The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Monday 12 April 2021
GATHERINGS:
An informed guidexto happenings throughout
the region.  

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


Vietnam opens consulate in Macau

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

US invites Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary to the White House

From News Reports:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Banned ISIS flag found flying in Aceh

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

The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore passes Trans- boundary Haze Pollution Act

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

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

The Southeast Asian Times


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Myanmar envoy to UN calls for non-fly zone and arms embargo

Myanmar envoy to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Myanmar February 27, 2021 announced that he represents the elected National League of Democracy (NLD) government not the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar

From News Reports:
Naypyidaw,
April 12: Myanmar envoy to the United Nations called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday to immediately impose a non-fly zone and an arms embargo over Myanmar, following reports that Chinese-made drones are monitoring Myanmar protests against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League of Democracy (NLD) government, reports Irrawaddy.
Myanmar envoy to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, who said at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session held in February that he represents the elected National League of Democracy (NLD) government not the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday to immediately impose a non-fly zone and an arms embargo over Myanmar, saying "your urgent and strongest action is needed now,"
He called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose a non-fly zone and an arms embargo over Myanmar following reports that the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has provided the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar with drones.
Reports reportedly cited images captured in March showing low-flying drones over Mandalay, where protests began following the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League of Democracy (NLD) government February 1, 2021.
The Images showed two types of drones flying at altitudes low enough to be seen and heard by residents of Myanmar’s second-largest city, Mandalay.
He called for the Security Council to take the strongest possible action, saying "the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar will kill and torture more innocent civilians if the Security Council waits a day longer."
The Southeast Asian Times

United Nations call for face to face meeting with Myanmar military rejected

United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESC), Christine Schraner Burgener, reitorated the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), condemnation of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for disruption of democratic reforms, saying violence never leads to peaceful sustainable solutions

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 11: The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar has rejected the call by United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESC) for a face to face meeting with commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, with spokesman for the Myanmar military forces saying "we have no plan to meet with the United nations at this time," reports Rueters.
Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar spokesman, Zaw Min Tun, said on Friday that the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, has no plan to meet with the United Nations, saying "the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar have not agreed to a face to face meeting with the United Nations."
"We have no plan to meet with the United Nations at this time," he said.
United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESC), Christine Schraner Burgener, said after calling on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for a face to face meeting with commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, that she regrets that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar are not ready to meet with the United Nations.
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESC), Christine Schraner Burgener said that she regrets the Tatmadaw decision not to meet her, saying "I am ready for dialogue."
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESC) Christine Schraner Burgener called out the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for defying calls for dialogue, full respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms including calls from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), who condemned the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for disruption of democratic reforms, saying "violence never leads to peaceful sustainable solutions,” she said.
On February 1, 2021 the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar declared a state of emergency at the newly established National Defense and Security Council, arresting Myanmar's National League for Democracy (NLD) President, Win Myint and State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi and transferring full authority of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government administration to commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
The Southeast Asian Times

Myanmars largest political party calls for federation and a federal army

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) spokesman, Sai Leik, called on the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) to work together with a broad coalition representing Myanmar’s many ethnic groups to achieve federalism

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 10: Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), the larget political party in Myanmar, has called on Myanmar's political parties, ethnic armed organisations and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), for federation, a federal army and a federal constitution, saying that the time was right for a federal constitution, reports Rueters.
The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) that was established by the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government members of parliament after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of government and the closure of parliament on February 1, 2021, proposed a new coalition government under a Federal Democracy Charter last week.
The 10 ethnic armed organisations, including Shan State Army - South, (SSA-S), the armed wing of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) that is the largest ethnic armed organisation in Myanmar, support the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) plan to form a new coalition government of democtaric forces under the terms of a Federal Democracy Charter.
Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) spokesman, Sai Leik, called on the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) to work together with a broad coalition representing Myanmar’s ethnic groups to achieve federalism, saying "the time was right for a federal constitution."
"Public acceptance for a federal system is at an all time high in the wake of the military coup in February," he said.
He said that the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) party would push the concept of federalism when the people of Myanmar understand that federalism is not separatism and that federalism would lead to greater unity.
"We should focus on a federal constitution," he said.
In July 2020 the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) a coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar, including the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) said ahead of the November 8, 2020 elections said that it would support any organisation that would back enforcement of the 1947 Panglong Agreement that includes full autonomy for ethnic groups, saying it would vote as a single bloc.
The United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) secretariat, U Myo Kyaw said that Myanmar was born of the 1947 Panglong Agreement, saying "the agreement brought Myanmar's ethnic groups together."
He said the failure of the government to implement the 1947 Panglong guarantee of independence for ethnic groups has resulted in armed conflicts.
"Stunting the development of the country," he said.
He said that the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) will cooperate with any organisation that shares and holds the policy of autonomy, saying
"the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) was established as a democratic force, saying "the goals of the alliance are to establish a federation that guarantees equality for national ethnic groups."
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar refugees denied access to UNHCR on Thai border

Karen villagers on the Salween River on the Thailand-Myanmar border March 29, 2021 after fleeing air strikes in Myanmar's Kaying State

From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 9: Thousands of Keran villagers who fled air strikes in Myanmar's Kaying State last week were blocked from crossing the border on the Salween River by Thai government policy, with Royal Thai Armed Forces soldiers ordered to deny Keran refugees access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reports Rueters.
Thailand border town Mae Sariang District official, Sangkhom Khadchiangsaen, said Keran villagers who are fleeing Myanmar's Kaying State should be blocked from crossing the border into Thailand.
"All agencies should follow the policy of the National Security Council," he said.
He said that the National Security Council requires those that fled Myanmar to be held at the border, saying that the Thai military has the responsibility of managing border security.
He said the Thai military must not allow officials from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), None Government Organisations (NGO) or other international organisations to have direct contact and communication with the fleeing Keran villagers.
"This is absolutely forbidden," he said.
About 3,000 Keran villagers fled Kayen State last week to escape airstrikes by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar who had attacked territory controlled by the the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU) that is one of ten ethnic armed groups in Myanmar that has have pledged support for the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH).
The Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) was established by the National League for Democracy (NLD) elected Members of Parliament after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar cancelled the opening session of parliament February 1, 2021.
The Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), supports the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) in its plan to form a coalition government of democtaric forces under the terms of a Federal Democracy Charter in order to eliminate the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar drafted 2008 constitution and dictatorship.
The Southeast Asian Times


Shan State refugees want to cross border to safety in Thailand

Shan State refugees build makeshift bunkers for reportedly imminent attack by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar on the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) military bases on the Myanmar Thailand border

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 6: Shan State Refugee Committee in northern Myanmar has called on Thailand to allow thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) to cross the Myanmar border into Thailand to safety to avoid the reportedly imminent attack by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar on the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) military bases on the Myanmar Thai border, with the Shan State Refugee Committee saying the refugees have no safe place to go, reports Irrawaddy.
Shan State Refugee Committee-Thai Border (SSRC-TB) repesentative, Sai Leng, said that about 6,000 refugees on the Myanmar Thailand border including a camp in Thailand are in "grave danger" of the reportedly imminent attack by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, saying that military aircraft have been flying over the refugee camps.
"Refugees are building makeshift bunkers," he said.
He said that internally displaced people (IDPs) in camps at Gawng Murng Murng, Loi Tai Leng, Loi Lam, Loi Sarm Sip, and Loi Kaw Wan in Shan State on the Myanmar Thailand border are the victims of the scorched earth campaign conducted by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar in the 1990's
"The refugees have no safe place to go if the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar launches an attack on the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) border military bases," he said.
Shan State Army-South, (SSA-S), that is the armed wing of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the largest armed organisation in Myanmar has military bases on the border with three northern Thai provinces, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.
Mynamar's 10 ethnic armed organisation that includes the Shan State Army - South (SSA-S), have pledged support for the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), that was established by the National League for Democracy (NLD) elected Members of Parliament after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar cancelled the opening session of parliament February 1, 2021.
The Shan State Army - South (SSA -S) supports the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) in its plan to form a coalition government of democtaric forces under the terms of a Federal Democracy Charter in order to eliminate the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar drafted 2008 constitution and dictatorship.
The Southeast Asian Times

China deploys military to Myanmar border to protect oil and gas pipelines

Protesters against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government call out China for its support of the Myanmar military

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 6: The People's Republic of China (PRC) has reportedly deployed the People's Liberation Army (PLA) military forces to the Mynamar border in order to protect oil and gas pipelines from attack by
protesters against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, with China saying that damage to the pipelines would undermine confidence in foreign investors, reports Rueters.
China reportedly deployed military forces to the border town of Jiegao in Ruili city in China's Yunnan Province that faces the border town of Muse in Myanmar's Shan State officially closing the 170-kilometer-long China Myanmar border last week.
China has reportedly called on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to secure its oil and natural gas twin pipe lines in Myanmar's Shan State, saying "the oil and gas project is a cruicial part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Myanmar."
China has warned Myanmar that damage to the pipelines that run in parallel from the port of Kyaukphyu in Myanmar's Rakhine State on the Bay of Bengal through to Myanmar's Magwe and Mandalay regions and Myanmar's northern Shan State before entering China would cause huge losses to both China and Myanmar.
Last month the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar left at least 39 protesters dead in Hlaing Tharya township in Yangon in Myanmar after Chinese factories in the industrial zone were set ablaze in protest, with the Chinese Embassy in Yangon calling on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to protect Chinese property and its citizens.
The Chinese embassy in Myanmar released a security warning to Chinese textile factories in Hlaingthaya industrial zone after the attack, saying that more that 10 factories in the Hlaingthay industrial zone had been destroyed in arson attacks.
“China urges Myanmar to take effective measures to stop all acts of violence, punish the perpetrators in accordance with the law and ensure the safety of life and property of Chinese companies and personnel in Myanmar,” said a spokesman for the Chinese embassy.
The Southeast Asian Times

Myanmar's ethnic armed organisations support new coalition government under Federal Democracy Charter

Myanmar's 10 ethnic armed organisations represented by the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) said the ethnic armed organisations stand with the people of Mynamr at a video conference on Saturday

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 6: Myanmar's 10 ethnic armed organisations represented by the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) announced their support for the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) proposed new coalition government under a Federal Democracy Charter, at a video conference on Saturday, with chairman of the ethnic armed organisations saying "the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) stands with the people of Myanmar who oppose the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, reports the Irrawaddy.
The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), that was established by the National League for Democracy (NLD) elected Members of Parliament after the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar cancelled the opening session of parliament, anounced plans to form a new coalition government of democtaric forces under the terms of a Federal Democracy Charter in order to eliminate the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar 2008 drafted 2008 constitution and dictatorship last week.
The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) of 10 ethnic armed organisations in Myanmar, interim head, General Yawd Serk, said that 10 ethnic armed organisations in Myanmar stand with the people of Myanmar who oppose
the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar seizure of power, saying "we demand the end of dictatorship, the abolition of the military drafted 2008 Constitution, full democracy and the establishment of a federal union."
"We demand the immediate release of all those who have been detained," he said.
In August 2020 the Fourth Meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference that aimed to bring an end to seven decades of civil war in Myanmar, ended with the signing of the Union Peace Accord 111 that included agreement on military deployments and movements, demarcation of territories, procedures on dealing with skirmishes between the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar and the 10 ethnic armed organizations, but did not reach agreement for the right of the 10 Ethnic Armed Organizations represented by the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) to draft their own constitutions.
The Southeast Asian Times

Thai court revokes ousted fugitive PM Yingluck Shinawatra order to pay compensation for scam rice deals

Ousted fugitive Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand July 7, 2017

From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 5: The Thai Finance Ministry is to appeal the ruling that revoked the Central Administrative Court (CAC) order requiring ousted fugitive prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to pay compensation for loss to the state in the national rice pledging program, reports the Bangkok Post.
The order that required ousted prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to pay a compensation of 35.7 billion for loss to the state for her role in the national rice pledging program that stipulated government-to-government (G2G) rice purchase agreements, was revoked by the Central Administrative Court (CAC) on Friday.
Ousted fugitive prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was charged under the Corruption Prevention and Suppression Act for alleged derelection of duty and abuse of authority in the national rice pledging program that
stipulated government-to-government (G2G) rice purchase agreements but instead rice in the national rice pledging program was sold to private companies that sold the rice to a third party including China's state-owned trading house (COFCO).
The Central Administrative Court (CAC) ruled on Friday that ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in her capacity as prime minister, was involved only in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing to initiate government-to-government rice deals, saying that "ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was not involved in rice sales themselves."
In September 2017 ousted fugitive prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was sentenced to five years in prison in absentia for dereliction of duty in the national rice pledging programme.
Prosecutors alleged that Yingluck Shinawatra government officials colluded to help two Chinese companies that were not authorised by the Chinese government to undertake government-to-government (G2G) deals with the Thai government to buy rice from stockpiles generated by the government rice pledging scheme.
The Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was told that the government rice-subsidy programme went against the main objective of a state subsidy programme which was to help Thai farmers.
Ousted fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra fled Thailand in August 2107 ahead of the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office Holders ruling that found the prime minister guilty of inaction in the loss of Bhart 518 billion to the state.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai officials in ousted Yingluck Shinawatra government to pay for losses in rice sales to China

Former commerce minister, Boonsong Teriyapirom, at the Supreme Court in October 2017, was sentenced to 42 years in jail for malfeasance in the national rice pledging program

From News Reports:
Bangkok, April 4: The Central Administrative Court (CAC) rejected a petition to nullify a state order that requires four government officials, in the former Yingluck Shinawatra government, who were found guilty of malfeasance in the national rice pledging program, to pay compensation for losses to the state in the sale of rice to private companies acting for China, reports the Bangkok Post.
Former commerce minister, Boonsong Teriyapirom, former director-general of the Foreign Trade Department (FTD) Manas Soiploy, former director of the Bureau of Rice Trade Administration, Tikhumporn Natvaratat, former secretary of the FTD, Akharapong Theepwatchara, and former deputy commerce minister, Poom Sarapol, were convicted by the the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions in 2017 for their involvement in the national rice pledging program that incurred B14.5 billion in losses to the state under the Yingluck Shinawatra government in 2014.
The Supreme Court Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions found that rice-purchase agreements were not government-to-government (G2G) contracts but instead involved sales of rice under the national rice pledging program to private companies that sold the rice to a third party including China's state-owned trading house (COFCO).
In March 2014 the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) summoned six government officials including the former commerce minister, Boonsong Teriyapirom to answer alleged malfeasance charges in the government to government rice sales under the national rice pledging program.
In February 2014 Rice farmers in Thailands western provinces demanded that the Yingluck Shinawatra government payup or give back their stockpiled rice giving the government 7 days notice to pay the farmers with president of the Thai Rice Farmers Association, Prasit Booncheuy,
saying "rice farmers have not been paid since China's state-owned trading house (COFCO) cancelled an agreement with Thailand to buy 1.2 milllion tonnes of rice a year over five years."
Natonal Anti-Corruption Commission, commissioner, Vicha Mahakun, said in May 2014 that the commission had formally warned then Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra that the national rice pledging programme could create problems and incurr great losses.
"The programme allows corruption to take place at all stages of its implementation", he said.
He said that 'loopholes' in the rice programme left it open to corruption.
In February 2015 the office of the Attorney General filed charges with the Supreme Court under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the Corruption Prevention and Suppression Act against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged derelection of duty and abuse of authority in the national rice pledging programme.
The Southeast Asian Times

Beijing summons ASEAN foreign ministers to China to reaffirm ASEAN non-interference in Myanmar

ASEAN member country, Singapore, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, left, and China Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, met in China's southern province Fujan on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Darwin, April 3: Beijings Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited four of ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Phillipines to China for bilateral meetings to reaffirm ASEAN non-interference in Myanmar, begining with Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
China Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said at the meeting with Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, in Fujian that China supports the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) principle of non-interference in ASEAN member country internal affairs.
"China wants to play a positive role in promoting peace and stability in Myanmar in the ASEAN way," he said.
China Foreign Minister, Wang Yi and Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, reportedly called for cessation of violence and the commencement of constructive dialogue between the National League for Democracy (NLD) government and the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Bình Minh, called on the ASEAN bloc last month to cooperate with the United Nations in order to effect a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Myanmar at the Informal Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers hosted by ASEAN rotating chair for 2021, Brunei.
He said that ASEAN cooperation with the United Nations in order to effect a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Myanmar would not only show ASEAN solidarity and promote ASEAN centrality but also give the ASEAN bloc credibility.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar at an emergency meeting in February to reverse the takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government and adhere to the results of the November 8, 2020 elections.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Secretary-General called for the return to democracy, respect for the results of the elections and the release of all detained by the military.
"The Security Council calls on the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for the continued support of the democratic transition in Myanmar," he said.
All 15 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) including five permanent members, China, France, Russia, UK and the United States and 10 non permanent members including the only ASEAN member, Vietnam, called for reversal of the military coup in Myanmar.
But United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members China, Russia, India and Vietnam reportedly objected to possible sanctions under the United Nations Charter as proposed
The Southeast Asian Times

Kachin ethnic army attacks village police station to stop police from killing civilians in Myanmar cities

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked the police station in Kyaukgyi village in Shwegu Township, Kachin State on March 31, 2021

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 2: The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), that is a partner organisation of the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar, attacked a police station in Kyaukgyi village in Shwegu Township, Kachin State in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with spokesman for the KIA saying that police from village police stations are sent to the city to kill civilians, reports Irrawaddy.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), that is one of about 70 partner organisation in the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), coalition of ethnic political parties that was established as a democratic force to work towards a federation that guarantees equality for national ethnic groups, has reportedly refused to recognise the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government on February 1. 2021.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), spokesman, Naw Bu, said the attack on the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) station in Kyaukgyi village in Shwegu Township that is under the command of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, was carried out because police are involved in lethal attacks on civilians protesting against the military takeover of the elected government.
He said that the KIA has attacked police stations and outposts of people militia groups in the Kyaukgyi village area, saying "police and people militia groups are sent to cities to kill civilians who are protesting against the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar.
"The Myanmar Police Force (MPF) and people militia groups in Kyaukgyi village in Shwegu Township support the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar," he said.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has reportedly carried out attacks on Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar military outposts in Kachin State since March 11 with the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar
retaliating with artillery fire and airstrikes on Kachin Independence Army (KIA) battalions.
The Southeast Asian Times

Ethnic armed organisations join hands to protect civilians against Myanmar military

The United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar, in July 2020 pledged to support any organisation that would back enforcement of the 1947 Panglong Agreement that includes full autonomy for ethnic groups ahead of the November 8, 2020 elections

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, April 1: The Rakhine State ethnic Arakan Army (AA), that was designated a terrorist organisation under the National League for Democracy (NLD) government, condemned the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar for killing innocent civilians, despite the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar removal of the ethnic Arakan Army (AA) from the terrorist list, warning that the Arakan Army (AA) would collaborate with other ethnic armed organizations and pro-democracy supporters, reports Rueters.
Spokesman for the United League of Arakan (ULA) in Rakhine state and its militant wing the Arakan Army (AA), Khaing Thukha, condemned the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar on Monday, saying "the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar are killing innocent civilians."
"It's time for ethnic armed organisations to join hands to protect civilians from the military regime," he said.
He said that innocent civilians are being brutally shot and killed by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, saying, "Arbitrary arrests and looting of people’s property are on the rise."
We strongly condemn the inhumane acts of the Burmese army and police,” he said.
The Arakan Army (AA) and its two partner armed ethnic organisations in the tripartite Brotherhood Alliance, the National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), warned
the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar that they would collaborate with other ethnic armed organizations and pro-democracy supporters to defend civilians from the brutality of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar.
Spokesman for the Arakan Army (AA), in Rakhine State, Khaing Thukha, urged the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to enter a dialogue to solve the crisis by political means.
In July 2020 the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), coalition of ethnic political parties in Myanmar, pledged to support any organisation that would back enforcement of the 1947 Panglong Agreement that includes full autonomy for ethnic groups ahead of the general elections on November, 8, 2020 saying it will vote as a single bloc.
"Myanmar was born of the 1947 Panglong Agreement," said United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) secretariat, U Myo Kyaw.
"The 1947 Panglong agreement brought Myanmar's ethnic groups together," he said.
He said the failure to implement the Panglong guarantee of independence has resulted in armed conflicts.
"Stunting the development of the country," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Myanmar military accused of using excessive force in air strikes on villages in Karen State

The Karen National Union (KNU) claims that about 10,000 villagers were forced to flee Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar airstrikes on villages in Day Pu No in Papun in Karen State on March 27, 2021

From News Reports:
Naypyitaw, March 31: The Karen National Union (KNU), has accused the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar of using excessive force in retaliative air strikes on villages in Karen State on the eastern side of the Yunzalin River on Myanmar's border with Thailand, saying that children have been killed and thousands forced to flee, reports Reuters.
The Karen National Union (KNU) claims that about 10,000 villagers at Day Pu No in Papun in Karen State were forced to flee the airstrikes with about 3,000 fleeing across the border into Thailand to avoid attacks, saying that more that 2000 were forced back by Thai authorities.
The Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing, Karen National Liberation Army, that is one of 10 ethnic armed organisations in Myanmar, says that Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar fighter jets began air strike attacks at Day Pu No in Papun on Saturday.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar fighter jets attacks on villages at Day Pu No in Papun followed the Karen National Liberation Army Brigade 5 forces, attack of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of a Myanmar base in Day Pu No in Papun district on Saturday.
The Karen National Liberation Army, reportedly killed 10 Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) soldiers including a lieutenant-colonel at Day Pu No in Papun on Saturday as the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day with a parade in the capital, Naypyitaw.
In August 2020 the Karen National Union (KNU) that campaigns for self-determination, and its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army, one of 10 Ethnic Armed Organisations in Myanmar, that are signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), agreed to the separation of powers, resource allocation, tax sharing, self governance laws that would guarantee the rights of States to self determination and the sharing of state powers iin the Union Peace Accord 111 but failed to reach agreement on allowing the 10 Ethnic Armed Organizations to draft their own constitutions.
"The five agreements signed in the Union Peace Accord 111 would pave the way towards the establishment of a federal democratic union and for continued discussion on a constitution, said U Zaw Htay the then Presidential office spokesman for the National League for Democracy (NLD) State Councillor, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Southeast Asian Times

Suicide bombers detonate bomb at Makassar Cathedral at Sunday mass

Two suicide bombers were killed and about 20 parishioners were injured including guards in a bomb blast at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, in South Sulawesi, Indonesia on Sunday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, March 30: Two suicide bombers, believed to be members of a militant Muslim group that has pledged allegiance to the establishment of an Islamic State under Shariah law in Indonesia, left parishioners and guards injured in a bomb blast at the gates of the Makassar Cathedral in South Sulawesi on Sunday, with police saying that the suicide bombers were members of the militant Muslim group, Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, reports Jakarta Post.
National Police Chief Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo, who visited the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar after the attack, said that both suicide bombers were killed instantly, saying that one of the suicide bombers was a woman.
"The militant Muslim group, Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, was responsible for suicide bombings resulting in the deaths of parishioners at Catholic churches in Surabaya in 2018," he said.
In May 2018 Police were deployed to guard three Catholic churches in Surabaya following the suicide bombing at the Santa Maria Tak Bercela (SMTB) Catholic Church that left two suicide bombers, believed to be members of the militant Muslim group, Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, dead and more that 14 parishioners injured.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo condemned the attack on the Catholic church in Makassar in a televised address on Sunday, saying he had ordered National Police Chief Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo to find and arrest the militant Muslim group involved.
He said that the attack on the Catholic church has nothing to do with any religion, saying "no religion would tolerate terrorism."
Vice chairman K.H. Anwar Abbas, of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), that incorporates all Indonesian Muslim organisations, also condemned the attack on the Catholic Cathedral in Makassar on Sunday, saying "the bomb attack cannot be tolerated as it is inhuman and against the values of any religion."
He urged the National police to take swift action to arrest the perpetrator of the bomb blast, saying "MUI urges security agencies to find and arrest the perpetrator and reveal the motive behind the dishonorable act," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Cambodia rejects OHCHR claim that human rights have deteriorated

An Sokkhoeurn, Cambodia's Ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) rejected the claim that human rights in Cambodia have deteriorated at the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Council General Debate on March 23, 2021

From News Reports:
Phnom Penh, March 29: Cambodia's Ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) rejected the claim by the delegate from Finland that human rights in Cambodia have deteriorated, saying "Finland refuses to review Cambodia through an open-minded and depoliticised lens," reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Finland High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) delegate, Kirsti Kauppi, was reportedly highly critical of Cambodia's human rights record at the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Council General Debate last week, saying "human rights in Cambodia had deteriorated under the Law on National Administration in the State of Emergency."
"We call for the government of Cambodia to cooperate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in order to ensure full respect for all political and civil rights under the Law on National Administration in the State of Emergency that was implemented in response to the Covid-19 crisis," she said.
Cambodian Ambassador and permanent representative to OHCHR, An Sokkhoeurn, rejected the claim that human rights in Cambodia have deteriorated saying "Finland refuses to review Cambodia through an open-minded and depoliticised lens."
He said that the Law on National Administration in the State of Emergency that was implemented in response to the Covid-19 crisis adheres to the principles of the rule of law.
"The Law on National Administration in the State of Emergency has taken into consideration both the necessity and the proportion of the measures implemented in response to the Covid-19 crisis," he said.
He said that only the Cambodian people would have the final word in assessing the state of democracy and human rights within the Kingdom, saying "their voices would be reflected through electoral outcomes that the international community should endeavour to respect."
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Special Rapporteur for Cambodia , Rhona Smith, said that "emergency measures must be necessary and proportiante to the crisis they seek to address."
She said that the broadly worded language on the protection of national security and public order, that aimed at addressing Covid-19, can potentially be used to infringe on the right to privacy and unnecessarily restrict freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
"A state of emergency should be guided by human rights principles and should not, in any circumstances, be an excuse to quash dissent or disproportionately and negatively impact any other group," she said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore opposition party member to pay PM compensation for defamatory Facebook posting

Singapore opposition Peoples Voice party member, Leong Sze Hian, 66, found guilty of posting a defamatory article on Facebook

From News Reports:
Singapore, March 28: The Singapore high court has ordered Singapore opposition Peoples Voice party member, Leong Sze Hian, to pay Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong compensation for a Facebook posting that linked the Singapore Prime Minister to former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, who was found guilty of misappropiating state funds, reports the Straits Times.
Singapore Justice Aedit Abdullah ordered Singapore opposition Peoples Voice party member Leong Sze Hian, 66, to pay Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong compensation of $99,000, for a defamatory Facebook posting that was read by about 400 Singaporeans between November 7 and November 10, 2018 before the posting was ordered removed.
Leong Sze Hian was found guilty of posting a defamatory article published by the Malaysian publication "The Coverage" on Facebook that the high court deemed involved Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong in cross-border misappropriation 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state funds in cooperation with the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak.
Singapore Justice Aedit Abdullah said on Wednesday that opposition party member, Leong Sze Hian, posted the article that had been published in a Malaysian publication on Facebook "without making any enquiries as to its truth whatsoever" saying "Leong Sze Hian had displayed reckless disregard of whether the article was true or not".
"There did not appear to be any other plausible interpretation of the link to the article apart from Mr Leong supporting or endorsing the content in the link in some way, he said.
In July 2020 former Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, 67, was found guilty of all charges involving Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in the misappropriation of RM42 million from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state funds.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and Malaysian police began an investigation into allegations that funds were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state funds to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak private bank accounts including Swiss bank BSI AG.
Singapore closed Swiss bank BSI AG operations in Singapore following criminal proceedings in Switzerland against the Swiss bank BSI AG transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
In February 2015 Singaporean Roy Ngerng, 33, who regularly posted commentaries on Facebook that were critical of Singapore's ruling Peoples's Action Party (PAP) and who was found guilty of defaming Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was ordered by the high court to pay compensation of $29.000.
Roy Ngerng was ordered to remove the commentaries that alleged that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who was also the chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd, (GIC) was guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans into the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd, (GIC) is a sovereign wealth fund that manages more than $100 billion of the Singapore's foreign reserves.
Lawyer, Davinder Singh, for Prime Minister Lee said then that the Facebook comments "disparages the Singapore Prime Minister and impugns his character, credit and integrity."
The Southeast Asian Times


Vietnam ready to support Myanmar within ASEAN and UN framework

Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of International Organisations, Director-General, Do Hung Viet, said at a press conference in Hanoi on Thursday that Vietnam supports Myanmar within the ASEAN and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) framework

From News Reports:
Hanoi, March 27: Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of International Organisations, said in Hanoi on Thursday that Vietnam, as the serving President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of April, "stands ready to support Myanmar" within the ASEAN and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) framework, reports the Vietnam News Service.
Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of International Organisations, Director-General, Do Hung Viet, said that Vietnam supports Myanmar within the ASEAN and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) framework, that upholds the security and safety of the people of Myanmar, following the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, takeover of the elected National League of Democracy (NLD) government last month.
He said that Vietnam as a neighbouring country to Myanmar and the only ASEAN member country on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), "stands ready to serve as a bridge between ASEAN and the UN Security Council (UNSC) in order to promote peace and stability in Myanmar."
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) President for the month of March, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously called for a reversal of the military coup in Myanmar, saying "all council members spoke with one voice to condemn the ongoing violence against peaceful protesters in Myanmar.
The presidential statement proposed by permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), UK, Ambassador to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward, said that the UK proposal calling for the reversal of the military coup in Myanmar, is due to the "deteriorating situation in Myanmar'.
The Presidential statement that was signed by all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on March 10 did not condemn the military coup in Myanmar or propose sanctions under the United Nations Charter as proposed the initial UK draft proposal.
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members China, Russia, India and Vietnam reportedly objected to proposed sanctions under the United Nations Charter as proposed in the intial UK, draft proposal.
The Southeast Asian Tiimes


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

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



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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




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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