US intelligence claims Duterte, Hun Sen threat to SE Asia democracy; Palace says US report “myopic”, “speculative”

  (Eagle News) – Malacanang hit a US intelligence community report that branded President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the Southeast Asian leaders who allegedly pose a threat to democracy and human rights in the region, saying this was a “myopic” and “speculative at best” assessment. In a 28-page “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report of the US Intelligence Community presented by US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, it listed Philippine president Duterte, Cambodian leader Hun […]

Two ethnic groups sign up to Myanmar’s ‘broken’ peace process

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar (AFP) — Two armed ethnic groups will sign on to a ceasefire in Myanmar on Tuesday in a ceremony the government hopes will showcase a significant victory for a peace process derided as “broken” by critics. World attention has recently focused on the desperate plight of the some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims forced over the border into Bangladesh in western Myanmar by a violent military campaign. But this is just one of some two […]

UK’s Johnson meets Myanmar’s Suu Kyi on Rohingya crisis

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar (AFP) — Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson met with Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s capital on Sunday to press for action on the Rohingya crisis, as the country faces mounting pressure to punish troops accused of atrocities against the Muslim minority. Johnson spoke with the embattled Myanmar leader, whose reputation among the international community has plunged over her handling of the crisis, in Naypyidaw while on a four-day tour in Asia. The meeting followed […]

Reuters says Myanmar held journalists for probing Rohingya massacre

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Two Reuters journalists detained for two months by Myanmar authorities were arrested over their investigation of a massacre of 10 Rohingya men, the news agency said in a report that detailed the grisly killings. It is the first time Reuters has publicly confirmed what Myanmar nationals Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were working on when they were arrested on December 12 on the outskirts of Yangon. The pair […]

Eight countries push UN to take up Myanmar Rohingya crisis

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — Britain, France, the United States and five other countries asked the UN Security Council on Wednesday to discuss the fate of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees driven from Myanmar, diplomats said. The council will hold a meeting on Tuesday to hear UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi report on the crisis sparked by an army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August. Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Equatorial […]

Indonesian militant jailed over Philippines arms smuggling

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — An Indonesian court on Tuesday jailed an Islamist militant for ten years for buying a cache of firearms from the Philippines’ biggest Muslim rebel group for attacks on home soil. Suryadi Mas’ud, 45, was found guilty of a range of offences —- including planning a terrorist act and procuring weapons —- by a panel of three judges at the West Jakarta district court. The sentencing has highlighted the strong links […]

China activity on reclaimed reef has eroded trust: ASEAN

SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) – China’s continued reclamation in the South China Sea has eroded trust among claimants and could raise regional tensions, Southeast Asian foreign ministers said Tuesday. The ministers from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) did not mention China by name in their statement after a one-day meeting in Singapore, current chair of the grouping. Beijing claims nearly all of the waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military […]

Rohingya women find peace in ‘widows’ camp’ barred to men

by Annie BANERJI and Redwan AHMED Agence France-Presse BALUKHALI, Bangladesh (AFP) — It is known as “widows’ camp” — a sanctuary off limits to men inside Bangladesh’s congested refugee settlements, where Rohingya women and children traumatised by violence find rare moments of peace. The cluster of orange tarpaulins strung across bamboo offers a safe haven for dozens of widows and young children left fending for themselves after fleeing into Bangladesh in an exodus of nearly […]

Myanmar denies report of mass graves in Rakhine

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar officials have denied a report of five mass graves of Rohingya in a village in crisis-hit Rakhine, a border region gutted by a military crackdown on the Muslim minority. Myanmar troops are accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya, nearly 700,000 of whom have fled to Bangladesh since last August. Myanmar denies the allegation, saying it launched a proportionate crackdown on Rohingya rebels, but has blocked reporters and UN […]

Plan to protect Indonesian peatlands with aerial mapping wins $1m

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A plan to use satellite imagery and aerial mapping to protect Indonesia’s peatlands — a vast carbon sink and source of much of the country’s greenhouse emissions — was awarded a $1 million prize on Friday. The cutting-edge technology will be used by authorities to clamp down on illegal clearance of the land for plantations, helping to prevent a repeat of annual forest fires that plague the region while also […]

Duterte: Malaysian and Indonesian troops can enter the PHL when in pursuit of terrorists

President Rodrigo Duterte has said that Indonesian and Malaysian troops can enter the Philippines when in pursuit of terrorists. The President said all Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur should do was to inform the Armed Forces of the Philippines beforehand. President Duterte said the Philippines was even willing to give the foreign troops assistance. “If it is a joint operation, you bring along my soldiers because that’s what I’ve been saying. Hot pursuit in the seas,” […]

WATCH: President Duterte’s visit to India for ASEAN Summit

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, during his trip to participate in the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, held a bilateral meeting with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 24, 2018 at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India. Following the meeting, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Board of Investments of the Republic of the Philippines and Invest India of the Republic of India was exchanged between the two nations. DTI Philippines Secretary Ramon […]