The Southeast Asian Times
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established 2000
Saturday 22 July 2017 
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.

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

Hanoi, July 6, 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.

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American dies in Saigon beauty salon while undergoing surgery
From News Reports:
Ho Chi Minh City, July 22: American national, Edward Hartley, 53, died at a HCMCity beauty salon on Wednesday while undergoing surgery for the removal of "belly fat" following weight loss, reports Tuoitrenews.
The HCMCity Municipal Health Department said in a report to the Ministry of Health that the American national died at the Viet Thanh beauty salon on Su Van Hanh Street in District 10 in HCMCity.
Dr. Nguyen Viet Thanh said in his testomony that he performed a "check-up" on the American national on Wednesday morning and asked him to return in the afternoon for the surgery to remove "belly fat."
He said that the American national, Edward Hartley, had folds of skin on his waist and back after losing 18kg, saying that "the surgery was to remove his belly fat."
He said in his testimony that Edward Hartley returned to the clinic at 4.00pm.
He said that at about 15 minutes after he injected him with anesthesia the American began to show signs of vasodepressor or low blood pressure.
Doctor Thanh reportedly carried out emergency procedures to restore blood circulation and breathing.
He called for assistance from the nearby Trung Vuong Hospital.
Doctors from the hospital reportedly arrived twenty minutes later but were unable to revive the American.
The report to the Ministry of Health stated that the Viet Thanh beauty salon was not licensed to perform surgery such as the removal of "belly fat" and was ordered closed pending an investigation into the death of American national, Edward Hartley.
In December 2014, Nguyen Manh Tuong, 40, received a 14 year prison sentences for the death of patient Le Thi Thanh Huyen, 39, in October 2013 while undergoing liposuction and breast implant surgery at the Cat Tuong Beauty Salon in Hanoi.
Police chief, Colonel Giap Van Duong said that the patient had difficulty breathing after Nguyen Manh Tuong had performed breast implant surgery.
He said that the surgeon gave his patient oxygen and other emergency treatment but failed to revive his patient.
Hanoi Health Department, chief inspector, Nguyen Viet Cuong said that the Cat Tuong Beauty Salon was not licensed to perform cosmetic surgery.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia bans Islamic non government organisation
The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights director general for legal administration, Freddy Harris, ordered the disbanding of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) on Wednesday
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 21: Indonesia has officially bannned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), the Indonesian chapter of a international group that wants an Islamic caliphate in Indonesia, the world’s largest majority-Muslim country, reports the Jakarta Post.
The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights director general for legal administration Freddy Harris, said on Wednesday that "the government has the authority to disband non-governmental organizations (NGOs) considered a threat to Indonesia and its pluralist state ideology known as Pancasila."
“The government believes that the revocation of the decree for the legal entity of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) was not done arbitrarily but with consultation with government agencies,” he said.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo approved the decree that was signed to "makes it easier to disband civil society groups seen as causing social unrest and threatening Indonesia’s unity."
"The decision is legal and was made after careful consideration," he said.
The Council of Indonesian Ulema (MUI), chairman, Ma’ruf Amin, supports the ban on Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), saying that the government has the right to say that Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) is not in accordance with Pancasila,”
“The dissolution of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) is indeed a process that has been taken:," he said.
The Indonesian chapter of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), that is believed to have about 2 million members, campaigned for a caliphate and implementation of Sharia law in Indonesia.
In December 2012 the Women`s Representative of the Central Media Office of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, said at a women`s International Conference in Jakarta that "For too long Western capitalist states have been selling the illusion to the world that the capitalist system and a free-market economy are the best ways to establish economic stability and prosperity for women."
The conference titled "The Khilafah: Protecting Women from Poverty and Enslavement" that was attended by about 1500 from around the Muslim world was held to address the failure of the leadership in the Muslim world to provide financial security for Muslim women and to protect them from enslavement.
The Southeast Asian Times

Call for Indonesian president to show support for Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)
From News Reports:
Jakarta, July 20: Yogyakarta activists, students and academics called on Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to call off the inquiry launched by the House of Representatives into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), saying that “by taking the initiative it would show his commitment to the fight against corruption," reports the Jakarta Post.
Former Constitutional Court chief justice said that the launch of an enquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) by the
House of Representatives was "not only unconstitutional but pointless".
He said that the House of Representatives should look at alternative mechanisms to evaluate the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), saying that "the Commission was not an executive body but a judicial body."
Santa harma Catholic University Academic, Sunardi, said "it is about time that Jakarta officials and politicians including President Jokowi showed support for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
The House of Represenataives launched an inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) following the investigation by the
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) into the loss of Rp2.3 trillion to the state from the procurement of e-ID cards worth Rp5.9 trillion.
On Monday the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Golkar Party chairman and House of Representatives Speaker, Setya Novanto as a suspect in the e-ID procurement investigation.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman, Agus Rahardjo, said that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had found
sufficient preliminary evidence to charge him under article 2 paragraph (1) of Law No.31/1999 as amended by Law No. 20/2001 on corruption eradication adj. article 55 paragraph (1) of the Penal Code.
"Setya Novantowas the chief of the Golkar Party faction in the DPR during the budgeting and procurement of e-ID cards," he said.
In April Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator, Novel Baswedan, suffered serious acid burns to his face in a drive-by attack and is in Singapore undergoing treatment for his injuries.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator was leading the investigation into the nationwide electronic ID embezzlement scam when he was attacked.
The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established on 29 December 2003 with the swearing in of five commissioners by President Megawatti - five years after Indonesia said that it had had enough of corruption and President Soeharto.
The People’s Consultative Assembly said in 1998, the same year that Soeharto resigned, that they wanted "a clean state administration free from corruption, collusion and nepotism".
Indonesia established - anti-corruption courts in 33 provinces in 2011 each with six judges with two of the judges attached to the higher court. The corruption courts reportedly hold trial hearings with their secretariats at existing district courts.

The Southeast Asian Times

Demolition of home of the late PM of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, in dispute
Singapore belongs to Singaporeans and not to the Familee" said the banner at the protest in Singapore at Speakers Corner on Saturday that called for a transparent government
From News Reports:
Singapore, July 19: Family members of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, have called for an independent inquiry into a family dispute over the plans to block the demolition of the home of their father, the late and former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, reports the Jakarta Post.
About 300 family members who include siblings, Hsien Yang, 60, and Wei Ling, 62, of the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, protested his plan to block the demolition of their fathers home, a century-old bungalow located on the island city state.
The protest that took place at Singapores Speakers Corner and that included supporters of the wishes of the late and former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew as stated in his will "that the house was to be torn down in order to avoid the building of a personality cult."
The family has accused the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, of "capitalising on their father's legacy for his own political agenda including grooming his son as a future leader."
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has denied the allegations, saying that he was "deeply saddened" by the claims and called them "completely untrue". He said that he would not sue his siblings.
Protester, Gilbert Goh, said that supporters for the demolition of the home of the late and former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, called for a transparent government and for an independent inquiry into the dispute between family members over the demolition of his home.
Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore's first and the longest-serving Prime Minister 1959 - 1990.
He helped found the People's Action Party in 1954 in alliance with communist trade unionists - with whom he would later break - and became Singapore's first prime minister when Britain granted self-governance in all matters except defence and foreign affairs.
He resigned from the executive committee and his cabinet ministerial post after the 2011 parliamentary elections in which the ruling party won its lowest overall vote percentage since independence from the British in 1965.
Dignitaries from more than twenty countries paid tribute to the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, 91, the longest serving Prime Minister in world history, at a state funeral in Singapore in March 2015.
The Southeast Asian Times

Son of former Philippine president Estrada in anti-corruption court to answer plunder charges
Former senator Jinggoy Estrada, arrives at the Sandiganbayan or Corruption Court in Manila to answer corruption charges. He has been denied bail and remains in police custody at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center
From News Reports:
Manila, July 18: Former senator Jinggoy Estrada, son of former president of the Philippines, Joseph Estrada, made his first appearance in the Sandiganbayan or anti- corruption court yesterday to answer plunder charges brought by the Interagency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC), reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Former senator, Jinggoy Estrada, is charged with receiving P183 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that was allegedly invested in non-existent or "ghost" projects.
The none-existent or "ghost" projects were facilitated by business woman Janet Lim-Napoles reportedly the mastermind of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam known as the pork barrel fund.
In April 2014 former senator Jinggoy Estrada, together with Janet Lim-Napoles, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. were charged with 11 counts of corruption in the alleged misappropriation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the Sandiganbayan or anti-corruption court.
Former senator Jinggoy Estrada is charged with violation of the law on public officials’ Code on Conduct and Ethical Standard, following "various discrepancies between 2006 and 2012 between his cash in banks and the cash on hand in banks as declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN)."
In October 2013 Janet Lim-Napoles, who surrendered to police after a reward of P10-million was offered by former Philippine president Aquino for her arrest, was charged with the misappropriation of P10-billion from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
In January 2001 former president of the Philippines, Joseph Estrada was deposed and convicted of plunder in September 2007 - but was pardoned by President Macapagal-Arroyo, his deputy who succeeded him after mass military-supported street rallies forced him from office, a month later.
The pardon restored all of his civil and political rights, the electoral commission ruled.
In July 2012 former Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and eight public officials were charged in the Sandiganbayan, or anti-corruption court, with plunder.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippines military calls for extention of martial law in Mindanao despite Catholic opposition
From News Reports:
Manila, July 17: The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) called for the extention of martial law in the southern Philippines province of Mindanao despite Catholic concern for extention beyond July 24, reports Philippine Inquirer.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the military is "assessing the security situation as the Marawi crisis nears its end," he said.
"The military is clearing 40 to 50 houses in Marawi City a day in order to clear the city of terrorists", he said.
He said that operatons, including airstrikes may continue beyond July 24, when the President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver the State of the Nation Address before Congress that will include an assessment of the establisment of martial law in Mindanao.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law over Muslim Mindanao in the southern Philippines on May 22 after Abu Sayyaf Maute ISIS fighters occupied Marawi City, saying that "the proclamation will last 60 days."
Abu Sayyaf Maute ISIS fighters occupied the public hospital, City Hall, City jail and the university grounds and held hostage Catholic priests in Marawi City in their effort to establish an Islamic caliphate in the southern Philippines for ISIS.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, who spoke on behalf of five Catholic bishops, warned that continued military rule would increase human rights violations, saying that he supported martial law but not an extention.
"The president and legistlators must evaluate the situation before saying we need an extention of martial law," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

New Indonesian map claims territorial rights to Natuna Islands
Deputy of maritime sovereignty of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Arif Havas Oegroseno, shows the latest Indonesia territorial map issued in Jakarta on July 14
From News Reports:
Jakarta Post, July 16: Indonesia has renamed the resource-rich Natuna Islands the North Natuna Sea located off the southern end of the 'nine-dash line' in the South China Sea in the latest Indonesian territorial map issued in Jakarta on Friday, reports the Jakarta Post.
Deputy of maritime sovereignty of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Arif Havas Oegroseno, said that the decision to change the name of the Natuna Islands to North Natuna Sea was initiated by the Arbitration Court in ague ruling.
The court ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim over the South China Sea, saying that "there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources in the sea falling within the 'nine-dash line'."
China rejected the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling saying that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on this matter."
The Philippines 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 had violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
Deputy of maritime sovereignty of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Arif Havas Oegroseno, said that the name was changed to North Natuna Sea in order to "update the sea columnon the northern side of Natuna so its name is in line with the ontinental shelf."
Our national team agreed to name it North Natuna Sea,” he said.
Indonesia's official map was last updated in 1953 when territorial borders were based on old documents following Indonesia’s independence from Dutch colonial rule in 1945.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnamese military in business to serve national interest
Hanoi, July 14: The Vietnamese military is in business in order to serve Vietnam's national defence and to contribute to economic development, reports Tuoitrenews,
Deputy Minister of Defense, Nguyen Chi Vinh, confirmed that the military is involved in business, saying that "the scope of military businesss is larger than the public understands".
The Deputy Minister of Defense said amid public debate on whether the military should relinquish its economic activities in order to stay
focused on national defense that “the extent to which the military is involved in business varies between wartime and peacetime and depends on the economic status of Vietnam", he said.
He said that the military does business in line with the market-driven economy of Vietnam, saying that "no business is allowed to break the law and a military-run enterprise is no exception."
"The military will maintain all business that directly fulfills national defense requirements – manufacturing weaponry, developing defense technology, protecting the country’s sovereignty in the East Vietnam Sea, our other seas, islands and borders", he said.
He said that the military has 88 such companies at present and is determined to have only 17 military-run businesses in the future.
"These 17 companies would be major firms with dual-purpose operations that would include Viettel, the Saigon New Port Corporation and the Vietnam Helicopter Corporation," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

UN Human Rights official accused of bias in report on Myanmar
United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, arrived in Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar's Rakhine State that borders Bangladesh, on Wednesday was greeted by protestors who chanted “Yanghee Lee, get out”, “Yanghee Lee, no no", “No interference in Rakhine“ and "Try to unify South and North Korea”
From News Reports:
Sittwe, July 14: About 200 protesters in Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar's Rakhine State that borders Bangladesh, called on the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar on Wednesday to show priority for thier rights rather than those of the Bengalis, reports Eleven Myanmar.
Protester Kyawt Sein, said that the protesters believe that Yanghee Lee is not working for peace in the Rakhine State, saying that the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights "wrote a biased report after listening to the voices of the Bengalis."
"It shows disrespect for our laws and undermines the sovereignty of the country," he said.
Protester, Khin Maung Shwe, from Butheedaung in the Rakhine State said that the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights who had visited Myanmar's Rakhine state six times, said that "she only paid attention to Bengali affairs.
"We protest against her becasue we believe she did not put the real situation on the ground in her report", he said.
The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, is critical of the Myanmar government's treatment of the "Royingya" identified in Myanmar as "Bengalis", urging the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the ASEAN community to take action against "the ongoing abusive military action against the "Rohingyas" or "Bengalis".
In December 2016 Myanmar security forces began arming and training non-Muslim residents in the north of Rakhine state to counter an alleged growing threat from Muslim "Rohingya" or "Bengali" militants.
Rakhine police chief. Colonel Sein Lwin, said then that his force had started recruiting police from among Buddhist Rakhine and other non-Muslim ethnic minorities in the border town of Maungdaw.
The about 500 Muslim Rohingya militants who had crossed the border from Bangladesh were reportedly confronted by the Myanmar military with support from two M1-2 helicopters.
The Myanmar military seized a BA-94 assault weapon and ammunition that had reportedly been taken by the Muslim Rohingya militants in border post confrontations on 9 October 2016.
The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar estimates that 800,000 Rohingya live in the northwestern Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh.
Myanmar reportedly considers the Muslim Rohingya illegal migrants from Bangladesh but Bangladesh rejects the Rohingya's, rendering them stateless.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 70, whose party won about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 2015 General elections, is subject to the conditions of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military-drafted Myanmar constitution.
The Myanmar constitution allows for the allocation of 25 percent of Parliamentary seats in both houses to unelected military officers.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia rights groups call for further investigation in slaying of broadcaster
Cambodians marked the first anniversary of the assasination of broadcaster and political analyist, Kem Ley, 46, on Sunday at the Star Mart in Phnom Penh, where he was killed in July last year
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, July 13: A coalition of 164 rights groups who marked the first anniversary of the slaying of broadcaster and political analyist Kem Ley, 46, in reportedly "execution style" called for further investigation into his death, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The coalition called for an independent and impartial investigation into the fatal shooting of the broadcaster at the Star Mart gas station in Phnom Penh where he regularly stopped for coffee.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court doctor, Norng Sovannaroth, said then that Kem Ley was shot "execution-style", once behind his left ear and once under his left arm.
The coalition rights groups argue that, Cambodian, Ouet Ang, 38, who was sentenced to life in prison in March for the murder of the broadcaster, "did not act alone."
Ouet Ang, from Banteay Meanchey Svay district, was arrested within half an hour of the killing at 8.30 am at about 1.5 km northeast of the gas station.
The convicted killer claimed that he purchased the pistol while in Thailand in order to kill Kem Ley over money the broadcaster had owed him for over a year.
"He borrowed $3000 from me to help villagers", he told police.
Labor rights group Central official and friend of the slain broadcaster, Moeun Tola, rejected the idea that the broadcaster was killed in broad daylight due to an unpaid debt, saying that "anyone who wanted to kill the broadcaster would know where to find him."
He said that broadcaster Kem Ley was a very outspoken critic of the Cambodian government.
"Only two days before he was killed he was on Radio Free Asia talking about the Global Witness report,” he said.
Broadcaster Kem Ley reportedly said on the Radio Free Asia program two nights before he was shot dead, that the report showed how Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family controlled Cambodian society.
The Global Witness report that reportedly details the vast business holdings of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family drew a fierce rebuke from the the Prime Ministers family.
Cambodia Justice Ministry spokesman, Kim Santepheap, defended the courts proceeding in the arrest and conviction of Ouet Ang in the murder of the broadcaster, saying that "the court's investigation procedures cannot be made public."
The Southeast Asian Times

Four provinces to recieve compensation for worst environment disaster in Vietnam
From News Reports:
Hanoi, July 12: Compensation for the "worst environment distaster in Vietnam" caused by Taiwanese Formosa Plastics Group whose chairman admitted to the poisoning of mass schools of fish by its steel plants in the coastal provinces of Vietnam, is to be paid to those effected, reports TuoiTreNews.
Provision for compensation for those affected in four provinces - Quang Bình, Quang Tr?, Thua Thien Hue was completed this month with Hà Tinh the worst affected receiving part payment of VNÐ1.35 trillion (US$59 million) on July 7.
Hà Tinh Province is expected to receive a total of VNÐ 1.65 trillion ($72.5 million) in compensation from the Taiwanese Formosa Plastics Group that released toxic wastewater into the sea in four coastal provinces and that resulted in the poisoning of about 70 tons of fish in April 2016.
An investigation into the cause of the death of the fish by Vietnam Natural Resources and Environment Ministry show that toxic waste flowed into the sea from underground pipes laid at the steel plants constructed by the Taiwanese Formosa Plastics Group.
The wastewater released by the steel plant at the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh province contained phenol and cyanide that combined with hydro formed a deadly mixture was carried by the current to Hua Thien-Hue.
Formosa Ha Tinh province Steel plant chairman, Hung Nghiep, said that violations in the construction of Ha Tinh province plant caused the mass fish poisonings.
The Taiwanese Formosa Plastics Group has agreed to compensate an estimated 260,000 including fishermen in the four provinces a total of $500 million.
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian school teacher charged with supporting ISIS
From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, July 11: A secondary school teacher was charged with supporting Islamic State (IS) and possessing images related to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on his mobile phone, reports the New Straits Times.
Razis Awang, 31, was accused of providing support to IS via the Malaysian Telegram chat group "Gagak Hitam".
He was also charged with possessing images on his mobile phone and photographs relating to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Razis Awang claimed trial after he was charged in the High Court on Friday.
In December 2016, trader Mohd Sanusi Satar, 31, was charged by magistrate Mohd Zulhilmi with harbouring two Islamic State militants at Taman Manis, Parit Raja from July 1 to August 8. 2016.
Jasanizam Rosni, 33, and Md Saifuddin Muji, 28, were reportedly wanted by police for planning to launch terrorist attacks in Johor between July and August.
Trader Mohd Sanusi Satar was charged under Section 130K of the Penal Code for harbouring, preventing, hindering or interfering with the arrest of a person planning a terrorist act.
He faces life imprisonment and a fine, or a maximum 20-year jail sentence and a fine if convicted.
In August 2016 the Malaysian High Court jailed a preacher for having in his possession a book and images deemed by the court to be related to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Judicial Commissioner Nordin Hassan sentenced Anuar Ab Rawi, 40, to two years in jail from the time of his arrest on March 22.
He was charged with being in possession of the book Misteri Pasukan Panji Hitam and four photographs related to Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qaeda and Islamic State on his mobile phone.
He was charged under Section 130 JB(1)(a) of the Penal Code, that carries imprisonment of up to seven years.
Counsel for the defendent, Saiffuddin Othman, pleaded for leniency saying that his client was a first-time offender and that his client has repented.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam urged the court to mete out a deterrent sentence saying that terrorism-related cases in Malaysia had increased.
The Southeast Asian Times


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


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


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


What they're saying open page here


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


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

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


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

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory


Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

East Timor.
Indonesia Rupiah
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Papua New Guinea
Philippines Peso..
Singapore dollar...

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
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

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