EU keeps Indonesia on airline blacklist, adds Gabon

  • Reuters
  • , Thursday July 24 2008
(Adds commissioner quotes, detail)
BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) – The European Commission added the west African state of Gabon to its airline safety blacklist on Thursday and maintained a ban on all Indonesian airlines flying to the European Union.
Safety experts from all 27 EU states called for the Indonesian ban to be upheld after meetings with airlines Garuda, Mandala and Air Fast and with local aviation authorities.
“The Indonesian authorities have still not developed and implemented an efficient oversight programme on any of the carriers under their regulatory control,” a European Commission statement said. Continue reading
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UN council to take up Thai-Cambodian dispute over territory surrounding ancient temple

The Associated Press , United Nations | Thu, 07/24/2008 3:14 PM | World

With some 4,000 troops massed along the Thai-Cambodian border, United Nations Security Council members say they will try to stop the military standoff from escalating into war.

Diplomats said Wednesday they expect to call a special council session, probably next week, to deal with the latest dispute over land near the ancient temple of Preah Vihear. Cambodia appealed to the U.N. Security Council to intervene, warning that the two sides were at “an imminent state of war.”

The conflict focuses on an area less than 2 square miles (5.2 square kilometers) around the temple, that both nations claim as their own. The International Court of Justice awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962, but its listing this month as a UN World Heritage Site stirred tensions anew. Continue reading

Bosnia war crime suspect Karadzic arrested

(CNN) — Former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic, accused of masterminding “ethnic cleansing” deportations and killings of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, has been arrested after more than a decade in hiding, a U.N. war crimes tribunal said Monday.
Radovan Karadzic, shown here in 1995, is charged with war crimes relating to the 1992-1995 Bosnia conflict.

Radovan Karadzic, shown here in 1995, is charged with war crimes relating to the 1992-1995 Bosnia conflict.

Karadzic, 63, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war.

Last seen in public in 1996, Karadzic was the Bosnian Serb political leader during the 1992-1995 war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina’s secession from Yugoslavia.

The conflict included the Srebrenica massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and a deadly, 44-month siege of Sarajevo. Continue reading

North Korea, Myanmar to dominate Asia’s main security dialogue, inflation also on agenda

The Associated Press , Singapore | Sun, 07/20/2008 3:51 PM | World

Asia’s annual security dialogue with the United States and Europe kicks off Sunday, weighed down by the recalcitrant regimes in North Korea and Myanmar, as well as spiraling food prices and disaster management.

A bubbling border confrontation between Cambodia and Thailand is the latest in a long list of security concerns facing Asian foreign ministers as they get together for the region’s premier
conference.

It begins Sunday with a working dinner of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. They will hold a series of meetings with counterparts from neighboring
countries, culminating in the main event Thursday, known as the ASEAN Regional Forum. The ARF comprises ASEAN and 16 countries plus the European Union. Continue reading

ASEAN welcomes North Korea’s plan to join nonaggression treaty

The Associated Press , Manila | Wed, 07/16/2008 8:00 PM | World

Southeast Asian foreign ministers meeting this weekend will welcome North Korea’s plan to join a regional nonaggression treaty, according to a copy of a draft statement seen Wednesday.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ foreign ministers also will express hope that remaining difficulties in the final phase of disarmament talks can be overcome to rid the secretive nation of its nuclear weapons, the document said.

The ministers are scheduled to tackle North Korea’s accession to the regional bloc’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation at their annual meeting Sunday and Monday in Singapore. Continue reading

HARVEST THANKS

The Jakarta Post ,  Yogyakarta   |  Tue, 07/15/2008 10:14 AM  |  Headlines

Residents of Putat village in Gunungkidul regency, Yogyakarta, parade Monday as part of a traditional thanksgiving ritual for a successful harvest. Unlike other parts of the regency, the village has not been affected by drought. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

Indonesia regrets E Timor wrongs

An Indonesian soldier with militia members in Dili, Sept1999

The report lays much of the blame at the feet of the Indonesian army

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has expressed “remorse” for wrongs committed during East Timor’s vote for independence in 1999.

He made the statement as he received the final report of their two countries’ Truth and Friendship Commission in the resort of Bali.

The report details systematic crimes against humanity – and lays much of the blame at the door of Indonesia’s army.

But the leaders of both countries say they are interested in moving on.

About 1,000 people are believed to have been murdered, and many others tortured, raped and displaced during 1999.

Neither country has expressed interest in prosecuting individuals on the basis of the report – though correspondents say it could strengthen such demands from campaigners.

The commission was boycotted by the United Nations, which has already blamed Indonesia and demanded that those responsible face justice.

‘Lives and property’

Both Mr Yudhoyono and East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta formally accepted the report, which followed three years of investigations.

“We convey very deep remorse at what happened in the past that has caused the loss of lives and property,” Mr Yudhoyono said.

Map

But he stopped short of a full apology to the Timorese people who, the report found, were subjected to a systematic campaign of violence and gross human-rights abuses in the run-up to their 1999 vote to gain independence from Indonesia.

Army commanders, it says, gave weapons, funding and operational help to the militias in a highly organised way, systematically targeting pro-independence supporters in a campaign of violence for which Indonesia’s army, police and civilian administration were all responsible.

Until now, Indonesia’s official position had been that the human rights abuses committed in East Timor in 1999 were isolated incidents – the random acts of individuals.

There are also things in this report which will be difficult for many in East Timor to accept, says the BBC’s Lucy Williamson in Bali.

For example, it finds that gross human rights violations were also committed by pro-independence groups – though far fewer and less serious.

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