The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
 
Wednesday 20 September 2017 
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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

Myanmar calls on government to allow humanitarian aid to Rohingya Muslims
Myanmar protesters in Yangon call on the Myanmar government to allow humanitarian aid access to Rohingya Muslim refugees
From News Reports:
Yangon, September 20, Myanmar nationals including Buddhist monks called on the government in to allow humanitarian aid to Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims in the capital, Yangon on Monday following the exudus of more than a third of Rakhine's Muslim population of more than a million from Myanmmar's Rakhine State.
The protestors also called on the government to permit the entry of a United Nations fact-finding mission assigned to investigate rights violations in Rakhine State and to ensure the safe and voluntary return of those displaced by the conflict.
They called for the appontment of an independent authority to process citizen application complaints and the placement of border police under the authority of the national police chief.
The exudus of Rohingya Muslims across the Mynmar border to Bangladesh follows Myanmar's retaliation to the assualt on Myanmar police outposts and military bases by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly carried out assaults on police outposts and on a military base in northern Rakhine state on August 25 in what the Myanmar government called "extremist terrorist" attacks by Muslim insurgents.
Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) had aimed to "undermine the efforts of the government to find a lasting solution.
Myanmar reportedly considers the Muslim Rohingya illegal migrants from Bangladesh but Bangladesh rejects the Rohingya's, rendering them stateless.
The United Nations has urged the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 70, and the ASEAN community to take action against the alleged ongoing abusive military action against the "Rohingyas" or "Bengalis".
Party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 2015 General elections, is subject to the conditions of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military-drafted Myanmar constitution.
The Myanmar constitution allows for the allocation of 25 percent of Parliamentary seats in both houses to unelected military officers.
The Southeast Asian Times

Anti-communists demand communists cancel Jakarta meeting
From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 19: Hundreds of anti-communists demanded that the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) in Jakarta disband a meeting of alleged members of the disbanded Communist Party (PKI) on Sunday, reports the Jakarta Post.
The meeting of scholars, activists, victims and family of victims of the 1965 killing of communists intended to hold a meeting at the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) the night before but were reportedly stopped by police from holding the meeting.
The anti-communists believe that the meetings were related to the 1965 killings of communists and accused the organisers of being members of the disbanded Communist Party (PKI).
The anti-communists urged the organisers to cancel the meeting on the grounds that the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) did not have permit to hold the meeting.
Tensions escalated on Sunday when the anti-communists attempted to enter the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) office where about 200 had gathered for a music event.
"Lies!" "Long live TNI" and "Dismiss the PKI" the anti-communists shouted despite assurance from the Central Jakarta Police chief and the military that there was no Communist Party (PKI) activity going on inside the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) office.
The anti-communist protesters refused to leave, singing Indonesia Raya, the Indnesian national anthem and giving speeches.
A clash broke out about 1.22am on Monday morning when the protesters pushed against police officers who guarded the building
The protesters reportedly threw bottles and rocks, injuring several officers.
The Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) office was evacuated at about 2.16am.
In August East Jakarta police shut down a workshop held in Klender by the International People's Tribunal 1965 (IPT65) in support of compensation for the 1965 communist killings under the Suharto regime.
The District Military Command (Koramil) reportedly raided the workshop hours before it had started.
East Jakarta Police Chief Sr. Comm. Andy Wi­bowo said that he had received reports that the workshop was linked to the defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) saying that communism was still legally banned in Indonesia.
“If it was a Communist Party (PKI) event then it had to be dispersed,”
The International People's Tribunal 1965 (IPT65) committee member, Dianto Bachriadi, said that police forced the organizers to cancel the workshop on the pretext they did not have a permit.
"Members who attended the meeting were interrogated and intimidated, he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

New East Timor government led by returned prime minister Mari Alkatiri sworn in
East Timor returning prime minister Mari Alkatiri, 68, was East Timor?s first prime minister following independence from Indonesia in 2002
From News Reports
Dili, September 18: The new East Timor government led by returning prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, 68, East Timor's first prime minister, was sworn in on Friday, reports Agence France Press.
The new prime ministers was reportedly the only candidate nominated for the premiership,
Mari Alkatiri, secretary-general of the Front for an independent East Timor (FRETILIN) party, was inaugurated with 10 members of the minority coalition government at a ceremony in the capital Dili.
The returned prime minister Mari Alkatiri, pledged to maintain good ties with neighbours Australia and Indonesia and improve public services.
"I will create a better economy, education and health in Timor-Leste," he said.
Former president Jose Ramos-Horta and former prime minister Rui Maria de Araujo are to return to cabinet.
The new cabinet is reportedly to include a new youth party, Khunto, that received about 6 percent of the vote in the July elections.
East Timor's two main political parties, the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) and the Revolutionary Front for an independent East Timor (FRETILIN) won enough votes in the parliamentary July election to form a national unity government.
The election was East Timor's first parliamentary election without United Nation supervision since peacekeepers left in 2012.
Mari Alkatiri, a Muslim politician in the majority-Catholic country, was East Timor?s first prime minister following independence from Indonesia in 2002.
He was forced to resign after civil unrest in Dili in 2006.
The Southeast Asian Times

Typhoon Doksuri hits Vietnam, killing four
From News Reports:
Hanoi , September 17: Doksuri ,the most powerful typhoon to hit Viet Nam in a decade, has left four dead after making landfall in Vietnam's central provinces on Friday afternoon, reports Rueters.
Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces bore the brunt of Typhoon Doksuri, flooding hundreds of thousands of homes, blowing off roofs and knocking out power.
The force of the wind brought down or damaged power poles, trees, advertising billboards and a television tower.
Agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that Typhoon Doksuri had caused widespread damage
“There has never been a storm of level nine or 11 that has lasted eight hours like this one," he said.
The eye of the storm skirted Vietnam’s most productive coffee growing areas, bringing rain that was largely seen as beneficial to coffee plantations
Vietnam Military forces were deployed to help farmers harvest rice before typhoon Doksuri struck Vietnam's central province
More than 116,000 people have been evacuated from Vietnam’s densely populated coastal area in preparation for Doksuri.
The Ky Xuan kindergarten in Ha Tinh province lost its roof in the 130 km per hour winds.
Principal of the Ky Xuan kindergarten, Tran Thi Hong, said that the school "looks terrible, worse than at war time".
“I could just cry, it took us so long to build this school,” she said.
Four fishing boats sank in Quang Ngai province despite fishermen dragging their small wooden boats into the streets of coastal towns in an effort to save them from being swept out to sea.
Doksuri swept through the Philippines on Tuesday, killing at least four and leaving six missing.
Doksuri is reportedly heading for Laos.
The Southeast Asian Times
Indonesian court hands down death penalty for drug trafficking
Irwantoni, 38, sentenced to death on Wednesday for his involvement in drug trafficking from China to Indonesia, at the Medan District Court with his mother
From News Reports:
Jakarta Post, September 16: The Medan District Court has sentenced Irwantoni, 38, to death for his involvement in drug trafficking from China to Indonesia, reports the Jakarta Post.
Jjudge Saryana said that Irwantoni was found guilty of trafficking in sabu-sabu or crystal methamphetamine from China to Dumai, Riau and Medan, North Sumatra, saying that the accused had violated the 2009 Narcotics Law.
"The court handed down the death penalty," he said.
Four accomplices, Daud aka Athiam, 47, Ayau, 40, Lukmansyah Bin Nasrul, 36, and Jimmi Syahputra Bin Rusli, 27 were also handed the death penalty for their involvement in the trafficking of drugs from China to Indonesia at a previous court hearing.
The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) apprended the drug traffickers in October 2015, reportedly stopping 270 kilograms abu-sabu or crystal methamphetamine that was in transit from China to Indonesia.
In April the Indonesian government announced that it would not implement a moratoriam on the death penalty despite calls from the Jakarta-based human rights organisation, Imparsial, to heed the United Nations recommendation to abolish the death penalty.
Indonesian Attorney Genera, Muhammad Prasetyo, said that Indonesia would continue executions.
In October 2016 the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) called on President Joko Widodo to issue a moratorium on the death penalty in the proposed legal reforms, saying that the president should instruct the Attorney Geeral not to carry out further executions.
Indonesia has reportedly been under international scrutiny since the execution of 18 convicted drug traffickers in quick succession since president Joko Widodo took office in 2014.
The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) stated that "Guarantees of effective legal assistance, without torture, with strong evidence, and legal certainty in the context of the law must be guaranteed."
The Indonesian Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) called on the government in October last year to abolish the death penalty and to revisit all cases to make sure that those facing the death penalty had been given a fair trial.
The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) researcher and human rights lawyer, Wahyudi Djafar says that a study of 42 death sentences handed down by Indonesia's district courts, state courts and the Supreme Court over 11 years for drug offences and premeditated murder reveals that a number of convictions were the result of "unfair judicial process".
The Southeast Asian Times

Third Melbourne council votes to abandon Australia Day celebrations
From News Reports:
Melbourne, September 15: A third Melbourne Council in the state of Victoria in Australia has voted to abandon Australia Day celebrations on January 26, reports Australian Associated Press (AAP)
Moreland council voted 7-4 to join Yarra and Darebin councils in Melbourne's north in dropping all references to Australia Day celebrations.
The Moreland councillers claim that January 26 is not an appropriate date for an inclusive national celebration, saying that "January 26 marks the British invasion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands and oppression of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."
The motion to chnge the date of Australia Day was proposed by Green's Party councillor and deputy mayor Samantha Ratnam.
Deputy mayor Samantha Ratnam said at the Moreland council meeting that the abandonment of Australia Day celebrations was not about erasing Australia's past history.
"Thousands of Australians like me want to celebrate Australia Day but just not on a day that's so painful for others," she said.
Moreland councillor, Oscar Yildiz claimed that it was not the role of councils to debate the date of Australia Day.
"This issue is splitting the nation," he said.
Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke said that "the Australian government absolutely rejects the extreme and divisive nature of the discussion the Green Party and Socialist Councillors in Moreland are promoting,"
"Ratepayers of Moreland, who have not been consulted and who did not sign up to dumping Australia Day, have every right to feel ashamed and angered by this divisive move," he said.
"The Australian government is considering what action to take against the Moreland council", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Police investigate murder of elderly Japanese couple in Bali
Indonesian police have launched a murder investigation into the deaths of an elderly Japanese couple at their rented home in Jimbaran, a fishing village in southern Bali
From News Reports:
Denpasar, September 14: Indonesian police have launched a murder investigation into the deaths of an elderly Japanese couple whose bodies were found burned beyond recognition in Bali, reports Agence France Presse.
The burnt bodies of Nurio Matsuba, 76, and his 73-year-old wife Hiroko were discovered on September 4 by their Indonesian adopted son at their home in Jimbaran, a fishing village in southern Bali.
Police have ruled out any involvement by the murdered couple's Indonesian adopted son, Abdul Salam.
Denpasar police chief Hadi Purnomo said on Monday that investigators are looking for more than one suspect and have interviewed 42 witnesses ranging from family to business associates, saying that the murder was planned.
"Police are yet to establish a motive for the murders," he said.
He said that investigators found rope and two knives at the rented home of the Japanese couple
"Initial examination revealed multiple stab wounds", he said.
Nurio Matsuba and his wife Hiroko had lived in Bali for seven years.
Nurio Matsuba was reportedly a broker in a tuna export company.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia to coperate with OIC to settle Rohingya Muslim conflict in Myanmar
From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 13: Vice president of Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla, said that Indonesia is prepared to cooperate with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in order to settle the Rohingya Muslim conflict in Myanmar, reports Antara.
"Indonesia is ready to be the mediator to bridge Islamic countries to settle the crisis in Myanmar," he said following an invitation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Indonesia's coperation in the settlement of the Rohingya Muslim conflict in Myanmar
He said that Indonesia is able to do what other countries cannot because of Indonesia's access to Myanmar.
"Indonesia can any time communicate with the Myanmar government," he said.
The vice president said at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) science and technology summit held in Jakarta on Sunday that he was yet to discuss a program for cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) secretary general.
The president of Kazakh, Nursultan Nazarbayev, said at the summit held at the Palace of Independence that he will raise the Rohingya Muslim conflict with the United Nations Human Rights Commission in order for the UN to investigate the possible violation of international laws.
Almost 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladessh and about 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced after the Myanmar military launched a counter-offensive against attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly launched attackes on 30 police posts and an army base on August 25.
Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) urged humanitarian orgnisations to resume aid to all victims of the conflict
"Irrespective of ethnic or religious background during the ceasefire period," it said in a statement.
The Myanmar government claims that its security forces are conducting clearance operations to defend Myanmar against the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents, saying that the Myanmar government has declared the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) a terrorist organisation
The Southeast Asian Times

Myanmar rejects ceasefire declaration in Rohingya Muslim conflict
From News Reports:
Myanmar, September 12: The Myanmar government has rejected the month-long ceasefire declared by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents last week, saying that the Myanmar government does not negotiate with terrorists, reports Rueters.
Rohingya insurgents declared a month-long unilateral ceasefire in order to allow distribution of humanitarian aid to victims of the conflict in north-west Myanmar.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) called on the Myanmar military to lay down arms and allow humanitarian distribution.
Almost 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladessh and about 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced after the Myanmar military launched a counter-offensive against attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly launched attackes on 30 police posts and an army base on August 25.
Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) urged humanitarian orgnisations to resume aid to all victims of the conflict
"Irrespective of ethnic or religious background during the ceasefire period," it said in a statement.
The Myanmar government claims that its security forces are conducting clearance operations to defend Myanmar against the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents, saying that the Myanmar government has declared the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) a terrorist organisation
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia's Muslims protest at Buddhist Temple against violence of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
Indonesian Muslims Protest at the Borobudur Temple vihara Buddhist monastery on Jl. Imam Bonjol in Medan, North Sumatra
From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 11: Thousands of Muslims protested at the Borobudur Buddhist Temple in Medan, North Sumatra, on Friday against the alleged violence of the Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar military, reports the Jakarta Post.
Muslim organisations and the Care for Rohingya Action (APRO) organisation prayed at the Medan Grand Mosque ahead of the march that was secured by more than 1000 Indonesian Military and National Police..
Spokesman for the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah , Rafdinal said the protest aimed to call on Buddhist monks to take action to end the violence against Rohingya Muslims.
Last week the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI) called on the Indonesian government to initiate a conflict resolution process for Myanmar in ASEAN, urging member countries to accept Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar's Rakhin State.
The Indonesia called on Myanmar to open Myanmar's Rakhine State to humanitarian aid following the attack by the Arakan Rohingya Muslim Salvation Army on Myanmar police and military posts.
The attack on the Myanmar police last month by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army has reportedly triggered a counter-offensive raid that r esulted in the killings of more than 100 including civilians.
The counter offensive raid has reportedly forced thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee Rakhin State for Bangladesh to avoid the conflict.
The United Nations estimates that 800,000 Muslim Rohingya live in the northwestern Rakhine state that borders Bangladesh.
Myanmar reportedly considers Muslim Rohingya in Rakhin State illegal migrants from Bangladesh but Bangladesh rejects the Rohingya's, rendering them stateless.
The United Nations has urged the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 70, and the ASEAN community to take action against the alleged ongoing abusive military action against the "Rohingyas" or "Bengalis".
Party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won about 97 per cent of Yangon Region seats in the November 2015 General elections, is subject to the conditions of the Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) military-drafted Myanmar constitution.
The Myanmar constitution allows for the allocation of 25 percent of Parliamentary seats in both houses to unelected military officers.
The Southeast Asian Times

Philippine president Duterte to ban open-pit mining
From News Reports:
Manila, September 10: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that he agreed with banning open-pit mining in the Philippines, saying that he had instructed Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) “to look into the eventual closure of open-pit mining, ” reports the Philippine Inquirer.
President Rodrigo said that he agreed with former Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary, Regina Lopez, that "open-pit mining caused environmental damage that was harming the Philippine poor."
"I'll give the mining companies enough elbow room for eventual change on the modality of getting what's inside the bowels of the earth," he said.
In May former Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary, Regina Lopez, ordered the closure of 22 of 41 mines in the Philippines, banned open-pit mines and cancelled contracts for undevelopment mines, saying that "environmental damage was harming the Philippines poor."
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, spokesman, Ronald Recidoro, said following the sacking of Regina Lopez that he would seek to undo the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) measures when a new secretary was appointed.
"The closure of mines and banning of open-pit mines was killing the mining industry," he said.
Former Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary, Regina Lopez had reportedly ordered that nickel miners pay an additional 2 million pesos ($40,000) per hectre to repair environmental damage.
Regina Lopez is the second minister of President Rodrigo Duterte cabinet to be rejected by the Commission on Appointments after former Deprtment of Foreign Affairs Secretary, Perfecto Yasay.
In April the Compostela Farmer’s Association (CFA) in the Philippine Province of Compostela Valley claimed that mining company, Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corp., was in collusion with the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) in an effort to force the farmers to accept mining on their land, reports Bulatlat.
The Compostela Farmer’s Association (CFA) secretary, Jimmy Saypan, accused the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) 66th Infantry Battalion of "acting as the protector and partner of the Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corp"
The Southeast Asian Times

Cambodia justifies treason arrest
Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president Kem Sokha following his arrest at his home early Sunday morning
From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, September 9: Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs justified the arrest on Sunday of the opposition party president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party at a briefing with ambassadors, charges d'affairs and military attaches', saying that the opposition party president, Kem Sokha, had committed a "clear act of treason, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn began the briefing by showing a short video of the Cambodia National Rescue Party president claiming that he had received assistance from the US.
"There is a longer version that is more revealing and would surely add more weight to Kem Sokha’s guilt, he said.
The Cambodian Foreign MInister claims that the video showed that the Cambodia National Rescue Party president, Kem Sokha had “clearly confessed that the US had told him what to do”
"The conspiracy explains the strikes and demonstrations following the dispute over the 2013 national elections", he said.
Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president, Kem Sokha, was charged with treason on Wednesday following his arrest on Sunday at his Phnom Penh residence and detained at Tbong Khmum prison.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said prosecutors had sufficient evidence to charge the opposition party president under Article 443 of the Criminal Code for “conspiring with a foreign power”.
Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president, Kem Sokha, faces 15 to 30 years imprisonment if found guilty of "committing [a] red-handed crime related to a secret plan and the activities of conspiracy between Kem Sokha and foreigners, which causes chaos and affects the Kingdom of Cambodia.”
The Southeast Asian Times
A cartoon goes inside the tour bus in Manila on the day that ended with the slaying of eight Hong Kong tourists ...Open page here

 

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

 

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

 

What they're saying open page here

 

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

 

Timor-Leste justice threatened by firing of foreign judges
By Susan Marx ...open page here

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

 

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

Published by Pas Loizou Press Darwin Northern Territory
Australia

PASLOIZOUPRESSDARWIN@bigpond.com




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.9,997.47
Japan..78.8528
Laos..6,140.58
Malaysia Ringgit.....3.0900
Myanmar..923.19
Papua New Guinea
..2.4033
Philippines Peso..
35.3212
Singapore dollar...
1.0308
Thailand...Baht..
26.2521
Viet
Nam
Dong..16,849.44

Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

From News Reports:
Yangon, November 25: Singapore's largest property developer, the Far East Organization, is to partner with Myanmar's local property sales and marketing company, Min Zin Agency, in Yangon to sell condos in Singapore.
Managing director of the Min Zin Agency in Yangon, Ko Kyaw Min Zin, said that Singapore's Far East Organization has expanded its sales and marketing efforts into Myanmar.
“The Far East Organisation has been selling their Singapore properties to Myanmar buyers since 2009,” he said.
The Far East Organisation reportedly have over 750 properties in Singapore’s residential, hospitality, retail, commercial and industrial sectors,
including 45,500 or one in every six private homes in Singapore listed with the Min Zin Agency in Yangon.
The Southeast Asian Times


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times

Bali communities want larger share of tourism revenue

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

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


Sabah caters to influx of tourists from China

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

Pilots strike forces Merpati to cancel
flights

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


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