The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
Darwin Ha Noi Cairns Singapore Derby Bangkok Port Hedland Kuala Lumpur Kununurra Manila Townsville Denpasar HCM City Surabaya Penang Dili Port Moresby Phuket Phnom Penh Jakarta
established 2000
Friday 15 November 2019
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Read the letters to The Southeast Asian Times...open here

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

Vietnam rejects claim of occupation of China's islands in South China Sea

China vice president Wang Qishan, claimed that the Nanshu Islands in the South China Sea are illegally occupied by Vietnam at the Second Paris Peace Forum on Monday

From News Reports:
Hanoi, November 15: Vietnam has rejected China's claim that the Nanshu Islands in the South China Sea are occupied by Vietnam, saying that Vietnam has full sovereignty over the Nanshu Islands known by Vietnam as the Truong Sa or Spratly Islands in Vietnam's East Sea, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang rejected the claim made by China vice president Wang Qishan at the Second Paris Peace Forum on Monday that "China's Nanshu Islands in the South China Sea are occupied by Vietnam and other countries"
"Vice president Wang Qishan claim of sovereignty over the Nashu Islands in the South China Sea was made in response to a proposal put by Vietnam Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung," she said.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung reportedly said that litigation is one of the options in Vietnams arsenal to deal with disputes in the South China Sea, saying that "Vietnam may consider legal options to resolve the disputes with China"
Vice president Wang Qishan reportedly said that "the core of the South China Sea issue is territory, a matter related to the occupation of China's Nansha Islands by Vietnam and other countries concerned"
" I hope the Vietnamese will face up to the historical fact, keep to our high-level consensus and resolve differences through dialogue and consultation," he said..
He said that Vietnam should avoid taking action that may complicate matters or undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea including bilateral relations.
Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said that all international disputes including Truong Sa or Spratly Islands must be settled by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including United Nations Charter and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
In 2016 Vietnam called for all signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) that include ASEAN member states and China to comply with international law following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision that ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea.
The court in The Hague ruled that China had violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
China's President Xi Jinping said following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea "shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards, " calling on the European Union to maintain an objective stance and neutrality on the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision.
The Southeast Asian Times

Shoot out in Thai courtroom leaves lawyers for the plaintiff dead

Two lawyers for the plaintiff were shot dead and three injured including the gunman at a shootout over a land dispute in the Chanthaburi courtroom on Tuesday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 14: Two Thai lawyers were killed in a Thai courtroom shootout on Tuesday ahead of a hearing into a land dispute, leaving the gunmen and other lawyers in the courtroom with gunshot wounds, reports the Bangkok Post
Thai National police office spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen, said that the gunman, former deputy inspector-general of the Royal Thai Police Office, Pol Maj Gen Thanin Chantratip, 67, survived the shootout but that the lawyers Bancha Parameekanaporn, 61, and Wijai Sukharom, 51, were confirmed dead, saying that "others in the courtroom were injured in the shootout."
He said that the gunman, former deputy inspector-general of the Royal Thai Police Office, Pol Maj Gen Thanin Chantratip, 67, opened fire on lawyers Bancha Porameesanaporn, 61, and Wijai Sukharom, 51, in the Chanthaburi provincial court before an on-duty guard shot the gunman, wounding him.
The former deputy inspector-general of the Royal Thai Police Office, Pol Maj Gen Thanin Chantratip, 67, was reportedly in the Chanthaburi provincial courtroom at 9.15am waiting for the hearing into the decade-long land dispute when the two lawyers for the plaintiff arrived.
Pol Maj Gen Thanin Chantratip, who claims that complaints and testimonies against him are false, was arguing with the two lawyers when he drew a pistol and opened fire at the lawyers and others in the group that included the wife of lawyer Bancha Parameekanaporn, 61
Lawyers Bancha Parameekanaporn, 61, and Wijai Sukharom, 51, died at the Prapokklao Hospital from gunshot wounds.
Four including the gunman, Pol Maj Gen Thanin Chantratip were injured.
The gunman, was shot in the courtroom by an on-duty police officer.
Chanthaburi provincial courtroom spokesman, Suriyan Hongwilai, said that the shooting took place before the judge for the hearing had entered the courtroom, saying that "the two sides had often argued at previous hearings."
The shooting at the Chanthabur provincial court follows the shooting last month at the Yala Provincial court in Southern Thailand where a Thai judge shot himself after acquiting five Muslims charged with murder in the ongoing separatist conflict in southern Thailand, reportedly against orders to convict.
Judge Kanakorn Pianchan claims that the director of the office of the chief justice for Region 9 ordered him "to penalize the five defendants" without solid evidence to prove that they had committed crimes, saying "but I won't follow his order.”
"I'm not saying that the five defendants didn't commit the crimes, they might have done so", he said.
"But the judicial process needs to be transparent and credible... punishing the wrong people makes them scapegoats." he said in his address to the court before he reportedly recited a legal oath in front of a portrait of the Thai King and pulled out a hand gun and shot himself in the chest.
Judge Kanakorn Pianchana is recovering from his self inflicted wounds in a Thai hospital.
The Southeast Asian Times


House arrest lifted for president of banned Cambodia opposition party

U.S Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy with former president of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, who is charged with treason, in Phnom Penh on Monday after the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had reduced his bail conditions

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, November 13: Phnom Penh Municipal Court has reduced bail conditions for former dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) chairman, Kem Sokha who has been under house arrest since September last year after his arrest and imprisonment for plotting a coup d'etat against the Cambodian government in 2017, with treason charges yet to be tested in court, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Justice Ministry spokesman, Chin Malin said that the investigating judge reduced bail conditions for Kem Sokha at the request of his lawyer, saying that "his cooperation with authorities was taken into account."
"Kem Sokha remains under court supervision, banned from leaving Cambodia, refrain from conducting political activities and respond if summoned by authorities," he said.
Justice Ministry spokesman, Chin Malin said that Kem Sokha is required to defend his case according to court procedures in order to prove that he has not committed any offence.
Kem Sokha was released on bail from Thong Khmum prison in September last year, restricting his movement to a four-block radius around his Phnom Penh home and banning him from associating with any former dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) members.
Former dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) chairman, Kem Sokha, said that the court's decision to reduce his bail conditions did not mean that the treason charge brought against him was dropped.
"I am innocent of all charges brought against me", he said.
The Cambodian Supreme Court dissolution of the opposition party in November 2017 followed the arrest of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party chairman, Kem Sokha, for plotting to overthrowing the Hun Sen government with the assistance of the United States.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party chairman was arrested on September 3 2017 without a warrant at his Phnom Penh residence and charged with treason on grounds that a 2013 video showed that he had received assistance from the US.
Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn said then that Kem Sokha had committed a "clear act of treason",
The Foreign Minister said that a 2013 video showed the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) chairman, Kem Sokha, claiming that he had received assistance from the US.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said then that prosecutors had sufficient evidence to charge the opposition party chairman with treason under Article 443 of the Criminal Code for “conspiring with a foreign power”.
The Southeast Asian Times

Sumatra police arrest owner of palm oil plantation for murder of reporters

North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Agus Andrianto announced the arrest of suspects involved in the murder of two reporters at the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation last month in Medan North Sumatra on Friday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 12: North Sumatra Police have arrested the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation also known as cooperative KSU Amelia in Wonosari village, Panai Hilir district, Labuhan Batu regency, believed to have ordered the murder of two reporters who were found dead with stab wounds at the palm oil plantation on October 30, reports the Jakarta Post.
Reporters, Martua Parasian Siregar, 55, and Maraden Sianipar, 42 were investigating a land dispute between a local farmer and the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation for a local weekly publication, the Pilar Indonesia Merdeka (Pindo Merdeka), when they were attacked with kelewang or machetes.
North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Agus Andrianto said the murder of the two reporters was believed to have been over a land dispute between the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation identified as WP and local farmer Ranjo Siallagan.
Police chief Insp. Gen. Agus Andrianto said that the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation identified as WP was arrested and charged with the murder of the two reporters after police apprehended four suspects identified as DS, JH, VS, and SH believed to have attacked and killed the reporters with kelewangs or machetes at the plantation.
He said that the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation identified as WP had paid a suspect identified as JS Rp 15 million (US$1,068) to kill local farmer named Ranjo Siallagan.
He said that PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation owner identified as WP had ordered one of the four suspects identifed as JH to kill the two reporters when they arrived at the plantation on October 29 to investigate the land dispute.
The reporters were to meet with the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation identified as WP at the plantation but were met with the four suspects who each carried a kelewang or machete instead.
North Sumatra Police have reportedly arrested the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation identified as WP, who has denied allegations of involvement in the murder of the reporters.
Police said that the owner of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation identified as WP denied owning the palm oil plantation, claiming that it was his father-in-law who was one of the owners of the PT Sei Alih Berombang palm oil plantation also known as cooperative KSU Amelia.
The murder of the two reporters follows the suspicious death in Medan in North Sumatra last month of environmental lawyer Golfrid Siregar, 34.
The environmental lawyer reportedly died of multiple injuries including severe head injuries without regaining consciousness in what local police said was a traffic accident.
But his family and the Indonesian Forum for Environment (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia Walhi) have called for an investigation saying that the motorcycle he was driving was not damaged, there were no marks on the road and that his legs and hands did not have any of the cuts or wounds typical in traffic accidents.
Golfrid Siregar represented the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia Walhi) in a lawsuit against North Sumatra’s governor over the 2017 approval for the construction of the US$1.5 billion Batang Toru hydroelectric dam.
Walhi argued that the permit issuance process was problematic and was appealing two earlier court verdicts.
Golfrid Siregar was also involved in defending villagers against a concrete company in Siantar, helping villagers in Karo regency over illegal logging, and assisting fishermen in Pantau Labu contesting a sand company.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia reverses ban on Sam Rainsy return after Independence Day celebrations

Self exiled former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy arrives at Malaysia's Kular Lumpur airport on Saturday from Amsterdam after having been blocked from a boarding a Thai Airways flight from Paris to Cambodia via Bangkok on Thursday with reference to the ASEAN non interference principle

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, November 11: Cambodia has reversed the ban on the return of self exiled former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy following the completion of Independence Day celebrations on Saturday, with the Interior minister and deputy prime minister, Sar Kheng, saying that Sam Rainsy will have to face due justice on his return to Cambodia, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Interior minister and deputy prime minister, Sar Kheng, announced the shift in the government position on Saturday following the arrival of Sam Rainsy in Kuala Lumpur reportedly en route to Cambodia, saying "As of now, there is not any announcement by the Cambodian government to bar the culprit Sam Rainsy and his colleagues from entering the country."
The Interior minister and deputy prime minister, Sar Kheng, who called Sam Rainsy a culprit and a convict, reversed the ban on the return
of self exiled former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) following the completion of Independence Day celebrations that reportedly went ahead without incident amid heavy security including on the Thai-Cambodia border.
The former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Sam Rainsy and six other former members are charged with committing offences including incitement under the Cambodian Criminal Code that includes plotting in the United States to overthrow the Hun Sen government on their planned return to Cambodia on Independence Day celebrations on November 9.
The Cambodia government had reportedly expected opposition supporters to attempt to disrupt the Independence Day celebrations.
Sam Rainsy reportedly appealed to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to revolt against the legitimate government of Cambodia, prompting wanted posters for his arrest and six others charged with plotting a coup d'etat to be posted at all checkpoints along the Thailand-Cambodian border.
Sam Rainsy arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport from Amsterdam on Saturday after having been blocked by Thailand from a boarding a Thai Airways flight from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday saying that he would be in Malaysia for "a couple of days."
"I want to go back to my home country," he said.
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) former president and co-founder of the party, Sam Rainsy, went into exile in Paris in 2015 fearing arrest after parliamentary immunity was removed and he faced multiple criminal defamation charges for his accusation of corruption against the Hun Sen Cambodia's People's Party (CPP).
In September 2013 the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) boycotted parliament following the July general elections which saw the fourth consecutive victory of the Cambodian People's Party gain 68 seats of the National Assembly and the opposition occupying the remaining 55 seats.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) claimed that up to 1.25 million Cambodians who were eligible to vote were not on the electoral role and accused the ruling Cambodia's People's Party (CPP) of poll fraud.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia tells UN not to interfere in Cambodia's national sovereignty

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Rhona Smith, and Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh in 2015

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, November 10: United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Rhona Smith, urged Cambodia's law enforcement officials to apply non-violent means on the deployment of security forces along the Cambodia border ahead of former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy’s attempted return to Cambodia on Saturday, with Cambodia government spokesman, Phay Siphon saying that the UN Special Rapporteur "should not interfere in Cambodia's sovereignty", reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodia government spokesman, Phay Siphon, said that United Nations Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith should not interfere in Cambodia's sovereignty, saying that "Cambodia has taken action to maintain peace and prevent acivities that could lead to toppling the elected gvernment."
The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces are reportedly stationed at checkpoints on the Thai-Cambodian border ready to arrest
former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy, and six others charged with plotting a coup d'etat against the Cambodian government should Sam Rainsy and his supporters attempt to return to Cambodia.
United Nations Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith called on the Cambodian government to respect the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and assembly, saying that she held grave concern for human rights over the "heightened political crackdown across Cambodia.”
At least 89 Cambodians have reportedly been charged with plotting a coup d'etat against the Cambodian government since August with 52 arrested in 20 provinces on related charges, bringing the total of those arrested for their support for Sam Rainsy since the Supreme Court dissolution in 2017 of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), to 200.
“The rapid increase in the number of arrests and serious charges filed against Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) members is alarming," said the United Nations Special Rapporteur.
She claims that the right to freedom of opinion and expression through political discourse and commenting on public affairs are not permitted in Cambodia, saying that "Cambodia must respect its international obligations."
Cambodia government spokesman, Phay Siphon, said that the deployment of armed forces along the border and troop movements in Cambodia are just some of the duties of the government in the maintainance of peace and stability in accordance with the law.
We appeal to all people not to join the coup plot led by Sam Rainsy and his supporters,” he said.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan said in July that the Human Rights 526 Cambodia Act of 2019 that was tabled in the US House of Representatives in January and passed in the House of Represenatatives in July but is yet to be approved by US President Donald Trump that "the proposed Cambodia Act of 2019 is politically-motivated."
"The bill goes against the peace, stability and prosperity of the Kingdom of Cambodia," he said.
He said that the basis for the US proposed passing of the bill that includes "the undemocratic rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen," the arrest of the chairman of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, and six unfair and unfree elections since 1991 and the ungenuine 2018 elections "is unfounded."
The Southeast Asian Times

Police ready to arrest Sam Rainsy on Thai-Cambodia border

Wanted posters for the arrest of Sam Rainsy, Eng Chhai Eang, Mu Sochua, Ou Chanrith, Ho Vann, Long Ry, Men Sothavrin, Tioulong Saumura and Nuth Romdoul, posted on checkpoints on the Thailand - Cambodia border

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, November 9: Wanted posters for the arrest of former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy, and six others charged with plotting a coup d'etat against the Cambodian government, have been posted at all checkpoints along the Thailand-Cambodian border ahead of their planned return to Cambodia today, reports the Khmer Times.
The former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Sam Rainsy and six other former members are charged with committing offences including incitement under the Cambodian Criminal Code that includes plotting in the United States to overthrow the Hun Sen government on their return to Cambodia on November 9.
Sam Rainsy has reportedly appealed to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to revolt against the legitimate government of Cambodia.
Cambodian Armed Forces Division 3 commander Lt Gen Srey Doek said on Tuesday that the military is ready to arrest Sam Rainsy and his six supporters, saying that "posters of those traitors have been placed along the Cambodia-Thailand border."
He said that Thai soldiers have also been informed of the group’s planned arrival, saying "they will be arrested to ensure the safety of the Thai people."
Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief, Major General Ath Khem, said he will arrest Sam Rainsy and his supporters if they enter Cambodia through Banteay Meanchey province.
He said that the wanted posters are placed at all checkpoints along the Cambodia-Thai border, saying "we are ready to arrest those people."
In August the Cambodia National Police called on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) police to alert Cambodia of the arrival of Sam Rainsy in their countries, saying that the former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy who has been in self exile in France and other former members of the dissolved opposition party in the United States, are on their way to Cambodia.
National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Kim Chhay Khoeun said that the Cambodia National Police and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces have ordered their forces and provincial governors "to implement the court order to arrest former president of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
"Our police and armed forces must be ready to arrest former president of dissolved banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy and his supporters should they enter Cambodia by land, sea or air," he said.
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) former president and co-founder of the party, Sam Rainsy, went into exile in Paris in 2015 fearing arrest after parliamentary immunity was removed and he faced multiple criminal defamation charges in his accusation of corruption against the Hun Sen Cambodia's People's Party (CPP).
In September 2013 the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) boycotted parliament following the July general elections which saw the fourth consecutive victory of the Cambodian People's Party gain 68 seats of the National Assembly and the opposition occupying the remaining 55 seats.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) claimed that up to 1.25 million Cambodians who were eligible to vote were not on the electoral role and accused the ruling party of poll fraud.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand blocks Sam Rainsy from returning to Cambodia via Thailand

Former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Sam Rainsy, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on Monday November 4, 2019, went into exile in Paris in 2015 fearing arrest after parliamentary immunity was removed and he faced multiple criminal defamation charges for accusations of corruption against the Hun Sen Cambodia's People's Party (CPP)

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 8: Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has blocked the former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy, who is charged with plotting a coup d'etat against the Hun Sen government, from entry to Cambodia via Thailand, saying that blocking his entry to Cambodia is in accordance with Thailands committment to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) principle of non-interference, reports the Bangkok Post.
Sam Rainsy, who is charged with committing offences under the Cambodian Criminal Code that includes a meeting in the United States on January 20 of former members of the dissolved Cambodian opposition party who reportedly planned his return to Cambodia to overthrow the Hun Sen government, vowed to return to Cambodia on November 9.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha blocked the former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party, who said that he and the Cambodian people would arrest Prime Minister Hun Sen on his return to Cambodia, from returning to Cambodia via Bangkok.
He claimed that blocking the entry of Sam Rainsy to Cambodia via Thailand was in accordance with Thailand's commitment to the ASEAN policy of non-interference, saying "we will not interfere in each other’s internal affairs."
"We will not allow anti-government activists to use Thailand," he said.
The former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Sam Rainsy, reportedly tweeted a copy of his airline ticket from Paris, where he has been in exile since 2015, to Bangkok from where he would travel to the Thai border and into Cambodia.
Sam Rainsy said on Wednesday that he was shocked and disappointed by Thailands position but that he would continue with his plan to return to Cambodia, saying that he would return to Cambodia on Saturday November 9 as planned to face arrest.
"I won't give up and will try to the last minute," he said.
In August the Cambodia National Police called on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) police to alert Cambodia of the arrival of Sam Rainsy in their countries, saying that the former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and his supporters are on their way to Cambodia.
National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Kim Chhay Khoeun said that the Cambodia National Police and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces have ordered their forces and provincial governors "to implement the court order to arrest former president of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
"Our police and armed forces must be ready to arrest former president of dissolved banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy and his supporters should they enter Cambodia by land, sea or air," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand hands over rotating ASEAN 2020 chair to Vietnam

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hands the 2020 ASEAN chairmanship hammer to his Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the close of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on Monday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 7: Thailand handed the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) chair for 2020 to Vietnam at the close of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on Monday with Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, saying that Vietnam would promote ASEAN centrality, innovation, cohesion and sustainability during Vietnam's term as chair of ASEAN, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the theme “Cohesive and responsive” would define ASEAN chaired by Vietnam in 2020.
"Vietnam would work to strengthen ASEAN economic integration, improve ASEAN institutional efficiency and foster ASEAN relations with global partners, saying that "sustainable cooperation will enable the ASEAN bloc to tackle various challenges."
He said that cohesion would be achieved if ASEAN is united, saying that "a cohesive and responsive ASEAN community would adapt to external impact."
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that Thailand paid attention to ASEAN centrality, innovation, cohesion and sustainability in the regional bloc during Thailand's 2019 year as chair of ASEAN.
Thailand reportedly promoted ASEAN centrality as the ASEAN chair while pushing forward the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest trading bloc, that includes the 10 ASEAN member countries and trading partners, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Thailand reportedly promoted cooperation of the ASEAN member countries in the Declaration on Asean Industrial Transformation 4.0 in order to foster economic growth and to promote inclusive and equitable economic development.
Thailand reportedly promoted digitial integration to ensure Asean's readiness for the Forth Industrial Revolution that includes the development of skills in the regions workforce as chair of ASEAN.
Thailand promoted the maintainance of ASEAN centrality in order to affirm the regions critical role in the global production network.
“Following those efforts, Vietnam will focus on promoting ASEAN cohesion and sustainability by enhancing solidarity and unity, said Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The Southeast Asian Times


RCEP to continue negotiations after failing to reach consensus in Bangkok

The 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit in Bangkok failed to reach consensus

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 6: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). the world's largest trading bloc, failed to reach consensus on Monday after three attempts during the 35th Asean Summit in Bangkok, saying they will continue negotiations, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that includes the 10 ASEAN member nations ministers and ministers from trading partners China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India issued a joint statement on Monday in Bangkok saying that the ministers had not achieved the goal of concluding the free trade agreement by the end of the year.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) participating countries reportedly plan to continue negotiations in areas of disagreement that includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) that would grant corporations the exclusive right to bypass domestic legal systems and sue the partner government for compensation at an international arbitration tribunal.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) ministers of the 16 partner countries pledged to sign an agreement that would establish the world's largest free trade area in 2020, saying they would continue with negotiations.
The statement said that India has significant outstanding issues that remain unsolved, saying that India and other RCEP members failed to reach agreement in key fields such as tariffs.
Indian National Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi said that any decision by the government to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement "will bring untold hardship to farmers, shopkeepers, and small and medium-sized enterprises in India."
He said that India feared that cutting tariffs on dairy and other products would allow for a greater influx of Chinese goods and agricultural imports from Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries.
The Communist Party of India said on Saturday that joining the RCEP will harm the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, and increase the deficit.
The Southeast Asian Times


ASEAN and China sign bilateral agreements at ASEAN Summit

China Premier Li Keqiang, fifth from left, with ASEAN member nations head of state at the ASEAN-China Summit at the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 5: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 10 member nations and China signed bilateral agreements pledging to work together to promote connectivity in the region on Sunday in Bangkok, with China Premier Li Keqiang saying that "cooperation between Asean and China is moving forward in a positive fashion," reports the Bangkok Post.
Asean and China pledged to synergise development and work together to promote ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the ASEAN-China summit that was included in the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits "Advancing Partnerships for Sustainability" held in Bangkok last weekend.
China Premier Li Keqiang said at the 22nd ASEAN China summit in Bangkok on Saturday that "cooperation between Asean and China is moving in a positive fashion on ASEAN Connectivity and the China Belt and Road Initiative."
"Asean and China recognised that ASEAN Connectivity and the China Belt and Road Initiative would contribute to regional connectivety, peace and stability, economic prosperity and sustainable development," he said.
He said that China would actively support the development and financing of ASEAN infrastructure projects, saying that "China would promote connectivity in the construction of railways, highways, port and harbors, airports, power and in communication in order to build a better business and investment environment."
The bilateral agreements signed between ASEAN and China would reportedly allow for investment opportunities brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution that would expand cooperation in areas including innovation smart city development, artificial intelligence, digital economy and information and communication technologies.
In April Corporations from 88 countries including the 10 ASEAN member nations were represented at China's second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing that was initiated by China in order to build a new platform for world economic cooperation
China President Xi Jinping said in Beijing at a meeting with Philippine President Duterte that the "Philippines had achieved positive turnaraound consolidation and elevation over the past three years and had entered a new stage of development."
"China is willing to enhance the synergy of development strategies with the Philippines, create highlights of cooperation under the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road, promote connectivity and development for China and the Philippines and for all countries in the region", he said.
Last month ASEAN member, Philippines and China signed agreements for infrastructure devlopment in the Philippines under the Philippines "Build, Build, Build" (BBB) infrastructure programme and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with China Vice Premier Hu Chunhua saying that "China is ready to work with the Philippines to implement the agreements reached between Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and China President Xi Jinping in Bejing.
China Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said that the intergration of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Philippines' "Build, Build, Build" (BBB) infrastructure program would further develop "the comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship between China and the Philippines."
The Southeast Asian Times

President Joko Widodo avoids impeachment: cancels plan to revoke amendments to anti corruption law

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said prior to taking the presidential oath for a second five-year term on October 20 that he would consider issuing a government regulation in lieu of the law (Perppu) to revoke ammendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that was passed into law in the weeks before his inauguration

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 4: Newly inaugurated President Joko Widodo, who said before he began his second term in office amid calls for impeachment, that he would consider issuing a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the ammendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), backtracked on his plan to revoke the amendments that would reportedly weaken the authority of the anti-corruption law on Friday, reports the Jakarta Post.
President Joko Widodo said last month amid threats of impeachment that he would consider issuing a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the ammendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that was passed into law last month with NasDem Party official Surya Dharma Paloh, saying that "issuing a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) could prove problematic for the President."
"Such a move could easily be politicized and Jokowi could face impeachment for doing so," he said.
Senior public figures, cultural critic Goenawan Mohamad, economist Emil Salim, Quran expert Quraish Shihab, former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD, philosopher Franz Magnis-Suseno and former KPK commissioners Taufiequrachman Ruki and Chandra Hamzah, claimed that political eletes threatened to impeach President Jokowi if he revoked the ammendments to the KPK.
Ammendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) would remove KPK ability to recruit its own investigators, the establishment of a supervisory council would monitor the KPK and the requirement by the KPK to obtain permits to conduct wiretap would reportedly weaken the authority of the Commission.
The Senior public figures argued that the issue of government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) was a constitutional right of the President and therefore could not be used as a pretext to impeach him.
“We call on the President to immediately issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to correct the KPK Law ammendments in order to strengthen the President’s commitment to corruption eradication,” they said ahead of the inauguration of President Joko Widodo last month
President Joko Widodo said on Friday that he had started to look for candidates to fill the supervisory council that would monitor the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) saying that he would "handpick the council members without a formal selection process."
Amendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) also require all KPK employees to be civil servants, the KPK to obtain a wiretapping warrant from the supervisory council and to drop cases that are not completed within a year and revokes the KPK's independent recruitment of investigators.
President Joko Widodo said that it would not be proper to issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the ammendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) while the law is beng reviewed in the Constitutional Court, saying that a petition for a judicial review an attempt to revoke the ammendments is before the court.
The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established in 2003 with the swearing in of five commissioners by President Megawatti on 29 December 2003.
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

Negotiation on world's largest trading bloc fails to reach concensus at Asean Summit in Bangkok

The 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits "Advancing Partnerships for Sustainability" held in Bangkok this weekend is attended by Asean member heads of state, the president of the Republic of Korea, the prime ministers of Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand and Russia and premier of the People's Republic of China, the special envoy of the president of the United States, and the secretary-general of the United Nations

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 3: Negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest trading bloc free trade agreement, failed to reach consensus at the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits held in Bangkok on Friday with ministers from the 10 Asean member countries and trading partners China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India reportedly to continue negotiations, saying that a joint statement would be released on Monday, reports the Bangkok Post.
Asean Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi said ahead of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations reportedly expected to be held on Monday that "this is the seventh year of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations and I would like to see it concluded"
The Asean Secretary-General said that he was confident that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would be completed before Thailand's chairmanship of Asean ends and is handed over to Vietnam at the end of the year.
"The regional partnership is doable," he said.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said ahead of the two day 34th Asean Summit held in Bangkok in June 2019 that as Asean chair for 2019 Thailand would maintain Asean centrality in its move to push forward agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement.
He said that as Asean chair, Thailand would work with the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and the 6 country trade partners to address the challenges it faces in the move to push agreement forward.
He said that the yet to be concluded Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would act as a stable platform for trade and investment that caters to the needs of investors while maintaining Asean centrality in the regional architecture.
Asean ministers agreed to continue negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the handing over of the ASEAN chair from Singapore to Thailand at the 32nd Asean Summit in Singapore in November last year following the failure to reach consensus at the 31st Asean Summit held in the Philippines in November 2017.
Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTIP) trade undersecretary, Ceferino Rodolfo, said then "contentious issues remain unresolved" between the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and the six country trading partners.
The Indonesian People Coalition for Economic Justice (IPCEJ) had rejected the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement in July 2017 on the grounds that the agreement includes an Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) that would grant corporations the exclusive right to bypass domestic legal systems and sue the Indonesia government for compensation at an international arbitration tribunal should government regulations such as rise in minimum wage limit corporate profits.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand and Australian gold miner yet to settle compensation claims

Thai Prime Minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, is considering options in the setttlment of the compensation claim made by Australian gold miner, Kingsgate Consolidated Limited ahead of the final and binding decision to be made by the extraterritorial tribunal held in Singapore this month

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 31: The Thai government is considering its options in the settlement of the compensation claim made by Australian gold miner, Kingsgate Consolidated Limited for the closure of the Chatree gold mine in Phichit, ahead of the extraterritorial tribunal to be held in Singapore this month, reports the Bangkok Post.
Thai Energy Minister, Suriya Jungrungreangkit, proposed four options to the cabinet that is chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday ahead of the extraterritorial tribunal to be held in Singapore this month, saying that "a final and binding decision will be made on the payment of compensation in Singapore", reports Bangkok Post.
Kingsgate Consolidated Limited that operated the Chatree gold mine in Phichit, the largest gold mine in Thailand, under the management of its subsidiary Akara Resources is seeking compensation from the Thai government for the closure of its goldmine in 2017 that began production in 2001 with a concession to 2028 under a dispute clause in the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (Tafta).
Australian gold miner, Kingsgate Consolidated Limited is reportedly seeking compensation under the investor dispute clause that allows investor companies that believe they have been descriminated against to appeal to an extraterritorial tribunal.
The four options proposed to the cabinet on Tuesday in an effort to resolve the dispute ahead of the extraterritorial tribunal in Singapore includes payment to Akara Resources to shut down its operation, comply with Akara Resources demands in order to avoid compensation payment, abide by the ruling of the arbitrator at the extraterritorial tribunal in Singapore, and partially pay damages and allow the mine to reopen.
The Chatree gold mine in Phichit was closed by Thai Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang in January 2017 amid allegations that "the gold mine has caused heavy-metal and cyanide contamination to the environment and caused deteriorating health to thousands of farmers living in the vicinity of the Chatree gold mine."
Blood and urine testes conducted by Central Institute of Forensic Science, Rangsit University and the Public Health Ministry in order to assess the impact of gold mining in Phichit, Phetchabun and Phitsanulok provinces showed above-standard arsenic and manganese levels in residents living in the vicinity of the Chatree gold mine.
The Thai government stopped the issuance of new mining permits including 107 gold mining applications, the renewal of existing 33 gold concession licences and 65 Special Prospecting Licences (SPLs) that had been issued to 12 provinces targeted for gold mining following the assessment of the impact of gold mining.
Australian goldminer, Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, said in a statement following the closure of the gold mine in 2017 that it would appoint a leading international law firm to represent it in arbitration, saying that "the Board of Kingsgate considers that the Company has excellent prospects of successfully recovering very substantial damages against Thailand and will vigorously prosecute its claim."
In May 2016 lawyers for Phetchabun and Phichit farmers said that farmers living in the vicinity of the Australian operated Chatree gold mine located north of Bangkok in Pichit province and in Phetchabun province have demanded compensation of 1.58 million baht each for damage to their health and a 50-million-baht contribution to an environmental clean-up fund for damage to the environment.
Lawyers said that more farmers were expected to join the class-action suit to claim compensation for medical treatment deterioration of health and loss of benefits from naural resources.
The Southeast Asian Times


Rogue Australian state deal with China not in national interest says Australian government

Premier of the State of Victoria Daniel Andrews and China ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye in Melbourne in October 2018 sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that makes Victoria the first Australian state to support the One Belt One Road (BRI) infrastructure development investment program

From News Reports:
Sydney, November 1: The state of Victoria in Australia signed a new agreement with China for the One Belt One Road (BRI) infrastructure development investment program last week becoming the only state in Australia to support the program amid criticism from the Australian government, with Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton accusing the premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, of failing to act in the national interest, reports the Australian Associated Press.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison rebuked the Premier of the state of Victoria for going ahead with China's One Belt One Road initiative without consultation with the Australian federal government following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) by the Premier of Victoria in October last year.
Premier of the state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, said following the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) last year that agreement with China on the One Belt One Road (BRI) infrastructure program would benefit Victorians, saying “we have a very strong, very important economic partnership that's all about jobs."
"It's all about more products exported around the world,” he said.
The new agreement signed last week by the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews states that the Australian state of Victoria and China would work together to inject new momentum into the development of long-term business partnerships.
The Premier of Victoria said that the new agreement would allow the state of Victoria's engineering and design companies to bid for contracts for One Belt One Road (BRI) infrastructure development investment projects around the world, saying that "it is an important opportunity to showcase Victoria’s massive infrastructure projects and to highlight the ingenuity and expertise of Victorian companies," he said.
“We are proud of our close relationship with our largest trading partner and will continue to work closely with China to promote China's investment in our state.”
Last week Australian Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, accused the Premier of the state of Victoria of failing to act in the national interest for pursuiing the One Belt One Road (BRI) infrastructure program, saying "I haven’t heard the rationale or the reasoning behind what seems to be a pretty rushed decision."
"The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) will work to stamp out foreign interference," he said.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute director, Peter Jennings, said that the state of Victoria may have overstepped the mark after the Australian federal government declined to sign up to the China One Belt One Road (BRI) infrastructure program.
He said it was wrong for the state government of Victoria to sign the agreement with the One Belt One Road (BRI) infrastructure program, saying that "it might have been unconstitution."
"The agreement between the state of Victoria and China could be viewed as a form of inappropriate political interference by China", he said.
He said that China did not get the answer that China wanted from one jurisdiction, saying " they went to another jurisdiction with the effect of undermining the federal government."
The Southeast Asian Times


Arrest warrants issued for Thai ponzi scheme operators for fraud

Warrants for the arrest of Wantanee "Mae Mani" Thipprawet, 28, left, and Methee Chinnapha, 20, charged with fraud for operating an alleged ponzi scheme

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 31: Warrants for the arrest of two Thais for operating an alleged ponzi scheme were approved by the Bangkok Criminal Court on Tuesday, charged with public fraud, with about 120 Thais claiming they were defrauded of about 100 million baht, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Bangkok Criminal Court approved warrants for the arrest of Wantanee "Mae Mani" Thipprawet, 28, and Methee Chinnapha, 20, accused of operating a pyramid scheme offering returns of up to 93 percent a month, with Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin recommending that their assetts be frozen.
Superintendent of the Economic Crime Suppression Division, Pol Col Padol Jandon, said that Wanae Mani" Thipprawet, and her boyfriend, Methee Chinnapha, face charges of public fraud related to borrowings and placing false information into computor systems
He said that about 120 Thai's had filed complaints with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) saying that "officers have questioned about 20 of the 120 victims of the ponzi scheme who allege they were defrauded of 35 million baht in total," he said.
"They transferred money into the bank accounts of both suspects," he said
Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director, Piyasiri Watanawarangkun, said pyramid scheme operators commonly lured victims by promising about 15 percent monthly returns, saying he was shocked to learn that the Wantanee "Mae Mani" Thippraweti and Methee Chinnapha scheme offered returns as high as 93 percent.
He said that investors were initially happy with the ponzi scheme that began in March, saying that "investors were happy with the well-paid returns until payments into their accounts stopped this month."
"A woman from Nakhon Ratchasima province claims that she has lost 21 million baht," he said.
He said that Wantanee "Mae Mani" Thipprawet, arranged meetings with potential investors who were willing to make large investments in her home town in Udon Thani Province.
"So far 98 investors have filed complaints with Udon Thani provincial police claiming that they were duped of about 80 million baht," he said.
He said that more are expected to come forward to file complaints, saying that many were reluctant to come forward for fear of being criticized for being greedy and falling prey to a ‘get rich quick’ investment scheme.
The Southeast Asian Times

New Thai military reform party members resign en masse

Billionaire Future Forward Party (FFP) founder Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, who campaigned in the general elections in March on military reform, has confirmed that one hundred and twenty members of the Future Forward Party (FFP) have resigned, saying "the party has made mistakes"

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 30: One hundred and twenty members including former election candidates of the newly established Future Forward Party (FFP) that capaigned for military reform in the March Thai general elections resigned from the party on Monday, saying " Future Forward Party (FFP) officials have failed to keep their word," reports the Bangkok Post.
Future Forward Party (FFP) member Nipon Chamchamras submitted the resignations to the Thai office of the Election Commission in Bangkok on Monday,
He stood unsuccessfully in constituency 2 of Chon Buri province in the March 24 general elections, losing to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Palang Pracharath party candidate with Palang Pracharath party winnng the elections with 8.4 million of the popular vote, Pheu Thai with 7.6 million and Future Forward with 6.2 million votes.
"The Future Forward Party (FFP) did not make good their pre-election promises", he said.
He said that the party leadership had told the members that candidates who failed to win in the March elections would become secretaries or consultatnts to those who did win, saying "that did not happen."
He claims that the party leadership cannot keep their word, saying "how can the party leadership make good their promises to the electorate"?
"The disgruntled party members were not only bargaining for positions in the party but were also disgruntled about other problems involving party management," he said.
The resignation of over a hundred of the 6000 party members follows the defeat of the Future Forward Party (FFP) party in the Nakhon Pathom's Constituency 5 by-election a week earlier on October 23.
Billionaire Future Forward Party (FFP) founder Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said the mixed rural-urban constituency with about 140,000 eligible voters by-election was "a contest of popularity between the government and the opposition camps that would determine the political course of the country."
Future Forward Party (FFP) campaigned with the slogan "Choose FFP if you can't stand 'Uncle', a reference to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha but lost to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ruling Palang Pracharath party.
Future Forward Party (FFP) founder Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit admitted defeat, but rejected speculation that the election result showed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was becoming more popular.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnamese families provide DNA
for victims of human trafficking

Catholic priest Fr Anthony Dang Huu Nam in the town of Yen Thanh in Vietnam's Nghe An province said that he believed that most of the dead were likely from Vietnam, saying that "the whole district is in sorrow"

From News Reports:
Hanoi, October 29: Vietnam police are collecting hair and blood samples in Vietnam's north central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh from relatives of the more than 20 Vietnamese of the 39 found dead in a refrigerated shipping container at the Waterglade Retail Park in Essex in the UK last week, believed to be the victims of human traffickers, reports the Vietnam News.
Nguyen Ding Gia said from his home in Ha Tinh province in north central Vietnam that police had collected samples of hair and blood on Sunday in order to identify his son Joseph Nguyen Dinh Luong who is believed to be among the 39 victims that perished in the refrigerated shipping container.
"Police from the Public Security Ministry came to get DNA samples from our hair and blood," he said.
The Vietnam Foreign Ministry has reportedly instructed the Vietnam embassy in London to assist the UK police with the identification of the Vietnamese victims.
UK detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, in charge of identifying the 39 bodies found in the shpping container, said that nationalities of the victims are not yet known, saying that "the focus is now on the Vietnamese community although there may be other nationalities involved."
"There were very, very few identity documents recovered and police want help from the Vietnamese community in Britain and abroad to identify the 39 found dead in the lorry," he said.
He said he had met with the Vietnamese ambassador to Britain to seek assistance with fingerprint records.
Director of Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships and anti-trafficking advocate in HCMCity, Mimi Vu, said that most Vietnamese who go to Europe and the UK to find work in order to send money home come from the poorer provinces in Vietnam.
"The poorer Nghe An province has seen more Vietnamese leaving for Europe and the UK in recent years, she said.
She said that Vietnamese began leaving the northern city Hai Phong and Quang Ninh province for the UK in the last decade, saying that "more recently there has been a growth of illegal migration from three central provinces, Nghe An, Quang Binh and Ha Tinh."
"These three provinces are comparatively poorer," she said.
On Saturday Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security to work with government agencies and provincial authorities in Nghe An and Ha Tinh province "to investigate the illegal trafficking of Vietnamese citizens abroad."
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnamese among 39 found dead in shipping container in UK

Vietnamese are among the 39 found dead in a refrigerated shipping container at the Waterglade Retail Park in Essex in the UK on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Hanoi, October 28: At least 20 Vietnamese including a teenager are among 39 found dead in a refrigerated shipping container at the Waterglade Retail Park in Essex in the UK on Wednesday, believed to be the victims of human trafficking, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Families from Nghe An and Ha Tinh province said that they had been unable to contact their family members in the UK since Tuesday, the day before the bodies of 31 males and eight women were found in the shipping container used to transport the alleged victims of human trafficking from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge to the UK.
Pham Thi Trà My, 26, from Ha Tinh province reportedly sent a text message to her mother from Essex in the UK the day before she was found dead in the shipping container on Wednesday.
On Saturday Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security to work with government agencies and provincial authorities in Nghe An and Ha Tinh province "to investigate the illegal trafficking of Vietnamese citizens abroad."
The Vietnam Foreign Ministry has reportedly instructed the Vietnam embassy in London to assist the UK police with the identification of the Vietnamese victims.
UK detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, in charge of identifying the 39 bodies said that nationalities of the victims are not yet known, saying that "the focus is now on the Vietnamese community although there may be other nationalities involved."
He said he had met with the Vietnamese ambassador to Britain to seek assistance with fingerprint records.
"There were very, very few identity documents recovered and UK police want help from the Vietnamese community in Britain and abroad to identify the 39 found dead in the shipping container," he said.
UK police said the driver of the truck Maurice Robinson, 25, from Northern Ireland, was arrested shortly after the discovery was made at the Waterglade Retail Park.
"He is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today Monday 28 October charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering,"
Three other people have been arrested in Britain in connection with this investigation.
The Southeast Asian Times


Malaysia bans comic book promoting communism and socialism

Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mohamad Mahathir and Premier of China, Xi Jinping on cover of comic book titled "Belt and Road Initiative for Win-Winism,” that was banned in Malaysia on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, October 27: The ban of the comic book “Belt and Road Initiative for Win-Winism,” in Muslim-majority Malaysia by the Home Ministry on Wednesday is reportedly based on content and not on sentiments or action against any party, with Prime Minister Mahathir saying that "Malaysia will not allow Chinese ideology to be taught in schools," reports the Star.
Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia will not allow Chinese ideology to be taught in schools although the country will remain friendly to China for trade purposes, saying that “Malaysia has always been regarded as a friend of China, except in the early years of independence, when China was practising communism and exported it to Malaysia."
"Malaysia was a multiracial country and undue foreign influences were not welcome," he said.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the 164-page comic book contains content promoting the ideologies of communisim and socialism, saying that "the comic book can be detrimental to public order and safety."
"The comic book contains false facts about Malaysia's history that might encourage support and sympathy towards the communist struggle," he said.
The comic book that was created by Chinese Malaysian, Hew Kuan Yau, a former member of the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP), that is one of the four parties within the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, has been distributed in Malaysia's schools.
"The aim of the comic book was to educate students on China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)." he said.
The comic book contains political views of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), describing those who sympathize with the reportedly mistreatment
of Uyghur Muslims as “extremists.”
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the distribution of the comic book in Malaysian schools was viewed "seriously" by the Home Ministry, saying that "seizure action will be taken after the prohibition order of the comic book is published in the government gazette."
"I urge all parties not to read or use the comic book," he said.
He said that the comic book can cause doubts particularly in the younger generation, saying that the comic book questions the efforts and struggles of previous national leaders toward independence and the development of Malaysia.
"The contents of the publication ignore the sensitivities of Malaysian citizens who are multiracial and multi-religious,” he said.
He said that the ban on the comic book that was published in English, Bahasa Malaysa and Chinese was made in accordance with the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984.

The Southeast Asian Times
CLASSIFIED Advertisements click here


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


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



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


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

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

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

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

Copy of letter 29 May 2012 from Vietnam Womens Union to International Olympic Committee...open here


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



What they're saying open page here


CLASSIFIED Advertisements click here

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

The Southeast Asian Times cannot be bought




;










































Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
C
ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
..5,0710
East Timor.
..0.7582
Euro..
0.6794
Hong
sKong..
.5.8808
Indonesia Rupiah
.9,997.47
Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
V
iet Nam Dong..16,849.44

Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

From News Reports:
Yangon, November 25: Singapore's largest property developer, the Far East Organization, is to partner with Myanmar's

erty 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