The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
 
Saturday 16 December 2017 
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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Former House speaker Setya Novanto charged with corruption
Former House of Representatives speaker Setya No­vanto arrives at the Jakarta corruption court on Wednesday
From News Reports:
Jakarta, December 16: The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has charged former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto, who is also Golkar Party chairman, for his involvement in the procurement of e-ID cards that resulted in significant loss to the state despite his attempt to avoid prosecution, reports the Jakarta Post.
The former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto reportedly arrived at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Wednesday claiming ill health and saying that his ill health prevented him from standing trial.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) convinced the court that the former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto was fit to stand trial following an order from the Judge that Setya Novanto undergo a medical examination conducted by the courts medics.
The former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto was formally charged with corruption in his involvement in the procurement of e-ID cards that allegedly caused Rp 2.3 tril­lion (US$161 mil­lion) loss to the state.
The charges against Setya Novanto reportedly invalidate his attempt to challenge the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) decision to name him a suspect in their investigation into the procurement of e-ID cards that resulted in the loss to the state.
The Jakarta Post reports that had the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) failed to convince the court to charge
Setya Novanto that his suspect status would have been invalidated, halting the charges made against him on Wednseday.
In July the Indonesia Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said that House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto was "suspected of having a key role in setting the budget for the procurement of the electronic identity cards between 2011and 2012."
The budget was split with 51 percent or Rp2.662 trillion used for the procurement of the e-ID card and the balance were embezzled and devided between senior officials of the Home Affairs Ministry and lawmakers of the Commission II of DPR.
House of Representatives speaker, Setya Novanto and Businessman, Andi Agustinus, have reportedly received Rp574.2 billion each from the division of the budget allocated for the procurement of the e-ID cards.
He is believed to have awarded the tender for the procurement of the e-ID card to businessman, Andi Agustinus, who has reportedly admitted to paying lawlers and senior officials at the Home Affairs Ministry in order to secure the tender for the procurement of the e-ID tender.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) found in July that there was sufficient preliminary evidence to charge Setya Novanto under article 2 paragraph (1) of Law No.31/1999 as amended by Law No. 20/2001 on corruption eradication adj. article 55 paragraph (1) of the Penal Code.
The Southeast Asian Times

Former PM Dr Mahathir returns medals of honour to Selangor Palace

Former prime minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 92, returns medals of honour to Selangor Palace

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, December 15: Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 92, has returned two medals of honour bestowed on him by the Selangor Palace after he said in a speech last month that "Malaysia was being led by a prime minister who came from Bugis pirates", reports the Star.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the recipient of two medals of honour including the first class Darjah Kebesaran Seri Paduka Mahkota Selangor (SPMS) from the the sultan of Selangor Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah 1978-2003.
Opposition Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) member Dr Rais Husin confirmed that Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is the chairman of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) had returned the awards to the Selangor palace, saying "it is very clear" when asked why Dr Mahathir made the decision to give back the awards.
The remark that "Malaysia was being led by a prime minister who came from Bugis pirates" reportedly triggered outrage from the Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the Bugis community and associations in Malaysia and also in Indonesia.
The Selangor Royal Court said in a statement that the Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was enraged and disappointed with Dr Mahathir's speech and urged the police to investigate the Dr Mahathir for allegedly inciting hatred towards the community.
In March 2016 former prime minister Mahathir Mohomad resigned from the the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, saying that the party is seen as "supporting corruption" under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was the longest serving Prime Minister of Malaysia, 1981 to 2003, and reportedly a 'fierce critic' of the current prime minister, Najib Razak.
"I won't call it UMNO anymore, this is Mr Najib's party," he said when he resigned.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippine president calls on congress to extend Martial Law over Mindanao
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Congress of the Philippines to extend the proclamation of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus over in the southern Philippine province of Mindanao for one year
From News Reports:
Manila, December 14: Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Congress to extend martial law over the southern Philippine province of Mindanao, saying that the threat of terrorism in the region makes Mindanao “the hotbed of rebellion, ” reports the Philippine Inquirer
President Duterte said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have recommended the extention of martial law in Mindanao for one year, saying that Martial Law Administrator, Secretary of National Defence, Delfin. N. Lorenzana, recommended the extension of Martial Law for a further twelve months from January 1, 2018.
Martial Law Administrator, Secretary of National Defence, Delfin. N. Lorenzana, reportedly said that the purpose of the extention of Martial Law over the whole island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines was "primarily to ensure total eradication of DAESH-Inspired Da’awatul islamiyah Waliyatui Masriq (DIWM), other like-minded Local and Foreign Terrorist Groups (L/FTGs) and Armed Lawless Groups (ALGs), and the communist terrorists (CTs) and their coddlers, supporters, and financiers.”
President Duterte said that while the government was preoccupied with addressing the challenges posed by the DAESH-inspired DIWM and other Local
Terrorist Groups (LTGs) "the New People’s Army (NPA) intensified their decades-long rebellion against the government and stepped up terrorist acts against innocent civilians and private entities."
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte declared the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) a terrorist group last week with support from Philippine Senator Panfilo Lacson to declare the New People’s Army (NPA) a terrorist group.
"It was about time that the rebel group was labeled a terror organization as it had been acting like one since losing its ideology more than a decade ago," he said.
In June Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), to fight alongside government Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) security forces against Maute Abu Sayyaf ISIS militants in Marawi City in Mindanao in the Southern Philippines.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia to support Palestine at Islamic conference in Turkey
From News Reports:
Jakarta, December 13: President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, said that the support of the Indonesian government for Palestinian independence would never change following the United States announcement of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ahead of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) extraordinary meeting that begins in Turkey today, reports Antara.
President Joko Widodo said that he would show his support for Palestine at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) extraordinary meeting to be held in Turkey and that would be attended by more than 50 member countries.
President Joko Widodo Jokowi said that he had contacted heads of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC member states, including the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, to advise them of his attendance at the conference in Turkey today.
The president said he was disappointed in United States president Trump's decion to decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
United States President Trump reportedly acted under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that accepts Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and requires the United States to relocate its embassy.
President Trump claims that recognition of Jerusalem was a long overdue step to advance the peace process, vowing to broker the ultimate deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
In March 2016 at a summit in Jakarta member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) including Indonesia called on the organisation and the international community to ban products made in or produced by Israel in an effort to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.
The call to ban Israeli products was reportedly made by 605 delegates from 55 countries including the United Nations and the European Union in support of Palestine at the 5th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Extraordinary Summit on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif in Jakarta during the two day summit.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said then at the conclusion of the summit that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries condemn Israel's actions.
"We call to end the illegal colonial settlement and support the independence of Palestine on the basis of a two-state solution," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesians say they are with Palestine in protest at US embassy in Jakarta
Indonesian Muslims protested against the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel outside the United States embassy in Jakarta on Sunday with banners saying "we are with the Palestinians" and "pray for Palestine"
From News Reports:
Jakarta, December 12: About 10,000 Indonesians protested outside the United States embassy in Jakarta on Sunday against the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that was announced by United States president Trump last week, reports Associated Press.
Protests organised by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) were also held in capital cities throughout Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.
The Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) president Sohibul Iman said that the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is "a form of humiliation and provocation against Muslims all over the world."
"Indonesia as the world's largest Muslim country has the largest responsibility toward the independence of Palestine and the management of Jerusalem," he said.
He urged the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states and UN Security Council and the international
community "to respond immediately with more decisive and concrete political and diplomatic actions in saving the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation and its collaborator, the United States of America."
Indonesia's president Joko Widodo condemned the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying that "the United States decision has violated United Nations resolutions and could shake global security and stability."
"Indonesia is a strong supporter of the two-state solution and an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side with Israel," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

 

Cambodian court upholds sentence for women against Boeung Kak eviction
Tep Vanny at the Phnom Penh Supreme Court in January
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, December 11: The Phnom Penh Supreme Court upheld the 2014 conviction of three of seven women charged with obstruction and insulting public officials three years earlier while protesting against the eviction of thousands of families from Boeung Kak lake in central Phnom Penh, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Tep Vanny, Bo Chhorvy and Kong Chantha are three of seven women who were charged under Article 78 of the Traffic law for allegedly blocking Monivong Boulevard at the Phnom Penh City Hall where they protested the eviction of more than 4,000 families from Boeung Kak lake in central Phnom penh.
The seven women including Nget Khun, Phan Chhunreth, Norng Sreng and Song Srey Leap protested the rights of thousands of families , who were evicted from the land surrounding Boeung Kak Lake whose rights included their eligibility for title to land in accordance with Cambodia’s 2001 Land Law.
Their dwellings were reportedly demolished in 2010 to allow China's Inner Mongolia Erdos Hongjun Investment Corporation to fill the lake to build luxury flats and high-end shops.
The Phnom Penh municipal administration and Shukaku Incorporated signed a US$79 million 99 year lease agreement for 133 hectares of prime real estate including Boeung Kak and its surrounds in February 2007.
In 2014 the evicted Boeung Kak Lake families delivered a petition to the Singapore Embassy calling on the embassy to pressure the Singapore listed HLH Group limited to halt dealings with the company until compensation had been paid to the families.
The Phnom Penh Court sentenced the seven women to one year in jail and a 2 million riel (US$500) fine in 2014.
The sentence was followed by a call to the World Bank from about 40 of the evicted families, not to approve further loans to the developers until they had received adequate compensation.
The Southeast Asian Times

Okinawa governor calls for revision of Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement
From News Reports:
Tokyo, December 10: Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi called for a revision of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)
last week on the first visit to Okinawa since taking office of foreign minister, Kono Taroto, reports the Japan Press Weekly.
Governor Onaga Takeshi said that the election results represent Okinawa's refusal to accept the construction of a new United States military base on Okinawa.
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi called on foreign minister Kono Taroto to cancell the construction of the United States base in the Heoko district and for the removal of the United States MV-22 Osprey aircraft from Okinawa.
The Okinawa governor urged the Abe government to cancel the proposed United States Henoko base construction project, saying that "the local residents will not accept it."
Voters in Okinawa reportedly chose candidates who opposed the construction of the United States base in the Heoko district in the general elections in October.
Governor Onaga Takeshi reportedly told Foreign minister Kono Taro that the Japanese government has made little progress on the revision of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), saying that Okinawa residents endured an endless succession of accidents and crimes caused by the presence of the United States military.
In June 2016 about 10,000 protesters gathered at the Diet and called for a revision of the 1960 Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in the belief that the agreement provides undue protection to U.S. servicemen and base employees who commit crimes.
About 1,000 also protested in the streets of Sapporo and Nagoya, showing solidarity with the Okinawan protesters.
Protesters also wanted plans made by Washington and Tokyo to move the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma facility located in the center of the island to waters off the northern coast of Okinawa "scrapped for good".
Okinawa Governor, Takeshi Onaga, said then that Okinawa wants the US Marine facility located in the populated area of Ginowan "to move off the island altogether".
The plan to move the base from Okinawa was followed by the rape of a 12-year-old girl in 1995 by three American servicemen but has been held up by "local opposition and legal maneuvering."
The United States Navy imposed a drinking ban on the Navy's 19,000 personnel in Japan in June 2016, ordering them confined to their bases after a sailor was arrested on Okinawa island following a car accident that injured two Japanese civilians.
The United States has imposed a 30-day nightime curfew on military personnel on the island and prohibited drinking in public.
The Southeast Asian Times


President Widowo calls on US to reconsider location of capital of Israel

From News Reports:
Jakarta, December 9: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called on United States President Trump to reconsider his decision that gave the United States unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reports the Jakarta Post.
President Joko Widodo has condemned the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying that "the United States decision has violated United Nations resolutions and could shake global security and stability."
President Joko Widodo reitoriated the Indonesian government position, saying that "Indonesia is a strong supporter of the two-state solution and an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side with Israel."
United States President Trump has reportedly acted under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that accepts Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and requires the United States to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
President Trump claims that recognition of Jerusalem was a long overdue step to advance the peace process, vowing to broker the ultimate deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that any change in the status of Jerusalem would endanger the peace process between Israel and Palestine, saying that "any change in the status of Jerusalem will endanger the peace process and peace itself."
In March 2016 at a summit in Jakarta member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) including Indonesia called on the organisation and the international community to ban products made in or produced by Israel in an effort to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.
The call to ban Israeli products was reportedly made by 605 delegates from 55 countries including the United Nations and the European Union in support of Palestine at the 5th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Extraordinary Summit on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif in Jakarta during the two day summit.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said at the conclusion of the summit that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries condemn Israel's actions.
"We call to end the illegal colonial settlement and support the independence of Palestine on the basis of a two-state solution," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Classification of Philippine Communists as terrorists may take years
From News Reports:
Manila, December 8: Philippine presidential advisor Jesus Dureza said that the presidential declaration that classified the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), terrorists may take years to implement, saying that his office is waiting for the outcome of the petition that is yet to be filed by the Secretary of Justice, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
Presidential advisor Jesus Durza said that under Section 17 of RA 9372 the Department of Justice should file an application before a competent Regional Trial Court before officially declaring organizations or group or persons terrorists.
"The court declaration may take years," he said. 
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte who signed the proclaimation that classifies the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People's Army as terrorists made the declaration under the Republic Act 10168 and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
Organizations or group or persons under the Acts are reportedly defined as "any person or entity designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group under the applicable United Nations Security Council Resolution or by another jurisdiction or supranational jurisdiction.
Last month presidential advisor Jesus Dureza of the government peace panel announced the cancellation of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), following the end of the five month seige of the southern Philippine city of Marawi
He said that there will be no peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) "until such time as the environment is conducive to a change in the government's position,"
He said that the government peace panel takes guidance from the President’s announcements and declarations.
In June 2017 president Rodrigo Duterte called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), to fight alongside government Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) security forces against Maute Abu Sayyaf ISIS militants in Marawi City in Mindanao in the Southern Philippines.
The Southeast Asian Times


Chinese fishing vessel flying Timor-Leste flag seized in Indonesian waters
Chinese fishing vessel tied up at Tenau Port In Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara on Monday
From News Reports:
Jakarta, December 7: The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the unregulated Fishing Task Force have seized a Chinese fishing vessel flying the Timor-Leste flag and arrested its crew for illegal fishing in Indonesia's waters.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said that the Chinese fishing vessel, the Fu Yuan Yu 831, hoisted the Timor-Leste flag as the Fishing Task Force seized the vessel and arrested its 21 crew.
The minister said that Fishing Task Force Officers found six flags from various countries on board the Chinese fishing vessel, saying that the flags were flown in order to decieve the Task Force officers.
Flags from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Timor-Leste were reportedly found on board the Chinese fishing vessel.
The Task Force also seized 35 tons of fish including tiger sharks, a protected species.
The 21 crew arrested include nine Chinese, six Indonesians, three Myanmarese and three Vietnamese.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said the Chinese fishing vessel was towed to Kupang Port in East Nusa Tenggara for further investigation.
In April 2017 the Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the unregulated Fishing Task Force
simultaneously sank 81 boats at 12 locations for illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.
It was the largest number of illegal fishing vessels to be sunk simultaneously since the sinking of 60 fishing vessels in celebration of Indonesian Independence Day in August 2016.
In August 2016 the Indonesian government reportedly sank 71 boats from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and China on Independence Day, 17 August in celebration for each year of Independence.
Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said then that the Maritime and Fisheries Ministery see "a deterrent efect" in the sinking of the seized foreign fishing vessels.
On Independence Day, 17 August, 2015 the Indonesian navy blasted 70 foreign fishing vessels out of Indonesian waters in celebration of 70 years of independence.
The sinking of the illegal fishing vessels is part of the government campaign driven by President Joko Widodo to stop illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.
"Illegal fishing costs the country billions of dollars in lost revenue every year", said the president.
The Southeast Asian Times

Call for dismissal of Khmer Rouge genecide case

Former Khmer Rouge navy commander, Meas Mut, 78,

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh: December 6: Cambodian co-prosecutors have again called for the genocide trial sponsored by the United Nations-Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, or the Khmer Rouge tribunal case against Meas Muth to be dismissed following differring final submissions filed by the Cambodian and non-Cambodian co-prosecutors, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
The Cambodian and non-Cambodian co-prosecutors submissions filed separately on November 14 reportedly "reflected their differing views on whether the co-investigating judges should issue an indictment or dismiss the case."
Cambodia's co-prosecutor Chea Leang said that the genecide charges against Meas Muth should be dismissed on the grounds that Meas Muth was neither a senior leader, the most responsible person as defined by the rules limiting the Khmer Rouge tribunal's jurisdiction.
“Bringing Meas Muth to trial will not serve the interests of justice,” she said.
She said that there would be domestic political disruption and serious potential social unrest should Meas Muth be indicted.
Non-Cambodian co-prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian agues that Meas Muth is a senior leader and most responsible and should therefore be indicted.
The non-Cambodian co-prosecutor claims that Meas Muth was the secretary of Division 164, the largest in the regime’s Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea, numbering some 10,000 personnel.
"He was also secretary of the Kampong Som Autonomous Sector in present day Preah Sihanouk province where he governed over thousands of civilians," he said.
Former Khmer Rouge navy commander Meas Mut, 78, told the Phnom Penh Post in September 2011 that he joined the Khmer Rouge to protect the Cambodia from foreign threats after the 1970 coup of the US-supported Lon Nol regime, which deposed King Father Norodom Sihanouk and pitched Cambodia into civil war.
“I did not create the war,” he said. “I am a victim that was forced to join the war.”
Meas Mut denied involvement in any killings, and said whatever he had done was justified by his responsibility to defend the country against foreign enemies.
“Do they have evidence to accuse me, or not?” he said.
Meas Mut asked if the evidence was the bones in Cambodia’s killing fields, and if so, he wondered how the court could determine whether the bones belonged to foreigners killed on Cambodian soil, Cambodians killed by Viet Nam, or those killed from the American bombing campaign.
The Southeast Asian Times

Pro-independence activists protest in Hong Kong streets ahead of court sentencing on Thursday
Student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, 19, said ahead of the court decision on Thusrday that pro independence activists will show that they are not afraid of authoritarian supression "through demonstration, election and various civil society campaigns."
From News Reports:
Hong Kong, December 5: About 1000 pro-independence activists protested in the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday against China's authoritarian rule over Hong Kong ahead of the sentencing of activists this week including student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, 19, reports Agence France Presse.
Hong Kong student activist, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, was sent to jail in August but released on bail last month for his leading role in "Occupy Central With Love and Peace" movement that began in Hong Kong in 2014.
Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Raphael Wong, Lester Shum and 13 others are to be sentenced on a further charge by the Hong Kong courts on Thursday.
The student activists have been charged with contempt of court for failing to clear the Hong Kong streets during the anti-authoritarian rule protests in the streets of Hong Kong in 2014.
Beijing ruled in August 2014 that Hong Kong could use the "one man one vote" system to elect the Chief Executive in 2017 but from only two or three candidates that would be elected by a nominating committee from Beijing.
The Hong Kong students called on Beijing to give Hong Kong direct elections and also for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who was elected by committee in Beijing.
The Southeast Asian Times

Illegal timber bound for Vietnam seized on Laos border
From News Reports:
Vientiane, December 4: Stare officials are facing criminal charges over their alleged involvement in the shipment of illegal harvested timber, discovered in Attapeu province bound for Vietnam, reports the Vientian Times.
Twenty-seven trucks carrying more than 13,000 cubic metres of illicit timber were stopped in June by authorities at the
Phoukeua International Checkpoint as they crossed from Attapeu province into Vietnam.
The trucks were reportedly hired by the Khamthanaphone Crafting and Furniture Factory, owned by Vilath Panyasath, who is Chairman of the Attapeu provincial Party-state Inspection Committe.
Investigations into the certification of the harvested illegal timber that was found hidden in the trucks under a legitimate cargo of export timber is underway
Khamthanaphone Crafting and Furniture Factory owner and chairman of the Attapeu provincial Party-state Inspection Committe.Vilath Panyasath, told investigators he was not involved in the illegal shipment of timber that was bound for Vietnam
The newly-appointed provincial Governor, Mr Leth Sayaphone, said that the law would be enforced against the offenders.
In May last year, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith issued Order No. 15 that laid down tough measures
to regulate the timber industry, including banning the export of unfinished wood products. As a result, 28 wood processing
factories located near and inside forest areas were shut down.
1,154 family-run furniture workshops operating without licences were closed and a large quantity of illegally processed timber and harvested logs, as well as logging equipment was seized.
The Southeast Asian Times



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

 

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

 

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

 

What they're saying open page here

 

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

 

Timor-Leste justice threatened by firing of foreign judges
By Susan Marx ...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 dated 29 May 2012 from Vietnam Womens Union to International Olympic Committee...open here

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com




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Oz $ buys
Updated daily.
Prices indicative only

US...0.7582
Brunei...
1.0310
C
ambodia...3,115.36
China..Yuan
..5,0710
East Timor.
..0.7582
Euro..
0.6794
Hong
sKong..
.5.8808
Indonesia Rupiah
.9,997.47
Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
Papua New Guinea
..2.4033
Philippines Peso..
35.3212
Singapore dollar...
1.0308
Thailand...Baht..
26.2521
Viet
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 local property sales and marketing company, Min Zin Agency, in Yangon to sell condos in Singapore.
Managing director of the Min Zin Agency in Yangon, Ko Kyaw Min Zin, said that Singapore's Far East Organization has expanded its sales and marketing efforts into Myanmar.
“The Far East Organisation has been selling their Singapore properties to Myanmar buyers since 2009,” he said.
The Far East Organisation reportedly have over 750 properties in Singapore’s residential, hospitality, retail, commercial and industrial sectors,
including 45,500 or one in every six private homes in Singapore listed with the Min Zin Agency in Yangon.
The Southeast Asian Times


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

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

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

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

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

Court for construction
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


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