The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Saturday 24 October 2020
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to 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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KontraS call for civil not military court in death of Papua pastor trial

KontraS call on Indonesian government to conduct trial in Papua fatal shooting in civil court not military court

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 24: The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), have called on the Indonesian government to hold the trial of those charged with the fatal shooting of Papuan pastor Yeremias Zanambani in a civilian court and not a military court, following an investigation that found that Indonesian security forces were involved in the death of the pastor last month, reports Tempo.
The Indonesian government called on fact finding team (TGPF) earlier this month to investigate the armed conflict in the Papua regency of Intan Jaya in late September that left two Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) soldiers, one civilian and pastor Yeremias Zanambania dead, with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD saying that the investigation into the armed conflict between Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), identified by minister Mahfud MD as the armed criminal group (KKB), would be objective.
"Police say that TNI soldiers, a civilian and a priest were killed by the armed criminal group (KKB) while others say that the four were killed by Indonesian security forces," he said.
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) spokesman, Arif Nur Fikri, said in response to the findings of the investigation by the fact finding team (TGPF) in Intan Jaya that "we think that there is no reason to conduct the trial of those charged with the fatal shooting of Papua pastor Yeremias Zanambani in a military court."
Member of the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC), Evangelical Camp Church (Kingmi) Synod chairman, Benny Giay, says that the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, who ordered the fact finding team (TGPF) to investigate the armed conflict in Papua regency of Intan Jay, has promoted the remilitarization of Papua under Daerah Operasi Militer (DOM),
Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, who ordered the (TGPF) fact finding team to investigate the armed conflict in the Papua regency of Intan Jaya says that Papua Province and West Papua Province are part of the Unitary State of Indonesia, saying "there would be no negotiation for independence or separation in the demand for Papua independence."
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai PM to lift state of emergency declared last week

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has offered to lift the state of emergency in an effort to de escalate ongoing anti-government protests

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 23: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has offered to lift the state of emergency, declared in order to clear thousands of anti-government protesters from Government House in Bangkok last week ahead of the visit to Thailand of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, saying that he will make the first move to de escalate the ongoing anti-government protests, reports the Bangkok Post.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a state of emergency banning gatherings of five or more ordering riot police to clear thousands of anti-government protesters from Government House after the planned reception at Government House for China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was in Thailand to sign a free trade agreement, was cancelled.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in the declaration of a state of emergency last week "it is necessary to introduce urgent measures to end mass protests effectively and promptly to maintain peace and order."
Anti-government protesters have accepted the government offer to lift the state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last week but have not withdrawn their demand that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha resign.
The anti-government protesters demand that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha resign within three days and and that all charges against detained protesters are withdrawn.
The anti-government protesters demand amendments to the constitution that would repeal the criminalisation of criticism of the king under the Lese Majeste law, repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command, repeal of the law that gave the new King full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings and repeal of the monarchy empowerment to endorse a military coup
The anti-government protesters state in a 10 point manifesto submitted to the House of Represenatatives last month reform of the monarchy is not a proposal to abolish the monarchy but a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha who is the current Prime Minister of Thailand was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act at Bangkok military headquarters on 22 May 2014.
The Southeast Asian Times

Japan PM supports Indonesia in ASEAN Outlook on Indo-pacific initiative

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Tuesday adopt the ASEAN Outlook on Indopacific (AOIP) initiative

From News Report:
Tokyo, October 22: The Prime Minister of Japan affirmed support for the ASEAN Outlook on Indopacific (AOIP) initiative on his first visit to Indonesia since taking office last month, saying "ASEAN plays an important role in realising a free and open Indopacific," reports Antara.
Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga said at a meeting with Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Tuesday that Japan fully supports Indonesia's adoption of the 'ASEAN Outlook on Indopacific' initiative.
He said that Japan's determination to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Southeast Asia is evident by Japan's recognition that ASEAN plays an important role in realizing a free and open Indopacific, saying "Japan and Indonesia are maritime countries located in the Indopacific region."
"Japan and Indonesia are strategic partners," he said.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday during a three day official visit to Vietnam ahead of his visit to Indonesia that Japan strongly supports the ASEAN Outlook on Indopacific (AOIP) initiative, saying that Japan shares common values and principles with the ASEAN vision for the Indo-Pacific.
He said that shared principles such as respect for the rule of law, transparency and inclusiveness would help Japan and the ASEAN vision for the Indo-pacific towards a peaceful, prosperous future, saying "developments in the South China Sea, or Vietnam's East Sea have gone against the values upheld by the ASEAN Outlook on Indopacific (AOIP)."
He said that Japan is strongly opposed to any action that escalates tention in the South China Sea, saying that Japan has consistently supported the preservation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)."
"Japan will work with ASEAN to uphold the rule of law on the seas and in the oceans," he said.
Last month the U.S. State Department reitorated the U.S. support for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) at the ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial Meeting held at the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) online in Hanoi with emphasis on the role of ASEAN in the U.S. vision for the Indo-Pacific, with U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, saying that ASEAN centrality is fundamental to the U.S.vision for the Indo-Pacific.
The US Secretary of State said that the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership is built on shared principals as outlined in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) including ASEAN centrality, respect for sovereignty and rule of law, good governance, transparency, inclusivity, rules-based frameworks and openness.
"The US Government works alongside the private sector to improve the lives and well-being of people across the Indo-Pacific, " said the US Secretary of State.
The Southeast Asian Times

Conflict of interest claim in passing
of Omnibus Law Bill on dirty energy royalties

Indonesian workers blocked roads to the Merdeka Palace in central Jakarta on Tuesday in the ongoing protest against the passing of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation that allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 21: The Coalition to Clean Indonesia and the Indonesian Peoples Faction claim that there was a conflict of interest in the passing of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation earlier this month, saying that state ministers who were affiliated with the coal mining industry were in President Jokowi Widodo cabinet during the decision making process, reports Tempo.
The Coalition to Clean Indonesia and the Indonesian Peoples Faction claim that the coal mining industry is involved in the production of ‘dirty energy’ and that there was a conflict of interest in the the decision making process of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation.
The Coalition to Clean Indonesia spokesman Ahmad Ashov Birry claims said that there were at least three state ministers affiliated with the coal mining industry in President Jokowi Widodo's cabinet, saying "the Coalition to Clean Indonesia and the Indonesian Peoples Faction found that there was a conflict of interest in the formation of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation by the Omnibus Bill task force and the House of Representatives working committee."
"We found at least 9 committee members affiliated with the mining and dirty energy production in the Omnibus Bill task force," he said.
He said that the inclusion of Article 128A in the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation means that the coal mining industry will not be obliged to pay a percentage of gross or net revenues to the state on condition that the coal industry increases the added value of coal.
He said that the payment of 0 percent royalties to the state could save the coal mining industry, saying "the dirty coal mining industry is in its twilight and facing a financial crisis."
"The dirty coal mining industry was experiencing a financial crisis from falling prices due to the global insistence on the transition to clean, fair and sustainable energy," he said.
Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) chairman says that the Omnibus Law Bill on the Job Opportunity Creation passed in the House of Representatives (DPI) earlier this month allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary.
"The Omnibus Law Bill allows for massive use of outsourcing, flexible working hours and payroll calculated hourly not monthly," he said.
He said workers want severence pay, length of service, working time, rights for leave and paid leave, health insurance and pension rights for contract and outsourced employees.
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar political party disqualified from November general elections for accepting funds from China

United Democratic Party (UDP) chairman U Kyaw Myint, and China ambassador to Myanmar Yang Houlan meet at the Chinese embassy in Myanmar December 31, 2013

From News Reports:
Yangon, October 20: The Myanmar Union Election Commission (UEC) has disqualified the United Democratic Party (UDP), for accepting financial support from China, from contesting any seat in the upcoming general elections with the chairman of the commission saying " the United Democratic Party (UDP) has violated several sections of Myanmar's Political Parties Registration Law, reports the Myanmar Times.
Myanmar Union Election Commission (UEC) chair U Hla Thein announced o
n Friday that the United Democratic Party (UDP) was removed from the list of registered political parties after it was found to have violated sections of the Myanmar's Political Parties Registration Law and by-laws.
Union Election Commission (UEC) chair U Hla Thein said that the United Democratic Party (UDP) did not abide by the Myanmar constitution, saying "the United Democratic Party (UDP) accepted or used money and aids directly or indirectly that came from a foreign country or a religious organisation."
The United Democratic Party (UDP) chairman, U Kyaw Myint, was reportedly found to have financially supported the party with money transferred from China.
Union Election Commission (UEC) chair U Hla Thein said that accepting funds from a foreign country is a violation of Article 6(f) of Myanmar's Political Parties Registration Law.
"All 1143 candidates of the United Democratic Party (UDP) are no longer allowed to continue contesting parliamentary seats for the upcoming elections." he said.
The United Democratic Party (UDP) had the second-highest number of candidates running in the November 8 elections after the National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
The disqualification on Friday of the United Democratic Party (UDP) from contesting the upcoming general elections follows the disqualification earlier this month of 11 United Democratic Party (UDP) candidates after objections from Myanmar's military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), who claimed that a number of United Democratic Party (UDP) candidates were unable to meet residency requirements of ten years in Myanmar before running for elective office.
The military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) also claimed that members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) who were not selected as candidates transferred to the United Democratic Party (UDP).
The military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), under the military-drafted Myanmar constitution, allows for the allocation of 25 percent of parliamentary seats in both houses to unelected military officers.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) led by state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won the popular vote in the November 2015 general elections, with about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats, has more than a thousand candidates running in the November 8 general elections.
The Southeast Asian Times

Assassin of Indonesian civil rights lawyer dies of Covid-19

Former Garuda Indonesia pilot, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, reportedly an intellegence agent, who was convicted of the murder of Indonesian civil rights lawyer Munir Said Thalib, died of the Covid-19 virus on Saturday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 18: Former Garuda Indonesia pilot, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, reportedly an intellegence agent, who was convicted of the murder of Indonesian civil rights lawyer Munir Said Thalib, died of the Covid-19 virus on Saturday, with former lawyer, Wirawan Adnan, saying that Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto died in hospital while undergoing treatment for the disease, reports Tempo
"He died of Covid-19 after fighting the disease for 16 days." he said.
Supreme Court judges found Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto guilty of the premeditated murder of Indonesian civil rights lawyer Munir Said Thalib and sentenced him to 20 years in prison in 2008.
He was released on parole from the Bandung Sukamiskin Penitentiary in December 2014 after a reduced sentence.
Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto was convicted of the premeditated murder of civil rights lawyer Muni Said Thalib, 39, who died of arsenic poisoning aboard a Garuda Indonesia flight while travelling to Amsterdam via Singapore on September 7, 2004.
Civil rights lawyer Muni Said Thalib helped establish the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) to investigate the abduction of activists at the end of president Soeharto’s rule from 1997 to 1999.
He worked at the Foundation of Indonesian Legal Aid Institute and joined a commission to investigate human rights violations in East Timor during a United Nations-sponsored referendum in 1999.
In 2012 the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (Kasum) launched a public petition in Malang, east Java, calling on the Indonesian government to prosecute the masterminds of the assassination of the civil rights lawyer.
Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (Kasum) called for an investigating into new evidence that showed that members of the Indonesian National Intelligence Agency (BIN) were involved in the lawyer’s death.
In December 2008 three judges of the South Jakarta District Court found former deputy chairman of the Indonesian intelligence agency Muchdi Purwopranjono not guilty of abuse of power and assigning an agent to poison the civil rights lawyer.
Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (Kasum) executive secretary, Choirul Anamsaid said that President Yudhoyono had promised to resolve the Munir murder at the beginning of his presidentancy, the same year that Munir was murdered in 2004.
"But those who masterminded the murder, those who gave Pollycarpus his orders, remain beyond the reach of the law", he said.
President Yudhoyono spokesman for international affairs, Teuku Faisasyah defended the government in the investigation of the murder, saying then that "the perpetrator", Garuda pilot, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto was in jail.
"The case would be reviewed if new evidence that implicated others was provided", he said.
In 2014 Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (Kasum) called on newly elected President Jokowi to initiate a new, independent investigation into the murder of civil rights lawyer Munir Said Thalib and bring the perpetrators or masterminds of the assasination to justice.
In October 2016 Indonesia's Central Information Commission (KIP) ordered the government to disclose the report of a fact-finding team’s investigation into the murder of civil rights lawyer Muni Said Thalib.
The Indonesia's Central Information Commission (KIP) said that the team’s investigation in 2005 was public information, saying the government was obliged to disclose the findings to the public and to explain why the report has been kept a secret.
The Southeast Asian Times

Covid-19 task force calls on Bali to suppress rising death rate

Covid-19 task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito has reportedy requested that the Bali administration suppress the rising Covid-19 deaths in Bali

From News Reports:
Denpasar, October 18: The Covid-19 fatality rate in Bali is soaring with the death rate from the disease rising from 2.97 percent on September 27 to 3.17 percent on October 11, of 8,542 infections with 95.35 percent infections the result of local transmissions and with reports that the Covid-19 mitigation task force has called on the Bali provincial government to suppress the rising death rate, reports Tempo.
Tempo says in an unconfirmed report that Covid-19 task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito has requested that the Bali provincial government suppress the continueing rise in Covid-19 deaths in Bali.
In June Bali Governor I Wayan Koster, said that low level hygiene, health, and safety protocols contributed to the increasing number of Covid-19 transmissions in Bali's four regencies, Bandun, Denpasar, Klungkung and Tabanan.
Bali Governor, I Wayan Koster, revoked the Badung Tourist Agency earlier decision to open access to two beaches, Canggu Beach and Labuan Sait Beach to surfers.
He said that the Bali provincial administration had ordered all tourist attractions closed, saying that activities involving large groups including traditional and religious activities are banned due to the increasing number of local Covid-19 transmissions.
In April the Bali provincial government employed Covid-19 detection measures including screening, body temperature checks and rapid testing on all migrant workers returning to Bali.
Bali provincial government regional secretary Dewa Made Indra, said in April that the data collected will help determine the strategy that the provincial government will use to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Bali, saying in April that "the majority of infections on the island are imported."
He said that up to 20,000 migrant workers returning to Bali will be put through a rigorous health check, saying "those who have the virus will be isolated to prevent transmission."
He said in April that 82.67 percent of confirmed Covid-19 infections in Bali are imported with 17.33 percent local transmissions, saying that "we hope to keep the number of local transmissions under control.
"Bali will need a different strategy for local transmissions to what we use on the imported Covid-19 infections," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia and Australia to develop military ties under Australia's new defence objectives
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, October 17: Cambodia and Australia are to develop military ties in an effort to strengthen mutual security under new objectives in the updated Australian Defence Strategic document, with Australia re affirming Asean's core role in regional security, reports the Khmer Times.
Australian Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds, said in a video meeting with Cambodia Defence Minister General Tea Banh in Phnom Penh that Australia will be a more active partner under the updated Australian Defence Strategic Document in addressing security issues in the region.
The updated Australian Defence Strategic Document includes three new objectives: to shape Australia's strategic environment; to deter actions against Australia's interests; and to respond with credible military force, when required.
Cambodia Defence Minister General Tea Banh said at the video meeting that Cambodia and Australia should strengthen bilateral partnership and cooperation in all fields, saying "cooperation between Cambodia and Australia should be pursued in the interests of peace, security, stability and socio-economic recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic."
"Cooperation between Cambodia and Australia should be grounded in the principle of mutual benefit and respect," he said.
Royal Academy of Cambodia's International Relations Institute director Kin Phea said that military cooperation between Cambodia and Australia is not as strong as with other Asean member countries.
"We have not seen a joint military excercise conducted between Cambodia and Australia or a large amount of Australian military assistance provided to Cambodia," he said.
In February Australia Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds, said at the ASEAN-Australia Informal Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Hanoi that Australia's defence cooperation with ASEAN will be guided by six core principles including ASEAN centrality, sovereignty and respect for international law, saying that "Australia’s defence engagement with ASEAN will seek to support an effective and equitable rules-based international order that protects the interests of all countries."
"Direct engagement between Australian and ASEAN Defence Ministers will help to shape the future of regional security cooperation," she said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thailand clears protesters from government house under state of emergency declaration

About 10,000 anti-government protesters marched on Government House in Bangkok on Wednesday calling for charter amendment and reform of the monarchy

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 16: Thailand has declared a state of emergency banning gatherings of five or more, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordering riot police to clear thousands of anti-government protesters from Government House after the reception at Government House for China Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday was cancelled, reports the Bangkok Post.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a state of emergency yesterday in order to end protests, saying "it is necessary to introduce urgent measures to end mass protests effectively and promptly to maintain peace and order."
The state of emergency that took effect yesterday includes measures that ban mass gatherings and that allow authorities to stop entry to designated areas.
Thousands of protesters marched on Government House on Phitsanulok Road in Bangkok on Wednesday, despite police efforts to stop the protesters during the ten hour march to government House, the office of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The protesters demand that parliament hold an urgent session to deliberate charter amendments and reform of the monarchy that includes the call for the monarchy not to endorse a military coup and repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command and the repeal of the law that gave the new King full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings.
The protest at Government House reportedly prevented the Thai government plan to hold a reception for China Foreign Minister Wang Yi who was to meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House on Thursday.
The reception for China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is on an official visit to Thailand to promote the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Thailand and China was held at the Defence Ministry and not at Government House as planned.
A ten point manifesto submitted to Parliament House on 10 August included amendments to the constitution that would repeal the Lese Majeste Law that criminalises the criticism of the king, repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command, repeal of the law that gave the new King full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings and repeal of the monarchy empowerment to endorse a military coup.
The 10 point manifesto calling for reform of the monarchy states that the demands made in the manifesto are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy but a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha who is the current Prime Minister of Thailand was officially appointed commander of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej following the declaration of Martial law under the 1914 Martial Law Act at Bangkok military headquarters on 22 May 2014.
The Southeast Asian Times


Anti-monarchy protesters arrested for blocking royal motorcade in Bangkok

Protesters calling for repeal of Section 112 of the Criminal Code that protects the royal institution on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok refused to clear the road ahead of the royal motorcade on Tueday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 15: About 30 anti-monarchy protesters who set up tents on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok blocking Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn from attending a graduation ceremony at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on Tuesday, were arrested after refusing to clear the road, reports the Bangkok Post
Commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 6, Pol Maj Gen Methee Rakphan, said that police from Samranrat station called on protesters to clear Ratchadamnoen Avenue in order to allow the Royal motorcade to pass.
Protesters reportedly stopped playing music, singing and dancing on the road but sat on the road in order to continue the blockade.
Police deployed five companies of riot police to clear the protesters from Ratchadamnoen Avenue after the second call to clear the road was ignored..
Police arrested 19 protesters including protest organisor, Jatupat Boonpatararaksa, and celebrity, Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan, who had reportedly called for protesters to block the Royal motorcade on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on his facebook.
Protest organisor, Jatupat Boonpatararaksa, called for the repeal of the Lese Majeste Law that disallows criticism of the king under a banner saying "Dissolve the House under new rules and revoke Section 112"
The submission of a 10 point manifesto that includes the decriminalisation of the Lese Majest Law was made to the parliament by the Thammasat and Demonstration student organisation on August 10.
The 10 point manifesto includes amendments to the constitution that disallows criticism of the king under the Lese Majeste Law, the examination in parliament of any wrongdoing by the king and calls for reform of the monarchy.
The manifesto states that the demands made in the manifesto are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy, saying that the 10 point manifesto is a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy that includes the amendemet to the constitution that empowers the king to endorse military coups.
The Southeast Asian Times

Witnesses to shooting of Indonesian soldiers in Papua make statement

Joint fact-finding team (TGPF) chief, Benny J Mamoto said that the team has interviewed 25 witnesss in the investigation into the armed conflict between the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) that left four dead including two Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) soldiers

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 14: Witnesses to the fatal shooting of two Indonesian soldiers, a civilian and a pastor in the Papua regency of Intan Jay were questioned by the joint fact-finding team (TGPF), established to investigate the deaths resulting from the armed conflict between the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) who demand independence from Indonesia, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesia's Joint fact-finding team (TGPF) chief Benny J Mamoto said that the team of 18 members including the National Armed Forces (TNI), Indonesian National Police, Presidential office representatives and Papua social representatives have been tasked with the investigation of the killing of two Indonesian soldiers, two civilians and a pastor in Intan Jaya District, Papua last month.
"The joint fact-finding team (TGPF) has interviewed 25 witnesses," he said.
He said that the joint fact-finding team (TGPF) will report to the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, on their return to Jakarta.
"A report including witness statements will be analyzed, evaluated and a conclusion together with recommendations will be provided," he said.
The joint fact-finding team (TGPF) investigation went ahead despite the attack by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) on two Indonesian Military (TNI) soldier members of the team on their arrival at Mamba village, Sugapa district, Intan Jay regency in Papua last week.
West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman, Rimba Lawingga, said that a West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) fighter opened fire on the joint fact-finding team (TGPF), injuring two soldiers, saying "we oppose a Jakarta-sanctioned investigation team that will only make us the scapegoat."
"That is why we shot at the joint fact-finding team,” he said.
The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) has rejected the fact finding team (TGPF) saying, "the shooting of of pastor Yeremias Zanamban was committed by Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel."
Member of the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC), Evangelical Camp Church (Kingmi) Synod chairman, Benny Giay, says that the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, who ordered the fact finding team (TGPF) to investigate the armed conflict in Papua regency of Intan Jay, has promoted the remilitarization of Papua under Daerah Operasi Militer (DOM),
Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, who ordered the (TGPF) fact finding team to investigate the armed conflict in the Papua regency of Intan Jaya says that Papua Province and West Papua Province are part of the Unitary State of Indonesia, saying "there would be no negotiation for independence or separation in the demand for Papua independence."
The Southeast Asian Times


6,000 Indonesian workers arrested over four day protest against new labor law

The clash between Indonesian National Police, who sprayed tear gas, and protesters, who threw stones, bottles and bamboo sticks, ended about 5.00pm on Thursday with police and protesters in agreement to end the violence

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 13: Almost 6,000 of about five million Indonesian workers and supporters of the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) who protested across Indonesia last week against the passing of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation at the House of Representatives (DPI) have been arrested, with Indonesia's national police Inspector General Argo Yuwono saying on Saturday "not all have been charged," reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesian National Police Inspector General Argo Yuwono said that police arrested 5,918 protesters during the four day protest last week with hundreds arrested at the State Palace and the House of Representatives (DPI), saying that not all have been charged with rioting.
He said that 87 had been imprisoned, 240 are under investigation for suspected criminal activities with 153 questioned for rioting.
Police in full riot gear defended barricades at the State Palace with clashes between police and protesters in the streets in central Jakarta including at the Gambir railway Station.
Protesters ransacked at least 11 Transjakarta bus stations including a bus station near the Hotel Indonesia round-about that was razed to the ground.
Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) chairman says that the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation passed in the House of Representatives (DPI) last week allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary.
"The Omnibus Law Bill allows for massive use of outsourcing, flexible working hours and payroll calculated hourly not monthly," he said.
He said workers want severence pay, length of service, working time, rights for leave and paid leave, health insurance and pension rights for contract and outsourced employees.
“Rules on layoffs, criminal sanctions against employers and foreign workers must remain in accordance with the Law No. 13 of 2003,” he said.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo said on Friday that a number of misleading reports and hoaxes in social media led to the nationwide protests against the newly adopted Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation.
"Information that the minimum provincial and district wage requirements have been repealed is not true," he said.
He said that accusation by protesters that the new law would pay workers by the hour is also not true, saying "the existing regulation on payment still applies."
"Wedding leave, compassionate leave and maternity leave habe not been scrapped," he said.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo denied allegations that the new law would allow employers to unilaterally fire workers and that it omits envirnment requirements for business.
"The new law streamlines procedures in opening business, primrarily for micro, small and medium enterprises," he said.
The new law also omits minimum capital requirement for the establishment of a limited company and allows only nine people to set up a cooperative.
The Southeast Asian Times

West Papua Liberation Army attacks Indonesian military over death of pastor
From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 12: Two members of the Indonesia government’s joint fact-finding team (TGPF) sent to investigate the armed conflict in Intan Jay regency in Papua that left two Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) soldiers, one civilian and a pastor dead, were attacked by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) on Friday, with (TPNPB) spokesman Rimba Lawingga confirming the attack, saying "for us, the Indonesian Military (TNI) killed Pastor Yeremia Zamambani, reports the Jakarta Post.
West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman, Rimba Lawingga, said that one of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) fighters opened fire on the joint fact-finding team (TGPF), saying "we oppose a Jakarta-sanctioned investigation team that will only make us the scapegoat."
"That is why we shot at the joint fact-finding team,” he said.
The Indonesian Military (TNI) Joint Defense Area Command III (Kogabwilhan III) spokesman Col. I Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa said on Friday that the shooting at Mamba village, Sugapa district, Intan Jaya regency, Papua, on Friday left two Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers with with leg wounds.
He said that the (TGPF) investigative team were suddenly under fire from the right and left side of the road, saying "we didn’t expect the attack."
"The attack on the joint fact-finding team (TGPF) should not hamper our investigation into the armed conflict in Intan Jay regency in Papua," he said.
The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) has rejected the fact finding team (TGPF) saying, "the shooting of of pastor Yeremias Zanamban was committed by Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel."
The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) that includes the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) in Papua, the Papua Kemah Gospel Church (KIGMI Papua) and the Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GIDI) have called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to talk with the pro-referendum for Papua independence organisation and to stop sending the Indonesian Military (TNI) to Papua.
Evangelical Camp Church (Kingmi) Synod chairman, Benny Giay, says that the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, who ordered the fact finding team (TGPF) to investigate the armed conflict in Papua regency of Intan Jay, has promoted the remilitarization of Papua under Daerah Operasi Militer (DOM),
Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, who called on the (TGPF) fact finding team to investigate the armed conflict in the Papua regency of Intan Jaya says that Papua Province and West Papua Province are part of the Unitary State of Indonesia, saying "there would be no negotiation for independence or separation in the demand for Papua independence."
The Southeast Asian Times


Papua New Guinea churches reject Indonesia's investigation into death of pastor in Papua

Evangelical Camp Church (Kingmi) Synod chairman, Benny Giay, says that Indonesia is promoting remilitarisation of Papua under Daerah Operasi Militer (DOM) to combat opposition to Indonesian rule of Papau and West Papua

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 11: The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) has rejected the fact finding team (TGPF) that was ordered by the Indonesian government to investigate the armed conflict in the Papua regency of Intan Jay last month that left two Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) soldiers, one civilian and a pastor of the church dead, with the council, saying "the shooting was committed by Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel," reports the Jakarta Post.
Evangelical Camp Church (Kingmi) Synod chairman, Benny Giay, said on Wednesday that the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) did not consider the fact finding team (TGPF) independent, saying that the investigative team into the four deaths including pastor Yeremias Zanamban consist of Indonesian security apparatus members, government and intelligence units.
He said that the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, who ordered the fact finding team (TGPF) to investigate the armed conflict in Papua regency of Intan Jay, has promoted the remilitarization of Papua under Daerah Operasi Militer (DOM), to combat the Free Papua Movement (OPM) opposition to Indonesian rule of Papua and West Papua.
He said that the Evangelical Camp Church (Kingmi) suspects that security operations in many Papua regions aims to support investors in a hidden agenda that includes the seizure of land, customery forests and natural resourses belonging to the Papuan people," he said.
"Papuans in Intan Jaya regency object to the control of gold mining in the regency by PT Antam," he said.
He said that Papuans had fled Intan Jaya following the Indonesian Military (TNI) operation in the area, saying "it was an attempt to suppress the Free Papua Movement (OPM) opposition to Indonesian rule of Papua and West Papua.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, called on the (TGPF) fact finding team to investigate the armed conflict in the Papua regency of Intan Jaya, saying "violence erupted in the run-up to the commemoration of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) on December 1."
"Police say that TNI soldiers, a civilian and a priest were killed by the armed criminal group (KKB) while others say that the four were killed by National Armed Forces (TNI)," he said.
He said that Papua Province and West Papua Province are part of the Unitary State of Indonesia, saying "there would be no negotiation for independence or separation in the demand for Papua independence."
The Southeast Asian Times


High school students recruited to cause riots at nationwide labour law protests

High school students allegedly recruited to cause riots at protests organised by the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) against the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation law were arrested by the Jakarta Police in Bateng Square on Thursday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 10: The Jakarta Metro Police have arrested about 400 high school students during the four day protest organised by the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) against the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation law that was passed in the House of Representatives (DPR) on Monday, with police saying that "the high school students in detention were an anarchiac group who had caused riots in several cities," reports the Jakarta Post.
Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said that about 40 of the about 400 high school students arrested were arrested at the House of Representatives (DPR) building and the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.
He said that social media had called on high school students to join workers and university students protesting in cities across Indonesia against the new labour law that workers say allows companies to arbitrarily determine labor's working hours and salary.
“Police fear that high school students have been recruited to cause riots at the labour law protests in several cities." he said.
He said that the anarchic group of high school students, who have also been arrested in the Pancoran, Palmerah, Asia Africa, and Patal Senayan districts of Jakarta, have only one goal, saying "that is to destroy.”
Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said that investigations found that high school students who were recruited on social media to attend the protests organised by the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) were to cause a riot.
"Police are investigating reports that high school students were paid to join labour law protests held in cities across Indonesia in order to cause riots." he said.
The Jakarta Metro Police deployed more than nine thousand police for the four day planned protest that began on Monday after the passing of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation law in the House of Representatives (DPR), until Thursday.
The Southeast Asian Times


Council of Global Unions calls on Indonesia's president Widodo to revoke labor laws

Indonesia's University students clash with police at the Jababeka Industrial Estate in Bekasi on Wednesday in protest against the passing of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation that puts the interests and demands of foreign investors ahead of workers, says the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI)

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 9: The Council of Global Unions (CGU) has called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to revoke the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation law that was passed in the House of Representatives on Monday, saying "overall, the law appears to put the interests and demands of foreign investors ahead of workers, communities and the environment," reports the Jakarta Post.
The Council of Global Unions said in a letter to President Joko Widodo on Tuesday, signed by nine international workers union officials, that the unions are concerned that "the procedure and substance of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation are not in line with Indonesia's human rights obligations under international human rights law."
"Unions strongly believe that labor laws of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation will significantly undermine the labor rights and welfare of Indonesian workers and contravenes the existing Employment Act No. 13/2003," the letter signed by nine international workers union officials said.
The nine international workers union said that the Council of Global Unions (CGU) acknowledged that trade unions were involved in the discussions with the Indonesian legislative body, but that the unions fear that no changes have been made to reflect their range of concerns."
"The Council of Global Unions believe that stable and constructive industrial relations are the essential base for national development and calls for the Indonesian government to rethink its position on the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation law,"
Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal said that "under the Omnibus Law Bill on the Job Opportunity Creation, companies will arbitrarily determine labor's working hours and salary."
"The existing Law No.13 Year 2003 protects labor and the right to fair payment and decent treatment in the workplace," he said.
He said that the Omnibus Law Bill on the Job Opportunity Creation passed in the House of Representatives (DPI) on Monday will allow foreign unskilled workers to be employed in Indonesia, saying "the Omnibus Law Bill allows for massive use of outsourcing, flexible working hours and payroll calculated hourly not monthly."
He said that workers want severence payments, length of service, working time, rights for leave and paid leave, health insurance and pension rights for contract and outsourced employees.
“Rules on layoffs, criminal sanctions against employers and foreign workers must remain in accordance with the Law No. 13 of 2003,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia to investigate Papua armed conflict ahead of Free Papua Movement anniversary

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD says that there will be no negotiation for independence or separatism in the demand for Papua independence

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 8: The Indonesian government has called on fact finding team (TGPF) to investigate the armed conflict in the Papua regency of Intan Jaya last week that left two Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) soldiers, one civilian and a priest dead, with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, saying that "violence erupted in the run-up to the commemoration of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) on December 1," reports the Jakarta Post.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said that the investigation into the armed conflict between Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and the armed criminal group (KKB) in the Papua regency of Intan Jaya last week that left four dead would be objective.
"Police say that TNI soldiers, a civilian and a priest were killed by the armed criminal group (KKB) while others say that the four were killed by Papuan authorities," he said.
He said that the investigation into the armed conflict would be conducted by National Police Commission, chief executive, Benny Mamoto and deputy executive, Sugeng Purnomo who is the Polhukam Coordinating Ministry’s deputy of law coordination and human rights in order to maintain objectivity.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD claims that the armed criminal group (KKB) that supports independence for Papua and West Papua works in cooperation with foreign provocateurs,
"we have to stop and control them since it is against the law."
He said that both Papua Province and West Papua Province are part of the Unitary State of Indonesia, saying "there would be no negotiation for independence or separation in the demand for Papua independence."
Calls for a referendum and self determination for Papua including West Papua were dismissed in August 2019 by Indonesia's former Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, who said then that the “NKRI the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is final. ”
He said the New York Agreement, signed in 1962 by the Netherlands and Indonesia, had officially made Papua and West Papua legitimate territories of Indonesia.
“That means NKRI is final, NKRI is non-negotiable, including Papua and West Papua,” he said.
"Referendums are for occupied countries that are given the choice to be independent or to join with the occupying country", he said.
In December 2018 the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack on Indonesia's state-owned construction company, PT Istaka Kar, killing 19 construction workers in Nduga regency in Papua, saying that they are not armed criminals but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua.
West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesman Sebby Sanbom said then that "through this attack on the contruction of the trans Papua road we are telling the colonialist country of Indonesia that we are not armed criminals but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua,” saying that the workers shot dead were not civilians but Indonesian soldiers.
"We are ready to take responsibility", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Five million workers to strike over labor law that allows employers to determine working hours and salary

The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) passed the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation law with all political parties in agreement except for the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PIS) at a plenary session on Monday with Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Legislation Committee speaker, Supratman Andi Atgas, saying "the omnibus bill does not erase annual leave, menstrual leave and maternity leave"

From News Reports:
Jakarta, October 7: About five million members of the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) are to stike in protest of the passing of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation, with chairman of the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) saying "our concerns are that the Omnibus Law Bill will hurt labor," reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) chairman said that the existing Law No.13 Year 2003 protects labor and the right to fair payment and decent treatment in the workplace, saying "under the Omnibus Law Bill on the Job Opportunity Creation companies will arbitrarily determine labor's working hours and salary."
He said that the Omnibus Law Bill on the Job Opportunity Creation passed in the House of Representatives (DPI) on Monday will allow foreign unskilled workers to be employed in Indonesia, saying "the Omnibus Law Bill allows for massive use of outsourcing, flexible working hours and payroll calculated hourly not monthly."
He said that workers want severence payments, length of service, working time, rights for leave and paid leave, health insurance and pension rights for contract and outsourced employees.
“Rules on layoffs, criminal sanctions against employers and foreign workers must remain in accordance with the Law No. 13 of 2003,” he said.
The three day strike is to be held simultaneously in more than 20 provinces, including West Java, Jakarta, Banten, Yogyakarta, Riau Islands, Bengkulu, Riau, Lampung, NTB, Maluku, Gorontalo, up to Papua and West Papua.
Workers in industrial sectors, including chemicals, energy, mining, textiles, garments, shoes, automotive, electronics, the iron and steel industry, are to protest the passing of the Omnibus Law Bill on Job Opportunity Creation that has reportedly created a favourable investment climate at the expense of workers.
The Southeast Asian Times


Red Bull heir hit and run driver on Interpol red notice wanted list

Bangkok police inspect the Farrari sports car at Thong Lor police station in Bangkok on September 3, 2012 that was allegedly driven by Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, in the hit and run accident that caused the death of a Bangkok police officer

From News Reports:
Bangkok, October 6: An Interpol red notice has been issued to all country members for Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, wanted in Thailand for allegedly causing the death of a police officer in a hit and run accident in Bangkok in 2012, with the Royal Thai Police (RTP) saying on Sunday, "Interpol's has issued its most urgent altert," reports the Bangkok Post.
Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said that the Royal Thai Police (RTP) have requested assistance from 194 Interpol member countries for Vorayuth Yoovidhya, who fled Thailand for Singapore in private jet in 2017.
He said that Vorayuth Yoovidhya would be brought back to Thailand, saying the charges against Vorayuth Yoovidhya are serious."
The Interpol red notice for Vorayuth Yoovidhya, who allegedly drove the Ferrari sports car that fatally struck Sgt Maj Wichean Klanprasert, 48, was issued following the reversal last month of the withdrawal of all charges against the Red Bull heir by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
The Office of the Attorney General spokesman, Prayut Petcharakhun, said last month that the the prosecution would seek the arrest of Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya 27 after cocaine use by the Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, was added to reckless driving charges.
Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya 27 was charged in September 2012 with reckless driving, speeding over the limit at 177 km/h, drunk driving, fleeing the scene of the crime and causing the death of a police officer but the Office of Attorney General (OAG) withdrew all charges against the Red Bull heir in July.
All charges against the Red Bull heir were withdrawn in July after a new investigation found new evidence that the Red Bull heir accident was not caused by reckless driving.
Two new witnesses testified in July that the Red Bull heir drove a Ferrari sports car at between 50-60km/h on September 3, 2012, and that the motorcycle driven by the Sgt Maj Wichean Klanprasert, 48, who was killed in the hit and run accident, abruply changed lanes and cut in front of the Ferrari.
In August the Thai Constitution Court called for an investigation into the Office of the Attorney General (AOG) decision to withdraw all charges against the Red Bull heir saying "the nation's justice system has been rendered meaningless after the prosecution decision to withdraw all charges and the police failure to challenge the decision."
Cocaine use by the Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, that was not included in the original charges against the Red Bull heir in September 2012 was added to reckless driving charges in August.
Police found illicit chemical substances including cocaine in blood tests in the 2012 original investigation but claimed that Vorayuth Yoovidhya used cocaine for dental treatment, saying that a dentist confirmed that he had administered medicines that contained cocaine for dental treatment to Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya.
The Southeast Asian Times

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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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

 

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

 

Indonesia ready for big 'brother' role in ASEAN
By Prashanth Parameswaran
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Benedict Anderson, a man without a country, dies in Indonesia Jeet Heer reports.....open page here


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

 

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


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



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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