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01 October 2008

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									Asia-Pacific Daily News Summary 01 October 2008 Table of Contents HAWAII ............................................................................................................................................ 5 In Isles, With Money To Burn............................................................................................. 5 U.S. Defense Department Awards $77.5-M Contracts For Mindanao Operations........ 6 ASIA ................................................................................................................................................ 6 Asian Shares Rise On US Deal Hope ................................................................................ 6 AVIAN INFLUENZA (BIRD FLU) .................................................................................................... 6 [Thailand] Suspected Bird Flu Victim Dies ...................................................................... 6 INFLATION/FOOD SHORTAGES .................................................................................................. 7 India's Bonds Rise As Commodity Declines Ease Inflation Concern ........................... 7 S. Korea Core Inflation Jumps, Cools Rate Cut Hopes .................................................. 7 Sri Lanka Annual Average Inflation Hits Six-Year High .................................................. 7 Thailand's Inflation Rate Cools Amid Lower Spending (Update1) ................................ 8 SIX PARTY TALKS ......................................................................................................................... 8 Top U.S. Envoy In North Korea To Salvage Disarmament Deal..................................... 8 US Envoy In N Korea On Mission To Save Nuclear Pact ................................................ 8 NORTHEAST ASIA ......................................................................................................................... 9 CHINA ......................................................................................................................................... 9 Mainland................................................................................................................................. 9 China's Reform, Opening Up Benefits The World ........................................................... 9 China Able To Push Domestic Growth: S&P ................................................................... 9 Premier Wen 'Concerned' With U.S. Financial Crisis.................................................... 10 Chinese Celebrate 59th National Day ............................................................................. 10 Chocolates, Cheesecake, Cookies Caught In Tainted-Milk Scandal ........................... 10 Tropical Storm Higos Moves Toward South China Sea ............................................... 11 Taiwan .................................................................................................................................. 11 Arms Deal Still Pending: U.S. State Department Official .............................................. 11 Chen Calls On Ma To Step Down Over Economic Ills .................................................. 11 Taiwan's Envoy To Japan Hopes For Friendly Ties, Mutual Trust .............................. 12 New Tropical Storm May Affect Taiwan On Weekend .................................................. 12 Chinese Authority Has Detected Melamine Contamination In Another 20 Chinese Company's Dairy Products .............................................................................................. 12 President Ma Hails Launch Of Taiwan's New National Pension Scheme ................... 13 Other..................................................................................................................................... 13 Exclusive: China Report Urges Missile Shield .............................................................. 13 China's Hu Demands Action As Milk Tests Find Melamine ......................................... 13 China Says Lessons To Be Learned From Milk Scandal .............................................. 14 HK Watchdog Says Melamine Level In Cadbury Products Is Safe .............................. 14

S Korea Says Tons Of Unsafe Chinese Herbal Medicine Destroyed .......................... 14 More Labs To Be Set Up For Testing Melamine ............................................................ 15 Govt To Set Up Forensic Unit To Study Food Contamination ..................................... 15 Six Months After Riots, Tension High As Armed Police Clamp Down In Lhasa ........ 15 Tropical Storm Cause Damages In China ...................................................................... 16 Chinese Dam Incurs KIO Wrath ...................................................................................... 16 Chinese Attack Coast Guard Officers ............................................................................ 16 Analysis-China Tourists, Dollars Could Charm, Alarm Taiwan ................................... 17 JAPAN ...................................................................................................................................... 17 Aso, Ozawa Face Off In Diet ............................................................................................ 17 Aso, Ozawa Stress Ability To Run Gov't In 1st Diet Debate......................................... 17 Japan's Opposition Leader Vows Alternative As Elections Loom .............................. 18 LDP Eyes Pushing Back Poll ........................................................................................... 18 Nakasone Willing To Consider Alternative Plans For Sdf Mission ............................. 18 Navy Resists Sasebo Call For Nuclear Drill ................................................................... 19 US Nuclear Carrier Leaves Japan ................................................................................... 19 GSDF Sergeant Accidentally Fires 2 Gunshots In Defense Ministry HQ .................... 19 China Able To Push Domestic Growth: S&P ................................................................. 19 Taiwan's Envoy To Japan Hopes For Friendly Ties, Mutual Trust .............................. 20 ROK/DPRK ............................................................................................................................... 20 Signs of Nuclear Test Ground Restoration Observed .................................................. 20 N. Korea Repairing Nuke Reactor ................................................................................... 21 US Envoy In N Korea On Mission To Save Nuclear Pact .............................................. 21 Top U.S. Envoy In North Korea To Salvage Disarmament Deal................................... 21 Kim Likely to Rule through Associates .......................................................................... 22 Will Post-Kim Jong-il N. Korea Quicken Reform? ......................................................... 22 Military Parades Its Finest To Mark 60th Year ............................................................... 22 Military Parade Biggest in a Decade ............................................................................... 23 Lee Stresses Security At Military Celebrations ............................................................. 23 Lee Calls For Readiness For Peninsula Emergency ..................................................... 23 Defense Capabilities Crucial for Peace on Peninsula' .................................................. 24 Two Koreas Agree To Military Talks ............................................................................... 24 Prosecutors Seek Five-Year Jail Term For Suspected Female N.K. Spy .................... 24 Inter-Korean Military Talks Open On Thursday ............................................................. 25 Seoul Aims For 7.5% Rise In Defense Spending ........................................................... 25 Women in the Military: a Bastion of Equal Opportunities ............................................ 25 S. Korean FM Meets New U.S. Ambassador .................................................................. 26 China Able To Push Domestic Growth: S&P ................................................................. 26 Chinese Attack Coast Guard Officers ............................................................................ 26 S Korea Says Tons Of Unsafe Chinese Herbal Medicine Destroyed .......................... 27 S. Korea Core Inflation Jumps, Cools Rate Cut Hopes ................................................ 27 Seoul, NASA Agree On Space Cooperation ................................................................... 27 US Air Base to Hold Aircraft Exhibition ......................................................................... 28 Will Post-Kim Jong-il N. Korea Quicken Reform? ......................................................... 28 RUSSIA ..................................................................................................................................... 28 Defense Ministry Fights Numbers .................................................................................. 28 Medvedev Soldiers On In Corruption Battle .................................................................. 29 Russia To Supply Rocket Launchers To India .............................................................. 29 Russia Rejects Use Of Force To Free Somali Pirates' Hostages ................................ 29 Russia Says NATO Bases In Ukraine, Georgia Would Be Major Threat ..................... 30 Oligarchs On Opposite Sides Of Cash Crisis ................................................................ 30 Russian Nuclear Submarine Makes 30-Day Trip Under Arctic Ice .............................. 30 Russia Launches Thai Satellite On Converted Missile ................................................. 31

OCEANIA, SOUTH ASIA, AND SOUTHEAST ASIA ................................................................... 31 OCEANIA ...................................................................................................................................... 31 Pacific Officials Say Australian Patrol Boats Vital For Security .................................. 31 SOUTHEAST ASIA ....................................................................................................................... 31 ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN) ................................................... 31 PM To Visit Cambodia, Seeks End To Row .................................................................... 31 AUSTRALIA.............................................................................................................................. 32 Pacific Officials Say Australian Patrol Boats Vital For Security .................................. 32 Lowy Institute Tells Australia To Rethink PNG Aid ...................................................... 32 BURMA ..................................................................................................................................... 32 Burma‟s Censors Suspend Two Publications ............................................................... 32 Burmese Exile Media Web Site Again Under Attack ..................................................... 33 Mizzima Websites Hacked ............................................................................................... 33 Chinese Dam Incurs KIO Wrath ...................................................................................... 33 Generals Authorized to Buy Land Cruisers ................................................................... 34 Myanmar To Boost Tourism With Seaside Airport At Cyclone Scene ........................ 34 Reports Of Rape Surface In Cyclone-Devastated Delta ............................................... 34 Two More Opposition Activists Released ...................................................................... 35 US Group Studies Potential War Crimes By Myanmar Military ................................... 35 CAMBODIA............................................................................................................................... 35 Cambodian Court Ends Prisoner Segregation .............................................................. 35 PM To Visit Cambodia, Seeks End To Row .................................................................... 36 Thai, Cambodia Leaders Schedule Temple Dispute Meeting ...................................... 36 UN Dodges Border Dispute ............................................................................................. 36 Army Chief Calls For Reconciliation .............................................................................. 37 EAST TIMOR ............................................................................................................................ 37 Timor Police Tensions Worry Authorities ...................................................................... 37 FIJI ............................................................................................................................................ 37 No Word On President‟s Response To NFP .................................................................. 37 Possibilities of Electricity Crisis ..................................................................................... 38 GUAM ....................................................................................................................................... 38 Deployment Done, Squadrons To Leave Andersen For States ................................... 38 Guam Guardsmen Will Be Deployed Tomorrow............................................................ 38 INDIA......................................................................................................................................... 38 US Senate to Vote On N-Deal On Wednesday ............................................................... 38 Indian-US Nuclear Deal Set To Face Final Hurdle ......................................................... 39 India Looks To U.S. To Cement Nuclear Warming ........................................................ 39 4 Dead, 76 Injured As Serial Blasts Rip Tripura ............................................................ 39 Blasts Kill One, Wound 35 In Agartala ........................................................................... 40 150 People Feared Dead In Indian Temple Stampede .................................................. 40 India Struggles With Hindu Attacks On Christians ....................................................... 40 Government Finalizing Policy On Maritime Piracy, Says Antony................................ 41 Antony Urges Prompt Disbursement Of Pension To Veterans .................................... 41 Army Ignores Pak Protest, Launches Civilian Trek To Siachen .................................. 41 Pak Violates Ceasefire Yet Again, BSF Foils Infiltration Bid In J&K ........................... 42 Russia To Supply Rocket Launchers To India .............................................................. 42

India's Bonds Rise As Commodity Declines Ease Inflation Concern ......................... 42 Nepal-Indian JWRC Meeting Wraps Up, Seals 29-Point Deal....................................... 43 INDONESIA .............................................................................................................................. 43 Abdullah To Brief BN Leaders On Transition Plan After Aidilfitri ............................... 43 Bali Bomber Convinced Death Sentences Not To Be Carried Out .............................. 43 Bali Bombers Threaten Reprisals For Executions ........................................................ 44 Condemned Bali Bomber Promises `Retribution` If He‟s Shot .................................... 44 Garuda Contingent Passes UN Inspection .................................................................... 44 President Appoints New National Police Chief ............................................................. 45 TNI Commander Holds Open House ............................................................................... 45 MALAYSIA................................................................................................................................ 45 Sinophobia Smolders In Malaysia .................................................................................. 45 Transition Plan: Abdullah To Brief BN Leaders After Raya ......................................... 45 More Labs To Be Set Up For Testing Melamine ............................................................ 46 MALDIVES ................................................................................................................................ 46 Foreign Ministry Denies “Missing” US$40 Million Tsunami Aid.................................. 46 President Submits Names For Anti Corruption Commission ...................................... 46 NEPAL ...................................................................................................................................... 47 Nepali PM Briefs Partymen On His U.S. Trip ................................................................. 47 Nepal-Indian JWRC Meeting Wraps Up, Seals 29-Point Deal....................................... 47 WB Announces USD 36 Million Aid Package To Nepal ................................................ 48 PAKISTAN ................................................................................................................................ 48 Pakistani Officials Say At Least 6 Killed In US Drone Strike ....................................... 48 US Attacks Inside Pakistan 'Terrorism:' PM Gilani ....................................................... 48 UK Brings Home Diplomats' Children From Pakistan .................................................. 49 Taliban Leader In Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, 'Dies From Kidney Failure' ............... 49 Top Pakistan militant 'not dead' ...................................................................................... 49 US Pressure Deepens Divide Between Pakistan's Military and Civilian Leadership 50 Zardari Says He Escaped Assassination At Marriott .................................................... 50 Zardari Stresses Hearts And Minds Campaign, Says Efforts To Win People‟s Support Necessary ........................................................................................................... 50 Army Ignores Pak Protest, Launches Civilian Trek To Siachen .................................. 51 Pak Violates Ceasefire Yet Again, BSF Foils Infiltration Bid In J&K ........................... 51 PALAU ...................................................................................................................................... 51 Palau President Confirms Senate Bid ............................................................................ 51 PAPUA NEW GUINEA ............................................................................................................. 52 Lowy Institute Tells Australia To Rethink PNG Aid ...................................................... 52 PHILIPPINES ............................................................................................................................ 52 U.S. Defense Department Awards $77.5-M Contracts For Mindanao Operations...... 52 U.S. Energizes ARMM Areas With Renewable Energy Sources .................................. 52 Fighting Between AFP, MILF Flares As Ramadan Ends ............................................... 53 Arroyo Blames Insurgency For Poverty On Samar Island ........................................... 53 „Tighten Your Belts‟ – GMA ............................................................................................. 53 ADB Grants $250 Mn Loan For Philippines ................................................................... 54 Gov't Urged To Revise Expenditure Plan Due To U.S. Financial Crisis ...................... 54 Arroyo Cuts Samar Trip Due To Storm „Pablo‟.............................................................. 54 SC Sacks CA Justice, Suspends Another In Bribery Scandal ..................................... 55 Two Earthquakes Jolt Mindoro, Metro Manila ............................................................... 55

SINGAPORE ............................................................................................................................. 56 Govt To Set Up Forensic Unit To Study Food Contamination ..................................... 56 Singapore Soldier Dies After Exercising ........................................................................ 56 SRI LANKA ............................................................................................................................... 56 Sri Lankan Air Force Destroys LTTE Charles Anthony Headquarters ........................ 56 Sri Lanka: Tamil Tigers Lists 21,648 As Fallen Heroes ................................................ 56 UN Aid To Return To Sri Lanka ....................................................................................... 57 Explosives Found On Sri Lanka Aid Truck, War Kills 30 ............................................. 57 New Threats Emerge For Sri Lankan Rights Lawyers .................................................. 57 Sri Lanka Annual Average Inflation Hits Six-Year High ................................................ 58 People From East To Be Registered On Sunday .......................................................... 58 THAILAND ................................................................................................................................ 58 Thai PM Urges End To Protests To Preserve "National Dignity" ................................ 58 Thailand 'Safe For The Moment' ...................................................................................... 59 PM Denies Govt Talking With Southern Insurgents ..................................................... 59 PM Meets Gen Prem At His Residence ........................................................................... 59 PM Not Bothered By Claims Of PPP's MP...................................................................... 60 PM Rules Out Ulterior Motive Behind Reform Move ..................................................... 60 Army Chief Calls For Reconciliation .............................................................................. 60 PM To Visit Cambodia, Seeks End To Row .................................................................... 61 Thai, Cambodia Leaders Schedule Temple Dispute Meeting ...................................... 61 UN Dodges Border Dispute ............................................................................................. 61 Thailand's Inflation Rate Cools Amid Lower Spending (Update1) .............................. 61 Russia Launches Thai Satellite On Converted Missile ................................................. 62 VANUATU ................................................................................................................................. 62 Vanuatu's PM Set To Defeat Move To Unseat Him ........................................................ 62 VIETNAM .................................................................................................................................. 62 Tropical Storm Mekkhala Leaves 17 Dead And Missing .............................................. 62 Vietnam Capable Of Stabilizing Its Economy ................................................................ 63

SUMMARIES

HAWAII In Isles, With Money To Burn The U.S. economy is headed for a recession, Congress is trying to reverse a credit crisis with a $700 billion bailout and August visitor arrivals for Hawai'i were down 17.3 percent compared with a year ago. Yet fiscal constraint is not a big issue at the moment for Machinist Mate 2nd Class Chris Putrzenski, 21, one of thousands of sailors who streamed off the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln yesterday evening for a few days of liberty. "Money is not really an object because we just came off five months of tax-free pay," said Putrzenski, who's from Medford, Ore. "I'm a single sailor with no bills. We've got some money saved up, burning a hole in my pocket." Waikiki is ready for him. The Lincoln, with about 5,000 crew and air wing personnel, tied up at Hotel Pier yesterday after a seven-month deployment, much of it to the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, said Capt. Patrick Hall, the carrier's commanding officer. The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile destroyer Russell is expected to return home today, and other ships that are part of the Lincoln strike group — the cruiser Mobile Bay, frigate Curts, and the destroyers Momsen and

Shoup — are expected to stop in Pearl Harbor through the week. That adds up to about 6,500 sailors — a small town's worth of business — who will have some free time and spending money in Honolulu, providing a mini-boon to the economy. (cont) Source: Honolulu Advertiser; William Cole http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20081001/NEWS01/810010384 U.S. Defense Department Awards $77.5-M Contracts For Mindanao Operations The United States government has approved and awarded two defense contracts amounting to $77.5 million (roughly P3.5 billion) to support the continued stay and operations of its forces deployed in the Philippines. Focus on the Global South, a Bangkok-based international research institute, said the approved contracts also included $202 million (roughly P9.3 billion), which could be awarded later. On its website, the US Department of Defense said DynCorp International LLC in Fort Worth, Texas was awarded a contract worth $44,259,606 to provide support services for the Philippine operations of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P). ―The current total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $202,116,113. Work will be performed in the Republic of the Philippines, and work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2009,‖ the website stated. ―Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-08-C-1115),‖ it added. The US defense department further said that DynCorp International was also awarded a $34,154,949 ―cost-plus-award-fee modification to increase the maximum dollar value of a cost-plus-award-fee contract‖ to provide support services for the operations of JSOTF-P. The contract is expected to be completed by September 2012. (Cont) Source: The Philippine Star, Jaime Laude, with Pia Lee-Brago http://www.philstar.com/index.php?Nation&p=49&type=2&sec=28&aid=20081001119 ASIA Asian Shares Rise On US Deal Hope Asians shares have risen strongly following the announcement that US senators will vote later on Wednesday on a revamped financial rescue plan. Japan's main Nikkei index ended up 108 points or 1% on increased hopes that a new deal can be agreed this week. Australian and New Zealand stocks also saw big gains, rising 4% and 3%. The new US package is broadly similar to the first, but includes new measures to help gain Congress's backing. One of those new clauses will raise the government's guarantee on savings from $100,000 (£56,000) to $250,000. Bill momentum To get through the Senate, the bill will require the backing of 60 of the 100 senators. However, it will then have to return to the House of Representatives, which rejected the first version of the $700bn rescue plan on Monday. The BBC's Jonathan Beale, in Washington, says a positive vote in the Senate is likely to give the bill momentum when it goes back to the House. Wall Street's main Dow Jones index closed Tuesday up 4.7%, recouping some of the losses seen in Monday's record one-day points fall. Gloom in Japan Meanwhile data from the Bank of Japan suggests that business confidence there is worsening. Regular surveys carried out by the bank provide a snapshot of business confidence in Japan's economy. (cont) Source: BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7645550.stm AVIAN INFLUENZA (BIRD FLU) [Thailand] Suspected Bird Flu Victim Dies PHICHIT : A worker on a free-range duck farm died from bird flu-like symptoms in Pho Prathap Chang district yesterday, and health authorities put his 12-year-old son under close observation for signs of infection with the virus. Manee Mankhetkit, 48, was taken to the provincial hospital on Monday after he developed a high fever, suffered from a cough, sore throat, chest pains and breathing difficulties. The man was treated in an isolated intensive care ward because he had come into contact with fowls. He was a hired hand at a duck farm which has more than 1,600 birds. Doctors pronounced him dead due to kidney and heart failure. His 12-year-old son Sakda,

who worked alongside his father, was taken to Phichit hospital yesterday. He too was put in an isolation ward for observation, and no visitors were allowed to see him. Livestock officials have collected samples from the free-range ducks, which have being dying in big numbers over the past week, for testing for the bird flu virus. Public health permanent-secretary Prat Boonyawongwirot said lab tests were being made on samples collected from the dead man's body to see whether he was infected with the deadly H5N1 virus as believed. (cont) Source: Bangkok Post http://www.bangkokpost.com/011008_News/01Oct2008_news03.php INFLATION/FOOD SHORTAGES India's Bonds Rise As Commodity Declines Ease Inflation Concern Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Indian bonds rose the most in more than two weeks on speculation inflation will slow as a global credit crisis damps demand for commodities such as crude oil. Yields on 10year notes fell from near the highest in a month as oil prices declined more than 6 percent this week after U.S. lawmakers rejected a $700 billion financial rescue plan for banks in the world's largest economy. The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index of 26 raw materials has fallen more than 25 percent from its peak in July. Inflation erodes the value of the fixed payments from bonds. ``Fixed-income securities are being preferred as the uncertainties deepen,'' said Jayant Chiney, treasurer at state- owned Bank of India in Mumbai. ``Yields have scope to decline further in the near term.'' The yield on the benchmark 8.24 percent note due April 2018 fell 16 basis points to 8.46 percent as of the 5:30 p.m. close in Mumbai, according to the central bank's trading system. The price rose 1.04 per 100 rupee face amount to 98.6. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point. (Cont) Source: Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=a_fLn2spaqu8&refer=india S. Korea Core Inflation Jumps, Cools Rate Cut Hopes SEOUL, Oct 1 (Reuters) - South Korea's core inflation rate shot up to a 10-year high in September, raising doubts about how soon the central bank could move to cut interest rates to shield the economy from the ravages of the global credit crisis. Investors had been raising their bets that the Bank of Korea, which reviews policy next week, would soon join China and Taiwan in Asia in cutting interest rates, to protect the economy from a crisis that hit the won this week to a 5-½ year low. December treasury bond futures had soared 75 ticks on Tuesday after weak industrial production data for August raised speculation of an early rate cut. But they pulled back as much as 29 ticks on Wednesday after the inflation data raised doubts about when the central bank might have room to ease policy. "The rate of core inflation was higher than thought, which is something we need to keep an eye on," said Song Jae-hyeok, an economist at SK Securities. "Although consumer prices have touched a peak, rising core inflation would still burden next year's price outlook." Consumer headline inflation fell to 5.1 percent in September, a fourth-month low, from 5.6 percent in August, government data showed on Wednesday. Expectations had centred on 5.4 percent. But core inflation, which excludes food and fuel prices, shot up to 5.1 percent from 4.7 percent a month earlier, marking the seventh consecutive month of acceleration. (cont) Source: Reuters http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/7841859 Sri Lanka Annual Average Inflation Hits Six-Year High COLOMBO: Sri Lanka‘s annual average inflation rose to 23.2 per cent in September from 22.6 per cent in August, the government said on Tuesday, to its highest level on a new index that dates back to 2002. However, consumer price inflation eased to a year-on-year 24.3 per cent this month from a 24.9 per cent in August. In June, it had hit a record on the current index of 28.2 per cent due to soaring food and oil prices. It was the third straight slowdown in consumer price growth since last December, data from the Department of Census and Statistics showed. The latest index was introduced in December. A Reuters inflation survey had expected the data to

show consumer price inflation of 23.0 per cent, while annual average inflation measured on a 12month moving average was also seen at 23.0 per cent. ―Consumer prices are easing due to better supply of food and vegetables in the local market and fall in the rate of increase of global commodity prices,‖ Channa Amarathunga, director at CT Capital told Reuters. He said the annual average inflation would take time to ease because of the lingering effect of high oil and food prices was still on the index. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said last month inflation may fall into single digits by the end of 2009 with the bank controlling reserve money in the economy. (cont) Source: The News http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=138856 Thailand's Inflation Rate Cools Amid Lower Spending (Update1) Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand's inflation slowed for a second month in September as political and financial market turmoil deterred spending and oil prices fell, making it likely the central bank will refrain from raising its interest rate. Consumer prices gained 6 percent from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said today in Bangkok. That compares with the 5.9 percent median estimate of 12 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The pace was 6.4 percent in August. The central bank has room to ease monetary policy as inflation cools, Governor Tarisa Watanagase said yesterday. Political uncertainty and slowing exports as deepening financial turmoil crimps global demand may curb Thailand's economic growth in the second half of this year, she said earlier this month. ``Inflation is no longer a problem,'' said Usara Wilaipich, a Bangkok-based economist at Standard Chartered Plc. ``The priority now is growth. The Bank of Thailand will have room next year to cut rates to cushion the economic slowdown.'' Core inflation, which excludes fresh food and fuel prices, was 2.6 percent in September, the Commerce Ministry said today. The economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted a 2.7 percent pace. (Cont) Source: Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=a7tz575f_QZk&refer=asia SIX PARTY TALKS Top U.S. Envoy In North Korea To Salvage Disarmament Deal Pyongyang -- Top US envoy to the denuclearization talks with North Korea Christopher Hill arrived in Pyongyang Wednesday morning to discuss ways to salvage the faltering disarmament deal. The official KCNA news agency said in a one-sentence report that the US delegation led by Hill was here in Pyongyang Wednesday. Hill told reporters Tuesday on arriving at the Seoul international airport in South Korea en route to Pyongyang that his visit would focus on the verification issue and reiterated that Washington was ready to remove Pyongyang from a terrorism list when verification procedures are agreed to, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. The inclusion of North Korea in the US list as state sponsor of terrorism has blocked US and multilateral aid to the impoverished communist-ruled country. During talks in February 2007 with the United States, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea, North Korea had agreed to disable the Yongbyon facilities in exchange for economic aid, political concessions and removal of its name from the terror list. It began disabling its facilities in November and in June blew up a cooling tower. But the deal ran aground in late July when Washington delayed Pyongyang's removal from the terrorism list until it agreed to verification. Pyongyang protested, saying verification was never part of the pact, and stopped disabling the plant in mid-August. On Sep 19, Pyongyang announced it had begun the work to restore its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon. Source: Xinhua http://story.asiabulletin.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/4a8b544d0e80ba53/id/413454/cs/1/ US Envoy In N Korea On Mission To Save Nuclear Pact US negotiator Christopher Hill arrived in North Korea on Wednesday in an attempt to save a crumbling nuclear disarmament deal, after saying negotiations with Pyongyang have reached a "very tough" phase. Hill, an assistant secretary of state, crossed the heavily fortified border at the truce village of Panmunjom, the US military said, in what is his third visit to the hardline

communist state in 16 months. In Pyongyang, he will urge the North to halt moves to restart its nuclear weapons program and return to a February 2007 six-nation deal which appears close to collapse. "I would say we are in a difficult and very tough phase of negotiations," Hill told reporters late Tuesday after talks in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart Kim Sook. He said the two sides had had some discussions through North Korea's UN mission in New York and "we thought it would be useful to try to have those discussions in Pyongyang". The North, angry at the US failure to remove it from a terrorism blacklist, has announced it will begin restarting its plutonium reprocessing plant at Yongbyon. It has barred UN atomic inspectors from the building. The ageing Yongbyon complex is at the heart of the country's decades-old nuclear ambitions, which culminated in a weapons test in October 2006. The North shut down Yongbyon in July 2007 and began disabling the plants in November that year. (cont) Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379546/1/.html NORTHEAST ASIA CHINA Mainland China's Reform, Opening Up Benefits The World TOKYO -- China's reform and opening up has benefited people around the world, said Panasonic Corp. President Fumio Otsubo in an interview with Xinhua. Otsubo made the remarks in response to questions concerning China's 30-year drive for reform and opening up and Panasonic's corporate growth in China. "Thanks to China's 30 years of reform and opening up, Panasonic as well as other foreign enterprises have been able to carry out their operations in China and their products be exported to China, " said Otsubo, adding that the products manufactured in China, on the other hand, have also been able to be on their way to Japan and other countries. "In such cooperation and coordination, the relations between China and Japan as well as other countries concerned have been enhanced," he said. "And people around the world have benefited from the fruits produced by China in its unswerving drive for reform and opening up," he added. "Various nations in the world have thus been more closely correlated both in terms of economy and people-to-people exchanges, " said Otsubo. Panasonic owes its great success in China to China's reform and opening up, said the Panasonic chief. Panasonic (then Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd) became one of the first foreign-funded enterprises to enter China more than 20 years ago following the meeting of Konosuke Matsushita, founder of the company, and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping at the launch of reform and opening up in 1978. (Cont) Source: Xinhua http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-10/01/content_7073034.htm China Able To Push Domestic Growth: S&P SINGAPORE -- China has the muscles to push short-term domestic growth, but Japan and South Korea will continue to grapple with various difficulties in trying to rev up their sluggish economic engines into higher gear, said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services here on Tuesday. In recent separate reports on the three countries, S&P said China will steer its economic policy toward supporting growth, despite some anticipated hurdles, while Japan and South Korea both face political stalemates, high oil and food prices, decelerating growth, among other issues. The report said China is counting on its strong domestic demand to pull its economy ahead this year and next, "We expect tight labor market conditions, together with the implementation of the new Labor Contract law this year, to keep wage growth strong and lower uncertainties faced by employees." Japan, caught in its web of political stalemate and sputtering growth, has little potential for economic improvement in the near term, said S&P.The report said Japan, the second-largest economy in the world, will have weak overall growth prospects in 2008. Japan's GDP growth for fiscal 2008 ending March 31, 2009, is expected to be 0.7 percent, which is lower

than earlier forecast of 1.2 percent. South Korea's growth is expected to be slower at 4.3 percent for 2008, from 5.0 percent in 2007, another report on the country by S&P said. Source: Xinhua http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-10/01/content_7071872.htm Premier Wen 'Concerned' With U.S. Financial Crisis BEIJING -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is "concerned" with the financial crisis in the United States but he played down comparisons with the Great Depression, comments reported in media on Wednesday. Wen, who made the remarks last Wednesday at a meeting with US business leaders and economists in New York, added that he still has confidence in the US economy. "We pay close attention to the problems in US finance," Wen was quoted as saying in the overseas edition of the People's Daily. "What is the actual degree of the problem? How will it develop? What will be the effect on the United States and the world? I'm very concerned," he said. The US economy has a sound base and it was not like the 1930s, when the Great Depression left millions without work, he said. "Facing up to a crisis, the crux is to pluck up one's courage and be confident, as these are more important than gold or currency," Wen was paraphrased as saying. Wen said he hoped efforts taken by the US government to reassure and bolster the financial markets would work. While he admitted China's export-driven economy could be impacted by a slowdown in foreign demand, the country may be able to limit the fallout by boosting domestic demand. (Cont) Source: Xinhua / Agencies http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-10/01/content_7072699.htm Chinese Celebrate 59th National Day The 59th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which fell on Wednesday, was celebrated by people from different walks of life across the country. At Tian'anmen Square, the heart of the capital, a record 190,000 people from around the country gathered in the pre-dawn hours to observe a special national flag-raising ceremony. Most of those who swarmed to the square beginning at midnight were college freshmen who wanted the best vantage point. They sat in groups, playing poker or electronic games while waiting for the red flag with five stars to be raised at 6:10 a.m. The flag rose to the sound of the national anthem. As it reached the top, 10,000 pigeons signaling good wishes were released into the air from both sides of the Golden Bridge in front of Tian'anmen Gate. "Happy birthday to China," yelled students from the Beijing Science, Technology and Management College, a vocational school. One said: "Seeing the red flag rise to the tune of the heart-stirring national anthem, we felt happy, excited and proud." "Tears started to trickle down my face when I heard the anthem," said Wang Hai, a migrant worker from the earthquake-hit Sichuan Province. "When my home town was struck by a powerful quake in May, people from other parts of the country stood by us and aid poured in," said Wang, who now works in Beijing. "I am proud of China." (Cont) Source: Xinhua, Hu Lujie and Li Laifang http://english.cri.cn/2946/2008/10/01/168s410717.htm Chocolates, Cheesecake, Cookies Caught In Tainted-Milk Scandal CHINA'S contaminated milk scandal spread yesterday with 11 kinds of Cadbury-brand candies being pulled from shops in Beijing and Hong Kong's food-safety agency reporting it had found the industrial chemical melamine in a Japanese brand's Chinese-made cheesecake. The affected Cadbury products were made by the company's Beijing plant and also distributed to Hong Kong and Macau. They include Cadbury Dark Chocette 45 gram, Cadbury Dark Chocette 80 gram, Cadbury Hazelnut Praline Chocolate 312 gram (2008 Chinese New Year) and Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate 300 gram (2008 Chinese New Year). The Beijing Times newspaper cited a letter dated Monday from Cadbury Asia Pacific based in Singapore to all of its marketing dealers saying that they had suspicions about some elements used in products made by the Beijing factory and insisted the products be withdrawn until those suspicions were dispelled by laboratory work. Cadbury Asia Pacific was said to have received an oral notice from Hong Kong customs that Cadbury products were suspected of containing substances similar to melamine. The company

was conducting an internal inspection. Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety said it found melamine in a sample of Lotte Cream Cheese Cake made by Japan's Lotte China Foods Co Ltd on the mainland. It is the second time the Hong Kong authorities have detected the chemical, which is used to make plastics and fertilizers, in Lotte's products. (Cont) Source: Shanghai Daily / Agencies http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=375529&type=National Tropical Storm Higos Moves Toward South China Sea BEIJING -- Tropical storm Higos was moving toward the South China Sea, bringing strong wind, the National Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological Administration forecast on Wednesday. Higos, the 17th tropical storm this year, formed on Tuesday to the south of the Philippines. It was located at 14.5 degrees north latitude and 121.2 degrees east longitude at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. It was gaining momentum and moving northwest at up to 20 km per hour at its center and was expected to land in the South China Sea on Wednesday night. Source: Xinhua http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-10/01/content_7073049.htm Taiwan Arms Deal Still Pending: U.S. State Department Official POSTPONED: While addressing a Florida conference, David Sedney said the internal review process for the arms sales was far more complicated than imagined A US State Department official reiterated on Tuesday that pending weapons sales to Taiwan are still being screened under an internal review process in the executive branch. MTV news reporter John Norris said the Bush administration would notify the US Congress when the interagency process reaches a final decision. Norris said he would not pay too much attention to when the notification is issued, because the US maintains close economic and trade relations and civil exchanges with Taiwan. In addition, there is the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) that governs security issues concerning Taiwan, he said. Norris made the remarks after being asked about the matter by Taiwanese reporters on the sidelines of the 7th US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Taiwan was excluded from the list when the State Department notified Congress of its approval of six arms sales to France, Turkey, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia last Friday — the date Congress had been scheduled to adjourn. The adjournment was postponed for a week because of deadlock over a bailout package for Wall Street. The arms deal covers anti-tank missiles, Apache helicopters, Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries, diesel-electric submarines, P3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, ship-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Black Eagle helicopters. (Cont) Source: Taipei Times, with CNA, Jacksonville http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/10/02/2003424798 Chen Calls On Ma To Step Down Over Economic Ills Former president Chen Shui-bian yesterday lambasted President Ma Ying-jeou, saying he should step down if he could not immediately improve the economy. Chen, who is embroiled in a money-laundering scandal, told supporters in Taipei County's Sanchong City that he was touched to see so many people turn up and that he felt their passion was stronger than that of his supporters in the south. Sanchong is the first northern stop of his tour. Chen said he realized they came because they loved this land and the country, not because he was important. ―Taiwan cannot fall,‖ he said, drawing cheers from the crowd. Chen said that after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) won the legislative election in January, ―Mr Ma‖ and ―Regional Warden Ma‖ had asked the electorate to help him win the presidential election so the KMT could return to power. ―Now the KMT has its wish and it says it will be fully responsible, but do you see the party being fully responsible? Over the past four months, we‘ve seen KMT not only fully shun its responsibility, but also blame it on A-bian,‖ he said, referring to himself by his nickname. Chen said Ma, who had promised that ―things would improve right after he took office,‖ should step down if he could not make the country a better place right away. Chen said that Ma had failed to

deliver on his promise and was now accusing him and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of leaving behind a mess for the KMT to clean up. (Cont) Source: Taipei Times, Ko Shu-Ling http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/10/02/2003424801 Taiwan's Envoy To Japan Hopes For Friendly Ties, Mutual Trust Tokyo -- Taiwan's new representative to Japan John Feng expressed the hope Wednesday that both countries would maintain friendly relations and mutual trust. Feng made the remarks at a welcome party hosted by Japan's largest pro-Taiwan parliamentary group, Japan-ROC Dietmen's Council. More than 50 Japanese parliamentarians of the multipartisian group attended the function. Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa and People's New Party leader Tamisuke Watanuki were also present. Council head Takeo Hiranuma, in his introduction of Feng, said that the envoy studied in Japanese elementary and junior high school for five years as Feng's father was an ROC diplomat stationed in Japan at the time. Feng is a seasoned diplomat who is trusted by President Ma Ying-jeou, Hiranuma noted. He further said that there are many issues between Taiwan and Japan that need to be addressed and resolved with the help of the council, and he called for all members to work toward promoting bilateral relations. In his address, Feng praised the council for the role it plays in promoting bilateral relations. The boat collision incident in the disputed Tiaoyutai islands in East China Sea earlier this year was "regrettable," Feng said. He added that President Ma, who attaches great importance to Taiwan-Japan relations, has instructed him to resume and build on Taiwan's friendly relations with Japan. (Cont) Source: CNA, Mike Chang and Lilian Wu http://www.cna.com.tw/CNAeng/RealTimeNews/NewsDetail.aspx?strType=PD New Tropical Storm May Affect Taiwan On Weekend TAIPEI, Taiwan News –– The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) reported yesterday the formation of two tropical storms in Southwest Pacific with one likely to have impact on Taiwan over the weekend. Typhoon Mekkhala, the No. 16 storm in the Pacific Ocean this year was centered at around 320 kilometers south of Hanoi of Vietnam moving west-ward in late afternoon yesterday. It is expected to reach an area of 430 km southwest of Hanoi this afternoon. Typhoon Higos, coded No. 17 and appearing at 600 km southeast of Manila, the Philippines, will more likely affect Taiwan‘s weather two or three days later. Higos has been moving west-northwest toward Taiwan at a speed of 20 km per hour, according to CWB forecasters. They said ships passing through the paths of the two new typhoons should caution against strong winds and heavy rains. The bureau will continue monitoring the movements of Higos in coming days, they said. If Higos maintains the current course, it could become the fourth typhoon that will have direct impact on Taiwan for the fourth weekend. For Taiwan, the weather will remain cool and cloudy today and tomorrow for most regions except eastern Taiwan that will continue to have rains. But more sporadic rains will cover the whole island starting on Friday. The temperature range will be 22 to 29 degrees Celsius in northern Taiwan today and tomorrow, 22 to 30 degrees in central part of the island, 24 to 31 degrees in the south, and 24 to 28 degrees in eastern Taiwan. Source: The China Post http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national%20news/2008/10/01/176851/New%2Dtropi cal.htm Chinese Authority Has Detected Melamine Contamination In Another 20 Chinese Company's Dairy Products Chinese authority has detected melamine contamination in another 20 Chinese company!|s dairy products, according to Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday. China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said it had tested the product samples of a total number of 290 Chinese companies that produce dairy products and found melamine in 20 of them. Melamine contamination of baby formula has already been blamed for the deaths of at least four infants and kidney illnesses in more than 53,000 children in China. Source: Taiwan News, Joseph Yeh

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=753270&lang=eng_news&cate_img=49 .jpg&cate_rss=news_Society President Ma Hails Launch Of Taiwan's New National Pension Scheme The launch of a new national pension system yesterday marked a historic milestone for Taiwan as the island entered the era of complete social security coverage, President Ma Ying-jeou said. He described the introduction of the national pension as the final step in a process which started 14 years ago with the launch of national health insurance. The new system covers the estimated 4.7 million residents who were not covered already by separate insurance and pension structures for military personnel, civil servants, teachers, laborers and farmers. The monthly premium is calculated on the basis of the minimum wage, NT$17,280. The rate for the first two years is 6.5 percent, with the government bearing 40 percent of the cost, the insured 60 percent. The monthly premium adds up to NT$674 per person. Rates are projected to rise gradually to 12 percent of the minimum wage. The new system covers people with household registration in Taiwan between the ages of 25 and 65 not already covered by any other system. Even those who celebrate their 65th birthday today, the second day of the system, still have to pay the full premium for one month. In return, they will receive a pension of NT$3,009 a month, the Council of Labor Affairs Bureau of Labor Insurance said. The maximum amount would be NT$8,986 a month for retirees who paid into the system for 40 years, the bureau said. (Cont) Source: Taiwan News http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=753289&cate_rss=news_Politics_TAIW AN&cate_img=83.jpg Other Exclusive: China Report Urges Missile Shield The United States needs new weapon systems, including missile defenses and other advanced military capabilities, to deter and counter China's steady buildup of nuclear and conventional arms, according to a draft internal report by a State Department advisory board. U.S. defense policy has stressed missile defenses against Iran and North Korea. The report, by the Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), is the first to recommend such defenses against China, including technology in space. The draft, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, said Chinese strategy goes beyond building forces capable of retaking the island of Taiwan. China seeks to "break out" by projecting power beyond its region including sea lanes that carry energy resources for its modernization, the document said. "Using superior U.S. military technical capacities, the United States should undertake the development of new weapons, sensors, communications, and other programs and tactics to convince China that it will not be able to overcome the U.S. militarily," the report said. • Read the report by the ISAB Task Force on China's Strategic Modernization (downloads PDF) The draft report presents a tough assessment of Chinese strategic modernization that goes beyond many current government and private-sector analyses that say that China's military modernization does not pose a major challenge to U.S. security interests. (Cont) Source: The Washington Post, Bill Gertz http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/oct/01/new-us-defenses-sought-to-counter-beijing-buildup/ China's Hu Demands Action As Milk Tests Find Melamine Chinese authorities said Wednesday that tests had found traces in nearly 12 per cent of milk powder products of an industrial chemical that has so far sickened 53,000 children, killing four. As China marked its national day, President Hu Jintao said lessons must be learned from the scandal over tainted milk that has soiled China's reputation and led to a series of bans or curbs on its dairy exports worldwide. The Anglo-Dutch company Unilever became the latest big-name brand to recall some Chinese products, taking Lipton milk tea powder off shelves in Hong Kong and Macau after tests showed them contaminated with melamine. The chemical is normally used in making plastic, but can make watered-down milk look richer in protein than is actually the case. "Food safety is directly linked to the well-being of the broad masses and the competence of a

company," Hu said during a tour Tuesday of dairy companies in eastern China's Anhui province, the Xinhua news agency reported. "Chinese companies should learn from the lessons of the Sanlu tainted milk powder incident," he said, referring to Sanlu Group whose toxic baby formula was at the origin of the crisis. Hu urged companies to strengthen management and food safety checks and make sure their products were safe for consumers, according to Xinhua. Since the scandal first erupted last month, an increasing number of dairy products have been found to contain the industrial chemical melamine. (cont) Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379536/1/.html China Says Lessons To Be Learned From Milk Scandal Chinese President Hu Jintao says lessons must be learned from the toxic milk scandal. Four babies died and more than 50,000 infants needed medical treatment in China this month, after consuming tainted Chinese products. He urged companies to strengthen management and food safety checks and make sure their products were safe for consumers. Mr Hu made his call during a tour of dairy companies in eastern China's Anhui province. He says food safety is directly linked to the well-being of the broad masses and the competence of a company. Firm asks for government help The Chinese company at the centre of the scare over tainted milk powder is reported to have asked for government help to cover up the extent of the problem. The People's Daily quotes Shijiazhuang city government spokesman Wang Jianguo saying the San Lu Group asked local authorities for help in managing the media response to the case. He says the company made the request when it was first told of the issue on August the second, six days before the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing. The central government has already said the city government in Shijiazhuang, home to the San Lu Group sat on a report from the company about the tainting for more than a month. (Cont) Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379664.htm?tab=latest HK Watchdog Says Melamine Level In Cadbury Products Is Safe Hong Kong's food safety watchdog said that the level of melamine in Cadbury products was safe, after the British sweet maker recalled 11 of its China-made chocolates. Cadbury recalled the product lines from Taiwan, Australia and Hong Kong after they found traces of the industrial chemical, which has led to more than 53,000 babies falling ill in China. Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety (CFS) said they had tested Cadbury products after the recall. "Results available... showed that all the samples were satisfactory," the CFS said in a statement released late Tuesday. The CFS said Cadbury Chocolate Eclairs had been found to contain a melamine level of 1.9 parts per million. The acceptable legal limit is 2.5 parts per million in Hong Kong. The company said on Monday it had found traces of melamine and was withdrawing the products made at its Beijing plant as a precautionary measure after internal tests "cast doubt" on their safety. An ever-expanding list of China-made foods and drinks have been removed from stores around the world since the scandal was first exposed several weeks ago. Normally used in making plastics and fertiliser, melamine is believed to have been added to milk to give it the appearance of higher protein content. Four Chinese children have died in the scandal. Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379548/1/.html S Korea Says Tons Of Unsafe Chinese Herbal Medicine Destroyed South Korea destroyed 871 tons of imported Chinese herbal medicine ingredients over the past two years because they contained excessive level of toxins, official figures showed Wednesday. The Korea Food and Drug Administration told parliament in a report that the imports had higher than permitted amounts of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic as well as sulphur dioxide. South Korea last year imported 19,650 tons of Chinese herbs and other material for oriental medicines, 78 per cent of the total imports. The report came amid a new scare about Chinese food safety after melamine was found in infant milk formula, sickening nearly 53,000 children and killing four in China. South Korea banned the import of all products containing

Chinese powdered milk and has been inspecting 428 brands of Chinese imported food already on sale. As of Tuesday, it had found that six of the 186 items checked so far were contaminated with melamine. Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379577/1/.html More Labs To Be Set Up For Testing Melamine The Health Ministry will set up its own laboratories as current melamine tests are proceeding ―too slowly.‖ Its minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said that of 866 product samples which have been taken, only 26 have been tested and found to be melamine-free. ―That‘s too slow. So we are going to set up labs in every state because there are a lot of samples and the (Chemistry Department) lab cannot cope. ―We don‘t want the people to have to wait,‖ he told reporters at the Prime Minister‘s Hari Raya open house at Putra World Trade Centre here on Wednesday. The ministry will set up more than 13 labs, and will also get the aid of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Malaya. ―These are qualified labs. They have the equipment and they have the capability,‖ Liow said. He also asked the public not to panic if they found small portions of melamine in their food, as long as they were within the permissible level. ―European Union countries allow 30 parts per million (ppm) of melamine in all food products. ―When a food product is wrapped in plastic, there may be some transfer of melamine to the food. But if it‘s in small amounts then it‘s still safe as our bodies should be able to excrete it,‖ he said. He said the melamine-tainted milk products in China were at dangerous levels of about 2,653ppm. Source: the Star; LISA GOH http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/10/1/nation/20081001202900&sec=nation Govt To Set Up Forensic Unit To Study Food Contamination SINGAPORE: The government has assured Singaporeans that all food products here are safe for consumption, but it plans to set up a forensic unit to study possible sources of food contamination in the future. National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan told reporters this after visiting a public health lab on Wednesday. Channel NewsAsia understands that the forensic unit, under the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), will likely be operational in one month. This comes on the back of the melamine scare, originating from China. No one in Singapore has fallen ill from eating melamine-tainted products. But in China, four children have died and over 50,000 infants are sick from drinking melamine-laced infant formula. Laboratory staff in Singapore have been working tirelessly since mid-September, testing about 100 samples every day. Mr Mah said Singapore has a very tight food security and safety system, but there is no guarantee that such a contamination will not happen again. He said: "What we need to do is to strengthen our vigilance system. Meaning, not just depend on what we read but also perhaps our intelligence on the ground, with our overseas partners, and to strengthen our information gathering so that the chances of such things happening can be reduced. In other words, we keep our eyes and ears on the ground more." (Cont) Source: Channel News Asia http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/379607/1/.html Six Months After Riots, Tension High As Armed Police Clamp Down In Lhasa Residents unwilling to speak out in city hit hard by drop in tourist numbers. Tibet's capital is under heavy security more than six months after riots tore through the city, with armed police stationed at every main tourist spot and patrolling through the heart of Lhasa. The police chief and one of the region's vice governors were sacked last week. No reason has been given. Senior officials say the situation in Tibet is now "stable" and "normal". Yet the intensive paramilitary police presence suggests they remain concerned about further outbreaks of violence. Next year is particularly sensitive as it marks the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese rule that led to the Dalai Lama's flight into exile. Chinese authorities say 23 people died in the March 14 violence. Exile groups, however, claim that hundreds of Tibetans were killed in the ensuing crackdown in Lhasa and other parts of China. Their allegations are impossible to verify given

constraints on reporting. The Guardian is the first British newspaper allowed to travel in Tibet since March. Lhasa's narrow streets now bustle with shoppers, pilgrims and small groups of foreign tourists. But one resident said the atmosphere remained tense and religious activity had mostly gone underground. Paramilitary police armed with guns, batons and riot shields are stationed throughout the centre. (Cont) Source: The Guardian, Tania Branigan in Lhasa http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/01/tibet.tibet Tropical Storm Cause Damages In China The tropical storm Jangmi has inflicted damage across the southern to eastern coastal areas of China. The storm caused heavy rain and wind in areas from Fujian Province to Zhejiang Province from Sunday to Monday. During the storm, a Panama-registered vessel sunk off Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province, and its 13 crewmembers still remain missing. The Chinese government says 500,000 residents evacuated to shelters in the 2 provinces. It also says about 80,000 ships stayed in ports to avoid high waves and winds. In Fujian Province's Fuzhou City, outdoor events for Wednesday's national foundation day were cancelled. Source: NHK http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/30_36.html Chinese Dam Incurs KIO Wrath A Chinese-Burmese joint project to construct a series of hydroelectric dams in Kachin State has met with resistance from the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), said sources close to the armed ethnic group. The KIO, which signed a ceasefire with the Burmese junta in 1994, was reportedly unhappy that several projects to build dams in Kachin State in northern Burma were agreed in 2007 between the Burmese regime and representatives of the China Datang Corporation (CDC) without consulting the KIO, which claims control over the area. Tensions soared two weeks ago when Chinese authorities refused to pay tax to the KIO, which responded by deploying soldiers around the two dams in progress—Tarpein 1 and Tarpein 2—which are being constructed on the Tarpein River in Momauk Township by Burma‘s Ministry of Electric Power No 1 and a conglomerate of Chinese companies, including China Datang Corporation. Soon after two battalions of armed KIO soldiers took up positions around the dams the Chinese construction workers on the project fled, causing construction to be suspended. Sources close to the KIO said that the workers returned and the project resumed about one week ago after Chinese authorities paid 1.5 million yuan (US $220,916) to the KIO. The negotiation was reportedly mediated by newly appointed Commander of Northern Command Brig-Gen Soe Win. (cont) Source: The Irrawaddy http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=14360 Chinese Attack Coast Guard Officers Two days before a Mokpo Coast Guard officer was killed by unlicensed Chinese fishermen in Korean waters on Sept. 25, four of his fellow officers had been taken hostage and beaten by other fishermen from China near the scene of the incident, according to police. After news emerged of the death of Park Gyeong-jo, 48, near Gageo Island off the coast of Sinan County, South Jeolla, the Mokpo Coast Guard belatedly released information about the assault on Tuesday night. The coast guard ship, carrying 10 officers and an interpreter, had stopped a Chinese fishing vessel suspected of fishing without a permit at around 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 23. After taking the Chinese captain onto the coast guard ship as a precaution, the four boarded the fishing boat in order to inspect it. The boat then fled the scene. It was later joined by up to 50 other Chinese boats that were in the vicinity, including a large Chinese fish cargo ship. Twenty crew members from the cargo ship then jumped aboard the fishing boat armed with steel pipes and wooden sticks. They beat the officers severely, leaving two seriously injured, and kept them hostage for an hour. The officers were held until the captain of the Chinese fishing boat was released. The two wounded men were rushed to a hospital in Mokpo. Not wishing to admit to the

embarrassing hostage exchange, the Mokpo officers falsely reported that they had crashed into the fishing vessel, according to coast guard officials. (cont) Source: JoongAng Ilbo; Park Sang-woo and Chun Chang-whan http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2895587 Analysis-China Tourists, Dollars Could Charm, Alarm Taiwan TAIPEI -- Two decades after letting its people and companies go to China, Taiwan is opening itself to Chinese investors and visitors -- a move that could carry big economic dividends but also one fraught with political risk. By opening itself to a flood of Chinese tourists and investment dollars, Taiwan is exposing its markets, economy and political and social systems to huge influence from its much larger neighbor and political rival. Some forecast the injection of new activity could boost Taiwan's laggard economy by as much 2 percentage points. But lack of progress or a backlash if change occurs too quickly could also undermine the new China-friendly government. "There will be some initial apprehension when mainland capital comes in to buy real estate, business or other things," said Wu Ray-kuo, managing director of risk consultancy at FuJen University. "After that, it will depend on how the mainland capital is used. If all these control relaxations don't lead to the desired result, there could potentially be public backlash." Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May, his administration has announced a steady stream of initiatives aimed at opening Taiwan to Chinese and their investments, ending six decades of prohibition. The first of those, a landmark tourism deal in June, could result in up to $3.2 billion in additional tourism spending each year, adding 0.8 percentage points to Taiwan's gross domestic product, BNP said in a July research note. (Cont) Source: Reuters, Doug Young http://www.forbes.com/reuters/feeds/reuters/2008/09/30/2008-1001T034130Z_01_SP366938_RTRIDST_0_TAIWAN-CHINA-ANALYSIS.html JAPAN Aso, Ozawa Face Off In Diet Prime Minister Taro Aso and the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Ichiro Ozawa, had a confrontation in the Diet. The face-off came at a question-and-answer session on Wednesday in the Lower House. Ozawa said it is hard to believe that the president of the Liberal Democratic Party is sitting in the prime minister's seat for a third time without general elections, after his 2 predecessors quit within less than a year. Ozawa said it is customary in a parliamentary democracy that if the ruling parties lose the power to govern, they must immediately let the opposition take their place and hold general elections. He pledged that if the Democratic Party were to take power, it would secure more than 190 billion dollars' worth of revenue by 2012, mainly by eliminating wasteful taxes, funding pension reform, establishing child benefits and making the highways free. Aso apologized for the sudden resignations of his 2 predecessors, but said he firmly believes that the LDP still has the capability to govern the country and to take responsibility for its future. Aso warned the opposition that prolonging deliberations for no apparent reason amounts to dodging public responsibility. The prime minister stressed that he is the one who will decide when to dissolve the Lower House and hold general elections. Source: NHK http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_29.html Aso, Ozawa Stress Ability To Run Gov't In 1st Diet Debate Prime Minister Taro Aso and main opposition Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa both stressed their parties' ability to hold the reins of government in their first Diet debate Wednesday amid widespread expectations a general election will be called soon. Countering Aso's policy speech delivered Monday, Ozawa gave his own ''policy speech'' at the Diet and urged the premier to promptly call a general election after sufficient debate is held in parliament over the course of the nation and presenting each party's policies. On dissolving the House of Representatives, Aso merely said, ''I will make a decision on the dissolution.'' Later in the day,

Aso told reporters, ''Public opinion supports economic measures more than the dissolution. The U.S. financial crisis had not emerged when the draft of the supplementary budget was compiled,'' suggesting he would like to prioritize implementing more steps to stimulate the economy. The DPJ is seeking for the lower house to be dissolved immediately after the enactment of the fiscal 2008 supplementary budget. At the start of Diet debate following the launch of the Aso administration last week, Ozawa criticized Aso's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, saying, ''It's hard to believe'' the LDP president still holds the premiership even after the two previous LDP presidents gave up their administrations, each in about one year. (cont) Source: Kyodo http://home.kyodo.co.jp/modules/fstStory/index.php?storyid=402012 Japan's Opposition Leader Vows Alternative As Elections Loom Japan's opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa presented himself on Wednesday as the prime minister in waiting, pledging to slash wasteful spending and focus on people's needs if his bloc wins looming elections. In an address to parliament, Ozawa made a raft of policy promises including repairing the worn-out pension system, increasing the number of doctors and nurses and closing a widening gap between rich and poor. The veteran political strategist offered a confident address from the podium at parliament, saying he would deliver a true "policy speech" after new Prime Minister Taro Aso's combative remarks two days earlier. "This is the first time in my 39 years as a lawmaker that I heard a prime minister's policy speech that slandered the opposition," said Ozawa, 66, head of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). "I will give you answers to your questions by giving my policy speech," he said without looking at Aso. Aso took office last week with a mission to help the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party defeat the rising opposition in elections that could come as soon as next month. The prime minister, in his own policy speech, accused the opposition of being irresponsible by blocking legislation since it won a landmark victory last year to take control of one house of parliament. "We want quick snap elections after having sufficient debate in parliament to show which party wants what kind of policy," Ozawa said. cont) Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379654/1/.html LDP Eyes Pushing Back Poll Prime Minister Taro Aso and the Liberal Democratic Party leadership are considering delaying an expected House of Representatives poll to concentrate on dealing with the global financial crisis and its adverse effects on the Japanese economy, senior party officials said Tuesday. The LDP leadership also is discussing a plan to work out additional economic measures, the officials said. LDP leaders initially had planned to start campaigning on Oct. 21, with voting to be held Nov. 2. However, sources said the LDP and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, held a meeting at the Diet building Tuesday to discuss the ongoing financial turmoil. At the meeting, the parties' secretaries general and Diet affairs committee chairmen decided to pass a supplementary budget for fiscal 2008 that includes a fund for an emergency economic package during the current extraordinary Diet session. The sources said the party officials agreed that dissolving the lower house for a general election and creating a political vacuum before the passage of the budget could have an adverse impact on the country. On Tuesday evening, Aso said to reporters at the Prime Minister's Office, "We definitely have to pass the supplementary budget [in the current Diet session]." Asked about the timing of a dissolution of the lower house, Aso hinted he would not move to do so soon. "We have to deal with the bill for [establishing] a consumer affairs agency and the legislation for [revising] the new Antiterrorism Law. (cont) Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20081001TDY01305.htm Nakasone Willing To Consider Alternative Plans For Sdf Mission Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone showed willingness Tuesday to consider alternative plans, including new activities involving the Self-Defense Forces, in case a bill to extend the current antiterrorism support mission in the Indian Ocean fails to clear parliament. ―Of course the top

priority for us is to get this bill passed. But if there are other things we can do, of course we should consider them too,‖ Nakasone, who was appointed to his post last Wednesday in Prime Minister Taro Aso‘s new cabinet, said. While underscoring the government‘s belief that the current deployment for refueling allied vessels in the U.S.-led operations in and around Afghanistan should be continued, Nakasone acknowledged that political tensions in parliament are a hurdle for passing the bill for extension beyond the mission‘s January expiration. Source: Kyodo http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/nakasone-willing-to-consider-alternative-plansfor-sdf-mission Navy Resists Sasebo Call For Nuclear Drill Nearly two months after learning a U.S. submarine leaked minute amounts of radiation in its harbor, the city of Sasebo said it hopes to persuade the U.S. Navy this week to cooperate in local safeguards against accidents involving nuclear-powered vessels. Sasebo Mayor Norio Tomonaga was scheduled to meet Thursday with Commander Naval Forces Japan and U.S. Embassy officials to urge participation in an annual nuclear disaster drill, according to the city‘s base affairs official, Setsuo Kuga. But officials at Sasebo Naval Base said Tuesday that participation is unlikely. The Navy has steadfastly stuck to its position that its nuclear vessels are safe enough that accident drills with Japan are not needed. However, in advance of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington‘s recent arrival to Yokosuka Naval Base, the Navy participated in a nuclear drill with the city of Yokosuka in November. Concern has ratcheted up in Sasebo after it was discovered the USS Houston seeped small amounts of radioactive water during visits to Sasebo in March and April — amounts Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter called "undetectable by any mechanism" while visiting the base last week. (cont) Source: Travis J. Tritten and Hana Kusumoto, Stars and Stripes http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=57808 US Nuclear Carrier Leaves Japan The USS George Washington, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to be deployed in Japan, has left its home port of Yokosuka for the first time since its arrival last week. The carrier left the US Yokosuka Naval base, near Tokyo, on Wednesday morning, carrying about 5,000 crewmembers and a fleet of aircraft. It is bound for Pusan, South Korea, to take part in an event next week marking the 60th anniversary of the country's founding. The ship is also expected to take part in a joint drill with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force in waters near Japan before returning to Yokosuka in November or December. The Japanese government, which has been monitoring the carrier around the clock for radiation leaks, says it has so far observed no unusual data in areas around Yokosuka. Source: NHK http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_21.html GSDF Sergeant Accidentally Fires 2 Gunshots In Defense Ministry HQ A sergeant of the Ground Self-Defense Force accidentally fired two gunshots Tuesday in a restricted area of the Defense Ministry‘s headquarters in downtown Tokyo, the ministry‘s Joint Staff Office said, adding no one was injured. The 44-year-old sergeant who belongs to the GSDF‘s police unit fired the shots unintentionally in a room at the headquarters in Tokyo‘s Ichigaya area around 1:50 p.m., according to the office. The sergeant had pulled the gun‘s trigger in practice for an upcoming shooting test while he was on guard at the ministry‘s central command center, the JSO said, quoting him as saying, ‗‗I didn‘t think the gun was loaded.‘‘ Source: Kyodo http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/gsdf-sergeant-accidentally-fires-2-gunshots-indefense-ministry-hq China Able To Push Domestic Growth: S&P SINGAPORE -- China has the muscles to push short-term domestic growth, but Japan and South Korea will continue to grapple with various difficulties in trying to rev up their sluggish economic

engines into higher gear, said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services here on Tuesday. In recent separate reports on the three countries, S&P said China will steer its economic policy toward supporting growth, despite some anticipated hurdles, while Japan and South Korea both face political stalemates, high oil and food prices, decelerating growth, among other issues. The report said China is counting on its strong domestic demand to pull its economy ahead this year and next, "We expect tight labor market conditions, together with the implementation of the new Labor Contract law this year, to keep wage growth strong and lower uncertainties faced by employees." Japan, caught in its web of political stalemate and sputtering growth, has little potential for economic improvement in the near term, said S&P.The report said Japan, the second-largest economy in the world, will have weak overall growth prospects in 2008. Japan's GDP growth for fiscal 2008 ending March 31, 2009, is expected to be 0.7 percent, which is lower than earlier forecast of 1.2 percent. South Korea's growth is expected to be slower at 4.3 percent for 2008, from 5.0 percent in 2007, another report on the country by S&P said. Source: Xinhua http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-10/01/content_7071872.htm Taiwan's Envoy To Japan Hopes For Friendly Ties, Mutual Trust Tokyo -- Taiwan's new representative to Japan John Feng expressed the hope Wednesday that both countries would maintain friendly relations and mutual trust. Feng made the remarks at a welcome party hosted by Japan's largest pro-Taiwan parliamentary group, Japan-ROC Dietmen's Council. More than 50 Japanese parliamentarians of the multipartisian group attended the function. Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa and People's New Party leader Tamisuke Watanuki were also present. Council head Takeo Hiranuma, in his introduction of Feng, said that the envoy studied in Japanese elementary and junior high school for five years as Feng's father was an ROC diplomat stationed in Japan at the time. Feng is a seasoned diplomat who is trusted by President Ma Ying-jeou, Hiranuma noted. He further said that there are many issues between Taiwan and Japan that need to be addressed and resolved with the help of the council, and he called for all members to work toward promoting bilateral relations. In his address, Feng praised the council for the role it plays in promoting bilateral relations. The boat collision incident in the disputed Tiaoyutai islands in East China Sea earlier this year was "regrettable," Feng said. He added that President Ma, who attaches great importance to Taiwan-Japan relations, has instructed him to resume and build on Taiwan's friendly relations with Japan. (Cont) Source: CNA, Mike Chang and Lilian Wu http://www.cna.com.tw/CNAeng/RealTimeNews/NewsDetail.aspx?strType=PD ROK/DPRK Signs of Nuclear Test Ground Restoration Observed Activities which might represent an attempt to restore the location for nuclear experimentation in Poongkye-ri, Kilju, North Hamkyung Province, where North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon two years ago, have been captured by a South Korean intelligence organization and are being elaborately analyzed. A comment from a source within the South Korean administration was quoted on Wednesday by Yonhap News, a South Korean news agency, as saying, ―Smoke ascending around the nuclear experiment place in Poongkye-ri was captured and we are monitoring precisely whether North Korea is attempting to restore the nuclear testing ground.‖ The South‘s intelligence agency assumes that smoke around the testing ground was generated by the destruction of equipment or clothes by fire. It is analyzing whether or not this move is connected to the resurrection of the Yongbyon facilities. This move also is attracting attention, with analysts wondering whether it is related to Christopher Hill‘s October 1st visit to North Korea. After the nuclear test on October 9, 2006, when North Korean Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan met with Christopher Hill in January, 2007, North Korea repaired the gangways of the testing ground in Poongkye-ri and carried in equipment. (cont) Source: Daily NK; Park In Ho http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=4125

N. Korea Repairing Nuke Reactor North Korea has recently been increasing activities near a nuclear test site on the northeastern tip of the communist state in an apparent move to repair the site, a South Korean military source said yesterday. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they may be in line with the North's recent move to renege on a six-nation disarmament deal. "Recently, we have spotted smoke at several places near the nuclear test site in Punggyeri, North Hamgyeong Province. We are closely paying attention to the moves to find out whether the North is intending to restore the site," the source said. The site is where the communist regime detonated its nuclear device on Oct. 9, 2006. Intelligence authorities suspect the smoke comes from burning of clothes and equipment used for the restoration work, according to the source. Experts here said the North's move is seen to stem from an attempt to increase tension with regard to the current stalemate in the nuclear negotiation. The chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill yesterday headed for North Korea in an effort to salvage the unraveling multinational negotiations. Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, went to Pyongyang by land via the interKorean border of Panmunjeom, officials here said. During his visit there, Hill is expected to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-kwan to discuss a formula for verifying the North's nuclear declaration. He is expected to return to Seoul today. (cont) Source: Korea Herald; Jin Dae-woong http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/ US Envoy In N Korea On Mission To Save Nuclear Pact US negotiator Christopher Hill arrived in North Korea on Wednesday in an attempt to save a crumbling nuclear disarmament deal, after saying negotiations with Pyongyang have reached a "very tough" phase. Hill, an assistant secretary of state, crossed the heavily fortified border at the truce village of Panmunjom, the US military said, in what is his third visit to the hardline communist state in 16 months. In Pyongyang, he will urge the North to halt moves to restart its nuclear weapons program and return to a February 2007 six-nation deal which appears close to collapse. "I would say we are in a difficult and very tough phase of negotiations," Hill told reporters late Tuesday after talks in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart Kim Sook. He said the two sides had had some discussions through North Korea's UN mission in New York and "we thought it would be useful to try to have those discussions in Pyongyang". The North, angry at the US failure to remove it from a terrorism blacklist, has announced it will begin restarting its plutonium reprocessing plant at Yongbyon. It has barred UN atomic inspectors from the building. The ageing Yongbyon complex is at the heart of the country's decades-old nuclear ambitions, which culminated in a weapons test in October 2006. The North shut down Yongbyon in July 2007 and began disabling the plants in November that year. (cont) Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379546/1/.html Top U.S. Envoy In North Korea To Salvage Disarmament Deal Pyongyang -- Top US envoy to the denuclearization talks with North Korea Christopher Hill arrived in Pyongyang Wednesday morning to discuss ways to salvage the faltering disarmament deal. The official KCNA news agency said in a one-sentence report that the US delegation led by Hill was here in Pyongyang Wednesday. Hill told reporters Tuesday on arriving at the Seoul international airport in South Korea en route to Pyongyang that his visit would focus on the verification issue and reiterated that Washington was ready to remove Pyongyang from a terrorism list when verification procedures are agreed to, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. The inclusion of North Korea in the US list as state sponsor of terrorism has blocked US and multilateral aid to the impoverished communist-ruled country. During talks in February 2007 with the United States, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea, North Korea had agreed to disable the Yongbyon facilities in exchange for economic aid, political concessions and removal of its name from the terror list. It began disabling its facilities in November and in June blew up a cooling tower. But the deal ran aground in late July when Washington delayed Pyongyang's removal from the terrorism list until it agreed to verification. Pyongyang protested,

saying verification was never part of the pact, and stopped disabling the plant in mid-August. On Sep 19, Pyongyang announced it had begun the work to restore its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon. Source: Xinhua http://story.asiabulletin.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/4a8b544d0e80ba53/id/413454/cs/1/ Kim Likely to Rule through Associates Kim Jong Il is suffering from a chronic disease, so he will most likely rule through those closest to him. Kwon Yang Joo, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said through an analysis posted on the Institute website that, "Kim Jong Il could relapse and, when considering the fact that his fragile health can be worsened by fatigue or stress, it is likely that a person or a system that can vicariously execute at least a portion of his duties has been deemed necessary." Kwon explained, "In contrast to Kim Il Sung who ruled based on the Party that decided on and implemented policies, Kim Jong Il has maintained a system in which key policies are drafted through close acquaintances in the Party and the military and are then ratified by Kim himself." He pointed out, "Such a form of governance concentrates enormous decision-making power in Kim, which not only strains his health, but also delays decisions on important policies." He also maintained, "Agreement on the verification package for denuclearization and other important matters, which only Kim Jong Il can decide on, may be delayed. In order to disguise this, the North can take apparently incendiary measures, such as demanding the removal of nuclear seals." (cont) (cont) Source: Daily NK http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=4123 Will Post-Kim Jong-il N. Korea Quicken Reform? Christopher Hill was prudent. Before his departure for Pyongyang Wednesday, the seasoned American top nuclear envoy set the tone for his mission. He told reporters in Seoul that the negotiations to persuade the North to return to the disarmament process would be ―tough.‖ That squared well with people‘s subdued expectation. Yet, will he eventually succeed in his mission? Surprisingly, one immediate ―yes‖ comes from China. ―I think Hill‘s trip will bear fruit,‖ said Prof. Zhu Feng, a well-known Chinese expert on security matters relating to the Korean Peninsula. According to Zhu, who teaches at China‘s elite Peking University, Pyongyang is likely to accept the nuclear verification demand by Washington. ―To do that, America will first lower its demand for the scope of the verification,‖ he said. Why would America do that? ―It‘s because Washington doesn‘t want to see the collapse of the six-way multinational framework at a time when it undergoes its administration change,‖ he explained. Pyongyang, for its part, also doesn‘t want to see its multi-year investment in the nuclear bargain suddenly evaporate into thin air, without laying gold eggs of huge economic kickbacks. After all, it was Pyongyang this week that invited Hill to come. Hill‘s trip to Pyongyang comes amid reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il may be seriously ill. Zhu said the scenario of Kim‘s death opens the door for reform and openingup of the reclusive nation. (cont) Source: Korea Times; Sunny Lee http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/120_32025.html Military Parades Its Finest To Mark 60th Year The South Korean military staged a massive parade to celebrate its 60th anniversary yesterday, sending more than 2,000 Army, Air Force and Navy servicemen marching through the main streets of southern Seoul. The military also showcased its latest weapons including K2 Black Panther battle tanks, next-generation K-21 battle tanks, K-55 air defense artilleries, multiple launch rocket systems and harpoon missiles. ―Only a strong military can protect our territory and ensure the peace,‖ President Lee Myung-bak said in a speech during the celebration. Lee has long advocated a strong military, and supported measures to beef up the country‘s military capabilities. Yesterday‘s celebration saw the biggest military parade here in years, watched by thousands of spectators. Heavy tanks and weaponry led the parade through Tehranno in southern Seoul, followed by 300 servicemen wearing 19 types of uniforms used in the Korean

War, the Vietnam War and various recent overseas postings. Some 1,800 servicemen from 14 divisions marched behind; war veterans and families of military veterans who died in the line of duty followed in 24 military jeeps. The parade coursed over 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from Jamsil Stadium to Yeosam subway station from 3 to 5 p.m. Source: JoongAng Ilbo; Jung Ha-won http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2895592 Military Parade Biggest in a Decade South Korea's armed forces displayed their state-of-the-art weapons systems Wednesday in a massive military parade in Seoul to mark the 60th Armed Forces Day. About 60,000 people, including President Lee Myung-bak, top military commanders and domestic and foreign Korean War veterans gathered at the Olympic Stadium in Jamsil, southern Seoul, to attend a ceremony featuring honor guard performances, aerobatics, a taekwondo demonstration and music concerts. ``Amid the fast-changing security environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula, the military has a new, historical task of realizing the reunification of the two Koreas and promoting national development,'' President Lee said in his speech at the ceremony. ``An advanced military should be strong and able to cope with terrorism, human rights violations, natural disasters and other common threats to mankind.'' After the ceremony, the Army, Navy and Air Force showed off 88 up-to-date weapons in a parade in the streets of Gangnam, southern Seoul, showing off their remarkable development into one of the world's largest and most advanced self-reliant militaries. The scale of the military parade was the biggest in almost a decade enough to demonstrate the nation's strong defense readiness against North Korea, which has one of the largest armies in the world with 1.1 million troops, military officials said. (cont) Source: Korea Times; Jung Sung-ki http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/205_31996.html Lee Stresses Security At Military Celebrations President Lee Myung-bak yesterday called for the armed forces to help defend the Korean peninsula against any and all forces threatening its security and order. "National security is like the air around us. You cannot see it, but even a slight shortage would take all of our lives. If security weakens, there can be no future for our nation," the president said during a speech commemorating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the nation's armed forces. Lee urged the military to breed a stronger sense of security awareness, as well as a more positive and healthier historical awareness in order to contribute to national advancement. The president's speech comes amid reemerging security risks triggered by North Korea's latest attempts to reverse the disablement of its nuclear weapons programs. "The security environment of both the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asian region is changing at a quick pace, and future threats also are becoming more diverse," Lee said. It is against such a backdrop, he added, that Korea must seek reunification and develop into a first-rate advanced nation. "The armed forces must keep in mind that the military is required to advance and change in order to achieve these national challenges," the president said. The military has an ongoing campaign focused on creating an advanced and elite army to match Korea's national prowess and global status. (cont) Source: Korea Herald; Kim Ji-hyun http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/ Lee Calls For Readiness For Peninsula Emergency South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has stressed the need to build up readiness for any military emergency that threatens security on the Korean Peninsula. He said this during a speech at a ceremony held in Seoul on Wednesday to mark the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the South Korean Armed Forces. Lee said the nation must create sufficiently strong military forces in response to changes in the world's security situation. Following the ceremony, 2,500 soldiers paraded for 3 kilometers along the main street in Seoul, together with tanks, armed vehicles and Patriot missiles. South Korea is expected to take over wartime command on the Korean

Peninsula from the US military in 2012. The South Korean government plans to earmark about 24 billion dollars in the budget for next year to build up its military capabilities. Source: NHK http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_30.html Defense Capabilities Crucial for Peace on Peninsula' President Lee Myung-bak pledged Wednesday to increase Korea's role in the global fight against terrorism, human rights violations and national disasters, saying enhancing defense capabilities is crucial to ensuring peace on the Korean Peninsula. ``Only an advanced and strong military can protect our people and our territory,'' Lee said during an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of South Korean armed forces at Jamsil Stadium in southern Seoul. ``Our military should be strong enough to counter any security threats, protect people's lives and property and secure a firm status on the international stage.'' Lee said the country's armed forces should be prepared to fight against terrorists and other forces threatening the common prosperity of people on the planet. South Korea should increase participation in global efforts to ease security threats, the President said. Lee reiterated his determination to further build up the nation's military power to deter war and ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula. ``The security environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia is rapidly changing, and we face so many security threats,'' Lee said. ``Our military should change and advance to deal with the changes and perform its tasks better.'' Lee has pledged to raise Korea's international profile by participating in more peacekeeping operations around the world to match the nation's economic status in the global community. Source: Korea Times; Na Jeong-ju http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/116_32015.html Two Koreas Agree To Military Talks South and North Korea have agreed to hold military talks this week amid a deadlocked nuclear disarmament deal, the South Korean defense ministry said Wednesday. The meeting will be held on Thursday at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone dividing the Korean peninsula, the ministry said. The North proposed last week to resume working-level military talks in a rare overture to the South. "The North has accepted our counter-proposal to hold talks on Thursday," a ministry spokesman told AFP. Pyongyang has suspended all government-togovernment contacts with Seoul since conservative President Lee took office in February with promises of a tougher North Korea policy. Ties soured further after North Korean soldiers in July shot dead a Seoul tourist who strayed into a restricted zone at a North Korean resort. The North has blamed the South for the incident and refused to let it send an investigation team. Seoul cancelled tours to the resort and withdrew staff. South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo has said he hoped the military meeting would help thaw a chill in cross-border relations. The two Koreas last held military talks in January. The two nations have remained technically at war since their 1950-1953 war ended with an armistice and not a peace pact. The proposal for new interKorean talks came after the North announced it would start work to reactivate its plutoniumproducing nuclear plant in Yongbyon in violation of an international disarmament deal. (cont) Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379580/1/.html Prosecutors Seek Five-Year Jail Term For Suspected Female N.K. Spy Prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a five-year jail term for a suspected female North Korean agent who allegedly came to the South disguised as a defector. Suwon District Prosecutors charged Won Jeong-hwa, 35, with collecting information on South Korea's key military installations and passing it on to North Korean agents in China. She is also accused of gathering information on other North Koreans who defected to the South and reporting them to North Korean officials. "The information the accused has collected is no lighter or less than that of past spies from the North," said Yoon Dae-hae, a prosecution official. "Although the accused has been cooperative and penitent of her conduct, it is inevitable that we seek a jail term for her," said one of the prosecutors. Won, who admitted her wrongdoings in hearings, called for leniency. "I knew

what I was doing was wrong, but the reason I could not turn myself in is because I was afraid my family in the North would be purged," Won said in her final statement. "I acknowledge that what I have been doing is wrong. Please let me live in South Korea with my daughter.""I do not know what would happen to my family in the North at this moment," said the teary-eyed defendant. Won was arrested on Aug. 27, three years after military intelligence officials here began monitoring her following a report from a South Korean military officer that she approached for information. Investigators say Won exchanged sexual favors for the information she received. (cont) Source: Yonhap http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2008/10/01/28/0302000000AEN20081001005600315F. HTML Inter-Korean Military Talks Open On Thursday North and South Korea will hold working-level military talks on Thursday in the border village of Panmunjom - the first such talks since South Korean President Lee Myung Bak took office in February. South Korea's Defense Ministry announced this on Wednesday after North Korea proposed last week to resume the military talks, which have been suspended since January. The ministry says that it hopes the talks will allow the two sides to discuss steps to ease military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, including the setting-up of a joint military panel, which was agreed upon by Defense Ministers of the 2 sides last November. Inter-Korean relations have recently been chilly as North Korea is increasingly critical of President Lee who pledges to review South Korea's conciliatory policies toward the North. Dialogue between the 2 Koreas has been suspended, except for the six-party talks over the North's nuclear programs. Source: NHK http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_33.html Seoul Aims For 7.5% Rise In Defense Spending Seoul will this week request that the National Assembly approve a 7.5 percent increase in next year's defense spending, aiming for a 28.6 trillion won ($24.1 billion) budget, the Defense Ministry said. The 2009 defense budget bill included an 11.9 percent increase for weapons acquisitions and other projects aimed at bolstering defense capabilities. Reflecting the latest cost-cutting efforts of the Lee Myung-bak administration grappling with a sluggish economy, the defense budget bill was smaller than the 8.6-percent increase the ministry earlier sought. But the amount still surpassed the proposed 6.5 percent increase in overall government spending for next year. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance proposed a 273.8 trillion-won ($230 billion) budget including state-run funds during a Cabinet meeting yesterday. The government hopes to keep spending at a minimum, officials said, citing plans for freezing government employee payrolls, the first such step in a decade. "Defense Reform 2020 calls for an average 9.6 percent increase in military spending annually, but the ministry decided to scale it down in line with government policy to reduce taxes and to achieve more balanced spending," said Ahn Chun-sun, director of the ministry's personnel operation and budgeting division. (cont) Source: Korea Herald; Kim Ji-hyun http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/ Women in the Military: a Bastion of Equal Opportunities There are around 4,900 female soldiers in the Korean military, accounting for approximately 2.7 percent of the total armed forces personnel. From the Army to the Marines, women handle the same duties as their male counterparts in all branches of the armed forces. The Women‘s Army Corps was created around the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. The first female soldier was Lee Jung-hee, who was also only the third Korean to hold a pilot‘s license. She was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Army in January 1949. In February the same year, she was promoted to captain and appointed as head of the women‘s aviation academy. Capt. Lee said it is necessary to prove through action that women are equal to men, rather than simply advocating such beliefs through words. The Women‘s Army Corps was created during the Korean War in October 1950 in the southern port city of Busan, when 491 female soldiers

completed volunteer army training. During the war, female soldiers were engaged in intelligence gathering, psychological warfare, and interpretation among other duties, but after the war most of them were relegated to administrative posts because the Defense Ministry set up a ―women‘s branch‖ and managed female soldiers separately. The scrapping of the women‘s branch in 1990 marked the resumption of a wider range of duties for female soldiers. Starting from the 38th graduating class of female officers in 1993, women began taking on the roles of platoon commanders at recruit training centers for frontline troops.. (cont) Source: Chosun Ilbo http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200810/200810010013.html S. Korean FM Meets New U.S. Ambassador New U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Kathleen Stephens made an introductory call on Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan Wednesday. The two began their half-hour meeting with a conversation on a planned program for former U.S. Peace Corps volunteers who served here in the 1960s and 1970s to revisit the country. A total of 61 former volunteers and their families are scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Sunday for a weeklong stay, sponsored by the Korea Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Stephens was a member of Peace Corps. She taught English at a middle school in a rural town in southern South Korea from 1975-1977, which she said inspired her to become a diplomat. "Thank you. I think it would be a very good program," the envoy told Yu during a photo session at the outset of the closed-door meeting. "Some of these people have not come back to Korea since 1968 and 1969. It will be quite a revelation." More than 3,200 Peace Corps volunteers worked in South Korea in various sectors including English education, public sanitation, and vocational training, from 1966-1981, making contributions to the country's development. Stephens arrived in South Korea last month to take up her new post. She plans to submit her credentials to President Lee Myung-bak next week. Source: Yonhap; Lee Chi-dong http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2008/10/01/5/0301000000AEN20081001008500315F.H TML China Able To Push Domestic Growth: S&P SINGAPORE -- China has the muscles to push short-term domestic growth, but Japan and South Korea will continue to grapple with various difficulties in trying to rev up their sluggish economic engines into higher gear, said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services here on Tuesday. In recent separate reports on the three countries, S&P said China will steer its economic policy toward supporting growth, despite some anticipated hurdles, while Japan and South Korea both face political stalemates, high oil and food prices, decelerating growth, among other issues. The report said China is counting on its strong domestic demand to pull its economy ahead this year and next, "We expect tight labor market conditions, together with the implementation of the new Labor Contract law this year, to keep wage growth strong and lower uncertainties faced by employees." Japan, caught in its web of political stalemate and sputtering growth, has little potential for economic improvement in the near term, said S&P.The report said Japan, the second-largest economy in the world, will have weak overall growth prospects in 2008. Japan's GDP growth for fiscal 2008 ending March 31, 2009, is expected to be 0.7 percent, which is lower than earlier forecast of 1.2 percent. South Korea's growth is expected to be slower at 4.3 percent for 2008, from 5.0 percent in 2007, another report on the country by S&P said. Source: Xinhua http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-10/01/content_7071872.htm Chinese Attack Coast Guard Officers Two days before a Mokpo Coast Guard officer was killed by unlicensed Chinese fishermen in Korean waters on Sept. 25, four of his fellow officers had been taken hostage and beaten by other fishermen from China near the scene of the incident, according to police. After news emerged of the death of Park Gyeong-jo, 48, near Gageo Island off the coast of Sinan County, South Jeolla, the Mokpo Coast Guard belatedly released information about the assault on Tuesday night. The coast guard ship, carrying 10 officers and an interpreter, had stopped a

Chinese fishing vessel suspected of fishing without a permit at around 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 23. After taking the Chinese captain onto the coast guard ship as a precaution, the four boarded the fishing boat in order to inspect it. The boat then fled the scene. It was later joined by up to 50 other Chinese boats that were in the vicinity, including a large Chinese fish cargo ship. Twenty crew members from the cargo ship then jumped aboard the fishing boat armed with steel pipes and wooden sticks. They beat the officers severely, leaving two seriously injured, and kept them hostage for an hour. The officers were held until the captain of the Chinese fishing boat was released. The two wounded men were rushed to a hospital in Mokpo. Not wishing to admit to the embarrassing hostage exchange, the Mokpo officers falsely reported that they had crashed into the fishing vessel, according to coast guard officials. (cont) Source: JoongAng Ilbo; Park Sang-woo and Chun Chang-whan http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2895587 S Korea Says Tons Of Unsafe Chinese Herbal Medicine Destroyed South Korea destroyed 871 tons of imported Chinese herbal medicine ingredients over the past two years because they contained excessive level of toxins, official figures showed Wednesday. The Korea Food and Drug Administration told parliament in a report that the imports had higher than permitted amounts of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic as well as sulphur dioxide. South Korea last year imported 19,650 tons of Chinese herbs and other material for oriental medicines, 78 per cent of the total imports. The report came amid a new scare about Chinese food safety after melamine was found in infant milk formula, sickening nearly 53,000 children and killing four in China. South Korea banned the import of all products containing Chinese powdered milk and has been inspecting 428 brands of Chinese imported food already on sale. As of Tuesday, it had found that six of the 186 items checked so far were contaminated with melamine. Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379577/1/.html S. Korea Core Inflation Jumps, Cools Rate Cut Hopes SEOUL, Oct 1 (Reuters) - South Korea's core inflation rate shot up to a 10-year high in September, raising doubts about how soon the central bank could move to cut interest rates to shield the economy from the ravages of the global credit crisis. Investors had been raising their bets that the Bank of Korea, which reviews policy next week, would soon join China and Taiwan in Asia in cutting interest rates, to protect the economy from a crisis that hit the won this week to a 5-½ year low. December treasury bond futures had soared 75 ticks on Tuesday after weak industrial production data for August raised speculation of an early rate cut. But they pulled back as much as 29 ticks on Wednesday after the inflation data raised doubts about when the central bank might have room to ease policy. "The rate of core inflation was higher than thought, which is something we need to keep an eye on," said Song Jae-hyeok, an economist at SK Securities. "Although consumer prices have touched a peak, rising core inflation would still burden next year's price outlook." Consumer headline inflation fell to 5.1 percent in September, a fourth-month low, from 5.6 percent in August, government data showed on Wednesday. Expectations had centred on 5.4 percent. But core inflation, which excludes food and fuel prices, shot up to 5.1 percent from 4.7 percent a month earlier, marking the seventh consecutive month of acceleration. (cont) Source: Reuters http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/7841859 Seoul, NASA Agree On Space Cooperation Seoul plans to sign an agreement later this month with the U.S. space agency regarding cooperation in space exploration, the Science Ministry said yesterday. Lee Moon-ki, the ministry's director general of space policies, discussed measures for cooperation with NASA administrator Michael Griffin on Monday on the sidelines of the 59th International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow. The planned agreement is expected to include exchanges of space scientists and information between space agencies such as NASA and the Korea Aerospace

Research Institute, the ministry said. Lee and Griffin also agreed to enhance the working-level talks for the NASA-led International Lunar Network Program and next year's IAC, which will be held in Daejeon. The discussions between Lee and Griffin came about two months after President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. president George Bush agreed in August to upgrade the countries' ties in space exploration, satellites and ILN. The KARI and NASA agreed in July to establish ties and carry out joint research on the International Space Station. Korea seeks to take part in the joint research on the ISS, which is an orbiting research facility that has been under assembly since 1998. Sixteen nations are currently involved in the project. "Regarding the scope of participation in the ILN, Korea plans to make a final decision by the end of this year," said Choi Eun-chul, the director of space policy at the Science Ministry. NASA has invited the space agencies of nine countries, including Korea, to take part in the ILN to explore the moon and its possible reserves of natural resources. Source: Korea Herald; Kim So-hyun http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/ US Air Base to Hold Aircraft Exhibition The U.S. 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base in North Jeolla Province will hold a static display viewing of fixed and rotary wing aircraft and ground demonstrations of U.S. and South Korean military assets Oct. 4, the wing said Wednesday in a press release. The exhibition will open to the public 11 a.m.-5 p.m., it said. Aircraft on display are F-16K, F-16, F-15, F-15K, F-4, A-10, KT-1, T50, AV-8, HH-32 and HH-60G, according to the release. Source: Korea Times; Jung Sung-ki http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/205_32017.html Will Post-Kim Jong-il N. Korea Quicken Reform? Christopher Hill was prudent. Before his departure for Pyongyang Wednesday, the seasoned American top nuclear envoy set the tone for his mission. He told reporters in Seoul that the negotiations to persuade the North to return to the disarmament process would be ―tough.‖ That squared well with people‘s subdued expectation. Yet, will he eventually succeed in his mission? Surprisingly, one immediate ―yes‖ comes from China. ―I think Hill‘s trip will bear fruit,‖ said Prof. Zhu Feng, a well-known Chinese expert on security matters relating to the Korean Peninsula. According to Zhu, who teaches at China‘s elite Peking University, Pyongyang is likely to accept the nuclear verification demand by Washington. ―To do that, America will first lower its demand for the scope of the verification,‖ he said. Why would America do that? ―It‘s because Washington doesn‘t want to see the collapse of the six-way multinational framework at a time when it undergoes its administration change,‖ he explained. Pyongyang, for its part, also doesn‘t want to see its multi-year investment in the nuclear bargain suddenly evaporate into thin air, without laying gold eggs of huge economic kickbacks. After all, it was Pyongyang this week that invited Hill to come. Hill‘s trip to Pyongyang comes amid reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il may be seriously ill. Zhu said the scenario of Kim‘s death opens the door for reform and openingup of the reclusive nation.. (cont) Source: Korea Times; Sunny Lee http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/120_32025.html RUSSIA Defense Ministry Fights Numbers Deputy Chief of General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, Gen-Col Vasily Smirnov rejected yesterday the reports about impending mass reduction of personnel in the General Staff. The matter at stake is ―the scheduled optimization,‖ the general said without specifying the actual size of redundancy. Gen-Col Smirnov rejected yesterday the Interfax report. With reference to the sources with the RF Defense Ministry, Interfax announced that the General Staff would be reorganized by March 1, 2009 and the overall reduction of its personnel would near 50 percent. Smirnov said they would wind up none of departments in the General Staff, although their strength would change. According to a source with Defense Ministry, the ruling on General

Staff‘s reorganization emerged in August. One of the reasons was the desire of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to remove from the General Staff the so-called officers with Moscow registration. The practice of attracting Muscovites to bodies of higher command was established, when the USSR Marshal Dmitry Yazov was Russia‘s defense minister (1987-1991), as no flats in Moscow would be provided in that case. This practice has been preserved to the present day, and its aftereffect is that quite a number of senior officers in the Defense Ministry have no practical experience built up in the military units. Besides, the reorganization of the General Staff is in line with the concept aimed at reducing the number of Russia‘s officers, the source pointed out. (cont) Source: Kommersant http://www.kommersant.com/p1034071/Smirnov_reduction/ Medvedev Soldiers On In Corruption Battle President Dmitry Medvedev pledged on Tuesday that last month's war with Georgia would not pull the government's attention away from reforms, highlighting a key package of anti-corruption legislation to be introduced in the State Duma this week. Speaking at the first meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council, formed in May, Medvedev called graft "a grave disease that eats away at our economy and corrodes the whole society," adding that the four bills being sent to the Duma were aimed at rooting out corruption by protecting property rights, strengthening the country's law enforcement and court systems, and eliminating myriad barriers faced by businesses. Medvedev used the speech to answer critics who have said the war over South Ossetia buried all hope for a more liberal course for the government, saying that reforms would continue. "Voices can now be heard saying that after events like the August crisis in the Caucasus, for example, Russia will put this work aside and won't act," he said, referring to anti-corruption measures, in comments released by the Kremlin. "On the contrary, we'll be undertaking this just as energetically." Under the plan, the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, federal ministers and their family members would be required to make public declarations of their assets and income. (Cont) Source: The Moscow Times, Anna Smolchenko http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/600/42/371358.htm Russia To Supply Rocket Launchers To India Russia [Images] will supply 18 more 'Smerch' multiple launch rocket systems to India as part of moves by New Delhi [Images] to bolster firepower and reach of its army. "The new 18 'Smerch' MLRS batteries would be supplied to India after the completion of the already contracted $455 million initial deal," Nikolai Dimidyuk, a senior official of the state-owned 'Rosoboronexport' corporation, said on Wednesday. India has already acquired up to 36 'Smerch' MLRS whose delivery was completed earlier this year. The Smerch long range rocket systems have a range of over 60 km, almost three times the distance of the present Indian artillery rocket systems. Designed by Tula-based 'Splav' complex, Smerch, is a force-multiplier called by some experts as 'poor nations' strategic missiles'. With a single salvo of 12 rockets armed with conventional charge and smart weapons it can completely destroy armored columns and bunkers over the area of six square kilometers, experts say. Source: PTI http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/oct/01missile.htm Russia Rejects Use Of Force To Free Somali Pirates' Hostages MOSCOW -- The Russian Navy said Wednesday that no force would be used against pirates who seized a Ukrainian ship off the Somali coast last week, a Navy spokesman said. "The issues of releasing the ship and the crew will be resolved in line with international practice. The use of force is clearly an extreme measure as it could threaten the lives of the multinational crew," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo told RIA Novosti. The pirates, who are demanding $20 million for the release of the ship, said earlier they would kill a hostage if an attempt was made to free the hostages by force. Among the hostages are three Russians, 17 Ukrainians and one Latvian. The ship's captain, Russian Vladimir Kolobkov, earlier died of a heart attack. Three pirates were killed in a shootout onboard, media reported, adding that none of the ship's crew was injured

during the shootout. Russia sent the Neustrashimy (Fearless) warship to the region last Wednesday, but the Russian Navy said the decision had been made long before the seizure of the Faina. "The Russian Navy has repeatedly maintained that the goal for the Neustrashimy is to arrive in Somalia and protect Russian vessels for an indefinite period of time in areas dangerous for pirate attacks," Dygalo said. Earlier Wednesday, Somali Ambassador to Russia Mohamed Handule said his country's President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed had authorized Russia's military to fight pirates off Somalia's coast and on land. (Cont) Source: RIA Novosti http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081001/117373939.html Russia Says NATO Bases In Ukraine, Georgia Would Be Major Threat MOSCOW -- NATO bases in Ukraine and Georgia, if deployed, would threaten Russia's strategic military and economic infrastructure, the Russian Security Council secretary said. In an interview published in the Izvestia newspaper Wednesday, Nikolai Patrushev described the U.S. and NATO policy of increasing their military presence in Eastern Europe as seeking strategic military superiority over Russia. "Georgia and particularly Ukraine could, if they joined the alliance, become a suitable foothold for large ground, air and naval units equipped with high-precision and tactical nuclear weapons," Patrushev said. He said the deployment of such weapons in Ukraine would be of a strategic nature because critically important military and economic facilities in the European part of Russia, including parts of the government and military administration, would be in the impact zone. The official added that the United States would need allies in the region if the country decided to attack Iran. "If Georgia was drawn into a war, this would bring about additional threats to Russia's security," Patrushev said. Source: RIA Novosti http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081001/117375191.html Oligarchs On Opposite Sides Of Cash Crisis MOSCOW - The Bubble Metric Index (BMI) is a measure of the distance between the fantasy of money and financial reality. The index has been weighing unusually heavily in the past month on Russia's oligarchs who own pieces of Norilsk Nickel, Russia's largest mining company and the world's most important source of nickel, especially those whose obligations have been secured by the value of commodities that have dropped in price and by shares whose value has plummeted. In the Russian macro-economy, the BMI can be expressed as the distance between the market capitalization of the listed stocks, as recorded on the stock exchanges, and the money supply as reported by the Central Bank. Between 2000 and autumn 2005, the two measures tracked together closely. You could say that the amount of cash available to invest correlated with the cash value of the investment. Then the market cap took off, hitting a peak of about US$1,600 billion in May of this year. Money supply, however, grew at a snail's pace. When market cap was at its May high, money supply was around $600 billion. The gap between the two, lasting the 30 months from 2006 to mid-2008, is what is popularly known as the bubble, or, on account of its duration and magnitude, the mega-bubble. That bubble has now burst, but the bubonic plague it has released is infectious. The only cure is cash. Without that, oligarchs get just as sick as the rest of us, or worse. (Cont) Source: Asia Times, John Helmer http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/JJ01Ag01.html Russian Nuclear Submarine Makes 30-Day Trip Under Arctic Ice MOSCOW -- A Russian Delta-III class ballistic missile submarine has successfully sailed from a naval base in northern Russia to the Pacific Ocean under the Arctic ice floe, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday. "The Ryazan strategic nuclear submarine arrived at a naval base on the Kamchatka Peninsula after a more than 30-day underwater trip," Capt. 1st rank Igor Dygalo said. Ryazan is a Project 667BDR Delta III class strategic nuclear submarine, which entered service with Russia's Northern Fleet in 1982. It has a crew of 130 and can travel underwater without coming to the surface for up to 90 days. The submarine is armed with 16 R-29RM (SS-N-23 Skiff) ballistic missiles with a range of 8,000 km (about 5,000 miles). Commenting on the

submarine's successful mission, Russian Navy Commander, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said it had reaffirmed the Russian submarine fleet's ability to conduct strategic missions in the Arctic. "The Navy continues to play an important role in safeguarding Russia's maritime economic and research activity throughout the world, including in the Arctic," the admiral said. Source: RIA Novosti http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080930/117295970.html Russia Launches Thai Satellite On Converted Missile MOSCOW -- Russia launched a converted intercontinental ballistic missile from a rocket launch site the south Urals to put a Thai earth observation satellite into orbit on Wednesday, the Strategic Missile Forces said. "The launch of the RS-20B intercontinental ballistic missile was made at 10:37 a.m. Moscow time [06:37 GMT]," spokesman Colonel Alexander Vovk said. A representative of the Kosmotras international space company said earlier that liftoff from Yasny in the Orenburg Region was previously scheduled for August 6, but had been postponed due to a delay in obtaining permission from neighboring Kazakhstan. During the launch, rocket parts were set to fall on Kazakh territory. Kosmotras is a Russian-Ukrainian joint venture that converts RS20 (SS-18 Satan) ICBMs, scrapped by Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, into Dnepr launch vehicles. The Theos satellite was designed and manufactured by French company EADS Astrium under a 2004 contract with the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology. The Thai satellite was the third to be launched by Russia's Strategic Missile Forces and Kosmotras from the Yasny launch site. Russia launched the Genesis I and Genesis II inflatable spacecraft from the same location in July 2006 and June 2007, respectively, under a contract with the U.S.-based company Bigelow Aerospace. Russia said in late July that the SS-18 remained the most powerful ICBM in the world and would stay in service with the Strategic Missile Forces until 2014-16. Source: RIA Novosti http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081001/117363703.html OCEANIA, SOUTH ASIA, AND SOUTHEAST ASIA OCEANIA Pacific Officials Say Australian Patrol Boats Vital For Security A Pacific forum official says security in some parts of the Pacific is at risk if Australia ends financial support for 22 naval patrol boats operating in 12 countries. The Australian Defense Department has recommended to a Senate inquiry that as each boat ends its working lifem funding for the vessel ceases. The last is due to end in 2027. The forum's deputy secretary for economy, governance and security, Peter Forau, says if Australia withdraws its involvement many of the member nations would find it hard to combat transnational crime He says the boats have played a major role in combatting crime such as smuggling and drug trafficking. "I think that there have been cases where the patrol boats have actually intervened and helped the law enforcement authorities of countries," Mr Forau said. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379514.htm?tab=pacific SOUTHEAST ASIA ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN) PM To Visit Cambodia, Seeks End To Row The disputes over Ta Muen Tom and Ta Kwai temples will be high on the agenda of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat when he visits Cambodia on Oct 13. Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat said a Cambodian foreign affairs official had told foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that ''Thailand is occupying these two areas''. Cambodia wanted to discuss the issue during the visit to Phnom Penh by the prime minister, he added. Thailand is confident the two temples are in Phanom Dong Rak district in Surin. Ta Kwai temple

is called Ta Krabey by Cambodians. Mr Sompong reaffirmed the next Joint Boundary Commission meeting would be held after Parliament gives it the go-ahead. The Foreign Ministry wants Parliament's approval for the meeting to avoid any violation of the constitution. Asean foreign ministers were satisfied Thailand and Cambodia would be able to handle the problems through the bilateral talks, he said. UN Secretary-General Bun Ki Moon agreed it was unnecessary for the two countries to bring the issues to the UN Security Council, Mr Sompong said. Asean ministers held talks on Monday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Source: The Bangkok Post, Tanida Tansubhapol http://www.bangkokpost.com/011008_News/01Oct2008_news04.php AUSTRALIA Pacific Officials Say Australian Patrol Boats Vital For Security A Pacific forum official says security in some parts of the Pacific is at risk if Australia ends financial support for 22 naval patrol boats operating in 12 countries. The Australian Defense Department has recommended to a Senate inquiry that as each boat ends its working lifem funding for the vessel ceases. The last is due to end in 2027. The forum's deputy secretary for economy, governance and security, Peter Forau, says if Australia withdraws its involvement many of the member nations would find it hard to combat transnational crime He says the boats have played a major role in combatting crime such as smuggling and drug trafficking. "I think that there have been cases where the patrol boats have actually intervened and helped the law enforcement authorities of countries," Mr Forau said. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379514.htm?tab=pacific Lowy Institute Tells Australia To Rethink PNG Aid A leading Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, says Australia must radically rethink the way it provides aid to Papua New Guinea. The Pacific News Service reports economists believe PNG's most pressing needs are job creation strategies, improved education services, and more infrastructure. But the institute's Jenny Hayward-Jones, says under Australia's existing aid policy, about half of the $US 318 million given to PNG each year is spent elsewhere. She says ordinary PNG people are not seeing the impact of the aid spending and she believes Australian tax payers are not seeing outcomes either. Ms Hayward-Jones says Australia's current policy focuses on good governance and strengthening PNG's institutions when in fact the money should be going to things like health clinics and schools. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379450.htm?tab=pacific BURMA Burma‟s Censors Suspend Two Publications Two weekly publications have been suspended by Burma‘s notorious censorship board, after being accused of violating rules and regulations, according to local journalists. True News was ordered to suspend publication for two months after a large photograph depicting a Burmese child working on a construction site in Thailand appeared on the front page of its Tuesday issue. The second journal, The Action Times, was ordered to suspend publication for one month after defying a censorship board instruction to drop a brief report on dissident journalist Win Tin, who was released last week after 19 years imprisonment. ―The Press Scrutiny and Registration Board summoned the editors of True News and The Action Times [on Tuesday] and ordered them to stop publishing their journals for two months and one month respectively,‖ said a Rangoon-based journalist with connections to staff at the two publications. The editor of The Action Times declined to comment on the ban on his publication when approached by The Irrawaddy. The journal was ordered to drop a brief report on the release of Win Tin and a profile of the journalist—formerly editor of the influential newspaper Hanthawaddy and vice-chairman of the

Writers‘ Union, who served a total of 19 years in prison for his part in the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. (Cont) Source: The Irrawaddy http://www.irrawaddy.org/highlight.php?art_id=14347 Burmese Exile Media Web Site Again Under Attack The Web site of the Mizzima Burmese news organization in exile has again come under attack by pro-regime hackers. Sein Win, editor of the Mizzima news agency, said the site, www.mizzima.com, had been briefly knocked out on Wednesday morning by hackers calling themselves ―Independence Hackers from Burma.‖ The attack lasted about 10 hours. Visitors to the site found a crude, ungrammatical message reading: ―Dear MIZZIMA Readers...Listen Please, Why Hack This Website?... Because we are Independence Hackers from Burma. We Born for Hack Those F**king Media Website, Which Are Ever Talk about only Worse News for Our Country. We are very sorry for Webadmin, You Need to More Secure Your Website. Now We Warn to All Media Webadmins That is "Prepare to More Secure Your Work." Mizzima and three other exiled Burmese Web sites—The Irrawaddy, the Democratic Voice of Burma and Khitpyaing—came under cyber attack late last month. Mizzima was hacked while the three other sites were bombarded by a so-called ―distributed denial-of-service‖, or DDoS, which overloads Web sites with an unmanageable amount of traffic. The attacks coincided with the first anniversary of the regime‘s brutal suppression of monk-led demonstrations in September 2007. Exiled media groups, bloggers, reporters inside Burma and citizen journalists played major roles in reporting on the September 2007 uprising. (cont) Source: The Irrawaddy http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=14348 Mizzima Websites Hacked New Delhi – The websites of Mizzima News, an independent Burmese news agency based in New Delhi, India, has been hacked with a Cross-site scripting causing the webites to be inaccessible since early Wednesday morning. According to Mizzima's webmaster the attackers used the vulnerability in poor-code websites, and took total control of the site. While files from the English and Burmese website were deleted from the database, and had to be recovered from the back-up, the mizzima.tv and mizzimaphoto.com were temporarily down. But within hours, the problems with the mizzima.com, mizzima.tv and mizimaphoto.com were rectified. However, the Burmese site – mizzimaburmese.com remains inaccessible. Though it is not known, who is behind the attack, the hacker's internet protocol (IP) is found to have originated from a server in the United States. Mizzima, however, is still unable to confirm whether the attack is the work of the Burmese military junta, which has banned Mizzima's websites inside the country. Web users bypassing the government's internet filtering systems with the help of proxy and browsing can access Mizzima's sites. But if caught, they would have to pay a heavy penalty. "It is hard to tell who is behind the attack but someone who has special interest could be the culprit or culprits," said Sein Win, Managing Editor of the Mizzima News."However, these people should know that this is a criminal offence" he added. (Cont) Source: Mizzima News http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/1092-mizzima-websites-hacked.html Chinese Dam Incurs KIO Wrath A Chinese-Burmese joint project to construct a series of hydroelectric dams in Kachin State has met with resistance from the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), said sources close to the armed ethnic group. The KIO, which signed a ceasefire with the Burmese junta in 1994, was reportedly unhappy that several projects to build dams in Kachin State in northern Burma were agreed in 2007 between the Burmese regime and representatives of the China Datang Corporation (CDC) without consulting the KIO, which claims control over the area. Tensions soared two weeks ago when Chinese authorities refused to pay tax to the KIO, which responded by deploying soldiers around the two dams in progress—Tarpein 1 and Tarpein 2—which are being constructed on the Tarpein River in Momauk Township by Burma‘s Ministry of Electric

Power No 1 and a conglomerate of Chinese companies, including China Datang Corporation. Soon after two battalions of armed KIO soldiers took up positions around the dams the Chinese construction workers on the project fled, causing construction to be suspended. Sources close to the KIO said that the workers returned and the project resumed about one week ago after Chinese authorities paid 1.5 million yuan (US $220,916) to the KIO. The negotiation was reportedly mediated by newly appointed Commander of Northern Command Brig-Gen Soe Win. (cont) Source: The Irrawaddy http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=14360 Generals Authorized to Buy Land Cruisers The latest perk for Burma‘s senior military officials is a Toyota Land Cruiser, according to a source close to the military government. "Nowadays the talk in the army is the news that all high ranking military officers above major general have permission to buy Land Cruisers," the source told The Irrawaddy. Low-ranking officials are unhappy about the news, said the source, griping that the vehicles could end up being sold on the black market. "The permit allows buying a vehicle for 140,000,000 kyat (US $112,450). But a vehicle that‘s bought could be sold on the black market for 500,000,000 kyat ($401,606)," according to the source. The price for a 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser in the United States is around $65,000. About 50 high ranking officers above major general work in the Ministry of Defense. Abuse of power and corruption are common in the military government. According to the Global Corruption Report 2008, recently released by Transparency International, Burma is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, ranking just ahead of Somalia and tied with Iraq at the second-lowest ranking. Meanwhile, about 1,000 vehicles that were seized in southern Burma for not having legal registration papers were auctioned this week by Southeast Command in Moulmein, according to a source with the Mon ceasefire group. Sources at the New Mon State Party said the vehicles, seized in the past few years, have been re-registered with new titles and licenses. (cont) Source: The Irrawaddy http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=14358 Myanmar To Boost Tourism With Seaside Airport At Cyclone Scene YANGON (AFP) — Myanmar authorities are building a seaside airport in the southwest region laid waste by a cyclone five months ago, a local weekly paper reported Wednesday. They hope to boost tourism at Ngwesaung beach, in the country's Irrawaddy delta near the Bay of Bengal, 7Day said. "The hotel authorities in Ngwesaung beach said an airport with an 8,000-feet (2,400metre) long runway is under construction now at the beach," the paper said. Ngwesaung beach, opened in 2000, is 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the main city Yangon, in the middle of the area left devastated by Cyclone Nargis, which struck May 2-3 and left 138,000 people dead or missing. The beach attracts foreign tourists looking for budget deals according to one tour operator. "Spanish and Italian tourists are more interested in Ngwesaung beach as the hotel rates there are lower than at Ngapali beach," a tour company operation manager told AFP, referring to a beach in Rakhine state already accessible by air and speaking on condition of anonymity. "But recently the road has been very bad since the Nargis cyclone and because of the rainy season," she said. Ngwesaung beach has 20 hotels providing 800 guest rooms according to official statistics. Construction of the airport began in the third week of September, the report said. (cont) Source: AFP http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iYErydoRs8SrVMdWclaUxMv7cONw Reports Of Rape Surface In Cyclone-Devastated Delta LAPUTTA — Reports of rape and other abuses of women are surfacing as communities in Burma‘s Irrawaddy delta continue to recover from May‘s Cyclone Nargis. Women were particularly vulnerable in the cyclone and its aftermath, when social order broke down. Many complain their plight was ignored by local authorities and the military. One 20-year-old woman from a village in Laputta District said three men who responded to her cries for help the day after the cyclone raped and tried to rob her. One villager reported seeing two men armed with knives

rape a 15-year-old girl before drowning her. ―I was afraid to try and help the girl and I pretended to be dead,‖ he confessed. The rapes and killing continued weeks after the cyclone, as devastated communities tried to restore normal life, according to villagers. A resident of Gyin Yah village in Laputta District said that a month after the cyclone he had discovered the body of a teenage girl who had been raped and killed, then dumped in a rice paddy. Some villagers accused military authorities of trying to prevent news of rape and pillage becoming public. Villages allowing news of the abuses to escape were threatened with destruction, sources said. (Cont) Source: The Irrawaddy http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=14361 Two More Opposition Activists Released Chiang Mai – Burma's military government on Saturday released two more opposition members from detention as part of amnesty granted to 9002 prisoners across the country. Two members of the opposition party – National League for Democracy – who were detained in jails in upper Burma's Sagaing division were released on Saturday, party spokesperson said. Aung Khin and Maung Chaw, both youth members of the NLD were released from the Indaw Township and Kalaymyo township prisons respectively, NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said. "They have been released for sure. They stayed one night in Dr. Thein Win's house in Kalaymyo and went back to their hometowns," said the Nyan Win. Burma's military rulers on September 23 announced that it gave amnesty to 9002 prisoners including a few political prisoners, as to give them a second to be useful to the nation through their participation in the upcoming election in 2010. However, the junta short-lived the freedom of captain Win Htein, who was released from Katha prison in Kachin state by arresting him in less than 24 hours of his release. Win Htein had served as the personal assistant to detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Su Kyi. Source: Mizzima News http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/1091-two-more-opposition-activists-released.html US Group Studies Potential War Crimes By Myanmar Military An independent US group is to carry out unprecedented studies to determine whether Myanmar's military rulers, accused of rampant human rights abuses, have committed international crimes. The Centre for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana University's school of law said it would launch the research based on anecdotal evidence of "severe mistreatment" of marginalised ethnic groups by the junta. "At this stage of the project, I can't honestly say that there are international crimes," the centre's executive director, David Williams, told AFP by telephone. "What I can say is there may be, and part of our goal would be to gather the evidence and try to come out with some objective conclusions about whether there are or not," he said. The centre's goal, he said, was to make focused research "in areas where perhaps it is most likely that international crimes were committed". Only the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) can determine whether international crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity, have been committed by any individual or group. So far, Williams said, there has been no institutional focus on possible international crimes committed by Myanmar's junta, which imposed a bloody crackdown of pro-democracy protests in September earning global condemnation. The crackdown – according to United Nations figures – left 31 people dead and 74 others missing, and resulted in thousands of arrests. (cont) Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379583/1/.html CAMBODIA Cambodian Court Ends Prisoner Segregation Judges at Cambodia's UN-backed Khmer Rouge court have ended the segregation of five leaders to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ruling lifts an earlier order keeping the jailed suspects apart to stop them possibly colluding to pressure witnesses or victims. The judges noted investigators had had enough time to collect evidence over the past year while

the suspects were in prison. The five senior Khmer Rouge leaders, mostly in their 70s and 80s, are locked up in a one-storey bungalow just 50 meters from the courtroom where they are expected to go on trial within a year. The first trials are expected to begin late this year or early 2009. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379694.htm?tab=latest PM To Visit Cambodia, Seeks End To Row The disputes over Ta Muen Tom and Ta Kwai temples will be high on the agenda of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat when he visits Cambodia on Oct 13. Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat said a Cambodian foreign affairs official had told foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that ''Thailand is occupying these two areas''. Cambodia wanted to discuss the issue during the visit to Phnom Penh by the prime minister, he added. Thailand is confident the two temples are in Phanom Dong Rak district in Surin. Ta Kwai temple is called Ta Krabey by Cambodians. Mr Sompong reaffirmed the next Joint Boundary Commission meeting would be held after Parliament gives it the go-ahead. The Foreign Ministry wants Parliament's approval for the meeting to avoid any violation of the constitution. Asean foreign ministers were satisfied Thailand and Cambodia would be able to handle the problems through the bilateral talks, he said. UN Secretary-General Bun Ki Moon agreed it was unnecessary for the two countries to bring the issues to the UN Security Council, Mr Sompong said. Asean ministers held talks on Monday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Source: Bangkok Post http://www.bangkokpost.com/011008_News/01Oct2008_news04.php Thai, Cambodia Leaders Schedule Temple Dispute Meeting The leaders of Thailand and Cambodia are scheduled to meet in Cambodia in 2 weeks time. A Thai foreign ministry spokesman has confirmed discussions will centre on a dispute over two temples currently occupied by Thailand. The Bangkok Post reports Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wangsawat will visit his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen in Phnom Penh on October 13. The paper says the Thai government is seeking parliamentary approval for the meeting to avoid any violation of the constitution. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2378824.htm?tab=asia UN Dodges Border Dispute UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday urged Cambodia and Thailand to settle the border dispute by themselves, dashing the hopes of the Cambodian government for an intervention. The UN chief briefed Cambodian foreign affairs secretary, Ouch Borith, and Thai foreign minister, Sompong Amornivivat, as they met their Asean counterparts to discuss border talks at the UN General Assembly in New York. Asean has also pushed for a bilateral resolution. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan downplayed the UN's decision as "nothing new" and insisted Cambodia was comfortable sticking to bilateral channels. "It is a more than 100-year-old border; we don't need new people involved for us to know where it is," he said. On September 12, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he planned to seek international arbitration in the border dispute by taking the issue back to the UN Security Council and to the International Court of Justice. On July 22, soon after the stand-off at Preah Vihear began, Cambodia appealed to the Security Council but withdrew the complaint two days later after Thailand agreed to hold talks on the issue. While discussions over a full troop withdrawal stagnated after the recent political unrest in Bangkok, Sompong Amornvivat was quoted in Thai daily The Nation on Tuesday saying: "we told the Asean ministers that there is no longer confrontation since previous negotiations manage to reduce numbers of troops." Source: Phnom Penh Post http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2008100121910/National-news/UN-dodges-borderdispute.html

Army Chief Calls For Reconciliation Rival camps should try to reconcile their differences through accepted rules and relevant laws to overcome the political turmoil and restore normalcy, Army Chief of Staff General Prayuth Chanocha said yesterday. "Soldiers are duty-bound to safeguard the Kingdom, uphold the monarchy, ensure peace on the border and promote good neighborly ties while political problems ought to be resolved by the government and parties concerned," he said. Prayuth said although the Army has been keeping tabs on politics as political uncertainty has a direct bearing on security issues, it would not stray from its job and meddle in the rifts. He said he had no opinion about the government's plan to push for a new round of political reform through the rewrite of Article 291 of the charter to form the Constitution Drafting Assembly. He further stated that he saw no justification in speculating about a seizure of power when several political mechanisms have yet to be allowed to run their course in order to put politics back on course. He was speaking after an inauguration ceremony for Lt-General Kanit Sapitak who succeeds him in the position of commander of the First Army. Kanit said he would carry on policies laid down by Prayuth, with the priorities of keeping peace on the borders and assisting flood victims. He dismissed concerns about Thai-Cambodian border tensions. (Cont) Source: The Nation, Panya Thiewsangwan http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/10/02/politics/politics_30084918.php EAST TIMOR Timor Police Tensions Worry Authorities Worrying signs are emerging of tensions within East Timor's police force, similar to the rift among armed forces that sparked deadly violence in 2006. Authorities are preparing to appoint a new police commander amid a new push to rid the force of corrupt and undisciplined officers. But evidence of a flare-up in regional tensions, between those from the country's east and west, have authorities concerned. An inflammatory leaflet has been circulating in the capital, Dili, warning: "If a person from the east is appointed as commander, we will petition and organize people from districts to go against the government". East Timor was torn apart in 2006 when east-west tensions sparked deep divisions in the armed forces and ultimately triggered violence that left at least 37 people dead and around 150,000 displaced. The unrest prompted countries including Australia to send in troops to restore order. Government sources and one UN official believe the leaflet was written by a group of officers within the police force. It includes threats of violence and calls for early elections if anyone from the east is appointed police commander. The International Crisis Group (ICG) said the development was "deeply concerning". "As we have seen before, if this sense of discrimination and resentment is left to fester it can cause serious problems down the track," ICG analyst in East Timor Anna Powles said. (cont) Source: The Age http://news.theage.com.au/world/timor-police-tensions-worry-authorities-20081001-4rye.html FIJI No Word On President‟s Response To NFP It's not known whether the President's office will respond officially to the letter from the National Federation Party (NFP) calling on the President Ratu Josefa Iloilo to dismiss Commodore Frank Bainimarama's interim regime. When approached yesterday by Fijivillage, President's Office Permanent Secretary Rupeni Nacewa said he will not comment on the matter since the letter is with the President and he is currently looking into it. In the letter, National Federation Party General Secretary Pramod Rae said that the interim cabinet had failed to fulfill the mandate given by the President 21 months ago hence it should be dismissed from office. Source: Fiji Village http://www.fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=0210082f512482a94e9de5ea7c16d7

Possibilities of Electricity Crisis The Fiji Electricity Authority has warned the general public of a possible electricity crisis looming for Viti Levu may face in the near future. FEA CEO, Hasmuk Patel has confirmed that water levels at the Monasavu damn has deteriorated drastically after receiving very little rain in the past weeks. Patel said if the current dry weather pattern continues for sometime than the last option will be to close the operations of the Wailoa damn and rely on diesel generators. According to Patel, the generators will not be able to supply electricity to the whole of Viti Levu and the option of power sharing will be their last resort. Patel said short term solutions are for people and business houses to reduce their power usage as much as they can. Source: Fiji Village http://www.fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=02100818397b9d786165382300edf8 GUAM Deployment Done, Squadrons To Leave Andersen For States A bomber squadron and a fighter squadron will leave Guam this week, each ending months long rotations on the island in the Pacific, according to releases from Andersen Air Force Base. The turnover was to begin Thursday, as B-52 Stratofortress bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., were scheduled to return home. On Friday, 18 F-15E Strike Eagles are scheduled to leave for Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The changes are part of the Air Force‘s ongoing rotational deployments of air power in the Pacific. As part of that, airmen from the 23rd Bomb Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., are scheduled to arrive at Andersen this weekend. While in Guam, the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Barksdale lost a crew of five airmen when a B-52 was lost at sea. The bomber crashed July 21 after takeoff from Andersen. All crew members died, including a sixth member who was stationed at Andersen. The Air Force‘s Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., is overseeing two investigation boards looking into the crash. Source: Stars and Stripes http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=57813 Guam Guardsmen Will Be Deployed Tomorrow Fourteen members of the Guam Army National Guard will be sent to Afghanistan tomorrow, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The soldiers will be augmenting the 33rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) from North Carolina for approximately 18 months. A send-off ceremony will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Guam National Guard's 105th Troop Command Bldg., in Barrigada. A news release says there are over 200 Army Guard soldiers deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Republic of the Philippines. Source: Pacific News Center; Phillip Leon Guerrero http://www.pacificnewscenter.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3538:guamguardsmen-will-be-deployed-tomorrow&catid=34:guam&Itemid=18 INDIA US Senate to Vote On N-Deal On Wednesday The United States Senate will take up the India-US nuclear deal bill for a debate and vote after sundown on Wednesday (early Thursday morning IST). Five Democratic United States Senators - Senators Robert Byrd, Jeff Bingaman, Daniel Akaka, Russ Feingold and Tom Harkin -- had opposed a unanimous consent to the bill. But Bingaman, Akaka and Harkin relented after intense pressure from Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic leadership including Senators Joe Biden -- Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama's [Images] running mate -- and Charles Schumer. The Bush administration, the Indian American community and the US business lobby was also pushing for the deal, and Byrd and Feingold gave their nod for the bill on Tuesday night. Why India is upset with George W Bush & Co According to Reid, on Wednesday, a 90-minute debate on the bill will be held in the Senate immediately after its morning business and other formalities. The debate will be followed by vote

after sundown and the completion of the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah. Sources said that there would be 90 minutes of general debate, during which two amendments would be introduced by Senators Byron Dorgan and Feingold. (cont) Source: Rediff India http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/oct/01ndeal2.htm Indian-US Nuclear Deal Set To Face Final Hurdle US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced hope that a civilian nuclear pact with India will clear the last US legislative hurdle on Wednesday, saying it has "strong bipartisan support." The deal, which would lift a three decade-old ban on civilian nuclear trade with India, would go to a vote in the Senate on Wednesday, after it passed the House of Representatives on Saturday, congressional staff said. "I certainly hope that it can get done, because it would be a landmark agreement for India and the United States," said Rice, who has lobbied Congress hard to back the agreement. Approval of the agreement, the top US diplomat said, "would be a way to solidify" what she called deepening relations between "two of the world's largest and great democracies." Robert Wood, Rice's deputy spokesman, reckoned that chances were good that the deal would pass. "It's got strong bipartisan support. So we hope to see it happen," Wood told reporters. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle said the deal would go before a Senate vote on Wednesday. "We will have a vote tomorrow evening on two amendments and final passage of the US-India cooperation deal," she told AFP. The amendments were related to "the subject of US responses in the event of a future Indian nuclear test," Lachapelle said, without elaborating. India has argued that it has the sovereign right to conduct such a test, while Washington has said the deal would be off if one were carried out. (cont) Source: AFP http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379535/1/.html India Looks To U.S. To Cement Nuclear Warming NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will gain recognition as a nuclear power if the U.S. Senate passes a civil atomic cooperation deal on Wednesday, unleashing billions of dollars of investment and drawing the country closer to the West. The vote will cap a tortuous negotiation process and, if it goes through, represent something of a triumph for U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It will also cap India's gradual rapprochement with the West since the days of socialist self-reliance, a process which began with economic reforms in the 1990s and has gathered pace with the spread of wealth and Western culture ever since. "The U.S.-India relationship had a certain trust deficit, but this removes that deficit," said Robinder Sachdev, president of Imagindia, an Indian lobby group. "It brings India closer in terms of its engagement with the West." Critics say the deal blows a hole in global efforts to contain the spread of nuclear bombs, by allowing India to import nuclear fuel and technology even though it has tested atomic weapons and never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But that argument was brushed aside by the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, under intense U.S. lobbying, in September. Business opportunities, not only in nuclear trade but also elsewhere in one of the world's biggest and fastest growing emerging markets, also helped overcome any scruples. (Cont) Source: Reuters http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-35750720081001 4 Dead, 76 Injured As Serial Blasts Rip Tripura AGARTALA: Four back-to-back terror strikes in Agartala, the capital of Tripura, which shares a 856-km porous border with Bangladesh, on Wednesday evening left at least four people dead and 76 others injured, several critically, according to hospital sources. The state police confirmed only one death but said the toll was likely to rise. ( Watch ) The first explosion took place around 7.30 pm at the Radhanagar bus stand. Minutes later, there was another blast at Maharajganj Bazar in the heart of the city. The two are about 2 km apart. Two live bombs were found at Motor Stand and Colonel Choumohany near the palace compound. As the injured were being taken to Agartala Government Medical College hospital, another blast rocked GB Bazar, which is on the

route of the ambulances taking the injured to the hospital. The fourth blast at 8.15 pm was near Kathiababa Ashram on the outskirts of the state capital. There was a heavy rush of puja shoppers at Radhanagar bus stand, Maharajganj Bazar and GB market, all in the heart of the city. While Tripura has long been a conduit for smuggling and terror merchandise, most violence in the state had been related to insurgencies of tribal groups. But the blasts on Wednesday, security officials said, were likely to be the work of the Bangladesh-based Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI), a terror group which has been frequently blamed for terror attacks in UP and Hyderabad. (cont) Source: TNN http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/4_dead_76_hurt_as_serial_blasts_rip_Tripura/articleshow/355 0593.cms Blasts Kill One, Wound 35 In Agartala GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - At least one person was killed and 35 people were wounded when three bombs exploded in Agartala on Wednesday, police said. Police said they suspected Muslim militant groups, based in neighboring Bangladesh, were behind the blasts in the Radhanagar and Gulbazar areas of Agartala. "One person died in hospital," police spokesman Nepal Das said from Agartala by phone. "Some of the injured are in critical condition." Two of the blasts took place in markets, while the third was at a bus stand, in quick succession during the evening rushhour. Sanjiv Sen, a witness, told Reuters by phone from Agartala: "There is total chaos. There were people out shopping when the explosions occurred." He said many of the wounded were women. The state was on alert for possible attacks ahead of a major Hindu festival starting at the weekend. A wave of bomb attacks has hit India in recent months, killing more than 125 people. Police have blamed most of those attacks on Muslim militants. Last month, Indian troops killed at least seven heavily armed militants from a Bangladesh-based Islamist group in a gun battle in Assam. Ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, India's northeast is home to more than 200 tribes and has been racked by separatist revolts since India gained independence from Britain in 1947. Source: Reuters http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-35754720081001 150 People Feared Dead In Indian Temple Stampede At least 150 people are feared dead in a temple stampede in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. The number could go up as several others are still trapped under the temple wall that caved in due to overcrowding. The temple of Chamunda Devi, situated on a hill in Jodhpur town, is a famous spot for pilgrims. They throng the temple especially during the holy period of Navratras, or the nine-day fast, observed by worshippers of Hindu Goddess Durga. The stampede occurred in the early morning, when some 2,000 devotees tried to make their way up through a narrow uphill path. The wall along the path caved in, setting off a chain reaction. While several were killed on the spot, a rumour of a bomb explosion caused widespread panic. Gulab Chand Kataria, Home Minister of Rajasthan State, said: "The path to the temple is steep and uphill and the people were in a hurry. This incident happened because of the rush and overcrowding." More than 20,000 devotees, mostly women, were at the temple then. The incident points to a major lapse in security, as the prescribed rules that crowds should be sent in batches along the narrow path up the hill, were not followed. There have been at least four fatal stampedes in the country so far this year - including one last month in northern Himacjhal Pradesh state, where 145 people were killed. (cont) Source: Channel News Asia; Damanjeet Kohli http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southasia/view/379472/1/.html India Struggles With Hindu Attacks On Christians NEW DELHI (AP) — Nearly a year of attacks on Christians have put India's leaders on edge, and the latest flare-up in violence drew an angry denunciation from the country's Sikh prime minister as "acts of national shame." "We are a secular state. We are a multireligious, multicultural nation," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters during a stopover in France. Hours later, Hindu mobs rampaged through villages in eastern India on Tuesday, attacking a Christian

minister, damaging two churches and setting off Hindu-Christian clashes that killed at least one person. It was just the latest in a string of attacks by Hindu hard-liners since December that have left dozens of people dead, dozens of churches destroyed and thousands of people homeless, many forced to live for days in thick forests until they could make their way to safety. In a country where Christians are a tiny minority, the attacks reflect how large swaths of India — despite a highly educated urban elite and its increasing role as a global economic power — are riven by religious and cultural animosities and how those divides are woven into political power struggles. "We are very much under threat," said New Delhi Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao, the president of India's National United Christian Forum. (Cont) Source: AP http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iPymL-hVi6Dx5wNQkEyMi7Q1IUFwD93HT4SG0 Government Finalizing Policy On Maritime Piracy, Says Antony India said it will soon formulate a strategy to counter the threat of sea pirates, even as efforts to obtain release of 16 Indian sailors held hostage by pirates off Somalia are in progress. However, the government would not follow the policy of "hot pursuit" against pirates in the present case, as it had wider implications, Defense Minister A K Antony said after the Defense Accounts Day function in New Delhi [Images]. "The government is in the process of finalizing a strategy to meet the increasing threat of piracy in the high seas. Also, as a policy, the government would not carry out hot pursuit of pirates, as it had wider implications," Antony said. Pointing out that the government was applying its mind seriously by discussing the strategy with various departments, Antony said a policy on the response system to piracy would have to be taken at the highest levels. "Piracy in the high seas is becoming a serious problem and all nations, mainly those in the Indian Ocean region(IOR), are concerned about it," he said. Recalling that the Indian Navy had in February this year organized a symposium involving the navies of the IOR countries, the minister said they were trying to formulate an international charter to deal with the menace. "The Indian Navy is in touch with other navies on this, since piracy occurs in the IOR, especially in Somalian waters and other areas. We are in the process of discussing the charter proposals with other navies of the region. (Cont) Source: PTI http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/oct/01piracy.htm Antony Urges Prompt Disbursement Of Pension To Veterans New Delhi, Oct 01: Defense Minister A K Antony on Wednesday called for prompt disbursal of pension to two million ex-servicemen in the country and redressal of their grievances to ensure high satisfaction levels. "The Defense Accounts Department (DAD) has to ensure that the benefits introduced for pensioners from time to time by the government are delivered to them promptly, efficiently and in right measure," Antony said at the annual day celebrations of DAD here today. The aim of the DAD should be 100 per cent satisfaction levels of pensioners in all services provided by it, Antony said and added that it was a difficult feat, but could be achieved with focus and hard work. Urging DAD officials to continue exhibiting high degree of responsiveness to redress grievances of its valued customers, Antony wanted them to ensure that a complaint redressal apparatus was fully functional for providing optimal satisfaction. He also asked the DAD officials to introduce accrual accounting system for efficient assets management of the defense services. Minister of State for Defense M M Pallam Raju, in his speech, asked the DAD officials to increase their professionalism, while complimenting them for holding "pension adalats" across the country to reach out to pensioners. (cont) Source: Zee News http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=473363&sid=NAT Army Ignores Pak Protest, Launches Civilian Trek To Siachen Notwithstanding Pakistan's vociferous protests, the Indian army [Images] on Wednesday launched a civilian mountaineering and trekking expedition to the forbidding Siachen Glacier for the second year in a row. The 21-day expedition is meant to show to the international community that Indian troops hold the 72-km-long Siachen Glacier in the Saltoro Ridge region of Jammu and

Kashmir [Images], and Pakistan was nowhere near it. However, the aim of the trekking trip for 42 civilians -- including women, journalists, Defense Research and Development Organization scientists, and Defense personnel -- is to promote adventure tourism among civilian youth of the country, army sources said. "The participants for the trek have already gathered at Leh and are currently going through an acclimatization and medical fitness examination process before they proceed to the glacier," an army official told PTI. Defense Minister A K Antony will flag off the expedition from Leh on October 7, when the actual trekking of the glacier would begin. The trekkers would move to Siachen Base Camp on October 7 and go through another round of acclimatization and glacier-craft training and orientation there from 12 instructors from the Lehbased Army Mountaineering Institute. (Cont) Source: PTI http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/oct/01indpak.htm Pak Violates Ceasefire Yet Again, BSF Foils Infiltration Bid In J&K JAMMU: In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistani troops on Wednesday fired from across the border to push in armed militants in Jammu and Kashmir, the BSF said. "Pakistani Rangers opened fire on Tent Post along the International Border in Kancchak sub-sector of Jammu frontier in the wee hours today," a BSF spokesman said. He said a group of militants tried to enter into Indian territory in Zeroline area under the cover of Pakistani firing, following which the BSF personnel retaliated. The exchange of fire between Pakistani Rangers and BSF continued for nearly half an hour, he said. BSF troops beat back the infiltration bid and the militants later escaped into the Pakistani side. There was, however, no loss of life or injury in the cross-border firing and searches are being conducted in the area. This is the second infiltration bid in the past three days, the spokesman said, adding that today's firing took place at the same place where three militants had infiltrated in Kancchak area after cutting the border fence under cover of Pakistani firing on August 25. The militants were later killed in a gun battle at Chinore area of Jammu during which five civilians and three jawans also died. On September 27, Pakistani troops tried to infiltrate militants into India along international border via the Chak Fagwari area in Pargwal belt of Jammu. Source: PTI http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Pak_violates_ceasefire_yet_again_BSF_foils_infiltration_ bid_in_JK/articleshow/3548615.cms Russia To Supply Rocket Launchers To India Russia [Images] will supply 18 more 'Smerch' multiple launch rocket systems to India as part of moves by New Delhi [Images] to bolster firepower and reach of its army. "The new 18 'Smerch' MLRS batteries would be supplied to India after the completion of the already contracted $455 million initial deal," Nikolai Dimidyuk, a senior official of the state-owned 'Rosoboronexport' corporation, said on Wednesday. India has already acquired up to 36 'Smerch' MLRS whose delivery was completed earlier this year. The Smerch long range rocket systems have a range of over 60 km, almost three times the distance of the present Indian artillery rocket systems. Designed by Tula-based 'Splav' complex, Smerch, is a force-multiplier called by some experts as 'poor nations' strategic missiles'. With a single salvo of 12 rockets armed with conventional charge and smart weapons it can completely destroy armored columns and bunkers over the area of six square kilometers, experts say. Source: PTI http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/oct/01missile.htm India's Bonds Rise As Commodity Declines Ease Inflation Concern Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Indian bonds rose the most in more than two weeks on speculation inflation will slow as a global credit crisis damps demand for commodities such as crude oil. Yields on 10year notes fell from near the highest in a month as oil prices declined more than 6 percent this week after U.S. lawmakers rejected a $700 billion financial rescue plan for banks in the world's largest economy. The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index of 26 raw materials has fallen more than 25 percent from its peak in July. Inflation erodes the value of the fixed

payments from bonds. ``Fixed-income securities are being preferred as the uncertainties deepen,'' said Jayant Chiney, treasurer at state- owned Bank of India in Mumbai. ``Yields have scope to decline further in the near term.'' The yield on the benchmark 8.24 percent note due April 2018 fell 16 basis points to 8.46 percent as of the 5:30 p.m. close in Mumbai, according to the central bank's trading system. The price rose 1.04 per 100 rupee face amount to 98.6. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point. (Cont) Source: Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=a_fLn2spaqu8&refer=india Nepal-Indian JWRC Meeting Wraps Up, Seals 29-Point Deal KATHMANDU, Oct 1 - The high-level meeting of Nepal-India Joint Water Resources Committee (JWRC) concluded on Monday with an understanding to carry out projects on hydropower, irrigation, flood control and other water-related cooperation that were ignored for years. The secretary-level meeting held in Kathmandu for three days to discuss ways to tap benefit and properly harness water resources of Nepal sealed a 29-point deal. Publicizing the agreement at the end of the meeting today, water resources secretaries of the two neighboring nations said that a concrete decision has been made to work together to advance the work related to water resources forward. ―We have decided to form a ministerial level commission on water resources within next six months and also convene a meeting,‖ said Shankar Prasad Koirala, Secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources. Indian Water Resources Secretary Umesh Narayan Panjiyar said, ―All issues relating to inundation in Nepali sidem, which have beem causing problem, have been resolved.‖ As per the agreement made in the meeting, a secretary level authority would be set up for the construction of the much talked about Pancheshwor multipurpose hydroelectricity project. Likewise, the Indian side has agreed to construct a 12 kilometer long four lane road from Tanakpur to Mahendranagar in connection with the Pancheshwor project. Source: Kantipur Online http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=162575 INDONESIA Abdullah To Brief BN Leaders On Transition Plan After Aidilfitri Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he would set a date after Hari Raya Aidilfitri for a meeting with leaders of Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties to brief them on the leadership transition plan. "When we meet ... we will have discussions ... after (Hari) Raya (Aidilfitri)," he told reporters at the Aidilfitri open house of the prime minister and other Muslim Cabinet ministers at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here. He was asked to comment on a news report that some BN leaders were unhappy for not having been consulted on a change in the transition plan. Under the original plan, Abdullah, the Umno president, was to have handed over power to Deputy Prime Minister and Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in June 2010. However, it was decided later that the transition of power take place earlier than that date, and the Umno general assembly scheduled for December this year has been postponed to March next year to facilitate this. Abdullah, when announcing the postponement of the Umno general assembly, had said that he would make a decision by Oct 9 on seeking re-election as party president. (cont) Source: Bermana http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=362223 Bali Bomber Convinced Death Sentences Not To Be Carried Out Imam Samudra, one of the convicted Bali I bombers, said he was convinced he and his two associates - Amrozi and Nuhlas -- would never be executed. He made the remark to newsmen after performing Idul Fitri prayers at the Batu correctional institute in Nusakambangan, Central Java, on Wednesday morning. Samudra even said the Attorney General`s Office (AGO) was too afraid to order their execution by firing squad. He said he was not thinking too much about the execution plan because, he said, the problem of death was Allah`s responsibility and therefore he

was ready to be executed any time. But if the execution was carried out, there would certainly be a retaliation, he said. "If anybody kills us, God willing, there will be retaliation," Samudra said without making an assurance where he would spend eternity after death. He said he was not prepared to be executed by firing squad as was done in `infidel` countries. "We will never be willing to be executed in the way as in the Netherlands," he said. In letters to his relatives, Samudra asked them to be patient because , he said, his death sentence would never be carried out. "The message is that they remain patient because there will be no execution," he said. Commenting on Bali bombing-I which claimed 202 lives, mostly Australian tourists, on October 12, 2002, Imam Samudra admitted that he was not remorsefl of his act but was proud of what he had done. (cont) Source: ANTARA News http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2008/10/1/bali-bomber-convinced-death-sentences-not-to-becarried-out/ Bali Bombers Threaten Reprisals For Executions The three Bali bombers on death row in Indonesia have threatened reprisals if their executions go ahead. Our Indonesia correspondent Geoff Thompson reports Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Ali Ghufron ( Mukhlas) and Imam Samudra were as unrepentant as ever when they knelt in the front row of a morning prayer session to mark the end of Ramadan, The three have been convicted for the 2002 Bali bombings which took 202 lives including 88 Australians. "For Australians I'm never sorry," Imam Samudra said, "but for Muslims I'm very very sorry for him." The bombers have often said they are ready to die, but as their date with a firing squad approaches their tone has turned threatening. Amrozi said that if he had a chance he would kill more Australians, while his brother Mukhlas warned that all responsible for his execution will be executed themselves by mujahadeen fighters in Indonesia and around the world. (Cont) Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379651.htm?tab=latest Condemned Bali Bomber Promises `Retribution` If He‟s Shot An Islamic militant on death row over the 2002 nightclub bombings on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali pledged "retribution" Wednesday if his execution goes ahead. Amrozi, 47, and fellow militants Mukhlas and Imam Samudra face a firing squad over the attacks which killed 202 mainly foreign holidaymakers. "If I am executed, later there will be retribution," Amrozi was quoted by AFP as telling reporters at the Nusakambangan island prison at an event marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "It's not necessary for me to tell you what the retribution will be," he said. Earlier plans to execute the bombers before Ramadan were shelved over a delay in paperwork. A revised date for the execution has not been set. The bombers are mounting a legal challenge to the use of firing squads to carry out the death penalty, saying shooting constitutes torture. The bombers have said they would prefer to be beheaded. Denouncing Indonesian authorities as "satanic forces", fellow bomber Mukhlas said: "The people who will execute us, if they do this execution they will be cursed by God." "If the execution is carried out, that will constitute the biggest criminal act because they will be killing holy warriors," Mukhlas said. (cont) Source: ANTARA News http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2008/10/1/condemned-bali-bomber-promises-retribution-if-hesshot/ Garuda Contingent Passes UN Inspection Jakarta – Garuda Contingent XX-E has passed the quarterly equipment inspection by the United Nations CEO (Contingent Owned Equipment) team. The contingent was inspected from th September 26 2008. The contingent that has been part of UN peace keeping mission in Congo (MONUC) will return home soon after completing one year tour since October 2007. The contingent has carried out numerous projects such as airport construction in Dungu, road construction that connect the airport and Dungu, Congo military (FARDC) training center in

Nyaleke, bridge in Kasindi and Ammo Dump bunker in Mavivi, as well as other tasks given by the local Engineering Section Source: Indonesian Army, Translated by Virtual Information Center http://www.tniad.mil.id/1berita.php?pil=48&dn=20081001093635 President Appoints New National Police Chief Jakarta – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has sworn in General Bambang Hendarso Danuri as the new National Police Chief at the State Palace on Tuesday (9/30). Bambang was the only candidate for the position. Bambang pledged to continue the current policy in combating illegal logging, drug, gambling and nepotism as well as to improve police service to the public. Source: Liputan 6, Translated by Virtual Information Center http://www.liputan6.com/politik/?id=165867 TNI Commander Holds Open House Jakarta – TNI (Indonesia National Defense Forces) Headquarters Head of Public Affairs Air Marshal Sagoem Tamboen in Jakarta said that TNI Commander General Djoko Santoso will hold an open house for TNI personnel and the public at Balai Sudirman on Wednesday (10/1) afternoon. Earlier, General Santoso attended Idul Fitri prayer at Ahmad Yani Sport Stadium at TNI headquarters in Cilangkap along with Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, Air Force Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal Subandrio, TNI personnel and the public. Source: Kompas, Translated by Virtual Information Center http://www.kompas.com/read/xml/2008/10/01/11472314/panglima.tni.open.house.di.balai.sudirma n MALAYSIA Sinophobia Smolders In Malaysia SINGAPORE - As an ethnic minority in most of Southeast Asia, the Chinese have, from time to time, been subject to outbursts of anti-Chinese sentiments. The latest tirade came from Ahmad Ismail, a division chief of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) in Penang, Malaysia earlier this month. The UMNO is the leading component party of the ruling coalition, Barisan National (BN). According to a local Chinese newspaper, the Sinchew Daily, Ahmad had said that the "Chinese were merely squatting in Malaysia", and thereby "do not deserve equal rights". Despite repeated calls for an apology from Ahmad, the UMNO grassroots leader remained defiant, and later in a press conference warned Chinese Malaysians not to mimic American Jews, who not only sought to control the country's economy, but also its politics. Such arguments, that Chinese, being of foreign origin, do not deserve the same citizenship rights as indigenous peoples, or the comparison of Chinese with Jews, are not new to the region. Perhaps the earliest allusion to such a comparison came from King Vajiravudh of Thailand, who dubbed the Chinese as "Jews of the Orient" in an essay written in 1914. Writing under a pseudonym, the Thai king had questioned the political loyalty of the Chinese, given their penchant for economic gain. The same comparison was rehearsed in Indonesia in the 1950s, through what was coined the "Chinese problem". (Cont) Source: Asia Times, Hui Yew-Foong http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/JJ02Ae01.html Transition Plan: Abdullah To Brief BN Leaders After Raya Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi said he will be meeting component party chiefs ―as soon as possible‖ to explain the Umno leadership transition plan. ―We have nothing to hide. We will have a session, people will speak and we will listen to what they say,‖ he said during Cabinet open house at the Putra World Trade Centre on the first day of Hari Raya. Abdullah was asked to comment on a news report that some BN leaders were unhappy as they were not consulted over the change in the transition plan. In his earlier plan, Abdullah, the Umno president, was to have handed over power to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak in June 2010. However, it was decided later that this would take place earlier than planned. The Umno general assembly

scheduled for December this year has been postponed to March next year to facilitate this new hand over. Abdullah, when announcing the postponement of the Umno general assembly, had said he would make a decision by Oct 9 on seeking re-election as party president. The party‘s month-long divisional meetings start on Oct 9. Abdullah said he had informed BN leaders informally when he met them but had yet to do so formally. He said this would be done after the Hari Raya. In light of the transition being brought forward, Abdullah was asked if he was sad that this could be his last Hari Raya as the prime minister. (cont) Source: NST Online; V. Vasudevan and Eileen Ng http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/20081001170324/Article/index _html More Labs To Be Set Up For Testing Melamine The Health Ministry will set up its own laboratories as current melamine tests are proceeding ―too slowly.‖ Its minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said that of 866 product samples which have been taken, only 26 have been tested and found to be melamine-free. ―That‘s too slow. So we are going to set up labs in every state because there are a lot of samples and the (Chemistry Department) lab cannot cope. ―We don‘t want the people to have to wait,‖ he told reporters at the Prime Minister‘s Hari Raya open house at Putra World Trade Centre here on Wednesday. The ministry will set up more than 13 labs, and will also get the aid of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Malaya. ―These are qualified labs. They have the equipment and they have the capability,‖ Liow said. He also asked the public not to panic if they found small portions of melamine in their food, as long as they were within the permissible level. ―European Union countries allow 30 parts per million (ppm) of melamine in all food products. ―When a food product is wrapped in plastic, there may be some transfer of melamine to the food. But if it‘s in small amounts then it‘s still safe as our bodies should be able to excrete it,‖ he said. He said the melamine-tainted milk products in China were at dangerous levels of about 2,653ppm. Source: the Star; LISA GOH http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/10/1/nation/20081001202900&sec=nation MALDIVES Foreign Ministry Denies “Missing” US$40 Million Tsunami Aid The Foreign Ministry has denied allegations that the government received US$40 million donated by the Emir of Qatar for tsunami relief, in response to claims made by opposition Maldivian Democratic Party. Earlier this month, the disaster management centre stated, ―Maldives had not received $40 million for tsunami relief,‖ but did receive donated aid materials from the government of Qatar amounting to the value of $470,000. Accusations At a press conference on Monday, the state minister of foreign affairs Abdullah Hameed said there was no information to suggest Maldives ever the sum. "Eighty million dollars is a lot of money. Even if it is a head of state or anyone else you can't just carry that kind of money in a box through an airport - they cannot do that.‖ ―Governments do not give money out of a box into the hands of another person. That's not how it happens,‖ he said. ―We are talking about tsunami relief aid. It comes through a very transparent process. I know for sure that the government of Qatar has not given US $40 million to the Maldives for tsunami relief," he added. The ambassador to Qatar also said the government wasn't aware of it, according to Hameed. (Cont) Source: Minivan News http://www.minivannews.com/news/news.php?id=5057 President Submits Names For Anti Corruption Commission President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has submitted the names of former Raa Atoll Chief Saud Ibrahim, member of the Anti Corruption Board Abdul Raheem Abdul Rahman, former member of the Anti Corruption Board Abdullah Adam, G Dh Thinadhoo Halaveli Abdullah Hilmy and S. Hithadhoo Ranfas Hassan Luthfy for approval of the People's Majlis for the composition of the new independent Anti Corruption Commission to be established as required by the Constitution.

These names were proposed to the Majlis by the President after calling for interested and qualified persons to apply for membership of the Commission. According to our information 14 other persons sent their applications. They are G DhThinadhoo Gazeera Muawwizu Rasheed, Lh Hinnavaru Canary Villa Majid Hassan, H. Maadhooge Ahmed Aslam, M. Aadhilleege Ali Rasheed Umar, G. Nookuri Ahmed Riza, Dhaftar No. 2555 Ahmed Zahir Ali, M. Sabraath Abdulla Zuhair, G. Wadinolhuge Fathimath Anoola, B. Kendhoo Alamaage Arif Abdul Samad, M. Hikigulalaage Ibrahim Mohamed, M. Gaha Salma Fikry, Ma Twilight Ali Saleem, M. Maamuli 5th floor Ahmed Mohamed, Dhaftar Number 7312 Mohamed Adil. The Majlis has appointed a 7 member committee to scrutinize the applications. The committee approved by 16 members out of the 17 members present at the meeting comprises of M member Ahmed Nazim, F member Ismail Abdul Hameed, President's member Mohamed Saleem, K member Mariya Ahmed Didi, F. member Ahmed Hamza, S member Ibrahim Shareef and HA member Ibrahim Maniku. PA's Jaufar Easa proposed the committee and DRP's Ahmed Zubair seconded it. Th member Mohamed Shareef voted against the committee. (cont) Source: Miadhu News http://www.miadhu.com.mv/news.php?id=7964 NEPAL Nepali PM Briefs Partymen On His U.S. Trip KATHMANDU, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- A day after concluding his New York visit which he described as "successful", Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda said the international community including the U.S. is ready to extend all necessary support to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)-led government and assist in the country's peace and development process. He also claimed that the international community has changed its viewpoint towards the CPN-Maoists. "My New York trip (to attend the 63rd United National General Assembly) proved beneficial both for the country and the Maoist-led government," he said while recounting his trip to the U.S. to his party leaders during an informal meeting of the party's central secretariat held here Wednesday. Speaking at the meeting, CPN-Maoist leader Mohan Baidya said that the Maoist central committee meeting would start in the capital from Saturday. The meeting is expected to reshuffle party's leadership and their responsibilities. Prachanda is also set to brief top leaders of other political parties about his New York visit. He had returned home from New York Tuesday after attending the 63rd session of the United National General Assembly. On the sidelines of the General Assembly, he met a number of world leaders including US President George W. Bush. During the eight-day stay in the U.S., Prachanda said, he "went representing the nation of Nepal, republic Nepal to present new Nepal's agenda at the diplomatic level." He claimed that he was successful in it after a "lot of effort". Source: Xinhua http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-10/01/content_10139150.htm Nepal-Indian JWRC Meeting Wraps Up, Seals 29-Point Deal KATHMANDU, Oct 1 - The high-level meeting of Nepal-India Joint Water Resources Committee (JWRC) concluded on Monday with an understanding to carry out projects on hydropower, irrigation, flood control and other water-related cooperation that were ignored for years. The secretary-level meeting held in Kathmandu for three days to discuss ways to tap benefit and properly harness water resources of Nepal sealed a 29-point deal. Publicizing the agreement at the end of the meeting today, water resources secretaries of the two neighboring nations said that a concrete decision has been made to work together to advance the work related to water resources forward. ―We have decided to form a ministerial level commission on water resources within next six months and also convene a meeting,‖ said Shankar Prasad Koirala, Secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources. Indian Water Resources Secretary Umesh Narayan Panjiyar said, ―All issues relating to inundation in Nepali sidem, which have beem causing problem, have been resolved.‖ As per the agreement made in the meeting, a secretary level authority would be set up for the construction of the much talked about Pancheshwor multipurpose hydroelectricity

project. Likewise, the Indian side has agreed to construct a 12 kilometer long four lane road from Tanakpur to Mahendranagar in connection with the Pancheshwor project. Source: Kantipur Online http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=162575 WB Announces USD 36 Million Aid Package To Nepal The World Bank (WB) today approved USD 36 million aid package for Nepal to support its efforts at reducing hardships and speeding up recovery from the problems caused by rising food and fuel prices, drought and recent floods. The assistance package consists of USD 31 million in grants and credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessionary lending arm, and USD 5 million in grants from the Food Price Crisis Response Trust Fund. A press release issued by WB said the 'Nepal Food Price Crisis Response Program' under which aid package is being provided, was developed to help Nepal mitigate the impact of rising global food prices by improving access to food and strengthening agricultural production, particularly for food insecure districts and smallholders. "The program will support the Government of Nepal's national strategy to maintain and enhance food security," said Susan Goldmark, World Bank Country Director for Nepal. "It will support immediate social safety net measures to ensure food for vulnerable households in food insecure districts as well as longer term measures to raise agricultural yields and consequently the production of staples," she added. In the short run, the program will partner with the World Food Program (WFP) to provide immediate support to vulnerable households in 33 districts that have been identified as chronically food insecure, with more than 6 million people vulnerable. (Cont) Source: NepalNews.com http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2008/oct/oct01/news10.php PAKISTAN Pakistani Officials Say At Least 6 Killed In US Drone Strike Pakistani officials say a suspected U.S. drone fired missiles at a house in northwest Pakistan, killing at least six people. Officials say foreign militants are among the dead. The incident occurred in North Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan and a known stronghold for Taliban and al-Qaida militants. Suspected U.S. strikes into Pakistan have become a point of contention in recent weeks. Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, has called the alleged raids a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. Separately, officials said Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships killed 13 Taliban militants in the northwestern Bajaur tribal region. The Pakistani military is trying to drive out militants accused of making deadly attacks inside Pakistan and in neighboring Afghanistan. Last week, Pakistan's military said it had killed at least 1,000 militants since launching the offensive in Bajaur in August. It said more than 60 soldiers have been killed. Elsewhere Tuesday, Pakistani police said a landmine blast killed at least two soldiers and wounded four others in southwestern Baluchistan province. Ethnic Baluch tribesmen have been waging an insurgency in Baluchistan to press for a greater share of profits from the region's natural resources. Taliban militants also are known to be active in the province. Source: VOA News http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-10-01-voa11.cfm US Attacks Inside Pakistan 'Terrorism:' PM Gilani ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday condemned US attacks inside Pakistani territory and termed them 'terrorism'. Talking to newsmen at the Prime Minister House, he said the government wanted to take all the coalition partners on board especially when it came to resolving crucial national issues. Regarding the ongoing military operations in northwestern Pakistan, he reiterated that the war against terrorism was Pakistan‘s own war. Replying to a question, he said 'it is the government‘s responsibility to provide security to foreign diplomats and ambassadors,' adding that 'complete security will be provided to them.' Source: Dawn

http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/us+att acks+inside+pakistan+terrorism%2C+says+gilani UK Brings Home Diplomats' Children From Pakistan LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is bringing home the children of its diplomats in Pakistan following last month's suicide bomb attack that killed 55 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday. "Following a review of security in the wake of the attack on the Marriott Hotel, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has decided that children of UK-based staff at the British High Commission in Islamabad should return to the UK," a Foreign Office spokesman said. Source: Reuters http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-35755420081001 Taliban Leader In Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, 'Dies From Kidney Failure' Mehsud was accused by Pakistan and US intelligence of being responsible for the assassination of the former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. Rumors of his death are circulating in Pakistan. The former fitness instructor turned terrorist leader has diabetes and has been reported to be unwell for months. Mehsud, in his mid-thirties, rose suddenly from obscurity possibly with the support of a faction of Pakistan's shadowy ISI military intelligence that has secretly backed the Taliban. However, his doctor said he had an unspecified kidney problem, but that he was alive. Mehsud has denied involvement in the attack on Bhutto as she left an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi on Dec. 27, which her widower, Mr Zardari, has blamed on Pakistan's establishment. Officials have accused Mehsud, the head of the country's umbrella Taliban organization, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), of being behind a wave of suicide attacks in Pakistan since the middle of last year. Mixed reports surrounding the Taliban leader's death came as American missiles, fired from an unmanned drone aircraft, killed at least six people in a Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border. The missiles struck the home of a local Taliban commander before midnight on Tuesday near Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan. "We have reports of five dead including foreign militants," said an intelligence official. Source: Telegraph UK http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/3116485/Taliban-leader-in-PakistanBaitullah-Mehsud-dies-from-kidney-failure.html Top Pakistan militant 'not dead' A spokesman for the Taleban in Pakistan has denied media reports that leading militant Baitullah Mehsud has died of an illness. The spokesman, Maulvi Umar, told the BBC that Mr Mehsud was "fit and well". Television channels reported that Mr Mehsud, who leads an alliance of pro-Taleban groups, died on Tuesday night. Mr Mehsud is accused of masterminding the killing of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He denied involvement in the attack. Rumors of the militant's death have also been denied by his doctor, Eisa Khan. Rumors about his death are being spread to weaken the Tehreek-e-Taleban Mehsud aide Ibrahim Burqi "I spoke to him today at 9am on the telephone, and he told me that he is surprised over rumours about his death," Mr Khan told the Associated Press news agency. Several other Pakistani Taleban spokesmen also insisted Mr Mehsud is healthy, with some even saying that he is due to marry his second wife this weekend. Unnamed Pakistani officials had said that Mr Mehsud, head of the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), is seriously ill with diabetes and may even be in a coma. "Baitullah is sick. His condition is precarious," a senior Pakistani security official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. Mr Mehsud - an ethnic Pashtun tribesman in his mid-30s - was recently named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Newsweek has called him "more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden". (cont) Source: BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7646244.stm

US Pressure Deepens Divide Between Pakistan's Military and Civilian Leadership Analysts and U.S. officials say American pressure on Pakistan over counterterrorism policy has strained the relationship between that country's government and its military. As VOA Correspondent Gary Thomas reports, the two camps differ over how much approval and assistance Pakistan should give to stepped-up U.S. anti-terrorist operations. The honeymoon between Pakistan's powerful military establishment and the newly elected civilian government appears to be short-lived. Analysts say an increase in U.S. unmanned drone attacks and covert operations against suspected terrorist sanctuaries have inflamed public opinion in Pakistan and driven a wedge between the generals and the politicians. Larry Goodson, a professor at the U.S. Army War College, says that crack could widen as Pakistan faces more lethal pressure internally from militant attacks and political pressure externally from the United States. "It really does reflect a split, and maybe a split that could widen and deepen and become a real fissure within Pakistani policymaking and strategy.," said Larry Goodson. Many people in Pakistan criticized the former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, for being too close to the United States. Analysts say there is deep suspicion in the army that the new president, Asif Ali Zardari - Pakistan's first civilian leader in nearly nine years - is embarked on the same path. (cont) Source: VOA http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-10-01-voa52.cfm Zardari Says He Escaped Assassination At Marriott WASHINGTON: President Asif Ali Zardari called the recent bombing in Islamabad's Marriott hotel an assassination attempt he and other top leaders narrowly escaped, in an interview on US television. 'All of us. All the parliament, the people, all of democracy was the target. We were all supposed to be there,' Zardari told Fox News late Tuesday, when asked if he thought he was the target of the devastating September 20 blast. 'I was supposed to be there with my prime minister, with my speaker, with a lot of us. Just by chance that it was changed,' Zardari said. 'We were sitting in the speaker's dinner just a stone's throw away from that same place. We were in the PM house on the lawn when we heard the bang,' he added. At least 60 people died and hundreds were injured when a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden six-wheeler truck into the security gates of the Islamabad Marriott. Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik told reporters that the speaker of the national assembly had arranged a dinner for Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and top military brass at the Marriott that night, but the venue was changed at the last minute to the prime minister's house. (cont0 Source: Dawn http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/world/zardari+s ays+he+escaped+assassination+at+marriott+hotel Zardari Stresses Hearts And Minds Campaign, Says Efforts To Win People‟s Support Necessary WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (APP): Underscoring the importance of winning hearts and minds of people in the fight against terrorism, President Asif Ali Zardari has said American military action into Pakistani territory impede the democratic government‘s efforts to secure people‘s support in the anti-terror struggle and any such action has to be discouraged. ―It doesn‘t help the war on terror, because the first definition, the way we want to deal with the war is to win the hearts and minds of people, and then get the people on your side, alienate them from the terrorists, rather than give them support,‖ he told FOX News channel in an interview. The new Pakistani leader was asked to comment on a Sept 3 US forces raid in a South Waziristan village bordering Afghanistan. ―It sets me back in getting my impetus of the new way of dealing with the war. And the new way of dealing with the war is to get the people involved, to make them to realize that making their area unsafe and allowing them to be there is a danger to themselves,‖ he stated when asked about impact of such a move on the government‘s efforts in the region. Questioned what Pakistan will do if such an action happens again, President Zardari replied: ―I think it‘s counterproductive to us, to the war. As a policy, it has to be discouraged.‖ On terrible bombing of Marriott Hotel in Islamabad last month, he said it is not yet known who was behind the attack but added ―we will find them.‖ (cont)

Source: APP http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=54491&Itemid=1 Army Ignores Pak Protest, Launches Civilian Trek To Siachen Notwithstanding Pakistan's vociferous protests, the Indian army [Images] on Wednesday launched a civilian mountaineering and trekking expedition to the forbidding Siachen Glacier for the second year in a row. The 21-day expedition is meant to show to the international community that Indian troops hold the 72-km-long Siachen Glacier in the Saltoro Ridge region of Jammu and Kashmir [Images], and Pakistan was nowhere near it. However, the aim of the trekking trip for 42 civilians -- including women, journalists, Defense Research and Development Organisation scientists, and Defense personnel -- is to promote adventure tourism among civilian youth of the country, army sources said. "The participants for the trek have already gathered at Leh and are currently going through an acclimatization and medical fitness examination process before they proceed to the glacier," an army official told PTI. Defense Minister A K Antony will flag off the expedition from Leh on October 7, when the actual trekking of the glacier would begin. The trekkers would move to Siachen Base Camp on October 7 and go through another round of acclimatization and glacier-craft training and orientation there from 12 instructors from the Lehbased Army Mountaineering Institute. (Cont) Source: PTI http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/oct/01indpak.htm Pak Violates Ceasefire Yet Again, BSF Foils Infiltration Bid In J&K JAMMU: In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistani troops on Wednesday fired from across the border to push in armed militants in Jammu and Kashmir, the BSF said. "Pakistani Rangers opened fire on Tent Post along the International Border in Kancchak sub-sector of Jammu frontier in the wee hours today," a BSF spokesman said. He said a group of militants tried to enter into Indian territory in Zeroline area under the cover of Pakistani firing, following which the BSF personnel retaliated. The exchange of fire between Pakistani Rangers and BSF continued for nearly half an hour, he said. BSF troops beat back the infiltration bid and the militants later escaped into the Pakistani side. There was, however, no loss of life or injury in the cross-border firing and searches are being conducted in the area. This is the second infiltration bid in the past three days, the spokesman said, adding that today's firing took place at the same place where three militants had infiltrated in Kancchak area after cutting the border fence under cover of Pakistani firing on August 25. The militants were later killed in a gun battle at Chinore area of Jammu during which five civilians and three jawans also died. On September 27, Pakistani troops tried to infiltrate militants into India along international border via the Chak Fagwari area in Pargwal belt of Jammu. Source: PTI http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Pak_violates_ceasefire_yet_again_BSF_foils_infiltration_ bid_in_JK/articleshow/3548615.cms PALAU Palau President Confirms Senate Bid Palau President Tommy Remengesau has confirmed he will run as a candidate for the Senate in the November general election. The Pacific Magazine reports President Remengesau had repeatedly said he was undecided on whether he would withdraw his petition for candidacy or actually run. Mr Remengesau ends his constitutionally limited two terms as president at the end of this year. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2378626.htm?tab=pacific

PAPUA NEW GUINEA Lowy Institute Tells Australia To Rethink PNG Aid A leading Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, says Australia must radically rethink the way it provides aid to Papua New Guinea. The Pacific News Service reports economists believe PNG's most pressing needs are job creation strategies, improved education services, and more infrastructure. But the institute's Jenny Hayward-Jones, says under Australia's existing aid policy, about half of the $US 318 million given to PNG each year is spent elsewhere. She says ordinary PNG people are not seeing the impact of the aid spending and she believes Australian tax payers are not seeing outcomes either. Ms Hayward-Jones says Australia's current policy focuses on good governance and strengthening PNG's institutions when in fact the money should be going to things like health clinics and schools. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379450.htm?tab=pacific PHILIPPINES U.S. Defense Department Awards $77.5-M Contracts For Mindanao Operations The United States government has approved and awarded two defense contracts amounting to $77.5 million (roughly P3.5 billion) to support the continued stay and operations of its forces deployed in the Philippines. Focus on the Global South, a Bangkok-based international research institute, said the approved contracts also included $202 million (roughly P9.3 billion), which could be awarded later. On its website, the US Department of Defense said DynCorp International LLC in Fort Worth, Texas was awarded a contract worth $44,259,606 to provide support services for the Philippine operations of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P). ―The current total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $202,116,113. Work will be performed in the Republic of the Philippines, and work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2009,‖ the website stated. ―Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-08-C-1115),‖ it added. The US defense department further said that DynCorp International was also awarded a $34,154,949 ―cost-plus-award-fee modification to increase the maximum dollar value of a cost-plus-award-fee contract‖ to provide support services for the operations of JSOTF-P. The contract is expected to be completed by September 2012. (Cont) Source: The Philippine Star, Jaime Laude, with Pia Lee-Brago http://www.philstar.com/index.php?Nation&p=49&type=2&sec=28&aid=20081001119 U.S. Energizes ARMM Areas With Renewable Energy Sources KIDAPAWAN CITY – United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenny has assured residents in Mindanao of her government‘s continued support to the energization of poor conflictaffected villages in the island, especially in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). True enough, Kenny said during the Lailatul Qadr (Arabic terms which means, Night of Power) that the US government, through the Alliance for Mindanao Off-grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) program, has energized at least 400 villages in ARMM since the project started six years ago. "As light brings us blessings and hope during the Lailatul Qadr, the American people will continue to work with you, to bring light to even more remote communities, and to promote peace and development," said Kenney. Kenny has recognized the difficult times the Filipinos, especially those residing in conflict areas in Mindanao, have gone through especially when the wars between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) broke out last month. "But as we look at them, let us look at the light and at the hope that we bring, at the joy we can bring to families, at the difference we can make in lives, at the way we can work together," she said. Muslims believe it was during the Lailatur Qadr, celebrated during one of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan, when the first Divine revelation came to Prophet Muhammad. (cont) Source: The Manila Bulletin http://www.mb.com.ph/PROV20081002136836.html

Fighting Between AFP, MILF Flares As Ramadan Ends DATU SAUDI AMPATUAN - Fighting between Philippine troops and Muslim separatists flared up on Wednesday as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan came to an end, officials said. "The frequency of armed incidents between government troops and the lawless groups are increasing," with the rebels launching more attacks, said military spokesman LT. Col. Colonel Ernesto Torres. He said that with the end of Ramadan, the military was also ending its restraint in using artillery and air strikes against guerrillas of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the southern Philippines. "We will revert back to the rules of engagement that we had before Ramadan," Torres said. In the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao province on Wednesday, a group of journalists investigating a burning house came under fire from MILF gunmen. The journalists fled unharmed but their vehicle was later discovered to have been hit by a bullet through one of its tires. Government troops in the area then returned fired at the rebels with rifles and mortars, the journalists said. In the town of Midsayap, a military patrol clashed with about 30 MILF fighters in an eight minute gun battle. The soldiers suffered no casualties but found three rifles left behind by the rebels, possibly indicating they suffered casualties, Torres said. The military says its operations are against two MILF leaders, Umbra Kato and Abdurahman Macapaar, who are accused of leading deadly raids against mostly Christian towns on Mindanao island in early August that left dozens dead and displaced half a million people. (Cont) Source: Agence France-Presse http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/10/01/08/fighting-between-afp-milf-flares-ramadan-ends Arroyo Blames Insurgency For Poverty On Samar Island BALANGIGA, Eastern Samar — President Arroyo blamed the insurgency problem in the island of Samar for the depressed socio-economic condition in the three provinces of island, in a speech delivered here last Tuesday. The President visited this town to attend the 107th Balangiga Encounter Day. She was the guest of honor and speaker at the event. In her speech, she blamed insurgency, which has been plaguing the island for decades now, for the poverty and economic retrogression of the island, accusing the rebels of committing human rights violations. It was learned that the three provinces of the island are among the most depressed areas in the country characterized by more than 40 percent poverty incidence. This is supported by the latest data gathered by the National Statistics Coordination Board in Eastern Visayas. The President reminded Brig, Gen. Arthur Tabaquero, the commanding general of the 8th Infantry division based in Camp Lukban, Maulong, Catbalogan City, who was present at the affair, of her "marching orders" to quell the insurgency on the island by 2010. The President cited in her speech the need of Samar Island for good infrastructure facilities for economic development. She experienced of the ordeal of travelling on bad roads in going to Balangiga. The presidential chopper was not able to take off due to the bad weather caused by tropical storm "Pablo." (Cont) Source: The Manila Bulletin, Restituto A. Cayubit http://www.mb.com.ph/PROV20081002136830.html „Tighten Your Belts‟ – GMA BACOLOD CITY: Amid the US financial crisis that is creating ripples around the globe, President Gloria Arroyo on Wednesday urged Filipinos to tighten their belts while the government wages ―battles in all fronts‖ to insulate the Philippines. ―We will not be complacent, and [we will] continue to monitor the global situation, while at the same time improve our fiscal management and set mitigating measures to insulate the economy in this volatile global situation,‖ President Arroyo said in Bacolod, where she formally opened the Masskara Festival that runs through October 19. Bacolod City will also celebrate its charter day in that period. Mrs. Arroyo also said her administration was ―working hard‖ to contain inflation, strengthen the banking system, sustain economic growth and improve the country‘s fiscal health. Her government, meanwhile, scaled back its economic forecast, a day after the US House of Representatives rejected the $700-billion bailout plan proposed by President George W. Bush. In her speech, she urged Negrenses—the residents of the province—to diversify and look for other opportunities, such as tourism and information technology, to improve the local economy in the face of the new global problems that

could spill over to the local sugar industry. ―We have to sit down, and see what we can do to keep the sugar industry competitive,‖ the President said. She was to meet with leaders of the sugar industry and hear their concerns, particularly about the tariff rates and the need for government to aggressively push for sugar to be placed on the highly sensitive list before it reaches zero-tariff in 2010. (Cont) Source: The Manila Times, Ma. Ester L. Espina, With Xinhua And Sammy Martin http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2008/oct/02/yehey/top_stories/20081002top1.html ADB Grants $250 Mn Loan For Philippines The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday it extended a $250-million loan to help to strengthen the Philippine government's fiscal management and reform programs. The Manilabased ADB said the loan will help the Philippine government in dealing with the adverse impact of the recent developments in the global economy. It will also boost the government's efforts to implement measures to strengthen the investment climate with focus on reducing red tape, and support for infrastructure policy and rural development. The bank said the loan is the second of a three-part Development Policy Support Program aimed at helping the Philippines achieve its medium-term development goals. The first loan was approved in February last year. The ADB noted that while the government implemented a series of programs to improve fiscal imbalance, 'the surge in commodity prices in early 2008, volatility of US financial markets and economic slowdown in developed economies have negatively affected the Philippine economy.' 'Despite the negative impacts, the Philippine economy has weathered the external shocks well compared to some of our other member economies,' said Kelly Bird, an economist in the ADB's South-East Asia Department. 'This resiliency is due to the government's commitment to fiscal discipline and key reforms, including tax reforms, the absence of fuel subsidies in the national budget, previous trade reforms and synchronized fiscal and monetary policies' he added. (Cont) Source: Asia Bulletin http://story.asiabulletin.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/bf053b50c46383e0/id/413232/cs/1/ Gov't Urged To Revise Expenditure Plan Due To U.S. Financial Crisis A day before the start of plenary debates on the 2009 budget in the House of Representatives, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño reiterated Wednesday his call to ―radically revise‖ the Arroyo administration's national expenditure program for 2009. He said the macroeconomic assumptions and projected revenues are now unrealistic because of the US-led financial crisis. ―A more sober and realistic projection is needed for us to craft an appropriate budget for next year. It would simply be daydreaming to insist that GDP will still grow by 6.1 percent to 7.1 percent and GNP by 6.9 percent to 7.8 percent, or that inflation will be a mere 6 percent to 8 percent and that the peso-dollar exchange rate will be between P42 to P45 to a dollar,‖ Casiño said. ―Sticking to the P1.4 trillion national budget will most likely bloat the budget deficit, which is already projected at P40 billion. Government will then be forced to borrow more money, which would be very expensive given the global credit crunch," he added. In meeting with leaders of the House of Representatives last week, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves allayed the congressmen‘s fears that the impact of the US-led financial crisis will spill over to the country. Teves made the assurance despite having said then that his office needed two weeks to comprehensively assess the impact. Asked by reporters if the 2009 budget needs to be adjusted, Teves said ―not yet.‖ He said the challenge is for the executive to improve its collection efficiency. (Cont) Source: ABS-CBN, Carmela Fonbuena http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/10/01/08/govt-urged-revise-expenditure-plan-due-usfinancial-crisis Arroyo Cuts Samar Trip Due To Storm „Pablo‟ President Arroyo has cut short her trip to Samar on Tuesday due to Tropical Storm ―Pablo‖. Mrs. Arroyo's official schedule for Tuesday should have brought her and members of the National Economic and Development Authority cluster of her Cabinet to Guian town in Eastern Samar province for a Cabinet meeting on the poverty situation in the area. The Cabinet meeting was

scheduled at 1:30 p.m. at the Surf camp in Calicoan Island, Eastern Samar and should have been followed by an interaction with members of the local media and Malacañang Press Corps at 7 pm. With Public Storm Signal No. 2 hoisted over Samar island however, the President cancelled the afternoon leg of her trip and instead decided to just host a Regional Disaster Coordinating Council meeting in Tacloban City, Leyte. The president was scheduled to inspect and attend the groundbreaking of the Catumsan-Aguinaldo farm-to-market road in Arteche, Eastern Samar Tuesday morning, to be followed by a speech at the commemoration of the 107th anniversary of the Balangiga encounter. Mrs. Arroyo is scheduled to attend Wednesday‘s Maskara Festival in Bacolod. There is no word yet, as of press time, if she would proceed to Bacolod from Tacloban or from Manila. Source: ABS-CBN News, R.G. Cruz http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/09/30/08/arroyo-cuts-samar-trip-due-storm%E2%80%98pablo%E2%80%99 SC Sacks CA Justice, Suspends Another In Bribery Scandal Justice Vicente Roxas is the third magistrate from the Court of Appeals (CA) to be dismissed in the appellate court‘s history after the High Tribunal told him to hang his robe for displaying ―dishonesty,‖ ―disrespectfulness‖ and ―undue interest‖ in the case involving the battle for control of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) between the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Lopez family. Roxas received the biggest blow among five CA justices sanctioned Tuesday by the High Court for committing irregularities and improprieties in the Meralco-GSIS case pending before the CA. The Supreme Court adopted the findings of the investigating panel composed of retired justices Carolina Griño, Flerida Romero and Romeo Callejo on the bribery scandal and stripped Roxas of all benefits except accrued leave credits. Roxas is a member of the Eighth Division which promulgated the July 23 decision favoring the Lopez-owned utility. Along with division chair Justice Bienvenido Reyes and Justice Apolinario Bruselas, Roxas ruled that a regional trial court, and not the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has authority over intra-corporate disputes. Prior to this, Roxas was part of the Special Ninth Division, together with Justice Jose Sabio Jr. as chair, and Justice Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal as member. This division issued the temporary restraining order (TRO) which barred the SEC from implementing its cease-and-desist order against Meralco last May 30. (Cont) Source: ABS-CBN, Purple S. Romero http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/09/09/08/sc-sacks-ca-justice-suspends-another-briberyscandal Two Earthquakes Jolt Mindoro, Metro Manila Two moderately strong earthquakes rocked Southern Luzon provinces before noon Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) said. Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said the first earthquake, which measured magnitude 5.3, was felt around 11:04 a.m.. It was followed five minutes later by a stronger quake at magnitude 6.5. Based on the Richter magnitude scale, "earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 to 6 are earthquakes with moderate strength and are felt over the wide areas" and "some of them cause small local damages near the epicenter." Solidum said the earthquake was strongest in Mindoro province, particularly Calapan and Lubang Island at intensity 5. In Puerto Galera, it was intensity 4. He said the earthquake was intensity 4 in Manila City and intensity 3 in Quezon, Makati and Pasay cities. … Radio dzMM reports earlier said the earthquakes were also felt in Bataan and Pampanga provinces. Solidum, meanwhile, erased fears of possible tsunami after the earthquake. "It's not that strong." He said people living in areas affected by the two earthquakes should expect aftershocks within the day. Source: ABS-CBN News http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/09/27/08/two-earthquakes-jolt-mindoro-metro-manila

SINGAPORE Govt To Set Up Forensic Unit To Study Food Contamination SINGAPORE: The government has assured Singaporeans that all food products here are safe for consumption, but it plans to set up a forensic unit to study possible sources of food contamination in the future. National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan told reporters this after visiting a public health lab on Wednesday. Channel NewsAsia understands that the forensic unit, under the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), will likely be operational in one month. This comes on the back of the melamine scare, originating from China. No one in Singapore has fallen ill from eating melamine-tainted products. But in China, four children have died and over 50,000 infants are sick from drinking melamine-laced infant formula. Laboratory staff in Singapore have been working tirelessly since mid-September, testing about 100 samples every day. Mr Mah said Singapore has a very tight food security and safety system, but there is no guarantee that such a contamination will not happen again. He said: "What we need to do is to strengthen our vigilance system. Meaning, not just depend on what we read but also perhaps our intelligence on the ground, with our overseas partners, and to strengthen our information gathering so that the chances of such things happening can be reduced. In other words, we keep our eyes and ears on the ground more." (Cont) Source: Channel News Asia http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/379607/1/.html Singapore Soldier Dies After Exercising SINGAPORE, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- A Singapore national serviceman collapsed and then died in hospital after exercising on Tuesday, Defense Ministry said. Private (PTE) Foo Wei Rong Joe, a full-time national serviceman from 4th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment, collapsed early Tuesday morning when he was doing chin-ups as well as some push-ups, which were part of the unit's daily basic exercise routine. He was given immediate medical attention and sent to a local hospital where doctors tried to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead two hours later. The ministry said it is investigating the incident. In June, the ministry announced a time-out on all physical and endurance training activities for three days following the deaths of two servicemen in training within two days. Source: Xinhua http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/30/content_10136577.htm SRI LANKA Sri Lankan Air Force Destroys LTTE Charles Anthony Headquarters Oct 01, Colombo: Sri Lankan Air Force fighter jets attacked the LTTE's Charles Anthony regiment headquarters and a female Tiger base in Kilinochchi district this morning. According to the Air Force spokesman Janaka Nanayakkara, the fighter jets have attacked the Charles Anthony headquarters located 1 kilo meter north of the Kilinochchi hospital at about 10:25 a.m. At the same time fighter jets have destroyed a female Tiger base located in the same area, Air Force spokesman added. Pilots have confirmed that the target was accurately hit. Source: Colombo Page http://www.colombopage.com/archive_08/October1113512RA.html Sri Lanka: Tamil Tigers Lists 21,648 As Fallen Heroes Killinochchi - The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a latest release by their Heroes's department claimed that they have lost 21,648 cadres in their quest for a separate state for the Tamils in the Island nation of Sri Lanka. The 21,648 cadres include 16,953 males and 4,695 females, Hero‘s department further said. The period sited for the numbers from November 27, 1982 to 31 August 2008. The Tamil Tigers lost their first carder Lt. Shankar on November 27, 1982. That s the day widely celebrated by the Tamils as Heroes' Day. The Number includes 360 Black Tigers as well. Among them were 262 male black Tigers and 98 Female black Tigers. 103 of them died in land operations and 257 died on sea operations, the release said. The Tamil Tiger

sea arm, the Sea Tigers considered being an effective conventional arm capable of crippling Sri Lanka's sea operations. 280 auxiliary forces members, 47 Police personals who died on operational duties also included in the number. Another 496 civil society members who were killed by the government forces or the Para military forces for their commitment for the Tamil Cause also listed as Heroes, including 19 Mamanithar. In 2008, the first Eight months the Tamil Tigers lost 1509 cadres, 1047 males and 462 females according to the latest release. (cont) Source: TNS http://www.tamileelamnews.com/news/publish/tns_10159.shtml UN Aid To Return To Sri Lanka Two weeks ago, the Sri Lankan government ordered aid workers out of the strife-torn north of the country. The move all but severed relief supplies to the thousands of people displaced by intense fighting between government forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers. Now, the government has agreed to relax its stand after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed concern about civilians during talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse in New York last week. Gordon Weiss, the UN spokesman in Sri Lanka, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program the World Food Program is to be allowed to send a 60- truck convoy to the north carrying hundreds of tons of food to those in need. "It's most likely that the 200,000 civilians that are currently stuck behind the lines of fighting in the north of Sri Lanka won't be able to come out with any ease, so the alternative is that they must be reached with humanitarian aid," he said. "So the start of this convoy operation is a breakthrough in that sense." The United Nations estimates that 230,000 people have been displaced in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu in the recent wave of fighting. Mr Weiss says the state of the people varies, depending on how long they've been out of their homes. (cont) Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2378953.htm?tab=asia Explosives Found On Sri Lanka Aid Truck, War Kills 30 COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops seized explosives aboard a truck due to join a U.N. convoy to carry food into the war zone, where fighting killed 30 people, the military said on Wednesday. Troops found 2.5 kg of C-4 explosives in a truck carrying food into two strongholds of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatists on Tuesday. Police arrested the driver and five other assistants, the military said. Pictures posted on the government-run Media Centre for National Security, www.nationalsecurity.lk, showed what it said were 10 plastic-wrapped packets of the explosives in a suitcase. The United Nations said in a statement it "deplores the placing of explosives by an unknown party on a government agent truck due to join a U.N. convoy". The convoy had been due to leave in the next few days. The government last month ordered all aid agencies out of the north saying it could not guarantee their safety. Diplomats successfully pressed to get permission for the U.N. to bring food aid to an estimated 200,000 people trapped in the war zone. The military has moved to within 4 km of the LTTE headquarters town of Kilinochchi. (Cont) Source: Reuters http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-35752920081001 New Threats Emerge For Sri Lankan Rights Lawyers COLOMBO (Reuters) - An attack targeting a top Sri Lankan human rights lawyer drew U.S. and European condemnation on Monday, underscoring increasing threats faced by those who pursue cases against police or politicians in the Indian Ocean nation. The Saturday hand-grenade attack on the Colombo home of J.C. Weliamuna, head of the local arm of graft watchdog Transparency International, injured no one but sent a chilling message to lawyers handling civil rights, graft and police abuse cases. "I'm still pretty shaken," Weliamuna told Reuters. "There is a heavy burden on the state to show that the rule of law exists. If this happened, they must resolve it. If they don't, then no professional will be able to handle a sensitive issue." Weliamuna said he could not be sure which of the hundreds of graft and police abuse cases he is handling prompted the attack. The Supreme Court last week ordered an investigation into police torture in a case he is pursuing,

and in which other lawyers have already been threatened. The attack, combined with increasing threats against other lawyers, now puts Sri Lankan rights attorneys squarely in the company of journalists and civil society figures who routinely face threats, harassment and murder for speaking out. The United States and European Union on Monday called on the Sri Lankan government to provide protection to Weliamuna and prosecute those responsible. (cont) Source: Reuters http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-35739620080930 Sri Lanka Annual Average Inflation Hits Six-Year High COLOMBO: Sri Lanka‘s annual average inflation rose to 23.2 per cent in September from 22.6 per cent in August, the government said on Tuesday, to its highest level on a new index that dates back to 2002. However, consumer price inflation eased to a year-on-year 24.3 per cent this month from a 24.9 per cent in August. In June, it had hit a record on the current index of 28.2 per cent due to soaring food and oil prices. It was the third straight slowdown in consumer price growth since last December, data from the Department of Census and Statistics showed. The latest index was introduced in December. A Reuters inflation survey had expected the data to show consumer price inflation of 23.0 per cent, while annual average inflation measured on a 12month moving average was also seen at 23.0 per cent. ―Consumer prices are easing due to better supply of food and vegetables in the local market and fall in the rate of increase of global commodity prices,‖ Channa Amarathunga, director at CT Capital told Reuters. He said the annual average inflation would take time to ease because of the lingering effect of high oil and food prices was still on the index. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said last month inflation may fall into single digits by the end of 2009 with the bank controlling reserve money in the economy. (cont) Source: The News http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=138856 People From East To Be Registered On Sunday The Police Department is to hold another registration program on Sunday, to register those who have come to Colombo and Western Province from the East, similar to the recently held program targeting those who have migrated from the North. Source: Daily Mirror http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetailView.aspx?ARTID=27950 THAILAND Thai PM Urges End To Protests To Preserve "National Dignity" Thailand's new premier said Wednesday he hoped thousands of protesters occupying his office would leave before November to save the kingdom embarrassment during a regional summit. Supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) have been camped out at Bangkok's Government House for more than a month. Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat urged them to leave ahead of the cremation of the king's sister in mid-November and the December summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which Thailand chairs. "The People's Alliance for Democracy protesters should leave Government House before the royal cremation and because we have very important functions by the end of this year," Somchai told reporters. "I have tried my best to foster a better understanding and not to ruin Thailand's dignity. Other ASEAN leaders may question why the Thai government has no office so please help uphold our national dignity," he said. The cabinet has been carrying out its business in an abandoned building at the old Don Mueang airport during the protests. Somchai became premier last month after his predecessor was forced from office and has tasked deputy prime minister and seasoned politician Chavalit Yongchaiyudh with negotiating with the PAD. Somchai said he was monitoring those talks but refused to set a deadline for the protesters to leave. The late Princess Galyani, the only sister of the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died in January this year and the elaborate royal funeral ceremonies will begin on November 14. Source: AFP

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/379608/1/.html Thailand 'Safe For The Moment' Officials confident, but still set up control plans. Thailand is well-insulated from the turmoil in the global financial markets, economic policymakers say. Deputy Prime Minister Olarn Chaipravat said the Thai financial sector had been little affected by the events of the past month, and that the local economy remained fundamentally stable. But the government nevertheless was preparing new short-term and long-term measures to minimise any impact the volatility in global markets might have on the Thai economy. Finance Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech said civil service salaries and the government's SML community grant program could be given a boost to help stimulate economic growth. Thailand had ample room to expand spending considering public debt was quite low at just 36% of gross domestic product, he said. Other measures being considered include speeding up public investment and spending, implementing new tax incentives to encourage investors to increase contributions to retirement funds and making renewed efforts to strengthen regional economic cooperation. The program comes as financial markets across the world plunged yesterday after the US Congress rejected a US$700 billion bailout plan for US banks. The vote on Monday led the Dow Jones Industrial index to its largest one-day points drop in history and spurred sharp declines in markets across the world on investor fears that more bank failures would soon lead to corporate bankruptcies and slower economic growth. (Cont) Source: The Bangkok Post, Chatrudee Theparat http://www.bangkokpost.com/011008_News/01Oct2008_news01.php PM Denies Govt Talking With Southern Insurgents Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat on Wednesday denied that the government has been negotiating with insurgents in the southernmost provinces. His denial came amid reports that the Indonesian government is ready to coordinate possible talks between the Thai government and ethnic Malay Muslim insurgents. Mr Somchai said he had asked an official concerned with the reports and was told that no negotiations have been held with any insurgent groups. The prime minister said the insurgency in the southern border provinces is an internal problem which the government had been attempting to address. Currently, he said, the situation had improved, although a steady number of violent incidents continue to be carried out in the area. Mr Somchai said his government will revise its strategy and what it will implement to cope with the unrest after it presents its policy statement before the House of Representatives. The premier said the National Security Council and state agencies concerned had already wrapped up a strategic plan to address the insurgency. Local residents in the violence-plagued provinces had a better understanding of what the government has done. he said, and now they are ready to cooperate. More than 3,500 people have been killed since violence erupted almost five years ago in the restive southern region. Source: The Bangkok Post http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=131036 PM Meets Gen Prem At His Residence Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat paid respect to Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda at his Si Sao Thewes residence on Wednesday evening. Gen Prem said Tuesday that Mr Somchai has asked for a meeting with him. "We will meet and talk about national reconciliation," he was quoted as saying. Mr Somchai earlier said he intended to meet Gen Prem after he took office. His predecessor, Samak Sundaravej, had never wanted to meet Gen Prem and his controversial remark of an ``invisible hand'' interfering in national politics is widely interpreted as being a reference to Gen Prem. Source: The Bangkok Post http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=131038

PM Not Bothered By Claims Of PPP's MP Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat appeared unruffled by Kudep Saikrajang's talk of in fighting, saying that the People Power Party was democratic and that people had the right to different opinions. PPP MP Kudep yesterday resigned as PPP spokesman, declaring that the core coalition party was being rocked to its core by battles among factions vying for more power. Meanwhile, Somchai said that as leader of the party he would take Kudep's statements into consideration. "I will look at the facts and the reasons, otherwise how can we reach an understanding? The PPP has 200 MPs not just five or ten people. When many people live together, some problems are possible," he said. When asked how he would unify his party, Somchai said he was just a caretaker not real party leader, but that he would handle matters to the best of his ability, adding it may not be necessary to bring all sides together for a talk. Meanwhile, Kudeb denied his resignation had anything to do with the fact that he did not get a cabinet post this time around. He said he had assumed the party spokesman's post when the PPP had to deal with the Council for National Security in September 2006. "It has been a heavy burden because the party was fighting against dictatorship. It is not true that I am disappointed for not getting a post. If that was the case, I would have stirred up trouble long before," he said. (Cont) Source: The Nation http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/10/02/politics/politics_30084908.php PM Rules Out Ulterior Motive Behind Reform Move Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat yesterday dismissed concern that his government had an ulterior motive to benefit ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra by pushing to amend the charter under the pretext of political reform. "The government and the parties concerned have a common goal to improve the political system," he said. Somchai said the political reform, if it happens, would enhance direct participation by the people. The government is in full support of people's participation, provided they truly become involved in the political process and not only a selected few, he said. He repeated his stance that the government would assist in the reform process, although it would be the responsibility of Parliament to rewrite the charter. The formation of the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) to take charge of reforms should be based on the model of its preceding body responsible for the People's Constitution promulgated in 1997, PM's Office Minister Sukhumpong Ngonkham said. Sukhumpong said the CDA, once formed, should conduct a peer vote to elect its chairman. The process to set up the CDA should be completed in three months, he said. The CDA will consist of politically neutral figures whose mandate is to map out the political system, he said, playing down concerns about the government's domination of the reform process. (Cont) The Nation, Piyanart Srivalo, Hassaya Chartmontri http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/10/02/politics/politics_30084909.php Army Chief Calls For Reconciliation Rival camps should try to reconcile their differences through accepted rules and relevant laws to overcome the political turmoil and restore normalcy, Army Chief of Staff General Prayuth Chanocha said yesterday. "Soldiers are duty-bound to safeguard the Kingdom, uphold the monarchy, ensure peace on the border and promote good neighborly ties while political problems ought to be resolved by the government and parties concerned," he said. Prayuth said although the Army has been keeping tabs on politics as political uncertainty has a direct bearing on security issues, it would not stray from its job and meddle in the rifts. He said he had no opinion about the government's plan to push for a new round of political reform through the rewrite of Article 291 of the charter to form the Constitution Drafting Assembly. He further stated that he saw no justification in speculating about a seizure of power when several political mechanisms have yet to be allowed to run their course in order to put politics back on course. He was speaking after an inauguration ceremony for Lt-General Kanit Sapitak who succeeds him in the position of commander of the First Army. Kanit said he would carry on policies laid down by Prayuth, with the priorities of keeping peace on the borders and assisting flood victims. He dismissed concerns about Thai-Cambodian border tensions. (Cont)

Source: The Nation, Panya Thiewsangwan http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/10/02/politics/politics_30084918.php PM To Visit Cambodia, Seeks End To Row The disputes over Ta Muen Tom and Ta Kwai temples will be high on the agenda of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat when he visits Cambodia on Oct 13. Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat said a Cambodian foreign affairs official had told foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that ''Thailand is occupying these two areas''. Cambodia wanted to discuss the issue during the visit to Phnom Penh by the prime minister, he added. Thailand is confident the two temples are in Phanom Dong Rak district in Surin. Ta Kwai temple is called Ta Krabey by Cambodians. Mr Sompong reaffirmed the next Joint Boundary Commission meeting would be held after Parliament gives it the go-ahead. The Foreign Ministry wants Parliament's approval for the meeting to avoid any violation of the constitution. Asean foreign ministers were satisfied Thailand and Cambodia would be able to handle the problems through the bilateral talks, he said. UN Secretary-General Bun Ki Moon agreed it was unnecessary for the two countries to bring the issues to the UN Security Council, Mr Sompong said. Asean ministers held talks on Monday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Source: Bangkok Post http://www.bangkokpost.com/011008_News/01Oct2008_news04.php Thai, Cambodia Leaders Schedule Temple Dispute Meeting The leaders of Thailand and Cambodia are scheduled to meet in Cambodia in 2 weeks time. A Thai foreign ministry spokesman has confirmed discussions will centre on a dispute over two temples currently occupied by Thailand. The Bangkok Post reports Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wangsawat will visit his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen in Phnom Penh on October 13. The paper says the Thai government is seeking parliamentary approval for the meeting to avoid any violation of the constitution. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2378824.htm?tab=asia UN Dodges Border Dispute UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday urged Cambodia and Thailand to settle the border dispute by themselves, dashing the hopes of the Cambodian government for an intervention. The UN chief briefed Cambodian foreign affairs secretary, Ouch Borith, and Thai foreign minister, Sompong Amornivivat, as they met their Asean counterparts to discuss border talks at the UN General Assembly in New York. Asean has also pushed for a bilateral resolution. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan downplayed the UN's decision as "nothing new" and insisted Cambodia was comfortable sticking to bilateral channels. "It is a more than 100-year-old border; we don't need new people involved for us to know where it is," he said. On September 12, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he planned to seek international arbitration in the border dispute by taking the issue back to the UN Security Council and to the International Court of Justice. On July 22, soon after the stand-off at Preah Vihear began, Cambodia appealed to the Security Council but withdrew the complaint two days later after Thailand agreed to hold talks on the issue. While discussions over a full troop withdrawal stagnated after the recent political unrest in Bangkok, Sompong Amornvivat was quoted in Thai daily The Nation on Tuesday saying: "we told the Asean ministers that there is no longer confrontation since previous negotiations manage to reduce numbers of troops." Source: Phnom Penh Post http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2008100121910/National-news/UN-dodges-borderdispute.html Thailand's Inflation Rate Cools Amid Lower Spending (Update1) Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand's inflation slowed for a second month in September as political and financial market turmoil deterred spending and oil prices fell, making it likely the central bank

will refrain from raising its interest rate. Consumer prices gained 6 percent from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said today in Bangkok. That compares with the 5.9 percent median estimate of 12 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The pace was 6.4 percent in August. The central bank has room to ease monetary policy as inflation cools, Governor Tarisa Watanagase said yesterday. Political uncertainty and slowing exports as deepening financial turmoil crimps global demand may curb Thailand's economic growth in the second half of this year, she said earlier this month. ``Inflation is no longer a problem,'' said Usara Wilaipich, a Bangkok-based economist at Standard Chartered Plc. ``The priority now is growth. The Bank of Thailand will have room next year to cut rates to cushion the economic slowdown.'' Core inflation, which excludes fresh food and fuel prices, was 2.6 percent in September, the Commerce Ministry said today. The economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted a 2.7 percent pace. (Cont) Source: Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=a7tz575f_QZk&refer=asia Russia Launches Thai Satellite On Converted Missile MOSCOW -- Russia launched a converted intercontinental ballistic missile from a rocket launch site the south Urals to put a Thai earth observation satellite into orbit on Wednesday, the Strategic Missile Forces said. "The launch of the RS-20B intercontinental ballistic missile was made at 10:37 a.m. Moscow time [06:37 GMT]," spokesman Colonel Alexander Vovk said. A representative of the Kosmotras international space company said earlier that liftoff from Yasny in the Orenburg Region was previously scheduled for August 6, but had been postponed due to a delay in obtaining permission from neighboring Kazakhstan. During the launch, rocket parts were set to fall on Kazakh territory. Kosmotras is a Russian-Ukrainian joint venture that converts RS20 (SS-18 Satan) ICBMs, scrapped by Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, into Dnepr launch vehicles. The Theos satellite was designed and manufactured by French company EADS Astrium under a 2004 contract with the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology. The Thai satellite was the third to be launched by Russia's Strategic Missile Forces and Kosmotras from the Yasny launch site. Russia launched the Genesis I and Genesis II inflatable spacecraft from the same location in July 2006 and June 2007, respectively, under a contract with the U.S.-based company Bigelow Aerospace. Russia said in late July that the SS-18 remained the most powerful ICBM in the world and would stay in service with the Strategic Missile Forces until 2014-16. Source: RIA Novosti http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081001/117363703.html VANUATU Vanuatu's PM Set To Defeat Move To Unseat Him It may take a court challenge by the government to prevent Vanuatu's opposition from proceeding with the no confidence motion on Friday. Prime minister Edward Natapei is claiming a clear majority of 31 seats after Serge Vohors opposition UMP party crossed the floor to join the government's coalition. If the opposition does not concede that it no longer has the required 27 seats to proceed with the motion, the government will have no other course but to take court action to prevent the debate from taking place. But our correspondent in Port Vila Alaine Simeon says the vagaries of Melanasian politics may see the number crunching continue right down to the wire. Source: Radio Australia http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200810/s2379452.htm?tab=pacific VIETNAM Tropical Storm Mekkhala Leaves 17 Dead And Missing By 7am on October 1, tropical storm No.7, Mekkhala, had left three people dead and 14 missing in the central provinces, according to initial reports by the National Steering Committee for Floods and Storm Prevention and Control. The storm had destroyed more than 6,000 houses and sunk 38 ships, causing an estimated loss of VND108 billion. At its meeting on October 1, the

committee asked all rescue services to cooperate with the armed forces and local authorities to evacuate missing people and help the victims overcome the consequences of the calamity. It also called for the relevant agencies, local authorities and residents to take an active role in preventing and dealing with the natural disaster. Rescue teams from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the National Committee for Rescue Work have already been in Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces to help local people overcome the aftermath of the storm Mekkhala and cope with another storm called Higos, which is coming from the East Sea. All fishing vessels operating off the coast running from Quang Ninh to Quang Ngai provinces have been called back to port. Source: VOV http://www.vovnews.com.vn/?page=126&nid=76951 Vietnam Capable Of Stabilizing Its Economy The remark was made by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a regular cabinet meeting held in Hanoi on October 1 to discuss measures to cope with the US financial market‘s negative impact on the Vietnamese economy. Judging from the US financial crisis, PM Dung said that the US financial crisis has negatively impacted economic growth in the US and around the world as well. For the time being, its economic downturn has negatively affected the Vietnamese economy, but not much. Vietnam is fully capable of keeping its economic growth stable thanks to increased foreign currency reserves, strong domestic purchasing power and political stability. In the face of the unpredictability of the US financial crisis, the Government leader asked ministries and sectors to effectively carry out eight solutions to curb inflation, stabilize the macro economy and work out specific plans to cope with possible negative impacts on the areas of their management. It is imperative to double check deposits and investment capital at commercial banks and foreign organizations to avoid losses, said Mr Dung. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is required to follow with keen interest the fluctuations of the US dollar in order to manage the exchange rates in a flexible and proper way, and assess the investment and business operations of foreign banks in Vietnam. (Cont) Source: VOV http://www.vovnews.com.vn/?page=126&nid=76963


								
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