The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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established 2000
Friday 3 December 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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Thai royalists and militarists want Amnesty International out of Thailand

Citizens’ Network to Protect the Monarchy, the People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy and the Thai Raksa group claim that Amnesty International Thailand is a threat to national security that the monarchy

From News Reports:
Bangkok, December 3: The Royal Thai Police (RTP) are conducting an investigation into Human Rights non-government organisation, Amnesty International Thailand, following a petition submitted to Prime Minister Chan-o-cha last week by organisations opposed to amendments to the 2017 Royal Thai Armed Forces drafted constitution that maintains absolute rule of the monarchy, claiming that support of pro-democracy activists by Amnesty International poses a threat to national security and the monarchy, reports the Bangkok Post.
Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said that Prime Minister Chan-o-cha has assigned the Ministry of Interior and the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to conduct an investigation into claims by the Citizens’ Network to Protect the Monarchy, the People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy and the Thai Raksa group that Amnesty International Thailand's support of pro-democracy activists is a threat to national security and the King as head of state.
Noppadol Phrompasit spokesperson for the about 50 pro-monarchy petitioners said the "Write for Rights" campaign, organised by Amnesty International Thailand, poses a threat to national security and the King as head of state as stipulated in the Royal Thai Armed Forces drafted 2017 constitution.
"Amnesty International Thailand invites members from around the world to write to the government asking for lese majeste charges against Panussaya Sitthijirawattanakul to be dropped," he said
He said that Amnesty International Thailand invitation to its members to write to the government asking for Lese Majeste charges to be dropped, ignores the Constutional Court ruling that found Panussaya Sitthijirawattanakul guilty of violation of the lese majeste law and "may be considered as interference in Thailand’s domestic affairs by a foreign entity."
The Constitutiinal Court ruled last month that mass protests calling for monarchy reform at the Thammasat University in Bangkok last year aimed to overthrow the "democratuc institution with the King as head of state."
The Constitutiinal Court ruled that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 23, Arnon Nampa, 37, Panupong Jadnok, 24, attempted to overthrow the "democratic institution with the King as head of state" in their demands in a 10 point manifesto at mass protests at the Thammasat University on August 10, 2020.
Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 23, maintains that the demands in the 10 point manifesto that were submitted to the Parliament on August 26, 2020 were not a proposal to abolish the monarchy but a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy."
The Southeast Asian Times


Papua churches call on United Nations to visit Papua to see human suffering for themselves

West Papua Council of Churches (WPCC) spokesperson, Dr. Benny Giay, who supports the active involvement of the church in human rights, called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (Unhr) to visit Papua

From News Reports:
Jakarta, December 2: West Papua Council of Churches (WPCC) has called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (Unhr) to visit Papua to see the prolonged human suffering of Papuans for themselves, saying "more than 60,000 God's people have been displaced in six Papua regions," reports Indoleft.
West Papua Council of Churches (WPCC) spokesperson, Dr. Benny Giay called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (Unhr) to visit Papua to see the prolonged suffering of Papuans for themselves, saying "at least 60,000 Papuans have sought shelter in forests or neighboring regencies as a consequence of the armed conflict between the Indonesian National Military (TNI), the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
"More than 60,000 God's people have been displaced," he said.
He said that armed conflict in Intan Jaya, the Bintang Mountains, Nduga, Yahukimo, Maybrat and Puncak Papua has resulted in the killing of civilians, violence and the displacement of thousands of Papuans.
More than 45,000 Papuans were displaced by the contruction of the 4,600-kilometer Trans-Papua highway in Nduga Regency with thousands placed in the Jayawijaya regency town of Wemena.
Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Police (Polri) have deployed personnel to secure the construction of the Trans-Papua road project following resumption of construction of the Yigi River bridge in Nduga district in West Papua that was suspended following the attack on construction workers by the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) on December 2, 2018.
Dr. Benny Giay, said that Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, has promoted the remilitarization of Papua under Daerah Operasi Militer (DOM) to combat the armed West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) opposition to Indonesian rule of Papua and West Papua.
He said that security operations in many Papua regions aim to support investors in a hidden agenda that includes the seizure of land, customery forests and natural resourses belonging to the Papuan people, saying "Papuans in Intan Jaya regency object to the control of gold mining in the regency by Indonesian mining company, PT Antam."
He said that Papuans fled Intan Jaya following the Indonesian Military (TNI) operation in the area, saying "it was an attempt to suppress the Free Papua Movement (OPM) and the armed West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) opposition to Indonesian rule of Papua and West Papua.
The Southeast Asian Times

HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman appeals jail sentence for transfer of state owned land to private ownership

HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tai, 69, right, at the HCMCity People's Court on Monday November 29, 2021

From News Reports:
HCMCity, December 1: A Former HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman, sentenced to eight years in prison for violation of state land lease rights regulations in September last year, is appealing his conviction saying that he did not act out of self interest in the transfer of state owned land in HCMCity to private ownership, saying "I only implement policy."
The HCMCity People's Court found former HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tai, 69, and 3 others guilty of violation of state land lease rights regulations in the transfer of prime state owned land in district 1 HCMCity to private ownership that was faciliated by the establishment of a joint stock company.
The HCMCity People's Court found former HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tai, guilty of violating the state land lease use rights in the tranfer of 4,896sq.m of prime state owned land at lot 8-12 Le Duan Street in District 1 HCMCity to private ownership, faciliated by the establishement of a joint stock company resulting in a loss of VND1.927 trillion to the state.
Le Thi Thanh Thuy, president of Mayflower Investment Company Ltd and also chairwoman of Lavenue Investment JSC, recieved a five year prison sentence, Nguyen Hoai Nam, former secretary of the District 2 Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) recieved four years in prison, and Truong Van Ut, former deputy head of the HCMCity Housing Management Company received three years in prison for violation of the state land lease use rights in the tranfer of prime state owned land to private ownership, faciliated by the establishment of a joint stock company.
Le Thi Thanh Thuy, president of Mayflower Investment Company Ltd, who is also chairwoman of Lavenue Investment JSC, established the joint stock company to develop a proposed five-star hotel and shopping mall on the 4,896sq.m of prime state owned land in central HCMCity.
Former HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tai, is appealing his sentence on grounds that he did not act out of self interest in the transfer of prime state owned land to private ownership and that he approved the establishment of a joint stock company that would share in the profits of the proposed development under the guidelines and directions of the Standing Committee of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, saying "I only implement policy."
Former HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tai, told the HCMCity People's Court on Monday that he approved the HCMCity Housing Management Company proposal to establish a joint stock company that included four companies operated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop the proposed five-star hotel and shopping mall on state owned land in Central HCMCity after the proposal to establish a joint stock company had been approved by the HCMCity People's Committee.
He told the court that as the HCMCity People's Committee vice chairman, he approved the HCMCity Housing Management Company proposal to establish a joint stock company under the guidelines and directions of the Standing Committee of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.
The Southeast Asian Times


Papua Human Rights call on President Joko Widodo to withdraw security forces from Papua

Papua Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua) sent an open letter signed by 26 civil society organisations to President Joko Widodo on Monday November 15, 2021

From News Reports:
Jayapura, November 30: The Papua Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua) has sent an open letter to President Joko Widodo signed by civil society organisations calling for the withdrawal of Indonesian National Military (TNI) and Indonesian National Police (POLRI) from Papua and West Papua, saying "the armed conflict between West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and Indonesian joint security forces shows no sign of abating." reports Indoleft.
The open letter to President Joko Widodo. that was signed by 26 civil society organisations including Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation
(JATAM ) Mining Advocacy Network, (Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW), Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi ) the Indonesian People's Fraction, Greenpeace Indonesia and the Sajogja Institute, claimed that "Papuans are the victims of the exploitation of natural resources."
The civil societies accused Indonesia of negligence in the protection of its citizens in Papua and West Papua, saying "the responsiblility of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesias to protect its citizens is mandated by the preamble to the 1945 Indonesian Constitution."
"The state is obliged to protect every citizen regardless of their place of birth in Indonesia," the civil societies said.
The civil societies said that the armed conflict between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and the Indonesian National Military (TNI) and Indonesian National Police (POLRI) in Papua and West Papua shows no sign of abating.
The Papua Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua) called on both warring parties to respect Human Rights, saying that the first casualities of the armed conflict between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and the Indonesian National Military (TNI) and Indonesian National Police (POLRI) in Papua and West Papua are women, children and the elderly, who are forced to flee their homes.
In May 2021 President Joko Widodo declared the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) Free Papua Movement, a terrorist group following the fatal shooting of the head of the Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya on April 25, 2021, ordering the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) to huntdown all armed separatists and terrorists groups in Papua.
The West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB) claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of Brigadier General TNI I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya in Beoga district in Puncak regency, in Papua Province, saying that the head of the Papua Regional State Intelligence Agency (BIN) had launched counter - insurgency operations in Beoga district in Puncak regency in Papua Province.
In December 2019 about 6,000 joint Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police personnel were deployed to secure Papua and West Papua provinces including the city of Jayapura, Nabire, Paniai, Deiyai, Manokwari, Fakfak and Sorong following mass protests in August and September 2019 that called on Indonesia for a referendum for independence for Papua and West Papua that had spread to almost all regions.
The West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB) the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) Free Papua Movement, calls for a referendum and self determination were dismissed in August 2019 by Indonesia's former Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, who said then “NKRI the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is final.”
He said the New York Agreement, signed in 1962 by the Netherlands and Indonesia, had officially made Papua and West Papua legitimate territories of Indonesia.
“That means NKRI is final, NKRI is non-negotiable, including Papua and West Papua,” he said.
"Referendums are for occupied countries that are given the choice to be independent or to join with the occupying country", he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Indonesia's legal aid lawyers call on Constitutional Court to revoke Omnibus Law on Job Creation

Indonesis'a Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said the government respected the Constitutional Court's ruling that allowed amendments to the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 29: The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) called on the Constitutional Court to revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, saying that the Constitutional Court ruling on Thursday, did not revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law as demanded by the Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) but ruled that amendments to the Omnibus Law on Job Creation be allowed, saying the ruling "is vague and indecisive", reports Tempo.
Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, that was passed into law earlier this month " is contrary to the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia," with the Constitutional Court chief judge, Anwar Usman, saying that "amendments to the Omnibus Job Creation Law must be completed within two years or the Omnibus Law on Job Creation would be deemed permanently unconstitutional."
"The Omnibus Job Creation Law will remain in effect until the amendments are made," he said.
The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) that includes 17 legal aid foundations in Indonesia said that the Constitutional Court ruling that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law is contrary to the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, "is vague and indecisive."
The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) said that the Constitutional Court's decision is a compromise, saying "the Constitutional Court's ruling on the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law was not made on constitutional provisions that include the Manpower Act 2003 that protects workers’ rights"
The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) called on the government to revoke the implementation the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Law, and all its derivatives that includes the minimum wage for 2022 that was rejected by the Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) and Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI AGN) of 32 federations last week.
Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) filed a challenge to the Omnibus Law on Job Creation the day after it was passed into law on November 2, 2021, with President Joko Widodo saying "the revision of over 70 existing laws is vital to investment and to labour market competitiveness."
Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) president, Said Iqbal, called for a full repeal of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation or annulments of provisions the unions consider a violation of workers constitution rights, saying
"the Omnibus Law on Job Creation allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary."
"The removal of the sectoral minimum wage will lead to a low-wage regime as district governments or city councils are no longer dutybound to set a minimum wage for workers," he said.
He said that if the new provision on outsourcing comes into force, Indonesian workers could be made life-long contract workers as contract periods can be extended indefinitely and the scope is no longer restricted to five types of jobs.
"In short, this is modern slavery,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesian Constitutional Court orders amendments to Omnibus Law on Job Creation in favour of workers

Constitutional Court chief judge, Anwar Usman, ruled that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation is contrary to the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia on Thursday November 25, 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 28: Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation that was passed earlier this month and immediately challenged by the Trade Union Confederation (KSPI), is contrary to the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, with President Joko Widodo, who signed the Omnibus Job Creation Law into law, said that the passing of the law was vital to investment and to labour market competitiveness," reports the Jakarta Post.
Constitutional Court chief judge, Anwar Usman, ruled that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation is a non-legally bindng policy, saying "amendments to the Omnibus Job Creation Law must be completed within two years or the Omnibus Law on Job Creation would be deemed permanently unconstitutional."
"The Omnibus Job Creation Law will remain in effect until the amendments are made within two years," he said.
The Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) and Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI AGN) that includes 32 federations filed a challenge to the Joko Widodo government Omnibus Law on Job Creation the day after it was passed on November 2, 2021, saying "the Omnibus Law on Job Creation is clearly violating constitutional provisions and the Manpower Act 2003 that protect workers’ rights"
The Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) sought a full repeal of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation or annulments of some provisions the unions considered a violation of workers constitution rights on various grounds, claiming that job security and a range of workers benefits have been comprised in the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.
Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) president, Said Iqbal said that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary, saying "the removal of the sectoral minimum wage will lead to a low-wage regime as district governments or city councils are no longer dutybound to set a minimum wage for workers."
He said that if the new provision on outsourcing comes into force, Indonesian workers could be made life-long contract workers as contract periods can be extended indefinitely and the scope is no longer restricted to five types of jobs.
"In short, this is modern slavery,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Australia deploys peacekeeping force to Solomon Islands after attack on Chinatown

About 1000 Malaita Province protesters demanded the resignation of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at the National Parliament in Honiara on Wednesday, November 24, 2021

From News Reports:
Honiara, November 27: Australia has deployed Defence Force and Federal Police personnel to the Solomon Islands, northeast of Australia in the Pacific, to restore law and order after demands for the resignation of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, by protesters, who travelled from Malaita Province to the capital Honiara, lead to riots, arson and looting in the Chinatown district, with China's Foreign Ministry saying "any attempts to undermine the normal development of China-Solomon relations are futile, reports Associated Press.
Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison committed the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) patrol boats and diplomats from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (ADFA) to the Solomon Islands on Thursday, saying "the Solomon Islands reached out to Australia for help."
He said that the Solomon Islands trust Australia and that Australia has worked hard for that trust in the Pacific, saying "the Pacific is our region and we’re standing up to secure our region with our partners, our friends, our family and allies."
About 1000 people from Malaita Province protested outside the National Parliament in Honiara on Wednesday, demanding the resignation of Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, who had severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established official diplomatic relations with China in 2017, and had refused to respond to a petition that the Malaita Province people had filed in August that called for the right to self determination.
Malaita Province Premier, Danien Suidani, demanded that the Solomon Island government respect the right to self-determination of the Malaita people, to limit ties with China and to resume development projects in Malaita Province, saying that he was not responsible for the violence in Honiara in the Chinatown district but that he agreed with the protesters that Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, should resign.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, ordered the capital locked down on Wednesday after two days of riots, arson and looting in the Chinatown district of Honiara, saying that his government stood by the decision to established official diplomatic relations with China.
He said that government decision to "embrace" Beijing was the only reason for the violence in Honiara, saying "the violence was influenced and encouranged by other powers," he sad.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said on Thursday that Beijing had expressed serious concern about the attacks on Chinese citizens, business and institutions in Honiara, saying that "we believe that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sogavare, the Solomon Islands government can restore social order and stability as soon as possible,"
He said that economic cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Solomon Island government and China has benefited both sides.
"Any attempts to undermine the normal development of China-Solomon relations are futile," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times



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People's bill submitted to parliament to eliminate discrimination in Thailand

Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament, Thanyawat Kamolwongwat, centre, submitts a people's bill on the elimination of discrimination in Thailand to Parliament President Chuan Leekpai on Wednesday November 24, 2021

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 26: The Move Forward Party (MFP) has submitted a people's bill that would eliminate discrimination in Thailand to the House of Represenatatives for deliberation, with Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament saying that the proposed bill would enable society to operate on the principles of equity and justice, reports the Bangkok Post.
Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament Thanyawat Kamolwongwat said that the proposed peoples bill was submitted to Parliament President .Chuan Leekpai, on Wednesday with the support of 12,116 signatures, saying "the Move Forward Party want the peoples bill placed on the House agenda and deliberated in a parliamentary process."
Move Forward Party (MFP) Member of Parliament Thanyawat Kamolwongwat, who is a member of the group of the House of Representatives for legislation on the elimination of discrimination, said that "the Move Forward Party is pushing for passage of the bill for the equal treatment of all people and respect for human dignity."
"We have to admit that in Thai society there are still people being discriminated against because of their place of birth, gender or physical appearance," he said.
He said that discrimination was caused by ingrained attitudes or behaviour firmly established in the education system and therefore difficult to change, saying "this leads to people being subject to discrimination in work, education and access to services."
"People from Northeast Thailand being insulted on social media is an example of discrimination," he said.
Last week the Thai Parliament rejected a "people's constitution" that would seek to abolish the Royal Thai Armed Forces appointed 250 seat Senate, submitted by three political parties including the Move Forward Party (MFP),
The Thai parliament rejected the "peoples constitution" that seeks to amend the 2017 Constitution, drafted by the Royal Thai Armed Forces and signed into law by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, including the section of the Constitution that allows the Royal Thai Armed Forces to appoint the Senate that nominates and elects the Prime Minister Proposed amendments to the 2017 the Royal Thai Armed Forces drafted constitution including the section that states "changing the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State or changing the form of the State shall be prohibited" and the section that states "the Prime Minister may not present such a draft Constitution Amendment to the King for signature" was rejected by 473 Senators and Members of Parliament with 206 in favour of the amendments and six absentions.
Move Forward Party (MFP) secretary general, Pita Limjaroenrat said that "Thailand missed a golden opportunity to move out of the political quagmire, saying "proposed amendments to the constitution will be on the party platform in the next general election."
The Southeast Asian Times


ASEAN recognises Myanmar's civilian government in invitation to international conference

National Unity Government (NUG) minister of natural resources and environmental conservation, Dr. Tu Hkawng, invited by ASEAN to attend the Third Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN international conference (CSDRA) on Tuesday, November 23, 2021
From News Reports:
Nepoypyitaw, November 25: National Unity Government (NUG) that was founded in Myanmar following the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar takeover of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February, was invited by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to attend the three-day Third Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN international conference (CSDRA) on Tuesday, with National Unity Government (NUG) saying that the invitation shows ASEAN’s recognition of the Myanmar's civilian government, reports Irrawaddy.
The Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar's State Administrative Council (SAC) was reportedly not represented at the Third Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN international conference (CSDRA) on Tuesday.
National Unity Government (NUG) minister of natural resources and environmental conservation, Dr. Tu Hkawng, who attended the ASEAN conference said that he took the invitation as ASEAN’s recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) as the rightful government of Myanmar.
"I will have a chance to participate as a minister from Myanmar along with others from ASEAN member states," he said ahead of the conference.
The National Unity Government (NUG) that was founded by the National League for Democracy (NLD) members of parliament after the takeover of the elected government by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar has been excluded from ASEAN meetings including the urgently called ASEAN Leaders Meeting (ALM) in Jakarta in April that was attended by the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing at the exclusion of the National Unity Government (NUG).
The ASEAN Leaders Meeting that was held to address the political crisis in Myanmar reached concensus on a five point plan that called for a commitment from the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar to restrain security forces, commencement of dialogue, that a special envoy of the ASEAN Chair with assistance from the Secretary General of ASEAN would facilitate mediation, that ASEAN would provide humanitarian assistance and that the special ASEAN envoy and delegation would visit Myanmar to meet with all parties, without a represenatative of the National Unity Government (NUG) in attendence.
National Unity Government (NUG) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moe Zaw Oo, said then "it's imperative that the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) of Myanmar, State Administrative Council (SAC) is not recognised as the legitimate government of Myanmar."
"ASEAN will not achieve anything without consulting and negotiating with the National Unity Government (NUG),"
he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


China would not bully ASEAN neighbours says President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN member states at the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations on Monday November 22, 2021 that “China was, is and will always be a good neighbor, good friend and good partner of Asean,”

From News Reports:
Beijing, November 24: President Xi Jinping reportedly told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states at the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations via video on Monday that "Beijing would not bully its smaller regional neighbours" with the Philippines saying "the South China Sea is a strategic challenge that cannot be solved by force, reports the Philippine Inquirer.
President Xi Jinping who co-chaired the ASEAN-China Special Summit with outgoing ASEAN chair for 2021 Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, said that "China would never seek hegemony nor take advantage of its size to coerce smaller countries," saying "China would work with Asean to eliminate interference."
"China was, is and will always be a good neighbor, good friend and good partner of Asean,," he said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly told President Xi Jinping and the ASEAN member states at the ASEAN-China Special Summit that "the Philippines abhors the recent altercation with Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea, "saying "the rule of law was the only way out of the problem."
He said that the Chinese coast guard that blocked and used water cannon on Philippine boats that were delivering food supplies to Filipino soldiers stationed at Ayungin Shoal last week "does not speak well of the relations between ASEAN and China."
Ayungin Shoal that is located in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea is claimed by ASEAN member states Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines with the Phillipines maintaining a Second World War US-built Philippine Navy landing craft on the shoal that the Philippines claim is located in the West Philippine Sea.
In July 2016 the Arbitration Court in the Hague ruled in favour of the Philippines against China's claim of historic rights over the South China Sea that included the Ayungin Shoal also known as the Second Thomas Shoal.
China rejected the Hague ruling, claiming that "the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction on the matter" with the then China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang saying that the Arbitration tribunal made an illegal and invalid final verdict on the South China Sea dispute.
President Rodrigo Duterte said that the 2016 Arbitration Court in the Hague ruling and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), should be used as the legal tool to resolve the conflicting and overlapping maritime claims in the South China Sea.
"We must fully utilize these legal tools to ensure that the South China Sea remains a sea of peace, stability and prosperity," he said.
Philippines House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Representative, Carlos Isabani Zarate, said that "China's aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea is largely a product of the so called ‘pivot to China’ foreign policies of the Duterte administration since 2016."
The renewed friendship between the Philippines and China followed the election of President Rodrigo Duterte in June, 2016 with the signing of a $13.5 billion package agreement including private sector memorandums of understanding with China during the Philippine presidential state visit to China in the week after his inauguration.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Beijing at the invitation of President Xi Jinping with an entourage of about 200 delegates representing Philippine business that included signing agreements for the development of the 214-hectare coastline from Davao City to Agdao and Poblacion in the southern Philippines with the construction of ports and the establishment of port cities with the cooperation of the local government of Davao City in Muslim Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte said in his speech to the Filipino community during the four day official vistit to Beijing after his inauguration that he was "fed up with the Philippines’ foreign policy being dictated by a Western agenda".
Foreign policy under Rodrigo Duterte who is the former Mayor of Davao City in Muslim Mindanao in the southern Philippines, reportedly "dramatically shifted from that pursued under predecessor Benigno Aquino III.
The Aquino government took Beijing to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in 2013 asking the court to intervene in the Philippine dispute with China over the right to exploit natural resources inluding fish in the West Philippine Sea.
The Southeast Asian Times


Lightening strike dismissed as cause
of fire at PT Pertamina oil refinery in Central Java

Investigation underway into the fire at the PT Pertamina International oil refinery in Cilacap Regency, Central Java on Saturday, November 13, 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 23: Central Java Police are conducting an investigation into the outbreak of fire at PT Refinery Pertamina International (KPI) in Cilacap Regency, Central Java last week, after the House of Representatives Commission V11 special parliamentary committee on energy and mining rejected the claim that the fire was caused by a lightening strike, saying "sabotage should be considered a possible cause of the fire," reports Tempo.
Central Java Police’s spokesman Senior Commissioner, Iqbal Alqudusy, said that an investigation will be carried out by a joint team from National Police Headquarters, the Central Java Police and the Cilacap Resort Police, saying "witnesses including electrical engineers will be questioned."
"The National Police Central Forensics Laboratory is still at the scene," he said.
He called on the public not to speculate on the cause of the fire, saying "we ask the public to be patient and wait for the result of the investigation."
House of Representatives Commission V11 special parliamentary committee on energy and mining, Nasyirul Falah Amru, who called for an investigation into the outbreak of fire at the PT Pertamina Refinery in Cilacap Regency, Central Java on November 13 said that he could not believe that the fire was caused by a lightening strike.
He said that the PT Pertamina International oil refinery claim that the fire was caused by a lightening strike is unacceptable, saying that "sabotage should be considered a possible cause of the fire."
He said that a lightening strike as a possible cause for the outbreak of fires at PT Pertamina's oil refineries is a reaccuring problem, saying "the Pertamina’s Balongan refinery that caught fire in June was allegedly caused by lightning."
"A full investigation report into the fire at the PT Pertamina’s Balongan refinery is still pending," he said.
He said that there are 16 PT Pertamina oil refinery fires under investigation, saying it is irrational for all the fires at the refineries to have been caused by a lightening strike, saying "sabotage is suspected as the likely cause.
The Southeast Asian Times


Cleric in Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation arrested for involvement in Jemaah Islamiyah

Senior Muslim cleric, Ahmad Zain An-Najah, arrested for alleged involvment in regional terrorist group Jemaah Islmiyah (JL)

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 22: A senior Muslim cleric of the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), was arrested by Indonesia's Special Detachment Densus 88 anti-terror squad at his home in Bekasi on Tuesday for his alleged involvment in the regional terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) that is responsible for the Bali bombings, reports the Jakarta Post.
Senior Muslim cleric, Ahmad Zain An-Najah, who is on the Shura Advisory Council of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), that aims to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia, and two associates are charged with setting up a charity organisation that diverted money to terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rusdi Hartono, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the charity organisation was created to obtain funding under the cover of social and educational purposes, saying "part of the funds collected were used to mobilise Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)."
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Miftachul Akhyar and secretary-general, Amirsyah Tambunan issued a statement on Thursday, saying "the MUI is committed to supporting the rule of law against violent acts of terrorism in accordance with the 2004 MUI Fatwa on terrorism."
"Involvement in a terrorist network is a matter of personal responsibility for Senior Muslim cleric, Ahmad Zain An-Najah, that has nothing to do with the MUI," the statement said.
The arrest by Indonesia's Special Detachment Densus 88 anti-terror squad of three suspected Jamaah Islamiya (JI) terrorists, in September 2021 followed the arrest of 53 suspected terrorists in August, 2021 with Insp. Gen. Martinus Hukom saying "the 53 suspected terrorists were arrested over 11 provinces in the week before Indonesian Independence Day on August, 17."
He said that the Special Detachment Densus 88 anti-terror squad conducted massive and continuous operations against the Jamaah Islamiya (JI) group, saying that the 53 terrorist suspects were making bombs in Brebes, Kendal and Ambon.
"Three of the 53 arrested were from the new Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) terror group and 50 were from the Jamaah Islamiya (JI) terrorist group," he said.
In December 2020 Indonesia's Special Detachment Densus 88 anti-terror squad arrested Aris Sumarsono known as Daud, Zaenal Arifin or Abdulrahman Zulkarnaen in Sumatra for his involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings, with police saying that Aris Sumarsono conducted special training courses in bomb making for Jemaah Islamiyah (JL)
The Southeast Asian Times


Indonesian workers to strike in protest of low minimum wage, saying it's inhumane

Indonesian Workers Union (Aspec Indonesia) president, Mirah Sumirat, says Indonesia's minimum wage for 2022 is inhumane

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 21: Indonesian Workers Union (Aspec Indonesia) rejected the low Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP) rise for 2022 that was derived from the Joko Widodo government introduced Omnibus Law on Job Creation, saying "the low minimum wage for 2022 is inhumane" and "workers support a national strike plan to protest the low minimum wage," reports Tempo.
Indonesian Workers Union (Aspec Indonesia) president, Mirah Sumirat, said that the Joko Widodo government increase of the minimum wage for 2022, derived from the Omnibus Law on Job Creation that was passed into law this month, was very low saying "it is embarrassing"
She said that workers in Jakarta received the highest Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP) increase in Indonesia of only Rp37,538, increasing the minumum wage per month to Rp4,453,724 for 2022 in the city.
She said that workers in Central Java received the lowest increase in the Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP) in Indonesia of Rp14,032, increasing the minimum wage per month to Rp1,813,011 in Central Java.
"Workers purchasing power is weak," she said.
She said that the application of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation to determine the minimum wage for 2022 proved that President Joko Widodo favoured investors rather than workers, saying that "people will be pushed into poverty."
She said that the Indonesian Workers Union (Aspec Indonesia) fully supported the Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) plan for a national strike to reject the Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP) determined by the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.
"The minimum wage for 2022 is inhumane and proves that the government is unable to provide a decent life for its people," she said.
The Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) and Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI AGN) that includes 32 federations filed a challenge to the Joko Widodo government Omnibus Law on Job Creation the day after it was passed on November 2, 2021, saying "the Omnibus Law on Job Creation is clearly violating constitutional provisions and the Manpower Act 2003 that protect workers’ rights"
The unions seek a full repeal of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation or annulments of some provisions the unions consider a violation of workers constitution rights on various grounds, claiming that job security and a range of workers benefits have been comprised in the Omnibus Law on Job Creation that was signed into law by President Joko Widodo with the President saying "the revision of over 70 existing laws is vital to investment and to labour market competitiveness."
Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) president, Said Iqbal said that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation allows companies to arbitralily determine labor's working hours and salary, saying "the removal of the sectoral minimum wage will lead to a low-wage regime as district governments or city councils are no longer dutybound to set a minimum wage for workers."
He said that if the new provision on outsourcing comes into force, Indonesian workers could be made life-long contract workers as contract periods can be extended indefinitely and the scope is no longer restricted to five types of jobs.
"In short, this is modern slavery,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Sam Rainsy headquarters confiscated to pay PM Hun Sen compensation for defamation

Sam Rainsy, former president of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) ordered to pay compensation for defamation charges against Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen

From News Reports:
Phnm Penh, November 20: Phnom Penh Municiple Court confiscated the court-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) headquarters on Monday, ordering the premises to be sold to secure funds to compensate Prime Minister Hun Sen, President of the National Assembly, Heng Samrin, and Minister of the Interior, Sar Kheng, for defamation, won in civil law suits against Sam Rainsy, reports the Phnom Penh Post
Sam Rainsy, who co-founded the now dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in 2012, fled Cambodia for Paris in 2015 fearing arrest after parliamentary immunity was removed and he faced multiple criminal defamation charges in accusations of corruption against the Hun Sen ruling Cambodia's People's Party (CPP),
Phnom Penh Municiple Court ordered the sale of the headquarters of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) after ordering Sam Rainsy to compensate Prime Minister Hun Sen $984,009.84 for publicly defaming the Prime Minister in January 2017.
Sam Rainsy was charged with defamation for public accusations that the Prime Minister of Cambodia had bribed former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) member, Thy Sovantha, to campaign against the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
The Phnom Penh Municiple Court ordered Sam Rainsy, to compensate the President of the National Assembly, Heng Samrin, $984,009.84. for defamation for public accusations that the Samrin regime (1979-1991) had charged the late King-Father Norodom Sihanouk with treason.
Sam Rainsy was ordered to pay Interior Minister Sar Kheng $492,004.92 for defamatory public accusations that the Interior Minister supported revenge against Prime Minister Hun Sen, who had allegedly ordered the 2008 death of the Interior Ministers' father, former National Police chief General Hok Lundy.
In March 2021 Sam Rainsy was found guilty of plotting to overthrow the Hun Sen government and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in absentia.
Sam Rainsy was charged with treason for plotting to overthrow the Hun Sen government from exile in France under the new Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM), founded in Paris in 2018.
The Phnom Penh Municiple Court accused Sam Rainsy and supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM), of inciting the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to revolt against the Hun Sen government in the plan for Sam Rainsy's return to Cambodia.
Sam Rainsy, his wife Tioulong Saumura, former legislators, Mu Sochua and Eng Chhai Eang, Ou Chanrith, Ho Vann, Long Ry, Top Vanghan and activists Long Phary and Ngin Kheang were among 22 charged with three counts of “plotting to overthrow the government, incitement to committ a felony and inciting military disobedience” under Articles 453, 471, 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code.

The Southeast Asian Times

Thai parliament rejects proposal to abolish right of Royal Thai Armed Forces to appoint 250 seat senate

Re-Solution group, secretary general, Parit Wacharasindhu, right, seeks to abolish the Royal Thai Armed Forces right to appoint the 250 seat Senate in the parliament

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 19: The Thai parliament rejected the "Peoples Constitution" that seeks to amend the 2017 Constitution, drafted by the Royal Thai Armed Forces and signed into law by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, including the section of the Constitution that allows the Royal Thai Armed Forces to appoint the Senate that nominates and elects the Prime Minister, reports the Bangkok Post.
Proposed amendments to the 2017 Constitution including the section that states "changing the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State or changing the form of the State shall be prohibited" and the section that states "the Prime Minister may not present such a draft ConstitutionAmendment to the King for signature" was rejected by 473 Senators and Members of Parliament with 206 in favour of the amendments and six absentions.
The "peoples Constitution" that was submitted to the parliament by the Internet Law Reform Dialogue, Re-Solution group, the Progressive Movement and the Move Forward Party with the support of more than 130,000 petitioners, seeks to abolish the right of the Royal Thai Armed Forces to appoint the 250 seat Senate.
Re-Solution group, secretary general, Parit Wacharasindhu, said the 2017 Royal Thai Armed Forces drafted Constitution provides Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha who is the current Prime Minister of Thailand with extended power through the Royal Thai Armed Forces appointed 250 seat Senate.
Progressive Movement secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul urged the petitioners not to give up and to continue the campaign to amend the 2017 Constitution designed by the Royal Thai Armed Forces.
Move Forward, secretary general, Pita Limjaroenrat said the vote missed a golden opportunity to move Thailand out of the political quagmire, saying "the proposed amendments to the Constitution will be on the party platform in the next general election."
Martial law commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and current Prime Minister of Thailand took control of all security operations including the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), Royal Thai Police Office army, navy, air force, Interior Ministry and relevant government agencies on the declaration of martial law in 2014, replacing the Upper and Lower House of Parliament with a unicameral National Legislative Assembly of 250 members.
The Southeast Asian Times


Jakarta police stop investigation into Greenpeace for alleged false data on deforestation

Director of General Criminal Investigation of the Metro Jakarta Police, Kombes Tubagus Ade Hidayat, stopped the investigation into Greenpeace on Monday November 15, 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 18: Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) has withdrawn a police report filed against Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign for allegedly committing a criminal act under the Electronic Information and Transactions or ITE Law, for submitting false and misleading data on deforestation in Indonesia with the Director of General Criminal Investigation of the Metro Jakarta Police, saying "the Metro Jakarta Police have stopped the investigation into Greenpeace, reports Tempo.
Director of General Criminal Investigation of the Metro Jakarta Police, Kombes Tubagus Ade Hidayat, said that the Metro Jakarta Police have stopped the investigation into Greenpeace submitted by Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) chairman, Husin Shahab last week.
He said that Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) chairman, Husin Shahab, withdrew the police report filed against Greenpeace Indonesia Country Director, Leonard Simanjuntak and Greenpeace Forest Project Manager, Kiki Taufik on Monday.
He said the reason for the withdrawal of the report that was given by Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) chairman, Husin Shahab, was that he does not want the investigation to be politicised, saying "this case will no longer be legally processed."
Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) chairman, Husin Shahab, accused Greenpeace of submitting false and misleading data on deforestation following the claim made at the World Leaders Summit at the United Nations Climate Change Summit (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this month by President Joko Widodo that deforestation in Indonesia is in decline.
Greenpeace rebutted President Joko Widodo's claim of success in the reduction of forest and land fires, the plan to rehabilitate 600,000 hectares of mangrove forest by 2024 and the phasing out of coal fired power plants by 2040 for transition to renewable energy.
Greenpeace Indonesia Country Director, Leonard Simanjuntak said that Greenpeace stood by the rebuttal of President Joko Widodo's claim that deforestation in Indonesia is in decline, saying that Greenpeace denied the claim made by Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) that Greenpeace provided false and misleading data on deforestation in Indonesia.
"The data came from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry itself," he said.
He said that from 2003 to 2011 deforestation had increased to about 2.4 million hectares, saying that from 2011 to 2019 deforestation increased to about 4.8 million hectres.
The Southeast Asian Times


Greenpeace accused of false and misleading data on deforestation in Indonesia

Greenpeace Indonesia Country Director, Leonard Simanjuntak, accused of submitting false and misleading data on deforestation in Indonesia

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 17: Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) has filed a police report against Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign for submitting false and misleading data on deforestation in Indonesia following Greenpeace Indonesia's rebuttal of President Joko Widodo's claim that deforestation in Indonesia is in decline, reports the Jakarta Post.
Indonesia Cyber Security Forum (ICSF) chairman, Husin Shahab, said that Indonesia Cyber Security Forum have filed a report against Greenpeace for committing a criminal act under the Electronic Information and Transactions or ITE Law, saying "Greenpeace submitted false and misleading data on deforestation."
Greenpeace Indonesia Country Director, Leonard Simanjuntak and Greenpeace Forest Project Manager, Kiki Taufik, are accused of submitting false and misleading data on deforestation following the claim made at the World Leaders Summit at the United Nations Climate Change Summit (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this month by President Joko Widodo that deforestation in Indonesia is in decline.
Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign spokesperson, Asep Komarudin, said that "Greenpeace provides valid, accurate data to the public, saying Greenpeace is ready to have an open debate with the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry regarding how we analyze data scientifically and intellectually," he said.
Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign spokesperson, M Iqbal Damanik, said that Greenpeace rejected President Joko Widodo's claim of success in the reduction of forest and land fires, the plan to rehabilitate 600,000 hectares of mangrove forest by 2024 and the phasing out of coal fired power plants by 2040 for transition to renewable energy," saying at a press conference, titled "Responding to President Jokowi's Speech at COP26" that "Jakowi's claims are empy talk."
He rebutted President Jokowi's claim that forest and land fires were in decline by 82 percent between 2020-2021 and that the decline was the result of government policies, saying that the decline in deforestatiion was influenced by natural factors.
"deforestation declined in the wet season," he said.
He said that the claim by President Joko Widodo that deforestation in Indonesia is in decline was made from selected data or "cherry picking" and does not represent the condition or situation of deforestation in Indonesia as a whole.
"President Jokowi has not yet shown any seriousness in Indonesia for energy transition to renewable transition, saying that the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM) and the State Electricity Company (PLN) plans to build 13.8 Giga Watts of coal fired power plants," he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Letter delivered to German Embassy in Bangkok warns of return of absolute monarchy to Thailand

Students and supporters of the United Front for Thammasat and Demonstration, organisation at the German Embassy in Bangkok Sunday 14, November 2021

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 16: A letter delivered to the German Embassy in Bangkok on Sunday opposing the Constitutiinal Court ruling last week in Bangkok that mass protests at the Thammasat University in Bangkok last year aimed to overthrow the "democratuc institution with the King as head of state", warning "the Constitutional Court ruling would bring about the return of absolute monarchy to Thailand," report the Bangkok Post.
United Front for Thammasat and Demonstration, student spokeswoman, Thatchapong Kaedam, said outside the German Embassy in Bangkok on Sunday, that student organisations rejected the Constituional Court ruling that Arnon Nampa, 37, Panupong Jadnok, 24, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 23, attempted to overthrow the "democratic institution with the King as head of state" in their demands in a 10 point manifesto at mass protests at the Thammasat University on August 10, 2020, saying "demands in the 10 point manifesto were not a proposal to abolish the monarchy but a proposal for the monarchy to continue in a democracy."
"The Constitutional Court's ruling is bringing Thailand back to an absolute monarchy," she said.
The letter delivered to the German Embassy in Bangkok on Sunday said that demands made in the 10 point manifesto, that called for the repeal of the criminalisation of the Lese Majeste law, repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command, repeal of the law that gave new King Maha Vajiralongkorn full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings and repeal of the monarchy empowerment to endorse a military coup, are not intended to overthrow the monarchy but to reform the monarchy.
In October 2020 Thousands of students marched on the German Embassy in Bangkok calling on Berlin to investigate the reportedly considerable time Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn spent in Germany, saying that the Thai King's exercise of power over Thailand from Germany violates German sovereignity.
German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, said that it would be unacceptable for the Thai King to conduct Thai politics in Germany, saying "Germany would continue to look into the Thai King's visits to the German state of Bavaria."
"The German government has taken the view that it is not yet of the opinion that the Thai King has continuously conducted Thai state business in Germany," he said.
He said that the Thai King was permitted to make occasional decisions while in Germany provided he did not continuously conduct political business from Germany, saying the "Thai King had a visa that allowed him stay in Germany for several years as a private person and that the Thai King also enjoyed diplomatic immunity as a Head of State."
Germany's Foreign Ministry has since cleared the King of Thailand of breaching German sovereignty.
The Southeast Asian Times

News Zealand hands APEC 2022 chair to Thailand with Maori traditional Waka canoe paddle

Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha accepts a traditional Maori, indigenous to New Zealand, hand crafted Waka canoe paddle, saying "Thailand will move the APEC ship forward"

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 15: The Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) rotating chair, held by New Zealand in 2021, was handed to Thailand for 2022 at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week (AELW) video conference hosted by New Zealand, with Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha calling on APEC leaders to synergise their strength in creating an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful APEC community, reports Bangkok Post.
Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared the theme for APEC in 2022 "Open. Connect. Balance," saying "APEC is open to all oportunities, connected in every dimension and balanced in all aspects."
Thailand government spokesman, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said that the Prime Minister of New Zealand handed the 2022 APEC chair to Prime Minister Prime Prayut Chan-o-cha who is also the Defence Minister, on Friday, saying "Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha joined in talks with APEC economic leaders and representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) on November 11 and the 28th APEC Economic Leaders’ Week (AELW) on November 12."
"Thailand will push forward towards inclusive and sustainable growth in the Asia Pacific region under the Bio, Circular, and Green (BCG) economic model," he said.
Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jucinda Adhern, handed over a traditional Maori, who are indigenous to New Zealand, Waka canoe paddle to Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha as a symbol of the handover of the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) chair.
Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha said that Thailand's acceptance of the Waka canoe paddle symobolises the handover of the APEC chair for 2022, saying "Thailand will move the APEC ship forward."
Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jucinda Adhern said the 2021 APEC theme, "Join. Work Grow Together," was inspired by the Maori who are indigenous to New Zealand.
She said that building a traditional Waka Maori canoe involved the entire Maori community working in harmony toward a common goal, saying "the Waka canoe enabled Maori's to traverse vast expanses of ocean."
"Building Apec prosperity requires a collaborative effort from all APEC economies to reach a common goal," she said.
APEC's 21 member economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America;
The Southeast Asian Times


Greenpeace claims tax on carbon emmisions in Indonesia no solution
to climate crisis

Greenpeace Indonesia protest against tax on carbon dioxide emmission at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 5, 2021

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 14: Greenpeace Indonesia claims that the new Law on the Harmonization of Tax Regulations (UU HPP), that stipulates a tax on carbon emissions, signed by President Joko Widodo at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this month "is not a solution to the climate crisis," reports the Jakarta Post.
Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign spokesperson M Iqbal Damanik said companies will take advantage of the new Harmonization of Tax Regulations (UU HPP) law that allows carbon emmission trading with carbon tax offset schemes in activities ranging from clearing forests to land concessions, saying "carbon tax offset schemes are a mechanism for polluters to legitimise pollution in existing forests."
"The new Harmonization of Tax Regulations (UU HPP) law negates carbon dioxide emmisions produced at one location with carbon tax offset schemes to reduce carbon dioxide emmisions at another location," he said.
"Companies can cut down trees in Sumatra and plant trees in Jakarta," he said.
He claims that the Indonesian government has no desire to reduce emissions, saying "instead President Joko Widodo wants to give companies the right to produce carbon emissions through carbon credits."
Fiscal Policy Agency of the Ministry of Finance, Febrio Kacaribu, said that the implementation of a carbon tax as stipulated in the Law on the Harmonization of Tax Regulations (UU HPP) has made Indonesia equal with developed countries that have implemented a carbon tax on dioxide emmisions including the UK, Japan and Singapore.
"A tax on carbon dioxide emmission will be carried out in stages taking into account the development of the carbon market." he said.
The Southeast Asian Times


Thailand's students don't want to abolish monarchy, reject Constitutional Court ruling

Protesters set fire to a model of the Democracy Monument at the Constitutional Court on Wednesday November 10, 2021 in protest against the Court ruling that the 10 point manifesto aims to overthrow the monarchy

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 13: Student organisations at Thailands major universities including the Thammasat university Rangsit campus in Bangkok rejected the Constitutiinal Court ruling on Wednesday that mass protests held at the Thammasat University last year aimed to overthrow the "democratic institution with the King as head of state", with students saying "demands in a 10 point manifesto at the mass protests were not a proposal to abolish the monarchy, reports the Bangkok Post.
Student organisations from the Thammasat university, Chulalongkorn, Maejo, Prince of Songkla, Pattani and Hatyai campuses, Chiang Mai, Naresuan, Mahasarakham and Kasetsart universities issued a statement saying they rejected the Constituional Court ruling that Arnon Nampa, 37, Panupong Jadnok, 24, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 23, attempted to overthrow the democratic institution with the King as head of state in demands made in the 10 point manifesto at the mass protests at Thammasat University on August 10, 2020.
The statement said that students were excercising their right to freedom of expression and protest that was protected by the Constitution saying "if the blood of pro-democracy protesters touches the ground, the fire of the people's fight will grow uncontrollably."
The Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that demands made in a 10 point manifesto that was submitted to the parliament following the mass protests at the Thammasat university in Bangkok in August last year were in violation of Section 49 of the Constitution that states "No person shall exercise the rights or liberties to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State."
Arnon Nampa, 37, Panupong Jadnok, 24, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 23, who are accused of attempting to overthrow the democratic institution with the King as head of state said that they had no intention of overthrowing the constitutional monarchy, saying "the demands in the 10 point manifesto are not intended to overthrow but reform the monarchy, saying that proposed amendments to Section 112 of the Criminal Code would decriminalise the Lese Majeste law and are not an attempt to abolish the comonarchy."
The 10 point manifesto calls for the repeal of the criminalisation of the Lese Majeste law, repeal of the order that transferred army units to new King Maha Vajiralongkorn personal command, repeal of the law that gave the new King full control of the crown's reportedly extensive property holdings and repeal of the monarchy empowerment to endorse a military coup.
In May 2021 the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) lead by Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha, listed 10 sections of the 2017 constitution for amendment, saying "none of the 10 sections are determined by Section 256 of the Constitution".
Section 256 of the 2017 Constitution stipulates that if the draft Constitution amendment is contrary to Section 255 that states "changing the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State or changing the form of the State shall be prohibited" then "the Prime Minister may not present such a draft Constitution Amendment to the King for signature."
The Southeast Asian Times


Thai Constitutional Court rules Thammasat University mass protests aimed to overthrow King

Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul, 23, United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student union representative, at the Constitutional Court on Wednesday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 12: The Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that mass protests held at the Thammasat University Rangsit campus in Bangkok last year aimed to overthrow the "democratic institution with the King as head of state", despite protesters saying that demands made in a 10 point manifesto were not a proposal to abolish the monarchy, reports the Bangkok Post.
The Constitutional Court ruled that Arnon Nampa, 37, Panupong Jadnok, 24, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, 23, attempted to overthrow the democratic institution with the King as head of state in demands made in the 10 point manifesto at Thammasat University Rangsit campus mass protests on August 10, 2020.
The Constitutional Court ordered protesters calling for reform of the monarchy to end all moves against the constitutional monarchy, saying "Arnon Nampa, Panupong Jadnok and Panusaya and their organisations and networks must cease their effort to overthrow the King as head of state."
The Constitutional Court ruled that demands made in a 10 point manifesto that was submitted to the parliament by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration student union representative, Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul, were in violation of Section 49 of the Constitution that states "No person shall exercise the rights or liberties to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State."
Arnon Nampa, Panupong Jadnok and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul who are accused of attempting to overthrow the democratic institution with the King as head of state said that they had no intention of overthrowing the constitutional monarchy, saying "the demands in the 10 point manifesto are intended to strengthen the constitutional monarchy."
Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul, said that the 10 point manifesto that calls for reform of the monarchy states that the demands made in the manifesto are not a proposal to abolish the monarchy.
She said that the 10 demands were not intended to overthrow but reform the monarchy, saying that proposed amendments to Section 112 of the Criminal Code that would decriminalise the lese majeste law are not an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy."
"We will go ahead with the push for the 10 demands,'' she said.
The ten point manifesto includes demands that the government revoke Article 112 of the Criminal Code, that would decriminalise the Lese Majeste law and allow the exercise of freedom of expression and includes demands that the monarchy give amnesty to those prosecuted for criticizing the monarchy.
The 10 point manifesto also called for the government to revoke the Crown Property Act of 2018 and make a clear division between the kings assets under the control of the Ministry of Finance and his personal assets.
The Southeast Asian Times


Daughter of fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra to be investigated for violation of ethical code of conduct

A petition for an investigation into Paetongtarn Shinawatra, 35, daughter of fugitive ousted former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, founder of the Pheu Thai Party, was submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Tuesday

From News Reports:
Bangkok, November 11: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has been petitioned to investigate the youngest daughter of fugitive ousted prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, after she was appointed participation and innovation advisor to the opposition Pheu Thai Party, the largest opposition party in Thailand, last week, reports the Bangkok Post.
The petition for the investigation into Paetongtarn Shinawatra, 35, daughter of fugitive ousted former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, founder of the Pheu Thai Party, was submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) by adviser to the House committee on law, justice and human rights and former ruling party Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) member, Sonthiya Sawasdee.
The former member of ruling party Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) claimed in the petition submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Tuesday that Paetongtarn Shinawatra, has "violated the ethical code of conduct for a holding a political position on at least four occasions."
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who became a political position holder on October 28, 2021 when appointed participation and innovation advisor to the Pheu Thai Party, is accused of cheating, during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration, in a 2004 entrance examination that gained her a place in the Political Science Faculty at Chulalongkorn University.
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the newly appointed participation and innovation advisor to the Pheu Thai Party, is also accused of involvement in the illegal transfer of forrestry land in the Alpine golf course case that involved Pheu Thai Party leader, former deputy prime minister Yongyuth Wichaidit, who was sentenced to prison last year by the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct for malfeasance in office.
Paetongtarn Shinawatra is also accused of supporting the call by the Pheu Thai Party to amend the 2017 Constitution, drafted by the Royal Thai Armed Forces and signed into law by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, saying that the party is seeking to amend the section of the Constitution that deals with the Royal Thai Armed Forces appointed Senate that nominates and elects a prime minister.
The 2017 Constitution states that "changing the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State or changing the form of the State shall be prohibited" and that "the Prime Minister may not present such a draft Constitution Amendment to the King for signature."
Paetongtarn Shinawatra is also accused of a political connection with fugitive ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who fled to Dubai in 2008 to avoid facing trial for malfeasance.
The Southeast Asian Times


West Jakarta home of Papua Human Rights advocate, Veronica Koman, firebombed

Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) Human Rghts lawyer and West Papua Human Rghts advocate, Veronica Koman, is on the Indonesian National Police wanted list

From News Reports:
Jakarta, November 10: Amnesty International Indonesia called for the protection of Human Rights activists in Indonesia after the home in West Jakarta of former Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) Human Rights lawyer and Papuan Human Rights advocate, Veronica Koman, who is believed to be residing in Australia, was firebombed, reports Tempo.
West Jakarta police chief, Kompol Joko Dwi Harsono, said that parents of Papua Human Rights advocate were not injured in the attack on their home in Jelambar Baru, West Java, saying that the premises have been declared a crime scene.
He said that the attack was captured on CCTV, saying "footage shows that explosives and red paint was thrown at the house from a drive-by mortorcycle."
Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director, Usman Hamid, said at a press conference on Monday, "the state is obliged to protect everyone in its territory including the parents of Papuan Human Rights lawyer Veronica Koman whose home was firebombed on Sunday."
He said that Amnesty International Indonesia considers Human Rights advocacy in Papua legitimate, saying "Veronica Koman's action, expression and opinion on Human Rights in Papua was justified and guaranteed by the Indonesian Constitution."
“Of course she must get protection from the state,” he said.
Papuan Human Rights advocate, Veronica Koman is critical of the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua that was introduced in 2001 and revised in July 2021 to include the division of Papua into three provinces, saying that regional decentralisation will make it easier for the Indonesian central government to create new administrative regions in Papua.
"Regional decentralisation in Papua is one of the tactics of divide et impera which has been effective in marginalising Papuans," she said.
She said that the revised law was rejected by Papuans who say there is no good intent in the Indonesian central government development of Papua as a unit within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
Papuan Human Rights activist, Veronica Koman, who is believed to be residing in Australia, is also critical of the revised Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua that has removed the Papuan people's right to establish local political parties.
"It is impossible for Papuans to establish local political parties," she said.
In February 2020 Papuan Human Rights activist, Veronica Koman, called on the Australian government to raise human rights violations in Papua during Indonesian President Joko Widodo official visit to Australia that included an address to the Australian Federal parliament in Canberra and the signing of a free trade agreement.
In November 2007 the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified a security treaty with Australia – the so-called Lombok Treaty that formally acknowledges Indonesia's sovereignty over Papua.
Former Indonesia Golkar Party Vice President Theo L Sambuaga said then that “we all feel relief because Australia has formally acknowledged our territorial integration, including Papua."
“The treaty also requires Australia to prohibit its territory from being used by separatist movements against us. It means that we have less pressure from separatism,” he said.
The Southeast Asian Times

Vietnam's Public Security Minister eats steak at $1000 a bite at a London restuarant

Chef, Nusret Gokce, serves steak coated with edible 24 carat gold to Vietnam Security Minister General To Lam and spokeman To An XO at the Nusr-Et Steakhouse in London on Thursday 4 November 2021

From News Reports:
Hanoi, November 8: Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) officials including the Minister of Public Security of Vietnam were posted on facebook dining on steak coated with edible 24 carat gold that cost more than $1,000 a bite at a London restuarant on Thursday, with facebook postings in Vietnam showing Vietnamese children living in poverty in response to the extravagance, reports Reuters.
The facebook posting showed Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) officials including the Minister of Public Security of Vietnam, General To Lam, who is a member Politburo and a Member of Council for National Defense and Security, and spokeman, To An XO, dining on steak that cost more than a $1,000 a bite at the Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Knightsbridge, London on Thursday after attending the United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
The Facebook posting showing the Minister of Public Security of Vietnam, General To Lam and spokesman, To An XO, dining on steak coated with gold that was posted by chef of the Nusr-Et Steakhouse, Nusret Gokce, and that went viral, has since been removed.
Vietnamese, Pham Viet Duc, responded to the posting of the Minister of Public Security of Vietnam dining at the Nusr-Et Steakhouse in London that is frequented by celebrities including David Beckham and Leonardo DiCaprio, saying "Vietnamese are experiencing extreme hardship due to COVID-19, but officials are enjoying themselves like world-class celebrities.”
Vietnamese, Tommy Lee, said that the face book posting showing the Minister of Public Security of Vietnam General To Lam and officials enjoying themselves at a luxury restuarant is not unususal, saying "they’ve always spent their money this way."
"My taxes are used for such luxury, Vietnam is still poor, but the minister is enjoying such luxury," he said.
Vietnamese Nguyen Huu Truong said in response to the Facebook posting showing the Minister of Public Security of Vietnam, General To Lam, dining at the London restuarant "his annual salary can’t afford that meal."
'Where did he get the money? " he asks.
Human Rights Activist, Hoang Dung , who posted the Minister of Public Security of Vietnam dining on steak coated with edible 24 carat gold on his face book, questioned the claim that Vietnamese officials were entitled to a spending allowance while on a business trip.
Minister of Public Security of Vietnam General To Lam's monthly wage is between $600 to $800 per month before any allowances.
The price of gold coated steaks at the Nusr-Et Steakhouse in London range from $1,140 to $2,015 a serve.
The Southeast Asian Times




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

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

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


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


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



What they're saying open page here

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



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



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Indigenous Australians in the northern Queensland town of East Trinity aim for economic independence from eco-cultural tourism, reports Christine Howes in "Australian indigenous eco-cultural tourism venture wins best small project national award " ...open here


Kavi Chongkittavorn talks about the UK application to become an ASEAN dialogue partner in "New dynamics of Aseans external ties," with consensus yet to be reached on admitting a former colonial master of four ASEAN member countries into the Southeast Asian bloc....open

Esther Samboh talks about the choise between thousands dying of Covid-19 or from hunger in densely populated Jakarta in the new normal in "Medics dying, infections soaring - it's still the economy" ...open page here



Australian reporter, Chris Ray, investigates why Australia dropped five spots in the World Press Freedom Index...open


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Read what Son Nguyen has to say about the impact of China's virus on Vietnam's economy in "When the economy gets sick" open here


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"
........open page here



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


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

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

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



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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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


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



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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