The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Thursday 19 September 2019
GATHERINGS:
An informed guide to happenings throughout the region.
 

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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Amendments to KPK include removal of ant-corruption investigators

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator, Novel Baswedan, was conducting an investigation into a $US440million nationwide electronic ID embezzlement scam in April 2017 when he was seriously injured in a drive-by acid attack

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 19, The Indonesian House of Representatives passed the proposed amendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) into law on Tuesday with Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) reportedly saying that one of the four amendments was included in order to remove KPK senior investigator Novel Baswedan, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) official, Wana Alamsyah, said that ICW suspects that the amendment that would remove the KPK ability to recruit its own investigators was included in order to remove KPK senior investigator Novel Baswedan.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan was reportedly conducting an investigation into a nationwide electronic ID embezzlement scam in April 2017 that allegedly incurred Rp 5.0 trillion ($US440million) in state losses when he was seriously injured in a drive-by acid attack, suffering severe burns to his face which have left him with impaired eyesight.
His investigation into the embezzlement scam led to the naming by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in July 2017 of the then Golkar Party chairman and the then House of Representatives Speaker, Setya Novanto as suspects in the e-ID procurement investigation, with Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) then chairman, Agus Rahardjo, saying then that the KPK had found sufficient preliminary evidence to charge Setya Novanto.
House of Representatives speaker, Setya Novanto, denied any wrong doing in the nationwide electronic ID embezzlement scam that reportedly included the division of money generated from the scam among at least 37 parliamentarians.
The House of Represenataives reportedly retaliated to the KPK charges in July 2017 by launching an inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
Former Constitutional Court chief justice said then that the launch of an enquiry into KPK by the House of Representatives was "not only unconstitutional but pointless".
"the Commission was not an executive body but a judicial body," he said.
In October 2017 the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) announced that it had uncovered the largest corruption case in the commmission's history, with allegations of abuse of power against former Southeast Sulawesi regent, Aswad Sulaiman.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) accused former North Konawe regent, Aswad Sulaiman, of receiving bribes from eight mining companies for the issuance of unlawful mining permits in the regency between 2007 and 2014.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) then deputy chairman, Saut Situmorang, said that the total loss to the state from the sale of nickel produced by miners who had been issued with unlawful mining permits is estimated at Rp 2.7 trillion (US$200 million).
The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established on 29 December 2003 with the swearing in of five commissioners by President Megawatti.
The People’s Consultative Assembly said in 1998, the same year that Soeharto resigned, that they wanted "a clean state administration free from corruption, collusion and nepotism".
Indonesia established - anti-corruption courts in 33 provinces in 2011 each with six judges with two of the judges attached to the higher court.
The corruption courts reportedly hold trial hearings with their secretariats at existing district courts.
The Southeast Asian Times


Singapore University cancels course with documentary on HK student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung

President of Yale-NUS College in Singapore professor Tan Tai Yong claims that the proposed activities and the selection of some speakers in the course 'modes of dissent and resistance in Singapore' would not advance partisan political interests on the National University of Singapore campus

From News Reports:
Singapore, September 18: Yale-NUS College in Singapore, a collaboration between Yale University in the US and the National University of Singapore, cancelled its course 'modes of dissent and resistance in Singapore' on Friday two weeks before the course was scheduled to begin, with course organisor,, Alfian bin Sa'at saying in its defence, "the course was not designed to train students to stage protests, reports Agence France Presse.
Course organisor and also writer, poet and playwright Alfian bin Sa'at, who is known for his provocative works and is often referred to as Singapore's enfant terrible claims that the course was not designed to train students to stage protests but rather to guide them in thinking about dissent and allow them to ask questions of people deemed dissidents.
The course was reportedly designed for students to learn about democratic dissent from interations with Singapore artists, filmakers and journalists and would include a visit to Speakers Corner that allowed demonstrations without a police permit but with the proviso that Singaporeans stay clear of race, language and religious issues.
The course also included a documentary on Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, 21, who was one of thousands of students who supported the student-led protests in central Hong Kong that began in 2014 with the "Occupy Central With Love and Peace" movement that opposed the 2017 Hong Kong elections that would allow Beijing to nominate candidates for Hong Kong Chief Executive.
In October 2016 Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, was detained by Thai tourist police on arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport before he was to give a speech at the faculty of political science at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on his experience of the 74 day Hong Kong street protests in 2014.
Thai Immigration officials denied the student entry into Thailand under the 1979 Immigration Act's Article 12(7) which deemed the student to be "a nuisance or pose a threat of violence to the peace, safety or security of the public or to the security of the nation."
Yale-NUS College in Singapore president Tan Tai Yong claims that the proposed course itinerary did not align with learning objectivesthat had been earlier approved by the curriculum committee, saying that the proposed activities included "elements that may subject students to the risk of breaking the law, and incurring legal liabilities".
"The activities proposed and the selection of some of the speakers for the course “wouldt not advance partisan political interests on our campus," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia approves review of KPK despite accusations of weakening
anti-corruption law

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman Saut Situmorang, right, is one of three senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) officials, who said on Friday that they would return their mandates to president Joko Widodo following the presidents approval of the proposed review of the 2002 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law in the House of Representatives

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September, 17: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has approved the House of Represenatives proposed review of the 2002 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law, amid concern that the proposed amendements would weaken the commission and despite the withdrawal of the tabled review of the proposed amendments in the House of Representatives three years before, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesia State Secretary Pratikno said that a presidential letter approving the House of Representatives review of the 2002 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law was signed by President Joko Widodo and returned to the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
President Joko Widodo approved the review of four amendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law in the belief that "the four proposed amendments are crucial to the governments effort to strengthen the KPK."
The proposed amendments to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law include the establishment of a supervisory council that would monitor the KPK, KPK authority to terminate investigation warrants in corruption cases, the requirement by the KPK to obtain permits to conduct wiretaps and remove KPK ability to recruit its own investigators.
Opposition to the proposed amendments includes more than a thousand academics who reportedly agree that "the House of Representatives is
opening a door to cripple the anti-graft agency that managed to arrest dozens of corruptors in the past year alone.
In February 2016 the House of Representatives postponed the tabled review of the proposed amendements of the 2002 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) draft Law but it was withdrawn from the House of Representatives following a meeting with President Joko Widodo who said that the review was postponed “to better inform the public of the benefits of the amendments to the law".
Jakarta' Trisakti University, Abdul Hadjar Fickar said then that the president should annul the proposed plan to amend the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law instead of postponing it.
"The public can see that the proposed amendments are a blatant attempt to undermine the Corruption Eradication Commission KPK,” he said.
The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was established in 2003 with the swearing in of five commissioners by President Megawatti on 29 December 2003.
The People’s Consultative Assembly said in 1998, the same year that Soeharto resigned, that they wanted " a clean state administration free from corruption, collusion and nepotism".
Indonesia established - anti-corruption courts in 33 provinces in 2011 each with six judges with two of the judges attached to the higher court.
The corruption courts reportedly hold trial hearings with their secretariats at existing district courts.
The Southeast Asian Times

Asean countries, Cambodian and Laos agree to extradition cooperation

Laos Prime MinisterThongloun Sisoulith and Camodia Prime Minister Hun Sen at a joint press conference at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Thursday agree to extradition cooperation

From New Reports:
Phnom Penh, September 16: Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen said that all 10 Asean countries would receve warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy, former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), who lives in exile in Paris and who has reportedly promised to return to Cambodia on November 9, with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith agreeing to extradition cooperation, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said at a joint press conference at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh with visiting Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith that warrants for the arrest of former president and eight former high ranking members of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) "have already been sent to Laos and Thailand"
Sam Rainsy, former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and eight former high ranking members are charged with plotting against the Hun Sen government and incitement under articles 453, 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code that include meetings in the United States on January 20 where the former members reportedly planned the return of the former president of the disolved party to Cambodia.
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith who is in Cambodia on a two day visit said at the joint press conference that "Laos would not allow the former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy to use Laos to enter Cambodia, " saying that "the conjecture that Sam Rainsy could use Laos territory to cross into Cambodia is untrue."
Cambodia Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said Cambodia has sent arrest warrants for Sam Rainsy, former president of dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), to Asean countries that share regional law enforcement and extradition cooperation.
Former president and co-founder of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party, Sam Rainsy, said that he was determined to return to Cambodia and called on all Cambodians in South Korea in April where he was awarded the “Champion of Democracy in the Kingdom of Cambodia” to return with him, saying that he and the Cambodian people would arrest Hun Sen on his return.
He claimed that Prime Minister Hun Sen and his family have 'robbed' Cambodia.
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) former president and co-founder of the party, Sam Rainsy, went into exile in 2015 fearing arrest after parliamentary immunity was removed and he faced multiple criminal defamation charges in his accusation of corruption against the Hun Sen Cambodia's People's Party (CPP).
The Southeast Asian Times


West Papua human rights lawyer in Australia wanted by Indonesian police

Indonesia's East Java regional Police have charged Veronica Koman, former Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) human rights lawyer and West Papuan human rights advocate, who is reportedly in Australia, with incitement and spreading fake news

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 15: Indonesia's East Java regional Police have issued a second summons ordering former Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) human rights lawyer and West Papuan human rights advocate, Veronica Koman, to present herself at the Indonesian embassy in Australia before September 18.
East Java regional Police chief Luki Hermawan, who said that police believe that Indonesian national, Veronica Koman, is in Australia, said that Veronica Koman was first summoned on September 10, saying that "she did not show up."
"Veronica Koman was not in Papua during the protests but proactively provoked the public through her Twitter account," he said
Human rights lawyer, Veronica Koman, was charged on September 4 with incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, for spreading fake news under Article 15 of Law number 1 of 1949 concerning criminal law and procedure, displaying race-based hatred under Article 16 of Law number 40 of 2008 concerning the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and disseminating information aimed at inflicting ethnic hatred under Law number 19 of 2016 concerning Electronic Information and Transactions.
East Java regional Police chief Luki Hermawan said that Veronica Koman will be put on the Indonesian National Police wanted list for allegedly spreading false information about the detainment of West Papuan students in Surabaya last month, saying that "police will issue an Interpol red notice should Veronica Koman fail to comply with the summons."
The Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police, armed with riot shields, reportedly fired tear gas at the dormitory on Jl Kalasan in Surabaya, forcing their way into the dormitory and detaining 43 West Papuan students for alleged vandalism of the Indonesian national flag on Indonesia's 74th Independence Day anniversay, reportedly thrown in a sewerage drain.
Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members and youth organization Pemuda Pancasila (PP) and members and youth organization Pemuda Pancasila (PP), who reportedly launched physical attacks and verbal abuse at the Papuan students were shown on social media together with Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel, throwing stones while shouting “kick out the Papuans!” and “slaughter the Papuans."
In November 2007 the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified a security treaty with Australia – the so-called Lombok Treaty that formally acknowledges Indonesia's sovereignty over West Papua.
Former Indonesia Golkar Party Vice President Theo L Sambuaga said then that “we all feel relief because Australia has formally acknowledged our territorial integration, including Papua."
“The treaty also requires Australia to prohibit its territory from being used by separatist movements against us. It means that we have less pressure from separatism,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australian PM defends MP against links with Communist Party of China

Prime Minister of Australia, leader of the Liberal Party (LP), Scott Morrision and Liberal Party (LP) Member of Parliament for Chisholm in the state of Victoria, Gladys Liu in the Australian Parliament in Canberra on Tuesday

From New Reports:
Sydney, September 14: Prime Minister of Australia, leader of the Liberal Party (LP), Scott Morrision, has defended
Liberal Party (LP) Member of Parliament for Chisholm in the state of Victoria, Gladys Liu, against accusations that the Chinese born Australian Member of Parliament has links with the Communist Party of China (CPC), saying he is satisfied with her explanation.
Liberal Party (LP) member of parliament for Chisholm, Gladys Liu, was reportedly accused of alleged links to the Communist Party of China (CPC) on the grounds that her name was listed as a council member of the China Guangdong provincial chapter of the China Overseas Exchange Association, with South Australian independent member of parliament, Senator Rex Patrick, saying that the member of parliament for Chisholm, Gladys Liu's, links with the Communist Party of China (CPC) "is a national security issue."
"She must consider her tenure," he said.
The association that was reportedly an arm of the Chinese government’s central political and administrative body has since merged with the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Member for Chisholm, Gladys Liu, explained that she had cut ties with various Chinese institution with links to the Communist Communist Party of China (CPC), saying that she was conducting an audit to make sure that no organisations had made her an honorary member without her knowledge.
“I am a proud Australian, passionately committed to serving the people of Chisholm, and any suggestion contrary to this is deeply offensive,” she said.
“As a proud Hong Kong-born Australian I do not underestimate the enormity of being the first Chinese-born member of the Australian Parliament," she said.
Member for Chisholm, Gladys Liu, was reporteldy accused of repeatedly refusing to criticise Xi jinping, President of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on the South China Sea in a media interview.
The member for Chisholm was asked if she believed China's actions in the South China Sea amounted to theft and were unlawful.
The member for Chisholm, Gladys Liu, said that China's actions in the South China Sea was a matter for the Australian foreign minister, Marise Payne, saying, "I definetly put Australia's interest first."
"My understanding is that a lot of countries are trying to claim sovereignty in the South China Sea for various reasons and my position is with the Australian government," she said.
In July 2016 the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled against the China claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea in favour of the Philippines.
The court ruled that China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by invoking “historic rights” in its claim over the West Phillipine Sea.
President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping said following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruling that China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea "shall under no circumstances be affected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awards, " calling on the European Union to maintain an objective stance and neutrality on the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague decision.
In June 2019 Australia and Vietnam agreed to the settlement of disputes in the South China Sea to be conducted in line with international law,
during Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Maris Payne, visit to Vietnam.
Vietnam argues in its claim of sovereignty over the Hoang Sa or Paracel islands and Truong Sa or Spratly archipelago in Vietnam's East Sea, that China's claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea should be settled under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Maris Payne, and Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh agreed to the settlement of disputes in the South China Sea under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
The Southeast Asian Times


West Papuans are not Indonesians, says Papua New Guinea MP

Papua New Guinea National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop is one of the few vocal members of the Papua New Guinea Parliament in support of independence for West Papua from Indonesia

From News Reports:
Port Moresby, September 13: Papua New Guinea National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop who is one of the few vocal members of Parliament in support of independence for West Papua from Indonesia, has called on Papua New Guinea and West Papua to speak the truth, saying that Papua New Guineans and West Papuans are one people, reports the National.
"West Papuans are not Indonesians," he said.
Papua New Guinea National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop, who together with Oro province governor, Gary Juffa led the march in support of West Papuan independence and Melanesian solidatrity in Port Moresby on Monday, said that Papua New Guinea and West Papua should tell the truth about how West papuans came to be under the Indonesian government.
“It's time Papua New Guinea and West Papua speak the truth and not approach each other with the false impression that West Papuans are Indonesians", he said.
He said that Papua New Guineans must know the truth, saying that "West Papuans and Papua New Guineans are one people who have lived on the island of New Guinea for thousands of years."
Oro province governor, Gary Juffa said at the march in support of West Papuan independence and Melanesian solidarity in Port Moresby on Monday that Papua New Guineans should celebrate the 44th independence anniversary with guilt, saying that “our fellow Melanesians brothers and sisters in West Papua are suppressed by the Indonesian government."
"West Papuans are suffering and the world is watching and doing nothing." he said.
He said that Melanesians must not keep quite, saying that "we have to rise up and let the world know about their sufferings."
“The Western world like the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and France will not go against Indonesia because they have multibillion dollar project investments like the giant Freeport copper mine in West Papua," he said.
Last week the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), chairman Benny Wenda, who has claimed political asylum in the UK said in a statement addressed to President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, and Coordinating Minister of Politics, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, that “Thousands of West Papuans are rising to fight for a referendum for independence,”
"The escalating conflict in the easternmost province of Indonesia is not necessarily about racism, but injustice," he said in the statement.
He claims that Indonesia illegally occupies West Papua, saying that "West Papuans were promised a referendum for independence under the 1962 New York Agreement."
Last week Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, dismissed calls for a Papuan referendum on self determination, saying “demands for a referendum are inappropriate.”
“NKRI the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is final, ” he said at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs office in Jakarta..
He said the New York Agreement, signed in 1962 by the Netherlands and Indonesia, had officially made Papua and West Papua legitimate territories of Indonesia.
“That means NKRI is final, NKRI is non-negotiable, including Papua and West Papua,” he said.
"Referendums are for occupied countries that are given the choice to be independent or to join with the occupying country", he said.
"But Papua and West Papua are legitimate territories of the Republic of Indonesia," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Papua New Guinea marches on Port Moresby in support of West Papua

About 2000 Papua New Guineans marched on the capital Port Moresby on Monday in support of the West papuan call for a referendum for Independence from Indonesia and in support of the inclusion of West Papua as a full member in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) inter-governmental regional group of Melanesian states

From News Reports:
Port Moresby, September 12: Papua New Guineans marched through the streets of Port Moresby by the thousands in support of the West Papuan call for a referendum for Independence from Indonesia and in support of Melanesian solidarity, reports the Post Courier.
About 2000 Papua New Guineans marched on the capital Post Moresby under the banner "we are not free when out brothers and sisters are dying"
reportedly to draw international attention to the West Papuan demand for separation from Indonesia and to allegations of unlawful killings by the
Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police.
Papua New Guinea's Member of Parliament, national capital governor, Powes Parkop, and Oro province governor, Gary Juffa lead the march
in support of West Papuan independence and Melanesian solidatrity with national capital governor, Powes Parkop, saying "today we have to start mobilising, Port Moresby is starting now."
He said that West Papua is where it is now because Papua New Guinea has been silent, saying "we have feared Indonesia for 57 years."
"Now is the time to stand up,” he said.
The five mile march ended with speeches made by West Papuan representatives, church representatives and included Oro province governor, Gary Juffa, who said "the region is not free."
"We are not free when our brothers and sisters are dying on the other side,” he said.
In June 2017 Indonesia was admitted as a full member to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) that includes member countries Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) with Indonesia representing West Papua in the inter-governmental regional group of Melanesian states.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) that represents West Papua independence from Indonesia failed in its bid for full membership to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and was instead granted observer status on condition that the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) only represent West Papuans living outside West Papua.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) said that the admittance of Indonesia that includes the province of West Papua and the admittance of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as an observer "will test our commitment to the basic principles of human rights and the rule-of-law."
In May 2016 Thousands of West Papua supporters held simultaneous rallies in seven cities in four provinces including Merauke, Jayapura and Wamena in Papua, Fakfak and Sorong in West Papua, Semarang in Central Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi to show support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua ULMWP ) application for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) inter-governmental regional group of Melanesian states.
The Southeast Asian Times


Biak Papuans reject separatism from Indonesia in Biak Peace Declaration

Biak Numfor District Regent, Herry Ario Naap, Biak Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner, Mada Indra Laksanta, and Biak Traditional Council (DAB) members sign the Biak Peace Declaration at Biak Police Headquarters on Monday

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 11: The Biak Numfor Regency that includes the islands of Biak and Numfor located at the entrance to Cenderawasih Bay in northern Papua have rejected separatism from Indonesia in the Biak Peace Declaration that was signed on Biak Island on Monday, reports the Jakarta Post.
Biak Numfor Regent, Herry Ario Naap, Biak Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Mada Indra Laksanta and Biak Traditional Council (DAB) members signed the Biak Peace Declaration that reportedly reitorates peace, rejects radicalism and separatism from Indonesia.
The Biak Peace Declaration, reportedly initiated by Biak Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Mada Indra Laksanta, was signed at the Biak Police Headquarters.
Biak Numfor Regent, Herry Ario Naap, said that he was optimistic that "the Biak Peace Declaration would uphold public order and security."
He reportedly urged the Biak people not to be incited by social media messages influencing them into staging protests.
The Biak Peace Declaration reportedly includes agreement to unity in Papua, agreement to lead a harmonious and peaceful existence, agreement to the commitment to reject hoaxes and agreement to the rejection of separatist and radical groups in Papua.
In August 2017 Biak Island was mooted as a possible satelite-launch station with Indonesia's National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) chairman Thomas Djamaluddin saying that Indonesia was looking for possible cooperation with China and Russia.
He said Indonesia would also talk with other countries with vast experience in aeronautics such as Japan, South Korea and India to support the project.
In Oct 2007 about 300 Biak Traditional Council (DAB) members reportedly protested at the Biak Numfor regency legislative council against the Indonesian government decision to permit the launch of a Russian satelite in the area in 2010, saying that the agreement that was signed in Jakarta was unlawful because it failed to involve the Biak traditional community in the agreement talks.
On July 6, 1998, 40 Papuans on Biak Island were killed and more than 100 arrested and reportedly tortured by Indonesian military (TNI) for hoisting the banned West Papua independence Bintang Kejora or Morning Star separatist flag.
A citizens tribunal, hosted by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney on the 15th anniversary of the Biak massacre heared 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.
The Southeast Asian Times

Protesters call on US President to liberate Hong Kong from China

Hong Kong protesters marched on the US Consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday calling on US President Donald Trump to liberate Hong Kong from China

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, September 10: Thousands marched on the US Consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday calling on US President Donald Trump to liberate Hong Kong from China, urging the US congress to pass the Hong Kong Democratic and Human Rights Act this week, reports Associated Press.
Hong Kong protesters wearing black shirts and masks, waved the American flag and carried posters that read, “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong” as they marched on the US Consulate.
An organiser of the march, Panzer Chan, said that Hong Kong is at the forefront of the battle against "the totalitarian regime of China."
“Please support us in our fight, ” he said.
Protesters urged Washington to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act that was proposed in 2017 by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China in order to "to renew the historical commitment of the United States to uphold freedom and democracy in Hong Kong at a time when its autonomy is increasingly under assault."
The proposed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would reportedly "establish punitive measures against government officials in Hong Kong or mainland China who are responsible for suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong."
The passing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would reportedly require Washington to annually assess Hong Kong's level of autonomy from Beijing and reportedly cancel Hong Kong's trading privileges if autonomy is compromised.
Last week Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who was elected by a nominating committee in Beijing, withdrew the ammended Fugitive Offenders Ordinance or extradition bill that was to be passed by the Hong Kong Legislative Council in June.
In June Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said in response to the call for the withdrawal of the proposed ammendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace or extradition bill and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance extradition bill by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China , that "worries about undermining the rule of law and effecting business in Hong Kong were unfounded."
The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China reportedly feared that the amended extradition bill would lead to the rendition of foreign business represenatives and activists to the mainlandm and would worsen US-Hong Kong relations.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, suspended the passing of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance or extradition bill amid protests in the streets of Hong kong that included about 3000 lawyers.
The Hong Kong Law Society called on extensive consultations on the amended Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance that was to be passed in June amid fears that political opponents and disidents would be extradited to face trial on mainland China under the proposed law.
The Southeast Asian Times


May election of Papua New Guinea PM to be questioned in court

Opposition National Alliance Party (NAP) leader Patrick Pruaitch is to question the legality of the election of Prime Minister James Marape in court

From News Reports:
Port Moresby, September 9: The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court has allowed opposition National Alliance Party (NAP) leader Patrick Pruaitch to question the election in May of James Marape as prime minister and Peoples National Congress (PNC) party leader, reports the National.
Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justice Ellenas Batari and Justice Oagile Bethuel Dingake have allowed the application submitted by lawyers Greg Sheppard and Philip Tabuchi of Young and Williams Lawyers, to question the election of James Marape as prime minister,
The judges ruled that Patrick Pruaitch as the opposition leader had standing and sufficient interest in pursuing the questioning of the election in order to determine whether the election of James Marape as prime minister in Parliament on May 30 was legal.
Lawyer Greg Sheppard argued that Patrick Pruaitch had standing and sufficient interest in pursuing the legality of the election because it was a legitimate role of the opposition leader to hold government accountable.
He said that by virtue of the office held by Patrick Pruaitch and the functions of that office the opposition party leader is entitled to raise significant Constitutional legalities.
"Patrick Pruaitch had satisfied every prerequisite to file the reference under Section 18(1) of the Constitution" he said.
Justice Minister and Attorney-General representative, Davis Steven, told the court that Patrick Pruaitch did not have any standing and sufficient interest in pursuing the legality of the election because he had nominated former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to hold the position of prime minister.
He said that when former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill did not accept the nomination, Patrick Pruaitch joined others in electing James Marape as prime minister.
"This is not genuine”, he said.
On May 30 the Papua New Guinea parliament elected former Finance Minister James Marape the new Prime Minister in an overwhelming vote of 101 to eight.
On May 26 former Peoples National Congress (PNC) leader and former Prime Minister Peter O'Neil announced his resignation at a press conference after weeks of resisting calls for his resignation from opposition National Alliance Party (NAP) members and after adjourning the parliament for three weeks in an attempt avoid a vote of no confidence
In April Peoples National Congress (PNC) party member and former Finance Minister, James Marape, member for Tari-Pori in New Hela province resigned his position as Finance minister citing "lack of trust in Prime Minister Peter O'Neil."
His resignation was followed by defections from the Peoples National Congress (PNC) ruling party to opposition National Alliance Party (NAP) party including the resignation of Peoples National Congress (PNC) party member, the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Davis Steven, who said that his resignation had nothing to do with "personal differences", saying that "Papua New Guinea's political leadership is weakening state institutions."
The Southeast Asian Times

Witness in PM Najib trial shocked to find $800,000 in Swiss bank account

Witness for the prosecution Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, in the trial of former ousted Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak, at the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court on Thursday

From News Reports:
Kuala Lumpur, September 8: Witness for the prosecution in the trial of former ousted Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak, who is accused of using his position as finance minister and chairman of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in the misappropriation of RM42 million, told the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court on Thursday that he was "shocked to find he had RM3.36mil in his Swiss bank account," reports the Star.
Witness for the prosecution, Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, a former advisor to former ousted Prime Minister, Najib, told the court that he received a phone call in 2016 from Swiss Bank BSI AG informing him that there was a balance of $800,000 (RM3.36mil) in his Swiss bank account.
"I was so shocked," he told the court.
He said that the Swiss bank officer had asked him if he knew that he had $800,000 (RM3.36mil) in his Swiss bank account in Singapore.
"I had no clue about the money, ” he told the court.
He said that the Swiss Bank BSI AG contacted him again in 2016 to inform him that his relationship with the bank was terminated.
He said that the Swiss Bank BSI AG advised him to move the money from his account to either a company in his name or to another bank account.
He told the court that he was instructed to open the Swiss Bank BSI AG in Singapore by fugitive Low Taek Jho, who is reportedly wanted for money laundering of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds.
He said he was instructed to open an overseas bank account in his name for Prime Minister Najib's "political purposes" by fugitive Low Taek Jho.
In May 2016 Singapore authorities reportedly closed Swiss bank BSI AG operations in Singapore following criminal proceedings in Switzerland against the private bank in its transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority or Finma said in Zurich that Swiss-based BSI AG had committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations through business relationships and transactions with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The arrest of former ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak in July 2018 followed the declassification of the 1MDB audit report that had been marked secret under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). The audit report was declassified less than a week after the May 9 Malaysian general elections that saw the defeat of the ruling Barisan National (BN) party, lead by former ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said after he was sworn in that he would appoint a finance ministry advisor to oversee efforts to recover US$700mil (RM2.6bil) that was allegedly transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak private bank accounts.
In August 2014 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara and Malaysian police began investigation of allegations that funds that had allegedly been donated by a son of the late Saudi King Abdullah, were transferred from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd to Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak private bank accounts.
The Southeast Asian Times


West Papuans call on Indonesia for referendum from exile in London

In January United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), chairman Benny Wenda, submitted a petition from exile in London to the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner (UNHRC) with about 1.8 million West Papuans or 70 percent of the population calling for an internationally supervised vote on self-determination

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 7: Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, called on Indonesia from exile in the UK, for a referendum for independence for Papua and West Papua, under the threat of arrest should he return to Indonesia, reports the Jakarta Post.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), chairman Benny Wenda, who has claimed political asylum in the UK, said in a
statement addressed to President Joko Widodo, and Coordinating Minister of Politics, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, on Thursday that “Thousands of West Papuans are rising to fight for a referendum for independence,”
"The escalating conflict in the easternmost province of Indonesia is not necessarily about racism, but injustice," he said in the statement.
He claims that Indonesia illegally occupies West Papua, saying that "West Papuans were promised a referendum for independence under the 1962 New York Agreement."
"West Papuans have never had their rights mentioned in the agreement," he said.
He claims that the agreement was initiated by the United States in order to allow Indonesian occupation and administration of the region from the Netherlands, saying that "this agreement was backed by Indonesia’s efforts to seize West Papua from the Netherlands."
“For 57 years, we fight for our rights to decide our own fate. Our right to decide our future,” he said.
Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, said at a press conference held in Jakarta this week, following the spread of protests in Papua and West Papua, that he would personally arrest the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, should he return to Indonesia.
The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs, Wiranto claims that the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, is the instigator of the widespread protests held across Papua and West Papua in the past three weeks.
He claims that the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda conspired with the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) to organise protests in Papua and West Papua provinces including Jayapura, Nabire, Paniai, Deiyai, Manokwari, Fakfak and Sorong.
In April the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) chairman Benny Wenda called on West Papuans and those sympathetic to the West Papuan cause, to boycott the Indonesian April 2019 elections, saying that West Papuans respect Indonesia’s right to hold elections in its own territory but that West Papua will oppose Indonesian elections when the elections are forced on West Papua.
"I’m calling on all of my people, whether rich or poor, civil servant or worker, military or civilian, from village or city, to peacefully boycott the Indonesian elections on April 17", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Hong Kong lays down the law on extradition to China mainland

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in a televised speech on Wednesday that discontent in Hong Kong extends far beyond the extradition bill and reflects the public desire to become more engaged in government decision making

From News Reports:
Hong Kong, September 6: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has withdrawn the ammended Fugitive Offenders Ordinance or extradition bill that was to be passed by the Hong Kong Legislative Council in June, saying that discontent in Hong Kong extends far beyond the extradition bill.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor officially announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill, that saw millions including lawyers take to Hong Kong streets in reocurring mass protests over the last three months, saying "a motion to officially withdraw the bill would be submitted when the Legislative Council resumes."
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who was elected by a nominating committe in Beijing, also announced the appointment of Barrister Paul Lam Ting-kwok, former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and Helen Yu Lai Ching-ping, a senior civil servant, to the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).
Millions have taken to the streets in recurring protests against the proposed ammendments to the extradition bill that would see those charged with a criminal offence in Hong Kong sent to the China mainland to face trial.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said after more than a million took to the streets against the proposed passing of the extradition bill in June that "I will not simply follow orders from Beijing on extradition requests".
"No surrender will be considered for a political offence or if the purported charges are in fact on account of race, religion, nationality or political opinions," she said.
The reocurring protests from June began with the march of about 3000 Hong Kong lawyers and was followed by mass protests that included business representatives, foreign diplomats, academics, public servants and thousands of students.
The Hong Kong Law Society called on extensive consultations on the amended Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance that was to be passed in June amid fears that political opponents and disidents would be extradited under the proposed law.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said in June in response to the US Congressional-Executive Commission's call for the withdrawal of the proposed ammendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinanace or extradition bill and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance extradition bill, that "worries about undermining the rule of law and effecting business in Hong Kong were unfounded."
The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China reportedly feared that the amended extradition bill would lead to the rendition of foreign business represenatives and activists to the mainland and would worsen US-Hong Kong relations.
The Southeast Asian Times


Politician arrested with 1,500 banned West Papuan separatist flags

Sayang Mandabayan, Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo) member of the West Papua Sorong City office, was arrested at the Rendani Airport in West Papua's captal, Manokwari, for possession of 1,500 of the banned Bintang Kejora or Morning star flags

From News Report:
Jakarta, September 5: A Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo) member of the West Papua Sorong City office was arrested at the airport in West Papua's captal, Manokwari, for possession of 1,500 of the banned Bintang Kejora or Morning star flags, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo) member, Sayang Mandabayan, was arrested at the Rendani Airport in Manokwari on Tuesday as she claimed her luggage that reportedly contained the banned West Papuan separatists flags, the symbol of the Free Papua Movement (OPM)
Rendani Airport Aviation Security (Avsec) officers discovered the 1500 banned Bintang Kejora or Morning star flags in a pink suitcase owned by Sayang Mandabayan.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said on Tuesday that Sayang Mandabayan was undergoing questioning by the Manokwari police.
He said that Sayang Mandabayan boarded Wings Air at the Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sonrong City in West Papua on Tuesday with the suitcase containing the banned West Papua separatist flags.
"Sayang Mandabayan was intending to take part in a rally to be held in Manokwari on the same day," he said.
Last month West Papuans set fire to the Manokwari West Papua Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) building in protest against the detention of 43 Papuan students in Surabaya in East Java amid alleged racist remarks.
Papuan students were called "monkeys" reportedly by Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members and youth organization Pemuda Pancasila (PP) who reportedly launched physical attacks and verbal abuse at the Papuan students.
Protests calling on Indonesia for a referendum for independence for West Papua have spread to almost all regions in Papua since the students were forcibly removed from their dormitory in Surabaya in East Java on Indonesia's Independence Day anniversary on August 17, for alleged vandalism of the Indonesian national flag, reportedly thrown in a sewerage drain.
Papuan students also protested at the United States embassy in Jakarta against the United Nations-brokered New York Agreement in 1963 that transferred control of western Papua New Guinea from the Netherlands to Indonesia, demanding the withdrawal of the Indonesian Military (TNI) from Papua and a referendum for independence from Indonesia.
The Papuans reject the result of the Act of Free Choice (Pepera) an election held on August 2, 1969 saying that the 1,025 voters were selected by the Indonesian Military (TNI).
About 6,000 joint Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police personnel have reportedly been deployed to secure Indonesia's most eastern provinces including Jayapura, Nabire, Paniai, Deiyai, Manokwari, Fakfak and Sorong.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesia deports Australians from West Papua for taking part in Papua protests

Australians, Cheryl Melinda Davidson, 36, Ruth Irene Cobbold, 25, Joy Danielle Hellyer, 31, Tom Baxter, 37, were deported from the Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong City West Papua on Tuesday for their involvement in Papua pro-independent protests in Sorong City

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 4: The deportation of four Australian nationals from Sarong City in West Papua on Tuesday for taking part in protests calling on Indonesia for a referendum for independence, follows Indonesian orders to restrict foreign national access to Papua, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesia Bureau of the Directorate General of Immigration, Sam Fernando, has confirmed that four Australians, were deported on Tuesday, saying "It is true that four Australian nationals have been deported for allegedly joining the rally."
"The rally was organised to demand Papuan independence", he said.
The Australians were reportedly monitored by the Indonesian military, police intelligence and immigration agents before they were arrested by Sorong City police and taken to the police station for questioning on August 27.
Immigration and police intelligence officers arrested one of the Australians onboard a yacht named 'Valkyrie' in Port Sorong, claiming that the four Australians entered Indonesia onboard the yacht.
Protests calling on Indonesia for a referendum for independence for West Papua have spread to almost all regions in Papua over the last two weeks since West Papuan students were forcibly removed from their dormitory in Surabaya in East Java on Indonesia's 74th Independence Day anniversary on August 17, for alleged vandalism of the Indonesian national flag, reportedly thrown in a sewerage drain.
About 6,000 joint Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police personnel have reportedly been deployed to secure Indonesia's most eastern provinces including Jayapura, Nabire, Paniai, Deiyai, Manokwari, Fakfak and Sorong.
Coordinating Minister for Political Legal and Security Affairs, Wiranto, said in Jakarta on Monday that the Indonesian government wouldl restrict foreign national access to Papua and West Papua.
He said that Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi agreed to restrict access to foreign nationals in Papua and West Papua, saying that "transparent and non-restrictive access would be reinstated after the government quelled several elements that had exacerbated the situation in Papua."
We will allow access to Papua and West Papua again after conditions improve,” said Wiranto.
In November 2007 the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified a security treaty with Australia – the so-called Lombok Treaty that formally acknowledges Indonesia's sovereignty over West Papua.
Former Indonesia Golkar Party Vice President Theo L Sambuaga said then that “we all feel relief because Australia has formally acknowledged our territorial integration, including Papua."
“The treaty also requires Australia to prohibit its territory from being used by separatist movements against us. It means that we have less pressure from separatism,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia police claim Papua riots linked to international organisations

Indonesia's National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian claims that rioters and anarchists in Papua and West Papua have links to foreign organisations

From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 3: Indonesia's National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian claimed on Sunday that those identified as rioters and anarchists in Papua and West Papua have links to foreign organisations, saying that "we know that these groups have links to international networks."
"The National Police is coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Intelligence Agency to deal with the problem," he said.
He said that police have identified the provocateurs who ignited unrest in Papua, saying "those responsible for provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua have been identified and are being investigated."
"They will be prosecuted if proven to be involved in the riots," he said.
About 6,000 joint Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police personnel have reportedly been deployed to secure Indonesia's most eastern provinces including Jayapura, Nabire, Paniai, Deiyai, Manokwari, Sorong and Fakfak.
The Indonesian Police earlier deployed 300 Mobile Brigade Unit (Brimob) personnel to Deiyai, Paniai, and Jayapura following unrest in Deiyai District that left two civilians and a soldier dead.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo's ordered law enforcement agencies to take firm action against provocateurs, saying "I order you to protect and restore law and order to Papua and West Papua at a cabinet meeting on Friday.
"We will not tolerate rioters and anarchists", he said.
In November 2007 the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified a security treaty with Australia – the so-called Lombok Treaty that formally acknowledges Indonesia's sovereignty over West Papua.
Former Indonesia Golkar Party Vice President Theo L Sambuaga said then that “we all feel relief because Australia has formally acknowledged our territorial integration, including Papua."
“The treaty also requires Australia to prohibit its territory from being used by separatist movements against us. It means that we have less pressure from separatism,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Bangkok Post columinist, Kavi Chongkittavorn, writes "Asean does not have to choose sides if its leaders are all on the same page" ahead of the 34th ASEAN Summit held in Thailand this weekend ...Open page here


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


Darwin reporter John Loizou asks a survivor of the 1965 killings in Bali "why didn't you try to stop them" in "Remembering the slaughter in Paradise"
........open page here



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


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

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

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

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
.......open page here

 

Benedict Anderson, a man without a country, dies in Indonesia Jeet Heer reports.....open page here


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

 

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


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



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Singapore
properties listed for sale in Myanmar

From News Reports:
Yangon, November 25: Singapore's largest property developer, the Far East Organization, is to partner with Myanmar's

erty 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