Let’s try a small thought experiment.
The US, despite objections from all over the world, is about to march into Iraq.
A group of generals decide to take things into their own hands and topple George Bush.
They declare martial law and censorship, make a few sensible changes like outlawing unlicensed firearms, and then call new elections.
Can you imagine the horror?
Where’s my right to speak freely and to shoot freely?
America will never be the same!
We have destroyed our democracy!
Now balance that against half a million or a million lives saved by locking up
George Bush for a week.
Maybe America needs to keep going its merry way, lecturing and shooting at will
and it can’t take the risk of a general killing more people than George Bush
did, but it's their country.
I think most Thais would prefer to have a few guys locked up for a week to contemplate if we can avoid bloodshed.
Note for the BBC. We are SMART, not STUPID.
Don’t underestimate the intelligence of the Thai people.

Suthep Kittikulsingh,
Bangkok,
Thailand






Viet Nam eases regulations for foreign reporters

From News Reports:
Da Nang, November 1: Foreign journalists reporting from Da Nang, central Viet Nam, will be allowed to talk with ministries and other agencies without first going to the Foreign Ministry for permission from Thursday, December 20, reports Tuoi Tre, Youth newspaper.
The change is embodied in Decree 88/2012/ND-CP, it says.
The newspaper quotes Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi as saying the new decree was intended to create favourable conditions and flexibility for information gathering by foreign journalists, representative offices and organisations working in Viet Nam.
The change in procedures would also meet the country's demands for international development and exchange, integration and co-operation with other countries.
Formerly representative offices had to be located in Ha Noi but the new decree allows them to be located anywhere in the country with the approval of the Foreign Affairs and the relevant People's Committee.
The validity of the card that a foreign journalist requires will also be increased from six to 12 months in accordance with the duration of their visas.

The Southeast Asian Times
Thursday, 1 November 2012


 

 

Journalist Alliance wants officers charged after reporters assaulted
An unidentified Indonesia air force officer attempts to strangle Riau Pos photojournalist Didik Herawanto last Tuesday morning as reporters attempted to cover the crash of a Hawk 200 aircraft in Pasir Putih, Kampar, Riau province, during a routine training exercise. Pilot Lieutenant Reza Yori Prasetyo ejected and made a safe landing as the aircraft went down and there were no other casualties

Riau, October 18: Indonesia Alliance of Independent Journalists coordinator Aryo Wisanggeni wants officers who assaulted the reporters who tried to cover the crash of a Hawk 200 jet at the Air Force housing complex in Pasir Putih, Kampar, Riau province last Tuesday prosecuted.
The officers had violated the Press Law and could face two years in jail for the assaults, the Jakarta Post quotes the coordinator as saying.
“This is not the first time that military personnel have assaulted journalists covering an Air Force plane crash. It has added to the long list of assaults against journalists involving military personnel.”
Kompas.com says air force officers beat two reporters – one from the Antara News Agency and TV One. Their cameras were also confiscated.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thursday 14 October 2012