The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Saturday 22 January 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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Vietnam's southern court to proceed against casino for unpaid winnings

The Court case is to proceed against Kongkon Company Limited, operators of Corona Resort & Casino on Phu Quoc Island in the People’s Court of Kien Giang province in southern Vietnam

From News Reports:
Hanoi, January 22: The People’s Court of Kien Giang province in southern Vietnam is to proceed with a lawsuit filed against the Corona Resort & Casino on Phu Quoc Island on October 11, 2021 by casino patron identified as Ms.T for unpaid winnings, reports VnExpress.
Chief Justice of the People’s Court of Kien Giang province, Le Thi Minh Hieu, said on January 10, 2022 that the court has accepted the lawsuit filed against Kongkon Company Limited, operators of the Corona Resort & Casino on Phu Quoc Island, saying "a notice of acceptance by the People’s Court of Kien Giang province has been sent to casino patron identified as Ms. T, Kongkon Company Limited and Phu Quoc Investment and Development Joint Stock Company."
The Chief justice said that casino patron, an Italian national, identified as Ms.T, claims that she won VND54.6 billion at a card game at the Corona Resort & Casino on Phu Quoc Island, saying "the remaining VND44.6 billion has not been paid."
Ms.T claims that she was given a chip card for the card playing area at the Corona Resort & Casino on Phu Quoc Island that is managed by the Kongkon Company Limited, saying "is was in the card playing area that she won VND54.6 billion."
Ms.T claimed that Kongkon Company Limited had paid VND54.6 billion of her winnings in three installments, in May 31, June 7, and June 10, 2021, from personal accounts in Vietnamese names.
Ms.T also claimed that she has repeatedly requested that Kongkon Company Limited pay the remaining VND 44.6 billion winnings, saying she has not been paid yet.
Ms.T requires that Kongkon Company Limited pay interest on the unpaid winnings up to the date of the lawsuit on October 11, 2021, that she says is about VND1.4 billion.
Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association lawyer, Ho Nguyen Le, said "casino's in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are obliged to pay winnings to players," saying "if players do not receive fully and promptly the winnings at casino's, they have the right to go to court for settlement."
He said that foreigners and overseas Vietnamese with foreign passports are permitted to gamble at Casino's in Vietnam, saying "Ms. T. is an Italian citizen, which makes her eligible to play cards at the casino in Phu Quoc."
The Southeast Asian Times


University students ordered to attend President Joko Widodo's lecture on Pancasila state ideology

President Joko Widodo deliveres a lecture on Pancacila state ideology at the Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) in Bandung in West Java on Monday January, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 21: Students at the Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) in Bandung in West Java were ordered to register for the Presidential lecture on Monday, with the Rector saying that students are obliged to register their attendance for President Joko Widodo's lecture on Pancacila state ideology.
Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) Rector Mangadar Situmorang said "the Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar)
was honored by President Joko Widodo's presence at the university's 67th anniversary on Monday, saying "this is a historical event for Unpa,"
"Unpar is obliged to show respect for the President of the Republic of Indonesia Ir. H. Joko Widodo, " he said.
Circular Number 2 1/R/2022-01/096-1 titled "Circular on a Presidential Lecture" that was signed by the rector, said that President Widodo would give a public lecture "on the state ideology of Pancasila in the life of the nation and state" to mark the 67th anniversary of the Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar).
He said in the circular that students who to do not register for the lecture will be subject to academic administrative sanctions, saying "students are obliged to be actively involved and follow the President's lecture though a Zoom link and register their attendance through the student portal", he said.
Convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists incarcerated in Indonesian prisons swore allegiance to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and loyality to Pancasila state ideology under the deradicalizing of terrorism program with the Directorate General of Corrections Indonesia, saying that 122 convicted terrorists pledged allegiance to Pancasila ideology in 2021,
She said that 68 convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists at the Gunung Sindur Prison, 13 at the Batu Nusakambangan Prison, nine at the Pasir Putih Nusakambangan Correctional Institution, and 32 at other penitentiaries in Indonesia pledged allegiance to Pancasila ideology in 2021, saying "they are expected to exhibit proper conduct and act faithfully in accordance with their respective religions."
In January 2021 Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir, 81, the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), who was found guilty by the South Jakarta District Court in 2011 for organising acts of terror, including the Bali bombings was released from Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java Province after pledging loyalty to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and to Pancasila state ideology.
Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir's arrest in 2012 was the third effort since 2000 to have the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) convicted for terrorism.
He served almost 26 months in jail before he won his appeal in 2006 against his conviction for conspiracy following the Bali bombings of 2002 in which more than 200 people, most of them Australians, were killed.
The Southeast Asian Times


ASEAN cancels meeting in Cambodia: Maintains non-political representatiion from Myanmar military

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reaffirmed Singapore’s support for Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship for 2022

From News Reports:
Singapore, January 20: ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat (AMM Retreat) that was to be hosted by Cambodian ASEAN chair 2022 on Tuesday and Wednesday in Siem Reap was cancelled following Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's official visit to Myanmar last week, with Singapore saying "ASEAN should maintain its decision of inviting a non-political representative from Myanmar to ASEAN meetings."
Singapore Prime Minister Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reaffirmed Singapores's support for Cambodia's ASEAN chairmanship saying that "ASEAN should maintain its decision reached at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits on 26-28 October, 2021 under the Brunei Asean charimanship of inviting a non-political representative from Myanmar to ASEAN meetings."
"Any discussion to revise the ASEAN Leaders’ decision had to be based on new facts," he said.
He said the Cambodian ASEAN chairmanship for 2022 needs to engage all parties concerned including the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and the National League for Democracy (NLD) that has formed into the National Unity Government (NUG) and that argues it is the legitimate representative of democracy in Myanmar.
Brunei ASEAN chairmanship for 2021, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, said after the ASEAN emergency Foreign Ministers meeting (AFMM) on October 15, 2021 that was attended by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar at the exclusion of the National League for Democracy (NLD) that had formed into the National Unity Government (NUG), "no consensus was reached for a political representative from the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to attend the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits on 26-28 October, 2021."
"A non-political representative would be invited to the summit," he said.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar Commander-in-chief Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing said after the Brunei ASEAN emergency Foreign Ministers meeting (AFMM) on October 15, 2021 that the decison to invite a non-political representative from Myanmar to ASEAN meetings was made without consensus.
"ASEAN's decision went against its longtime central principle of consensus," he said.
The National Unity Government (NUG) in Myanmar that was founded by the National League for Democracy (NLD) parliamentary members of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, has been excluded from ASEAN meetings since the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February 2021.
The Southeast Asian Times


Jakarta Governor in court for banning employers from paying workers under Omnibus Law

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan says that employers must formulate and implement a salary structure and scale that recognizes company productivity and ability as a guideline on wages for employees who have served for one year and over,

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 19: Indonesian Employers Association of Jakarta (Apindo) filed a lawsuit against Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan at the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) for banning employers from paying workers who have worked less than a year under the derivative of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation 2022 Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP), with Governor Anies Baswedan saying he signed the regulation on December 16 and it was made effective on January 1, 2022, reports Tempo."
“Employers must formulate and implement a salary structure and scale that recognizes company productivity and ability as a guideline on wages for employees who have served for one year and over," he said.
Indonesian Employers Association of Jakarta (Apindo) deputy chairperson, Nurjaman, said that the lawsuit against Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan was to obtain legal certainty as there was a discrepancy between the Gubernatorial Decree 1517/2021 and the Central Government Regulation No. 36 of 2021 on the formulation of Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP).
" Indonesian Employers Association of Jakarta (Apindo) demands that Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan declare the Gubernatorial Decree No. 1517/ 2021 on 2022 Provincial Minimum Wage dated December 16, 2021, null and void," she said.
She said that it is not a polemic between Indonesian Employers Association of Jakarta (Apindo) and the Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan but between the Jakarta Governor and the central government.
The Indonesian Constitutional Court ruled that the Omnibus Job Creation Law that was passed into law in November 2, 2021 and immediately challenged by the Trade Union Confederation (KSPI), is contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, with President Joko Widodo, who signed the Omnibus Job Creation Law into law, saying that the passing of the law was vital to investment to labour market competitiveness in the plans for the development of at least 27 industrial parks in regions across Indonesia.
The Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) president, Said Iqbal sought a full repeal of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation or annulments of some provisions, saying "the Omnibus Law on Job Creation allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary, saying "the removal of the sectoral minimum wage will lead to a low-wage regime as district governments or city councils are no longer dutybound to set a minimum wage for workers."
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam's Kon Tum City on Laos and Cambodia border rejects construction of hydropower plant

Vietnam's Kon Tum City vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Min, centre, in Kon Tum City on 21 January 2021

From News Reports:
Hanoi, January 18: Kon Tum City in Vietnam's Central Highlands, on the border with Laos and Cambodia, has rejected the construction of a second hydropower plant on the Dak Bla River, with the Kon Tum City vice chairman saying "the local administration in Dak Ro Wa Commune will not allow the construction of another plant," reports Tuoitrenews.
The Department of Industry and Trade in Kon Tum Province said on Saturday that the Ministry of Industry and Trade approved five hydropower damns in August 2020 including the proposed hydropower plant on the Dak Bla River in Dak Ro Wa Commune.
Kon Tum City vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Min, said "Kon Tum City has one hydropower plant on the Dak Bla River", saying "the local administration in Dak Ro Wa Commune will not allow the construction of another plant."
An official at the People’s Committee in Kon Tum City, said that he had not heard about the construction of the Dak Bla hydropower plant on the Dak Bla River, saying "the Dak Ro Wa Commune administration would not approve such a project."
People’s Committee in Dak Ro Wa Commune held a meeting with representatives and elders of the Kon Ko Tu tourist Village to seek their opinion on the second construction of the hydropower damn on the Dak Bla River.
People’s Committee in Dak Ro Wa Commune, chairman Doan Van Hau, said "no one agreed to the implementation of the project" at the meeting.
The construction site for the Dak Bla hydropower plant on the Dak Bla River in Dak Ro Wa Commune is reportedly to be located adjacent to the Kon Ko Tu tourist village in Dak Ro Wa Commune.
Kon Ko Tu tourist village resident, A Thuyet, said "most people in Kon Ko Tu live on tourism, saying "the village is famous for its beautiful waterfalls along the Dak Bla River."
"We will lose the waterfalls due to the construction of the hydropower plants," he said.
He said the Dak Bla hydropower plant project will pose a danger to the lives of locals, saying "they will still use water from the river for their daily activities."
The Southeast Asian Times


Bali hotels to quarantine thousands of migrant workers and travellers

Secretary of Bali province Covid-19 Task Force, I Made Rentin, said on Saturday January 15, 2022 that the Bali provincial government has prepared hotel quarantine rooms

From News Reports:
Denpasar, January 17: The Bali provincial government has prepared hotel rooms to quarantine migrant workers (PMI) and foreign and Indonesian international travelers (PPLN) entering the island, with the secretary of Bali province Covid-19 Task Force, saying "of the 60 hotels, eight hotels are to be used specifically for Indonesian international travelers (PPLN)," reports Antara
Secretary of Bali province Covid-19 Task Force, I Made Rentin, said on Saturday that the Bali provincial government has prepared 60 hotels with 11,960 rooms to quarantine Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) and international travelers (PPLN), saying "six government owned buildings with a total of 433 beds can also be used for quarantine."
"Of the 60 hotels, eight hotels are to be used specifically for Indonesian international travelers (PPLN)," he said.
He said that given the global spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to prepare quarantine facilities for Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) and Indonesia international travelers (PPLN) entering the island, saying "this is especially important since Bali and the Riau Islands are the two entry points for both foreign and international travelers (PPLN) who plan to visit tourist destinations in Indonesia.
He said that Bali has experienced an increase in Covid-19 on January13, 2022 with 26 infections, saying "all levels of society must be vigilant and continue to implement strict health protocols."
"Bali has prepared referral hospitals for COVID-19 and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) laboratories," he said.
He said that the COVID-19 task force at the quarantine hotel will need to inform the Port Health Office, regional COVID-19 Task Force, and Bali Medical Tourism Association (BMTA) should the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test have a positive result.
"Bali has prepared referral hospitals for COVID-19 and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) laboratories," he said
He said that 26 laboratory facilities have been equipped with 57 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tools, with a maximum testing capability of 10,630 per day, saying that "of the 26 laboratories, one laboratory is being used for Omicron screening (SGTF)."
The Southeast Asian Times


UN pledges to work with Cambodia ASEAN chair 2022 in Myanmar

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen pledged to work with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar,
Noeleen Heyzer, on Thursday, January 13, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, January 16: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the newly appointed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar pledged to work together in Myanmar, with Noeleen Heyzer, saying that Hun Sen has an important role to play as head of government for this year’s ASEAN chair 2022, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Singaporean, Noeleen Heyzer, who was appointed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar in October, 2021, said that she will work together with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen on behalf of the United Nations to bring Myanmar out of a state of crisis."
"I am committed to working with ASEAN and the Cambodian ASEAN chair for 2022 to do everything possible to keep the situation in Myanmar from deteriorating further,” she said.
She called on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to "prevent further deterioration of the situation in Myanmar and address the desperate needs of its people."
She said that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and ASEAN chair 2022 could coordinate and deliver assistance to affected communities, saying "this would include civilian protection as well as food security, socio-economic resilience, humanitarian and Covid assistance."
"The special envoy welcomed Hun Sen’s invitation to co-facilitate such efforts,” she said.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he is determined to find a way to halt the violence and maintain the ceasefire in Myanmar saying that he will bring humanitarian assistance to Myanmar and will pursue the ASEAN five point concensus plan.
"We cannot stand by passively while Myanmar falls apart and we must find a way to resolve the stand-off between the opposing sides there and take advantage of all opportunities to pursue negotiations,” he said.
Last week the Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen's visit to Myanmar at the invitation of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar State Administrative Council (SAC) chairman and Commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing claimed that his official visit as ASEAN chair for 2022 did not give legitimacy to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar dictatorship.s
The Southeast Asian Times


Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra charged with wasting 240 million baht on project campaigne in 2013

Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, right, and government officials in a mock high-speed train at the "Building the Future of Thailand 2020" exhibition at Khon Kaen University on October 26, 2013

From News Reports:
Bangkok, January 14: National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has charged refugee former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra for allegedly wasting 240 million baht on the "Building the Future of Thailand 2020" infrastructure development project campaigne that was launched in 2013, with the commission saying that it also plans to indict former government officials in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions, reports the Bangkok Post.
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) secretary-general Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said on Wednesday that "legal action will also include the former deputy prime minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva and private parties involved in the 2013 infrastructure development projects campaign, including "Matichon Public Company Limited and Siam Sport Syndicate Public Company Limited and its director Ravi Lohtong."
He said the "Building the Future of Thailand 2020" infrastructure development projects campaigne was launched in 2013 by the Secretariat of the Prime Minister on the instruction of then-prime minister Yingluck, saying "proposed legislation was passed to allow the government to borrow 2 trillion baht to finance it."
"The campaign included exhibitions, seminars and other public relations activities to promote the project," he said.
In March 2014 the Constitutional Court ruled the bill sponsored by the Yingluck government to authorise the Finance Ministry to seek 2 trillion baht in loans for infrastructure development projects was unconstitutional, rendering the "Building the Future of Thailand 2020" campaign null and void.
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) secretary-general Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said on Wednesday that 240-million baht had by then had already been spent on the campaigne, saying "it had been wasted."
In August 2017 former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra fled Thailand ahead of the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office Holders ruling in September 2017 that sentenced her to five years in prison in absentia for dereliction of duty in the national rice subsidy programme.
The prosecution argued that "inaction" by the former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra allegedly caused 518 billion baht in loss to the state.
Prosecutors alleged that Yingluck Shinawatra government officials colluded to help two Chinese firms that were not authorised by the Chinese government to undertake G2G deals with the Thai government to buy rice from stockpiles generated by the government rice pledging scheme.
The court was told that the state subsidy set aside for the rice-pledging programme during the Yingluck Shinawatra government was higher than the amount allowed by the World Trade Organisation.
The Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was told that the government rice-subsidy programme went against the main objective of a state subsidy programme which was to help Thai farmers.
The Southeast Asian Times


Call for resolution between indigenous community and Indonesian state corporations

Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Wahli) plantation and forestry campaign manager, Uli Arta Siagian, centre, at a workshop in Jayapura City, Indonesian province of Papua on December 11, 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 14: Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Wahli) called for a resolution of agrarian conflicts between the indigenous community and private and state-owned corporations, following President Joko Widodo's revocation of more than 2000 mining, forestry and plantation permits last week, saying "Widodo must ensure that ministries not tender new permits in regions where permits have been revoked," reports Jakarta Post.
Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Wahli) plantation and forestry campaign manager, Uli Arta Siagian, said that the revocation of mining, forestry and plantation permits must be accompanied by the return of land to indigenous communities and the land restored, saying "the restoration of land should include efforts to resolve agrarian conflicts as a consequence of mining company activities."
"The government cannot just wash its hands but must order the corporations involved to take responsibility for environmental damage," she said.
She called for the resolution of agrarian conflicts between indigenous communities and private and state-owned corporations, saying "the government should publish a list of coorporations whose permits have been revoked so that the public can know and monitor which land should be returned to indigenous comunities."
She said that mining, forestry and plantation land concessions, Hak Guna Usaha (HGU) permits that have been revoked must be returned to the indigenous community, saying "land rights taken away by the state through the permit issuance scheme must be returned."
President Joko Widodo announced last week at a ministerial meeting at the Presidential Palace, that 2,078 permits including mining, forestry and plantation permits had been revoked, saying the government has issued thousands of mining permits that have not been utilised.
"We have also revoked 192 forestry sector permits covering an area of 3,126,439 hectares," he said.
He said the government also revoked plantation land concessions for Hak Guna Usaha (HGU) for 34,448 hectares of plantation land, saying that 25,128 hectares of the 34,448 hectares of land was owned by 12 legal entities.
"The remaining 9,320 hectares of plantation land issued for Hak Guna Usaha (HGU) Right to Cultivate land was owned by 24 legal entities," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Papua New Guinea would do away with death penalty, says PM

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says he would not re-instate the death penalty

From News Reports:
Port Moresby, January 13: The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea said he would not re-instate the death penalty, despite the Supreme Court's quashing of the National Court temporary stay of execution for all people sentenced to death, saying "the government would do away with the death penalty," reports the National.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, James Marape, told members of the Lutheran Church holding the 33rd synod in Port Moresby this week that Papua New Guinea was a Christian nation and the death penalty was out of place.
“The Bible says thou shall not kill and the Government has removed by policy the clause on the death penalty,” he said.
He said that the Papua New Guinea government is working on giving maximum penalty to those who commit an offence and sentenced to death, saying "they will now receive life sentences without the possibility of parole."
"This is the path we are taking and we are starting to ensure that the country lives the ideals of Christianity." he said.
The Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea quashed the National Court temporary stay of executions for all people sentenced to death, clearing the way for the first executions to be carried out in Papua New Guinea since 1954.
Lutheran Church bishop, reverend Jack Urame, said of the death penalty that was abolished in 1970, and re-introduced in 1991 but with no executions, "the government says that death penalty is legal and right but we churches don't support it."
"Instead we want the government to make sure these types of people know about another road in life," he said.
In 2013 former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill took steps to revive the death penality, amending legislation to include harsher punishment for certain crimes, saying "the level of these serious crimes in our community, particularly crimes of a sexual nature and murder are unacceptable."
He said that heinous behaviour is perpetrated by a few, but the country at large is made to suffer, saying "we must act now to protect the majority proposed laws that are tough but they are necessary."
"We have to address a situation which is destroying our country," he said.
The Papua New Guinea government requested the constitutional law reform commission report on an appropriate method of execution, travelling to the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore in order to provide advice to the government.
The cabinet endorsed hanging, firing squad and lethal injection.
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar military sends Aung San Suu Kyi to further four years in prison

National League for Democracy (NLD) State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and Naypyitaw Mayor U Myo Aung, make their first appearance in the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar's military court on May 24, 2021 after their arrest on February 1, 2021

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, January 12: The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar's military court in Naypyitaw sentenced National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, to a further four years in prison on Monday for the illegal operation of a radio transmitter and Covid-19 violations, adding to a two year prison sentence for incitement in December, with Human Rights Watch Asia saying "proceedings on bogus charges is about steadily piling up more convictions against Aung San Suu Kyi so that she will remain in prison indefinitely."
National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi is also on trial at the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar's military court in Naypyitaw on five counts of corruption, with the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for each count including a fine.
A sixth corruption charge against the National League for Democracy (NLD), state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi and National League for Democracy (NLD) President Win Myint, for granting permits to rent and buy a helicopter have yet to go to trial.
Aung San Suu Kyi is also charged with violating the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director, Phil Robertson, said after the Myanmar military court sentenced state councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, to a further four years in prison on Monday, that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar "Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing views Aung San Suu Kyi as a paramount political threat."
State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and Naypyitaw Mayor, U Myo Aung, who were arrested in February 2021 after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government and the declaration of martial law, were sentenced to two years in prison in December after a reduced sentence for incitement under Section 505(b) that criminalizes speech deemed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC) to incite public unrest.
State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and Naypyitaw Mayor U Myo Aung were sentenced to prison for inciting public unrest in the denouncement of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in a statement issued by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi. President Win Myint, and Naypyitaw Mayor U Myo Aung, were also charged with violating Covid-19 restrictions during the November 8, 2020 election campaign under Section 25 of the state of emergency Natural Disaster Management Law under the command of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administration Council (SAC).
On Monday State councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi received a further prison sentence of four years for the illegal importation of radio transmitters or walkie talkie's under Section 8 of the Export and Import Law, and with the illegal operation of a radio transmitter or walkie talkie without a licence under Section 67 of the Penal Code and Telecommunications Law, with Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director, Phil Robertson, saying
that Aung San Suu Ky was a political hostage of the Myanmar military and that "the Myanmar millitary were hell-bent on controlling power by intimidation and violence ."
"Fortunately for Aung San Suu Ky and the future of Myanmar, the Myanmar people movement has grown well beyond just the leadership of one woman, and one political party," he said.

The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia disclaims official acknowledgement of Myanmar military government

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, left, and Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar State Administrative Council (SAC) chairman and Commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing meet in Myanmar on Friday January 7, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, January 11: Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation claimed that Prime Minister Hun Sen's official visit to Myanmar last week did not give legitimacy to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar dictatorship, saying "Cambodia's visit to Myanmar did not mean that Cambodia was officially acknowledging the current government as claimed," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, said at a press conference in Phnom Penh on Saturday that Cambodia's official visit to Myanmar at the invitation of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar State Administrative Council (SAC) chairman and Commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, did not mean that Cambodia was officially acknowledging the current government as claimed by some critics, saying "more than 40 countries have embassies and missions in Myanmar and have remained open."
"Embassies and missions in Naypyidaw continue diplomatic ties with the current government," he said
He said that Cambodia is not officially acknowledging the current government, saying "we have continued diplomatic ties with Myanmar."
He said that Prime Ministers Hun Sen's visit as ASEAN chair for 2022 was a historic visit and demonstarted Cambodia's determination to contribute to restoring peace and stability in Myanmay, saying that Cambodia's goal is to proceed with the ASEAN five point plan reached by consensus at the ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta in April, 2021.
The National Unity Government (NUG) that was founded by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, has been excluded from ASEAN meetings including the urgently called ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta that followed the takeover of the elected Myanmar government.
The ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) was attended by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing at the exclusion of the National Unity Government (NUG).
The ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) called for a commitment from the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to restrain security forces, commencement of dialogue, a special envoy of the ASEAN Chair with assistance from the Secretary General of ASEAN would facilitate mediation, that ASEAN would provide humanitarian assistance and that the special ASEAN envoy and delegation would visit Myanmar to meet with all parties.
National Unity Government (NUG), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moe Zaw Oo, said then "ASEAN will not achieve anything without consulting and negotiating with the National Unity Government (NUG),"
He said after Prime Ministers Hun Sen's visit to Myanmar last week that Cambodia's official visit to Myanmar gives legitimacy to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar dictatorship.
The National Unity Government (NUG), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moe Zaw Oo, said that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar who have committed human rights abuses and other violations should be isolated, saying "Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen's engagement with the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar dictators could have no positive outcomes for Myanmar and its people."
"We reiterate our call for cooperation with legitimate institutions that include the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the
National Unity Government (NUG)," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission kicks off New Year with arrest of Bakasi Mayor for bribery

Bekasi City Mayor, Rahmat Effendi, Bekasi City officials and private sector parties at the Corruption Eradication Commission headquarters in Jakarta Thursday January 6, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 10: Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators arrested the East Jakarta, Bekasi City Mayor, in a raid on his residence, seizing Rp 3 billion ($208,000 ) in cash, with KPK saying that Mayor Rahmat Effendi and officials of the Bekasi City government and private secro parties were arrested in a Hand Catch Operation (OTT) in the Bakasi City area on Wednesday, reports the Jakarta Post.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman, Firli Bahuri, said at a press conference at the KPK headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday that Mayor Rahmat Effendi is charged with corruption for taking bribes in his capacity as a public official, saying "the bribes are related to the procurement of goods and services by the Bekasi City government."
He said that the KPK seized Rp 3 billion in cash and a bank book account showing a Rp 2,7 billion credit balance, saying "the KPK have detained 9 suspects including Mayor Rahmat Effendi, officials of the Bekasi City government and private sector parties."
He said that Bekasi City Mayor, Rahmat Effendi, was involved in a major corruption scheme in the purchase of land in Behasi, saying "the Bekasi City government has allocated Rp 286.5 billion to the purchase of land."
Mayor, Rahmat Effendi, selected the property for purchase himself, saying that the Mayor was in colusion with the property private sector parties, saying that "in one case, Rahmat asked for a donation of Rp 100 million for a mosque run by his family foundation."
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrest of Bekasi Mayor, Rahmat Effendi, also includes three private sector parties identified as Ali Amril, Lai Bui Min aka Anen, and Rayatri Suryadi, five Bekasi City government officials identied as Makhfud Saifudin, M Bunyamin, Mulyadi, Wahyudin, and Jumhana Lutfi..
In July 2021 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors called for a 11 year jail sentence and a fine of Rp500 million or serve a further jail term of six months and pay compensation of Rp14.5 million, for former Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, found guilty in the Jakarta Corruption Court of accepting bribes from contractors in the procurement of Covid-19 food aid packages.
Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, was arrested together with Ministry of Social Affairs officials, on December 7, 2020 following Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) raids on several locations in Jakarta.
Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Batubara, was charged with receiving Rp32.2 billion in bribes including Rp1.28 billion from Social Affairs official, Harry Van Sidabukke, Rp1.9 billion from Social Affairs official, Ardian Iskandar Maddanatja and Rp29.2 billion from 272 companies that were contracted by the Social Affairs Ministry to provide Covid-19 aid packages for distribution to those who could not afford to pay for the packages.
Indonesia established - anti-corruption courts in 33 provinces in 2011 each with six judges with two of the judges attached to the higher court. The corruption courts hold trial hearings with their secretariats at existing district courts.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia's official visit to Myanmar gives legitimacy to military dictatorship, says NUG

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, left, was welcomed by Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar State Administrative Council (SAC) Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, in a guard of honour on arrival at Nepoypyitaw in Myanmar on Friday January 7, 2022

From News Reports:
Naypyidaw, January 9: Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen's official visit to Myanmar as chairman of ASEAN for 2022, at the invitation of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar State Administrative Council (SAC) chairman, Commaniner-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, was denounced by the National Unity Government (NUG), that was founded by a parliamentary committee raised from the Aung San Suu Kyi administration after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, saying that Cambodia's official visit to Myanmar gives legitimacy to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar dictatorship.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen who holds the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chair for 2022 and Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar Commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who is also the appointed Prime Minister of Myanmar, reporteldy "discussed and exchanged views on matters pertaining to the promotion of bilateral relations and cooperation on regional matters of common interest including ASEAN " at a meeting in Naypyidaw on Friday.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen said ahead of the two day visit to Myanmar at the invitation of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar State Administrative Council (SAC) that he strove to bring Myanmar back into the ASEAN fold.
The National Unity Government (NUG), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moe Zaw Oo, said that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar who have committed human rights abuses and other violations should be isolated, saying "Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen's engagement with the he Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar dictators could have no positive outcomes for Myanmar and its people."
"We reiterate our call for cooperation only with legitimate institutions that include the parliamentary committee raised from the Aung San Suu Kyi administration, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the National Unity Government (NUG)," he said.
The National Unity Government (NUG) has been excluded from ASEAN meetings including the urgently called ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta in April 2021 that followed the takeover in February 2021 of the elected Myanmar government and that was attended by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing at the exclusion of the National Unity Government (NUG).
The ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) that was held to address the political crisis in Myanmar reached concensus on a five point plan without a represenatative of the National Unity Government (NUG) in attendence.
The ASEAN Leaders Meeting called for a commitment from the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to restrain security forces, commencement of dialogue, that a special envoy of the ASEAN Chair with assistance from the Secretary General of ASEAN would facilitate mediation, that ASEAN would provide humanitarian assistance and that the special ASEAN envoy and delegation would visit Myanmar to meet with all parties
National Unity Government (NUG) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moe Zaw Oo, said then "it's imperative that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administrative Council (SAC) is not recognised as the legitimate government of Myanmar."
"ASEAN will not achieve anything without consulting and negotiating with the National Unity Government (NUG),"
The Southeast Asian Times


Call for return of indigenous land after Indonesia revokes mining, forestry and plantation permits

President Joko Widodo, centre, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif; Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning and head of the National Land Agency (BPN), Sofyan Djalil; Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar; and Minister of Investment and head of the Investment Coordinating Board, Bahlil Lahadalia, at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Thursday January 6, 2022

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 8: President Joko Widodo announced on Thursday that more than 2000 mining permits have been revoked, at a ministerial meeting at the Presidential Palace, saying that mining companies had under utilised natural resources, with Indonesian Forum for Environment WAHLI calling for the return of land to indigenous communities and the restoration of the environment, reports Antara.
President Joko Widodo said that 2,078 permits issued to mining companies have been revoked, saying "the mining companies have not submitted a project development plan."
He said that the government has issued thousands of mining permits that have not been utilised saying "such practices have led to the under utilization of natural resources that has impeded efforts to improve the standard of living."
"We have also revoked 192 forestry sector permits covering an area of 3,126,439 hectares," he said.
He said that forestry sector permits were revoked due to inactivity, saying that permit holders have not submitted a project development plan.
He said the government also revoked plantation land concessions issued for Hak Guna Usaha (HGU) or the Right to Cultivate land for 34,448 hectares of land, saying that 25,128 hectares of the 34,448 hectares of land was granted to 12 legal entities.
"The remaining 9,320 hectares of plantation land issued for Hak Guna Usaha (HGU) Right to Cultivate land was granted to 24 legal entities," he said.
The Indonesian Forum for Environment WAHLI executive director, Zenzi Suhadi called on President Joko Widodo to consult with the indigenous community in areas where permits had been revoked in an effort to resolve agrian conflicts between the indigenous community and mining, forestry and plantation companies both state-owned and private.
He said that the government must ensures that the relevant ministry not issue a new permit in the area where the permit has been revoked.
"The governmnet must ensure that land seized by the state be returned to the indigenous community and that forest ecosystems are restored," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra announces return to Thailand from self-exile in Dubai

Fugitive ousted former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, announced from self-exile in Dubai on Tuesday January 4, 2022 that he would return to Thailand

From News Reports:
Bangkok, January 7: Fugitive former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled Thailand in 2008 to avoid trial for malfeasance for alleged fraudulent Krung-Thai-Bank (KTB) non-performing loans, announced from self-exile in Duabi on Tuesday that he would return to Thailand, saying he wanted to work for the people of Thailand, reports the Bangkok Post.
Former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, said that he wanted to return to Thailand to work for Thailand and it's people, saying that "working for Thailand would be his New Year 2022 gift to the people of Thailand."
"This year Thai's will see me return to Thailand and work for them," he said.
He said he would tell his daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, when he would return, saying "it is a great secret."
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, 35, who was appointed participation and innovation advisor to the Pheu Thai Party, the largest opposition party in Thailand that was founded by her father, Thaksin Shinawatra, said that she was in frequent contact with her father.
She said at the Pheu Thai Party general assembly after her appointment as innovation advisor in October, 2021 that she has been involved in politics since she was 8 years old, saying that her father was the foreign minister of the Democrat Party that lead a five party coalition including the Buddhist inspired the Palang Dhamma political party that aspired to Buddhism as the state religion.
Former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was the leader of the Buddhist inspired Palang Dhamma political party in 1995 and founded the since dissolved Thai Rak Thai party in 1998 to become Prime minister of Thailand in 2001, was ousted in a Royal Thai military coup in 2006.
In December 2021 the Prayut Chan-o-cha government instructed the Election Commission (EC) to petition the Constitional Court to dissolve political parties that provide financial support to anti-monarchy movements that attempt to overthrow the democratic institution with the King as head of state, accusing fugitive former ousted Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, founder of the Pheu Thai party, of funding anti-monarchy movements from exile in Dubai.
Fugitive former ousted Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, denied that he provides funding to anti-monarchy movements from exile in Dubai saying that he is loyal to the Thai Royal institution.
Fugitive ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra fled to Dubai in 2008 to avoid facing trial for malfeasance in the raising or approval of alleged fraudulent Krung-Thai-Bank (KTB) non-performing loans worth almost baht 12-billion under Article 157 of the Criminal Code - the law that governs the behaviour of officials of State agencies; the Commercial Banks Act; the Securities and Exchange Act, and the Public Companies Act.
The Southeast Asian Times


Protesting Phnom Penh casino workers charged with incitement

Unionists, activists, striking workers and former employees of the Hong Kong investment holding company NagaCorp Ltd call for the release of Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU), Chhim Sithar, from detention on Tuesday January 4, 2022

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, January 6: The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has charged unionists, activists, striking workers and former employees of the Hong Kong investment holding company NagaCorp Ltd with incitement to commit a felony for reportedly "undertaking an illegal protest in front of the five star Hotel NagaWorld hotel and casino complex", reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Thousands of unionists, activists, striking workers and former employees have been protesting at the Hotel NagaWorld hotel and casino complex since December 17 demanding that NagaCorp Ltd reinstate dismissed protesting employees, pay dismissed workers severence pay and end discrimination against union members.
NagaCorp Ltd, that has the exclusive licence to operate a casino in Phnom Penh, says "the strike is illegal," saying "the company was implementing a termination by mutual agreement plan during the Covid-19 pandemic."
The arrest of 15 unionists, activists, striking workers and former employees at the NagaWorld hotel and casino complex on Monday follows the arrest of nine on News Years Day with Phnom Penh Municipal police spokesman, San Sok Seyha, saying "the Phnom Penh Municipal police have repeatedly told the protesters to end the strike."
He said that despite arrests about 300 workers continued protesting at the NagaWorld hotel and casino complex on Monday, saying "protesters arrested on Monday were charged with incitement to commit a felony in accordance with articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code that covers protests held for more than 10 consecutive days."
He said the protesters were undertaking an illegal protest at the NagaWorld hotel and casino complex causing chaos, social disorder and social insecurity, saying "the protesters have been charged with endangering social security."
Phnom Penh Municipal police have named Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU), Chhim Sithar, who was one of 15 arrested on Monday, as the ringleader of the strike and accused her of "ties to foreign organisations who are trying to destabilise casino operations."
Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU), Chhim Sithar, said that dismissed workers had not been compensated, saying that none of their demands have been resolved but instead authorities have arrested unionists, activists, striking workers and former employees of the Hong Kong investment holding company NagaCorp Ltd.
"Workers demand severence payment and the reinstatemnet of protesting workers," she said.
In January 2020 about 3000 NagaWorld hotel and casino workers went on strike calling on the Hong Kong investment holding company NagaCorp Ltd. to increase wages from US$150 to US$300 a month for hotel workers and from US$250 to US$500 a month for casino workers.
NagaWorld hotel and casino worker, By Kunthea, who had worked at the casino for 19 years, said then "we need to pay rent and food prices have gone up."
"The company makes a lot of profit," she said.
The workers also wanted the reinstatement of Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of Naga Hotel (NHW) union president, Chhim Sithar, who then was suspended for allegedly breaching company rules, for supporting a union member who was harassed by security guards for having a union-T-shirt in her possession.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia calls on ASEAN states for coordinated at-sea response to China's claim over South China Sea

Indonesian Maritime Security Agency Vice Admiral, Aan Kurnia called on five ASEAN member states to present a coordinated at-sea response to China's claim of historical rights to sovereignty over the South China Sea

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 5: Indonesian Maritime Security Agency has called on five Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states for a coordinated at- sea response to China's claim of historical rights to sovereignty over the South China Sea, following the People's Republic of China's threat to impose a heavy fine on fishers in waters claimed by China, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesian Maritime Security Agency Vice Admiral, Aan Kurnia said that the agency has invited Maritime Security Agency representatives from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and including Singapore to discuss a coordinated at sea response to China's claim of historical rights to resources in the South China Sea.
"It is important to present a coordinated at-sea response," he said.
In June 2020 Indonesia became the fifth Association of South East Asian Nations ASEAN member state after Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia, to challenge China's claim of sovereignty over waters in the South China Sea, with the rejection by Indonesia of China's offer to negotiate overlapping claims over Natuna waters in the Riau Islands .
The Indonesian government said in a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May 28, 2020 that the Indonesian government supported the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruling in 2016 that favoured the Philippines claim over China's claim over the West Philippine Sea, with The Hague court saying "there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources in seas falling within the 'nine-dash line'."
In response, the government of China said in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on June 1, 2020 that China's maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea were "established in the long course of historical practice and consistent with international law,” including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that China ratified in 1996.
The China Coast Guard (CCG) issued a regulation threatening to impose a heavy fine on fishers in waters claimed by China, effective November 26, 2021, saying "the purpose of the regulation was to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the state and its citizens."
The regulation stipulates that fishers caught operating without the consent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the Chinese-claimed exclusive economic zone, could be fined up to 400,000 renminbi ($62,700), saying "the fishers could also be expelled by the Coast Guard and their catch and fishing equipment confiscated."
The China Coast Guard (CCG) is authorised to use lethal force on foreign ships operating in waters claimed by China, saying that "the China Coast Guard shall conduct law enforcement operations in waters under the jurisdiction of China and in the airspace above the waters under the jurisdiction of China and apply this Law.”
The Southeast Asian Times


China invites convicted felon former Malaysian PM Najib Razak to World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF)

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak guest speaker at the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) in Kuala Lumpur Thursday December 30, 2021

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, January 4: The invitation to former ousted Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak as guest speaker at the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) held in Kuala Lumpur last week, was "an insult to the nation" said a former Malaysian diplomat, saying "the invitation is a calculated decision by the government of the Peoples Republic of China to give pride of place to a convicted felon," reports the Star.
Former ousted Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak who was found guilty of Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in the misappropriation of RM42 million from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state funds, who argued that he acted in the national interest, was the guest of honour at the World Chinese Economic Forum(WCEF) that was jointly organised by the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC), that is affiliated with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), and the International Strategy Institute, a Malaysian think-tank.
Former Malaysian diplomatic and advisor to First Step Forum, Helsinki-based Non-Government-Organisation, Dennis Ignatius, said that "only the government of China could have cleared the invitation extended to the former Prime Minister as guest speaker at the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) held in Kuala Lumpur."
"The invitation is a calculated insult to our nation’s honor," he said.
He said that the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) that is sponsored and funded by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), "is an important platform for highlighting and promoting China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)," saying "there is no way the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) embassy in Malaysia would have consented to Najib’s invitation without high level clearance from Beijing."
“It must be seen, therefore, for what it is, a calculated decision by the government of the Peoples Republic of China to give pride of place to a convicted felon.”
He said that Peoples Republic of China (PRC) does not consider former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak's conviction an empediment to working with him, saying "Najib remains China’s blue-eyed boy."
"By giving him an international platform, China hopes to redeem the man and whitewash his criminality," he said.
Last month the Malaysian Court of Appeal upheld the High Court verdict that found former Prime Minister Najib Razak, 67, 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, sentencing the former Prime minister to 12 years in prison, with Court of Appeal Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil saying "the court rejects the former Prime Minister's claim that his actions were in the national interest."
The election of the former Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister in May 2018 was followed by the declassification of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report that had been marked secret by the Najib Rajak government under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) .
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia's convicted terrorists begin new year with pledge of allegiance to Pancasila state ideology

Convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists swear allegiance to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and loyality to Pancasila state ideology in a flag kissing ceremony at the Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java Province on November 9, 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 3: Convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists incarcerated in Indonesian prisons have sworn allegiance to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and loyality to Pancasila state ideology under the deradicalizing of terrorism program with the Directorate General of Corrections Indonesia, saying that 122 convicted terrorists pledged allegiance to Pancasila ideology in 2021, reports Antara.
Ministry of Law and Human Rights Directorate General of Corrections Indonesia, Rika Aprianti, said that the deradicalization of terrorism program that includes the involvement of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT), the Indonesian National Military (TNI), Indonesian National Police, Anti-Terror Squad Densus 88, and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), has been a success.
Directorate General of Corrections Indonesia, Rika Aprianti, said that the deradicalisation of terrorism program teaches that Pancasila idology is not just the foundation of the nation but also acts as a national ideology that unites the people of Indoneisa.
"In their pledge to Pancasila idology, convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists swear loyalty to Pancasila state ideology and the 1945 Constitution and committ to protecting the nation from all acts of terrorism that could destroy Indonesia's unity," she said.
She said that 68 convicted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorists at the Gunung Sindur Prison, 13 at the Batu Nusakambangan Prison, nine at the Pasir Putih Nusakambangan Correctional Institution, and 32 at other penitentiaries in Indonesia pledged allegiance to Pancasila ideology in 2021, saying "they are expected to exhibit proper conduct and act faithfully in accordance with their respective religions."
In January 2021 Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir, 81, the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), who was found guilty by the South Jakarta District Court in 2011 for organising acts of terror, including the Bali bombings was released from Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java Province after pledging loyalty to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and to Pancasila state ideology.
Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir's arrest in 2012 was the third effort since 2000 to have the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) convicted for terrorism.
He served almost 26 months in jail before he won his appeal in 2006 against his conviction for conspiracy following the Bali bombings of 2002 in which more than 200 people, most of them Australians, were killed.
The Southeast Asian Times


Happy New Year Australia!

Fireworks light up Sydney Harbour to ring in 2022

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

UNHC calls on Indonesia to allow immediate disembarkation
of Rohingya refugees

A boat carrying Rohingya refugees mostly women and children in Aceh waters Sunday December 26, 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, January 2: The Indonesian Navy has towed a boat carrying more than 100 Rohingya refugees found adrift off the coast of Aceh to port following the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHC) call for the Indonesian government "to allow immediate safe disembarkation of the mostly women and children Rohingya refugees," reports Antara.
Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs deputy for public security and order coordination department, Police Inspector General Armed Wijaya, said "the Indonesian government allowed the boat to be towed to Kreungkeukuh Port in Lhokseumawe city, Aceh on humanitarian grounds on Thursday."
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the boat carrying the more than 100 Rohinya refugees was first cited off Bireuen on Wednesday, saying that based on photographs and reports from local fishermen, the passengers onboard the crowded unseaworthy boat were overwhelmingly women and children.
The UNHCR said that the boat was leaking and had a damaged engine, was floating in the open seas amid harsh weather and at risk of capsizing, saying "the UNHCR is deeply concerned about the safety and lives of those onboard."
"To prevent needless loss of lives, we strongly urge the Indonesian Government to allow safe disembarkation immediately," said the UNHCR
In February 2021 hundreds of male adolecsent Rohingya refugees at the temperary United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee camp in Lhokseumawe city in the Indonesian province of Aceh could not be accounted for, with Amnesty International blaming reduced security at the camp for their escape.
Lhokseumawe Rohingya taskforce head, Ridwan Jamil, said that of the 395 Rohingya refugees who were rescued at sea off the Aceh coast by the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) in September 2020 only 112 remained at the UNHR refugee camp in Lhokseumawe six months later.
"We don't know where they are," he said.
Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid, said that the Indonesian government reduced security at the Lhokseumawe refugee camp last month when the Rohingya were placed under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, saying "the decision to reduce security at the camp was a breach of Indonesia's obligation to protect the refugees."
"While Indonesia is not a signatory to the international convention on refugees, Indonesia is obliged to protect the Rohingya," he said.

The Southeast Asian Times

Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy condemns burning of Old Parliament House in smoking ceremony

The traditional smoking ceremony that set fire to the historic Old Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 30 December 2021 was conducted without the knowledge of the Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy

From News Reports:
Canberra, January 1: The Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy, that has been camped outside the historic Old Parliament House in Canberra in the worlds longest protest, condemned the actions of protesters who set fire to the purpose built entrance to the heritage listed building in a traditional smoking ceremony on Thursday, with the Australian Greens political party saying "seems like the colonial system is burning down. Happy New Year everyone," reports Australian Associated Press.
The Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy, that was established on the grounds of the Old Parliament House in Canberra on Australia Day in 1972 in protest of non-recognition by the Australian government of indigenous land rights, sovereignty and self determination, said in a statement that the traditional smoking ceremony was conducted without the knowledge of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
"The actions of such protestors conducting a smoking ceremony was done so without the knowledge, consent or mandate of the Embassy's council or Traditional Owners responsible for regulation of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy," the statement said.
"Although we support the concept of nonviolent direct action, we do not condone the destruction of public and private property."
Aboriginal elders in Canberra have denounced the actions of protesters who set fire to the entrance of the Old Parliament House with Ngambri Ngunnawal elder Matilda House-William saying "as a Ngambri Ngunnawal elder and having been there on Australia Day in 1972 in establishing the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, I am hurt to see the actions of the protesters on the steps of Old Parliament House."
"As custodians of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and surrounding region I was disappointed the protesters did not communicate with the elders of the Tent Embassy," she said.
She said that this behaviour did not represent the Aboriginal community in Canberra and it did not reflect the vision of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy of almost 50 years.
The fire reportedly started by the smoking ceremony at the purpose built entrance to the Old Parliament House that now houses the Museum of Australian Democracy was "tragic and potentially irreparable," said director Daryl Karp.
She said the doors were "pretty damaged" and the portico had been "really burnt out".
"The portico was built specifically for Queen Elizabeth's visit in the 1950s and so it has substantial significance, as do the doors which are from 1927," she said.
The National Party of Australia deputy leader, David Littleproud, called on the Australian Greens political party to "consider their position in the Australian parliament" in response to Australian Greens party senator, Lidia Thorpe, saying in a tweet "seems like the colonial system is burning down. Happy New Year everyone."
Australian Labor Party Member of Parliament Mark Butler said that Australian Greens political party senator, Lidia Thorpe, and the entire Greens party had "absolutley crossed the line."
Australian Greens political party senator, Lidia Thorpe's tweet saying "seems like the colonial system is burning down. Happy New Year everyone" has since been deleted.

The Southeast Asian Times

UN Special Envoy to Myanmar appeals to Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for New Year cease fire

Noeleen Heyzer, 73, from Singapore was appointed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Special envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar on October 18, 2021

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, December 31: United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar has appealed to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for a New Year ceasefire throughout Myanmar, with the newly appointed Special Envoy for Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, saying that Security Council is "deeply concerned by the continued escalation of violence in Kayah State that has displaced thousands of civilians including women and children," reports the Irrawaddy.
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, said “those inflicting suffering on their own people should silence their guns and protect their people at this time of great need, saying "the future of Myanmar’s children counts on this."
"The people of Myanmar have already suffered tremendously and the socio-economic and humanitarian situation has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
She urged all parties to act in the greater interest of the nation to fully respect their obligations under international law to protect civilians, ensure free movement towards safety, and allow humanitarian access to those in need, saying "to this end, I appeal to the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for a New Year’s ceasefire throughout Myanmar."
About 10,000 civilians have been forced to seek refuge on the Mynamar Thailand border since fighting escalated in mid December between the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and the newly formed People's Defence Force (PDF) in Lay Kay Kaw in Kayah State.
Fighting between the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and the joint People's Defence Force (PDF) that includes the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) escalated on December 14, after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar captured more than 20 political activists including a Member of Parliament of the deposed National League for Democracy (NLD) Party in Lay Kay Kaw in Kayah State, forcing civilians to flee Lay Kay Kaw township to seek refuge in Rathe Gu village, Lay Kay Kaw Waterfall and Phlu Gyi village.
Lay Kay Kaw Mayor, Htee Hpatayar, said that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar opened fire on the mountain range southwest of Lay Kay Kaw and Phlu Gyi village, saying "they fired heavy weapons around this area to prevent civilians from finding refuge there."
"The civilians ran the minute they heard the sound of artillery," he said.
He said that about 6,000 have fled the area saying that the Karen National Union (KNU) with its armed wing the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) are searching for the missing.
"Refugees are fleeing to Thailand daily," he said
He said that about 1,000 were waiting to cross the Moei River on the border on Monday afternoon."
The Southeast Asian Times


UN calls for investigation into Christmas Eve killings of civilians
in Myanmar's Kayah State

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths calls on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar Myanmar and all armed groups in Myanmar to take all measures to protect civilians from harm

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, December 30: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs called for an investigation into the attack on Christmas Eve on Myanmar civilans in Kayah State, who have been displaced by fighting between the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), saying that the attack on civilians that left at least 35 dead is prohibited under international humanitarian law, reports Reuters.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said on Sunday that he was "horrified" by the attack on civilians in Kayah State, that he "condemned this grevious incident and all attacks against civilians throughout Myanmar."
He said that credible reports say that at least 35 people including at least one child, were forced from their vehicles, killed and torched, saying "two Save the Children humanitarian workers remain missing."
He said that the humanitarian workers were caught up in the violence, that "their vehicle was attacked and torched."
"I call upon the authorities to immediately commence a thorough and transparent investigation into the killing of civilians in Kayah State on Friday so that the perpetrators can be swiftly brought to justice," he said.
Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar Deputy Minister of Information Major General Zaw Min Thun has reportedly confirmed that civilians were killed near Moso village in Hpruso township in Kayah State, saying "civilians were killed in the crossfire" between the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and unidentified gunmen."
"Our security forces encountered seven vehicles in the area, the vehicles were asked to stop, but they refused and started to drive away. When our forces opened fire with small arms, they fired back at us," he said.
He said that a group of about 20 gunmen fired on the security forces from the southwestern side, saying they attacked with an rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), saying that vehicles caught fire and civilians were shot dead.
"A total of 25 bodies were found, 24 males and one woman aged between 20 and 40," he said.
The Karenni State Advisory Council dismissed the account given by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, saying "the council would pursue justice and urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take up the matter."
"The attack is a crime against humanity committed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, said the Karenni State Advisory Council.
The Karen National Union (KNU) that campaigns for the self self-determination of the Karen people, with its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), is one of 10 Ethnic Armed Organisations in Myanmar, and are signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).
The 10 Ethnic Armed Organisations agreed to the separation of powers, resource allocation, tax sharing, self governance laws that would guarantee the rights of States to self determination and the sharing of state powers in August 2020 in the Union Peace Accord 111 but failed to reach agreement on allowing the 10 Ethnic Armed Organizations to draft their own constitutions.
"The five agreements signed in the Union Peace Accord 111 would pave the way towards the establishment of a federal democratic union and for continued discussion on a constitution, said U Zaw Htay the then Presidential office spokesman for the National League for Democracy (NLD) State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi.
“This agreement is a great success since it contains a step by step peace process for implementation beyond 2020 in working for peace, democratic reform, federalism and national reconciliation,” he said in August 2020.

The Southeast Asian Times



Indonesian exile in Australia joins Amnesty International Australia (AIA)

Veronica Koman, who is in self-exile in Australia, has joined Amnesty International Australia (AIA) to lead Australia's Human Rights Agenda for 2022

From News Reports
Darwin, December 17: Former Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) Human Rights lawyer and Papuan human rights advocate, Veronica Koman, who is in self-exile in Australia, has joined Amnesty International Australia (AIA) to lead Australia's Human Rights Agenda for 2022, pledging to raise human rights violations in Papua, saying "hope I can uphold the trust," reports Tempo.
Human Rights lawyer, Veronica Koman, said her main role will be to liaison between Amnesty International (AI) and state officials, politicians and ambassadors in Australia on matters related to international human rights including Australia.
"This includes advocacy for the Australian aboriginal community who are still suffering the effects of the colonial past," she said.
She pledged to continue to raise Human Rights violations in Papua, saying "human rights violations in Papua are on the Amnesty International (AI) human rights agenda, so surely I will continue advocating for them."
Veronica Koman was charged with incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code on September 4, 2019 for allegedly broadcasting false information about the Indonesian Joint Military Police Command TNI detainment of West Papuan students who called for Papua independence in mass protests in Jayapura in August, 2019.
"Veronica Koman was not in Papua during the protests but proactively provoked the public through her Twitter account," said East Java regional Police chief Luki Hermawan.
He said that Veronica Koman would be put on the Indonesian National Police wanted list, saying that she was summoned to present herself at the Indonesian embassy in Australia on September 10 and 18, 2019 "but she did not show up."
In February 2020 Papuan Human Rights activist, Veronica Koman, called on the Australian government to raise human rights violations in Papua during Indonesian President Joko Widodo official visit to Australia that included an address to the Australian Federal parliament in Canberra and the signing of a free trade agreement.
In November 2007 the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified a security treaty with Australia – the so-called Lombok Treaty that formally acknowledges Indonesia's sovereignty over Papua.
Former Indonesia Golkar Party Vice President Theo L Sambuaga said then that “we all feel relief because Australia has formally acknowledged our territorial integration, including Papua."
“The treaty also requires Australia to prohibit its territory from being used by separatist movements against us. It means that we have less pressure from separatism,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times



Victims of 1965 genocide in Indonesia call on Britain to reveal the truth

The Murder Victims’ Research Foundation (YPKP 65) chairman Bedjo Untung, 73, demands an apology and a full explanation from the British government for the 1965 mass killings in Indonesia

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 2: Murder Victims’ Research Foundation (YPKP 65) who represents the survivors of the 1965 mass killings of suspected Communist Party, Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) members and supporters, have called on the British government to reveal the truth in its role in the killing of about two million Indonesians and the imprisonment of more than a million without trial, in the years following the abortive coup of September 30, 1965, against Indonesia’s first president, Soekarno, that was blamed on the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), reports the Jakarta Post.
The names of the suspected Communist Party, Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) members and supporters were reportedly supplied by United States, British or Australian diplomats or intelligence officers, including the CIA.
Those who were linked to the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) were not allowed to become civil servants, military or police officers, teachers or members of the clergy and were subject to surveillance and their ID cards labelled "ET" for ex-political prisoner.
Murder Victims’ Research Foundation (YPKP 65) chairman, Bedjo Untung, 73, demanded an apology and a full explanation from the British government saying, "we the victims are angry."
"Reconciliation is impossible without truth, so please reveal the truth," he said.
The declassification of British documents earlier this month showed that the British Foreign Office Information Research Department (IRD) launched a propaganda campaign calling for "the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and all communist organizations" to "be eliminated " with a campaign warning that Indonesia would be in danger "as long as the communist leaders are at large and their rank and file are allowed to go unpunished."
The documents showed that the British Foreign Affairs Information Research Department (IRD) blamed the Indonesian Communist party (PKI) and ethnic Chinese for the abortive coup of September 30, 1965, with British operatives in Singapore conducting a newsletter and radio broadcast campaign, purportedly by exiled Indonesian patriots in Singapore, against the Indonesian Communist party (PKI) and ethnic Chinese.
In October 2017 the declassification of of United States documents showed that the United States Government had knowledge of and supported the Indonesian military killings of suspected Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters in 1965, revealing that the killing of about two million suspected Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters in 1965 "shifted Indonesia's political orientation to the United States and opened its huge market to American companies"
The United States declassification reveals that the late Indonesia president Suharto ordered the mass killings of suspected members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and that the mass killings were carried out by Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation.
The declassified United States documents show that about 10,000 Balinese including the Bali governor and his relatives had been killed on the island of Bali by mid-December 1965 and that two months later a further embassy cable from Jakarta to the US estimated that the killings in Bali had reached 80,000.
The United States documents show that by April 1966 the US embassy in Jakarta was "staggered by the scale of the murders", saying "we frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000."
In July 2016 the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in the Hague found Indonesia guilty of genocide for the mass killings of suspected communists with spokeswoman, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, saying "althought it is not legally binding since it is not a criminal court, the finding serves as a political action aimed at making the Indonesian government accountable for crimes against humanity."
The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in the Hague also found that the United States, Britian and Australia were directly involved in the 1965 killings of suspected Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and supporters.
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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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