The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
 
Sunday 9 May 2021
GATHERINGS:
An informed guidexto happenings throughout
the region.  

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


Vietnam opens consulate in Macau

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

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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US-ASEAN Business Council wants US special envoy for Myanmar

The US-ASEAN Business Council chairman Alexander Feldman says ASEAN as the 5th largest economy in the world supports over half a million U.S. jobs, ASEAN matters for America"

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, May 9: The US-ASEAN Business Council has called on the United States Senate to appoint a special United States envoy for Myanmar, calling on US President Biden to empower the special United States envoy with support based in the ASEAN region, with chairman of the council saying "bold US leadership could help resolve the Myanmar crisis," reports Irrawaddy.
“American leadership is necessary in this critical moment to realize a viable path forward for Myanmar and ensure stability in the region,” said US-ASEAN Business Council chairman, Alexander Feldman.
He said that the military coup in Myanmar threatens to reverse the political and economic progress that has been made in Myanmar.
"The unfolding situation in Myanmar threatens economic collapse and imperils the lives of the people of Myanmar," he said.
He urged US President Joe Biden to empower a special United States envoy with support based in the ASEAN region, saying "the US government must fully equip and deploy its diplomatic arsenal in ASEAN to confront this crisis."
"The US should swiftly fill US ambassadorial posts in ASEAN member states including Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar," he said.
The call to appoint a special United States envoy for Myanmar with US ambassadorial posts in ASEAN members states follows the passing of the Southeast Asia Strategy Act in the United States House of Representatives last month.
The Southeast Asia Strategy Act reportedly directs the US State Department "to develop a comprehensive strategy for engaging ASEAN across multiple dimensions that includes trade and investment flows to diplomatic and security arrangements."
US-ASEAN Business Council, chairman Alexander Feldman called on the Senate to pass the bill "to illustrate the United States strong commitment to our friends and partners in the region."

The Southeast Asian Times

Thai protester released from prison on conditional bail after 38 day hunger strike

Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, 22, was released on bail from the Central Womens Correctional Institute in Bangkok on Thursday on condition that she does not get involved in activities that violate the Lese Majeste law

From News Reports:
Bangkok, May 8: Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, 22, who has been on a 38 day hunger strike at the Central Women's Correctional Institute in Bangkok, where she has been held since her arrest in March for violation of the Lese Majeste law and sedition, was released on bail on Thursday, reports the Bangkok Post.
Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, 22, who is one of eight protesters that include Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, 22, who were arrested on March 15, 2021 for violation of the lese majeste law (Section 112 of the Criminal Code) and sedition (Section 116), was released on bail of 200,000 baht ($6,400) that was paid by her mother.
The Bangkok Criminal Court approved bail for the release of Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul on condition that she does not leave Thailand and that she not get involved in activities that under the Lese Majeste Law disallows criticism of the King and the examination in parliament of any wrongdoing by the king.
The eight protesters who include Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, 22, and Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, 22, co-lead the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation that reinstalled a plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution that overthrew Thai absolute monarchy at the Sanam Laung Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace in Bangkok in September 2020.
The eight protesters who were arrested in March and who include Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, 22, and Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, 22, were also co-leaders in the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation that submitted a 10 point manifesto to the Thai Parliament on August 10, 2020, calling for amendements to the Thailand Constitution, that was drafted by the Royal Thai Armed Forces and signed into law by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, but stating in the manifesto that demands for reform of the monarchy are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy.
Protests by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation calling for the reform of the monarchy went ahead at the Thammasat University Tha Phra Chan Campus in August last year ahead of the submission of the 10 point manifesto to the parliament, despite guidelines signed by Thammasat rector Assoc Prof Gasinee Witoonchart that effectively banned thousands of protesters from holding the anti-monarchy protest on campus, with Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul saying "if they lock the gates, we will break the chain."
The Southeast Asian Times


New People's Defence Force to protect the people of Myanmar

The new National Unity Government (NUG) in Myanmar has formed the People's Defence Force (PDF) to stop the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar from committing crimes including war crimes against the people of Myanmar

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, May 6: The National Unity Government (NUG) that was founded by the elected National League of Democracy (NLD) Members of Parliament who formed the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected government and the closure of the Parliament, formed the People's Defence Force (PDF) on Wednesday, reports the Irrawaddy.
National Unity Government (NUG), deputy defense minister, Daw Khin Ma Ma Myo, said in a statement on Wednesday that the National Unity Government (NUG) has formed the People's Defence Force (PDF) in an effort to stop violence committed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar against the people of Myanmar, saying "the main task of the People's Defence Force (PDF) is to protect the people of Myanmar."
Deputy defense minister, Daw Khin Ma Ma Myo said that the task of the People's Defence Force (PDF) is to stop the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar from committing crimes including war crimes against the people of Myanmar, saying that the National Unity Government (NUG) has the responsibility of ending 70 years of civil war."
She said that the formation of the People's Defence Force (PDF) by National Unity Government (NUG) would be followed by the formation of a Federal Union Army.
The National Unity Government (NUG) was founded under a Federal Democracy Charter last month in order to eliminate the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar drafted 2008 constitution and dictatorship with the support of the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), a coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar including the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), the largest political party in Myanmar.
In April the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) called on Myanmar's political parties, ethnic armed organisations and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), for federation, a federal army and a federal constitution, saying that the time was right for a federal constitution.
Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) spokesman, Sai Leik, called on the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) that had been formed by the elected Members of Parliament after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected government on February 1, 2021, to work together with a broad coalition representing Myanmar’s many ethnic groups to achieve federalism, saying "the time was right for a federal constitution."
"Public acceptance for a federal system is at an all time high in the wake of the military coup in February," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar rejects China's donation of Covid-19 vaccine, saying its for the military

Covid-19 donated by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar arrived at Yangon International airport on Sunday

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, May 6: Covid-19 vaccine donated by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar that arrived at Yangon on Sunday, was rejected by protesters who have called on China to reject the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, with postings on China Embassy facebook saying “Chinese vaccines will only be for military officers and their cronies," reports Irrawaddi.
The donation of 500,000 doses of Covid-19 to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar arrived in Yangon on Air China, with a spokesman at the China Embassy in Myanmar saying "the delivery of the vaccine demonstrated the "paukphaw" (fraternal) friendship and spirit of a community with a shared future."
Thousands of protesters against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government have rejected the donation of Covid-19 from China, with postings on the China Embassy facebook saying “Chinese vaccines will only be for military officers and their cronies. Not for us. Even if they give it to us, we won’t take it as long as we are being ruled by the regime,”
“No thanks, we don’t need your vaccines.”
“Let me die with COVID-19, I won’t inject any vaccines from China.”
“While millions of people are refusing to take COVID-19 jabs, China sent vaccines to the regime. It is very clear who they are supporting, ” said the postings.
In February the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar declared a state of emergency that was broadcast on the Myanmar military-owned television network, saying that power had been handed to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Commander Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
In the weeks after the military takeover of the elected government, protesters called on the Embassy of China in Yangon to reject the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, saying that China had blocked a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) statement condemning the military takeover of the elected government in Myanmar.
The Southeast Asian Times

99 year lease of port in Australia's North to China under review by Australian Federal Government

Ye Cheng, chairman of Shandong Landbridge Group, left, and Adam Giles, former chief minister of Australia's Northern Territory after the signing of the 99-year lease of the East Arm Wharf in Darwin harbour in 2015

From News Reports:
Darwin, May 5: The Australian Federal Government is to review the 99 year lease of the East Arm Wharf in Darwin harbour in Australia's Northern Territory that was granted to foreign invester, Shandong Landbridge Group from Shandong province in China by the Northern Territory government, reports Rueters.
Shandong Landbridge Group chairman, Ye Cheng, who was the winning bidder for the Darwin harbour land deal worth A$506 million, was granted the 99 year lease of the East Arm Wharf in Darwin harbour in 2015 by the then leader of the Country Liberal Party of the Northern Territoy, Chief Minister, Adam Giles.
The lease agreement gave the Shandong Landbridge Group operational control of the East Arm Wharf in Darwin harbour in Australia's Northern Territoy including 80 percent ownership of the land and facilities.
The Australian Federal Government reportedly has the power to impose conditions that include forced divestment of previously approved foreign investment deals under amendments to the foreign investment laws that were made in the Australian Parliament last year.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the new foreign investment powers that were used for the first time in April "were needed to ensure consistency for relations and were not aimed at any one country."
Amendments to the foreign investment laws that focus on protecting Australia’s national security gives the Federal Government retrospective power to review the port lease agreement between the Northern Territory government and China's Landbridge Group in northern Australia from a national security perspective.
The Australian Federal Government has cancelled four foreign investment deals under the new foreign investment laws from a national investment perspective including education deals with Syria and Iran and with China's Belt and Road (BIR) infrastructure-building deals made between the Australian state of Victoria and the Chinese government, with the Australian Federal government saying "the Belt and Road deals were cancelled to ensure foreign policy consistency."
The Australian Federal Government National Security Committe (NSC) has called on the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to review the 99 year lease of the East Arm Wharf in Darwin harbour to foreign investor Shandong Landbridge Group, with Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton saying the government would look at options that are in our national interests after the review.”
Liberal Party of Australia, Member of Parliament, Andrew Wallace said it was "absolutely madness" that the port was leased to the China-based company.
"The Port of Darwin is absolutely critical infrastructure to the defence of Australia’s north and we should be doing everything we can to re-examine that decision," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai protesters want bail for detainees awaiting trial in Remand Prison

The Restart Democracy (Redem) protest group splashed paint on the Bangkok Criminal Court in protest against the court's decision to refuse bail for protesters held awaiting trial in the Bangkok Remand Prison, with two on a hunger strike, on charges of violation of Leste Majeste Law and sedition

From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 4: The Restart Democracy (Redem) protest group, an offshoot of the Ratsadon movement and one of a number of Bangkok protest groups that called on embassy officials in Bangkok to visit two detainees on a hunger strike, protested at the Bangkok Criminal Court against the courts repeated refusal to grant bail to protesters awaiting trial in the Bangkok Remand Prison, warning that "the war has just begun," reports the Bangkok Post.
The Restart Democracy (Redem) protesters marched on the Bangkok Criminal Court from the Victory Monument, to demonstrate their opposition to the court's refusal to grant bail to detainees awaiting trial for violation of the Lese Majest Law and sedition who include two protesters on a hunger strike.
"Our patience is running out" the protesters said through a loud speaker on the 10 kilometre walk on Ratchaphisek Road to the Bangkok Criminal Court.
"The war has just begun," the protesters warned following the court's repeated refusal to grant bail to detainees awaing trial for violation of Lese Majeste law and sedition in the Bangkok Remand Prison.
Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, 22, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 22, who are two of eight protesters arrested for violation of the lese majeste law (Section 112 of the Criminal Code) and sedition (Section 116), have been
on a hunger strike since their arrest on March 15, 2021.
The eight protesters reportedly co-lead the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation that reinstalled a plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution that overthrew Thai absolute monarchy at the Sanam Laung Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace in Bangkok in September 2020.
The United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation submitted a 10 point manifesto to the Thai Parliament on August 10, 2020, calling for amendements to the Thailand Constitution, drafted by the Royal Thai Armed Forces and signed into law by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, that maintains Section 256 that "prohibits changing the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State.
The United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation stated that the demands made in the manifesto are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy that the 10 point manifesto is a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy.
The Southeast Asia Times


Protesters want Bangkok embassies to visit protesters on hunger strike in Bangkok Remand Prison

Thai protest groups at the Bangkok Criminal Court on Friday call for the court to grant bail to protesters in detention awaiting trial for violation of the Lese Majeste law and sedition

From News Reports:
Bangkok, May 3: Protest groups are calling on officials at embassies in Bangkok to visit two protesters who are on a hunger strike in the Bangkok Remand Prison in protest of the Bangkok Court repeated refusal to grant them and six others bail as they await trial for violation of the Lese Majest law and sedition, saying that political prisoners have a right to bail, reports The Bangkok Post.
Members of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, the Free Youth group, the Ratsadon group, the We Volunteer group, and the Democracy Restoration group, who submitted a 10 point manifesto to the Thai Parliament on August 10, 2020, calling for reform of the monarchy but stating that the demands made in the manifesto are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy, handed letters to the United States, German and Swiss embassies.
Protest group representative, Siraphob Attohi, said that the letters ask embassy officials to check on the conditions of Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul who have been on a hunger strike since their arrest on March 15, 2021 charged with violation of the lese majeste law (Section 112 of the Criminal Code), sedition (Section 116), for violating the Ancient Sites Act and lesser charges for involvement in the protest at the Sanam Laung Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace in Bangkok in September 19, 2020.
Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, two of the eight who await trial for violation of the Leste Majest Law and seditio, co-lead the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation that reinstalled a plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution that overthrew Thai absolute monarchy at the Sanam Laung Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Protest group representative, Siraphob Attohi said that the protest groups want embassy officials to visit the protesters in prison" to see the truth with their own eyes", saying "political prisoners have a right to bail."
Thai Justice Ministry spokesman, Wallop Nakbua, insists that the Corrections Department has treated those detained on political offence charges well, saying "those detained have a right to a lawyer to fight their case in court.."
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia classifies West Papua Liberation Army as terrorists

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said terrorist classification without comprehensive research on any specific group could put innocent civilians in danger, saying he did not want any event where civilians are wrongly shot or arrested

From News Reports:
Jakarta, May 2: The Indonesian government has classified all kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB), armed criminal groups in Papua including the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM), Free Papua Movement, terroritsts, with Security Affairs of Indonesia, saying those affiliated with the groups are classified as committing an act of terror," reports the Jakarta Post.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia, Mahfud MD, said that all armed criminal groups (KKB) in Papua under whatever name and those affiliated with it are classified as committing an act of terror.
Former Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia, Wiranto, who dismissed calls for a Papuan referendum on self determination during the 2019 mass protests for a Papuan referendum throughout Indonesia, said the New York Agreement, signed in 1962 by Netherlands and Indonesia, had officially made Papua and West Papua legitimate territories of Indonesia.
“NKRI the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is final, ” he said.
He said that Referendums are for occupied countries that are given the choice to be independent or to join with the occupying country, saying
"Papua and West Papua are legitimate territories of the Republic of Indonesia."
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia, Mahfud MD said on Thursday that the Indonesian government has deemed that organizations and the people of Papua who commit mass violence be categorized as terrorists, saying "this is in line with Law No. 8/2018."
Law No. 8/2018 Article 1(2) defines terrorism as any act that uses violence or threat of violence to create a widespread atmosphere of terror or fear, resulting in mass casualties and/or causing destruction or damage to vital strategic objects, the environment, public facilities, or an international facility.
Article 1(4) defines the threat of violence as including any speech, writing, picture, symbol or physical, with or without the use of electronic or non-electronic form which may incite fear in a person.
“Based on this definition, activities by the armed criminal group under whatever name, its people and those affiliated with it are classified as committing an act of terror," he said.
The classification of the kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB), armed criminal groups in Papua including the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM), Free Papua Movement, terroritsts, follows the West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB) claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya in Beoga district in Puncak regency, in the Papua Province of Indonesia last week.
The Southeast Asian Times

Bangkok court rejectes ninth bail application for protester on hunger strike

Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, 22, at the Bangkok Criminal Court March 15, 2021 charged with violation of the Lese Majeste law and sedition

From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 31: The Bangkok Criminal Court on Thursday rejected the ninth bail application for Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, 22, who is in detention awaiting trial for violation of the Lese Majeste law and sedition and who has been on a hunger strike for 45 days and is reportedly in a critical condition, with his lawyer saying that his client is in a "life threatening condition", reports the Bangkok Post.
Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, who has been in detention at the Bangkok Remand Prison since February, has reportedly not eaten solid food for 45 days, saying he would consume only water and milk in protest against the Bangkok Criminal Courts repeated rejection of bail for himself and seven others who are also charged with violation of the Lese Majeste law and whose bail applications were also rejected on Thursday.
A prison official at the Bangkok Remand Prison said that he checked Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, condition on Saturday morning and found him to be conscious and able to talk, saying he had no dizziness or angina.
"Parit's legs were quite weak and he needed help to walk," he said.
Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, who co-lead the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation that reinstalled a plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution that overthrew Thai absolute monarchy at the Sanam Laung Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace, was charged with violation of the lese majeste law (Section 112 of the Criminal Code), sedition (Section 116), for violating the Ancient Sites Act and lesser charges for involvement in the protest at the Sanam Laung Royal Plaza at the Grand Palace in Bangkok in September 19, 2020.
The United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation submitted a 10 point manifesto to the Thai Parliament on August 10, 2020, calling for reform of the monarchy and open criticism of the monarchy but stating that the demands made in the manifesto are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy that the 10 point manifesto is a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy that includes the amendment to the military drafted constitution that empowers the king to endorse military coups.
Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth said in response to the 10 point manifesto "the government would allow protests as a form of free speech but that demands for reform of the monarchy were not acceptable."
Lawyer, Krisadang Nutcharus, said that he found Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak in a life threatening condition when he visited his client on Wednesday, ahead of the bail application decision on Thurday.
"He suffered from exhaustion, dizziness, immobility and digestive ailments," he said.
The Southeast Asia Times


West Papua Liberation Army fighters refute Indonesian claim that Indonesian joint security forces killed 9 fighters

Bambang Soesatyo, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker and chairman of the Golkar Party, called on the Indonesian government and security forces to immediately deploy all forces to destroy armed criminal groups (KKB) in Papua, saying "human rights can be discussed later."

From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 30: The claim by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) that the joint security forces killed nine West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) fighters in the Beoga district in Puncak regency in the Papua Province of Indonesia on Tuesday, reportedly in retaliation to the fatal shooting of the head of the Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN) on Sunday, was dismissed by the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB), who said "it's a big lie," reports Agence France Press.
Indonesian National Police (POLRI) spokesman, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, said on Wednesday that the hours-long shootout on Tuesday "ended with nine kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups dead, with one POLRI police officer dead and 2 injured."
He said that the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) ambushed the kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups in the Beoga district, saying "Police believe that KKB in the Beoga district were responsible for the Sunday killing of the head of the Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya."
West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman, Sebby Sambom, referred to by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) as kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups, dismissed the report that the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) or kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups, were killed as "a big lie" and "propaganda."
The West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) or Free Papua Movement, spokesman Sebby Sambom have claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya on Saturday, saying "the Brigadier General was shot by a stray West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB) bullet."
On Monday the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker and chairman of the Golkar Party, Bambang Soesatyo called on the Indonesian government and security forces to immediately deploy all forces to destroy armed criminal groups (KKB) in Papua, saying "human rights can be discussed later."
He said that the para-military Mobile Brigade (Brimob) of the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus) Gultor unit, the elite Raiders unit, the Air Forces' Bravo 90 unit and the Navy's Denjaka Special Forces should be deployed to destroy the armed criminal groups (KKB) in Papua.
In December 2018 the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) or Free Papua Movement, claimed responsibility for the attack on Indonesia's state-owned construction company, PT Istaka Kar, killing 19 construction workers in Nduga regency in Papua, saying that they are not armed criminals but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua.
West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman Sebby Sanbom said then that "through this attack on the contruction of the trans Papua road 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 soldiers.
"We are ready to take responsibility", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippine Senators cross party lines to file resolution condemning China incursions in West Philippine Sea

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) reported more than 200 Chinese vessels at anchor at Whitsun Reef, off the Palawan coast in the West Philippine Sea on March 7, 2021

From News Reports:
Manila, April 29: Senators in the Philippines crossed party lines on Monday to file a resolution calling on the Senate to condemn China's incursions in the West Philippine Sea, saying that China's incursions threaten peace and security in Southeast Asia, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Eleven senators led by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto filed a resolution that said in part "neither close diplomatic and political ties nor promise of donations, aids or loans, whether they actually materialize or not, should be mistaken as acceptance of China’s creeping hegemony over our region and country, and no promise of economic largesse often undelivered should soften our resolve against these illegal and unwarranted incursions.”
Senators Nancy Binay, Leila de Lima, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Lito Lapid, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva and Bong Revilla crossed party lines to file Senate Resolution No. 708, saying "the reclamation and construction undertaken by China within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are illegal, no legitimate claims may emanate from such illegally constructed artificial islands or structures."
In March Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana filed a diplomatic protest with the Chinese Embassy in Manila against 220 Chinese ships anchored within the Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) at Whitsun Reef off the Palawan coast in the West Philippine Sea, calling on China to stop the incursion of militia ships.
"We call on the Chinese to stop this incursion and immediately recall these ships that are violating our maritime rights and encroaching into our sovereign territory," he said.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement that the 220 Chinese ships anchored off the Palawan coast in the West Philippine Sea were Chinese fishing vessels taking shelter from rough seas.
"There are no Chinese maritime militia ships as alleged," said the statement.
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 rejected the Hague ruling, saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
China reportedly claims that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid final verdict on the South China Sea dispute.
China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said 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 Southeast Asian Times

Indonesian President Widodo orders military to huntdown all armed Papuan separatists

Indonesia President Joko Widodo ordered the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) to hunt armed separatists and terrorists groups in Papua at a press conference at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Monday

From News Reports:
Jakarta April 28: Indonesia President Joko Widodo ordered the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) to huntdown all armed separatists and terrorists groups in Papua following the fatal shooting of the head of the Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN) on Sunday by the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) who demand independence from Indonesia for Papua, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo said at a press conference in Jakarta on Monday that "there is no place for kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups in Papua or elsewhere in Indonesia."
"I order the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) to hunt and arrest members of kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups in Papua," he said.
XVII Cenderawasih Military Command (Kodam) spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Arm Reza Nur Patria confirmed that the head of Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya, was shot dead in an ambush by kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminal groups on the road to Daungbet village, Beoga district in Puncak regency, in the Papua Province of Indonesia on Sunday.
He said that Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya had launched counter-insurgency operations in Beoga district in Puncak regency, saying "the Brigadier General was conducting field observations and determining ambush points in Beoga district to reinstate security in the area after attacks on the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) by the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) Free Papua Movement "
The West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) Free Papua Movement had reportedly razed the Daungbet village elementary school to the ground, set ablaze civilian homes accusing civilians of being Indonesian government informants.
The West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) Free Papua Movement have claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya on Saturday.
In December 2018 the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack on Indonesia's state-owned construction company, PT Istaka Kar, killing 19 construction workers in Nduga regency in Papua, saying that West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) soldiers are not kelompok kriminal bersenjata (KKB) or armed criminals but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua.
West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman Sebby Sanbom said then that "through this attack on the contruction of the trans Papua road 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 soldiers.
"We are ready to take responsibility", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Submarine wreckage found at depth of 850 metres in Bali waters

The discovery of emergency survival suits floating above the wreckage of submarine KRI Nanggala-402 reportedly indicates that the crew had attempted to access the survival suits

From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 27: The wreckage of the submarine, KRI Nanggala-402 with 53 crew onboard, that sank last Wednesday while conducting a torpedo drill in Bali waters, has been found on the ocean floor, with the Indonesian National Armed Forces, declaring that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all crew members are dead on Sunday, reports the Jakarta Post.
Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, Hadi Tjahjanto, said on Sunday that images of the wreckage found off Bali's northern coast have confirmed that parts of the submarine including the rear vertical rudder, anchors, the body of the submarine, embossed dive ruddder and other ships parts are that of the KRI Nanggala 402.
"With this evidence we can declare that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all crew onboard are dead,” he said.
Navy chief of staff Adm. Yudo Margono said that an underwater robot equipped with a camera has provided images of the KRI Nanggala-402 lying on the ocean floor at a depth of 850 metres, saying "the submarine has broken up into at least three parts."
"The hull of the KRI Nanggala-402 would not withstand the water pressure below a depth of 200 metres," he said.
He said that the cause of the sinking of the submarine remains uncertain, saying "an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface."
"Emergency marine survival suits that are stored in sealed boxes were found floating above the wreckage indicating the crew may have tried to put the survival suits on during the emergency," he said.
He said that the Indonesian Navy plans to lift the wreckage of the KRI Nanggala-402 from the ocean floor to recover the dead, saying "the depth of the water poses a significant challenge."
India, Singapore, United States and Australia came to Indonesia's aid in the search for the missing KRI Nanggala-402, 44 year-old submarine, with India providing a deep submergence rescue vessel (DSRV) that was airlifted to Indonesia by the Indian Air Force to locate the submarine.
The Singaporean vessel MV Swift Rescue deployed the underwater robot that provided images of the submarine, the United States reconnaissance aircraft, P-8 Poseidon, searched the area where the submarine was believed to have sunk and an Australian sonar-equipped warship also searched the waters north of Bali where the submarine had sunk.
The Southeast Asian Times


ASEAN reaches consensus on cessation of violence in Myanmar

Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, dressed in civilian attire, arrives in Jakarta for the ASEAN Leaders' Meeting on Saturday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, April 26: ASEAN member state leaders including the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, but excluding Win Myint, President of the civil National Unity Government (NUG), reached concensus on a five point plan including the cessation of violence, with spokesman for the newly formed civil government saying that the National Unity Government (NUG) looked forward to firm action by ASEAN, reports Irrawaddy.
The National Unity Government (NUG), spokeman and Minister of International Cooperation, Dr Sasa, said that "NUG looked forward to firm action by ASEAN on the five point plan that would restore democracy and freedom to Myanmar."
ASEAN member states reached agreement for the immediate cessation of violence in Mynamar in the first of the five point agreements, with ASEAN leaders reportedly wanting a commitment from commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing to restrain his security forces.
The first point of agreement that demanded the immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar also called on "all parties to exercise utmost restraint."
The NUG deputy foreign minister, U Moe Zaw Oo, rejected the first of the five point plan that demanded the immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar that called on "all parties to exercise utmost restraint," saying that "unarmed civilians are not committing violence."
He said that to call on protesters who are against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar rule to exercise restraint shows that ASEAN does not know the true situation in Myanmar.
"ASEAN should have a concrete plan of action to end the violence should the ASEAN demand for the cessation of violence not be met by commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and chairman of the State Administrative Council (SAC)," he said.
The ASEAN member state represenatatives also reached consensus for the commencement of dialogue and that a special envoy of the ASEAN Chair with assistance from the Secretary General of ASIAN would facilitate mediation, that ASEAN wouldprovide humanitarian assistance and that the special ASEAN envoy and delegation would visit Myanmar to meet with all parties.
The Southeast Asian Times

China warns ASEAN member states against interference in Myanmar internal politics

China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China will maintain direct communication with ASEAN and continue to work with all parties in Myanmar

From News Reports:
Beijing, April 25: China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned ahead of the ASEAN Special meeting called to discuss the Myanmar crisis that followed resistance to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February, that the meeting should observe the ASEAN policy of non interference in a member states internal politics, reports Irrawaddy.
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned against the call from the international community for intervention in Mynamar under the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) United Nations doctrine, saying "external interference does not contribute to solving the problems of Myanmar's internal affairs.
“External interference will bring turbulence and deteriorate the situation, further affecting and disrupting regional stability,” he said.
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) United Nations doctrine was adopted by all United Nations (UN) members in 2005, allowing the international community to take collective action if a state fails to protect its population from atrocities including war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
The newly formed National Unity Government (NUG) that was founded by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) by the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) members of Parliament after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the government was excluded from the ASEAN Special meeting held in Jakarta yesterday but i the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and the State Administrative Council (SAC), Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing was ncluded in the ASEAN Special meeting.
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the international community to support the ASEAN policy of non-interference in the internal politics of Myanmar and for all parties in Myanmar to work within the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar 2008 drafted constitutional and legal framework.
The Southeast Asian Times

ITUC calls for ASEAN to recognise Myanmar's new civilian government as legitimate government of Myanmar

Yangon protesters are against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar commander-in-chief who is also chairman of the State Administrative Council (SAC), Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, participation at the ASEAN Summit held in Indonesia today

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 21: The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called for the New Myanmar government, the National Unity Government (NUG), to be formally recognised by the United Nations, governments and inter-government organisations as the legitimate government of Myanmar, saying failure to do so means direct complicity in mass murder, reports Reuters.
The newly formed National Unity Government (NUG) that was founded last week by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) by the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) members of Parliament after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected government in February, demand that the National Unity Government be included in the ASEAN summit held to address the Myanmar crisis in Jakarta today.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary, Sharan Burrow said ahead of the ASEAN Summit on Myanmar today that is to be attendend by Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar commander-in-chief and also chairman of the State Administrative Council (SAC) Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, that the National Unity Government (NUG) is the legitimate government of Myanmar.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, said that the National Unity Government (NUG) reflects the will of the Myanmar people as expressed in the November 8, 2020 elections, saying "the international trade union movement recognises the National Unity Government (NUG) legitimacy and so should the entire international community."
“Failure to do so means direct complicity in mass murder of people who yearn for democracy and freedom from violent oppression," she said.
"The military junta, which is continuing its murderous campaign against the people of Myanmar, should be completely isolated, she siad.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, said that governments should have nothing to do with the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and all businesses must sever any economic ties they have with the military.
National Unity Government (NUG) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moe Zaw Oo, said that "ASEAN will not achieve anything without consulting and negotiating with the National Unity Government (NUG)," saying
the National Unity Government (NUG) is supported by the people of Myanmar."
"The National Unity Government (NUG) has full legitimacy in Myanmar," he said.
The United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) a coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar pledged support for the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) plan to form a new coalition government, the National Unity Government (NUG) of democtaric forces under the terms of a Federal Democracy Charter in order to eliminate the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar drafted 2008 constitution dictatorship.
The Southeast Asian Times



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

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



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


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

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



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


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


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

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


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

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



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


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

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

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

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




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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
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