The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Tuesday 27 September 2022
GATHERINGS:
An informed guidexto happenings throughout
the region.  

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


Vietnam opens consulate in Macau

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

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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Papua governor ignors Corruption Commision summons, denies allegation of money laundering at casino's

Papua governor, Lukas Enembe, has ignored two Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) summons to undergo questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta Monday September 26, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 27: The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta is investigating allegations of money laundering at casino's by Papua governor, Lukas Enembe, with the Papua governor denying all allegations and ignoring two summonses to undergo questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta, reports Tempo.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Ali Fikri said that "clues and trials often lead to money laundering in corruption investigations."
"An investigation into corruption that includes bribery and gratification often develops into money laundering offences," he said.
He said that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) would continue to broaden the investigation into Papua governor Lukas Enembe, saying "there are reasons to suspect that the investigation into money laundering at casino's is not only about bribery and gratification."
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta began investigating money laundering allegations after the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) submitted a report showing financial records for Papua governor Lukas Enembe since 2017.
The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) showed that Papua governor Lukas Enembe had made cash deposits of up to
Rp 560 billion ($37 million) to casinos, with chief Ivan Yustiavandana saying that he suspects that "Papua governor Lukas Enembe's gambling is more than just a hobby"
"The agency suspects gambling is a way for the governor to launder money," he said.
He said that there are suspicions of money laundering saying "that is was why we submitted the report to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for investigators."
The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) showed that Papua governor Lukas Enembe had misappropriated the provincial budget in 2017 and the Papuan student scholarship fund in 2016.
Papua governor Lukas Enembe has reportedly received gratuities worth Rp 1 billion (US$66.200) from the private sector in a bid to win the contract for the provincial procurement of goods and services.
Papua governor Lukas Enembe has denied all allegations, ignoring two Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) summons to undergo questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta.
The Southeast Asian Times

QUAD signs partnership on Indo-Pacific Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

United States Foreign Minister, Antony Blinken, Australia Foreign Minister, Penelope Wong, India Foreign Minister, S. Jaishankar and Japan Foreign Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi signed guidlines for the ‘Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific’ on Friday September 24, 2022

From News Reports:
New York, September 26: United States, Australia, India and Japan Foreign Ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) signed operation guidelines for the 'Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific' at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Friday, saying that "a request for international assistance is needed before Quad partners may act in coordination under the partnership," reports the United States State Department.
"Response operations will be guided by the core principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality as outlined in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 46/182 on the provisions of humanitarian assistance."
The signing of the operation guidelines for the ‘Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific by Foreign Ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) "marked a significant moment in Quad cooperation that traces its origin from the 2004 ad hoc Tsunami Core Group," reports the United States State Department.
United States, Australia, India and Japan Foreign Ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) signed the guidlines for the ‘Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific that traces the origin of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) from the 2004 ad hoc Tsunami Core Group in the region.
"The the 2004 ad hoc Tsunami Core Group catalyzed international response efforts in the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated many countries in and around the Indian Ocean," said the United States State Department.
In May 2022 the launch in Tokyo of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) planned to reassert United States economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific, with United States National Security Council, Kurt Campbell, saying "the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact is aimed at countering the influence of China in the Indo-Pacific."
He said that Washington remains focused on the Indo-Pacific and the long-term challenge of China, saying "we are not asking countries to make a choice between the United States and China."
"We want to make clear, though, that the United States seeks stronger relationships," he said.
ASEAN member country Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said ahead on the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact in Tokyo that ASEAN countries "generally welcome trade with China," saying "regional countries want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by China;s economic growth."
"China has been engaging the region systematically through its Belt and Road Initiative," he said.
He said that Singapore is supportive of the China engagements with the region, saying "we think that it is positive."
"It is far better that China is prospering and engaged in the region than that it is operating on its own outside the rules which apply to everybody else, not properly integrated and coordinated with the rest of the region,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia calls for seat on United Nations Security Council warning of conflict in the Indo-Pacific

Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penelope Ying-Yen Wong, at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Saturday September 24, 2022

From News Reports:
New York, September 25: Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, called for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2029-2030 in her first speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Saturday, warning that conflict in the Indo-Pacific would have a 'catastrophic' impact on Australia and other Asia-Pacific nations, reports Reuters.
Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, forwarned that "it would be 'catastrophic' for the prosperity of Australia and other Asia-Pacific nations if conflict were to break out in the Indo-Pacific", saying "the cost would extend far beyond our region."
"The Australian people want to be better involved, and more helpful members of the Pacific family," she said.
She said at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA in New York on Saturday that "Australians want to enhance our defence, maritime and economic cooperation with Pacific Island Countries, saying "we want to be the Pacific's partner of choice for development and security."
"It is why we seek a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2029-2030," she said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, said that Australia seeks reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), saying "reform with greater permanent representation for Africa, Latin America, Asia, including India and Japan."
"We cannot leave it to the big powers," she said.
In October 2020 United States National Security advisor, Robert O'Brien, said that the United States as a Pacific power
would conduct maritime security missions in the western Pacific, saying in a statement that the presence of the United States Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacifc ensures that the United States will remain the maritime partner of choice in the region,
He said that new-generation Coast Guard vessels would conduct maritime security missions including fishing patrols in the western Pacific in order to enhance maritime-domain awareness and enforcement efforts.
He said that the United States maritime security missions would be conducted in the western Pacific in collaboration with regional partners that have limited offshore surveillance and enforcement capacity.
"China's illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of countries in the Indo-Pacific threatens United States sovereignty and the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors, endangering regional stability," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Khmer Rouge Tribunal upholds life sentence for Khieu Samphan, 91, for crimes against humanity and genocide

Former Khmer Rouge economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan, 91, at the Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on Thursday, September 22, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, September 24: The Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal upheld the 2018 life sentence verdict issued to former Khmer Rouge economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan, 91, with the Supreme Court Chamber president saying "the decision is final and cannot be appealed further," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Supreme Court Chamber president Kong Srim said in handing down the verdict on Thursday "the life sentence issued to Khmer Rouge economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan, by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in 2018 is just"
"The life sentence handed down in 2018 was based on the atrocities suffered by the people of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror," he said.
In November 2018 the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), found Khmer Rouge, economist and chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan between 1975 and 1979, guilty as charged with crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions that includes genocide against the Cham and Vietnamese between 1977 and 1979.
Defence lawyer Kong Sam Onn called on the Trial Chamber in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), to overturn the life sentence handed by the court in 2018 on technical grounds, saying "the Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal did not follow required procedures."
“The verdict has no legal effect and should be annulled, he said.
He said that the Trial Chamber had issued a ruling which violated the procedures set forth in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), saying "violation of procedures rendered subsequent activities including the imposition of a life sentence, unlawful."
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal was established following an agreement between the Cambodian government and the United Nations to try senior members of the Khmer Rouge for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide between April 1975 and January 1979.
The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) began hearing evidence in February 2016 with Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, 75, being the first of only three to go on trial.
Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch who was the former warden of Security Centre S-21 was found to be responsible for a minimum of 12,272 deaths and is serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
In June 2016 Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch testified against Nuon Chea, 92, former second in command to Pol Pot, Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea between 1975 and 1979.
In November 2018, Nuon Chea, 92, was found guilty of crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions that includes genocide against the Cham and Vietnamese between 1977 and 1979
The Southeast Asian Tiimes


Japan PM calls for reform of UN over Russian veto of invasion of Ukraine

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) annual meeting in New York Wednesday, September 21, 2022

From News Reports:
New York City, September 23: Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida called for reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) annual meeting in New York on Wednesday, saying "integrity of the United Nations is at risk because of the Russian veto of invasion of Ukraine by Russia," reports Reuters.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that "Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is conduct that tramples the philosophy and principles of the UN charter", saying "it should never be tolerated."
"Russia is a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) member," he said.
He said that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) must face the reality that the integrity of the United Nations is at risk because of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
He called for reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), "that gives five states including Russia veto in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He said that reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was first proposed by Germany, India and Brazil in 2004, saying "what we need is action towards reform not just talk."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the threat of nuclear weapons armament by Russia following the failure of negotiations last month to reach an agreement with Russia on the United Nations Nuclear Nonprolification Treaty after Russia vetoed the final draft that would disarm Russia of nuclear weapons.
In March 2022 ASEAN foreign ministers issued a statement demanding immediate ceasefire in Ukraine following the special emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that voted in favour of the resolution that condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with abstentions from two of eight ASEAN memeber countries, Laos and Vietnam.
Of the 193 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) members, 141 voted in favour of the resolution, with 5 against including Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria and with 35 abstentions including ASEAN member countries Laos and Vietnam and including China and India.
Eight ASEAN member states including ASEAN rotating chair for 2022 Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, voted in favour of the resolution that demands that "Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia supports "One-China" policy and China vision of common China-Cambodia community

Thailand Minister of National Defence, General Tea Banh, right, and China Ambassador to Cambodia, Wang Wentian, at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training Centre in Cambodia Wednesday September 22, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh. September 22: Cambodia reaffirmed support for China's "One-China" policy, that recognises the People’s Republic of China's (PRC) sovereignty of Taiwan and Hong Kong, at the handover ceremony of military equipment donated by China at the Phnom Chumreay International Military Training Centre in Cambodia on Wednesday with China's ambassador to Thailand saying, "military cooperation between China and Cambodia is an important part of building a community of common destiny," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Cambodia Minister of National Defence, General Tea Banh, said at the handover of 117 vehicles and military equipment donated by China’s Ministry of Defencede, "I would like to firmly reiterate the stance of the Ministry of National Defence in giving unwavering support to the "One-China" policy and the vision of a common community between China and Cambodia."
"The tense geopolitical situation caused by the Sino-US rivalry remained a problem and a source of risk for the stability and prosperity in the region and the world," he said.
He said that China's military equipment was provided under the annual cooperation between Cambodia's Ministery of National Defence and China's Ministry of Defence, saying "assistance was rendered by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China."
"The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China assistance included Covid-19 vaccines, infrastructure construction and special exercises and training sessions aimed at improving the readiness and capabilities of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF)."
China's ambassador to Thailand said at the handover ceremony of military equipment in Thailand that "the bonds of friendship between China and Cambodia have long been established, saying "military cooperation between China and Cambodia is an important part of building a community of common destiny between an inseparable China and Cambodia."
ASEAN member, Indonesia said "Indonesia sees Taiwan as a part of China" during the United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August, 2022, with Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah, saying "Indonesia continues to stick to the "One-China" policy, "
He said then that Indonesia is concerned by the increasingly intense rivalry between the superpowers, saying "it holds the potential for open conflict that will disrupt stability and peace, including in the Taiwan Strait."
"Indonesia sees Taiwan as a part of China", he said.
Pending 11th ASEAN member, Timor-Leste Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno, said in June 2022 that Timor-Leste would continue to adhere to the "One-China" policy that includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, saying "the one-China policy is the cornerstone of developing bilateral relations."
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said then that China appreciated that Timor-Leste abides by the "One-China" policy that was reached by consensus in the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Timor-Leste in 2002.
"The one network, one expressway and one port projects in Timor-Leste that were jointly built by China and Timor Leste t under the Belt and Road Initative (BRI) have become a benchmark for practical cooperation," he said.
Papua New Guinea Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Soroi Eoe, upheld the "One-China" policy in talks with China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, in Guiyang City, Guizhou provinc in June, 2021 reaffirming China's claim that the People's Republic of China is the legal government representing all China's citizens in Taiwain, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said then that China values Papua New Guinea's recognition of the "One-China" policy and non-interference in China's internal affairs in Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, saying "China would support Papua New Guinea on its development path." he said.
Papua New Guinea became the second Pacific nation after East Timor to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
The Southeast Asian Times


Philippines senators call for ban on Offshore Gaming Operators from China

Philippines Senate President, Juan Miguel Zubiri, calls for ban on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China in the Philippines Monday September 19, 2022

From News Reports:
Manila, September 21: Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri called for ban on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China, working in the Philippines, saying he would support other senators in the ban after reports of serious crimes, including killings and abductions in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
"We must weigh the social costs of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China against the meager income they give to the national coffers of only P3 billion a year," he said.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China do not employ Filipinos, saying "there is no added benefit to our local labor force."
Senate Aquilino Pimentel III called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to heed calls for a total ban on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China, saying "undesirable foreigners were turning the country into a playground for crime."
"Allowing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China to continue working in the Philippines was dangerous."
He said that allowing the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) from China to work in the Philippines can cause massive disruption to peace and order in the Philippines, saying "we are beginning to see kidnappings and other violent activities related to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry"
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said he had proposed several safety nets to deal with the rise in the number of crimes linked to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) to Senator Ronald Bato dela Rosa.
Senator Ronald Bato dela Rosa, chairman of the Senates Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs opened an investigation into the reported kidnapped and killings linked to the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry last week.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has proposed that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO)
workers must show that there were no pending arrest warrants against them from their home countries.
Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), online gambling operations were closed under community quarantine (ECQ) orders in March 2020 but resumed gaming operations two months later under the then Rodrigo Duterte government to raise funds to combat Covid-19 in the Philippines Presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, said then that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), that cater to online gamblers in China, are not subject to closure under quarantine orders,
Chairwoman of the statutory corporation that regulates gaming, the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Andrea Domingo, said then that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) had deprived the government of P600 million in monthly earnings under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) orders in March.
She said that the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the largest contributor of revenue to the government after the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs, saying "revenue from the Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) could help to augment funds to combat Covid-19."
The Southeast Asian Times


National Assembly to inlude Communist Party of Vietnam resolutions in passing of land laws

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for the draft Land Laws to be understandable and conducive to enforcement ahead of National Assembly sessions this month

From News Reports:
Hanoi, September 20: The Prime Minister called for Land Laws in Vietnam to be understandable and conducive to enforcement ahead of National Assembly sessions this month, saying "the draft Land Laws must institutionalise the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) relevant resolutions, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for the draft Land Laws to be understandable and conducive to enforcement, supervision and examination ahead of the three National Assembly sessions this month, saying "the draft Land Laws, bidding, cooperatives, and prices must institutionalise the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) relevant resolutions."
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called on the draft Land Laws to include the opinions of government, experts, scientists, and other parties ahead of submission of the draft Land Laws to the National Assembly this month.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for restrictions to land access for foreign-investors in areas designated for national defence and security.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for provision in the draft Land Laws for foreign ownership of land, saying "foreigners who are allowed to own commercial properties should be issued with a land certificate."
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said the draft Land Laws should specificy the criteria and conditions for the expropriation of land for public use in the construction of commercial housing projects."
"The establishment of a support fund for land holders has been expropriated but whose working capacity is limited should be implemented by local authorities," he said.
He said that investors in industrial zones would allocate a proportion of land area for the state to implement
its land policies, saying "investors would establish a land fund for the People's Committee to relocate small and medium-sized enterprises affected by envirommental pollution."
"It is necessary to give authority to localities to determin how to support enterprises and how to access the land fund," he said.
He called on business and individuals who do not engage directly in agriculture production to be eligible to recieve rice-producing land in the draft revised Land Law, saying "eligibility for business and individuals to rice-producing land is a major issue."
He said that the impact of rice-producing land for those not engaged directly in agriculuture must be exhaustively assessed, saying
"stringent regulations and conditions must be attached."
"Farmers must have land for growing crops," he said.
In 2020 the National Assembly called the government out for its failure to submit the proposed amendments to the Land Law,
for review as listed in the legislative agenda 2020, with Kien Giang Province deputy, calling for accountability for the delay of the "much-anticipated amendments to the land law".
She called for accountability for the withdrawal of "the much-anticipated amended Vietnam Land Law," to the plenary session next week, saying "the government has moved to withdraw the submission for review of the land law from the agenda altogether."
"The government withdrew review of the Vietnam Land Law on the grounds of insufficient preparation, "she said.
She said that the proposed legislative draft review of the Vietnam Land Law was also withdrawn from the 2019 sitting of the National Assembly.
"The majority of legal complaints from the public was to do with land disputes, she said.
Bac Kan Province National Assembly deputy, Trieu Thi Thu Phuong said that in 2019 the government withdrew the submission of four legislative draft proposals and introduced nine new legislative draft proposals.
"The government moved to withdraw legislatve draft proposals completely from the 2019 agenda," she said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Illegal gold miners buried alive in landslide in West Kalimantan

House of Representatives (DPR) Commission IV deputy speaker, Dedi Mulyadi, urged the Indonesia government to take action to recover state forests used for illegal plantation and illegal mining in January 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 19: Illegal gold miners working in Indonesia's Bengkayang Regency, in West Kalimantan province on Borneo were reportedly buried alive in a landslide on Thursday with the Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) saying that surviving gold miners do not know how many miners were buried in the landslide, reports Tempo.
Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) Dwi Berta said that illegal gold miners were buried alive in the landslide in Secepu Hamlet, Kinande Village, Lembah Bawang District, Bengkayang Regency, in West Kalimantan, saying that seven gold miners were found dead with five injured on Friday.
He said that the landslide occurred at night at 20.15pm on Thursday, saying that "at that time a number of residents panned for gold on the hill in the area."
He said that the Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) received information from the Sub-District Head of Lembah Bawang in Bengkayang Regency in West Kalimantan that "due to heavy rains the bare hill land had exprienced landslides and buried residents."
Bengkayang Regency police chief, Bayu Seno, said that the Bengkayang Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) rescue reinforcements were on their way to the landslide in Secepu Hamlet from the nearest city, Pontianak, more that 160 kilometres from the landslide area.
"The search for the missing gold miners and residents could take a week, but if rain continues the effort will have to be postponed to avoid more landslides," he said.
In January 2021 House of Representatives (DPR) Commission IV deputy speaker, Dedi Mulyadi, urged the government to take immediate action to recover state forests across Indonesia that are used for illegal plantation and illegal mining activities.
"Devastating data has been presented to the Forestry and Environment Ministry during a House hearing
showing that there are 8,456,772,05 hectares of illegal plantations and 8,713,167.58 of illegal mining areas in eight Indonesian regions," he said.
He said that the data presented to the Forestry and Environment Ministry showed that there are 3,934,963 hectares of illegal plantations and 3,570,519.20 hectares of illegal mining areas in Central Kalimantan, saying that "in East Kalimantan there are 750,829 hectares of illegal plantations and 774,519 hectares of illegal mines."
"In West Kalimantan there are 5,748,109 hectares combined for illegal mining and illegal plantations areas", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai opposition calls for investigation into Minister of Transport over illegal possession of land

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob accused of illegal possession of land that is administered by the Transport Ministry in the Parliament on Thursday September 15, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 18: Thailand's six opposition coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) submitted a petition against Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Thursday calling for an investigation into the alleged failure by the Transport Ministery to order the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to reclaim land in Khao Kradong in Muang district of Buri Ram in Buriram Province that was in the possession of the Transport Minister, reports the Bangkok Post.
Opposition coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) claim that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was neglegent in his duty in his failure to order the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to reclaim land in Buriram Province.
Opposition coalition parties claim that the land in Buriram Province is in the illegal possession of Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and his relatives, saying "Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob operates a business on the land that is under the administration of the Transport Ministry."
"Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was motivated to hold the land in his possession for as long as possible," said the opposion parties.
Opposion coalition parties also claim that Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, has concealed ownership of two companies that have a building contract with the Transport Ministry, saying that Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob did not declare ownership of the companies in the required assett declarations form to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
The opposition alleges that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob holds shares in two companies that have done business with his ministry.
"The non-declaration of assetts to the NACC constitutes a legal violation," said the opposion parties.
Opposition coalition parties have called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to forward the findings into the alleged failure of the Transport Ministery to order the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to reclaim land in Buriram Province to the Supreme Court, saying "If found guilty the Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob is liable to a lifetime ban from politics for gross violation of ethics as a political post holder."
In January 2021 Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was one of 10 Cabinent ministers, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, included in the third motion of no-confidence submitted to the House of Representatives by a coalition of eight opposition parties, led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP), the largest opposition party in the legislature.
Pheu Thai secretary-general, Prasert Chantararuangthong, said then that the cenure debate will include malfeasance, actions deemed benefiting interest groups, administrative failures and lack of legality and justice, saying "with solid evidence, you can be sure that we will deliver a number of telling blows."
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam Health Minister charged with embezzlement in drug manufacture for 2006 bird flu epidemic

Luong Van Hoa, former director of Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco), is charged with the embezzlement of more than US$3.8 million in the supply of the antiviral drug for the prevention of A (H5N1) Avian flu in the 2006 bird flu epidemic

From News Reports:
Hanoi, September 17: The Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam has charged a former Deputy Health Minister and officials with involvement in the embezzlement of more than US$3.8 million for the supply of the antiviral drug for the prevention of A (H5N1) Avian flu in the 2006 epidemic, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco), that was extablished in 2004 with 51.7 percent state capital funding, was directed by the Health Ministry to produce the antiviral drug Oseltamivir or Tamiflu to ensure the supply of the medicine for the prevention of influenza A (H5N1) epidemic in Vietnam in 2006.
The Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam has charged former deputy health minister, Cao Minh Quang, former head of the ministry of Financial Planning, Duong Huy Lieu, and former head of Drug Administration of Vietnam, Nguyen Viet Hung, with "lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences,"
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) former director Luong Van Hoa, former deputy director general, Nguyen Thanh Tong and a further two company officials are charged with "abusing their position and power while performing official duties."
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) imported 520 kg of raw medical materials to produce the antiviral drug Oseltamivir or Tamiflu from Mambo Company Pte Ltd in Singapore worth US$9.1 between February and April 2006.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) paid Mambo Company Pte Ltd in Singapore $5.25 million agreeing to pay the remaining $3.848 million within six months after receiving the raw medical material.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) allegedly requested that Mambo Company Pte Ltd in Singapore discount the remaining $3.848 million owed when the price of the raw medical material fell.
Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco), former General Director, Luong Van Hoa, directed officials "to legalise reports and documents to conceal the discount of $3.848 million."
Officials of the Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (Pharimexco) also legalised records in order to conceal the discounted $3.848 million to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance with the aim of retaining the amount.
The Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam said that former deputy health minister Cao Minh Quang and officials "were irresponsible, improperly performed, did not fully fulfil their assigned responsibilities and tasks, did not consider and evaluate the implementation of the control and negotiation of the purchase price of raw materials, and did not check financial reports and invoices."
"This resulted in the failure to discover that Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Company was entitled to a discount and retained the amount of US$ 3.848 million.
The Southeast Asian Times


President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. defends his father's imposition of Martial Law

Newly inaugurated Philippine President, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., 69, in May, 2022 son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, defends his fathers imposition of Martial Law in the 1970's

From News Reports:
Manila, September 16: Newly inaugurated Philippine President, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., 69, son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, defended his fathers imposition of Martial Law in the 1970's, ahead of preparations to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September, 21, reports Reuters.
Philippine President, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., who was elected 17th President of the Philippines in May 2022, repeated his father’s justification that martial law was crucial to fight growing Muslim and Communist insurgencies, saying "those were the dangers, the perils the country was facing."
"It was necessary in my father’s view at the time, to declare Martial Law not to stay in power but because the government had to defend itself," he said.
In August 2016 the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned the then newly inaugurated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte decision to give the late former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial, saying "by claiming that Marcos deserves to be buried with other former soldiers, President Duterte is helping perpetuate the historical lies surrounding Ferdinand Marcos’ bogus medals and phony Maharlika guerrilla unit."
"By ordering that Marcos be accorded military honors befitting a former head of state, Mr. Duterte is “virtually deleting Marcos’ bloody record as a military despot and the fascist violence, human rights violation, corruption and economic hardships he made the Filipino people suffer through 14 years of dictatorship,” the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) statement said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) statement said that giving Marcos a hero’s burial “will complete the Marcoses’ political restoration and will complete the whitewash of all the crimes they perpetrated against the people.”
In 1995 the Philippine government and representatives of more than 1,000 Filipinos - or their descendants, who were arrested, tortured and executed during the 13 years from 1972 of Ferdinand Marcos rule by decree and Martial Law, won US$2.7-billion in exemplary damages against the former president’s estate at a hearing in the United States federal court in Hawaii.
The Federal Court of Hawaii found Marcos guilty of grave human-rights violations.
A "people power" revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, forcing him and his family to flee to Hawaii, where he died in exile in 1989.
His body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 and was preserved in a refrigerated crypt at his Batac hometown in Ilocos Norte until he was given a hero's burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani national heroes cemetery in 2016.
Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta said that former president Marcos, who was in the military before World War II and during the Japanese Occupation, was discharged from the service honorably and is qualified for burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani under Department of National Defence (DND) guidelines.
"The DND, in turn, is under the Office of the President," the court said, stressing that the order to prepare for Marcos' burial there is within the president's powers," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Calls for Thailand's Anti-Corruption Commission to reopen assett declaration investigation into acting PM Prawit Wongsuwon

Acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, while he was Deputy Prime Minister, wearing a luxury watch and diamond ring at an official ceremony at Bangkok Government House Monday December 4, 2017

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 15: Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to reopen the assett declaration investigation into the ownership of luxury gold watchs worn by the acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon while he was Deputy Prime Minister, who claimed to have "borrowed the gold watches from a long-time collector friend," reports the Bangkok Post.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Theeratchai Panthumas, called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to reopen the investigation, saying "new information has emerged."
"One of the timepieces that was seen worn by the Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was never declared in the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) required assett declarartion " he said.
He said that the timepiece seen worn by the Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was not part of the inheritance of close friend and long-time collector, Pattawat Suksriwong, as the Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has claimed.
"The wristwatch in question was seen on the then Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon wrist during a group photo session for newly sworn-in cabinet ministers at Government House," he said.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Theeratchai Panthumas said that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has failed to deliver a report into the investigation into the declaration of assetts by acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon while he was Deputy Prime Minister, saying the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)
committee voted 5-3 to dismiss the investigation in December 2018.
"This case has no grounds that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had intended to hide the truth or had intended to hide the origins of the assets," said National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) deputy secretary-general Worawit Sukboon in December 2018.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) investigation found that all watches worn by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan belonged to his now-deceased friend, Pattawat Suksriwong.
Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Theeratchai Panthumas said that former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was photographed wearing a Richard Mille designer wristwatch worth about Bt3 million that had reportedly not been included in the required assett declaration with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) when he became a Cabinet minister.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was also photographed with a diamond ring on his finger that reportedly was also not included in the required assett declaration with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
Former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the ring belonged to his parents and the watches were lent to him by a long-time collector friend, saying "the friend had passed away."
Photographs show that former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon who is the acting Prime Minister possessed at least 22 luxury wrist watches with a combined estimated worth of more that Bt20 million.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said he had returned all the watches to their rightful owners being the children of the deceased long-time collector friend who he claimed to have borrowed the gold watches from.
The Southeast Asian Times


Bangkok court convicts woman under Lese Majeste Law for imitating Queen Suthida in fashion show

A Bangkok Court sentenced Jatuporn Saeoueng to two years in prison under the Lese Majeste Law for mocking the monarchy by imitating Queen Suthida in a fashion show in Bangkok on Thursday October 29, 2020

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 14: A Bangkok Court sentenced a political activist to two years in prison with a fine of 1,000 baht on Monday under the Lese Majeste Law for insulting Thailand monarchy in 2020 during mass street protests in Bankok that called for reform of the monarchy, with Jatuporn Saeoueng, 25, pleading not guilty of insultinng the monarchy in a fashion show, reports Reuters.
Jatuporn Saeoueng, 25, was found guilty of mocking the monarchy by imitating Queen Suthida during mass protests in Bangkok streets calling for the repeal of the Lese Majeste Law that disallows criticism of the King under section 112 of the Criminal Code.
Political activist Jatuporn Saeoueng was found guilty under the Lese Majeste Law under section 112 of the Criminal Code that makes it illegal to defame, insult, or threaten the monarch of Thailand.
Jatuporn Saeoueng was found guilty of violation of the Lese Majest Law by the Bangkok Criminal Court for imitating Queen Suthida in walking on red carpet that was laid out on the street.
The Bangkok Court found that an umbrella held by an attendent over Jatuporn Saeoueng as she walked on the red carpet made a mockery of the monarchy.
The Bangkok Court also found that protesters seated at her feet in a manner that Thailand traditional culture demands in the presence of Thai royalty was a mockery of Queen Suthida.
Jatuporn Saeoueng pleaded not guilty to the Lese Majeste charge that disallows criticism of the monarchy, saying she had "no intention of mocking anyone."
" I dressed for myself on that day, for a version of myself in a Thai traditional dress, what’s wrong with that," she said.
Amnesty International deputy secretary general, Kyle Ward, said that Amnesty International "urges the authorities to immediately drop all charges against those who have merely exercised their human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and release those arbitrarily detained."
He said the mock fashion show was a satirical take on the political situation of the country , saying "Participants should not be punished for participating in a peaceful assembly."
In August 2020 a 10 point manifesto was submitted to the Parliament calling for reform of the monarchy under the Lese Majeste Law but stated that demand for amendements did not include a proposal to abolish the monarchy but a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy.
The 10 point manifesto called for repeal of the criminalisation of criticism of the Thai King under the Lese Majeste law, repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command, repeal of the law that gave the new King full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings and repeal of the monarchy empowerment to endorse a military coup.
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Hanoi and HCMCity

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son writes in the book of condolences at the residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Vietnam in Hanoi at the passing of Queen Elizabeth 11 in Scotland on Thursday September 8, 2022, aged 96

From News Reports:
Hanoi, September 13: Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in the book of condolence at the residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Vietnam in Hanoi, with the Foreign Minister extending his deepest condolences to the Royal Family and to the government and people of the United Kingdom, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son showed his respect for Queen Elizabeth 11 in the book of condolences that was opened by the United Kingdom Embassy in Hanoi on the passing of Queen Elizabeth 11 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday September 8, 2022 aged 96.
The United Kingdom Embassy in Hanoi and the United Kingdom Consulate General in HCMCity have opened books of condolences for the public in Vietnam to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
"Among the delegation were the most recent former Vietnamese Ambassadors to the United Kingdom and it was chance for us to hear their memories of Her Majesty The Queen," said the United Kingdom Embasssy in Hanoi.
Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son paid his repects to Queen Elizabeth 11 for the Queen's fine sentiments towards Vietnam and the Queen's support for fostering cooperation between the Vietnam and the United Kingdom.
Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan sent a message of condolence to King Charles III, Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh extended condolences to new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth Truss, and National Assembly Chairman, Vuong Dinh Hue, extended condolences to Speaker of the House of Lords, John McFall, and Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle.
Queen Elizabeth 11, the United Kingdom's longest reigning monarch and head of state, was crowned queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon on June 2, 1953.
Prince of Wales, Charles, 73, has become King Charles 111 and head of state of 56 Commonwealth independent states.
Commonwealth states transitioned from Empire to Commonwealth during the 70 year tenure of Queen Elizabeth 11 as monarch and head of state and are included in an intergovernment organisation of 56 independent Commonwealth member states.
The Southeast Asian Times


United States led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to engage with Asia

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, left, and United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade negotiations in Los Angeles on Thursday, September 8, 2022

From News Reports:
Washington, September 12: The United States and 13 Indo-Pacific countries, including 7 ASEAN member countries, agreed on parameters for trade negotiations, environment and economic ties in the new US-led Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Los Angeles on Thursday, with United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo saying "the talks are part of a US effort to re-engage economically with countries in Asia." reports Reuters.
Trade ministers from Australia, Fiji, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and ASEAN member countries Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, , Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam at the United States-led Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade negotiations represent about 40 percent of global GDP.
The United States-led Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade negotiations concluded with agreement on trade date flows and labor rights, supply chain resilience, green energy and environment standards, anti-corruption and tax measures as the four major pillars of future agreements.
United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) will not include tariff cuts that are the bedrock of traditional free trade deals, saying "the talks are part of a US effort to re-engage economically with countries in Asia."
"Our intention now is to move towards negotiations with our partners on each pillar with the first round of discussions," she said.
She said that President Joe Biden launched the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) on May 12, 2022 in Washington promising the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to spend $150 million on infrastructure, security, pandemic preparedness and other efforts, with the U.S. State Department saying that the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact is aimed at countering the influence of rival China in the Indo-Pacific."
Deputy Assistant to United States President Joe Biden and Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs on the United States National
Security Council, Kurt Campbell, said "Washington remains focused on the Indo-Pacific and the long-term challenge of China,"
saying "We need to step up our game in Southeast Asia."
"We are not asking countries to make a choice between the United States and China. We want to make clear, though, that the United States seeks stronger relationships," he said.
He said that the United States would raise areas of cooperation with ASEAN leaders in the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade pact launched by President Joe Biden.
"The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) commits the United States to work with partners on key economic priorities including ensuring smooth supply chains, fighting corruption and promoting green energy," he said.
He said that unlike traditional trade pacts the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) would not guarantee market access to the United States, saying "the United States is the usual sweetner to persuade nations to make concessions."
The Southeast Asian Times

Malaysian port service contractor
'on the run' after bribing US navy to stop in ports in Southeast Asia

Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), Leonard Glenn Francis, 53, who is under house arrest, escaped from his home in San Diega on Sunday September 4, 2022 three weeks ahead of the beginning of a prison sentence

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, September 10: A Malaysian port service contractor, who is under house arrest in the United States for fraud and offering bribes to United States Navy officers in order to secure contracts for his Singapore based company, has escaped from his home in San Diega, reports the Star.
Malaysian port service contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis, 53, eascaped from house arrest three weeks ahead of the begining of a prison sentence, with a Supervisory Deputy United States Marshall saying "Leonard Glenn Francis cut off his GPS monitoring ankle bracelet sometime on Sunday."
Supervisory Deputy United States Marshall, Omar Castillo, said that San Diego police officers discovered that Leonard Glenn Francis was not at his home, saying "the United States federal agency conducted a welfare check on him."
Port service contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, from Penang in Malaysia, who was under house arrest in San Diego due to several health issues, is reportedly "on the run" with San Diego police officers, saying "Leonard Glenn Francis may already be in neighbouring Mexico."
Malaysian port service contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis pleaded guilty in March 2015 to providing US Navy officers and civilians with meals, alcohol, luxury hotel accomodation and prostitutes to ensure US Navy ships stopped at ports in South East Asia where his Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), operated.
Leonard Francis admitted he reportedly "bilked" the US military of tens of millions of dollars by routinely overbilling for fuel, tugboat services and sewage disposal.
In June 2016 United States Navy Rear Admiral, Robert Gilbeau, 55, commander of Defense Contract Management Agency Internationa, responsible for the global administration of the Department of Defence contracts outside the United States, pleaded guilty in the San Diego federal court to making a false statement to Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in the investigation into fraud and bribery in the Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) operated by Leonard Glenn Francis.
US Navy Rear Adm. Robert Gilbeau, 55, a one star Admiral, is the ninth naval officer to plead guilty to charges of accepting bribes and favours including fraud to ensure that US Navy ships stopped at ports in Southeast Asia where Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), operated.
US Navy Rear Adm. Robert Gilbeau, 55, is the fourteenth naval officer or civilian charged in what prosecutors have called "a massive bribery and fraud scheme" following the Singapore based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) investigation named the "Fat Leonard" case after Malaysian port service contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis.
The Southeast Asian Times


Queen of the Commonwealth, Elizabeth 11, dies in Scotland age 96

Britains monarch and head of state, Queen Elizabeth 11, transitioned Empire states to Commonwealth states since crowned Queen of the British Empire on June 2, 1953

From News Reports:
London, September 10: Queen Elizabeth 11, Britains longest reigning monarch and head of state, who was crowned queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon on June 2, 1953, died at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeen in Scotland on Thursday aged 96.
The eldest son of Queen Ellizabeth 11, Prince of Wales, Charles, 73, who has become King Charles 111 to 56 Commonwealth independent states and head of the commonwealth said "we mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother."
He said that the death of his beloved mother was of great sadness for him and his family and that her loss would be deeply felt around the world.
"I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world," he said.
The Commonwealth was founded through the independence of 15 former British colonies and dependencies including Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu.
Commonwealth states transitioned from Empire to Commonwealth during the 70 year tenure of Queen Elizabeth 11 as monarch and head of state and are included in an intergovernment organisation of 56 independent Commonwealth member states.
The Southeast Asian Times

Death toll from blaze at HCMCity karaoke bar reaches 32

Thirteen fire trucks with 66 officers at the An Phu Karaoke bar blaze in Binh Duong province, north of Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday September 6, 2022

From News Reports:
HCMCity, September 9: The death toll from the blaze that engulfed the
An Phu karaoke bar in Binh Duong province, Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday rose to 32 on Wednesday, with ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) official saying "the search for victims in the burned-out bar continues," reports Vietnam News Service.
Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) official in Binh Duong province,
Mai Hung Dung, said that 23 victims were found in the An Phu karaoke Bar on Tuesday in the three floor building, saying "the number of victims rose to 32 on Wednesday with a further eight victims found dead in the bar's bathroom."
About 40 customers and workers at the An Phu karaoke bar are being treated at the emergency department of An Phu Hospital, with 11 seriously injured including a victim suffering from a head injury.
The blaze reportedly engulfed the 30-room An Phu Karoake bar located in the crowded residential neighbourhood of Thuan An city, north of Ho Chi Minh City, trapping customers and workers as smoke filled the staircase and blocked the emergency exit.
Customers and workers, who crowded on a balcany to escape the flames that had ignited the Karaoke bar's wooden interior, were forced to jump from the burning building.
Resident of Thuan An city, Nguyen Sang, who lives near the An Phu karaoke bar said that "many people ran out of the Karoake bar through the main entrance while others jumped from the second floor breaking their arms and legs."
The Binh Duong Province fire department reports that the fire at the three-story An Phu karaoke bar in Thuan An City started about 9pm, saying "the fire spread quickly due to the soundproof foam and interior woodwork."
"The fire damaged 400sq.m of the Karoake bar's total floor space of 1,500sq.m, " said the report.
In November 2016 the Hanoi People's Committee called for the temporary closure of karaoke bar's following the death of 13 in a karaoke bar fire in Hanoi, with Hanoi People's Committee Chairman, Nguyen Ðuc Chung, saying that the temporary closure of karaoke bars would allow authorities to conduct a check on safety standards in all karaoke bars.
"Safety standards on fire fighting equipment and emergency exists including lighting and advertising billboards would be checked", he said.
He said that the city would take legal action against entertainment venues that violated fire safety regulations saying "those who violate safety regulations at karaoke bars would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times
 

Parents of Filipino death row maid in Indonesia call for clemency from President Joko Widodo

International Migrants Alliance (IMA) chairperson Joanna Concepcion and Cesar Veloso, father of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), Mary Jane Veloso, 37, with letter appealing to Indonesia President Joko Widodo to grant Mary Jane Veloso, clemency on humanitarian grounds

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 8: Phillipines formally requested Indonesia to grant death row Filipino maid, Mary Jane Veloso, 37, clemency during the state visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to Indonesia on Sunday, after an appeal from parents of the detained Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) to grant their daughter executive clemency on humanitarian grounds, reports Philippine Inquirer.
Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary, Enrique Manalo, called on Indonesia Foreign Affairs Secretary, Retno Marsudi, to grant Mary Jane Veloso an executive clemency with Philippines Foreign Affairs Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, saying "the discussion about Mary Jane Veloso took place on the sidelines of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr state visit to Indonesia."
"The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to look for solutions to help death row convict Veloso," she said.
She said that Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary, Enrique Manalo, "requested executive clemency for Mary Jane Veloso during a meeting with Indonesia Foreign Affairs Secretary, Retno Marsudi, but refrained from giving further informtion, saying "the Jakarta Presidential Palace said that a request for clemency was made and that Indonesia Foreign Affairs Secretary, Retno Marsudi would relay the request to the Indonesia Ministry of Justice."
"The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs is not in charge of any decision making when it comes to the Mary Jane Veloso case," she said.
Parents of detained Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), Father Cesar Veloso and mother Celia Veloso, have written a letter of appeal to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to requesting Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo grant Filipino maid, Mary Jane, executive clemency on humanitarian grounds, with a copy of the letter sent to the
International Migrants Alliance (IMA).
"Mary Jane Veloso escaped death after former President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III intervened, " said Cesar Velosot.
Mary Jane Veloso, 31, was sentenced to death in October 2010 for attempting to traffic heroin into Indonesia from Malaysia.
She was arrested at Adisucipto International Airport in Java on April 2010 with 2.6 kilograms of heroin in her luggage.
Mary Jane Veloso says that she was tricked into carrying the luggage containing the drugs.
She was set to be executed on the Indonesian prison island of Nusakambangan with Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in April 2015 but was given a stay of execution following intervention by then Philippine President Aquino.
Philippine president Benigno Noynoy Aquino III appealed for "humanitarian consideration" in the case.
Australia, Darwin lawyer, Felicity Gerry QC said that the legal issues had not been addressed properly by the Indonesian courts.
She said that the evidence in Mary Jane's case appears to be credible that she was not acting voluntarily, she was acting on behalf of other people who were exploiting her.
"As a victim of human trafficking under Indonesian law, there is mandatory protection. Indonesia actually has very progressive law to protect victims of human trafficking."
The Southeast Asian Times


Daughter of former president of Cambodian opposition party calls for treason charges to be dismissed

Kem Monovithya, daughter of former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), calls on lawmakers in Tokyo to oppose Prime Minister Hun Sen's increasingly authoritarian regime on Thursday March 29, 2018

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, September 7: Daughter of the former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Monovithya, called for treason charges for "conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow the Hun Sen government," against her father, Kem Sokha, to be dismissed on the fifth anniversary of his arrest on Friday, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
"Five years have passed since the armed forces raided my family home and arrested my father without an arrest warrant," she said.
She said that her father's case is linked to measures taken by the international community that will continue until the Cambodian government opens democratic space."
“We democrats are advocating peacefully for the restoration of democracy in Cambodia," she said.
Ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman, Sok Eysan, said that he was "fed up with any demands linked to democratic space."
"Kem Monovithya should let her father's court case proceed according to legal proceedure," he said.
He said that opposition groups keep preaching human rights and democracy, saying "they are silent when they themselves violate democratic principles."
"It's their attempt to put pressure on the government in order to obstruct progress in this case," he said.
In November 2017 the Cambodian Supreme Court dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) opposition party followed the arrest of the then Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party president, Kem Sokha, who had replaced exiled Sam Rainsy, on charges of plotting to overthrowing the Hun Sen government with the help of the United States.
Former dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party president Kem Sokha who 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 United States, said at the beginning of his trial in January 2020 that the two minute video presented by the prosecution had been cut and edited.
Kem Sokha, was released on bail from Thong Khmum prison in September 2018, with restrictions on his movements to a four-block radius around his Phnom Penh home and banned from associating with any former dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) members.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai royalists complain against German national for protesting against acting PM

German national Moritz Pfoh, 35, protesting against acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon in Muang district in Rayong Province Thursday September 1, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 6: Thailand's royalists have filed a complaint with the Royal Thai Police (RTP) against a German national for protesting against acting Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, who was voted acting Prime Minister by the Constitutional Court last week and against former Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who had retained his position as Defence Minister, reports the Bangkok Post.
German national, Moritz Pfoh, 35, was photographed by the media on Thursday at Tapong in Muang district in Rayong Province carrying a portrait of acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon in a solo protest against the Constitutional Court decision.
German national, Moritz Pfoh, claims that Thai's do not favour Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, as the Prime Minister," saying "the portrait of acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon with a cross drawn over the image shows that the decision made by the Constitutional Court was wrong."
King's Protection Group, founder, Songchai Nienhorm, filed a complaint against German national, Moritz Pfoh, at the Nua Khlong Royal Thai Police (RTP) station in Nua Khlong district in Krabi Province on Saturday claiming that the German national "had conducted actions that incited civil disobedience and interference in Thailand affairs."
He called on the Royal Thai Police (RTP) at Krabi to take action against German National Moritz Pfoh, saying "more than 60 million Thais or about 90 percent of the population could be influenced by the claim made by German National Moritz Pfoh."
"German National Moritz Pfoh, claims that Thai's do not favour Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, as the Prime Minister," he said.
King's Protection Group, founder, Songchai Nienhorm, who resides in Krabi, filed the complaint against German national, Moritz Pfoht at the Krabi Royal Thai Police (RTP) station with Pol Lt Col Pairoj Chanachai saying
"the complaint will be forwarded to the station police chief to decide whether police will pursue the complaint."
German national, Moritz Pfoh, who has lived in Thailand with his wife for eight years left for Bangkok after the Royal Thai Police (RTP) arrived at his home at Mae Ramphueng beach in Rayong to check his passport, warning that his visa would not be renewed if he continued his political campaign.
On August 24, 2022 the Constitutional Court voted 5-4 for former Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, to be acting Prime Minister, suspending former Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Prime Minister but allowing the former Prime Minister to maintain his position as Defence Minister.
The Constitutional Court voted to suspend Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Prime Minister following a petition signed by 171 Members of Parliament from six opposition coalition parties.
The suspension of former Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha as Prime Minister followed the Constitutional Court unanimous decision that was in accordance with Section 158 of the Constitution that maintains that the maximum term of a prime minister is eight years.
Six coalition parties led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, who submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court seeking a ruling on the end of the tenure of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, said "Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha maximum eight-year tenure ends on August 24, 2022."
He said that Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup, saying "Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup."
Ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) new deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, claims that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha term began on June 9, 2019, when his prime ministership received royal endorsement under the 2017 constitution, saying "this means he would be entitled to serve up to 2027."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha can legally serve for up to eight years as prime minister from 2019 as stipulated by Section 158 of the constitution," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to three more years in prison for winning 2020 elections

The National League for Democracy (NLD) state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, won the popular vote with about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 8, 2020 General elections

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, September 5: Former National League for Democracy (NLD) state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, 77, was sentenced to a further three years imprisonment on Friday for alleged election fraud in the Myanmar November 8, 2020 elections that resulted in the National League for Democracy (NLD) party winning the popular vote with 97 percent of Yangon regional seats, reports Reuters.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar declared a state of emergency on February 1, 2021 cancelling the League for Democracy (NLD) dominated session of parliament, in an address broadcast on the Myanmar military-owned television network based in Yangon and Naypyiday, saying that power had been handed to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
In the month after the November 8, 2020 elections the Myanmar's Union Election Commission (EUC) rejected calls by the military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), that won only 21 seats of the 440 seats in the parliament, to provide a list of voters in military townships after calls for a re-run of the election was rejected by the Union Election Commission.
Union Election Commission (EUC) commissioner, U Myint Naing said that there would be no re-run of the November 8, 2020 elections that shows that the National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, won the majority of seats in the Union Parliament, saying "the result of the election is final."
In August 2020, three months ahead of the general elections, the Fourth Meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference that aimed to bring an end to seven decades of civil war in Myanmar ended with the signing of the Union Peace Accord 111, but failed to reach agreement on allowing the 10 Ethnic Armed Organizations to draft their own constitutions.
"The Union Peace Accord III opene the door to solving misunderstandings between the Government of Myanmar, the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and the 10 Ethnic Armed Organizations, " said Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Ky.
Five agreements that included the separation of powers, resource allocation, tax sharing, self governance laws guaranteeing the right of States to self determination and the sharing of state powers were included in the Union Peace Accord III that were reportedly related to the establishment of a Federal Democratic Union and to pave the way for continued discussion on amending the 2008 military-drafted Constitution.
The United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar, pledged to support any organisation that woud back enforcement of the 1947 Panglong Agreement that included full autonomy for ethnic groups ahead of the general elections on November 8, 2020, saying it would vote as a single bloc.
"Myanmar was born of the 1947 Panglong Agreement," said United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) secretariat, U Myo Kyaw.
"The agreement brought Myanmar's ethnic groups together," he said.
In March 2020 Myanmar's more than 600 members of parliament voted on proposed amendments to the 2008 military-drafted Constitution ending with only two of more than a hundred proposed amendments passed, with National League for Democracy (NLD) party state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi failing to get the required votes to amend a section of the military drafted contitution that names the commander-in-chief of the defense services as the "supreme commander of all armed forces".
The then ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) failed to get the required votes on hundreds of proposed amendments to the military-drafted 2008 Constitution that would have reduced the number of military Members of Parliament that allows for the allocation of 25 percent of parliamentary seats to unelected military officers over 15 years.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader and state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won the popular vote with about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 8, 2020 General elections, was subject to the conditions of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military-drafted Myanmar 2008 Constitution.
Under the military-drafted 2008 constitution, amendments can only be carried with the approval of more than 75 percent of the Members of Parliament, making it difficult to pass the proposed amendments without the support of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military party.
The Southeast Asian Times


Wife of ousted PM of Malaysia sentenced to ten years in prison for bribery in Sarawak school project

Rosmah Mansor, 70, wife of former ousted PM Najib Razak of Malaysia, arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court Thursday September 1, 2022 for sentencing

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, September 3: The wife of ousted former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Rosmah Mansor, 70, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of RM970 million after she was convicted of receiving RM187.5 million in bribes in the solar hybrid energy project in Sarawak schools, with Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan saying "the fine is five times the amount of the bribe," reports Reuters.
Supreme Court Judge Mohamed, Zaini Mazlan, said the fine imposed on Rosmah Mansor is five times the amount paid to Rosmah Mansor in the solar hybrid energy project for 369 Sarawak schools, saying "the fine is the maximum allowable under Section 16 of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act."
Supreme Court Judge Mohamed, Zaini Mazlan, granted Rosmah Mansor a stay of sentence on appeal, allowing her previous bail of RM2 million to be extended pending the disposal of the appeal involving bribery in the solar hybrid energy project or 369 Sarawak schools.
In July 2020 witness for the prosecution businessman, Rayyan Radzwill, claimed that he was offered payment by Rosmah Mansor to help Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd secure the contract for the supply and installation of Hybrid photovoltaic thermal solar systems worth RM1.25 billion in 369 Sarawak schools.
Businessman, Rayyan Radzwill claimed that a meeting was held between him and Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and Rizal Mansor, saying "the meeting was held to help secure a contract for the supply and installation of Hybrid photovoltaic thermal solar systems in rural schools in Sarwak."
Businessman, Rayyan Radzwill, told the court that Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin had given RM5mil to Rosmah Mansor via Rizal Mansor, the former special officer to former ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak.
"Saidi told me he gave RM500,000 to Rizal Mansor, as a reward for his help in Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd acquiring the solar hybrid project from the Education Ministry," he said.
The arrest of Rosmah Mansor in October 2018 followed the arrest of her husband former ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak, in September 2018 for his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) of which he was Finance Minister and Chairman, with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, alledging that the former Prime Minister who was the Finance Minister and Chairman of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had deposited RM2.6 billion of 1MDB funds into his personal account.
On August 23, 2022 the Federal Court of Malaysia on Tuesday upheld the Supreme High Court conviction of ousted former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was found guilty of Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in the misappropriation of RM42 million from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and subsiduary SRS International Sdn Bhd funds with the former Prime Minister Najib Razak saying, "I didn't get a fair trial "
The Southeast Asian Times


West Papuan's protest Indonesia's plan to divide Papua into six regions

The Sarong group, one of more than a hundred groups included in the Papua Peoples Petition (PRP), protested in Sarong on Thursday August 23, 2022 against the division of Papua into six autonomous regions

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 3: The Papua Peoples Petition (PRP) that is made up of more than 100 civil society groups in Papua including the Sarong group in West Papua, are protesting against the government of Indonesia's plan to divide Papua into six autonomous regions, saying "the Indonesian government's hidden agenda is a mission to control and exploit Papua's natural resources," reports the Jakarta Post.
The Papua Peoples Petition (PRP) including the Sarong group coordinator, Apey Taramy said that the Papua Peoples Petition (PRP) continues to oppose any kind of unilateral policies by the Indonesian government, saying "it is no longer a secret that the Indonesian government hidden agenda is a mission to control and exploit Papua's natural resources."
"The Papuan people, from Sorong to Merauke, the people who are oppressed and colonised by Indonesia, continue to firmly oppose any and all policies forced on them from Jakarta," he said.
He said that Papuan people are opposed to the amendments to the 2001 revised Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua that would include the division of Papua into six regions, saying "amendements were made without involving or discussing the division of Papua into six autonomous regions (RUU DOB) with the Papuan people."
He said the Greater Sarong group of the Papua Peoples Petition (PRP) in West Papua are protesting the visit to West Papua of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Commission II.
"The committee is deliberating the Draft Law on the Creation of South-West Papua Province (PBD) at a meeting with the governor and greater Sorong regional leadership," he said.
He said the Papua Peoples Petition (PRP) including the Sarong group have called on the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Commission II to revoke the draft law on the creation of the new South-West Papua Province..
In April 2022 the House of Representatives (DPR) legislative body approved the draft law for the establishment of three of six new provinces in South Papua, Central Papua and Papua Central Highlands, with Papua People's Council (MRP) Manokwari chairman, Timotius Murib, saying "the House of Representatives (DPR) legislators approved the establishment of new regions in Papua without adequate consultations."
He warned that new regions in Papua could eliminate the Papua People’s Council (MRP) cultural territories, saying "the Papua People’s Council (MRP) consists of customery leaders."
"These bills ignore the rules stipulated in the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua that requires consultations with the people of Papua," he said
He said that the under the 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua the establishment of new regions must be consulted with and approved by the Papua People’s Council (MRP).
"The inclusion of Papua People’s Council (MRP) in consultations on the revised 2001 Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua in July 2021 are explicitly required by law," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Petition calls for suspension of former PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from position as Defence Minister

Former Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who retained his position as Defence Minister, at a Defence council meeting at the Defence Ministry on Friday August 26, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, September 2: United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) activists submitted a petition to Government House calling on caretaker Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, who was voted caretaker Prime Minister by the constitutional Court last week, to suspend former Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Defence Minister, saying "a protest site would be announced,"reports the Bangkok Post.
United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) activists Jatuporn Prompan and Nititorn Lamlua petitioned the government to suspend former Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Defence Minister on Wednesday.
United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) activists Jatuporn Prompan, said a protest site calling for the suspension of former Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Defence Minister would be announced, saying "the protest would take place at a commercial centre in downtown Bangkok."
The Constitutional Court voted 5-4 for former Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, to be caretaker Prime Minister, suspending former Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Prime Minister but allowing the former Prime Minister to maintain his position as Defence Minister.
The Constitutional Court voted to suspend Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from his position as Prime Minister following a petition signed by 171 Members of Parliament from six opposition coalition parties.
The suspension of former Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha as Prime Minister followed the Constitutional Court unanimous decision that was in accordance with Section 158 of the Constitution that maintains that the maximum term of a prime minister is eight years.
The coalition parties were led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, who submitted the petition to the Constitutional Court last month seeking a ruling on the end of the tenure of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha maximum eight-year tenure ends on August 24, 2022 with the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) warning the Prime Minister not to resort to a House dissolution before his term expires, saying "Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup."
Ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) new deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, claims that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha term began on June 9, 2019, when his prime ministership received royal endorsement under the 2017 constitution, saying "this means he would be entitled to serve up to 2027."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha can legally serve for up to eight years as prime minister from 2019 as stipulated by Section 158 of the constitution," he said.
In August 2020 the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation at the Thammasat University in Bangkok compiled a 10 point manifesto on August 10, 2022 for submission to the House Committe on Political Development Mass Communications and Public Participation that includes amendments to the constitution that disallows criticism of the king and the examination in parliament of any wrongdoing by the king.
The 10 point manifesto that calls for reform of the monarchy states that the demands made in the manifesto are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy, saying that the 10 point manifesto is a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy that includes the amendment to the constitution that empowers the king to endorse military coups.
The Southeast Asian Times


Hong Kong court rules police entitled to seize smart phones belonging to Apple Daily publisher

Hong Kong publisher Lai Chee-Ying also known as Jimmy Lai, 74, arrives at the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong for a bail hearing on February 9, 2021

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, September 1: The Hong Kong High Court ruled on Tuesday that two smart phones owned by founder of the Hong Kong-listed media company Next Digital and the Apple Daily newspaper Lai Chee-Ying also known as Jimmy Lai, 74, are to be seized under Beijing's new national security law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), with the High Court Judge saying "police were entitled to seize journalistic materials under common law," reports South China Morning Post.
Publisher of the defunct pro-democracy Hong Kong Apple Daily newspaper, Lai Chee-Ying also known as Jimmy Lai, 74, was arrested in August 2020 on numerous charges under Beijing's new national security law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) that came into effect in June 2020.
The High Court judge who was appointed by a nominating committee from Beijing, ruled on Tuesday that the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) were entitled to seize journalistic material under common law in light of paramount public interest, saying "the Beijing-decreed national security legislation conferred additional powers on Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) officers investigating offences."
Hong Kong newspaper executive Lai Chee-Ying, was arrested following the Beijing passing of the national security law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) together with 10 executives, reporters and student activists in a raid by about 200 Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) officers on the Apple Daily newspaper office in Hong Kong.
Newspaper publisher Lai Chee-Ying also known as Jimmy Lai, 74, and 10 executives, reporter Agnes Chow, 23, and student activist Tony Chun, 19, were arrested on August 11, 2020 for allegedly supporting rioters, instigating hatred, spreading rumours and slandering Hong Kong authorities in the Apple Daily publication.
Executives, reporters and student activists of the Hong Kong Apple Daily newspaper were charged with "collusion with foreign forces" under the new law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) that upholds the institutional system of one country, two systems and the Beijing ruling that Hong Kong use the "one man one vote" system to elect the Chief Executive of Hong Kong from two or three candidates that would be elected by a nominating committee from Beijing.
Beijing's new national security law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was enforced on the day it was passed into legislature on June 30, 2020 with the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) given the power for the first time to make arrests on grounds of national security.
Director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, Shen Chunyao, said at a press conference in Beijing after the passing of the new national security law that "the jurisdiction of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) "will only target the very few criminals that severely endanger national security."
"The promulgation and implementation of the new law on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong will uphold and improve the institutional system of "one country, two systems," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai Anti-Corruption Commission secretary-general dismissed for false declaration of assets

Legal action to be taken against Deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Prayad Puangchampa, at the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 31: Deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Prayad Puangchampa, was dismissed from his position for falsely declaring his assets and those of his wife on assuming his position in 2017, with Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) saying that "the assets should be confiscated and become state property," reports the Bangkok Post.
Four National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) commissioners voted unanimously to send the findings showing that Deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Prayad Puangchampa, had made a false declaration of assetts, to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) for legal action at the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders.
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Chairman Pol Gen Watcharaphol Prasarnratchakit, signed the order to dismiss Deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Prayad Puangchampa, from government service on Monday, saying "the deputy secretary-general was found to be unusually wealthy."
"Deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Prayad Puangchampa has amassed about Bt658 million in assets, he said.
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Chairman Pol Gen Watcharaphol Prasarnratchakit said that Deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Prayad Puangchampa, falsly declared his assets and those of his wife with the intention of not declaring how his wife had acquired the assets.
"His wife had ommitted about Bt227 million in assets located in London from the assett declaration form," he said.
He said that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has submitted its findings to the office of the Attorney-General (OAG) including a recommendation for a court order to seize the about Bt658 million in assets.
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Chairman Pol Gen Watcharaphol Prasarnratchakit, has called on the Attorney-General (OAG) to charge Deputy secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Prayad Puangchampa, in the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders for concealment of assets belonging to his wife worth about Bt227 million.
The Southeast Asian Times


Hanoi Court upholds 9 year prison sentence for former editor for report on Vietnam military land requisition

Pham Thi Doan Trang, was arrested on October 6, 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City and transported to Hanoi to stand trial for conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code

From News Reports:
Hanoi, August 30: The Supreme People's Court in Hanoi upheld a nine year prison sentence for the conviction of Pham Thi Doan Trang, 44, who was found guilty for conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code, in publishing among other reports "the Dong Tam report" on the violent land clash at Dong Tam Commune in My Duc district in 2019, reports Tuoitrenews.
Pham Thi Doan Trang, was arrested on October 6, 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City and transported to Hanoi where she was held in detention before her trial began in December 2021, reportedly without access to a lawyer.
The People’s Procuracy of Hanoi alleged that Pham Thi Doan Trang, a former editor of Tuan Vietnam, the Vietnam Law and Legal Forum Magazine, among other publications, published articles in the English language that violated Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code between November 2017 and December 2018 that included "Brief Report on the Marine Life Disaster in Vietnam," "General Assessments on the Human Rights Situation in Vietnam," "Report Assessment of the 2016 Law on Belief and Religion in Relation to the Exercise of the Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief in Vietnam," including "the Dong Tam report" on the Vietnam People's Armed Forces land requisition.
In January 2020 the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security, chief of staff Major General To An Xo, said that the My Duc district Republic of Vietnam National Police were investigating 22 Dong Tam Commune residents for their involvement in the protest against the construction of a wall by the Vietnam People's Armed Forces around the Mieu Mon military airfield.
The investigation into the death of five that included four police officers in the land-related protest at Dong Tam commune in My Duc district about 40 km south of Hanoi began in December 2019 with four suspects in detention.
The deadly land-related protest over the construction of a wall by the Vietnam People's Armed Forces around the Mieu Mon military airfield reportedly followed the construction of the Mieu Mon military airfield two years earlier.
Dong Tam farmers were requisitioned to hand over 47 hectares of their rice land for the proposed construction of the Mieu Mon military airfield.
Vietnam Ministry of Public Security, chief of staff Major General To An Xo, said in January 2020 that those involved in the violent protest would be charged with murder, the illegal storage and use of weapons and resisting police.
Police seized eight grenades, 38 Molotov cocktails, 20 liters of gasoline, 12 bayonet-fitted iron tubes, three boxes of flares, one teaser gun, one machete, and one hammer from Dong Tam Commune residents involved in the violence that ended with the death of five including four police officers.
The Southeast Asian Times


General Prayut Chan-o-cha remains Thai prime minister pending Constitutional Court ruling

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Defence Council meeting at the Defence Ministry in Bangkok Phra Nakhon district on Thursday, August 25, 2022

From News Reports:
Bangkok, August 29: The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) government of Thailand has denied a Cabinet reshuffle or House of Representatives dissolution after the Constitutional Court suspended General Prayut Chan-o-cha as Prime Minister on Wednesday, saying "General Prayut Chan-o-cha remains Prime Minister pending the Constitutional Court ruling on his tenure," reports the Bangkok Post.
Ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) government spokeswoman, Tipanan Sirichana, said that General Prayut Chan-o-ch, who retains his position as Defence Minister, remains Prime Minister, saying "the suspension is only valid until the Constitutional Court delivers a ruling on the matter."
The Constitutional Court voted 5-4 the former Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, as caretaker Prime Minister on Wednesday with government spokeswoman, Tipanan Sirichana saying "the authority to dissolve the House of Representatives or reshuffle the Cabinet lies solely with the prime minister."
She said that former Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, who was voted caretaker prime minister by the Constitutional Court, is in communication with suspended former Prime Minister General, Prayut Chan-o-cha, "to ensure a smooth workflow."
"There are no factors leading to a cabinet reshuffle or House dissolution," she said.
The suspension of former Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday followed the Constitutional Court unanimous decision that was in accordance with Section 158 of the Constitution that maintains that the maximum term of a prime minister is eight years.
A petition signed by 171 Members of Parliament from six opposition coalition party members of Thailand that was led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, was submitted to the Constitutional Court seeking a ruling on the end of the tenure of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday last week.
The six opposition coalition parties of Thailand led by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) submited a petition for a Constitutional Court ruling on when the eight year term in office for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha began and ends, with the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) warning the Prime Minister not to resort to a House dissolution before his term expires on August 24, 2022.
Pheu Thai Party (PTP) president Cholnan Srikaew, said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha maximum eight-year tenure ends this month, saying "Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha term began the day he was installed as the head of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after the 2014 coup," he said.
Ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) new deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, claims that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha term began on June 9, 2019, when his prime ministership received royal endorsement under the 2017 constitution, saying "this means he would be entitled to serve up to 2027."
"Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha can legally serve for up to eight years as prime minister from 2019 as stipulated by Section 158 of the constitution," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times



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


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


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


What they're saying 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



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



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


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

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



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


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



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

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



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


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

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

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



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


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



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Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com

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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
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US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
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ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
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East Timor.
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sKong..
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Indonesia Rupiah
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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
property sales and marketing company, Min Zin Agency, in Yangon to sell condos in Singapore.
Managing director of the Min Zin Agency in Yangon, Ko Kyaw Min Zin, said that Singapore's Far East Organization has expanded its sales and marketing efforts into Myanmar.
“The Far East Organisation has been selling their Singapore properties to Myanmar buyers since 2009,” he said.
The Far East Organisation reportedly have over 750 properties in Singapore’s residential, hospitality, retail, commercial and industrial sectors,
including 45,500 or one in every six private homes in Singapore listed with the Min Zin Agency in Yangon.
The Southeast Asian Times


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

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

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


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

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

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

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