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. …

Children Day

Children Day

Search This Blog

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Asian style

The Associated Press | Sat, 10/31/2009 9:40 AM

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Third Asian Indoor Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday. The Asian Indoor Games will be held from October 30 to November 8. AP/Chitose Suzuki

Friday, October 30, 2009

Malaysia Arrests Indonesians in $11 Million Ecstasy Raid

The Jakarta Globe,

Four Indonesians have been arrested in Malaysia's biggest-ever Ecstasy bust, police said on Thursday.

The four men were sleeping when narcotics police raided their bungalow in Georgetown, Pengang, late on Tuesday, according to The Star newspaper. Police seized drugs worth some 38 million ringgit, or more than $11 million.

“We recovered a total of 42,282 such pills and 322.8kg Ecstasy powder which could be made into another 922,300 pills,” state police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob told a press conference. He added that police were investigating whether the Ecstasy was meant for the international market.

Police also seized cash, jewelry, several laptop computers and eight luxury cars.

Authorities believe the Indonesian-based drug ring moved to Malaysia to avoid having to smuggle the drugs into the country.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

IMF raises forecasts for Asia's economic growth

The Jakarta Post

The Associated Press, Hong Kong | Thu, 10/29/2009 2:35 PM

Asian economies from China to India will grow faster than expected through next year, far outpacing recoveries in the West, thanks to aggressive government stimulus spending and a pickup in global trade, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.

But the region's rapid expansion will remain below the levels seen in the decade before the economic crisis as consumers in the U.S. and other large industrialized nations curtail their spending on Asian-made electronics, cars and other goods in the face of rising unemployment and other legacies of the downturn, the fund said in a report.

"Asia has not decoupled from the rest of the world," the IMF said, wading into a broader debate over whether the region's prospects hinge on the West. "In fact, Asia's fortunes remain closely tied to that of the global economy."

The fund raised its forecast for Asia, saying the broader regional economy that spans countries from New Zealand to India would grow 2.75 percent in 2009 and 5.75 percent in 2010. That's still below the average of 6.7 percent over the past decade. Both projections were about 1.5 percentage points stronger than those estimated by the fund in May.

Economies in the seven leading developed countries, meanwhile, were seen as shriveling by about 2.5 percent this year and growing only 1.25 percent next year.

Asian countries have been leading a recovery in the world economy, with growth accelerating since governments across the region loosened monetary policies and unleashed a torrent of spending to help shelter their companies and consumers from the drop-off in global trade and finance.

China's economy, the world's third largest, expanded at an 8.9 percent pace in the third quarter on the back of lavish government stimulus and bank lending. In South Korea, the economy grew last quarter at its fastest rate in over seven years.

Looking ahead, China was expected to outperform, its economy growing 8.5 percent in 2009 and 9 percent in 2010, the IMF said. Japan, the world's No. 2 economy, was set to contract 5.5 percent this year before turning around next year to grow 1.75 percent.

With only about half the region's stimulus carried out so far, government measures will continue to buoy local economies over the next several quarters, the IMF said.

Unwinding those measures will require Asian governments to walk a fine line between supporting economic activity and fighting inflation.

Except for China, India and Australia, whose economies are staging quicker recoveries than most, Asian countries should ensure government policies continue to prop up their economies next year, the fund said. Steps to restrain the easy flow of money, through interest rate hikes and other monetary tightening, won't be necessary anytime soon because recoveries are still fragile and risks of inflation low.

Once the effects of stimulus programs fade, however, Asia will ultimately need to find ways to make up for weaker demand in the West by increasing its local private consumption with the help of a broader social safety net and other reforms, the IMF said.

Asia's history of high savings and low consumption reflects a lack of state pension systems and affordable health insurance. Knowing there's no safety net, Asia's workers save more than they otherwise would while also using part of their incomes to support their parents.

Over the longer run, the fund said Asian countries will have to let their currencies appreciate. China, for example, has long held down its currency, a policy that's boosted demand for exports but which analysts say has contributed to economic imbalances that hinder broader and sustainable growth in the region.

The IMF also warned against raising interest rates too soon. Doing so might not only sap the tentative rebound in most countries but exacerbate this year's surge in prices of equities, real estate and other assets in Asia.

That's because investors would be encouraged to borrow money from countries with rock-bottom interest rates, such as the U.S. and Japan, and direct it toward nations with higher interest rates, a practice known as the carry trade.

Related Articles:

US economy is growing once again

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SBY to visit Malaysia to discuss migrant worker issues

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 10/28/2009 10:08 PM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will soon visit Malaysia for talks on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers employed in the neighboring country.

While the fixed date for the trip has not been set, presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal said Wednesday that issues surrounding the condition and fate of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia would be among the topics of discussion between leaders of the two countries.

The plan comes on the heel of the death of Indonesian domestic worker Muntik, 47, due to alleged abuse.

According to Dino, the President was “very concerned” about the death of Muntik and asked that justice would be upheld.

“Whatever her status, this [alleged abuse] is a crime. Her status is another problem. We hope the Malaysian government will take action against the perpetrators and bring them to justice in accordance with Malaysian law,” Dino said.

Muntik, from the East Java town of Jember, died at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Selangor on Monday. She was allegedly abused by her employers. Antara reported that Muntik had been shaved bald, beaten with steel, and told to sleep inside a toilet.

The Malaysian police raided the house of Muntik’s employers and admitted her to the hospital following a report from an Indian-Malaysian lawyer.

In a press statement sent to The Jakarta Post, the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry said the Malaysian government expressed its “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the family of Muntik and to Indonesians in general, and promised to take legal measures against the perpetrators.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to stress that the Government of Malaysia strongly condemns all forms of abuse against any workers, regardless of nationality or sector of employment.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

President : RI Will Never Leave Asean

Antara, Monday, October 26, 2009 09:45 WIB

Hua Hin, Thailand (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Sunday night Indonesia will never leave ASEAN despite its growing role in the Group of 20 rich and developing nations (G20).

"Admittedly, I have heard some worries that since Indonesia has a new club, new home, namely G20, it will no longer make ASEAN its main home," the president said in a press conference at the end of his visit in Thailand to attend the 15th ASEAN Summit.

As one of ASEAN`s founders, Indonesia will continue to play an active role in and become an important part of ASEAN, particularly to create an ASEAN Community by 2015, he said.

"That`s why it is not true that since Indonesia joins the G20, it will no longer consider ASEAN important. ASEAN is very important. After all, at a wider forum Indonesia is aware that in the G20 we can discuss global issues in a more conclusive way," he said.

At the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, the United States, last September, President Yudhoyono suggested that the rotating ASEAN chair be invited to any G20 meeting.

As such, Indonesia will bring not only its own interests but also those of ASEAN and developing countries to the G20 meeting, he said.

At their 15th summit ASEAN leaders appreciated Indonesia`s stand in the G20 and agreed on the formation of G20 ASEAN contact group comprising the ASEAN chair, the ASEAN secretary general, and Indonesia, the only G20 member from ASEAN. ASEAN finance ministers will be obliged to meet routinely to finalize ASEAN`s position ahead of any G20 summit.

The G20 was established particularly to seek a solution to the global financial crisis.

President Yudhoyono said in the future the G20 must not only confine itself to solving the global economic crisis but also address other global issues, such as climate change and international security.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Asean Agrees to Expand Cooperation In Education, Push for Regional Studies

The Jakarta Globe

Hua Hin, Thailand. Leaders from the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations decided during the 15th Asean Summit here over the weekend to increase cooperation in the field of education.

During the summit’s close on Sunday, the leaders agreed to strengthen political, economic and sociocultural cooperation across the region by 2015.

According to the agreement, enhancing educational ties among Southeast Asian countries is aimed at improving the region’s human resources for competition both at a regional and global level.

Stepping up the quality of education and upgrading teaching standards were put forward as major issues for the Asean leaders to address, and would serve as a common benchmark for the respective countries.

The leaders also committed to ensuring greater mobility for students and teachers in the region, particularly through cultural exchanges, in order to promote mutual understanding between neighboring countries.

During the summit, members expressed their readiness to push more regional studies in their countries and to establish a convention on educational research to serve as a framework for new cooperation in the field.

Plans were also announced to observe the anniversary of Asean’s founding on Aug. 8, and to introduce the history of the regional organization as well as its latest developments to students. The Asean Charter, as the blueprint of the regional community, would be included in school curricula, as would the principles of democracy, peace and human rights.

The Southeast Asian leaders are now considering creating a special fund to help develop education in the region.


Asian leaders ponder common currency

ABC News, By South East Asia correspondent Karen Percy

Kevin Rudd outlined his ideas for creating a bigger and bolder grouping. (AFP: Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

It may never happen but the idea of having one Asian currency is being floated as part of a greater Asia Pacific community.

As leaders got together in Thailand to discuss regional issues, the idea of combining the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and APEC was again talked about.

The idea is to bring more countries together to cooperate on issues of regional security and trade, but it is still a long way off.

ASEAN and its partners are promising to work closely together on economic integration, climate change and disaster management.

And they discussed the long-term future of the group and the East-Asia summit forum as Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd outlined his ideas for creating a bigger and bolder grouping.

His idea is to meld the APEC and ASEAN groups to create a far-reaching alliance that would have security issues at its heart.

"It reflects the fact that in this dynamic region, which is so much the centre of global economic activity in the 21st century, but with still genuine and continuing security challenges in the 21st century that we must always work to improve our regional coordination and cooperation systems and institutions into the future," he said.

Japan has floated a similar proposal, going even further - pitching for a common currency amongst East Asian nations.

Thailand's Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, ASEAN 's current president, has reinforced his colleagues' desire to build on the ASEAN framework.

"We continue to practice open regionalism and we know that with the evolving circumstances and environment of our times, our cooperation and arrangements too must evolve and we have had good responses from our dialogue partners," he said.

"I am confident that in doing so we will preserve ASEAN centrality and make vital contributions, not just to our own region but to the Asia-Pacific region and to the whole world."

ASEAN charters 'hollow'

Despite adopting a charter in the past year aimed at ending the perception of ASEAN as a country club and committing the 10 members to a more rules-based system, ASEAN is still seen as being weak and ineffective.

A case in point is the region's first human rights body, which was formally established during this weekend but it is going to be an instrument of the 10 governments, many of which are accused of abuses.

The leaders talk up their aims to be there for the people, yet input from outsiders, whether it is ordinary citizens or non-governmental organisations, into how ASEAN should grow has been poorly received, as seen in Friday's people's meeting where a number of NGOs were turned away from their own discussions.

Political commentator Thitinan Pongsudhirak says there are worries now about what happens next year when Vietnam assumes ASEAN's presidency.

"Vietnam is not going to be very receptive to civil society activism, human rights organisations and so on and this is going to cast a cloud over ASEAN because ASEAN has come out with this ASEAN charter," he said.

"Human rights provisions, the fundamental freedoms in the ASEAN charter will come under pressure during Vietnam's chairmanship.

"If Vietnam does not allow some opening, some abidance of this human rights and fundamental freedoms in the ASEAN charter, the ASEAN charter will be hollow. It will look like a joke. It will be bankrupt."

One thing will not be at issue in Vietnam and that is security. While Thailand has had to contend with threats of protests and a disruption to one summit, there is no chance that Vietnam's meetings will be disrupted by protesters or anything else for that matter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

ASEAN seeks stronger G20 voice

Sri Wahyuni, The Jakarta Post, Hua Hin, Thailand | Sun, 10/25/2009 11:21 AM

Asian leaders link hands at the Asean+3 summit (left to right): Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, South Korea President Lee Myung-bak and China Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. (Photo: EPA)

Southeast Asian leaders agreed during the 15th ASEAN summit in Thailand on Saturday on the importance of continued and more effective representation in this group of the world's 20 largest economies.

Speaking in the Thai seaside resorts of Cha-am and Hua Huin, the newly sworn-in Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty M. Natalegawa said that leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) had set up a contact group to coordinate member-state positions before G20 meetings.

"Thanks to Indonesia's suggestion, we decided this morning that our finance ministers would routinely meet ahead of G20 meetings to ensure coordination," said Marty, who represented Indonesia during the closed meeting Saturday morning.

With Vietnam as the next chair of ASEAN, the contact group will comprise Indonesia, Vietnam and the ASEAN secretary-general.

Marty said being a permanent member of the G20 did not mean Indonesia was neglecting ASEAN.

That was why, he added, Indonesia had insisted on continued participation of ASEAN in the G20 and had strived for its recognition in the economic grouping.

The two day summit adopted several policy positions including on ASEAN+3 cooperation on food security and bio-energy development as well as a joint statement on climate change, on ASEAN connectivity and a declaration on education.

On connectivity, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said the leaders recognized that greater connectivity, both physical and non-physical, would not only generate economic growth and further promote integration but also enhance the bloc's centrality in the region.

In terms of reactions to the global economic crisis, he added, the leaders looked forward to the launching of the US$120 billion Chiang Mai multilateral initiative (CMIM) scheduled for the end of this year.

"This would help restore confidence and enhance the ability to address the impact of the financial and economic crisis," Kasit said.

Also on Saturday activists from Greenpeace Southeast Asia held a rally, trying to make their way to the venue at the Dusit Thani Hotel, to express disappointment over the cancellation of an ASEAN declaration on climate change.

Pushing a big "earth ball" with the words "ASEAN Leaders: U Turn The Earth" they marched from the nearby Sheraton Hotel, the summit's media center, but were forcefully dispersed by security forces.

"We understand that the Internal Security Act is being applied here, but we just want to be heard," said Tara Buakamsi, the Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaign manager.

He said his organization was just challenging the ASEAN leaders to demonstrate collective leadership to protect the region's 850 million people from the debilitating impacts of climate change by making commitments to zero deforestation and to low carbon development strategies.

"We want ASEAN to come up with more concrete proposals to be brought to the Copenhagen Summit," said the organization's political advisor, Zelda Soriano, referring to the UN forum on climate change meeting to be held in Copenhagen in December.

Related Articles:

Asian leaders seek to reduce Western trade ties

Asean to Move Toward EU-Style Unity

No Asia without us, India reminds Asean, Japan

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ASEAN agrees to form infrastructure development fund

Antara, Saturday, October 24, 2009 19:55 WIB

Hua Hin, Thailand (ANTARA News) - ASEAN member countries have agreed on the formation of infrastructure development fund as part of efforts to create connectivity in the Southeast Asian region.

The agreement was contained in the 57-point joint statement of ASEAN heads of state/government issued by the 15th ASEAN Summit`s media secretariat on the sidelines of the summit on Saturday.

The formation of the ASEAN infrastructure development fund was aimed at financing the development of physical infrastructure, multimodal transportation and information communication technology linkages, the statement said.

To meet the need for development funds, ASEAN member countries allowed their partners in East Asia to participate in the effort, it said.

China has pledged US$10 billion for the development of ASEAN-China infrastructure and Japan US$20 billion for developing countries in Asia, including ASEAN.

The contribution from the two countries is expected to help speed up the creation of connectivity among 10 ASEAN member states as well as between the regional grouping and countries in East Asia.

In their joint statement, the ASEAN heads of state/government also asked their respective finance ministers to speed up the formation of the ASEAN infrastructure development fund and manage fund contributions from ASEAN`s dialog partners in East Asia as well as from other interested parties.

The development of ASEAN infrastructures is one of the efforts to create an ASEAN community by 2015 as mandated by the ASEAN Charter.

ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Japan pushes for new East Asian bloc

Reuters, by Yoko Nishikawa, Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:51am EDT

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (L) greets next to his wife Kristiani Yudhoyono upon their arrival Hua Hin airport for the 15th ASEAN Summit at the resort city of Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, October 24, 2009. (REUTERS/Rungroj Yongrit/Pool)

HUA HIN, Thailand (Reuters) - Japanese and Chinese leaders entered talks on Saturday with their Asian counterparts focused heavily on whether the region should pursue an EU-style bloc, and whether Washington should be involved.

Top Japanese officials backed a U.S. role for their proposed East Asian Community, as they pitched the idea of an integrated economic grouping at a summit of 16 Asia-Pacific leaders in the Thai resort town of Hua Hin.

"Japan places the U.S.-Japan alliance at the foundation of its diplomacy," Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said in a meeting with Southeast Asian leaders, according to a Japanese government spokesman.

"I would like to firmly promote regional cooperation in East Asia with a long-term vision of forming an East Asian Community," Hatoyama said.

The talks are part of a three-day leaders' summit which got off to a rancorous start on Friday, marred by a diplomatic spat between Thailand and neighbor Cambodia, a budding trade feud over rice import tariffs and a few no-shows in the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Southeast Asian leaders met as a group on Saturday with counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea, a day after launching a much-criticized human rights commission as part of their own plans to build their own community by 2015.

The setting gives Asia's economic titans, China and Japan, a chance to jockey for influence in Southeast Asia, a region of 570 million people with a combined $1.1 trillion economy that is quickly pulling out of a global recession.

Japan's newly minted government sees its influence bound to an East Asian Community, an idea for a new regional trading bloc inspired by the European Union and including India, Australia and New Zealand, along with ASEAN countries.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will push another idea at the summit centered around a new forum of Asia-Pacific nations and the United States for economic, security, environmental and political crises, according to Australian media.

Washington has stepped up Asian diplomacy under the Obama administration and fears missing out on such groupings, especially with Japan's new leaders considering redefining their close security alliance while deepening their Asian ties.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, told reporters in Beijing this month "critical dialogues that touch on security, economic, and commercial issues should involve the United States."


Accounting for nearly a quarter of global economic output, an East Asian Community could overtake ASEAN's existing trade ties with Japan, China and South Korea, but would also vie with the "Group of 20," which anointed itself last month as the pre-eminent forum for global economic coordination.

Exactly how Washington would participate is uncertain.

Asked if U.S. involvement meant Washington would be a member of the Community, a Japanese government official told reporters on Saturday: "It remains unclear. We have to see how multilateral meetings will turn out today."

In Tokyo, the move is seen as an attempt by Japan to ease growing worries about friction over the long-planned reorganization of the U.S. military presence in Japan, the first big test of ties between Washington and Japan's month-old government.

China has been cool to the idea of a community, wary it could promote Japanese influence at a time Beijing is rapidly expanding trade, investment and diplomatic links across Southeast Asia -- from building sleek new government offices in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to working closely with reclusive Myanmar.

"China wants to establish healthy relations with the new government in Japan, so it is not going to object to discussing this idea," said Shi Yinhong, a regional security professor at Beijing's Renmin University.

"But everybody understands the idea of an East Asia Community is extremely far off," he added.

Leaders from across Asia arrived at the beach resort under a blanket of security, including a security force of 18,000 backed by a handful of military gunships, with host Thailand determined to avoid a rerun of embarrassing mishaps at past summits.

The summit was initially scheduled for December last year but was postponed when anti-government protestors shut down Bangkok's airports. It was moved to the Thai resort area of Pattaya in April but was subsequently aborted when a rival protest group broke through police and army lines and stormed the summit venue.

(Additional reporting by Chris Buckley in Beijing; Writing by Jason Szep; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

Related Article:

North Korea, economy feature at Asian summit

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Southeast Asia presses Myanmar over election

Reuters, by Jason Szep, Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:24am EDT

HUA HIN, Thailand, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian governments raised pressure on military-ruled Myanmar on Thursday to hold "free and fair" elections next year, and urged the junta to free pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi.

The sentencing of Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner detained for 14 of the last 20 years, to a further 18 months of detention this year has led the West to question whether the election next year in the former Burma will be a sham.

"They have said many times the elections next year will be inclusive, free and fair. That remains to be seen," Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said after a meeting of foreign ministers from the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations.

Speaking at a news conference in the seaside resort town of Hua Hin, he said Myanmar had a commitment to promote human rights under an agreement ratified by its rulers last year to create a so-called ASEAN integrated community by 2015.

"That's Myanmar's obligation as a member of ASEAN," he said, describing talks with Myanmar's foreign minister, Nyan Win, as "very cordial".

He said ASEAN's request for the release of Suu Kyi still stood. Earlier in the year, some Southeast Asian countries had urged ASEAN to take a tougher stand on Myanmar with a public appeal calling on the junta to grant an amnesty to Suu Kyi.

That went nowhere. Several ASEAN nations rebuffed it, saying it contravened the grouping's long-standing non-interference policy in each others' internal politics.


Suu Kyi was found guilty in August of breaking a law protecting the state from "subversive elements" when, while under house arrest, she allowed an American intruder to stay at her lakeside home for two nights.

The ruling sparked international outrage and was widely dismissed as a ploy to keep Suu Kyi out of next year's election, the first since 1990, when her National League for Democracy party scored a landslide victory the junta refused to recognise.

Kasit made his comments a day before the launch by ASEAN leaders of a human rights watchdog critics say is already discredited by having Myanmar, seen as a serial rights abuser, as part of the mechanism.

The new body, called the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, has no power to punish members and aims to promote rather than protect human rights.

It is unlikely to have much influence, for instance, in efforts to free Suu Kyi or the estimated 2,000 political prisoners in the reclusive country.

Myanmar's generals allowed Suu Kyi recently to meet with Western diplomats after Washington said late last month it was embarking on a new policy of engagement with the junta.

Yangon is touting the election next year as a final destination on its "roadmap to democracy".

ASEAN's members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Editing by Jeremy Laurence and Ron Popeski)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Keen on Indonesia

The Strait Times, By Lynn Lee, Indonesia Correspondent

PM Lee (far left), who was in Jakarta for the inauguration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (left) and Vice-President Boediono on Tuesday morning, spoke highly of Indonesia's strong and steady economic growth which is tipped to hit at least 4.5 per cent this year. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

JAKARTA - SINGAPOREAN investors are keen to put their money in Indonesia but Jakarta will first have to straighten out its investment conditions to benefit more from foreign dollars, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong here on Tuesday.

'Indonesia has grown very steadily, much stronger than Singapore. But the investments have not been as high as they could have been, and therefore for the longer term, it is something which Indonesia has to think and worry about.

'And we hope they'll be able to work it out so our investors can come in and participate in the growth and help in the Indonesia can prosper,' he told the Singapore media in Jakarta.

PM Lee, who was in Jakarta for the inauguration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice-President Boediono on Tuesday morning, spoke highly of Indonesia's strong and steady economic growth which is tipped to hit at least 4.5 per cent this year.

He also cited his 'good relationship' with Dr Yudhoyono, who is into his second term, and said Singapore is looking forward to working with Indonesia, directly and through forums like Asean and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum.

Mr Lee said security and defence cooperation, as well as economic relations would play an integral part in bilateral ties. Both countries are working towards the Asean Economic Community in which goods, capital and labour would flow freely through the region by 2015.

'We need the big economies to give it a push and to contribute with their own offers and measures,' he added.

Asean appeal blocked

Straits Times

SINGAPORE - MYANMAR has scuttled a plan by fellow Asean members to issue a public appeal seeking amnesty for detained pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.

'They rejected it two months ago. They rejected the idea,' the South-east Asian diplomat told AFP just days before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders hold their annual summit in Thailand this weekend.

The source, who asked not to be named, said that while Ms Suu Kyi's plight could not be put on the formal Asean agenda, Myanmar could still be discussed during a closed-door 'retreat' in which some of the leaders could call for her release.

They could also ask that her party be allowed to contest elections planned for next year, the diplomat added.

The diplomat said he understood that a number of other countries backed Myanmar's position that a public appeal for amnesty for Ms Suu Kyi would amount to interference in its domestic affairs. Myanmar had vetoed previous efforts to use Asean meetings to openly discuss Ms Suu Kyi's fate.

Asean senior officials who met in Jakarta in August had agreed to work on an amnesty call for the Nobel Peace laureate convicted in August for allowing an American man stay in her lakeside home after he swam uninvited to the compound. -- AFP

Related Article:

Myanmar sees role for Suu Kyi in political process: Thailand

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yudhoyono envisions Indonesia's global leadership

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 10/20/2009 11:20 AM

In the spotlight: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, center, deliver a speech after he was sworn in for a second term, Tuesday, in Jakarta. Yudhoyono, the nation's sixth president, is expected to make greater progress against crippling poverty and corruption in his second five-year term. AP/Achmad Ibrahim

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday that Indonesia would play a more active role in the international arena, both at the regional and global levels.

Speaking during his inauguration at the People's Consultative Assembly building, President Yudhoyono said that Indonesia would continue its leadership in the current negotiation for a climate deal that would be completed in Copenhagen in December.

Yudhoyono also said that Indonesia would also be more active in pursuing global economic reforms through various international organizations that Indonesia is a part of, especially through the prestigious Group-20.

Indonesia, Yudhoyono said, would also continue to play its leadership role in Southeast Asia through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to create an "ASEAN community."

"We want to create an ASEAN community to make this Southeast Asian region a peaceful, prosperous and dynamic region," he told the plenary session, which was also attended by leaders of neighboring countries.

Australian Prime Minister Minister Kevin Rudd, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and East Timor Prime President Jose Ramos Horta attended Yudhoyono's inauguration.

Yudhoyono also said that Indonesia would continue to play its role in the United Nations, especially to help the world achieve Millennium Development Goals and create "harmony among civilization."

Related Articles:

SBY: Indonesia Has 'A Million Friends and Zero Enemies'

Yudhoyono promises inclusive, high economic growth

Global dignitaries to join SBY’s swearing in

Indonesia leader starts new term

Southeast Asia to have rights monitor

The Jakarta Post

The Associated Press, Bangkok | Tue, 10/20/2009 1:05 PM

Southeast Asian nations unveil a landmark human rights watchdog this week, but critics charge that it will be both toothless and include in its membership one of the world's worst human rights offenders - military-ruled Myanmar.

Myanmar is sure to prove a burden again as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations holds its annual summit, undermining the bloc's international standing and efforts to forge free trade areas with the United States and Europe.

"While ASEAN may try to move ahead, Burma remains the elephant in the room. It absolutely undermines the spirit of what ASEAN could ever do," says Debbie Stothard, an activist with the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, as the country is also known.

The new body, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, is unlikely to set free Myanmar's 2,000 political prisoners, including democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, or curb other violations: It cannot punish member nations, and focuses on promotion rather than protection of human rights.

ASEAN leaders realize it's just a start but say the commission can be given more teeth later.

And while members of the 10-nation bloc have recently escalated their criticism of Myanmar, the ASEAN summit will again act by consensus, avoid confrontations and maintain that the group's engagement approach to Myanmar works better than the West's sanctions and threats.

The three-day conference, which begins Friday, will also include talks with leaders of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Preliminary meetings begin Wednesday.

On the agenda ae discussions on how to achieve a European Union-style community by 2015, cooperation on education, food security and bio-energy development and the signing of an ASEAN Declaration on Climate Change.

The Thai government has thrown a security cordon around the summit venue, a beach resort 200 kilometers (12 miles) south of Bangkok, to prevent anti-government demonstrations. In April, protesters stormed an Asian summit in the seaside city of Pattaya, shutting down the meeting and forcing the evacuation of several leaders by helicopter and boat.

This time around, security forces have been empowered to impose curfews and restrict freedom of movement around Cha-Am resort and Bangkok.

Myanmar, which joined the 42-year-old bloc in 1997 despite international outrage, comes to the summit having recently released some political prisoners and allowed Suu Kyi to meet with Western diplomats and a government minister.

In a sharp break with former policy of shunning Myanmar, the U.S. government has announced it would engage the junta in direct, high-level talks while continuing its longtime economic sanctions.

But the ruling generals have also arrested more dissidents in recent weeks, and made it clear that nobody will dictate their course, not even its staunchest ally China, with which relations have soured since August when the junta launched an offensive against ethnic minorities along the Chinese border.

"Some powerful nations are resorting to various ways to pressure and influence our nation under various pretexts. However, the (military) government does not get frightened whenever intimidated," said junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe last week.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month urged ASEAN to take a tougher line with Myanmar. But in the end, ASEAN leaders are only likely to prod their fellow member to accelerate its so-called "road to democracy," which includes elections in 2010.

"It is obvious that ASEAN is incapable of making any positive political change in the country. I don't have any high hopes," said Nyan Win, spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party in Yangon, Myanmar.

ASEAN consists of Brei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Bernanke warns on export-led growth in Asia

Reuters, by Mark Felsenthal, Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:28pm EDT

SANTA BARBARA, California (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned on Monday that pursuit of export-led growth by Asian nations could lead to a reemergence of global trade imbalances and undercut efforts to achieve more durable growth.

Throwing his weight behind a call by the Group of 20 nations to rebalance the global economy, Bernanke said Asian nations should put in place policies that discourage excess saving and boost consumption.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke speaks at the Federal Reserve Conference on Key Developments in Monetary Policy in Washington October 8, 2009. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

At the same time, he said the United States needed to increase its saving and "substantially reduce federal deficits over time."

"To achieve more balanced and durable economic growth and to reduce the risks of financial instability, we must avoid ever-increasing and unsustainable imbalances in trade and capital flows," Bernanke said at a conference on Asia sponsored by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.

Bernanke said that while trade imbalances had started to narrow as U.S. households ramped up saving in response to a deep recession eating at their wealth, he cautioned that the imbalances may begin to grow anew as the global economy recovers and trade volumes rebound.

"Trade surpluses achieved through policies that artificially enhance incentives for domestic saving and the production of export goods distort the mix of domestic industries and the allocation of resources, resulting in an economy that is less able to meet the needs of its own citizens in the longer term," he said.

U.S. officials have long pressed China to allow its yuan currency to appreciate, which would lessen any price advantage Chinese goods may have in global markets. China has vowed to move toward more currency flexibility, but it has kept the yuan on a tight leash.

Bernanke said that the performance of the dollar and the U.S. economy will depend on the government's success in controlling the country's budget deficit.

"Our policymakers recognize that we need to develop a fiscal exit strategy that will involve a trajectory toward sustainability," Bernanke said in response to a question after the speech.

"That is critically important in order to maintain confidence in our economy and confidence in our currency. I know that is very well understood in Washington," he said.


The Fed chairman said that Asian economies had rebounded strongly from the crisis, with annualized growth rates in the double digits expected in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

"At this point, while risks to the economic outlook certainly remain, Asia appears to be leading the global recovery," he said.

Countries with the most open economies, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan took the biggest hits as a result of the turmoil, he said. China, India, and Indonesia, which are "among the least financially open" economies, expanded throughout the crisis, Bernanke said.

While conceding that greater global integration increases vulnerability to world-wide economic shocks, he voiced concern that Asian nations could draw the wrong lesson and said greater openness would promote stronger growth over the longer term.

"Protectionism and the erecting of barriers to capital flows should thus be strongly resisted," he said. "Striking a reasonable balance between trade and growth in domestic demand is the best strategy for driving economic expansion."

(Additional reporting by Alister Bull in Washington; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Andrea Ricci)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Myanmar PM to attend ASEAN summit


YANGON — Myanmar's prime minister, General Thein Sein, will attend the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Thailand this week, an official announced Monday.

The official confirmed a state media report that Thein Sein would visit this weekend's summit of regional leaders in the Gulf of Thailand.

"General Thein Sein will attend the ASEAN summit," said the official on condition of anonymity.

His trip to Thailand comes as the junta appears to be opening up diplomatic channels abroad, with Thein Sein last month becoming the highest-ranking Myanmar official to attend the United Nations General Assembly in 14 years.

The prime minister made a speech before the assembly on September 28, condemning Western economic sanctions against his country as the United States mulls greater engagement with the reclusive government.

In 2007, Thein Sein caused a diplomatic furore at an ASEAN summit by forcing host Singapore to revoke an invitation to UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

Gambari had been due to brief regional leaders after a bloody crackdown on street protests in Myanmar that caused international revulsion.

Myanmar's human rights record has caused constant problems for ASEAN since it joined the bloc in 1997. This year's summit is due to officially launch a new body to help prevent rights abuses in the region.

Leaders attending the 15th annual summit, being held in Hua Hin, where Thailand's revered king often resides, are due to discuss closer economic ties and ways of coping with natural disasters.

The summit will be followed by talks between the 10 members of ASEAN and the leaders of China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, India and New Zealand.

Thailand is mobilising an 18,000-strong security force and invoking a harsh internal security act to prevent protests at the meetings, which have been cancelled twice before because of anti-government demonstrations.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

India, Indonesia take up coordinated patrolling of Malacca Straits from Oct 18

By M Rama Rao - India Editor, Asian Tribune, New Delhi, 18 October,

India will join Indonesia on October 18 to undertake ‘coordinated’ patrolling of Malacca Straits. India is not new to the exercise and what begins on Sunday is the ‘14th cycle’ of cooperation between the two navies.

Code-named ‘Ind-Indo Corpat’, the patrolling of one of the most piracy prone seaways will continue till Nov 5.

Both countries share an International Maritime Boundary of about 300 nautical miles.

In a coordinated patrolling, the two sides remain inside their maritime boundaries but remain constantly touch and keep each other updated on the movements and the situation in the sea.

Such patrolling seeks to prevent piracy, armed robberies, poaching, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities.

Tactical command of the operation will be headed by Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andaman & Nicobar) on the Indian side and Commander of Sea Security Group of Western Fleet (located at Tanjung Pinang) on the Indonesian side.

The overall control will rest with Vice Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi, Commander-in-Chief of Andaman Nicobar Command (CINCAN) and Commander of Indonesian Western Fleet Command (PANGARMABAR), officials said here

The Indian Navy is deploying one Landing Ship Tank (Medium), INS Mahish, under the command of Cdr MVR Krishna and one Fast Attack Craft, INS Trinkat, under the command of Lt Cdr Pushkar Kumar. In addition there will be one Indian Naval Dornier.

The Indonesian Navy is deploying one corvette and a Dornier aircraft.

Operation CORPAT will get underway with an opening ceremony at Belawan, Indonesia; the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andaman & Nicobar) Cmde P Suresh, will lead the Indian delegation. The closing ceremony will be conducted on 04 Nov 09 at Port Blair.

India is also closing ranks with Maldives to protect their maritime boundary. A Dornier maritime patrol aircraft will be deployed in the Maldives as part of the security assistance.

New Delhi has agreed to help Male to secure its waters from pirates and threat from terror groups.