Asean Summit, Malaysia on Nov 21, 1015

Asean Summit, Malaysia  on Nov 21, 1015
Asean Establishes Landmark Economic and Security Bloc
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk
North Korean defector and activist Hyeonseo Lee, who lives in South Korea, poses as she presents her book 'The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story' in Beijing on March 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fred Dufour)

US under fire in global press freedom report

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thai health minister quits in graft scandal

Antara news, Tuesday, December 29, 2009 20:48 WIB

Bangkok (ANTARA News/Reuters) - Thailand`s Public Health Minister resigned on Tuesday after being implicated in a corruption scandal over a health care scheme funded under the government`s $43 billion economic stimulus package.

It was the third ministerial resignation since the government took office a year ago and the latest setback for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who is facing mounting pressure to dissolve parliament and call an election.

The departure of Witthaya Kaewparadai, a member of the ruling Democrat Party, may also lead to a cabinet reshuffle, which could further destabilise an uneasy military-backed coalition dogged by disunity and internal power struggles.

Witthaya stepped down after an investigation found he was negligent in his handling of a three-year, 86 billion baht ($2.57 billion) procurement project.

"I want to show responsibility to the public," Witthaya said in announcing his decision.

The panel recommended that Witthaya and his deputy, Manit Nopamornbodi, be disciplined for backing ministry plans to build facilities and buy medical equipment deemed unnecessary and grossly overpriced by local health officials.

The committee said nine unelected officials were also involved in the scandal involving the stimulus programme, implemented to speed up economic revival but also seen as a populist move to boost the government`s popularity.

Abhisit is expected to forward the findings to the National Anti-Corruption Commission for further action.

The opposition Puea Thai party, which backs exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, intends to raise the issue during a censure debate early next year planned to coincide with anti-government rallies by the billionaire`s "red shirt" supporters.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bangladesh to send home thousands of Burmese refugees

Rights groups say Rohingya Muslims have fled religious persecution

Burma has agreed to repatriate 9,000 Rohingya Muslims from Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi government has said.

Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes made the announcement in Dhaka after meeting his Burmese counterpart, who is on a two-day official visit.

The bilateral is also expected to cover trade deals and maritime boundaries.

Human rights groups say Rohingya Muslims have fled religious persecution in Burma and do not want to return to their home country.

Many refugees lack adequate food and sanitation

Many are said to have nowhere to live and suffer "dire conditions".

Burma has assured Bangladesh it will begin the process of repatriation "as soon as possible", Mr Quayes said, after meeting Maung Myint, Burma's foreign minister.

He said Bangladesh had handed over a list of 28,000 Rohingyas to Burma, which had accepted that 9,000 people on the list were its citizens.

Dhaka says there are nearly 30,000 Rohingyas in two official camps in south-eastern Bangladesh, and another 300,000 living illegally elsewhere.

Correspondents say Tuesday's announcement offers a partial solution to a problem that dates back 30 years.

Rohingyas began fleeing Burma in the late 1970s, although the biggest influx was in 1992 when an estimated 250,000 fled to Bangladesh.

Human rights groups say the Burmese junta discriminates against the Rohingyas' Islamic faith, depriving them of free movement, education and employment.

Earlier this year Rohingya refugees tried to escape Burma to other Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

ASEAN+3’s $120b swap deal put in place

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 12/29/2009 8:30 AM

Finance Ministers and central bank governors from ASEAN+3 nations have officially signed an agreement to set up a US$120 billion currency swap fund under the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM).

Finance Ministry spokesman Harry Z. Soeratin said in a statement that the signing of the agreement was a follow-up to the preliminary deal by 10 Southeast Asian nations plus China, Japan and South Korea during the ASEAN+3 finance ministers’ meeting in Bali, in May.

The ministers then agreed to promote the CMIM to establish a regional financial arrangement to enhance the existing international facilities.

“The CMIM scheme will definitely strengthen economic capacity in the region in order to face a more challenging global economy in the future,” Harry said.

The scheme offers emergency balance support via bilateral swap arrangements (BSAs) for any member country hit by extreme devaluation and capital flight.

“This will address short-term liquidity difficulties in the region and supplement the existing international financial arrangements,” Harry said.

Under this agreement, any of the 13 countries has the right to swap its currency for US dollars up to a certain amount, starting effectively next year.

“The maximum amount of funds that can be swapped by a country is the fund it has contributed multiplied by a purchasing multiple number set for the particular nation,” Harry explained.

For example, Japan, which contributes the most to the CMIM with $38.4 billion or 32 percent of the total funds, gets a 0.5 purchasing multiple.

That means Japan can swap its yen up to only $19.2 billion.

Indonesia, with $4.77 billion of contribution to the CMIM (3.97 percent), gets a purchasing multiple of 2.5, meaning that Indonesia can swap rupiah up to $11.93 billion.

Japan, China and South Korea control 80 percent of the pooled funds while the remaining 20 percent are contributed by ASEAN countries.

Five ASEAN nations — Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines — each contribute $4.77 billion or 3.97 percent. Vietnam pools $1 billion (0.83 percent), Cambodia $120 million (0.1 percent), Myanmar $60 million (0.05 percent), Brunei and the Lao PDR. $30 million (0.02 percent) each.

Apart from this regional swap agreement, Indonesia already signed arrangements with Japan for bilateral currency swap up to 1.5 trillion yen ($16.39 billion) in June.

Indonesia signed a similar arrangement with China in March amounting to $15 billion. (bbs)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tanjungpinang immigration repatriates 81 foreigners

Antara News, Monday, December 28, 2009 21:22 WIB

Tanjungpinang (ANTARA News) - Tanjungpinang`s immigration office repatriated a total of 81 foreign convicts who had served their prison terms in the January-November period in 2009, a spokesman said.

Most of the repatriated foreigners were from Vietnam and Thailand and had been convicted for illegal fishing in waters near Natuna and Tambelan sub-district in Bintan district, Tanjungpinang immigration office chief Pranata said here Monday.

The repatriates included a Singaporean who was arrested for committing immoral acts in Tanjungpinang.

"In 2008 we deported some 41 foreigners," he said.

Pranata said the Tanjungpinang immigration office was planning to repatriate 15 Vietnamese on Wednesday (Dec 30). They had completed their prison terms for committing illegal fishing in Tambelan waters.

"The foreigners who were arrested in Tanjungpinang and will be repatriated to numbers 26," he said.

Pranata urged the public to report any foreigner who breached the immigration law to his office.

"We will arrest and prosecute every foreign citizen who does not have complete citizenship documents," he said.

US `deeply dismayed` at imminet hmong expulsion: official

Antara News, Sunday, December 27, 2009 18:50 WIB

Bangkok (ANTARA News/AFP) - The United States will be "deeply dismayed" if Thailand goes ahead with the deportation of 4,000 ethnic Hmong to communist Laos in the face of a global outcry, a top US official told AFP Sunday.

"The government of Thailand has indicated its intention to return the Lao Hmong," said Eric P. Schwartz, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.

"We would be deeply dismayed by this action, and the action would impose some very serious challenges for us," he told AFP in a telephone interview from the United States.

Thai armed forces have been mobilised for the expulsion to begin on Monday from a camp in northern Phetchabun province, where the Hmong are being held, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

The group of more than 4,000 are seeking asylum based on claims they face persecution from the Laotian regime for fighting alongside US forces during the Vietnam War.

But Thailand says they are illegal economic immigrants and has agreed to send them back to Laos by the year`s end, refusing to grant the UN`s refugee agency access to them to assess if any are political refugees.

"We have made it abundantly clear that we are prepared to roll up our sleeves and work with partners in Thailand for a solution that is humane and responsible," said Schwartz.

"Even at this late date we`re fully prepared to do that," he added.

"That includes a willingness to ensure that all those who merit protection, whether that number is a few hundred or several hundred or more, have the opportunity for third country resettlement."

It would also include helping with the reintegration process of voluntary returnees to Laos, he said.

Schwartz was in Thailand last week and discussed a "detailed proposal" on the issue with Thai officials.

"At this point we have not been successful in convincing the authorities to consider this path," he said.

He said he understood Thailand`s concerns about people crossing borders illegally for economic reasons.

"But that doesn`t mean that... the government should do damage to international refugee protection principles, and those principles dictate that people who are deemed to merit protection should not be returned against their will," he added.

Related Articles:

UN seeks access to repatriated Hmong in Laos

Hmong arrive in Laos after forced repatriation

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Asian Giants to Lead Global Economic Recovery in 2010

The Jakarta Globe, Viorel Urma

International organizations see the world economy resuming growth next year, but caution that unemployment may continue to rise as job creation lags in the West and Japan. (AP Photo)

New York. Barely avoiding a 1930s-style depression, the world economy is expected to rebound in 2010 with Asian economies continuing to lead growth.

Among the industrialized nations, the United States, where the financial system and labor market are showing signs of stabilization, will outpace Europe where stubbornly high unemployment is likely to sap the strength of recovery.

According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, global output is expected to grow by 3.1 percent in 2010, with much of the recovery driven by emerging economies, such as India and China, where the manufacturing industry expanded at the fastest pace in 18 months in October.

For 2009, the IMF expects a 1.1 percent decline of global gross domestic product.

But though things may not be as bad as they could have been, the IMF sought to temper any euphoria, largely because unemployment will likely continue to rise for some time.

“Today the storm has passed. The worst has been averted. And yet the economy remains very much in holding pattern — stable, and getting better, but still highly vulnerable,” IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said.

The United Nations expects the world economy to resume growth in 2010, but it warned that the recovery would be fragile.

In a preview of its annual economic forecast, which will be released in January, the UN credited the massive fiscal stimulus measures by governments worldwide since late 2008 for the expected rebound.

It recommended that these stimulus measures be continued — at least until there were clearer signals of a more robust recovery in growing consumption, more private investment and rising employment rates around the world.

On the plus side, the UN report, “World Economic Situation and Prospects for 2010,” cheered increased industrial production, a rebound in global equity markets and a healthy rise in international trade.

“This is an important turnaround after the free fall in world trade, industrial production, asset prices, and global credit availability which threatened to push the global economy into the abyss of a new Great Depression in early 2009,” the report said.

In its twice-yearly outlook published last month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development more than doubled its estimate for 2010 growth in its 30 member countries — which include the United States, Japan, Germany and Britain — to 1.9 percent, compared with a more gloomy 0.7 percent forecast back in June.

Still, the recovery is too timid to halt the continuing rise in unemployment. According to the OECD Economic Outlook, it may not be until 2011 that unemployment begins to fall in the euro zone from a projected 10.8 percent.

“Overall, unprecedented policy efforts appear to have succeeded in limiting the severity of the downturn and fostering a recovery to a degree that was largely unexpected even six months ago,” said Jorgen Elmeskov, OECD acting chief economist.

He cautioned, however, that government budgets had suffered badly from the crisis and the gross debt of most OECD countries could be larger than their GDP by 2011. Spending cuts or tax increases should not be carried out at a pace that would weaken the recovery, he stressed.

According to the IMF, much of global growth in 2010 will be dependent on Asia — not least China and India — which are projected to grow by 9 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, boosted by large economic stimulus packages that are increasing demand from domestic sources.

In Japan, which faces intensifying deflation, economic activity is expected to contract by 5.4 percent in 2009, although a sizable fiscal stimulus and a modest increase in exports will lead to a recovery of 1.7 percent in 2010.

In the United States, the National Association for Business Economics, presenting the consensus of forecasts made by a panel of 48 economists, marked up its predictions for growth in 2010.

“While the recovery has been jobless so far, that should soon change. Within the next few months, companies should be adding instead of cutting jobs,” said Lynn Reaser, the association’s president.

In their annual outlook, the panelists predicted a relatively sluggish consumer upturn but looked for a sizable housing rebound, low inflation and a further rise in stock prices.

A surprising drop in the US unemployment rate in November raised hopes for a sustained economic recovery in 2010. The rate unexpectedly fell to 10 percent from a 26-year high of 10.2 percent in October, as employers cut the fewest number of jobs since what is dubbed the Great Recession began two years ago.

The better-than-expected figures provided a rare dose of good news for a labor market that has lost 7.3 million jobs since late 2007. Job creation, however, is expected to remain far too weak in coming months to absorb the 15.4 million unemployed Americans who are seeking work.

“Our biggest challenge now is growth and bringing down unemployment,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. “That’s our overwhelming challenge. Nothing is possible without that.”

After four straight losing quarters, the US economy returned to growth in the July-September quarter, expanding at a modest 2.8 percent pace. The OECD predicted the US economy would expand at a rate of 2.5 percent in 2010, up from a June forecast of 0.9 percent. The economy has been boosted by stimulus measures, improving financial conditions, demand from the fast growing economies of Asia, especially China, and the stabilization of the housing market.

Once the economic recovery is firmly planted, the US administration can shift its strategy to bringing down the nation’s record-high budget deficit. Red ink hit a staggering $1.42 trillion in the 2009 budget year that ended Sept. 30.

Trimming the deficit “is not a 2010 story,” Geithner acknowledged, suggesting that it will take a longer effort. To stabilize the situation, the United States should get the deficit down to 3 percent of GDP in the medium term, he said. The 2009 deficit was 10 percent of GDP, the highest since World War II.

To nurture the recovery and with inflation under control, the Federal Reserve has kept rates at a record low near zero for a year and indicated they will stay there for an “extended period.”

By doing so, the Fed hopes to entice Americans and US businesses to boost spending, which would help the recovery.

In Europe, the 16-country euro zone emerged from its worst recession since World War II in the third quarter as exports from Germany and France helped compensate for households’ reluctance to increase spending.

“The region is at least out of recession and still on track to grow by a reasonably solid 1.5 percent next year, but there is scant evidence yet of the pickup in domestic demand needed to sustain a stronger recovery,” said Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics.

Germany’s export-fueled economy, the largest in Europe, will grow by 1.6 percent in 2010, the country’s central bank predicted in early December, declaring that the outlook had “brightened perceptibly” over recent months.

The Bundesbank forecast the German economy would shrink by 4.9 percent this year before returning to growth in 2010.

Latin America, led by Brazil and Mexico, is poised to rebound in 2010 from recession thanks to improving export demand and higher prices for commodities such as oil and copper, according to regional economic officials.

Brazil is expecting a 5 percent expansion amid surging domestic consumer demand and signs of a pickup in exports. Mexico is eyeing 3 percent growth in 2010 after a 7.2 percent contraction this year. Chile expects a 5 percent expansion following a 1 percent drop in 2009. A growing consensus for sounder fiscal policies, more robust banking systems and bigger stockpiles of international reserves helped contain the damage from the global financial crisis, said Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank.

“Latin America felt the full force of the world market crash. But unlike in previous crises, now these downturns no longer need to translate into lost decades,” Moreno said

In the Middle East, the collapse of oil prices and a sharp contraction in foreign investment have weighed on the economies in the region. The recent improvement in global financial conditions and rise in commodity prices, however, are helping restore the pace of economic activity, the IMF reported. Real GDP growth for the region is projected at 2 percent in 2009 and 4.2 percent in 2010.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which supplies about 35 percent of the world’s oil, has cut crude production as the global recession curtailed demand. But signs of a global economic recovery are buoying oil prices. After zooming to $147.47 a barrel in July 2008 and crashing to $32 last December, oil prices have fluctuated around $70 recently after reaching their 2009 high of $82 a barrel in October.

Global oil demand is forecast to rise slightly faster in 2010, driven by increased economic activity in Asia and the Middle East, the International Energy Agency said.

The Paris-based IEA, an energy watchdog for some of the biggest crude consuming nations, said crude demand would reach 86.3 million barrels a day in 2010, up 1.7 percent from 2009.

In the United Arab Emirates, creditors fear Dubai’s debt problems could spread beyond Dubai World to the other state-linked companies known informally as “Dubai Inc.”

The conglomerate and the emirate had relied on cheap cash to build up Dubai — one of seven semi-autonomous city-states making up the UAE — over the past decade. But the bills are coming due and the money is not there. Allaying concerns of another wave of global credit problems, oil-rich Abu Dhabi has pumped $10 billion to its indebted neighbor to help it stay afloat.

Dubai World said it would seek a six-month “standstill,” effectively a delay, on repaying some of its $60 billion in debts.

Associated Press

S.Korea wins $40 billion UAE nuclear deal

Reuters, Amena Bakr and Cho Mee-young ,Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:21am EST

ABU DHABI/SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean consortium won a $40 billion deal to build and operate four nuclear reactors for the United Arab Emirates, beating U.S. and French rivals to one of the Middle East's biggest ever energy contracts.

Under the deal announced on Sunday, the first nuclear plant in the Gulf Arab region is scheduled to start supplying power to the UAE grid in 2017.

"This deal is the largest mega-project in Korean history," said a statement from the South Korean president's office.

"It is more than six times bigger than the previous single contract."

Led by state-owned utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), the consortium will design, build and run four reactors with capacity to produce 1,400 megawatts each of electricity.

The contract to build the plants is worth around $20 billion, and the consortium expects to earn another $20 billion by jointly operating the reactors for 60 years.

Work on the first nuclear plant in the Gulf Arab region is expected to begin in 2012, and all four reactors are due to be completed by 2020.


The UAE, the world's third-largest oil exporter, needs the nuclear power to help meet an expected rise in electricity demand to 40,000 MW in 2020 from around 15,000 MW last year, amid a petrodollar-fueled economic boom.

South Korea hopes to build more plants beyond 2020 as the UAE looks to construct more reactors to meet future demand.

"Considering the growth estimates in the UAE's power demand, South Korea expects to win additional projects to build nuclear power reactors in addition to this contract for four reactors," the statement said.

The KEPCO-led consortium includes Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Samsung C&T Corp, Doosan Heavy Industries, and U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric, a unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp, the statement said.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was in the UAE to sign the deal with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

The South Korean group beat a French consortium and another group led by U.S. giant General Electric.

The $20-billion Korean bid to build the four plants was $16 billion lower than the bid submitted by the French group, an industry source said.


"We were impressed by the Korean consortium's world-class safety and its demonstrated ability to meet the UAE program goals," said Mohamed al-Hammadi, CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) in a separate ENEC statement.

The choice of South Korea surprised some analysts, who had expected the deal to go to one of the other consortiums for strategic reasons.

"The UAE's choice must have been based on strictly commercial terms because in terms of political clout in the region it's nil," said Al Troner, president of Houston-based Asia Pacific Energy Consulting.

"Korea has a good track record in terms of safety and price and it's a surprise to see the U.S. and France are not part of the bid because they are the ones with the more political strength in the Middle East."

Nascent nuclear programs in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have fueled concerns of a regional arms race.

But the UAE has already pledged to import the fuel it needs for reactors -- rather than attempting to enrich uranium, the fuel for nuclear power plants -- to allay fears about uranium enrichment facilities being used to make weapons-grade material.

Iran has long been at odds with the West over its declared plans to use enriched uranium to generate electricity, a program the United States and European allies fear is a cover to develop the ability to produce atomic bombs.


The emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is driving the UAE nuclear program, holds most of the UAE's crude reserves, and has managed to avoid the worst of the global economic slowdown as well as the debt crisis that has hit neighboring Dubai.

Dubai's debt crisis had cast a shadow over financing prospects for other Gulf borrowers but analysts expect blue-chip names like Abu Dhabi and Qatar to weather the fallout.

"These are long-term projects and many of the finance providers will look beyond what is happening today," said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi-Credit Agricole Group in Riyadh. "The UAE's nuclear program is a strategic project."

He said the UAE could issue bonds in future to fund the project, in addition to the usual mix of project financing methods such as export agencies and banks.

"I think by the time they do this (issue bonds), the Dubai storm will be over, plus Abu Dhabi would have a substantial windfall from oil revenues," he said.

(Writing by Simon Webb; editing by John Stonestreet)

Sri Lankan migrant dies in Indonesia: official

MSN News

The body of an asylum seeker who died of a suspected stomach infection in Indonesia will be returned to Sri Lanka this week, a foreign ministry official said Sunday.

The body of an asylum seeker who died of a suspected stomach infection in Indonesia will be returned to Sri Lanka this week, a foreign ministry official said Sunday.

The man, identified by Indonesian authorities as Jacob Samuel Christian, 29, died last Wednesday in hospital.

His body will be sent to Sri Lanka after "discussions with the Sri Lankan government," ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told AFP.

"He died of his illness... We're preparing to send his body to Sri Lanka some time this week," Faizasyah added.

Christian was suspected of suffering from a stomach infection, provincial port health official Endang Syarifuddin said.

He is one of about 250 ethnic Tamils headed for Australia who have refused to leave their boat in the port town of Merak after they were intercepted off Indonesia in October.

They staged a brief hunger strike and threatened to torch their boat to draw attention to their plight.

Faizasyah said the migrants had prevented Indonesian authorities from boarding the boat to carry out medical inspections.

"Part of the reason we couldn't provide early medical assistance (for Christian) is because they refused to allow us to get on board," he said.

"They must understand that they entered our waters, our territory, unauthorised... and people-smuggling groups were involved. We have the right to enforce our national law and process them first," he said.

"We ask for their co-operation... so we can know their situation," he said.

The stand-off has fuelled an intense debate in Australia, where it has added to the pressure on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to stem the flow of migrants passing through Indonesia, amid a sharp increase in arrivals this year.

The migrants say they face persecution at home, where a civil war between ethnic Tamil separatists and the majority Sinhalese ended earlier this year.

Indonesia, which sprawls across 17,000 islands north of Australia, has been a key staging point for people smugglers taking migrants on the perilous sea journey to Australia.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Asean accord on disaster management enters into force

Antara News, Friday, December 25, 2009 11:02 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) entered into force on Thursday after being ratified by all of ASEAN`s 10 member countries.

AADMER is the region`s response to the need to establish a regional disaster management framework. It contains provisions on disaster risk identification, monitoring and early warning, prevention and mitigation, preparedness and response, rehabilitation, technical cooperation and research, mechanisms for coordination, and simplified customs and immigration procedures.

In welcoming the occasion, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said, "AADMER is one of the fastest-negotiated agreements in ASEAN`s history, having gone through a mere four months of negotiations."

He added that the entry into force of AADMER was a remarkable step forward for ASEAN in its efforts in responding to disasters happening in the region and in reducing disaster risks more effectively.

AADMER also provides for the establishment of an ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Center) to undertake operational coordination of activities under the agreement. It is also ASEAN`s affirmation of its commitment to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

AADMER was signed by the ASEAN foreign ministers in July 2005. Since then, ASEAN has put in place measures to implement many provisions under the agreement.

Under the purview of a specialised ASEAN body called the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), standard operating procedure, training and capacity building, disaster information sharing and communication network, rapid assessment team, have been set up or put into practice.

Surin, who was appointed ASEAN`s Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator by the ASEAN Leaders during the 14th ASEAN Summit, further encouraged ASEAN`s friends and partners to extend their assistance and cooperation to the implementation of AADMER.

He added that "such support will certainly add to our collective efforts in building a disaster-resilient ASEAN Community by 2015."

In anticipation of AADMER`s entry into force, ASEAN had initiated the development of a Work Programme covering the period of 2010-2015 to operationalise AADMER and translate its spirit and goals into concrete terms.

The Work Programme will be adopted by all ASEAN Member States in early March 2010.

The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters is noted in the AADMER as the agreed framework for disaster risk reduction.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Burma to buy Russian MiG planes

BBC News

MiG-29s are designed in Russia, and used by many nations worldwide

Russia has signed a contract to deliver 20 MiG-29 fighter planes to Burma, Russian media reports say.

The contract is worth 400m euros (£356m; $570m), sources close to the Russian arms firm Rosoboronexport say.

Many countries in the West have imposed sanctions against Burma, in response to its poor human rights record.

But the country's military rulers still receive many goods, including arms, from its neighbours China and India, as well as Russia.

The Kommersant newspaper said Russia had already given 12 MiGs to Burma in 2001.

In the 1990s, Burma bought Chinese military aircraft to the value of about $2bn, a source at Rosoboronexport told the Vedomosti business daily.

Indonesia to donate 12,000 tons of rice for ASEAN food security

( December 22, 2009 11:25 PM

JAKARTA (Xinhua) - Indonesia, which has abundant agricultural resources, will donate more than 12,000 tons of rice for food security of the Association of South East Asian Nations ( ASEAN), the country's Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.

Sutarto Ali Musro, a director at the ministry, said the donation aims at assisting the member countries of ASEAN+3 (China, South Korea and Japan) when they are hit by natural disasters.

"We are to provide 12,000 tons of rice to the ASEAN integrated food security. It will be donated when disaster hits the member country," he said.

Vice Minister of Agriculture Bayu Krisnamurthi had earlier said Indonesia was committed to helping ASEAN integrated food security.

The ASEAN integrated food security aims at providing food stock in the region to prevent the member countries from food insufficiency.

China central bank says recovery still weak

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Beijing | Wed, 12/23/2009 6:39 PM

China's central bank warned Wednesday that the country's economic recovery is still weak despite improving conditions and said changes in its development model are urgently needed.

In a quarterly report, the People's Bank of China also said it is studying ways to improve oversight of China's financial industry and guard against excessive risk.

"Our national economic situation is getting better, but the internal force of the economic recovery is inadequate," the report said. "Structural contradictions still exist, so changes in the path of economic development are even more urgent."

The communist government is trying to reduce reliance on exports and investment by boosting domestic consumption, a key element of its 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus. Economists say such a change is essential if China is to continue growing, and the plunge in global demand has made it more necessary.

Driven by the stimulus, China's growth rose to 8.9 percent from a year earlier in the third quarter after dipping to 6.1 percent in the first quarter as exports fell.

But Chinese leaders say the recovery is not solidly established and have warned against complacency.

ASEAN-China free trade deal: Let’s face the music

The Jakarta Post, Andry Asmoro, Analyst | Wed, 12/23/2009 9:34 AM

In the last few months, domestic business players, industry associations, policy makers and analysts are “suddenly” discussing the potential threat from the zero percent tariff implementation on China’s products under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) scheme, effective starting Jan. 1, 2010.

Most people would concur the implementation of ACFTA would adversely impact Indonesia’s manufacturing and trade performance.

That 14 industries are asking for a delayed implementation of ACFTA proves this. These include textiles, steel, tires, furniture, cocoa processing, medical equipment, cosmetics, aluminium, electronics, downstream petrochemicals, flat glass, shoes, machine-tools and automotive goods.

Most Indonesians would agree the country needs more time to compete with China’s products and that delaying implementation of free trade would be a good thing.

But, we believe that no matter when the free trade deal is implemented, the result would be the same: Indonesia’s industries would not be ready. It is high time Indonesian companies face the music for being poorly prepared, instead of keeping up the past practice of hiding behind government protection.

China-ASEAN relations started up in 1990 when Qia Qichen, China’s Foreign Minister, attended the opening session of the 24th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur and expressed China’s interest in cooperating with ASEAN.

In November 2000, China proposed a free trade area with the 10 ASEAN states. In 2002, ASEAN members and China announced the Framework Agreement for ASEAN-China economic cooperation.

The schedule for the tariff cuts for ASEAN 6 countries (i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei) began in 2003 with 60 percent out of 8,626 tariff posts falling to 0 percent. In 2007, 80 percent of total tariff posts fell to 0 percent while in 2010, 100 percent of the total 8,626 tariff posts must be cut to 0 percent.

Indonesia had 7-10 years to prepare its industries to implement ACFTA and is not the only country with a trade deficit with China. So Thailand has one too. Of the ASEAN 4 countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand), only Singapore and Malaysia have managed trade surpluses with China this year.

The three biggest commodity exports to China have been Mineral Fuels, Oils & Products, Animal or Vegetable Fats and Oils and Machinery or Electrical Equipment (ME).

Mineral fuels and vegetable oils contributed 51.2 percent of China’s total imports from Indonesia. The country is not competitive when it comes to textile products and footwear which only contributed 1.6 percent of its exports to China.

On the flip side, China’s exports to Indonesia have been dominated by Machinery, Electrical Equipment, Base Metals and Articles and Textiles and Textile Articles. These contributed more than 60 percent of China’s exports to Indonesia.

China’s exports to Indonesia are mostly manufacturing products while China’s imports from Indonesia are minerals or natural resources.

From this, we conclude that Indonesia’s domestic industry would suffer from the implementation of ACFTA. But would a delay help?

We believe not. Even with a delay, various Indonesian industries would face the same problems, particularly given that some products from China are state-subsidized.

Based on a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, Indonesia’s Global Competitiveness Index was ranked 55 in 2008-2009, the lowest among its ASEAN peers (i.e. Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand).

To counter this, Indonesia needs to make structural changes impacting upon the country’s manufacturing sectors. These include dealing with mark-ups and inefficiencies, which result in lack of competitiveness for Indonesian products.

From the government side, we also need to see support for the manufacturing sector in the form of infrastructure development such as roads and electricity in order to promote efficiency.

According to the Ministry of Public Works, Indonesia’s total funding requirement for infrastructure development in 2010-14 would amount to Rp 400 trillion, of which 50 percent will be allocated for road development.

Nevertheless, project implementation remains challenging due to lack of government supporting regulations and weak horizontal inter-departmental and vertical coordination.

With such deep-rooted problems facing Indonesian industries, there will be no short-term panacea (read: a delay would not help).

The sooner we face the music and compete against other ASEAN countries and China, the faster competitiveness for Indonesian companies will emerge. It’s time to play catch-up with Malaysia and Singapore. Only through short-term hardships will we pave the way for Indonesia’s improved trade performance in the longer run.

The writer is an economist at PT Bahana Securities

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Man jailed for eating rare tiger

Fewer than 1,800 Indochinese tigers are thought to be living in the wild

A Chinese man has been jailed for 12 years for killing and eating a rare Indochinese tiger.

Kang Wannian, a villager from the southern province of Yunnan, said he had encountered the tiger while out fishing, and killed it in self-defence.

The animal may have been China's only wild Indochinese tiger, which is on the brink of extinction.

Four other men were jailed for sharing the tiger meal and covering up the incident.

Endangered species

Kang was confronted by the tiger in February while gathering freshwater clams in a nature reserve near China's border with Laos.

He said he shot the animal after dark and claimed that, at the time, he did not know it was an endangered Indochinese tiger.

According to local media, Kang was sentenced to 10 years for killing a rare animal plus two years for illegal possession of firearms.

The court in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, also ordered him to pay a fine of 480,000 yuan ($70,000; £44,000).

Fewer than 1,800 Indochinese tigers are thought to be living in the wild, in the forests of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma.

The only known wild Indochinese tiger in China was photographed in 2007 at the same reserve that Kang visited.

The tiger has not been seen since Kang's meal, and there is speculation that Kang could have eaten the last one.

A backlash builds up against China

The Economic Times, 22 Dec 2009, 0153 hrs IST, NYT News Service

HANOI: Trung Son, Vietnam — It seemed as if this village in northern Vietnam had struck gold when a Chinese and a Japanese company arrived to jointly build a coal-fired power plant. Thousands of jobs would start flowing in, or so the local residents hoped.

Four years later, the Haiphong Thermal Power Plant is nearing completion. But only a few hundred Vietnamese ever got jobs. Most of the workers were Chinese, about 1,500 at the peak. Hundreds of them are still here, toiling by day on the dusty construction site and cloistered at night in dingy dormitories.

“The Chinese workers overwhelm the Vietnamese workers here,” said Nguyen Thai Bang, 29, a Vietnamese electrician. China, famous for its export of cheap goods, is increasingly known for shipping out cheap labour. These global migrants often work in factories or on Chinese-run construction and engineering projects, though the range of jobs is astonishing: from planting flowers in the Netherlands to doing secretarial work in Singapore to herding cows in Mongolia — even delivering newspapers in the Middle East.

But a backlash against them has grown. Across Asia and Africa, episodes of protest and violence against Chinese workers have flared. Vietnam and India are among the nations that have moved this year to impose new labour rules for foreign companies and restrict the number of Chinese workers allowed to enter, straining diplomatic relations with Beijing.

In Vietnam, dissidents and intellectuals are using the issue of Chinese labour to challenge Vietnam’s governing Communist Party. A lawyer has sued Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung over his approval of a Chinese bauxite mining project, and the National Assembly is questioning top officials over Chinese contracts, both unusual moves in this authoritarian state.

Chinese workers continue to follow China’s state-owned construction companies as they win bids abroad to build power plants, factories, railroads, highways, subway lines and stadiums. From January to October 2009, Chinese companies completed $58 billion of projects, a 33% increase over the same period in 2008, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. From Angola to Uzbekistan, Iran to Indonesia, some 740,000 Chinese workers were abroad at the end of 2008, with 58% sent out last year alone, the Commerce Ministry said. The number going abroad this year is on track to roughly match that rate.

Chinese executives say that Chinese workers are not always less expensive, but that they tend to be more skilled and easier to manage than local workers. “Whether you’re talking about the social benefits or economic benefits to the countries receiving the workers, the countries have had very good things to say about the Chinese workers and their skills,” said Diao Chunhe, director of the China International Contractors Association, a government organisation in Beijing.

But in some countries, local residents accuse the Chinese of stealing jobs, staying on illegally and isolating themselves by building bubble worlds that replicate life in China, not unlike American military bases in the Middle East. “There are entire Chinese villages now,” said Pham Chi Lan, former executive V-P of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We’ve never seen such a practice on projects done by companies from other countries.”

At this construction site northeast of the port city of Haiphong, an entire Chinese world has sprung up: four walled dormitory compounds, restaurants with Chinese signs advertising dumplings and fried rice, currency exchange shops, massage parlors — even a sign on the site itself that says “Guangxi Road,” referring to the Chinese province that most of the workers call home. One night, eight Chinese workers in blue uniforms sat in a cramped restaurant that had been opened by a man from Guangxi at the request of the project’s main subcontractor, Guangxi Power Construction Company. Their faces were flushed from drinking Chinese rice wine.

“I was sent here, and I’m fulfilling my patriotic duty,” said Lin Dengji, 52, an equipment installation manager. Such scenes can set off anxieties in Vietnam, which prides itself on resisting Chinese domination, starting with its break from Chinese rule in the 10th century. Vietnamese are all too aware of the economic juggernaut to their north. Vietnam had a $10-billion trade deficit with China last year. In July, a senior official said that 35,000 Chinese workers were in Vietnam, according to Tuoi Tre newspaper. The announcement shocked many Vietnamese.

“The Chinese economic presence in Vietnam is deeper, more far-reaching and progressing faster than people realise,” said Le Dang Doanh, an economist in Hanoi who advised the preceding prime minister.

Conflict has broken out between Vietnamese and Chinese labourers. In Thanh Hoa province in June, a drunken Chinese worker from a cement plant traded blows with the husband of a Vietnamese shopkeeper.

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Deported Uighurs told UN of fears of China return

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Beijing | Tue, 12/22/2009 8:33 AM

Ethnic Uighur asylum-seekers forcibly repatriated over the weekend had warned the U.N. refugee agency they feared long jail terms or even the death penalty if they were sent back to China, according to statements seen by The Associated Press.

The 20 Uighur Muslims had fled to Cambodia in search of asylum after witnessing and documenting violent ethnic riots in the restive western Chinese region of Xinjiang this summer that left nearly 200 dead. They were put on a plane from Phnom Penh to Beijing on Saturday under heavy pressure from China, despite strong protests from the U.S. and the United Nations.

China has called the Uighurs suspected criminals, and on Monday defended the forced returns, saying it was in line with immigration law.

"The Chinese side received the above-mentioned people according to usual practice," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a faxed statement. Jiang refused to say where the Uighurs are being held and whether they had been charged with any crime.

Cambodia said it expelled the Uighurs because they had illegally entered the country. It has since been publicly censured by the U.S., which warned the deportations could hurt their bilateral relations.

But it may have helped cement Cambodia's ties with China, a key ally and major donor to the impoverished Southeast Asian nation. On Monday, China signed over $1.2 billion in aid to Cambodia during a visit there by Vice President Xi Jinping. The assistance, including 14 agreements for grants and loans, ranges from help in building roads to repairing Buddhist temples.

Several of the Uighurs had told the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, in Cambodia, that they feared lengthy imprisonment or even the death penalty if they were returned to China because they had been involved in the summer's ethnic unrest.

Their written statements, which had been provided to the U.N. to support their asylum applications, were obtained independently by The AP Monday. Their names are not being published for fear of retaliation by the government. The statements describe the bloodshed that broke out after security forces cracked down on protesting Uighurs. The unrest, in which Uighurs also clashed with ethnic Han Chinese residents, was widely regarded as the worst ethnic violence in the region for decades.

One man, a 29-year-old from Kashgar, said he had taken photos and videos of the chaos on July 5 in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi. He told of watching and filming from a roof at night as military police clashed with and shot at protesters, and Uighurs fought back with rocks. He said he saw bloodied bodies in the streets.

"I felt like I was in a battlefield. Looking down at the streets full of Uighur bodies, I thought that I was going to die," he said in his statement.

Four days later, he met a foreign reporter on the streets and agreed to turn over the photographs and video footage.

"If I am returned to China, I am sure that I will be sentenced to life imprisonment or the death penalty for my involvement in the Urumqi riots," he said in his statement.

Another 29-year-old witness, from Aksu, who had sold cell phones for a living, said he had joined some 300 protesters in the main square before hundreds of police arrived and began beating them.

"I heard shots fired and became very scared ... The next morning, I went into the street after praying. I saw blood on the streets," he said in his statement.

A third man, a 27-year-old teacher from Aksu, said that before the summer unrest he had been pressed to act as an informant by state security officials who wanted to know if his students were anti-Chinese. They asked him to monitor Uighur communist Web sites. He spent more than a year being tortured and beaten in a re-education camp.

"I can tell the world what is happening to Uighur people and the Chinese authorities do not want this. If returned, I am certain I would be sent to prison," he wrote in his statement.

The group of Uighurs had made the journey from China's far west through to Vietnam and then Cambodia with the help of a network of missionary groups. Two Uighurs fled before the group was forced to return on a special plane sent to Phnom Penh on Saturday.

The European Union said Monday it was "deeply concerned" about Cambodia's decision to return the group of Uighurs to China and urged Beijing to respect the rights of the returnees.

"The (Cambodian) government's action shows a worrying disregard for Cambodia's obligations under international law, as well as for specific undertakings given to UNHCR in this case," said a statement from the EU's Swedish presidency.

Earlier, the United States voiced similar concerns, while human rights groups say they fear the Uighurs will be harshly persecuted.

Overseas Uighur groups say Uighurs in China have been rounded up in mass detentions since the summer's violence. China has handed down at least 17 death sentences over the rioting.

2 Koreas to open modernized military hot lines

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Seoul | Tue, 12/22/2009 11:56 AM

North and South Korea plan to open modernized military hot lines next week to help facilitate border crossings by officials and workers from the South to a joint industrial complex in the North, an official said Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after the North threatened South Korean ships with possible attacks.

The hot lines serve as a key mode of direct communication between military officials from the two Koreas, which technically remain at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The divided countries have nearly finished connecting fiber-optic cables across their heavily fortified border and will test the nine communication channels later this week before formally opening them next week, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said.

The move comes two months after the South provided the North with communication equipment and other materials to help its communist neighbor modernize the hot lines.

The fiber-optic cables will be laid near nine outdated copper cable hot lines, some of which the North cut off in 2008, citing technical problems, before restoring them, according to the ministry.

The communication lines are likely to "improve convenience of our people's border crossings," allowing the two Koreas to exchange information quickly and efficiently, Chun told reporters.

The industrial complex, which combines South Korean capital and technology with cheap North Korean labor, is the most prominent symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. About 110 South Korean factories employ some 40,000 North Korean workers there.

On Monday, the North threatened South Korean ships with possible attacks by designating a firing zone along their disputed sea border.

The western maritime boundary has long been considered a flash point between the two Koreas because the North does not recognize a line the United Nations unilaterally drew at the end of the Korean War. Pyongyang claims the actual border is farther south.

The dispute led to deadly skirmishes in 1999, 2002 and last month. In the latest clash, ships from the two sides exchanged fire in the disputed waters Nov. 10, leaving one North Korean sailor dead and three others wounded, according to the South.