Monday, October 5, 2015

Honor INDONESIAN 1960s victims, albeit public’s fuzzy memory

At Thursday’s commemoration of the date when 50 years ago six generals and a young officer were killed, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo put to rest reports that the state would apologize to the millions of victims, survivors and the families of the 1960s tragedy. I think the refusal to apologize is wrong and holds us hostage to the past, and the history as created by the New Order regime.


An apology is vital to bring the state a step closer to healing society, as it would reach out to victims and their families.


We should stand up and speak out when wrongdoing takes place. In the weeks and months following this week in 1965, scores were murdered, tortured and arrested. It is estimated that between 500,000 to 1 million people were killed during the cleansing of people with any leftist connections, regardless of their age or level of “connection”. The historical narrative of the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), says that the organization was bad, dangerous, seditious and therefore deserving of its fate — this was the anthem played throughout the General Soeharto regime.


The New Order demonized the leftist movement by dehumanizing anyone associated with the PKI. Civilians — people who were politically ignorant, afraid, confused and possibly had some disagreement with elements or members of PKI at the local level — were co-opted into the killing machine in the crushing operations, as many of these civilians did the dirty work, massacred fellow countrymen and women, without awareness of their wrongdoing, let alone giving them a fair trial. It is essential that people from all walks of life learn from history. Indonesians need to have a critical perspective about what happened on Sept. 30, 1965 and the following atrocities. Providing a better understanding and countering the narrative choked down our throats via our schooling, propaganda films, regulations and laws that contradict the spirit of our Constitution, which guarantees human rights, is one way to honor the victims and survivors.


The dehumanizing of the PKI led to a genocide that until today is difficult for us to grapple with. Here it might be useful to use Hannah Arendt‘s The Human Condition. The political theorist recognized that to retain direction and meaning of such a significant human action, in this case the 1960s violence, another human capacity is required — remembrance. The present binds the past and future together. As a nation, our present can be the product of the past, so thus our future depends on how we give meaning to the present. So, what is preventing us from recognizing this wrongdoing in the past?


The present, regardless of how confusing “1965” was, is an opportunity to inspect our memory. A chance to collect more information, to gain better knowledge and evidence about what happened 50 years ago.


This act of remembrance is just one step before we can talk of reconciliation. An act of remembrance will reorient us in the direction of the future. Public remembrance with counter narratives about post Sept. 30 1965 is one way to honor the victims. Public memory is not singular and may be fuzzy, nonetheless trying to maintain its integrity is a worthwhile attempt. It is not an easy road, as meaningful action requires a public outlet and one such meaningful action is an apology. Thus, it is still important for the Jokowi administration to apologize unreservedly. We have to accept the tragic reality that the state did not prevent the mass violence following Sept. 30, 1965, and that state institutions were directly involved in the rampant killing and persecution of anyone considered left-wing.


An apology is appropriate given the gravity of the violence and how it affects us a nation-state, and as a reminder of our history. Apologizing to the victims and survivors of the tragedy, and their families, brings us closer to potential reconciliation and closure on the 1965 saga. It is important for the nation’s leadership to show that the way forward is not to argue about whether to apologize, but to lead by example and do the morally right thing. We need to see considerable progress toward justice for the victims and their families. Therefore, decisive political action is required. People need to learn about the past atrocities, the escalation of killings, arbitrary arrests and persecution, the decades of stigmatization of many innocent people simply because they were branded as leftist, including the PKI, the Gerwani women’s organization, the CGMI students’ organization and many more — the list is endless.


This 2015 commemoration of these events gives us a chance to pause and reflect, to think about how to guard our future by honoring the victims, by apologizing and educating ourselves so that these atrocities will never, ever happen again. A more balanced narrative is needed, an alternative version of what happened for new generations. It will most definitely require political will and courage. I do not say it will not be controversial. I simply say the state needs to act, to apologize in honor of the victims, their relatives and survivors — there are so many of them.


We have to accept the tragic reality that the state did not prevent the mass violence ...


The writer Maria Pakpahan, Edinburgh, Scotland  is a feminist human rights activist and the Scotland, UK Coordinator of the upcoming International People’s Tribunal 1965, scheduled for November in The Hague, the Netherlands

Myanmar to Ink Peace Deal with Eight Armed Groups Ahead of Historic Election

Ceasefire agreement to be signed October 15, with several major groups still left out.

Myanmar’s government will ink a peace deal on October 15 with only eight of the country’s fifteen ethnic armed groups it initially agreed to negotiate with, officials confirmed Sunday.

Over the past few years, the government has been trying to reach a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) to help end decades of civil war before historic polls in November. But getting all rebel groups on board has proven difficult, with several – including the Kachin Independence Army – refusing to sign the agreement and still engaged in clashes with government troops.

“The NCA will be signed on October 15 in Naypyidaw,” Hla Maung Shwe, a senior member of the government’s negotiating team, told AFP, adding that eight groups including the Karen National Union were part of the pact.

“We will keep inviting all ethnic armed groups to sign,” he added.

Although there are 21 armed ethnic groups in Myanmar which have sought inclusion in the nationwide ceasefire, the government has only officially recognized 15.

In a statement released October 3, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of ethnic groups chaired by the KIO, said the pact that is to be signed is incomplete as it does not include all stakeholders.

“As the NCA is going to be signed by only some organizations, it cannot be a decisive and complete one,” the statement said.

The group urged the international community to support the emergence of “genuine political dialogue and peace” in Myanmar, noting that ceasefire talks had been undermined by “widespread and ceaseless offensives” against ethnic nationalities by government forces.

But U Aung Min, the chief government negotiator, assured participants at the Myanmar Peace Center that the government would not launch offensives against the groups that were not part of the agreement, and that the door would still be open for these organizations to join the pact.

The government has no intention to use the unwillingness of some organizations to currently sign the NCA as a reason to launch offensives against them. Existing bilateral agreements will be adhered to, and issues will be resolved peacefully. Accidental conflicts that arise will be handled by mechanisms that emerge from the NCA. By for The Diplomat

Afghanistan Struggles to Contain the Taliban

The fall of Kunduz last week underscores the difficulties the Afghan National Army is having on its own.

The war in Afghanistan, nearly fourteen years in the making, is by the far the longest U.S. military engagement in the nation’s history. The campaign against the Afghan Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Haqqani Network will outlast two U.S. presidential administrations and is very likely to continue even after the U.S. and the NATO coalition withdraw the remainder of their troops, due by the end of 2016. And yet, despite hundreds of billions of dollars in wartime spending, several emergency supplemental bills passed by the U.S. Congress, 2,364 U.S. troops killed in action and tens of thousands of additional troops having sustained serious wartime injuries, Afghanistan is still very much a country at war.

This reality was made very much clear last week when the Taliban took Kunduz, a key city in northern Afghanistan. Afghan government forces have since taken back control of most of the city, but the fact that it fell to the Taliban was a shock.

It should not have been: The Taliban – a movement that takes advantage of the Afghan government’s weaknesses by appealing to a small segment of the Afghan population –remains dynamic and adaptive in its recruitment and its tactics on the battlefield. Vast segments of the Afghan countryside, far away from the population centers that are safeguarded by the Afghan national security forces, are either in de-facto control of Taliban elements or susceptible to Taliban influence. Those same remote areas of the Afghan countryside also happen to primary recruiting and training grounds for other militant groups who are seeking to overthrow the government of President Ashraf Ghani — including a publicized camp administered by a contingent of the Islamic State in Logar province.

To expect the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to patrol and sustain a large presence in every corner of Afghanistan is an unrealistic demand. Afghanistan, after all, is a sizable country with some of the roughest terrain on the planet – a landscape that even the world’s most powerful military, the United States, struggled to pacify when it had more than 100,000 troops engaged in combat operations. Yet the very fact that swathes of eastern, southern, and northeastern Afghanistan remain contested by an long list of Islamist insurgent groups is a bad omen for a government in Kabul that will largely be on its own in 2017 if U.S. and coalition troops continue on their present withdrawal schedule.

Indeed, even with nearly 10,000 U.S. troops providing training, advising, and air power in certain cases, the Afghan Army and National Police (not to mention the local police units that are responsible for guarding remote and isolated areas of the country) are experiencing the toughest period in their young history. The Taliban may no longer be as strong in numbers or geographical reach at it was before the U.S. troop surge in 2010-2011, but the insurgency is still doing significant damage to the Afghan security forces, so much so that U.S. military and defense officials are beginning to reassess whether downsizing to an Embassy-size presence in Kabul by the end of 2016 is the right decision. Taking the Iraqi security forces’ sudden collapse at the hands of the Islamic State to heart, Washington is now concerned that a fourteen-year investment in Afghanistan could be placed in significant jeopardy as soon as the Afghan government is left to its own devices.

The top-line numbers would appear to buttress those concerns:

  • According to a May 2015 U.S. military assessment, the Afghan Army and police are sustaining the highest rate of casualties that they have ever had to experience since the conflict began. 4,950 Afghan troops and police officers were either killed or wounded in the first fifteen weeks of 2015, a 70 percent increase from the same period last year. While the numbers appear to be much higher compared to other assessments, the upward trend corresponds with other estimates made by the U.S. government. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, for instance, commented that the Afghan Army “continues to suffer serious combat losses” during is operations against the insurgency. The U.S. head of the ISAF Joint Command had a similar take in November 2014 when he reported to journalists that the ANSF simply could not sustain those types of casualties over a long period of time.

  • Before its mandate expired, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan released its final report in July 2015. And, like previous reports throughout the past five years, the numbers were not encouraging: Although the Afghan Army grew by over 2,600 personnel during the second quarter of 2015, that increase is essentially counterbalanced by an attrition rate within the Army and National Police that continues to place added stress on the force. The goal of a 1.4 percent monthly attrition rate for the Afghan Army is still far below the actual monthly rate of 2.3 percent. As casualties continue to grow throughout the year, it’s a safe assumption that attrition could very well increase beyond that figure, as young men who join the Army simply to receive a paycheck desert for fear of being killed, seriously injured, or demoralized.

  • The same Special Inspector General report reveals that only a third of the Afghan force is judged by the ISAF coalition as above the average benchmark of “sustainable.” Based on a coalition assessment of 21 ANSF Afghan units across 175 categories, only 4 percent (or 7 categories in total) were deemed “sustaining.” In other words, after tens of billions of dollars expended by the ISAF coalition, the Afghan national security forces are still very much a work in progress.

  • Now that the ANSF are largely fighting on their own against Taliban units on the ground, Afghan civilians are often caught in the crossfire. Over the first six months of 2015, the United Nations counted 4,921 civilian casualties – a slight increase from the same time frame last year. Perhaps more revealing, however, is how high the Afghan civilian casualty rate has become since the U.S. troop surge officially concluded in 2012. During the last year of the surge in 2012, the U.N. recorded 3,138 civilians either killed or injured as a result of the conflict; the very next year, that number jumped to 3,921. The correlation is relatively simple: As foreign troops withdraw and Afghan troops take the lead, civilians appear to be more at risk of death or injury from the Taliban. Whether this correlation will continue into the remainder of this year is yet to be determined, but if past precedent is any guide, 2017 could be an even bloodier time for Afghan troops and civilians alike.

Admittedly, all of these numbers don’t capture the full picture of the Afghanistan conflict, the ability of the Taliban insurgency to regenerate itself, or the ANSF’s capacity to maintain the territorial gains that have been made over the past six years. For a fuller picture to emerge, one needs to go beyond the numbers and observe how the Taliban is conducting operations against Afghan Army positions and whether or not the Afghan government in Kabul is prepared to respond quickly and efficiently when a setback on the battlefield emerges. The Taliban’s capture of the northern city of Kunduz – the first successful Taliban offensive on an urban area since 2001 – is instructive in this regard, because it demonstrates that the movement is still effective enough to plan and conduct a multi-pronged attack involving hundreds of foot soldiers at multiple points of e entry. While Afghan troops stationed in the city have been counterattacking Taliban maneuvers around the city since this spring, the full-fledged offensive into Kunduz was relatively surprising because of how quickly it succeeded. The whole operation lasted at most 24 hours before Afghan government units withdrew to the airport. Afghan reinforcements dispatched from surrounding provinces were able to retake some ground over the next two to three days, but the damage may have already been done: Once again, the Taliban has exposed Afghanistan’s fragile state fourteen years after the movement was driven from power.

If 2009 was considered an inflection point for the United States, NATO, and the Afghan government about the need to redouble their commitment to save the entire state from collapsing, 2015 is shaping up to be a year when Afghanistan is tested with maintaining the improvements of the past six years and making sure that they endure beyond the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Daniel R. DePetris is a Middle East analyst at Wikistrat, Inc., a geopolitical consulting firm specializing in foreign policy and national security trends for clients worldwide. He is also a contributor to the Atlantic Council, a leading national security think tank located in Washington, D.C.



In local councils across Australia, and indeed most of the Western World, applications are pending for the building of new Mosques. Until recently, these applications would have been approved with little more than a rubber stamp and a few suggestions as to local planning.

Today however, things have changed. Mosque applications have become rallying points for community anger and hostility. Demonstrations and campaigns are becoming commonplace.

There appears, in each of these disputes, a three way split with the bewildered councillors stuck squarely in the middle.

On the 'yes' side, we naturally have the Muslims who have purchased the land and want to build the mosque.  On the 'no' side is a group of strident residents and activists who are implacably opposed to it.

Then, also on the 'yes' side are those who sympathise with the Muslims who, as they see it, simply want to build a place of worship and should have the right to do so in a free society. For convenience, I will refer to this group as the allies.

In the main, the allies seem to view the protesters as uncultured rabble, motivated by racism and hatred of anything alien to their own small minded world. They consider them to be uneducated and acting from ignorance. They reason that if these protesters understood more of the ways of other cultures they would discover them harmless. They believe these protesters might then discover aspects of this culture (such as tolerance, for instance) from which they could in fact learn.

On the surface, this would seem a very reasonable stance for the allies to take but, as we start to dig a little deeper, we find that things are not quite what they seem. For a start, we soon find that the allies themselves have no knowledge of Islam whatsoever. What they do know has been successfully sold to them by Islamic spokespersons. 

They do not take the time or make the effort to search beyond the Islamic line.

Ironically, many of the protesters have actually taken the time to educate themselves about Islam from the authentic Islamic sources and contemporary teachings. 

Here are some of the reasons why we find many of these teachings to be deeply troubling.

What is a mosque?

It is vitally important to understand what a mosque represents in Islam. 

A mosque is not like a church or a temple, it is much more than a place for Muslims to simply worship their God (Allah).

Mosques are modelled on the first mosque established by Mohammed in Medina which was a seat of government, a command centre, a court, a military training centre and an arms depot.

Mosque leaders today raise religious decrees, enforce Islamic doctrine, monitor conduct, punish transgressors and command actions including requirements to conduct Jihad.

A mosque is much more than a church.

In light of this, we need to answer these two simple questions:

1)           Why are so many mosques being built?

2)           Why do mosques have capacities much greater than the local Muslim communities could fill?


The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, understood the military nature of a mosque when he stated:

“A mosque is our barracks, the domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets and the faithful are our soldiers."

Islam’s founder, the Prophet Mohammed, was not just a religious leader but a political and military one too. He raised armies and fought and killed people until he was the King of the whole of Arabia.

The religion of Islam is entirely based on the example and teachings of Mohammed.

Unlike any other major religion therefore, Islam is also a political and military force.

The Influence of the House of Saud

Mohammed was the guardian of Islam in the seventh century. Today that responsibility rests with the Saudi Royal Family or the House of Saud. The two holiest Islamic sites in Mecca and Medina are under its control.

The late king, Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, understood this when he wrote “The efforts of the servant of the two Holy Places support the Muslim Minorities.”

The Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA) is the vehicle which the late king created to establish the Islamic World Caliphate. It is Saudi Foreign Policy and Jurisprudence from the Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs.

In the words of King Fahd, mosques, educational centres and Islamic bodies like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Muslim Students Association (MSA) are all geared towards hindering Muslim assimilation into non-Muslim nations so they can act as a fifth column to bring victory to Islam.

In 1965 during the pilgrimage or Hajj, the World Association of Muslim Youth or WAMY was created to work toward this end and for the non-Muslim world; IMMA or the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs was born.

WAMY and IMMA were a collaboration of the Wahhabist and Muslim Brotherhood led by:

1)           Said Ramadan, the son-in-law of the Muslim Brotherhood founder and,

2)           Abdullah Omar Naseef, a wealthy, suspected Al-Qaeda financier.

The House of Saud and the funding of terrorism

In May 2008, Robert Spencer’s website “Jihad Watch” reported that the Saudis had spent over $US100 billion on this project over the three previous decades.

These funds were used to build mosques to fund the payroll of Imams and to build Islamic schools.

They were also apparently intended to corrupt the education system through the funding of universities and the rewriting of school text books to favour Islam while denigrating Christianity and Western achievements.

According to this article, the late king Fahd bin Abd al Aziz and his family had personally donated hundreds of millions of dollars to groups like Hamas and Al-Qaeda.

Prince Salman, a full brother of King Fahd controlled the International Islamic Relief Organization or IIMO and directly donated to Hamas. 

Prince Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz was a defendant in the September 11 trials and admitted to donating $US4 million to terrorist organisations like IIMO and WAMY.

Mosque building in Australia

Now we can answer our questions.

Question: Why are so many mosques being built?

Answer:   Muslims currently have over 370 mosques in Australia which, per capita, is more than six times the number of Buddhist and Hindu temples. This could well be because the mosque is intended as a beachhead for Islam, a place to plan Jihad and to implement Sharia law.

Question: Why do mosques have capacities that cater for far greater numbers than those in local Muslim communities?

Answer:   The mosque is deliberately built to dominate the neighbourhood to show the supremacy of Islam over Christianity and all other faiths.

Mosque teachings in Australia

What is taught in the mosque comes directly from the Qur’an, the Hadith and Sira, and the 'Reliance of the Traveller', which is the Manual of Islamic Law.

The Manual of Islamic Law teaches in Law O9.0 that it is a communal obligation for Muslims to wage Jihad to establish Islam as the religion and the law.

In the Hadith of Muslim, book 41 No. 6985, Muslims are told to slaughter the Jews.

There are many examples of these teachings being delivered in mosques which give cause for alarm.

1. On April 27 in the Preston mosque in Melbourne, an audio tape exists of brother Baha delivering a speech calling on Muslims to engage in Jihad against Australians (in line with Islamic Law O9.0)

2. Sheik Feiz Mohammed who teaches at a mosque in Auburn in Western Sydney, is on video calling for the mass slaughter of all Jews, while making pig noises. (This is perhaps inspired by?) the Hadith of Muslim book 41 No. 6985)

3. Sheik Hilaly of the Lakemba mosque, a former Grand Mufti of Australia, defended the rape of women who were not covered in acceptable Islamic dress. There is now evidence of a rape epidemic in Europe by Muslims because Islamic Sharia law does not penalise a Muslim for raping a non Muslim woman.

What must be done?

The conundrum for Law-makers in the West is that a mosque operates under the protection of religious freedom.

This is unacceptable because a mosque is not just a religion, but also political centre and a place where legal rulings are made. Some of these rulings breach Australian law and ironically also call for the restriction of religious freedoms for all non-Muslims.

Our politicians, law-makers, law enforcement officers and security agencies need to acquaint themselves with the teachings within mosques which, after all, are preaching their prophet’s Sharia law which is largely incompatible with Australian law.

Law-makers and law-enforcers must now turn their minds toward recognising Islam as a political entity and remove the current protections Islam receives as a religion.

Failure to do this is likely to end in serious political and societal consequences in the future

The Pickering Post

Xi struggling against Communist Party's anti-Japan bloc

     That was not to be. What is more, top party officials in China are said to be dissatisfied with what Abe said in his statement; they just don't want to air their gr
     In mid-August, some Chinese government officials met  to discuss security for the 70th anniversary ceremony. They later briefed embassy officials of countries whose head of state may attend the event. Japanese embassy officials were not invited to the briefing.

     On the night of Sept. 3, Masato Kitera, Japan's ambassador to China, was glued to a TV screen. He was watching a stage performance at the evening gala that concluded the anniversary activities. Before the eyes of the leaders from various countries, a number of Chinese female performers covered in blood rose up with a look of resentment on their faces. It was a reminder of what China calls the Nanking Massacre. The numeral "300,000" emerged behind these performers, indicating the number of victims the Chinese government says were killed.

     None of the delegates had known what to expect. If Abe had paid a visit, he would have witnessed the performance. The unexpected arrangement took the Japanese embassy staff by surprise; some were relieved that Abe decided not to go to Beijing for the anniversary events.

     China will continue to use the history issue as a bargaining chip against Japan. It is also using territorial issues in much the same manner. Chinese vessels continue to violate Japan's territorial waters in the East China Sea near the Senkaku Islands, also claimed by China.

     China has also recently detained a few Japanese men, alleging they are spies.

     All these moves are aimed at pressuring Japan.

     In late September, Abe and Xi attended a U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York but failed to even have a chat before leaving the U.S.

     For his part, Xi is trying to seek cooperative ties with Japan while fending off pressure from anti-Japan forces inside the party. It is a delicate balancing act.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers an emphatic speech in Beijing ahead of a military parade in early September.

     Xi has been seeking to further consolidate his power within the party, but there is only so much he can do to keep the party's anti-Japan forces in check.

     This summer, former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and other party elders repeatedly received several pages-long documents. These papers were sent by Xi as part of his efforts to gain the elders' stamp of approval.

     The papers included the text of a speech Xi was to deliver on Sept. 3 in Beijing's Tiananmen Square before a military parade marking China's victory in its resistance war against Japanese aggression.

     The speech concluded with, "Justice will prevail! Peace will prevail! The people will prevail!"

     He mentioned Japanese militarism twice in the speech, signaling that Beijing distinguishes between today's government and that of wartime Japan.

     "The speech included scathing criticism of Japan at one point," a party official familiar the matter said. "But that was deleted after a complicated process of internal coordination." In fact, it was Xi who made that decision.

     Similarly, Beijing reacted in a low-key way to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's 70th anniversary statement on Aug. 14. While Chinese media lashed out at Abe for not offering a direct apology, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs refrained from explicitly assessing the statement.

     This restrained reaction seemed to reflect Xi's intentions to build and keep better relations with Japan. There were even growing expectations that Abe would visit China in September.

     That was not to be. What is more, top party officials in China are said to be dissatisfied with what Abe said in his statement; they just don't want to air their grievances publicly. Nikkei News


China’s first domestic aircraft carrier almost certainly under construction

China has quietly begun construction on its first domestic aircraft carrier in the same northern Chinese shipyard that refurbished the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s current Soviet-era carrier, USNI News has learned.

Several sources confirmed to USNI News that an unknown shipbuilding project — first noticed publically by Jane’s in late February — is almost without a doubt the bones of the PLAN’s first domestically-built carrier.

Sources pointed USNI News to an April photograph that emerged on the Chinese language Internet of a ship under construction at the Dalian yard believed to be the super structure of the PLAN’s second carrier.

Further late September satellite photographs published by Jane’s last week show a ship that corresponds to the dimensions of the refurbished Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier Liaoning — a ship with a beam of about 115 feet and a length of 886 feet.

Jane’s stopped short of a definitive determination that the mystery ship at Dalian was a new carrier — the Type 001A — but did compare the construction methodology of the ship to Soviet-era builds on the original Kuznetsov in the 1980s.

The interest to what is in the Dalian dry dock — once the home for Liaoning’s refit after China purchased the carrier — has been a hot topic of conversation for international naval watchers.

One, retired U.S. Navy Capt. Chris Carlson, told USNI News given how quickly the Dalian yard builds commercial ships the timing of construction pointed toward a military platform.

“We’re talking eight months from March when they say the initial sections began going up,” he said on Wednesday.
“If it was commercial ship it would be done already.”

Carlson said the Jane’s photographs indicate the ship is being built without a well deck which would likely rule out a big deck amphibious warship.

“The logical explanation is that it’s a carrier,” he said.

China’s intent to start it’s own domestic carrier program has been hinted at in official documents and scattered state-controlled press reports but the central government and the PLAN have been far from explicit in expressing a complete carrier vision.

If the construction of the first domestic carrier has commenced it confirms the rough outline naval analysts have constructed around the effort.

“For the past several years, analysts have believed that China plans for a force of around four full-sized aircraft carriers — including the active Liaoning,” Eric Wertheim author of U.S. Naval Institute’s Combat Fleets of the World told USNI News on Wednesday.
“If the hull now under construction does in fact turn out to be a new Chinese aircraft carrier being built at Dalian shipyard, it confirms the PLAN’s commitment to carrier based naval aviation and illustrates their growing desire for more power projection capabilities.” Asia Times


BALI...Latest Updates...Om Swastiastu ...

With August foreign tourist arrivals now in hand, we can begin to assess the impact of airport closures caused by the Mr. Raung volcano. Read this week’s installment of “Bali by the Numbers.”

Last week a purse-snatcher in Seminyak was set upon and beaten to death by his intended victim, a female Chinese tourist, assisted by a group of bystanders. On the other side of the Island in Sanur, an Italian tourist unhappy with what he considered rude service at a local “warung”, decided to stab the proprietress.

Who said you can’t legislate love? The anger and indignation in some sectors over a gay wedding at a luxury resort in Ubud show little sign of abating. The hotel involved is publishing large public apologies while police are threatening to make a scapegoat of a hapless female sales executive working at the Resort.

Bali’s deputy-governor says rules are being drafted to compel foreign workers in Bali to speak Indonesian.

Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs Minister announces she is considering a moratorium on all private sector reclamation projects. Will this include the controversial Benoa bay project?

The Bali Post has conducted a public opinion survey showing widespread displeasure with how the Government is handling the rabies outbreak. A new early warning tsunami tower installed at Kedungu brings to 9 the number of towers now in operation in Bali. The BMKG is asking the public to conserve water as Bali’s drought continues to worsen. And, Police are warning that motor vehicles staying in Bali more than 3 months need to convert their license plates to Bali registration numbers.

Indonesia has committed to spending US$244 million on tourism promotion in the coming year.

Bali Safari & Marine Park combines local ‘Tumpek Kandang’ celebrations with World Animal Day.

Bali’s deputy-governor has angrily denies that Bali is selling dog meat to dealers in Jakarta.

Cruise News: Foreign-flagged cruise ships are now authorized to carry passengers on port-to-port cruises wholly within Indonesia. And, the Province of Bali wants to build a cruise port in North Bali.

Aviation News: Tigerair Australia is certified as “Australian-owned” and eligible to fly between Australia and Bali. Avoiding a possible shutdown for Indonesian AirAsia X, Indonesia AirAsia is preparing to close and merge with Indonesia AirAsia X.

NOW! Bali has announced its list of Best Bali restaurants and bars. Read where to eat and drink in Bali!

Looking Ahead:

Om Çanti Çanti Çanti Om ...

J.M. Daniels,
Editor Bali Update
Bali Discovery Tours