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31 July 2008

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					                                             Asia-Pacific Daily News Summary
                                                        31 July 2008

                                                          Table of Contents

ASIA ........................................................................................................................................... 6
          Indonesia Poised To Be Part Of Asia's Transformation, Says Mahbubani .................. 6
INFLATION/FOOD SHORTAGES ............................................................................................... 6
          [Philippines] Canned Food Price Hikes, Dwindling Fish Supply Add To Woes ........... 6
          [Philippines] Oil Firms Cut Gasoline, Kerosene Prices................................................. 6
          [Singapore] NTUC Chief Concerned Global Economy Heading Towards Stagflation . 7
          Sri Lanka's July Inflation Hits 26.6 Percent ................................................................... 7
SIX PARTY TALKS .................................................................................................................... 7
          Us Envoy Goes To Beijing To Meet N. Korea Official .................................................... 7
          US Urges N. Korea To Agree To Verification Process................................................... 7
USS GEORGE WASHINGTON ................................................................................................... 8
          Smoking Blamed For Fire On U.S. Aircraft Carrier; Captain Fired ............................... 8
          US Navy: Smoking Caused Fire On US Aircraft Carrier ................................................ 8
NORTHEAST ASIA .................................................................................................................... 8
    CHINA .................................................................................................................................... 8
        Mainland ............................................................................................................................ 9
         China To Pursue Peaceful Development - Defense Chief ............................................. 9
         China Urges U.S. To Curb "Odious Conduct" Of Anti-China Lawmakers .................... 9
         China Expands Its Social Security System .................................................................... 9
         China Welcomes More Foreign Investment ................................................................. 10
         Chinese Gov't Won't Allow Spread Of Illegal Information Online ............................... 10
         Fung Wong Causes Evacuations Of 750,000 In Se China ........................................... 10
         Hu Thanks U.S. Students' Support To Olympics, Quake Relief .................................. 11
         NPC Opposes U.S. Resolution Politicizing Olympics ................................................. 11
         Regional Jet Flies Into Domestic Market ..................................................................... 11
        Hong Kong ...................................................................................................................... 12
         China Strengthens Its Role In Kyrgyzstan ................................................................... 12
        Taiwan ............................................................................................................................. 12
         Hegemonism Behind Arms 'Freeze' ............................................................................. 12
         No Real Prospect Of Arms Sales This Year: Lawmakers ............................................ 12
         India Hopes For Closer Relations With Taiwan: Lawmaker ........................................ 13
         Rebuilding Mutual Trust With Japan............................................................................ 13
         Taipei To Handle Political Issues At Games ................................................................ 13
         Taiwan To Further Ties With Non-Allies: President .................................................... 14
         Taiwan To Open Doors To 5 More Chinese Media Outlets.......................................... 14
         Wanan Drill Will Not Be Held At Night: Defense Authorities ....................................... 15
        Other ................................................................................................................................ 15
         Beijing Unblocks BBC Chinese Site ............................................................................ 15
     Defiant China Hits Out at US, Stands Firm On Internet Censorship ........................... 15
     Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks .......................................................... 16
     Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand ................................................................. 16
     Few Foreigners In Tibet Despite Re-Opening After Riots ........................................... 16
     China Seeks To Build New Rail Line For Mongolian Coal........................................... 17
     China Donates P20 Million Worth Of Equipment To PCG ........................................... 17
     Taiwan Aims To Improve Ties With Japan................................................................... 17
JAPAN ................................................................................................................................. 18
     Fukuda Intends To Reshuffle Cabinet Friday .............................................................. 18
     Fukuda to reshuffle Cabinet on Friday ........................................................................ 18
     Japan Set To Dispatch SDF Units To Sudan ............................................................... 18
     Team In Africa To Study Sudan SDF Operation .......................................................... 19
     Zama To Get Subsidy For 1st Corps ............................................................................ 19
     Smoking Blamed For Fire On U.S. Aircraft Carrier; Captain Fired ............................. 19
     US Navy: Smoking Caused Fire On US Aircraft Carrier .............................................. 19
     S Korea Hails US Decision On Disputed Islets ............................................................ 20
     Bush Reverses U.S. Stance On Status Of Dokdo Islets .............................................. 20
     US Goes Back To Referring To Takeshima As S. Korean ........................................... 20
     US Restores Status Of Islets At Centre Of Japan-South Korea Row.......................... 21
     South Korea-Japan Island Dispute Heats Up Online ................................................... 21
     Japanese Embassy In New Delhi Receives Bomb Threat ........................................... 21
     Japan Closes India Visa Office, Warns Over Bombings ............................................. 22
     Japan Warns Nationals In India Over Threats ............................................................. 22
     Taiwan Aims To Improve Ties With Japan................................................................... 22
     Japan Raids Company Over Nuclear Exports ............................................................. 23
     Rebuilding Mutual Trust With Japan............................................................................ 23
MONGOLIA .......................................................................................................................... 23
     China Seeks To Build New Rail Line For Mongolian Coal........................................... 23
     MP Battulga Speaks About Riot Aftermath.................................................................. 24
     No Oath Of Office Yet For Parliament Members .......................................................... 24
ROK/DPRK........................................................................................................................... 24
     US Envoy Goes To Beijing To Meet N. Korea Official ................................................. 24
     US Urges N.Korea To Agree To Verification Process ................................................. 25
     US, North Korea Hold Talks On Verification ................................................................ 25
     Air Force Pilots, Engineers To Participate In U.S. Joint Exercise .............................. 25
     US Forces In Korea To Get More Late Night Off-Base Hours ..................................... 25
     Bush Reverses U.S. Stance On Status Of Dokdo Islets .............................................. 26
     Skorea Hails US Decision On Disputed Islets ............................................................. 26
     US Goes Back To Referring To Takeshima As S.Korean ............................................ 27
     US Restores Status Of Islets At Centre Of Japan-South Korea Row.......................... 27
     South Korea-Japan Island Dispute Heats Up Online ................................................... 27
     Seoul Faces More Tasks Over Dokdo .......................................................................... 28
     South Korea to Launch Dokdo Brand Marketing Campaign ....................................... 28
     Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand ................................................................. 28
     Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks .......................................................... 29
     Bush Wants To Discuss S. Korea's Enhanced Role In War On Terror: Aide ............. 29
     Korea to Join Int'l Lunar Exploration ........................................................................... 29
     More N. Korean Refugees Seek Asylum in U.S. .......................................................... 30
RUSSIA ................................................................................................................................ 30
     Medvedev To Submit Anti-Graft Bill To Parliament In September .............................. 30
     Public Unconvinced President Medvedev Is Russia's Real Leader............................ 31
     Russia To Launch Production Of Tu-334 Airliner Within 6 Months ............................ 31
OCEANIA, SOUTH ASIA, AND SOUTHEAST ASIA ................................................................. 31
SOUTH ASIAN ASSOCIATION OF REGIONAL COOPERATION (SAARC) ............................. 31
        India Begins SAARC Foreign Minister Meet In Colombo ............................................ 31
        South Asian Nations Discuss Food Bank To Fight Hunger ........................................ 32
        India, Pakistan To Hold Talks On Summit Sidelines ................................................... 32
        PM Koirala Leaves For Colombo.................................................................................. 32
        Iftekhar Calls On SAARC To Remove Trade Barriers.................................................. 33
        Nepal PM Seeks To Meet Manmohan On SAARC Sidelines........................................ 33
        Sri Lanka Minister Laments Lack Of News Reporting On Progress ........................... 33
   AUSTRALIA ......................................................................................................................... 34
        Police Probe Attack On Malaysian Student In Australia ............................................. 34
        Australia And Nauru Sign MOU Worth US$27m .......................................................... 34
        PNG Accuses Australia Of Interference ....................................................................... 34
        Petrol Commissioner In Australia Resigns.................................................................. 35
   BANGLADESH..................................................................................................................... 35
        Bangladesh Creates Graft Panel To Tackle Corruption .............................................. 35
        HC Scraps EC Ban On Campaign In Local Polls ......................................................... 35
        World Bank Gives Bangladesh $50 Mln Cyclone Loan ............................................... 36
        Iftekhar Calls On SAARC To Remove Trade Barriers.................................................. 36
   BHUTAN .............................................................................................................................. 36
        PDP Is Not On The Verge Of Collapsing, Says Opposition Leader ............................ 36
        Tonga Coronation ......................................................................................................... 37
   BRUNEI ................................................................................................................................ 37
        Brunei Sultan To Mark 40th Anniversary Of Coronation ............................................. 37
   BURMA ................................................................................................................................ 37
        Bomb Explodes In Mudon, No Casualties ................................................................... 37
        Cyclone-Hit Myanmar Struggling To Find Its Feet....................................................... 38
        Junta Slams Exile Group’s UN Campaign ................................................................... 38
        Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand ................................................................. 38
        Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks .......................................................... 39
   CAMBODIA .......................................................................................................................... 39
        Cambodian Opposition Parties Complain To King Over Election .............................. 39
        Judges Preparing For First Cambodia Genocide Trial ................................................ 39
        Post Election Shakeout ................................................................................................ 40
        Cambodia Preparing Lavish Celebration At Border Temple ....................................... 40
   GUAM .................................................................................................................................. 41
        Marine Colonel Assigned To Assist With Guam Buildup ............................................ 41
   INDIA.................................................................................................................................... 41
        India Takes Up Ceasefire Violation With Pak............................................................... 41
        India Talks Bombings, Border Fire With Pakistan....................................................... 41
        India, Pakistan To Hold Talks On Summit Sidelines ................................................... 42
        Pak Can't Expect Pact Similar To Indo-Us Nuke Deal: Nicholas Burns ...................... 42
        Surat Police Claim To Find 'Some Leads' In Blasts .................................................... 42
        India Ready To Return To WTO Talks; Blames US For Impasse ................................ 43
        Japan Closes India Visa Office, Warns Over Bombings ............................................. 43
        Japan Warns Nationals In India Over Threats ............................................................. 43
     Japanese Embassy In New Delhi Receives Bomb Threat ........................................... 44
     India Begins SAARC Foreign Minister Meet In Colombo ............................................ 44
     Nepal PM Seeks To Meet Manmohan On SAARC Sidelines........................................ 44
     India Hopes For Closer Relations With Taiwan: Lawmaker ........................................ 45
INDONESIA .......................................................................................................................... 45
     Indonesia Foreign Minister Offers Concepts To End Violence ................................... 45
     Bali I Bombers Officially Notified Of Supreme Court`s Rejection............................... 46
     National Security Bill to Strengthen TNI – Police Coordination ................................. 46
     Home-Made Bomb Jolts Indonesia's Restive Poso ..................................................... 46
     Corvette Arrival Postponed to November .................................................................... 46
     NU Chairman: ICIS Results Not Too Keen In Conflict Settlement .............................. 47
     TNI Warns Parties not to Lure Military ......................................................................... 47
     Health Minister: Stop NAMRU 2 Operation in Indonesia ............................................. 47
     Researcher Questions Capacity Of Indonesian Human Rights Body To Probe Papua
     Abuses .......................................................................................................................... 47
     Former Indonesian President's Party Could Defeat Golkar ........................................ 48
     Indonesia Poised To Be Part Of Asia's Transformation, Says Mahbubani ................ 48
LAOS ................................................................................................................................... 48
     Kuwaiti PM To Visit Laos .............................................................................................. 48
MALAYSIA ........................................................................................................................... 49
     Anwar Not Worried About Possible Arrest .................................................................. 49
     Malaysia's Anwar To Contest Election For Wife's Seat............................................... 49
     Police Complete Probe On Sodomy Case ................................................................... 49
     Police Probe Attack On Malaysian Student In Australia ............................................. 49
     PM: Govt May Lower Fuel Prices ................................................................................. 50
NAURU................................................................................................................................. 50
     Australia And Nauru Sign MOU Worth US$27m .......................................................... 50
NEPAL ................................................................................................................................. 50
     Maoists Still Not Firm On Govt Formation, Meeting Friday ........................................ 50
     PM Meets President, Army Chief.................................................................................. 51
     PM Koirala Leaves For Colombo.................................................................................. 51
     Nepal PM Seeks To Meet Manmohan On SAARC Sidelines........................................ 51
PAKISTAN ........................................................................................................................... 52
     Bomb Wounds 3 At Pakistan Consulate In Afghanistan ............................................. 52
     No Understanding On Allowing Unilateral Strikes : PM .............................................. 52
     Pak Can't Expect Pact Similar To Indo-Us Nuke Deal: Nicholas Burns...................... 52
     Pakistan Spy Agency Accused By Us.......................................................................... 53
     U.S. Says Pakistani Spies Forewarn Al Qaeda Allies .................................................. 53
     Pakistan PM Meets A Skeptical US .............................................................................. 54
     US Denied Pak PM The Red Carpet.............................................................................. 54
     US Senate Panel Approves $15bn Aid Bill For Pakistan ............................................. 54
     Pakistan Intelligence Rift Shows Deepening US Frustration: Analysts ..................... 55
     U.S. Sees Rise In Pakistani Fighters In Afghanistan ................................................... 55
     Pakistan's Islamic Party Condemns US Air Strike ...................................................... 55
     India Takes Up Ceasefire Violation With Pak............................................................... 56
     India Talks Bombings, Border Fire With Pakistan ....................................................... 56
     India, Pakistan To Hold Talks On Summit Sidelines ................................................... 57
     ISI Within ISI .................................................................................................................. 57
PAPUA NEW GUINEA ......................................................................................................... 57
     PNG Accuses Australia Of Interference ....................................................................... 57
PHILIPPINES ....................................................................................................................... 58
     CPP Scores ‘Secret’ Zambo Visit Of US Military Officials ........................................... 58
     US Military Flights Causing Delay In Zambo Airport Rehab ....................................... 58
     China Donates P20 Million Worth Of Equipment To PCG ........................................... 58
     MILF Urges Critics Of Homeland Accord To Back Peace Process ............................. 58
     N. Cotabato Warns Of Bloodshed If MILF Pact Will Be Signed ................................... 59
     House Panel OKs Postponing ARMM Polls ................................................................. 59
     Attack On Basilan School ‘Test Mission For Young Bandits’ ..................................... 59
     Ex-Apalit Mayor Slain In Bulacan ................................................................................. 60
     Alleged Reds Burn Heavy Equipment In Davao Raid .................................................. 60
     [Philippines] Canned Food Price Hikes, Dwindling Fish Supply Add To Woes ......... 60
     [Philippines] Oil Firms Cut Gasoline, Kerosene Prices............................................... 61
SINGAPORE ........................................................................................................................ 61
     [Singapore] NTUC Chief Concerned Global Economy Heading Towards Stagflation
     ....................................................................................................................................... 61
SOLOMON ISLANDS ........................................................................................................... 61
     Solomons' Opposition Re-Submits Motion Against PM.............................................. 61
     Solomons Police Attacked By Villagers ...................................................................... 61
SRI LANKA .......................................................................................................................... 62
     SLAF Fighter Jets Destroy Training Camp Of LTTE Suicide Bombers ...................... 62
     Sri Lanka Fighting Kills 25 As Summit Nears .............................................................. 62
     Sri Lanka Jets Bomb Rebels, Fighting Kills 25............................................................ 62
     Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Visits Embattled North .................................................. 62
     Sri Lanka Minister Laments Lack Of News Reporting On Progress ........................... 63
     Sri Lanka's July Inflation Hits 26.6 Percent ................................................................. 63
THAILAND ........................................................................................................................... 63
     New Case Against Thaksin ........................................................................................... 63
     Potjaman: GUILTY! ....................................................................................................... 64
     Thaksin's Wife Sentenced To 3 Years' Jail For Tax Fraud .......................................... 64
     Cambodia Preparing Lavish Celebration At Border Temple ....................................... 64
     Blast Wounds 18, Including Infant, In Thai South ....................................................... 65
     Credibility Crisis At The BoT ........................................................................................ 65
     Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand ................................................................. 65
     Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks .......................................................... 66
TONGA................................................................................................................................. 66
     Tonga Defends Lavish Coronation .............................................................................. 66
     Tonga Gears Up For Friday’s Coronation Week Highlight .......................................... 67
     Tonga Coronation ......................................................................................................... 67




                                                          SUMMARIES
ASIA

Indonesia Poised To Be Part Of Asia's Transformation, Says Mahbubani
Indonesia - Southeast Asia's largest economy - will be part of the great transformation that's
taking place in Asia. However, Indonesia's story and the rest of Asia's transformation have not
been fully spread to the world because the international media is still dominated by the West.
This was the analysis from Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Asia's foremost strategic thinker, who
was speaking in a presidential lecture in Jakarta. Professor Mahbubani from Singapore is only
the third person invited for the presidential lecture series, which was started by Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Professor Mahbunani drove home the point that
Indonesia is poised to be part of the great transformation taking place in Asia. Professor
Mahbubani, Dean of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said: "Indonesia has
already played a heroic role in the transformation of Asia. "It has successfully made one of the
most difficult transitions any society has to make - the transition to full democracy. This is a
remarkable story which has not been fully understood by the world." Professor Mahbubani said it
was a tragedy that Indonesia's story has not fully spread to the world. He argued that it stemmed
from the fact that the international media is dominated by the West, which cannot comprehend
that Asia can do better than the West in many areas. (cont)
Source: Channel News Asia; Sujadi Siswo
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/364109/1/.html

INFLATION/FOOD SHORTAGES

[Philippines] Canned Food Price Hikes, Dwindling Fish Supply Add To Woes
First it was the rice supply. Soon, consumers will have to contend with the rising price of canned
goods and the dwindling supply of fresh fish. This, after Zamboanga fisherfolk supplying fish to
makers of canned sardines stopped catching fish since Monday because the rapid rise of the
price of diesel have forced them to halt their operations to prevent further losses. "We are not
here to do a strike or something, but it's really forced by circumstances that we are at a loss. we
are at loss. So if you operate at a loss, its will shorten the lifespan of your company, so its better
to stop, at least, your operating loss will be minimal," said Eugene Yap, vice-president of the
Southern Philippines Deep-Sea Fishing Association. Deep-sea fishers want to raise the price of
Sardinella -- the fish species usually made into sardines -- to P25 per kilo from the current P20.
Sardine makers are blocking the attempt since a P5 increase would mean a P100-jump for each
carton of the canned product. And for each can of sardines, the price increase may go as high as
P1. "Tataas... at least P1.00 per tin... by August. At the moment, lumalabas na baka
magpatigasan yung dalawang grupo," said Bombit Buencamino, executive director of the Alliance
of Fish Canners. (cont)
Source: Abs-Cbn News
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126971

[Philippines] Oil Firms Cut Gasoline, Kerosene Prices
Petroleum companies in the Philippines on Thursday announced they will lower pump prices of
gasoline and diesel starting 12:01 a.m. Friday as world crude prices continue to decline. On
Thursday afternoon, Petron Corp., Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc. and Eastern Petroleum
Philippines Corp. said pump prices of gasoline and diesel products will be reduced by P1.50 per
liter. Flying V, an independent player, and industry giant Chevron starting 12:01 a.m. Friday while
Pilipinas Shell said price cuts for gasoline, diesel and auto LPG start 6 a.m. Friday. Independent
player SeaOil, meanwhile, will implement price cuts at 10 p.m. Thursday. Unioil said that it will
reduce pump prices of its gasoline and kerosene products by P1.50 per liter effective 2 p.m.
Thursday. Diesel and liquefied petroleum gas for cars, however, will be left unchanged. In a text
message to ABS-CBN News, Eastern Petroleum said it will also cut prices of gasoline and
kerosene products by P1.50 per liter also starting 2 p.m. Thursday Despite the rollbacks, Flying V
said it will still implement a P1.50 pump price increase for diesel this coming weekend. (cont)
Source: Abs-Cbn News
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126961

[Singapore] NTUC Chief Concerned Global Economy Heading Towards Stagflation
SINGAPORE: Labour chief Lim Swee Say has urged workers to work together to cope with a
global economy which may be heading towards a state of stagflation - one sparked off by low
growth and high inflation. The NTUC secretary general made the call in his National Day
message. Singapore's National Day is being celebrated amidst concerns about the slowing global
economy and rising inflation, said Mr. Lim. And to tackle these concerns, the labour movement,
the employers and the government are addressing two core priorities. First, coping with the
impact of inflation without being caught in a price-wage spiral. "The worse thing that any country
does at a time of high inflation would be for the unions and workers to push for wage inflation.
Wage inflation is different from wage increment. Wage inflation means you are pushing up wages
to fully offset the inflation," said the labour chief. He added that companies in the unionized sector
are currently in talks on their annual increment. (cont)
Source: Channel News Asia
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/364051/1/.html

Sri Lanka's July Inflation Hits 26.6 Percent
Colombo - The Inflation for the month of July in Sri Lanka slightly dropped to 26.6 percent. The
inflation of the country reached to record 28.2 percent in June. Meanwhile, the annual average
inflation of Sri Lanka rose to 21.9 percent from 21.0 percent in June. High inflation is not good for
Sri Lanka and its share market in total shambles very bad news for Sri Lankan economy, another
observer said. "If there is a military buildup and operations and sharp increase in weapons
imports and a deterioration of the rupee, it will have a spiraling effect on inflation," said an analyst
in Colombo. There is gloomy prospect for the Sri Lankan economy. Sri Lanka‘s high inflation rate,
share prices falling down, repeatedly rising fuel prices, the high interest rates, wide range of
corruptions in the government, mismanagement of the public funds, heavy tax increases on
goods, the escalation of the violence and more importantly threat of looming war are all causing
great impacts on the economy of the war ravaged nation of Sri Lanka, a analyst in Colombo said.
Source: Tamil Eelam News Service
http://www.tamileelamnews.com/news/publish/tns_9969.shtml

SIX PARTY TALKS

Us Envoy Goes To Beijing To Meet N. Korea Official
A new US special envoy to the six-party talks is headed to Beijing to discuss North Korea's
verification of its nuclear development with the officials from the North. The US diplomat in
charge of Korean affairs, Sung Kim, assumed the new post of special envoy to the six-party talks
on North Korea's nuclear program on Monday. He left an airport in the outskirts of Washington for
Beijing on Wednesday. Prior to the departure, Kim told reporters that he plans to hold talks with
Ri Gun, a senior official from the North Korean Foreign Ministry. He said that they will discuss
ways to verify the North's account of its nuclear development program. North Korea has yet to
respond to a draft outlining procedures for the verification. It was presented during the six party
talks in Beijing earlier this month. Kim expressed hope that North Korea will respond to the draft.
He added he does not know if it will give him a reply. The Bush administration has indicated that
the US may delay removing North Korea from its list of nations sponsoring terrorism if an
agreement on the verification process cannot be reached first.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_09.html

US Urges N. Korea To Agree To Verification Process
The United States says it will postpone removing North Korea from the list of state sponsors of
terrorism unless the North agrees to procedures for verifying its nuclear declaration. Dennis
Wilder, senior director for Asian affairs at the White House National Security Council, told
reporters on Wednesday that North Korea has yet to respond about whether it agrees to
procedures for verifying the contents of the declaration of its nuclear programs. Wilder added that
North Korea will not be removed from the list as scheduled on August 11th unless it gives a
response by that date. The new US special envoy to the six-party nuclear talks, Sung Kim, will
arrive in Beijing on Thursday to meet with North Korean officials, but time is running out for an
agreement.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_16.html

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON

Smoking Blamed For Fire On U.S. Aircraft Carrier; Captain Fired
The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday that the May 22 fire on the aircraft carrier George
Washington, scheduled for deployment in Japan shortly, is likely to have been caused by
unauthorized smoking that ignited improperly stored combustible materials. The vessel‘s
commanding and executive officers have been relieved of their duties. The revelation that the
probable cause was lax discipline may heighten anxiety among citizens in the Japanese port
town of Yokosuka which hosts the U.S. Navy base where the nuclear-powered carrier will be
based. At least two rallies drawing more than 10,000 citizens were held in July against the
deployment. Capt David Dykhoff was relieved of his duties Wednesday ‗‗due to a loss of
confidence in his ability to command and his failure to meet mission requirements and readiness
standards,‘‘ a press release from the commander of the Naval Air Forces in San Diego said. The
vessel‘s executive officer, Capt David M Dober, was also relieved ‗‗for substandard performance.‘‘
The navy‘s investigation determined that ‗‗the likely cause of the fire was unauthorized smoking
that ignited flammable liquids and other combustible material improperly stored in an adjacent
space,‘‘ the statement said. ‗‗The fire and the subsequent magnitude of the fire were the result of
a series of human acts that could have been prevented.‘‘ Capt JR Haley, who was deputy chief of
staff to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, has taken command of the George
Washington, it said. (cont)
Source: Kyodo
http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/smoking-blamed-for-fire-on-us-aircraft-carrier-
captain-fired


US Navy: Smoking Caused Fire On US Aircraft Carrier
The US Navy says smoking appears to have caused a fire on its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
USS George Washington in May, before its deployment to Japan. The Navy said on Wednesday
that an investigation found unauthorized smoking in a prohibited area likely ignited flammable
liquids and other combustible materials. It said the liquids and materials were also improperly
stored. The Navy concluded that the fire was a man-made incident and has relieved the vessel's
captain, Dave Dykhoff, of duty. It said the fire caused 70 million dollars worth of damage to the
carrier and injured 37 sailors. The fire broke out on May 22nd while the vessel was en route from
Chile to San Diego. It has since been under repair in San Diego. The carrier is scheduled to
replace the conventionally powered USS Kitty Hawk at the US naval base in Yokosuka, near
Tokyo. It will leave San Diego on August 21st and arrive in Yokosuka later in September - about
one month behind schedule due to the fire.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_17.html

NORTHEAST ASIA

CHINA
Mainland

China To Pursue Peaceful Development - Defense Chief
BEIJING - China's military would increase cooperation with foreign armed forces in order to
contribute more to common development, Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said on Thursday. At
a reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mark the 81st anniversary of the People's
Liberation Army (PLA), Liang said, "China will take the road of peaceful development,
unswervingly, and carry out an independent and self-reliant, peaceful diplomatic policy and a
defensive defense policy, no matter how the international situation changes." A member of the
Central Military Commission (CMC) and a state councilor, Liang stressed the fundamental
necessity of the Army's acceptance of "the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China
(CPC)". China would never take to hegemonism and expansionism and posed no threat to any
other country, Liang said. He noted the "positive changes" regarding the situation across the
Taiwan Straits, while pointing out that pro-independence forces in Taiwan had never abandon
their activities. "We are strongly determined to oppose and curb the separatist activities of
'Taiwan independence' forces," he said. The mainland would show its utmost sincerity and exert
its greatest efforts for the welfare of Chinese compatriots on both sides of the Straits, to seek
peace, safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and safeguard the fundamental
interests of the Chinese nation. (Cont)
Source: Xinhua
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-07/31/content_6894339.htm

China Urges U.S. To Curb "Odious Conduct" Of Anti-China Lawmakers
BEIJING -- The U.S. side should curb the "odious conduct" of a handful of anti-China lawmakers,
said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao here on Thursday. Liu made the remarks
when commenting on a resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which citing the
"Olympic traditions of freedom and openness," criticized China on human rights issues and asked
the Chinese Government to stop supporting the governments of Sudan and Myanmar. The
House of Representatives passed the resolution proposed by a handful of anti-China lawmakers
against China's firm opposition. This disclosed their malicious intention to politicize the Olympic
Games, and interrupt and sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games, Liu said. He noted such a deed
itself is blasphemy to the Olympic spirit, and is against the common wishes of people all around
the world, including people in the United States. China has made solemn representations to the
U.S. administration and Congress, urging the U.S. side to concretely curb the "odious conduct" of
a handful of anti-China lawmakers. Liu said to hold a successful Olympic Games is the dream of
the Chinese people for many years, as well as the common expectation of people across the
world. We firmly believe that the Beijing Olympic Games will become a great world sports event
with the joint efforts and support of the big Olympic family. We advise those anti-China
lawmakers in the U.S. Congress to see clearly the situation and change their course so as to
avoid further harming their own images, Liu said.
Source: Xinhua
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-07/31/content_8870408.htm

China Expands Its Social Security System
BEIJING - China paid out 372.4 billion yuan (US$54.52 billion) in old age pensions in the first half,
the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) announced on Thursday. The
figure was up 33.9 percent from the 278.2 billion yuan for the same period last year, said ministry
spokesman Yin Chengji. More Chinese were benefiting from the country's social security service
and the government's expansion of its social security coverage, said Yin. By June, 210.29 million
people were covered by basic urban pension insurance, up from 201.37 million at the same time
last year. Basic urban health insurance coverage stood at 249.07 million and unemployment
coverage at 120.1 million in the first half, up from 223.11 million and 116.45 million respectively.
Meanwhile, the number of people covered by work injury insurance was 130.25 million, up by
8.52 million, and maternity insurance 84.52 million, a rise of 6.77 million. The ministry reported
an increase in social security funds in the first half, with the basic pension insurance fund at 440.3
billion yuan, up 30.5 percent, and the basic medical insurance fund up 34.2 percent to 129.6
billion yuan. The unemployment insurance fund rose 26 percent to 25.8 billion yuan and the work
security insurance fund rose 35.3 percent to 9.7 billion yuan. Maternity insurance soared to 5.1
billion yuan, up 44.4 percent. "The ministry will continue strengthening fund collection and
supervision," said Yin.
Source: Xinhua
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-07/31/content_6894100.htm

China Welcomes More Foreign Investment
BEIJING - Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang said on Thursday China encouraged foreign companies,
including Hewlett-Packard (HP), to enlarge their business in the country. "The Chinese
government will continue its reform and opening-up policy, and support HP and other foreign
companies to expand investment and cooperation in China," he said in a meeting with Mark Hurd,
chairman and chief executive officer of HP. Zhang praised HP for expanding its investment in
China's western region, calling it a "win-win deal." Hurd said the California-based HP viewed
China as an important component in its global strategy. It would enhance its investment and
cooperation within the Chinese electric and information industry circle. HP, founded in 1939, is a
technology company that operates in more than 170 countries worldwide.
Source: Xinhua
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-07/31/content_6894031.htm

Chinese Gov't Won't Allow Spread Of Illegal Information Online
The Chinese government won't allow the spread of any information that is forbidden by law or
harms national interests on the Internet, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Games said in
Beijing on Thursday. "We hope the media could respect relevant laws and regulations of China,"
said Sun Weide, the Beijing Olympics spokesman, at a press conference in the Main Press
Center (MPC) of the Games. Sun made the remarks in response to some reporters' questions
about the difficulties they met in browsing certain websites. "If a few websites are difficult to
browse, it's mainly because they have spread content that is banned by the Chinese laws,"
explained Sun. "The Internet is regulated according to law in China, just like in other countries."
The Chinese laws forbids anyone to spread illegal information, such as preaching the Falungong
Cult, or do anything that harms national interests through the Internet, said the spokesman.
During the Beijing Olympics, China will provide sufficient convenience for foreign journalists to
access the Internet, said Sun. "The channel is smooth for foreign journalists in Beijing to report
the Games and report China using the Internet," he added.
Source: Xinhua
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/6464018.html

Fung Wong Causes Evacuations Of 750,000 In Se China
A total of 751,600 people have been evacuated across southeast China in the path of Fung
Wong, the eighth tropical storm to hit the country this year. The Office of State Flood Control and
Drought Relief Headquarters on Wednesday said the evacuations had occurred in Fujian,
Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces. The typhoon had affected livelihoods of 3.86 million people
in Zhejiang and Fujian, flooded 112,000 hectares of farms and destroyed more than 1,500
houses. No deaths had been reported. The eye of the storm has moved to eastern Jiangxi
Province with winds up to 61.2 kilometers per hour, down from 119 km per hour when it landed in
Fujian late on Monday, according to a forecast at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The possibility of further
flooding remained as Fung Wong was likely to cause more heavy rains in the east of the country,
the office warned. The tropical storm would move northeast into Anhui and Shandong provinces,
bringing with it intensive rainfall, the provincial meteorological observatories predicted. "We have
ordered local governments to take measures against possible floods in mountain areas and
cities," said Cheng Dianlong, vice director of the state office.
Source: Xinhua
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/6463341.html
Hu Thanks U.S. Students' Support To Olympics, Quake Relief
BEIJING - Chinese President Hu Jintao has written back to students of a US high school to thank
them for their "heartfelt" condolences and sympathy to victims and survivors in China's May 12
earthquake. "Thank you for your heartfelt condolences to people affected by the Wenchuan
earthquake in Sichuan, China and for your sincere donation to children in the quake zone," Hu
said in his letter dated July 27 to the students of the Marching Band of the Londonderry High
School in New Hampshire of the United States. He said he has read the letter from the students
carefully and was moved by the warm and kind feelings expressed in the letter. A total of 345
students of the Londonderry High School Marching Band performed in China from June 20 to 27
to express their support for the Beijing Olympics, and on June 25, the students wrote a letter to
President Hu, expressing their sorrow and condolences to the people in Sichuan for the loss of
lives and properties. The students also offered US$2,008 to help quake-affected students. Hu
said he is confident that with the joint efforts of all the Chinese people and strong support of the
international community, people in the quake-hit areas will rebuild their homes at an early date.
He said to stage a successful Olympic Games is a long cherished dream of the Chinese people
and also an aspiration shared by people around the world, and the Chinese people will share the
joy of this grand event with people of other countries. (Cont)
Source: Xinhua
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-07/31/content_6894212.htm

NPC Opposes U.S. Resolution Politicizing Olympics
China's National People's Congress (NPC) on Thursday expressed strong discontent and firm
opposition to a US Congress resolution linking China's human rights situation with the Beijing
Olympic Games, saying the resolution was an attempt to politicize the Games. "We express our
strong discontent and firm opposition to the resolution, which linked such irrelevant issues as
human rights, religious freedom, Sudan's Darfur issue and the Myanmar issue with the Beijing
Olympics, and criticized the Chinese government groundlessly," said an official in charge of the
Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC, China's top legislative body. The official said that with the
Beijing Olympics imminent, and in disregard of China's repeated representations, the US
Congress on Wednesday stubbornly passed the resolution, which was pushed by a handful of
"anti-China" lawmakers. The official said the Beijing Olympic Games was a sports event for the
whole world, and the success of the Games was not only a dream of the Chinese people, but also
the common wish of people of the world. "The passing of the resolution at this time has fully
exposed the attempt of the very few anti-China US lawmakers to politicize the Olympics and their
evil intention to disrupt and sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games," said the official. "Such a deed
has violated the Olympic spirit and aim, and also violated the common wish of the world people,
including the US people," said the official. (Cont)
Source: Xinhua
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-07/31/content_6894157.htm

Regional Jet Flies Into Domestic Market
The first Chinese made "Xinzhou-60" passenger plane was delivered to Okay Airways Thursday,
marking the entrance of homemade regional jets to the domestic civil aviation market in China,
Xinhua news agency reported. Okay Airways, China's first privately sector airline based in
Tianjin, signed a contract with the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation under the China Aviation
Industry Corporation I (AVIC I) to lease ten "Xinzhou-60" planes in 2007. "Xinzhou-60", or
"Modern Ark (MA) 60", is a turboprop-powered airliner, a new kind of passenger plane with 50-60
seats onboard. Okay Airways is planning to set up a passenger plane network emanating from
Tianjin and covering northern, northeastern and central parts of China. China has also signed
contracts concerning up to 136 "Xinzhou-60" planes and plans to export these planes to
Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo, Zambia, Laos, Indonesia and Bolivia. The delivery of the
aircraft to Okay is a breakthrough in China's domestic aviation market which has long been
monopolized by foreign planes.
Source: CRIENGLISH
http://english.cri.cn/2946/2008/07/31/1321s387914.htm
Hong Kong

China Strengthens Its Role In Kyrgyzstan
BEIJING - At the high-altitude Irkeshtam border crossing a convoy of shiny Chinese rigs waits to
cross into Kyrgyzstan. Facing the deserted vehicles, a snaking line-up of battered Kamaz trucks
with Kyrgyz plates sits patiently, returning to China to load up with more cheap cell phones, TV
sets and plastic kitchenware. Here, even at this remote trade conduit between Xinjiang and
Central Asia, the Chinese economic juggernaut is dominating the dynamics of trade. Chinese
and Kyrgyz vehicles alike are tangible reminders of the huge imbalance that exists between these
two countries: in 2006 the value of Chinese exports flowing into Kyrgyzstan was 150 times
greater than the flow in the opposite direction. China is steadily strengthening political and
economic ties with small, landlocked Kyrgyzstan, with one eye on the sizeable energy reserves of
its neighbors to the north and west. At the same time, Kyrgyzstan's dependence on Chinese
income and infrastructure grows deeper by the day. Looking to fill the vacuum created when the
Russians returned home from the five former Soviet Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, and the roubles dried up, China is now
making moves to become the new Central Asian superpower. It is constructing roads, factories,
power plants and pipelines and filling supermarket shelves with cut-price consumer goods bought
with low-interest loans from Chinese banks. (Cont)
Source: Asia Times, Daniel Allen
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/JH01Ad01.html

Taiwan

Hegemonism Behind Arms 'Freeze'
Recent weeks Have seen a lot of ink spilled on the US arms ―freeze‖ on Taiwan. Yet Washington
not only has failed to provide a clear answer on the matter, but its diverse agencies have also
sent contradictory messages. While the US Department of State denies there is a freeze in
place, others — such as the commander of US Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy Keating — for
all intents and purposes have confirmed the existence of the policy. There were even rumors,
later discarded, that it was the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that had requested the freeze,
lest the conclusion of the arms transaction scuttle its plans to improve relations across the Taiwan
Strait. Members of the US Congress, meanwhile, have drafted letters to US President George W.
Bush, pressing him to provide Taiwan with the weapons included in the package, while former
deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz said in Taipei recently that Bush is a man who keeps
his commitments and that he would deliver before his term ends. While the region waits to see
how this plays out, academics have sought to determine the rationale behind the freeze — if such
is indeed Washington‘s policy. Some have argued that the Bush administration implemented the
policy to give the KMT and its counterparts in Beijing enough space to move toward a diplomatic
rapprochement, while others have stated that the US is waiting for the Beijing Olympic Games to
end before finalizing the agreement. (cont)
Source: Taipei Times; J. Michael Cole
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2008/08/01/2003419103

No Real Prospect Of Arms Sales This Year: Lawmakers
Prospects for the US and Taiwan to finalize a contract for the sale of some US$11 billion in frozen
arms packages by the end of the year look less than promising, two co-chairmen of the
Congressional Taiwan Caucus told Taiwanese reporters on Wednesday, as the lawmakers met
on Capitol Hill with visiting Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. Republican Steve Chabot and
Democrat Robert Wexler both said that the tight timetable Congress faces before its adjournment
ahead of the US presidential election in November and the large number of economic and foreign
policy issues it faces make it unlikely that the necessary congressional notification process can
move ahead quickly enough to assure a timely sales contract. ―I‘d like to see this defense
agreement move forward, but I can‘t say it looks real optimistic,‖ Chabot said. Citing a long list of
crucial domestic concerns, Wexler said these issues ―consume most of our political high-level
energy, so it‘s hard to create energy on some other issues ... Realistically, I don‘t want to create
great expectation for people [in Taiwan].‖ Congress is scheduled to recess for a month-long
summer holiday at the end of next week and plans to adjourn in early October, giving it only four
weeks in session left this year, with lawmakers wanting to go home early to campaign for re-
election.
(Cont)
Source: Taipei Times, Charles Snyder, Washington
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/08/01/2003419108

India Hopes For Closer Relations With Taiwan: Lawmaker
New Delhi -- India is looking forward to cementing cooperative ties with Taiwan, said a Taiwanese
legislator, who is leading a 10-member legislative delegation on a fact-finding visit to the South
Asian country. Cheng Li-wen, a lawmaker of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), told the Central News
Agency that India is poised for an economic takeoff, with large capital inflows, so it is eager to
learn from Taiwan's experience in economic development. Cheng, who doubles as chairwoman
of the Taiwan-India Parliamentary Amity Association, described the legislative delegation's visit
as fruitful, saying that the Indian side expressed high expectations for closer relations with
Taiwan's new administration. "The KMT administration should do everything possible to expand
Taiwan's maneuvering space in the international arena while seeking to improve relations with
China, " Cheng said. She added that enhancing Taiwan-India interactions will be conducive to
expanding Taiwan's role in regional affairs. The legislative delegation arrived in the Indian capital
city earlier this week. While here, they met with Indian government officials, parliamentarians, and
industrial and business leaders to exchange views on how to step up bilateral economic and
trade relations. The Taiwanese lawmakers also attended a Taiwan-India roundtable meeting
presided over by former Indian representative to Taiwan Ranjit Gupta, who is also an expert in
diplomatic strategy. (Cont)
Source: CNA, Kuo Chuan-hsin and Luis Huang
http://www.cna.com.tw/CNAeng/RealTimeNews/NewsDetail.aspx?strNewsDate=&strNewsID=20
0807310021&strType=PD

Rebuilding Mutual Trust With Japan
The mutual trust between Taiwan and Japan that the former Democratic Progressive Party
government developed over eight years has been smashed by President Ma Ying-jeou and his
administration, and is now on the verge of collapsing. Within 100 days of Ma‘s accession to
power, there have been five incidents that have had an impact on the nation‘s relations with
Japan. First, Ma announced that he intended to pay a visit to Japan during a press conference
with foreign journalists without first talking it over with Tokyo. Second, he intentionally failed to
mention Japan in his inaugural address. Next, he vacillated on his position in handling the
controversy over the Diaoyutai islands and violated the almost three-decade-long tacit agreement
between the two countries that patrol vessels would not be dispatched to the disputed waters.
Ma also claimed there was an ―exchange of classified letters‖ between high-level officials of the
two countries to resolve the Diaoyutai issue. Now, he has even allowed rumors to circulate in the
media about the candidate for Taiwan‘s representative to Japan before having discussed the
issue with the Japanese government. Among these incidents, media reports on the alleged
―exchange of confidential letters‖ between high-ranking officials have particularly battered mutual
trust. A Central News Agency report on July 21 said the Japanese government had dismissed
talks of a confidential exchange, adding that these rumors only hurt bilateral relations. (Cont)
Source: Taipei Times, Lai I Chung
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2008/08/01/2003419102

Taipei To Handle Political Issues At Games
READY AND WATCHING: Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chang Liang-jen said task
force members in Beijing would only deal with sports-related incidents The emergency response
task force set up by the government to handle the Olympics will not handle political issues in
Beijing, which will be dealt with in Taipei, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday.
Council Vice Chairman Chang Liang-jen told a press conference that a task force in Taipei would
take care of any political issues or other matters that task force members sent to Beijing could not
handle. Task force members sent to Beijing would deal with matters only concerning sports
activities and any related conflicts, he said. While Minister without Portfolio Ovid Tseng will lead
the task force to Beijing, Chang will preside over the team in Taipei. The task force includes
members from the MAC, the Sports Affairs Council, the Straits Exchange Foundation, the
Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, the National Communications Council and the National
Security Council. Liu said the task force was on standby and that he believed that any issues
regarding Beijing denigrating Taiwan‘s sovereignty at the Games would be ―properly dealt with.‖
―As our principle when dealing with Beijing over the years has been to uphold equality and
reciprocation, we will not allow our sovereignty to be depreciated at the Beijing Games,‖ he said.
―I believe they [China] will not engage in any petty maneuvers because they want to see a
successful Olympics.‖ (Cont)
Source: Taipei Times, Ko Shu-ling, Mo Yan-chih and Flora Wang
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/08/01/2003419109

Taiwan To Further Ties With Non-Allies: President
Taipei, July 31 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou pledged Thursday that his administration will seek
to further relations with countries that have no diplomatic links with Taiwan, following the
improvement of ties with China. Ma said that over the last two months since his inauguration, the
new administration has adopted a diplomatic approach different from in the past -- consolidating
friendship with diplomatic allies on the one hand and cherishing the rapport and partnership with
non-allies on the other. In particular, Ma said, Taiwan will continue to work to strengthen its
relations with the European Union, which has made more investments in Taiwan than either the
United States or Japan. In terms of trade links with Hungary, Ma noted that Taiwan now enjoys a
trade surplus with the Central European nation and said he hopes Taiwan will import more
Hungarian products to balance the bilateral trade. Ma made the remarks while receiving a
delegation of pro-Taiwan Hungarian parliamentarians, led by Jeno Lasztovicza, who are on a visit
in Taiwan.
Source: CNA, Y.F. Low
http://www.cna.com.tw/cnaeng/EnglishTopNews/TopNewsDetail.aspx?TopNewsSerialnum=1806
&strTopNewsDate=20080731&strTopNewsID=200807310011

Taiwan To Open Doors To 5 More Chinese Media Outlets
Taipei -- Five more regional Chinese media outlets will be allowed to post journalists in Taiwan,
the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) announced Thursday. The new measure follows the
council's lifting of a ban in late June on the posting of correspondents from the two foremost
Chinese national news organizations -- the Xinhua news agency and the People's Daily
newspaper. MAC Vice Chairman Liu Te-shun said the Cabinet-level MAC has already begun
accepting applications from prospective regional media outlets from all over China, with a Sept.
30 application deadline. The new measure, Liu said, will allow Chinese journalists to stay for up
to three months per visit. Since the MAC, the country's top China policy coordinating agency,
began in 2000 to open Taiwan's doors to Chinese newsmen seeking to cover events in Taiwan,
five Chinese national media organizations have been granted the green light to post journalists in
Taipei. In 2005, two Chinese regional newspapers -- the Nanfang City News and the Xinmin
Evening News -- were also permitted to post correspondents in Taiwan. In 2006, the then-
Democratic Progressive Party administration revoked licenses for Xinhua and People's Daily to
post correspondents in Taipei over their biased reports on Taiwan's reaction to China's Anti-
Secession Law targeting Taiwan.
(Cont)
Source: CNA, Sofia Wu
http://www.cna.com.tw/CNAeng/RealTimeNews/NewsDetail.aspx?strNewsDate=&strNewsID=20
0807310050&strType=PD
Wanan Drill Will Not Be Held At Night: Defense Authorities
Taipei -- An air raid drill, code named Wanan No. 31, that was originally scheduled to be held
next Tuesday night in the northern Taiwan region will be staged in the daytime instead, according
to a statement released by the National Defense Ministry (NDM) Spokesman Office Thursday.
The ministry said it will meet with relevant authorities and local governments Friday to discuss the
proposed change and to set a new schedule for the exercise. However, in principle, it will be
rescheduled to take place in the daytime on Aug. 5, the statement said. The drill was slated to be
held in an area north of Hsinchu and Ilan counties between 10: 30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Aug. 5, but
the time selected was has drawn criticism from many people, including Legislator Chai Trong-
rong of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party. Chai noted that the first-ever night-time drill
would have required homes, shops, commercial buildings and night markets within the area to
douse all lights and suspend all operations, with violators liable to be fined. This is a reflection
that the "the Cabinet is still living in a World War II era," he said. Taiwan is not an authoritarian
country, the lawmaker said, adding that the government should not turn off streetlight as this
would spur safety and social order concerns. It also should not disrupt people's lives by forcing
households to extinguish their lights at night, he said. (Cont)
Source: CNA, Elizabeth Hsu
http://www.cna.com.tw/CNAeng/RealTimeNews/NewsDetail.aspx?strNewsDate=&strNewsID=20
0807310028&strType=PD

Other

Beijing Unblocks BBC Chinese Site
The BBC's Chinese-language website appears to have been unblocked in China ahead of the
Olympic Games. An International Olympic Committee spokesperson called it a "good sign", after
complaints about internet access. Some journalists arriving to cover the Games complained
when they found a number of websites at Olympic media centers were blocked. The IOC
promised to take the matter up with the organizing committee for the Beijing Games (Bocog).
The BBC's Chinese-language website was among many websites that were blocked by the
authorities in China, but it now appears to have been made accessible - a decision welcomed by
the head of the BBC's Chinese service, Lorna Ball. "This is a great opportunity for us to show
Chinese readers what first-class journalism we can deliver," she said. "But of course we will also
want to check if the site is still available after the Olympics have ended." The BBC's English-
language website was unblocked in China in March. 'Work in progress' China has long
prevented its citizens accessing websites it considers sensitive, but the issue has come to the
fore over the last few days. Thousands of journalists arriving in Beijing to cover the Olympic
Games found they could not log on to certain sites. These included news sites such as Hong
Kong newspaper Apple Daily, and the websites of human rights groups like Amnesty
International. Websites promoting independence for Tibet were also blacklisted. This appeared
to contravene a pledge by both the IOC and Bocog to allow journalists full access to the internet
during the Olympics.
Source: BBC; Michael Bristow
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7535280.stm

Defiant China Hits Out at US, Stands Firm On Internet Censorship
A defiant China stood firm on controversies swirling around the Olympics on Thursday, hitting
back at the United States over human rights criticism and insisting Internet censorship would
remain. China's communist rulers responded sternly to critics following a storm of bad publicity
this week surrounding their decision to renege on a pledge of allowing unfettered Internet access
to foreign reporters covering the Games. The decision highlighted long-standing concerns over
the Chinese government's attitude towards human rights, and led the White House to intervene
by saying China had "nothing to fear" from the Internet. The Chinese foreign ministry reacted by
criticizing a meeting US President George W Bush had with leading Chinese dissidents and
describing some US lawmakers who spoke out on China's human rights record as "odious". "We
express strong discontent and firm opposition to this," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao
said about Bush's meeting on Tuesday with the dissidents. "The US side has rudely interfered in
China's internal affairs and sent a seriously wrong message to hostile anti-China forces," he said
in a statement on the ministry's website. Liu also hit out at a resolution by the US Congress that
urged Beijing to improve on human rights and stop repression of ethnic minorities. (cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/364009/1/.html

Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks
U.S. President George Bush leaves Washington Monday on what is likely to be his final official
trip to Asia. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports he will travel to South
Korea, Thailand and China for the start of the Summer Olympics. From the streets of Seoul, to
the Olympic venues in Beijing, this trip was controversial before it even began. Mr. Bush was
originally expected to travel to Seoul several weeks ago, following the G-8 summit in Japan.
Those plans were changed when Koreans staged massive demonstrations to protest a deal on
American beef imports, and to show their discontent with their government. Byong-Ki Kim of
Korea University in Seoul says it was the wrong time for a presidential visit. "The timing, let's say
a month ago, would have been different for Bush to come," Kim said. "It is not only playing into
the domestic political processes, but to possibly even be utilized politically in a very unproductive
manner. It is purely domestic politics. It happens anywhere in the world." Kim says the political
climate is still volatile but has cooled a bit. And he says the Bush visit will show just how well the
government can handle its diplomatic responsibilities. First stop of tour takes Bush to South
Korea. (cont)
Source: VOA; Paula Wolfson
http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-07-31-voa15.cfm

Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand
WASHINGTON — US President George W Bush will travel to South Korea, Thailand and China
next week before taking part in the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. While in Thailand,
Bush, accompanied by his wife, Laura, will make a major policy statement on Burma while also
meeting Burmese opposition group members. On his second day in Thailand, Bush will attend a
briefing by nongovernmental organizations and US agencies on the Cyclone Nargis relief effort.
"He will have a lunch in Bangkok with Burmese activists and hear their stories. And then he will
be interviewed by the press in Thailand that broadcasts into Burma, so he can give a message
directly to the Burmese people," said Dennis Wilder, the senior director for Asian affairs at the
National Security Council. "During the time that he is doing these events, Mrs. Bush will travel to
Mae Sot, Thailand," Wilder said. The first lady has shown an exceptional interest in the affairs of
Burma and the Bush's administration policy with regard to this country to some extent is driven by
her strong support to the pro-democracy movement people. Laura Bush will meet with refugees
of the Mae La Refugee Camp, one of the largest refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.
"Following her visit to Mae La, she will travel to the Mae Tao Clinic," Wilder said. The clinic was
founded by Dr. Cynthia Maung. (cont)
Source: Mizzima News
http://www.irrawaddy.org/article1.php?art_id=13646

Few Foreigners In Tibet Despite Re-Opening After Riots
Foreign tourists and reporters are still few and far between in Tibet, witnesses and hotel
employees say, even though China lifted a ban on foreigners visiting the Himalayan region a
month ago. Eight days to the Olympics, and more than four months after anti-Chinese riots
rocked the capital Lhasa, prompting authorities to close the region to foreigners, local hotels said
there were still few foreign travelers. "Now business is good, we have a lot of customers," said
an employee at a youth hostel on Dosenge Road in downtown Lhasa, where the violence took
place. "But there are not many foreigners, mostly Chinese people." Foreign correspondents,
meanwhile, complained that their applications to go to Tibet were taking a long time to process.
"We have received your application, but we are handling too many journalist applications, it is
almost impossible for us to receive all these people right now," Zhang, of the Tibetan Foreign
Affairs Office, told AFP which also applied. "You can apply later. After the (Olympic) Games,
there won't be so many people coming," said Zhang, who did not give her full name or title.
Beijing barred all tourists and foreign reporters from going to Tibet after a massive crackdown on
violence that erupted in Lhasa on March 14, and then spread to other areas of western China
with Tibetan populations. Exiled Tibetan leaders say 203 people died in the Chinese clampdown
on the riots, which began after monks led peaceful protests against 57 years of Chinese rule.
(cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/363998/1/.html

China Seeks To Build New Rail Line For Mongolian Coal
Inner Mongolia‘s Mengdian Huaneng Thermal Power Corporation is planning to build a rail line to
haul coal from the Mongolian border with China. The power company, a unit of China Huaneng
Group, the country's top power producer, said the rail line will run from Baiyunebo, or Bayan Obo,
to Mandula, a port of entry on the China-Mongolia border. This information was released in a
company filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The 83-kilometer rail line is expected to cost
1.3 billion yuan (US $190.4 million) to construct. Further, it may take up to 18 months to build.
The rail line will be used to bring Mongolian coal and other raw materials for use in Baotou Iron &
Steel, China's No. 13 steel maker, the company said.
Source: Mongolia Web
http://www.mongolia-web.com/content/view/1919/154/

China Donates P20 Million Worth Of Equipment To PCG
China, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), donated P20 million
pesos‘ worth of ―marine pollution‖ (MARPOL) equipment and personnel protective gear to the
Philippine Coast Guard Thursday. The MARPOL equipment turned over to the PCG are 10,800
meters of oil spill oom, 500 pairs of protective suits, 200 units of electric high pressure spraying
equipment, 142 bags of detergent powder, 50 folding beds, and 50 sleeping bags. The donation
will ―definitely make a difference in the oil spill response capability of the PCG as these type of
equipment are hard to come by due to its prohibitive costs," PCG Commandant Vice Admiral
Wilfredo Tamayo said in a statement. The equipment will be sent to Sibuyan Island, Romblon to
―augment‖ the oil spill boom rigged around MV Princess of the Stars. Part of the donated
equipment will also be used by the PCG to monitor possible oil spill from MT Lake Paoay, which
sank off the coast of Carles Iloilo, and MV Ocean Papa which sank off Culasi, Roxas City. All
three vessels went down during the onslaught of typhoon ―Frank‖ (international codename:
Fengshen). ―With our hands full in responding to these incidents, PCG could only be thankful to
the generosity of the People‘s Republic of China for this donation and to the DSWD for facilitating
it‘s immediate turn over to the PCG,‖ Tamayo said.
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://services.inquirer.net/mobile/08/08/01/html_output/xmlhtml/20080731-151917-xml.html

Taiwan Aims To Improve Ties With Japan
Taiwan says it will aim to improve relations with Japan which have soured after a collision that led
to the sinking of a Taiwanese fishing boat near disputed Islands. The policy was agreed upon at a
meeting of President Ma Ying-jeou's advisory council on national security and top officials of
government offices on Thursday. In June, a Taiwanese fishing boat sank as a result of a collision
with a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat in the East China Sea off the Senkaku Islands. Japan
controls the islands which are claimed by China and Taiwan. The head of the Coast Guard's
regional office in Okinawa admitted the Japanese vessel was partly to blame. His letter of
apology and promise to start compensation talks were accepted by the captain of the Taiwanese
boat. Following the incident, boats carrying Taiwanese protesters and several Taiwanese patrol
boats entered Japan's territorial water around the Senkaku Islands. The incident also led to the
suspension of fishery negotiations between Japan and Taiwan. At Thursday's meeting
participants agreed to tell Japan that Taiwan will seek agreement in the fishery negotiations by
shelving the territorial dispute. The Taiwanese officials also decided to propose an early
introduction of a working holiday system, and connecting charter flights between an airport in
Taipei and Tokyo's Haneda airport. Negotiations for a free trade agreement are another proposal
they decided to present to Japan. The talks on policies toward Japan were the first since
President Ma took office in May.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_40.html

JAPAN

Fukuda Intends To Reshuffle Cabinet Friday
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda apparently intends to reshuffle his cabinet on Friday. Fukuda told
reporters on Thursday that he will meet the leader of the junior coalition partner New Komeito,
Akihiro Ota, on Friday morning to discuss issues including political timetables. Asked whether he
will reshuffle his cabinet on Friday after the meeting, Fukuda said it depends on the talks. Earlier
on Thursday evening, Fukuda was briefed by 2 of his ministers about the recent World Trade
Organization talks. The prime minister had suggested that he would decide on reshuffling the
cabinet after being briefed and consulting the government coalition. A government official says a
new cabinet will be officially launched on Saturday, after new ministers attend an attestation
ceremony at the Imperial Palace.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_36.html

Fukuda to reshuffle Cabinet on Friday
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will reshuffle his Cabinet on Friday afternoon for the first time since
he assumed office last September, several senior lawmakers of the ruling coalition and a high-
ranking government official said Thursday. Fukuda told reporters he will decide the upcoming
political schedules after meeting with Akihiro Ota, leader of the New Komeito party, on Friday
morning. He indicated that the reshuffle could take place depending on the outcome of the 9 a.m.
meeting with Ota. ''I would like to have discussions on a number of matters including the
upcoming political schedules,'' Fukuda told reporters. ''I will decide everything there.'' Asked by
reporters if the reshuffle could take place Friday after his meeting with Ota, the prime minister
responded, ''It's up to our meeting.'' Fukuda will also appoint new executives of his ruling Liberal
Democratic Party on Friday, the lawmakers said. Calls have been growing for Fukuda to form a
Cabinet that reflects his own political stance, given that he inherited 15 of his 17 Cabinet
ministers from his predecessor Shinzo Abe. The reshuffle is apparently aimed at bolstering his
sluggish support ratings, which have not improved much even after the Group of Eight summit
that he chaired in July in Hokkaido. According to major newspaper polls in mid-July following the
G-8 summit, the approval rating on Fukuda's Cabinet remained below the ''danger'' line of 30
percent. After meeting with Ota, Fukuda is expected to convene a meeting of current ministers so
they will submit their resignations and appoint the LDP's new leadership in the afternoon. (cont)
Source: Kyodo
http://home.kyodo.co.jp/modules/fstStory/index.php?storyid=391798

Japan Set To Dispatch SDF Units To Sudan
A Japanese government team sent to Sudan has begun preparing for the arrival of Japan's Self
Defense Force, which will take part in UN peacekeeping operations there. The government plans
to dispatch peacekeeping personnel to the country by the end of this year. The fact-finding
mission, comprised of 11 defense and foreign ministry officials, visited the UN headquarters in
Sudan's capital, Khartoum, to learn about peacekeeping activities and security in the region. A
senior official thanked Japan for its interest in peacekeeping in Sudan, and for Japan's plan to
dispatch Self Defense Force personnel. Protests are growing in Sudan against the International
Criminal Court's arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir over alleged mass
murder in the Darfur region. Some experts say the anger of the president's supporters may be
directed towards international organizations and UN peacekeepers. The Japanese team will
study the security situation and safety measures in the country.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_07.html

Team In Africa To Study Sudan SDF Operation
A team of Japanese officials arrived in the Egyptian capital Tuesday to conduct research on
dispatching defense personnel to U.N. peacekeeping operations in Sudan and visited quarters in
Cairo where Sudanese refugees have been living. The 11-member team, including seven Self-
Defense Forces members, also visited a peacekeeper training center where Japan plans to send
SDF officers as instructors. In the refugee quarters in northeastern Cairo, the officials inspected a
school, a health care institution and a nursery run by nongovernmental organizations. "We would
like to get a firm image of the circumstances in which the UNMIS headquarters are operating, as
well as the types of missions they are engaged in," Col. Shinichi Hineno of the Defense Ministry's
Joint Staff Office said ahead of the team's trip to Sudan on Wednesday.
Source: Kyodo
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080731a6.html

Zama To Get Subsidy For 1st Corps
The Defense Ministry will give subsidies to the city of Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, in exchange
for hosting the U.S. Army 1st Corps, ministry sources said Wednesday. Zama had opposed a
Japan-U.S. accord to transfer the army headquarters from Washington state. But Mayor Katsuji
Hoshino told Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba on Wednesday that the city had changed its
position and now supports hosting the unit, according to a ministry official. Zama will be the last to
receive subsidies among the 39 municipalities affected by the Japan-U.S. agreement in 2006 on
the realignment of U.S. military facilities.
Source: Kyodo
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080731a9.html

Smoking Blamed For Fire On U.S. Aircraft Carrier; Captain Fired
The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday that the May 22 fire on the aircraft carrier George
Washington, scheduled for deployment in Japan shortly, is likely to have been caused by
unauthorized smoking that ignited improperly stored combustible materials. The vessel‘s
commanding and executive officers have been relieved of their duties. The revelation that the
probable cause was lax discipline may heighten anxiety among citizens in the Japanese port
town of Yokosuka which hosts the U.S. Navy base where the nuclear-powered carrier will be
based. At least two rallies drawing more than 10,000 citizens were held in July against the
deployment. Capt David Dykhoff was relieved of his duties Wednesday ‗‗due to a loss of
confidence in his ability to command and his failure to meet mission requirements and readiness
standards,‘‘ a press release from the commander of the Naval Air Forces in San Diego said. The
vessel‘s executive officer, Capt David M Dober, was also relieved ‗‗for substandard performance.‘‘
The navy‘s investigation determined that ‗‗the likely cause of the fire was unauthorized smoking
that ignited flammable liquids and other combustible material improperly stored in an adjacent
space,‘‘ the statement said. ‗‗The fire and the subsequent magnitude of the fire were the result of
a series of human acts that could have been prevented.‘‘ Capt JR Haley, who was deputy chief of
staff to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, has taken command of the George
Washington, it said. (cont)
Source: Kyodo
http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/smoking-blamed-for-fire-on-us-aircraft-carrier-
captain-fired

US Navy: Smoking Caused Fire On US Aircraft Carrier
The US Navy says smoking appears to have caused a fire on its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
USS George Washington in May, before its deployment to Japan. The Navy said on Wednesday
that an investigation found unauthorized smoking in a prohibited area likely ignited flammable
liquids and other combustible materials. It said the liquids and materials were also improperly
stored. The Navy concluded that the fire was a man-made incident and has relieved the vessel's
captain, Dave Dykhoff, of duty. It said the fire caused 70 million dollars worth of damage to the
carrier and injured 37 sailors. The fire broke out on May 22nd while the vessel was en route from
Chile to San Diego. It has since been under repair in San Diego. The carrier is scheduled to
replace the conventionally powered USS Kitty Hawk at the US naval base in Yokosuka, near
Tokyo. It will leave San Diego on August 21st and arrive in Yokosuka later in September - about
one month behind schedule due to the fire.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_17.html

S Korea Hails US Decision On Disputed Islets
Seoul applauded Thursday a US decision to relist South Korea as owners of a group of tiny
islands, amid a simmering dispute with Japan over claims to the territory. President George W.
Bush said a US agency was reversing its week-long decision that classified in its database the
chain of rocky islets as territory belonging to no country. The original move by the Board on
Geographic Names had angered South Korea, with Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo describing
the move as "very regrettable". "As to the database, I asked (Secretary of State Condoleezza)
Rice to review it and the database will be restored to where it was... seven days ago," Bush told a
group of Asian reporters at the White House. Bush pointed out however that the dispute over the
islets was a matter to be settled by Japan and South Korea. Bush's comments come ahead of
his visit next week to South Korea where mass protests over a resumption of US beef imports
has rocked the newly elected government of President Lee Myung-Bak. South Korea hailed the
latest US decision as showing "the deep trust and friendship between the leaders of the two
countries." "This is the result of South Korea-US alliance and trust having been restored,"
Seoul's presidential spokesman Lee Dong-Kwan said in a statement. "The exceptionally swift
measure reflects President George W. Bush's full understanding of the South Korean public
sentiment and the deep trust and friendship between the leaders of the two countries." (cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/363989/1/.html

Bush Reverses U.S. Stance On Status Of Dokdo Islets
United States President George W. Bush yesterday ordered the U.S. Board on Geographic
Names to relabel Dokdo as South Korean territory. The move comes less than a week after the
board began categorizing the islets, occupied by South Korea since 1945 and claimed by Japan,
as an area of ―undesignated sovereignty.‖ The quick reversal, hardly anticipated by any
government official or expert here, is expected to brighten the political mood between the two
countries ahead of the upcoming Korea-U.S. presidential summit on Aug. 6. ―I asked Condi
[State Secretary Condoleeza] Rice to review it, and the database will be restored where it was
seven days ago,‖ Bush said in a joint interview on July 29 in the White House with reporters from
South Korea, China and Thailand. Bush was referring to the board‘s online GEOnet Names
Server, which a week ago relabeled Dokdo with undesignated sovereignty under the name of
Liancourt Rocks, a more neutral name used to refer to the islets that are called Takeshima in
Japan. Last week‘s change by the federal agency, which sets geographic name standards for all
U.S. government bodies, fanned fears in Seoul that it is losing ground in the international debate
with Japan over Dokdo. The decades-long tension over Dokdo erupted again last month when
Tokyo asserted its territorial dispute in new social studies teaching guidelines for middle school
teachers. (cont)
Source: JoongAng Ilbo; Jung Ha-won
http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2893116

US Goes Back To Referring To Takeshima As S. Korean
A US government agency has reversed its recent decision to refer to a small island claimed by
both Japan and South Korea as no longer belonging to any country, and will continue calling it
South Korean territory. Last week, the US Board on Geographic Names changed its designation
of the island from South Korean to undesignated sovereignty. South Korea strongly protested the
decision. On Wednesday, the Asian affairs chief of the National Security Council Dennis Wilder
said President George W Bush ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to look into the
matter after being contacted by the South Korean government. Bush is visiting South Korea next
week. He said the decision was then made that the board's database will go back to referring to
the island as South Korean. Wilder said he regrets that last week's change in designation was
perceived by South Koreans as some sort of change in the US policy. He said the US remains
neutral on the dispute, and that Japan and South Korea should work diplomatically to resolve the
issue. The island is called Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean. Earlier this month,
Japan's education ministry referred to the island for the first time in a document for junior high
school teachers. This brought strong protests from South Korea.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_13.html

US Restores Status Of Islets At Centre Of Japan-South Korea Row
The United States has decided to restore the status of a group of tiny islands claimed by both
South Korea and Japan as territory belonging to South Korea, President George W. Bush said
Wednesday. Amid an escalating dispute over the islets between the two Asian neighbors, the US
government's Board on Geographic Names (BGN) recently changed its classification of the islets
from a territory of South Korea to "undesignated sovereignty." "As to the database, I asked
(Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice to review it and the database will be restored to where it
was ... seven days ago," Bush told a group of Asian reporters at the White House. He pointed
out however that the dispute over the islets was a matter to be settled by Japan and South Korea.
South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo had earlier called the decision to change the status
by the BGN as "very regrettable", and officials in Seoul said President Lee Myung-Bak - who will
welcome Bush to South Korea next week - was "outraged". Dennis Wilder, National Security
Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs, told reporters that Seoul contacted Washington "at very
high levels" and asked it to look into the change in classification of the group of rocky and
treeless islets, called Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan. (cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/363978/1/.html

South Korea-Japan Island Dispute Heats Up Online
As tension heightens between South Korea and Japan over the disputed islands - called Dokdo in
Korean and Takeshima in Japan - the battle has moved on to the Internet. Netizens from both
countries have started to wage war against one another to defend the islets claimed by both
sides. Japanese web users accused the Koreans of claiming the islands illegally, but the
Koreans fought back, saying that it was all based on false facts. And Korean netizens said they
are not stopping here. VANK (Voluntary Agency Network of Korea), a civic group with more than
15,000 members in Korea and abroad, is planning to create a handbook explaining the facts and
South Korea's views on the disputed island, in several languages. The handbooks will be
distributed for free to all netizens around the world. "We can reach areas that are not accessible
to embassies and diplomats. So we can actively spread the information about Dokdo to more
places and people," said Im Hyun Sook, a researcher at VANK. The South Korean government
is being criticized for not doing enough to promote the island as a South Korean territory, and
there are rising concerns that Japan is doing a better job in claiming its right to the island.
However, South Korean netizens are determined not to give in, and will keep fighting until they
claim victory.
Source: Channel News Asia; Lim Yun Suk
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/eastasia/view/364123/1/.html

Japanese Embassy In New Delhi Receives Bomb Threat
The Japanese Embassy in New Delhi, India, has received a bomb threat targeting the capital's
central market district. The embassy received an E-mail on Wednesday threatening to bomb the
Sarojini Nagar district in New Delhi. Officials of the embassy say the E-mail contained no
information which would identity the sender. The embassy decided to close its visa issuing
service counters temporarily as part of measures to tighten security. It is also calling on Japanese
people to stay away from markets and train stations. Last week, bombs exploded in the southern
city of Bangalore and in the western city of Ahmedabad and killed a total of 55 people. Authorities
also found bombs in other cities. An Islamic militant group has claimed responsibility for the
series of bombings. The Indian government is stepping up security against further attacks in cities
by setting up checkpoints and increasing police patrols.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_10.html

Japan Closes India Visa Office, Warns Over Bombings
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Japanese government closed the consular section of its embassy in
India and warned its citizens to avoid crowded places such as markets and train stations after
receiving an e-mail warning of a possible attack. Japan's embassy in New Delhi said in a
statement in Japanese on its website that it had received an e-mail warning of an attack on New
Delhi's popular market district of Sarojini Nagar, where at least 66 people were killed in a 2005
bomb attack. The consular section of the embassy would be closed from July 30 "for a while,"
according to a spokesman. Indian authorities have been on a high alert since at least 45 people
were killed when a series of 16 bombs ripped through Ahmedabad, the main city of Gujarat state,
on Saturday. The attack came a day after bombs killed one woman in Bangalore, India's
outsourcing and software capital. A group called the "Indian Mujahideen" said it carried out the
Ahmedabad attack, writing in an e-mail sent five minutes before the first blast that it was in
revenge for a 2002 massacre in Gujarat of around 2,500 people, mainly Muslims, by Hindu mobs.
Police have also defused at least 13 unexploded bombs in the western Indian city of Surat, one of
the world's biggest diamond-polishing centres, in the last few days. (cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-34760720080731

Japan Warns Nationals In India Over Threats
Japan on Thursday warned its nationals in New Delhi about the threat of bomb blasts and said it
would temporarily close part of the embassy after a spate of attacks in the country. The
Japanese embassy said it received an e-mail on Wednesday that threatened bombings in Sarojini
Nagar, a bustling market area of the Indian capital. "Please be careful and avoid going to public
places where many people gather, such as stations, markets, bus stations and religious
institutions," the embassy in New Delhi said in a notice on its website. The embassy will
temporarily close its consular department out of security concerns, it said. A foreign ministry
official in Tokyo said that the threatening e-mail was sent to the Japanese embassy but declined
further details, including whether Japanese were the target. India has seen a spate of recent
attacks including bomb blasts Saturday in the western city of Ahmedabad that left 49 dead and
more than 160 injured.
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/363996/1/.html

Taiwan Aims To Improve Ties With Japan
Taiwan says it will aim to improve relations with Japan which have soured after a collision that led
to the sinking of a Taiwanese fishing boat near disputed Islands. The policy was agreed upon at a
meeting of President Ma Ying-jeou's advisory council on national security and top officials of
government offices on Thursday. In June, a Taiwanese fishing boat sank as a result of a collision
with a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat in the East China Sea off the Senkaku Islands. Japan
controls the islands which are claimed by China and Taiwan. The head of the Coast Guard's
regional office in Okinawa admitted the Japanese vessel was partly to blame. His letter of
apology and promise to start compensation talks were accepted by the captain of the Taiwanese
boat. Following the incident, boats carrying Taiwanese protesters and several Taiwanese patrol
boats entered Japan's territorial water around the Senkaku Islands. The incident also led to the
suspension of fishery negotiations between Japan and Taiwan. At Thursday's meeting
participants agreed to tell Japan that Taiwan will seek agreement in the fishery negotiations by
shelving the territorial dispute. The Taiwanese officials also decided to propose an early
introduction of a working holiday system, and connecting charter flights between an airport in
Taipei and Tokyo's Haneda airport. Negotiations for a free trade agreement are another proposal
they decided to present to Japan. The talks on policies toward Japan were the first since
President Ma took office in May.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_40.html

Japan Raids Company Over Nuclear Exports
Japanese police on Thursday raided a machine tool maker for exporting equipment without
government approval that can be used to make nuclear weapons, officials said. Television
footage showed officers raiding the headquarters of Horkos Corp. near the western city of
Hiroshima, which was the site of the world's first atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. Police were
suspicious about the company's exports of equipment which is normally used to make auto parts
but can be converted to produce centrifuge parts for uranium enrichment, a spokesman said.
Exports of such sensitive equipment normally require prior approval by the government. The
police spokesman declined to provide further details. But public broadcaster NHK and Jiji Press,
citing unnamed sources, said that the firm was suspected of exporting the machinery to South
Korea from which it was sent to a third country. Officials at Horkos could not be reached for a
comment. Authorities have in recent years cracked down on a number of Japanese firms over
suspicious exports. Four executives of precision equipment maker Mitutoyo were arrested in
2006 for illegally exporting nuclear equipment that was eventually found in Libya.
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/364020/1/.html

Rebuilding Mutual Trust With Japan
The mutual trust between Taiwan and Japan that the former Democratic Progressive Party
government developed over eight years has been smashed by President Ma Ying-jeou and his
administration, and is now on the verge of collapsing. Within 100 days of Ma‘s accession to
power, there have been five incidents that have had an impact on the nation‘s relations with
Japan. First, Ma announced that he intended to pay a visit to Japan during a press conference
with foreign journalists without first talking it over with Tokyo. Second, he intentionally failed to
mention Japan in his inaugural address. Next, he vacillated on his position in handling the
controversy over the Diaoyutai islands and violated the almost three-decade-long tacit agreement
between the two countries that patrol vessels would not be dispatched to the disputed waters.
Ma also claimed there was an ―exchange of classified letters‖ between high-level officials of the
two countries to resolve the Diaoyutai issue. Now, he has even allowed rumors to circulate in the
media about the candidate for Taiwan‘s representative to Japan before having discussed the
issue with the Japanese government. Among these incidents, media reports on the alleged
―exchange of confidential letters‖ between high-ranking officials have particularly battered mutual
trust. A Central News Agency report on July 21 said the Japanese government had dismissed
talks of a confidential exchange, adding that these rumors only hurt bilateral relations. (Cont)
Source: Taipei Times, Lai I Chung
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2008/08/01/2003419102

MONGOLIA

China Seeks To Build New Rail Line For Mongolian Coal
Inner Mongolia‘s Mengdian Huaneng Thermal Power Corporation is planning to build a rail line to
haul coal from the Mongolian border with China. The power company, a unit of China Huaneng
Group, the country's top power producer, said the rail line will run from Baiyunebo, or Bayan Obo,
to Mandula, a port of entry on the China-Mongolia border. This information was released in a
company filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The 83-kilometer rail line is expected to cost
1.3 billion yuan (US $190.4 million) to construct. Further, it may take up to 18 months to build.
The rail line will be used to bring Mongolian coal and other raw materials for use in Baotou Iron &
Steel, China's No. 13 steel maker, the company said.
Source: Mongolia Web
http://www.mongolia-web.com/content/view/1919/154/

MP Battulga Speaks About Riot Aftermath
Kh.Battulga, Democratic Party Chairman of the sub-Standing Committee on Human Rights of the
State Great Hural, addresses the outcome of Mongolia‘s political unrest.
-The statement you made on Monday drew public attention. You said, during a meeting with
relatives of those who died on July 1, that those people who shot at the mob on July 1 were
arrested. Can you give us more details about it? -There are some ―healthy-thinking‖ people at the
police agency. During the riot, a small number of police officers had firearms. It‘s clear that bullet
shells shot at protesters were found at the scene. I told Parliament earlier that there is zero
possibility to catch murderers if current police officials are still in power. I was duly informed
afterwards that certain people were detained and charged with the killing. S.Zorig‘s murder case
still has no prime suspect. We do not want this to happen again. MPRP working group members
said that political cases are not usually solved. This is totally irresponsible statement. (Cont)
Source: UB Post, Ch.Sumiyabazar
http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2099&Itemid=37

No Oath Of Office Yet For Parliament Members
MONGOLIA faced political uncertainty last week, when newly elected members of parliament
could not take the oath of office or assume full powers following a parliamentary boycott by the
opposition Democratic Party. On Tuesday, President N.Enkhbayar urged leaders from Mongolia‘s
main political powers, the majority Mongolian People‘s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and the
minority Democratic Party (DP), to speed up negotiations and begin the current session of
Parliament. By law, Mongolia‘s legislative body can only exercise its full power after a minimum
of 57 members take the oath of office. The General Election Committee validated election results
for 66 of the 76 parliamentary seats—10 seats remain open due to disputed vote counting—but
when the 25 Democratic Party members walked out of parliament, less than 57 members
remained to take the oath. MPRP and DP representatives met twice last week attempting to end
the impasse. According to D.Demberel, head of MPRP‘s delegation, the two groups reached a
number of agreements. These included decisions to create a committee on election and civil
registration, amend certain parts of the Constitution and Minerals Law, and start discussing
nationalization of Mongolia‘s mining sector immediately after the new session of Parliament
begins in earnest. (Cont)
Source: UB Post, Ch.Sumiyabazar
http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2102&Itemid=36

ROK/DPRK

US Envoy Goes To Beijing To Meet N. Korea Official
A new US special envoy to the six-party talks is headed to Beijing to discuss North Korea's
verification of its nuclear development with the officials from the North. The US diplomat in
charge of Korean affairs, Sung Kim, assumed the new post of special envoy to the six-party talks
on North Korea's nuclear program on Monday. He left an airport in the outskirts of Washington for
Beijing on Wednesday. Prior to the departure, Kim told reporters that he plans to hold talks with
Ri Gun, a senior official from the North Korean Foreign Ministry. He said that they will discuss
ways to verify the North's account of its nuclear development program. North Korea has yet to
respond to a draft outlining procedures for the verification. It was presented during the six party
talks in Beijing earlier this month. Kim expressed hope that North Korea will respond to the draft.
He added he does not know if it will give him a reply. The Bush administration has indicated that
the US may delay removing North Korea from its list of nations sponsoring terrorism if an
agreement on the verification process cannot be reached first.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_09.html
US Urges N.Korea To Agree To Verification Process
The United States says it will postpone removing North Korea from the list of state sponsors of
terrorism unless the North agrees to procedures for verifying its nuclear declaration. Dennis
Wilder, senior director for Asian affairs at the White House National Security Council, told
reporters on Wednesday that North Korea has yet to respond about whether it agrees to
procedures for verifying the contents of the declaration of its nuclear programs. Wilder added that
North Korea will not be removed from the list as scheduled on August 11th unless it gives a
response by that date. The new US special envoy to the six-party nuclear talks, Sung Kim, will
arrive in Beijing on Thursday to meet with North Korean officials, but time is running out for an
agreement.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_16.html

US, North Korea Hold Talks On Verification
US and North Korean officials have met in Beijing, apparently to discuss procedures for verifying
North Korea's account of its nuclear activities. US special envoy to the six-party nuclear Sung
Kim and a senior official of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, Ri Gun, met at North Korea's
Embassy on Thursday evening. NHK's correspondent in Beijing says the 2 are likely to have
discussed the composition of members who will take part in the verification of North Korea's
nuclear declaration and the types of equipment to be brought in for such verification. The US and
North Korean officials are expected to continue talks on Friday. The United States submitted a
draft plan on verification procedures at the six-party talks held last month but North Korea has yet
to respond. The US administration says that unless agreement is reached on verification
procedures, it will postpone the removal of North Korea from its list of states sponsoring terrorism.
That removal is scheduled for August 11th.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_02.html

Air Force Pilots, Engineers To Participate In U.S. Joint Exercise
A team of some 80 Korean Air Force pilots and engineers will take part in a U.S.-led aerial
combat exercise of allies next month, the Air Force said yesterday. The Air Force team will be
flying side by side with multinational forces including those from France and India, and the U.S.
Navy and Marine Corps. The exercise will take place at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. This
would be the first time Seoul has participated in Red Flag in almost two decades since 1992.
Seoul first flew in the exercise in 1979 with the F-4 Phantoms. An average 80 aircraft will be
taking part in the exercises slated for Aug. 9-23, Air Force officials said. "The exercise will be a
chance for our pilots to get accustomed to the latest aerial tactics by training with the
multinational forces," Col. Cho Kwang-je, chief of the Korean mission to the joint exercise said. A
total of six F-15K Slam Eagle fighter jets will participate in Red Flag. They are among the last
batch of the 40 jets Seoul purchased from U.S. manufacturer Boeing, which will retrieve the jets
after the exercise is over. Seoul has just recently started to deploy the F-15K jets for operations. It
signed an additional deal this year to buy 21 more jets to own a total of 60, minus one that went
missing during a flight drill in 2006. The Red Flag exercises are conducted in 4 to 6 cycles a year,
devised to train pilots from the United States, NATO and other allied countries for combat
situations.
Source: Korea Herald; Kim Ji-hyun
http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/

US Forces In Korea To Get More Late Night Off-Base Hours
U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea will be allowed to stay off base longer on weekends as
Washington moves to introduce a new three-year program for its service members in the country
for first time, the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Thursday. The troops will be allowed to stay off
base until 3 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and U.S. holidays starting Aug. 15, the USFK
public affairs office said. The current midnight to 5 a.m. curfew on working weekdays will remain
effective, according to the USFK office. "The reason for the change in the curfew policy is to give
service members more freedom and responsibility as the command moves toward more
normalized, three-year tours," it said in a statement. An official from the USFK office, however,
noted that Washington has no concrete plans to extend tours by U.S. service members to Korea
from the current one year to three years. "The new curfew is only part of measures to foster
conditions fit for new three-year tours by U.S. service members when that happens," said Kim
Young-kyu, a spokesman for the USFK. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. troops in Korea are currently
on a one-year assignment, while usually only commissioned officers are put on a two-year
assignment here. The new curfew policy for the U.S. forces in Korea will be reviewed every six
months, the USFK said, noting that the USFK leadership believes its service members will act
"responsibly" when off base. Crimes by U.S. troops often make headline news in the country
where some 28,500 U.S. troops stationed as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War are the only
foreign military presence.
Source: Yonhap; Byun Duk-kun
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2008/07/31/61/0301000000AEN20080731009700315F.
HTML

Bush Reverses U.S. Stance On Status Of Dokdo Islets
United States President George W. Bush yesterday ordered the U.S. Board on Geographic
Names to relabel Dokdo as South Korean territory. The move comes less than a week after the
board began categorizing the islets, occupied by South Korea since 1945 and claimed by Japan,
as an area of ―undesignated sovereignty.‖ The quick reversal, hardly anticipated by any
government official or expert here, is expected to brighten the political mood between the two
countries ahead of the upcoming Korea-U.S. presidential summit on Aug. 6. ―I asked Condi
[State Secretary Condoleeza] Rice to review it, and the database will be restored where it was
seven days ago,‖ Bush said in a joint interview on July 29 in the White House with reporters from
South Korea, China and Thailand. Bush was referring to the board‘s online GEOnet Names
Server, which a week ago relabeled Dokdo with undesignated sovereignty under the name of
Liancourt Rocks, a more neutral name used to refer to the islets that are called Takeshima in
Japan. Last week‘s change by the federal agency, which sets geographic name standards for all
U.S. government bodies, fanned fears in Seoul that it is losing ground in the international debate
with Japan over Dokdo. The decades-long tension over Dokdo erupted again last month when
Tokyo asserted its territorial dispute in new social studies teaching guidelines for middle school
teachers. (cont)
Source: JoongAng Ilbo; Jung Ha-won
http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2893116

Skorea Hails US Decision On Disputed Islets
Seoul applauded Thursday a US decision to relist South Korea as owners of a group of tiny
islands, amid a simmering dispute with Japan over claims to the territory. President George W.
Bush said a US agency was reversing its week-long decision that classified in its database the
chain of rocky islets as territory belonging to no country. The original move by the Board on
Geographic Names had angered South Korea, with Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo describing
the move as "very regrettable". "As to the database, I asked (Secretary of State Condoleezza)
Rice to review it and the database will be restored to where it was... seven days ago," Bush told a
group of Asian reporters at the White House. Bush pointed out however that the dispute over the
islets was a matter to be settled by Japan and South Korea. Bush's comments come ahead of
his visit next week to South Korea where mass protests over a resumption of US beef imports
has rocked the newly elected government of President Lee Myung-Bak. South Korea hailed the
latest US decision as showing "the deep trust and friendship between the leaders of the two
countries." "This is the result of South Korea-US alliance and trust having been restored,"
Seoul's presidential spokesman Lee Dong-Kwan said in a statement. "The exceptionally swift
measure reflects President George W. Bush's full understanding of the South Korean public
sentiment and the deep trust and friendship between the leaders of the two countries." (cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/363989/1/.html
US Goes Back To Referring To Takeshima As S.Korean
A US government agency has reversed its recent decision to refer to a small island claimed by
both Japan and South Korea as no longer belonging to any country, and will continue calling it
South Korean territory. Last week, the US Board on Geographic Names changed its designation
of the island from South Korean to undesignated sovereignty. South Korea strongly protested the
decision. On Wednesday, the Asian affairs chief of the National Security Council Dennis Wilder
said President George W Bush ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to look into the
matter after being contacted by the South Korean government. Bush is visiting South Korea next
week. He said the decision was then made that the board's database will go back to referring to
the island as South Korean. Wilder said he regrets that last week's change in designation was
perceived by South Koreans as some sort of change in the US policy. He said the US remains
neutral on the dispute, and that Japan and South Korea should work diplomatically to resolve the
issue. The island is called Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean. Earlier this month,
Japan's education ministry referred to the island for the first time in a document for junior high
school teachers. This brought strong protests from South Korea.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_13.html

US Restores Status Of Islets At Centre Of Japan-South Korea Row
The United States has decided to restore the status of a group of tiny islands claimed by both
South Korea and Japan as territory belonging to South Korea, President George W. Bush said
Wednesday. Amid an escalating dispute over the islets between the two Asian neighbors, the US
government's Board on Geographic Names (BGN) recently changed its classification of the islets
from a territory of South Korea to "undesignated sovereignty." "As to the database, I asked
(Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice to review it and the database will be restored to where it
was ... seven days ago," Bush told a group of Asian reporters at the White House. He pointed
out however that the dispute over the islets was a matter to be settled by Japan and South Korea.
South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo had earlier called the decision to change the status
by the BGN as "very regrettable", and officials in Seoul said President Lee Myung-Bak - who will
welcome Bush to South Korea next week - was "outraged". Dennis Wilder, National Security
Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs, told reporters that Seoul contacted Washington "at very
high levels" and asked it to look into the change in classification of the group of rocky and
treeless islets, called Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan. (cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/363978/1/.html

South Korea-Japan Island Dispute Heats Up Online
As tension heightens between South Korea and Japan over the disputed islands - called Dokdo in
Korean and Takeshima in Japan - the battle has moved on to the Internet. Netizens from both
countries have started to wage war against one another to defend the islets claimed by both
sides. Japanese web users accused the Koreans of claiming the islands illegally, but the
Koreans fought back, saying that it was all based on false facts. And Korean netizens said they
are not stopping here. VANK (Voluntary Agency Network of Korea), a civic group with more than
15,000 members in Korea and abroad, is planning to create a handbook explaining the facts and
South Korea's views on the disputed island, in several languages. The handbooks will be
distributed for free to all netizens around the world. "We can reach areas that are not accessible
to embassies and diplomats. So we can actively spread the information about Dokdo to more
places and people," said Im Hyun Sook, a researcher at VANK. The South Korean government
is being criticised for not doing enough to promote the island as a South Korean territory, and
there are rising concerns that Japan is doing a better job in claiming its right to the island.
However, South Korean netizens are determined not to give in, and will keep fighting until they
claim victory.
Source: Channel News Asia; Lim Yun Suk
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/eastasia/view/364123/1/.html
Seoul Faces More Tasks Over Dokdo
It was a close save. Feelings of relief were apparent at the Foreign Ministry yesterday after the
United States' geographical naming agency's website reversed an earlier move and relisted
Dokdo as part of Korea. Key officials, including Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Korean
Ambassador to the United States Lee Tae-sik, now look likely to hold on to their posts instead of
being subjected to disciplinary measures. Cheong Wa Dae hailed it as a "restored alliance"
between Seoul and Washington, while the Foreign Ministry welcomed the move. "It would be
unfair to say that Korean diplomats did not act fast and tried their hardest to bring out this
outcome," said professor Park Chul-hee of Seoul National University. "But (Washington's latest
move) was attributable to a strategic decision of the United States. The Seoul government should
use this as an opportunity to realize once again that Dokdo matter is never a temporary game,"
he said. Experts also underscored that behind-the-scenes efforts must continue in addition to
expanding projects aimed at broadening worldwide recognition of Dokdo as part of Korea.
"The chronic problem with Dokdo is that once the hype dies, it is extremely hard to find constant
investment, especially on a private level. More should be put into research and public relations
activities for Dokdo," another pundit said. Indeed, while the restoration of the U.S. Board on
Geographic Names benefits relations between Korea and the United States, it does little in
fending off Japan's zealous and persistent claim over the islets. (cont)
Source: Korea Herald; Lee Joo-hee
http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/

South Korea to Launch Dokdo Brand Marketing Campaign
Seoul will launch a brand marketing campaign requesting U.S. government institutions to use the
name Dokdo rather than Liancourt Rocks as part of a long-term strategy to strengthen its
sovereignty over the islets, a Grand National Party (GNP) lawmaker said Thursday. ``In a
separate move, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will create a task force to deal with the
territorial issue by inviting several experts outside the government,'' Rep. Yoon Sang-hyun told
reporters. At the GNP-foreign ministry meeting, Yoon said ruling party leaders asked the ministry
to investigate if there are similar cases in which Tokyo claims sovereignty over territories that do
not belong to it. The rough outline of the future strategy was unveiled after the U.S. Board on
Geographic Names (BGN) reinstated Korea's sovereignty over Dokdo islets early Thursday,
following President George W. Bush's order that recognition of ownership of the islets be restored
on the BGN's database. Seoul welcomed the reversal, saying the decision reinforces strong
Seoul-Washington relations. Tokyo, meanwhile, downplayed the BGN's reversal. Japanese
government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura was quoted as saying by the Associated Press
that ``there is no need for us to overreact to a decision made by just one organization in the
United States.'' No lawmakers brought up the sackings of Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and
his team at the meeting. (cont)
Source: Korea Times; Kang Hyun-kyung
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/08/116_28553.html

Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand
WASHINGTON — US President George W Bush will travel to South Korea, Thailand and China
next week before taking part in the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. While in Thailand,
Bush, accompanied by his wife, Laura, will make a major policy statement on Burma while also
meeting Burmese opposition group members. On his second day in Thailand, Bush will attend a
briefing by nongovernmental organizations and US agencies on the Cyclone Nargis relief effort.
"He will have a lunch in Bangkok with Burmese activists and hear their stories. And then he will
be interviewed by the press in Thailand that broadcasts into Burma, so he can give a message
directly to the Burmese people," said Dennis Wilder, the senior director for Asian affairs at the
National Security Council. "During the time that he is doing these events, Mrs. Bush will travel to
Mae Sot, Thailand," Wilder said. The first lady has shown an exceptional interest in the affairs of
Burma and the Bush's administration policy with regard to this country to some extent is driven by
her strong support to the pro-democracy movement people. Laura Bush will meet with refugees
of the Mae La Refugee Camp, one of the largest refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.
"Following her visit to Mae La, she will travel to the Mae Tao Clinic," Wilder said. The clinic was
founded by Dr. Cynthia Maung. (cont)
Source: Mizzima News
http://www.irrawaddy.org/article1.php?art_id=13646

Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks
U.S. President George Bush leaves Washington Monday on what is likely to be his final official
trip to Asia. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports he will travel to South
Korea, Thailand and China for the start of the Summer Olympics. From the streets of Seoul, to
the Olympic venues in Beijing, this trip was controversial before it even began. Mr. Bush was
originally expected to travel to Seoul several weeks ago, following the G-8 summit in Japan.
Those plans were changed when Koreans staged massive demonstrations to protest a deal on
American beef imports, and to show their discontent with their government. Byong-Ki Kim of
Korea University in Seoul says it was the wrong time for a presidential visit. "The timing, let's say
a month ago, would have been different for Bush to come," Kim said. "It is not only playing into
the domestic political processes, but to possibly even be utilized politically in a very unproductive
manner. It is purely domestic politics. It happens anywhere in the world." Kim says the political
climate is still volatile but has cooled a bit. And he says the Bush visit will show just how well the
government can handle its diplomatic responsibilities. First stop of tour takes Bush to South
Korea. (cont)
Source: VOA; Paula Wolfson
http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-07-31-voa15.cfm

Bush Wants To Discuss S. Korea's Enhanced Role In War On Terror: Aide
U.S. President George W. Bush wants to discuss South Korea's participation in the war on terror
being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan during talks with President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul early
next week, a senior White House aide said Wednesday. "They will also discuss ways that they
can begin to implement a global strategic partnership for the 21st century, so that Korea joins us,
as they have begun to do, in helping to secure the peace in other regions of the world such as in
Iraq and Afghanistan," Dennis Wilder, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security
Council (NSC), told reporters. About 500 South Korean troops are currently operating in northern
Iraq as part of the U.S.-led war on terror. The number is a sharp reduction from the over 3,000
troops dispatched by Seoul to the war-torn Middle Eastern country in 2004. Seoul withdrew about
250 medical and engineering troops from Afghanistan last year after 23 South Korean
missionaries were kidnapped by the Taliban insurgents. Two of them were killed, with the rest
released weeks later. The Bush administration is considering increasing troop levels, especially in
Afghanistan, to cope with a worsening situation in the country, as insurgents there have steadily
been gaining power. Bush stopped short of raising the issue in April when he invited Lee to Camp
David, apparently opting to side-step thornier issues in his initial meeting with the South Korean
president.. (cont)
Source: Yonhap; Hwang Doo-hyong
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2008/07/31/80/0301000000AEN20080731006000315F.
HTML

Korea to Join Int'l Lunar Exploration
South Korea will take part in an international lunar exploration project launched by NASA to build
up to eight science bases on the lunar surface. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute on
Wednesday announced it signed a letter of intent for the participation in the project code-named
International Lunar Network at NASA's Ames Research Center in California last Thursday. The
ILN is a project aimed at exploring lunar environment and resources by sending a multinational
fleet of six to eight robotic spacecraft to the lunar surface. NASA formally announced the same
day that the space agencies of nine countries -- the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France,
Italy, Japan and India, as well as Korea -- signed an agreement on the joint lunar exploration
project. NASA plans to send two spacecraft to the moon in 2013 or 2014 in the first stage. The
craft will carry out a mission surveying geological features and environment of the moon to look
for a suitable location for a manned space station. The U.S. expects that astronauts can live on
the lunar surface and conduct research starting 2024. KARI president Paik Hong-yul said, "We'll
make a joint review of the ILN project in cooperation with NASA by the end of this year before we
reach a final decision as to whether we should participate in the NASA's project and how much
we should contribute to the project in case we participate in it." He also said, "We're also
considering incorporating our own lunar exploration satellite launch project slated for 2025 into
NASA'S ILN project." (cont)
Source: Chosun Ilbo
http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200807/200807310004.html

More N. Korean Refugees Seek Asylum in U.S.
North Korean refugees are seeking asylum in the U.S. through more diverse routes, including
Southeast Asia, Russia and even Eastern Europe. Radio Free Asia on Tuesday reported that five
North Korean refugees who came to the Czech Republic recently are expected to arrive in the
U.S. as early as this week. The five, including a married couple, are currently being screened at
the U.S. Embassy in Prague. They had been under protection of the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees in Beijing until last week. After the Czech government granted them temporary stay in
Czech Republic, they arrived in Prague on Sunday. RFA said that it was the first time for the
Czech government to grant North Korean refugees in China temporary stay before they seek
asylum in a third country. The station predicted that more North Korean refugees will likely seek
asylum in the U.S. through such a route. On July 22, the U.S. allowed Han Dong-man, a former
North Korean logger in Siberia, to enter the country. He had been protected by UNHCR in
Moscow since October last year, and was finally granted asylum by the U.S. after diplomatic
negotiations between the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. government has been taking action since it
was criticized by Congress for failing to make good on promises to help North Korean refugees
even after enacting the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2004. President George W. Bush last
Thursday met and encouraged a North Korean refugee who has settled in the U.S., for the first
time, vowing to seek solutions to the problem of the North Korean refugees in China.
Source: Chosun Ilbo
http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200807/200807310006.html

RUSSIA

Medvedev To Submit Anti-Graft Bill To Parliament In September
MOSCOW -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will present to parliament in September a draft
law on measures to counter corruption, the Kremlin said Thursday. "The draft law on countering
corruption and two bills amending a large number of laws will be prepared," a presidential aide
Larisa Brycheva told reporters. Earlier Thursday, Medvedev signed a plan to counter corruption.
The plan envisages the creation of anti-corruption units in every branch of the Russian
government, said Kremlin administration chief Sergei Naryshkin, who heads the board of the
president's anti-corruption council. Under the plan, Russian military officers, customs officials,
judges and police will have to declare their property. In addition, Russia could soon establish a
special disciplinary court for civil servants. The anti-corruption plan has 14 pages and consists of
four parts, a Kremlin source said. The fight against corruption has become one of Medvedev's
top priorities. Two weeks after his inauguration he signed a decree setting up a presidential anti-
corruption council. In late June, Naryshkin presented a draft national anti-corruption program.
Under it, all government bodies in Russia have been asked to adopt their own anti-corruption
plans by November 1. Proposals have also been made to develop a system of incentives and
safeguards for individuals who have provided reliable information about corruption, as well as
mechanisms "stimulating anti-corruption behavior" among civil servants. A relevant federal law is
expected to be developed by October 1.
Source: RIA Novosti
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080731/115374719.html
Public Unconvinced President Medvedev Is Russia's Real Leader
MOSCOW -- Less than 10% of Russians see President Dmitry Medvedev as the true leader of
the country, according to a July opinion poll released Thursday by the Yury Levada Center.
When asked "Who holds the real power in the country?" more than a third - 36% - said Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin did, while only 9% saw Medvedev as the main figure. Almost half - 47% -
answered that power was shared by "both equally." Eight percent gave no answer. Medvedev,
42, was inaugurated as Russia's third president since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 on
May 7, taking over from Putin, who was approved as the country's premier a day later. When
pollsters asked the same question in March, after Medvedev had been elected president but
before Putin had stepped down, the public's view was that power was shared more equally.
Those who said power was divided equally constituted 47%, while 21% picked Putin as the real
leader and 20% went for Medvedev. Twelve percent were unable to answer. The current poll
also indicated that 51% of Russians believe Medvedev in general continues his predecessor's
policies. Thirty-one percent were sure Medvedev's policies are the same - up 5 percentage points
from March. Eleven percent said Medvedev is gradually altering his policies, while only 2% said
the new president governs the country in his own way. The poll was conducted July 18-22, 2008.
A total of 1,600 Russians were polled in 128 cities and villages in 46 regions. The margin of error
was 3 percentage points.
Source: RIA Novosti
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080731/115372879.html

Russia To Launch Production Of Tu-334 Airliner Within 6 Months
MOSCOW -- Commercial production of a new Russian short-haul passenger airliner, the Tu-334,
will start within the next six months, the manufacturer said Thursday. Sergei Ilyushenkov,
managing director of the Tupolev joint-stock company, said the Tu-334, including its business-
class version, would be assembled at the Kazan aircraft plant. The project will be funded by a
private investor. The executive said the airplane, which seats up to 102 passengers, was unique
and had "no match either in Russia or elsewhere." He said the Tu-334 business version would
cost around $43-44 million, compared with over $60 million for a Bombardier business jet.
Ilyushenkov also said the Tu-334's range could subsequently be increased to 6,400 km by using
additional fuel tanks. Work on the Tu-334 started in the early 1990s, but proceeded slowly due to
funding problems. A prototype was displayed in 1995, but it was little more than a mock-up with
few systems installed. A functional aircraft first flew in 1999.
Source: RIA Novosti
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080731/115369534.html

OCEANIA, SOUTH ASIA, AND SOUTHEAST ASIA

SOUTH ASIAN ASSOCIATION OF REGIONAL COOPERATION (SAARC)

India Begins SAARC Foreign Minister Meet In Colombo
India's External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee representing India, the outgoing chairman of
SAARC, Thursday began the proceedings of 13th Meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers in
Colombo by handing over the Chairmanship to his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama.
Foreign Ministers of the eight-member SAARC have met in the Sri Lankan capital to set the
agenda for the weekend Summit aimed at boosting trade ties and combating the food and energy
crisis, said the media reports received here. The meeting of the Council of Ministers, which is
expected to continue till Friday afternoon, will discuss ways to launch of the SAARC Development
Fund and finalize a pact on regional legal cooperation to deal with criminal matters and a fund to
manage the food and energy crisis. In his opening remarks Bogollagama said that he looks
forward to transform the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation which implements it
programs in a more effective manner. Bogollagama said he looked forward to a very fruitful
outcome from the 15th SAARC Summit. The theme of this year's summit is "The SAARC:
Partnership for our People." Terrorism could dominate the proceedings of the summit as it comes
close on the heels of a wave of bomb blasts in key Indian cities of Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
(cont)
Source: IRNA
http://www2.irna.com/en/news/view/menu-234/0807312952201529.htm

South Asian Nations Discuss Food Bank To Fight Hunger
COLOMBO (Reuters) - South Asian foreign ministers discussed on Thursday details of an
ambitious plan to fight hunger in the region, including building a common food grains reserve. The
ministers are meeting to set the stage for an Aug. 2-3 summit of South Asian leaders where their
recommendations on food and energy security and terrorism will be adopted for action. The
proposals include building a food bank and regional buffer stocks that member countries can use
in times of need. Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the summit would adopt
a Colombo Statement on food security that will unveil several short and long term measures to
tackle price rise. "Pakistan and several others highlighted the need for a food bank and its need
for early operalization," he told reporters. The leaders of the eight-nation South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) are also expected to take steps to invigorate the South Asian
Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement signed in 2004 but which came into effect only two years
later. SAARC represents around a fifth of humanity and remains one of the world's poorest
regions, amid rising prices of commodities and basic food stuffs globally. "The ministers are
discussing modalities of repayment and also details of storing and transporting," an SAARC
standing committee member told Reuters on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak to reporters.
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-34764420080731

India, Pakistan To Hold Talks On Summit Sidelines
COLOMBO (Reuters) - The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan will meet on the sidelines of a
South Asian summit on Thursday amid an escalation in border skirmishes and bomb attacks on
Indian cities that threaten a sluggish peace process. Foreign ministers of eight South Asian
countries are meeting in Colombo to set the stage for an Aug. 2-3 summit of their leaders that will
discuss, among other issues, terrorism and food and energy security. "They will meet sometime
in between the SAARC foreign ministers' meeting," A. Manickam, a top Indian diplomat in
Colombo, told Reuters. Manickam gave no details of the agenda of the meeting between the
Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers. But a senior diplomat said Indian foreign minister Pranab
Mukherjee is expected to send a strong message to Pakistan to do more to curb anti-India
militant groups in Pakistan. The meeting comes after a series of violations of a five-year-old
ceasefire on the de facto border dividing the disputed Kashmir region. There have been three
exchanges of border fire this month alone, marking the most serious violation since a 2003
ceasefire. The South Asian regional summit is also being held under the shadow of a string of
bomb blasts in India, and another at its embassy in Kabul this month, which India blamed on
Pakistan's spy agency. (cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34759420080731

PM Koirala Leaves For Colombo
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala left for Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday afternoon to attend the
15th summit of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). Prime Minister
Girija Prasad Koirala at Tribhuvan International Airport before leaving for Colombo, Sri Lanka, to
attend the 15th SAARC summit on Thursday, July 31 08. Leaders of various parties, ministers
and senior government officials were present at the airport to see him off. nepalnews.com/ANA
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at Tribhuvan International Airport before leaving for
Colombo, Sri Lanka, to attend the 15th SAARC summit... Koirala is leading a 28-member
delegation of Nepal to the summit scheduled for August 2 and 3. Before departure, he had held
separate meetings with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and army chief Rookmangud Katawal.
Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat is already in Colombo to attend the ministerial-level
meetings at the SAARC. Koirala is also expected to meet with regional leaders including Indian
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Summit. The Summit is expected to
finalise four different agreements. They include an agreement on SAARC Development Fund,
South Asian regional standards organization, taking on board Afghanistan into South Asian Free
Trade Area (SAFTA) pact and mutual legal assistance to deal with criminal activities. The Summit
is also likely to give high priority to regional cooperation in dealing with issues such as poverty
alleviation, food security, energy crisis, terrorism and climate change. There are eight member
states in SAARC - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and
Bhutan. (cont)
Source: Nepalnews.com
http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2008/jul/jul31/news02.php

Iftekhar Calls On SAARC To Remove Trade Barriers
Dhaka, July 31 (bdnews24.com)--Foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury called on SAARC
ministers Thursday to remove all non-tariff barriers that impeded commerce and posed difficulties
for the least developed countries of the region. He also called on SAARC leaders to tackle the
major regional and global contemporary problems of food security, trade and climate change,
addressing the first session of the SAARC ministerial meeting in the Sri Lankan capital of
Colombo. The two-day Council of Ministers meet started Thursday, ahead of the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation Summit on Aug 2 and 3. "Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
issued a call to render SAARC more effective to enable it to tackle the major regional and global
contemporary problems like food security, trade, energy and climate change," the foreign ministry
said in a statement Thursday. "The foreign adviser stressed the need for a holistic approach to
climate change and the need to adopt cooperative measures to reduce the impact of natural
disasters," the statement said. The adviser also asked for the SAARC Food Bank, which has yet
to be made operational, to start functioning at the earliest, the ministry said. Iftekhar described the
South Asian Free Trade Area as a "vehicle of progress in trade and investment" and asked for
the removal of all non-tariff barriers that impeded intra-SAARC commerce and posed difficulties
for least developed member countries.
Source: BDnews24.com
http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?cid=4&id=58613

Nepal PM Seeks To Meet Manmohan On SAARC Sidelines
KATHMANDU: Nepal's caretaker Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who is scheduled to attend
the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo this week amid uproar among the political parties, is
seeking a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the
regional meet. The meeting between the two premiers is likely to trigger another controversy in
Nepal with the Maoists regarding the wily politician, considered New Delhi's favorite, with
wariness. A chastened Koirala was forced to pare his jumbo 35-member delegation, which would
have cost the cash-strapped nation dependent on foreign aid Nepali Rs 7.3 million, to only 10
members after an uproar Wednesday among the major parties as well as in the caretaker
parliament. However, the team still includes his daughter, minister without portfolio Sujata Koirala,
whose inclusion was opposed by the Maoists on the ground that she lost the April election.
Koirala's personal physician, secretary and adviser on foreign affairs are also in the entourage.
Though officially Nepal wants to discuss enhanced investment and hydropower issues with India,
the Maoists feel Koirala would also try to gauge the extent of Indian support for him and his
Nepali Congress (NC) party. The bilateral meeting between Koirala and Singh is likely to have a
crucial effect on Nepal's future politics. (cont)
Source: IANS
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Nepal_PM_seeks_to_meet_Manmohan
_on_SAARC_sidelines/articleshow/3309961.cms

Sri Lanka Minister Laments Lack Of News Reporting On Progress
Sri Lanka's Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa has lamented the lack of reporting in the
media on issues of development and too much focus on politics. Addressing the Fourth SAARC
Journalist Summit Wednesday evening at the Trans Asia Hotel in Colombo, the Minister
emphasized the need for the media to be responsible and commended the South Asian Free
Media Association which organized the forum for its commitment to playing a progressive role in
the region's development, ColomboPage News Desk reported. "We are moving into an era which
challenges all of us to be more responsible in what we say and do and how we say it and do it,"
the minister said. "Where are the well-argued, well-written features investigating development
drives, the philosophies upon which they are founded, and the extrapolations thereof?" the
minister asked. Concluding his speech, Minister Yapa proposed a South Asian News Agency for
reporting regional issues. "Why should we let others make us inhabit their versions of our reality?
Let us first write our stories ourselves. I believe that a news agency of our peoples, for our
peoples and with our peoples, is something worth working towards," he added. Journalists from
the eight SAARC nations, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and
Afghanistan will gather at the two-day summit to discuss the access to free flow of information in
each country under the theme `Freedom of Media in Conflict Situations.' (cont)
Source: IRNA
http://www2.irna.com/en/news/view/menu-234/0807313731114936.htm

AUSTRALIA

Police Probe Attack On Malaysian Student In Australia
The mother of a Malaysian student, left in a coma after being attacked in Australia, says she
never thought he would come to harm in the southeastern city of Melbourne. Kevindra Joseph,
19, was beaten by a group of men in the city early last Friday. He spent two days in a coma and
remains in hospital. Police say the attack appears to have been racially motivated, and they want
help to find those responsible. His mother, Rohini Devi, says she is shocked by what has
happened. "I thought Melbourne was always a safe city," she said. "People around him,
especially his aunty, they've been here for a long time and nothing happens to them, nothing has
happened. "I never expected this, I'm sure he never would have expected the same."
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200807/s2320895.htm?tab=australia

Australia And Nauru Sign MOU Worth US$27m
Nauru‘s foreign minister, Dr Kieren Keke, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his
Australian counterpart Stephen Smith which governs Australia‘s development assistance to
Nauru. In the 2008-09 financial year, Australia will provide up to 27 million US dollars in Official
Development Assistance to Nauru. The assistance supports health, education, economic and
financial management and public sector capacity-building, including policing assistance. Australia
says this represents the government‘s commitment to help Nauru restore essential infrastructure
and services and to improve economic self-sufficiency. The deal also takes into account the
closure in March of Australia‘s Offshore Processing Centre on Nauru set up in 2001.
Source: Radio New Zealand
http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=41214

PNG Accuses Australia Of Interference
Papua New Guinea's foreign minister, Sam Abal, has accused the country's major aid donor,
Australia, of interfering in PNG's domestic politics. Our PNG correspondent, Steve Marshall, says
Mr Abal was referring to comments made by PNG AusAid chief, Margaret Thomas, about
corruption and leaders in PNG. Mr Abal says he aired his concerns over Ms Thomas's comments
to Australia's foreign minister, Stephen Smith, in Singapore recently. "I don't think it's right for
donor agencies to make political statements," he said. "I think to make a judgement on leaders -
that is the right of the PNG citizens." Australia commits nearly $US400 million a year in aid to
PNG.
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200807/s2320796.htm?tab=pacific
Petrol Commissioner In Australia Resigns
Australia's petrol commissioner, Pat Walker, has resigned, after just half a year on the job. In a
statement, the assistant treasurer, Chris Bowen, says personal circumstances mean Mr Walker
wants to leave the role so he can base himself in Perth, in Western Australia. Mr Walker was
appointed to the role to monitor petrol companies, and was overseeing the government's plans to
implement a Fuelwatch price monitoring system.
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200807/s2320896.htm?tab=latest

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh Creates Graft Panel To Tackle Corruption
DHAKA (Reuters) - A graft panel allowing corrupt Bangladeshi politicians and businessmen a
chance to confess their wrongdoings to escape jail got down to work on Thursday, officials said.
The government, which last year launched a sweeping anti-corruption drive that has netted
scores of top officials, created the panel to ease a massive backlog of graft cases. The panel,
called the Truth and Accountability Commission, will run till the end of the year. Justice Habibur
Rahman Khan, a retired judge of the High Court, will head the commission while retired army
general Manzur Rashid Chowdhury and former chief government auditor Asif Ali will act as
members. Officials said politicians and businessmen who give details of their fraudulent deals
would not be tried for those crimes. But they would have to give up any wealth acquired through
those deals. People admitting their guilt before the commission would also be barred for five
years from contesting any elections, officials said. "The truth commission is a good effort by the
interim government to address the issue of corruption in a soft way but not many people are likely
to respond. They may consider it a trap," said a senior govt official, who requested anonymity.
The army-backed interim government is due to hand over power to an elected government after
parliamentary polls planned for December. The government, headed by former central bank chief
Fakhruddin Ahmed, took over in January 2007 following deadly political violence. It cancelled
elections, imposed a state of emergency and launched a crackdown on corruption by politicians
and businessmen. (Cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34759320080731

HC Scraps EC Ban On Campaign In Local Polls
In a landmark judgment, the High Court Thursday scrapped an Election Commission rule
restricting election campaign by political parties in the local-body polls, which are held on
nonparty basis, reports UNB. The court, however, declared valid the August 4 schedule for
holding election to four city corporations and nine municipalities. A division Bench comprising
Justice ABM Kahirul Haque and M Abu Tariq delivered the judgment on a Public Interest
Litigation (PIL) writ petition filed by Jasim Uddin Sarker, a Supreme Court lawyer and a leader of
Dhaka city unit of Jamaat-e-Islami. Earlier on July 15, a High Court division bench, responding to
the PIL writ petition, had issued rule upon the government and the Election Commission to
explain why the EC-declared August 4 schedule for the local elections without the final voter list
''should not be declared illegal''. The judgment says the Election Commission has framed the
election code-of-conduct rule restricting the political parties from the hustings in favor of their
candidates superseding the two May 14 Ordinances-Local Government (City Corporation)
Ordinance 2008 and Local Government (Municipality) Ordinance 2008--for holding the elections.
The Election Commission has "violated" the relevant original laws, which is "ultra vires to the
Constitution", the HC opined. The HC bench in its judgment said that, after examining the papers
submitted by the Election Commission with regard to final voter list, it is clear that the EC had
announced the election schedule after the final voter list of the respective areas. (cont)
Source: News Today
http://www.newstoday-bd.com/frontpage.asp?newsdate=#14000
World Bank Gives Bangladesh $50 Mln Cyclone Loan
DHAKA, July 31 (Reuters) - Bangladesh will get a $50 million loan from the World Bank to help
poor families affected by last year's deadly cyclone, the bank said on Thursday. The $50 million
in additional financing for the Social Investment Program Project (SIPP) would support
rehabilitation of the cyclone affected families, a World Bank statement said. SIPP, which has
already benefitted over 1,000 villages across Bangladesh, was identified as the best instrument
for quickly channeling funds to restore livelihoods in cyclone hit areas. More than 3,300 people
were killed in the worst cyclone since 1991, which made millions homeless and destroyed about 2
million tons of rice, the country's staple food. A group of donors, led by the World Bank, have
assessed that the impoverished country will need $4 billion to fully rehabilitate the economy after
the cyclone, officials said. The credit from the International Development Association, the World
Bank's soft lending arm, has 40 years to maturity, including a 10-year grace period; and carries
annual service charge of 0.75 percent.
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idINDHA1063020080731

Iftekhar Calls On SAARC To Remove Trade Barriers
Dhaka, July 31 (bdnews24.com)--Foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury called on SAARC
ministers Thursday to remove all non-tariff barriers that impeded commerce and posed difficulties
for the least developed countries of the region. He also called on SAARC leaders to tackle the
major regional and global contemporary problems of food security, trade and climate change,
addressing the first session of the SAARC ministerial meeting in the Sri Lankan capital of
Colombo. The two-day Council of Ministers meet started Thursday, ahead of the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation Summit on Aug 2 and 3. "Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
issued a call to render SAARC more effective to enable it to tackle the major regional and global
contemporary problems like food security, trade, energy and climate change," the foreign ministry
said in a statement Thursday. "The foreign adviser stressed the need for a holistic approach to
climate change and the need to adopt cooperative measures to reduce the impact of natural
disasters," the statement said. The adviser also asked for the SAARC Food Bank, which has yet
to be made operational, to start functioning at the earliest, the ministry said. Iftekhar described the
South Asian Free Trade Area as a "vehicle of progress in trade and investment" and asked for
the removal of all non-tariff barriers that impeded intra-SAARC commerce and posed difficulties
for least developed member countries.
Source: BDnews24.com
http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?cid=4&id=58613

BHUTAN

PDP Is Not On The Verge Of Collapsing, Says Opposition Leader
July 31: The Opposition Leader Tshering Tobgay vehemently denied reports that the People‘s
Democratic Party (PDP) was on the verge of collapsing. He said the party is having a difficult time
servicing their debts, maintaining their office in the dzongkhags and paying their party workers but
the party is not on the verge of collapsing. He said the PDP did not initiate the proposal for state
funding. He said the PDP was party to the petition but the issue was broached by the Druk
Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and the proposal was drafted by DPT. He said it doesn‘t matter who
prepared the letter because both parties needed money. He said it is also unfair to say that the
PDP was holding do and die meetings. It is not accurate. He said they had meetings to present
the books of accounts to their supporters but they did not have do or die meetings. He said they
are going through very difficult times financially but they have a huge support base and that
support base is growing because the people understand the importance of having a strong
opposition for a vibrant democracy.
Source: BBS
http://www.bbs.com.bt/PDP%20is%20not%20on%20the%20verge%20of%20collapsing,%20say
%20Opposition%20Leader.html
Tonga Coronation
home 31 July, 2008 - On the invitation of His Majesty King George Tupou V of Tonga to His
Majesty the King of Bhutan, Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck will be visiting
the Island of Tonga from 30 July to 3 August 2008 to represent His Majesty the King of Bhutan at
the Coronation ceremony of His Majesty the King of Tonga. While Bhutan and Tonga do not have
diplomatic relations, the two countries enjoy cordial relations. His Majesty the King of Tonga
visited Bhutan last December to personally invite His Majesty the King of Bhutan to attend the
Coronation in Tonga. His Majesty King George Tupou V ascended the Throne on 10 September
2006, following the demise at the age of 88 years of his father His Majesty King Taufa‘ahau
Tupou IV. The Coronation ceremony is to take place in Nuku‘alofa, Tonga on 1st August 2008.
Source: Kuensel Online
http://www.kuenselonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=10894

BRUNEI

Brunei Sultan To Mark 40th Anniversary Of Coronation
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AFP) — One of the world's longest-reigning monarchs,
Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, marks the 40th anniversary of his coronation on Friday. But
there was no sign that formal celebrations were planned for the occasion, a government
spokesman said. "There is no indication so far," he told AFP. Hassanal, 62, was formally crowned
on August 1, 1968 after ascending the throne on October 5, 1967. The 40th anniversary of his
ascension was commemorated in a low-key manner which included religious celebrations.
Hassanal is prime minister, defense minister, finance minister and head of Islam in the Malay
Muslim absolute monarchy, which dates back to the 14th century. The youthful-looking, goateed
sultan rules over a sliver of Borneo island which gained full independence from Britain in 1984.
Western diplomats have said he is a hard-working ruler in touch with the people. Brunei is
Southeast Asia's fourth-largest oil producer and the world's ninth-largest exporter of liquefied
natural gas, the World Trade Organisation said. Brunei's mineral wealth has brought its citizens,
who number fewer than 400,000, one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia and an array of
social welfare benefits. Observers have said the country's mineral resources have been
dwindling, leading to a debate within the administration about how to secure the country's
economic future.
Source: AFP
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hy2_Oo1xmmKk_qiIGP-cja6R4B3g

BURMA

Bomb Explodes In Mudon, No Casualties
Chiang Mai - A small bomb on Wednesday night exploded at the telecommunication office in
Mudon of Southern Burma's Mon state, sources said. The bomb exploded under the stairs of the
Telecommunication located in the Kyaik Paik village, about 2 miles away from Mudon town, but
caused no casualties. "The bomb exploded at about 11:30 pm in the night and following the blast
authorities found four TNT explosives. The buildings were not so much damaged," a local
resident of Mudon told Mizzima. While no groups have so far claim responsibility of the blast,
authorities said they are investigating. The blast is the third explosion in Burma within a month's
time. Earlier on July 14, a small bomb exploded near Deik Oo town in Pegu division on an
Express Bus that is running on the Rangoon-Pegu highway, and killed a passenger. On first of
July, a similar bomb explosion took place at the local office of the Union Solidarity and
Development Association (USDA), a pro-junta civil association, in a suburban township of Shwe
Pyi Thar in Rangoon. While the blast caused damages to the furniture and parts of the building,
there were no reports of human casualties. While there have been no groups claiming
responsibility for the two blasts in Deik Oo and Mudon, an armed underground group known as
Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors (VBWS) claimed responsibility for the bomb blast at the
USDA office. (cont)
Source: Mizzima News
http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/4-inside-burma/844-bomb-explodes-in-mudon-no-
casualties

Cyclone-Hit Myanmar Struggling To Find Its Feet
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Three months after Cyclone Nargis slammed into army-run Myanmar,
people in the worst-hit Irrawaddy delta are still in dire need of food and clean water, hampering
efforts to rebuild their lives, aid agencies say. According to a joint assessment by the United
Nations, Myanmar and Southeast Asian governments, three quarters of households have
inadequate access to clean drinking water, making water-borne diseases such as cholera and
dysentery a constant threat. In addition, more than 40 percent have little or nothing by way of
food, having lost their stocks in the May 2 storm and the sea surge that smashed into the delta,
leaving 138,000 people dead or missing. Another 800,000 were displaced in a disaster that the
U.N. says affected 2.4 million people in the former Burma, where most people rely on farming for
a living. "The window of opportunity for planning crops has now closed. Farmers will have to wait
until November 2009 for their next decent harvest and will struggle to find enough food," leading
charity Save The Children said. hile UN children's agency UNICEF said malnutrition was not yet a
cause for concern, Save The Children said that if food and employment needs were not
addressed, the number of malnourished youngsters could rise to emergency levels. Fears of
funding shortages have been compounded by recent revelations that aid agencies are losing
money due to Myanmar's distorted official exchange rate. The United Nations admitted this week
it had lost $10 million so far.
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34761120080731

Junta Slams Exile Group’s UN Campaign
Burma‘s state-run press on Tuesday attacked an exile group‘s campaign to have the UN declare
the newly approved constitution illegal and unseat the military government from the international
body. The New Light of Myanmar published an article about Maung Maung, the secretary-general
of the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) and other groups in exile that do not
recognize the Burmese government as a legitimate member of the United Nations. The
newspaper said, ―Some politicians of the Western bloc‖ and ―some follower groups‖ were asking
the UN to not recognize the junta-backed constitution, which was approved in a May referendum.
The government announced that elections would be held in 2010. ―In respect to the sovereignty
of a nation, neither international organization nor government has the right to interfere in the
approval of a constitution that has been drawn in conformity with the nation‘s prevailing
conditions,‖ the newspaper said. Burma‘s political, economic and military affairs have never
constituted a threat to the stability of the international community, neighboring countries or the
region, the article said. The article also blasted an open letter released by a group of politicians
who won seats in Parliament in Burma‘s 1990 election. The letter called the junta‘s constitution
illegal and urged the junta open a dialogue with opposition groups. The junta did not recognize
the results of the 1990 election. (cont)
Source: The Irrawaddy
http://www.irrawaddy.org/article3.php?art_id=13644

Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand
WASHINGTON — US President George W Bush will travel to South Korea, Thailand and China
next week before taking part in the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. While in Thailand,
Bush, accompanied by his wife, Laura, will make a major policy statement on Burma while also
meeting Burmese opposition group members. On his second day in Thailand, Bush will attend a
briefing by nongovernmental organizations and US agencies on the Cyclone Nargis relief effort.
"He will have a lunch in Bangkok with Burmese activists and hear their stories. And then he will
be interviewed by the press in Thailand that broadcasts into Burma, so he can give a message
directly to the Burmese people," said Dennis Wilder, the senior director for Asian affairs at the
National Security Council. "During the time that he is doing these events, Mrs. Bush will travel to
Mae Sot, Thailand," Wilder said. The first lady has shown an exceptional interest in the affairs of
Burma and the Bush's administration policy with regard to this country to some extent is driven by
her strong support to the pro-democracy movement people. Laura Bush will meet with refugees
of the Mae La Refugee Camp, one of the largest refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.
"Following her visit to Mae La, she will travel to the Mae Tao Clinic," Wilder said. The clinic was
founded by Dr. Cynthia Maung. (cont)
Source: Mizzima News
http://www.irrawaddy.org/article1.php?art_id=13646

Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks
U.S. President George Bush leaves Washington Monday on what is likely to be his final official
trip to Asia. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports he will travel to South
Korea, Thailand and China for the start of the Summer Olympics. From the streets of Seoul, to
the Olympic venues in Beijing, this trip was controversial before it even began. Mr. Bush was
originally expected to travel to Seoul several weeks ago, following the G-8 summit in Japan.
Those plans were changed when Koreans staged massive demonstrations to protest a deal on
American beef imports, and to show their discontent with their government. Byong-Ki Kim of
Korea University in Seoul says it was the wrong time for a presidential visit. "The timing, let's say
a month ago, would have been different for Bush to come," Kim said. "It is not only playing into
the domestic political processes, but to possibly even be utilized politically in a very unproductive
manner. It is purely domestic politics. It happens anywhere in the world." Kim says the political
climate is still volatile but has cooled a bit. And he says the Bush visit will show just how well the
government can handle its diplomatic responsibilities. First stop of tour takes Bush to South
Korea. (cont)
Source: VOA; Paula Wolfson
http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-07-31-voa15.cfm

CAMBODIA

Cambodian Opposition Parties Complain To King Over Election
PHNOM PENH (AFP)--Cambodian opposition parties have filed a complaint to King Norodom
Sihamoni against election officials for allegedly preventing one million people from voting in last
weekend's poll. The opposition Sam Rainsy Party, Human Rights Party and Norodom Ranariddh
Party told the king that one million registered voters were cut from the rolls by National Election
Committee, or NEC, officials. "This act is an intentional mistake that is committed by election
officials," the parties said in the joint letter, released late Wednesday. "This is a serious mistake
committed by NEC officials at all levels, which prevented at least one million people from voting,"
the letter said, asking the king to find a way for them to cast ballots before the announcement of
official election results. Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party has claimed a
landslide victory in Sunday's election, saying it captured at least 90 of the 123 seats in
parliament. Final results of the poll are expected in September. More than six million out of 8.1
million eligible voters cast ballots in the poll. European Union election observers have said only
about 50,000 couldn't find their names registered when they attempted to vote. The NEC has
denied opposition allegations that voters were left off the rolls on purpose. International monitors
said earlier this week that the election was flawed and didn't meet key standards, despite a more
peaceful campaign and improvements in the electoral process. (cont)
Source: AFP
http://news.morningstar.com/newsnet/ViewNews.aspx?article=/DJ/200807310212DOWJONESDJ
ONLINE000333_univ.xml

Judges Preparing For First Cambodia Genocide Trial
Cambodian and international judges are making final preparations to begin the trial of the former
commander of a Khmer Rouge torture center who is charged with crimes against humanity, a
tribunal official said Thursday. The trial of Kaing Guek Eav, 65, alias Duch, who headed the
notorious S-21 prison and torture center, is scheduled for late September, said Helen Jarvis, a
spokeswoman for the United Nations-assisted tribunal. The trial is a key step in Cambodia's long
wait for justice for atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge rule in the late 1970s. Some 1.7
million people perished. "To have the director of that institution on trial for crimes committed will
be of enormous importance in understanding the Democratic Kampuchea regime," Jarvis said,
referring to the Khmer Rouge's official name at the time. The prison in Phnom Penh was the
Khmer Rouge's largest torture facility, and has now become the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
About 16,000 men, women and children are believed to have been held there. Only 14 are
thought to have survived. The tribunal has been set up under Cambodia's court system, which
follows the French model in which case files are handled by investigating judges before being
handed to other judges for the actual trial. The five judges who will try Duch's case include three
Cambodians and one Frenchman, Jean-Marc Lavergne, who took up their positions in July. A fifth
judge from New Zealand, Silvia Cartwright, is to arrive in Cambodia later this week, Jarvis said.
Duch is one of five suspects being held for trial. The others are former top lieutenants of late
Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who died in 1998. (cont)
Source: AP
http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=704043&lang=eng_news&cate_img=lo
go_world&cate_rss=WORLD_eng

Post Election Shakeout
The ruling Cambodian People‘s Party has announced plans to renew its coalition government
with the further-fragmenting Funcinpec party, inviting its secretary general, Nhiek Bun Chhay, and
his constituents into government but excluding the royalist faction led by party president Keo Puth
Rasmey. The partnership proposal came Wednesday as the Kingdom's opposition parties
continued to reject the election results, saying that the vote was "rigged" to favor the CPP by
eliminating as many as one million names from voter registration lists. ―About one million people
who wanted to vote lost their rights because of ‗organized confusion‘ before election day,‖
opposition leader Sam Rainsy said at his party headquarters on Wednesday, where hundreds
had assembled to protest the poll results. Many of those present lacked the tell-tale ink marks on
their fingers signifying that they had voted. Pin Sophal, 38, told Post reporters that his name had
been removed from the lists in Kien Svay district of Kandal province because of his supposed
support for opposition parties. ―My name was removed from the voter lists because [the
authorities] found that I don‘t support the ruling party. My neighbor knew I once voted SRP, and
he told the commune authorities,‖ he said. Suon Buntoeun, 48, who also attended the rally, said
he had voted in previous parliamentary elections, but his name was missing when he went to vote
at the Kilometer 6 polling station in Phnom Penh‘s Russey Keo commune on Sunday. ―I voted in
1993, 1998 and 2003, but now I have no name,‖ he said. (cont)
Source: Phnom Penh Post
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2008073121033/Online-Edition/Post-election-
shakeout.html

Cambodia Preparing Lavish Celebration At Border Temple
Phnom Penh - Cambodia will host a huge post-election celebration at Preah Vihear temple
attended by the country's first lady, Bun Rany, and other high ranking officials, the government
said Thursday. Far from softening its stance on the 11th century border temple after it was made
a Cambodian World Heritage site by UNESCO, angering neighboring Thailand, Cambodia is
defiantly flaunting the site. "We are all in preparation for Bun Rany's arrival. We have no security
concerns because as a World Heritage site, the temple is a tourist destination, not a war zone,"
Preah Vihear Deputy Governor Ka Lean said by telephone. Although after recent talks with
Thailand both sides agreed in principal to withdraw troops estimated to have reached more than
2,000 in the area, observers on the Cambodian side say no troops have been redeployed so far.
The celebration is scheduled for Friday, according to government spokesman Khieu Kanharith
and Ka Lean. Bun Rany is the wife of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and is a powerful political force in
her own right, as well as being the head of the nation's Red Cross. Her presence is expected to
significantly boost the morale of Cambodian civilians and military on the border near the temple,
around 300 kilometers north of the capital. Thailand sent troops into what it maintains is disputed
land but Cambodia says is sovereign territory more than two weeks ago in a move that has
severely strained bilateral diplomatic relations.
Source: DPA
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/222660,cambodia-preparing-lavish-celebration-at-border-
temple.html

GUAM

Marine Colonel Assigned To Assist With Guam Buildup
U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Paul Brier has been assigned to work out of the Governor's office to
help coordinate efforts with the Marine commandant and efforts with the Guam buildup. Governor
Felix Camacho said, "It's a request I made to the Marine commandant that we need some
capacity here on Guam and perhaps they can assign an engineer so they did that." Colonel Brier
is the former deputy executive assistant to the deputy commandant for plans, policies and
operations at the U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
Source: KUAM
http://www.kuam.com/news/29259.aspx

INDIA

India Takes Up Ceasefire Violation With Pak
COLOMBO: India on Thursday took up with Pakistan the issue of recent ceasefire violations
along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir during a meeting between the Foreign Ministers
of the two countries here. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee raised the issue with his
Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Mohammad Qureshi when they held talks on the sidelines
of the SAARC Council of Ministers' meeting here. "We shared our perception about our bilateral
relations, the composite dialogue and certain recent events," Mukherjee told reporters after the
meeting with Qureshi by his side. The meeting, the second between them in a month, comes
after firing incidents from the Pakistani side along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. It also follows
the deadly suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul earlier this month for which both India
and Afghanistan blamed Pakistan's ISI. The Pakistani Minister recalled that he had a very
pleasant meeting with his Indian counterpart when he had visited Delhi. "It was a very positive
engagement," he said. On his talks with Mukherjee on Thursday, he said "the discussion today
was frank, candid and open discussion. We discussed a host of issues of mutual concern." The
two leaders said they would brief their respective Prime Ministers about the discussions they had
today and would come out with a detailed briefing later. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely
to meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday on the sidelines of the SAARC
summit. (cont)
Source: PTI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_takes_up_ceasefire_violation_with_Pak/articleshow/3311
251.cms

India Talks Bombings, Border Fire With Pakistan
COLOMBO (Reuters) - Foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee discussed "certain recent events" with
his Pakistani counterpart in Colombo on Thursday, amid an escalation in border skirmishes and
bomb attacks on Indian cities that threaten a sluggish peace process. But Mukherjee gave no
details of his meeting with Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of a
South Asian leaders' summit. Qureshi had said the prime ministers of the two countries would
meet on Aug.2 in Colombo and issue a comprehensive statement. "We shared our perception
about our bilateral relations, about composite (peace) dialogue and certain recent events,"
Mukherjee told reporters. Their meeting comes after a series of violations of a five-year-old
ceasefire on the de facto border between the two countries dividing the disputed Kashmir region.
There have been three exchanges of border fire this month alone, marking the most serious
violation since a 2003 ceasefire. "I can assure you our discussion today was a frank, candid,
open discussion," Qureshi said. The South Asian regional summit is also being held in the
shadow of a series of bomb blasts in India, and another at its embassy in Kabul this month, which
India blamed on Pakistan's spy agency. The attacks together killed more than 100 people. India
said after the Kabul attack that its four-year-old peace process with Pakistan was "under stress"
because its nuclear-armed foe was "inciting terror" inside India and trying to hit its interests
abroad.
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-34759220080731

India, Pakistan To Hold Talks On Summit Sidelines
COLOMBO (Reuters) - The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan will meet on the sidelines of a
South Asian summit on Thursday amid an escalation in border skirmishes and bomb attacks on
Indian cities that threaten a sluggish peace process. Foreign ministers of eight South Asian
countries are meeting in Colombo to set the stage for an Aug. 2-3 summit of their leaders that will
discuss, among other issues, terrorism and food and energy security. "They will meet sometime
in between the SAARC foreign ministers' meeting," A. Manickam, a top Indian diplomat in
Colombo, told Reuters. Manickam gave no details of the agenda of the meeting between the
Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers. But a senior diplomat said Indian foreign minister Pranab
Mukherjee is expected to send a strong message to Pakistan to do more to curb anti-India
militant groups in Pakistan. The meeting comes after a series of violations of a five-year-old
ceasefire on the de facto border dividing the disputed Kashmir region. There have been three
exchanges of border fire this month alone, marking the most serious violation since a 2003
ceasefire. The South Asian regional summit is also being held under the shadow of a string of
bomb blasts in India, and another at its embassy in Kabul this month, which India blamed on
Pakistan's spy agency. (cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34759420080731

Pak Can't Expect Pact Similar To Indo-Us Nuke Deal: Nicholas Burns
WASHINGTON: Nicholas Burns, one of the architects of the Indo-US nuclear deal, has said that
Pakistan cannot expect a similar pact. The statement comes a day after its Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani openly demanded such a deal from the US. Burns also pressed for the speedy
approval of the nuke deal ahead of the IAEA taking up the India-specific safeguards pact on
Friday for approval saying it was ―good‖ for both the countries besides helping strengthen the
non-proliferation regime. ―India's trust, its credibility, the fact that it has promised to create a state-
of-the art facility, monitored by the IAEA, to begin a new export control regime in place, because it
has not proliferated the nuclear technology, we can't say that about Pakistan,‖ said Burns when
asked whether the US will offer a nuclear deal with Pakistan on the lines of the Indo-US nuke
deal during a panel debate on nuclear agreement at the Brookings Institution. After meeting US
President George W Bush, Gilani demanded from the US a nuclear deal similar to the one
Washington has forged with New Delhi, assuring that the nuclear proliferation network of its
scientist A Q Khan was broken and will not be repeated. ―There should be no preferential, there
should be no discrimination. And if they want to give civilian nuclear status to India, we would also
expect the same for Pakistan too,‖ Gilani said at a gathering here under the aegis of the Council
on Foreign Relations and the Middle East Institute. (Cont)
Source: PTI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Pak_cant_have_pact_like_Indo-
US_deal/articleshow/3311224.cms

Surat Police Claim To Find 'Some Leads' In Blasts
SURAT/AHMEDABAD: Surat police on Thursday claimed to have found "some leads" in the
attempted serial blasts in the city and suspect involvement of substantial local support in the
"conspiracy" having a pan-national angle. "We have found some leads", Surat Police
Commissioner R M S Brar said after the Crime Branch carried out massive combing operations
and questioned 280 persons and made preventive arrests of 90 in connection with 23 bombs
defused in the city in the last three days. Brar refused to go into details, saying it would hamper
probe. In Ahmedabad, Joint Commissioner of Police H P Singh said several persons have been
detained for questioning in Saturday's serial blasts that left 53 dead and 140 injured. "We have
found live bombs attached with gas cylinders. This is a new trend witnessed in Gujarat," a senior
National Security Guard (NSG) official said in New Delhi. "The trend of using nails, screws, ball
bearings and bags are similar with previous blasts which different parts of the country. But placing
a gas cylinder with the bomb is new," the official said. Police intensified their search for those
behind the bomb attempts. "Anything of this magnitude in a big city like Surat cannot be done
without local knowledge, Brar said. "It may be different kinds of knowledge that may involve the
stage of actually planting the bombs, keeping the various parts which have been used or locating
the places. So, certainly there has to be a reasonable amount of local involvement," he
contended. (cont)
Source: TOI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Surat_police_claim_to_find_some_leads/articleshow/3311356.
cms

India Ready To Return To WTO Talks; Blames US For Impasse
New Delhi, July 31: Squarely blaming the US for collapse of the WTO talks in Geneva early this
week, India Thursday said it can return to negotiations but will not compromise on protection to
farmers in an open market. "I told the WTO Director General that India is ready to be on the table
without compromising on issues which concern poor farmers of not only India but 100 other
developing countries," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said here on his return from
the WTO headquarters. Describing the failure of the marathon talks between 30 trade ministers
as a "serious setback to the developing countries," Nath said the US created the deadlock on an
issue, which was not trade but related to livelihood of farmers. "The US thought it fit to create an
impasse on a safeguard mechanism...not on commercial interest but livelihood," he said, adding,
"I can negotiate commerce but I cannot negotiate livelihood security". Nath said he had spoken to
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh couple of times from Geneva. "Before leaving for the talks, I had
a mandate which did not change," he said. He was not aware whether US President George
Bush spoke to Singh on the issue. The mini-Ministerial Meeting broke down on July 29 after nine
days when the US refused to agree to proposals from India and China that they should be
allowed to impose extra 25 percent duties, if imports are up 15 percent on farm products. (cont)
Source: Zee News
http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=459221&sid=BUS

Japan Closes India Visa Office, Warns Over Bombings
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Japanese government closed the consular section of its embassy in
India and warned its citizens to avoid crowded places such as markets and train stations after
receiving an e-mail warning of a possible attack. Japan's embassy in New Delhi said in a
statement in Japanese on its website that it had received an e-mail warning of an attack on New
Delhi's popular market district of Sarojini Nagar, where at least 66 people were killed in a 2005
bomb attack. The consular section of the embassy would be closed from July 30 "for a while,"
according to a spokesman. Indian authorities have been on a high alert since at least 45 people
were killed when a series of 16 bombs ripped through Ahmedabad, the main city of Gujarat state,
on Saturday. The attack came a day after bombs killed one woman in Bangalore, India's
outsourcing and software capital. A group called the "Indian Mujahideen" said it carried out the
Ahmedabad attack, writing in an e-mail sent five minutes before the first blast that it was in
revenge for a 2002 massacre in Gujarat of around 2,500 people, mainly Muslims, by Hindu mobs.
Police have also defused at least 13 unexploded bombs in the western Indian city of Surat, one of
the world's biggest diamond-polishing centres, in the last few days. (cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-34760720080731

Japan Warns Nationals In India Over Threats
Japan on Thursday warned its nationals in New Delhi about the threat of bomb blasts and said it
would temporarily close part of the embassy after a spate of attacks in the country. The
Japanese embassy said it received an e-mail on Wednesday that threatened bombings in Sarojini
Nagar, a bustling market area of the Indian capital. "Please be careful and avoid going to public
places where many people gather, such as stations, markets, bus stations and religious
institutions," the embassy in New Delhi said in a notice on its website. The embassy will
temporarily close its consular department out of security concerns, it said. A foreign ministry
official in Tokyo said that the threatening e-mail was sent to the Japanese embassy but declined
further details, including whether Japanese were the target. India has seen a spate of recent
attacks including bomb blasts Saturday in the western city of Ahmedabad that left 49 dead and
more than 160 injured.
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/363996/1/.html

Japanese Embassy In New Delhi Receives Bomb Threat
The Japanese Embassy in New Delhi, India, has received a bomb threat targeting the capital's
central market district. The embassy received an E-mail on Wednesday threatening to bomb the
Sarojini Nagar district in New Delhi. Officials of the embassy say the E-mail contained no
information which would identity the sender. The embassy decided to close its visa issuing
service counters temporarily as part of measures to tighten security. It is also calling on Japanese
people to stay away from markets and train stations. Last week, bombs exploded in the southern
city of Bangalore and in the western city of Ahmedabad and killed a total of 55 people. Authorities
also found bombs in other cities. An Islamic militant group has claimed responsibility for the
series of bombings. The Indian government is stepping up security against further attacks in cities
by setting up checkpoints and increasing police patrols.
Source: NHK
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_10.html

India Begins SAARC Foreign Minister Meet In Colombo
India's External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee representing India, the outgoing chairman of
SAARC, Thursday began the proceedings of 13th Meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers in
Colombo by handing over the Chairmanship to his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama.
Foreign Ministers of the eight-member SAARC have met in the Sri Lankan capital to set the
agenda for the weekend Summit aimed at boosting trade ties and combating the food and energy
crisis, said the media reports received here. The meeting of the Council of Ministers, which is
expected to continue till Friday afternoon, will discuss ways to launch of the SAARC Development
Fund and finalise a pact on regional legal cooperation to deal with criminal matters and a fund to
manage the food and energy crisis. In his opening remarks Bogollagama said that he looks
forward to transform the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation which implements it
programs in a more effective manner. Bogollagama said he looked forward to a very fruitful
outcome from the 15th SAARC Summit. The theme of this year's summit is "The SAARC:
Partnership for our People." Terrorism could dominate the proceedings of the summit as it comes
close on the heels of a wave of bomb blasts in key Indian cities of Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
(cont)
Source: IRNA
http://www2.irna.com/en/news/view/menu-234/0807312952201529.htm

Nepal PM Seeks To Meet Manmohan On SAARC Sidelines
KATHMANDU: Nepal's caretaker Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who is scheduled to attend
the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo this week amid uproar among the political parties, is
seeking a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the
regional meet. The meeting between the two premiers is likely to trigger another controversy in
Nepal with the Maoists regarding the wily politician, considered New Delhi's favorite, with
wariness. A chastened Koirala was forced to pare his jumbo 35-member delegation, which would
have cost the cash-strapped nation dependent on foreign aid Nepali Rs 7.3 million, to only 10
members after an uproar Wednesday among the major parties as well as in the caretaker
parliament. However, the team still includes his daughter, minister without portfolio Sujata Koirala,
whose inclusion was opposed by the Maoists on the ground that she lost the April election.
Koirala's personal physician, secretary and adviser on foreign affairs are also in the entourage.
Though officially Nepal wants to discuss enhanced investment and hydropower issues with India,
the Maoists feel Koirala would also try to gauge the extent of Indian support for him and his
Nepali Congress (NC) party. The bilateral meeting between Koirala and Singh is likely to have a
crucial effect on Nepal's future politics. (cont)
Source: IANS
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Nepal_PM_seeks_to_meet_Manmohan
_on_SAARC_sidelines/articleshow/3309961.cms

India Hopes For Closer Relations With Taiwan: Lawmaker
New Delhi -- India is looking forward to cementing cooperative ties with Taiwan, said a Taiwanese
legislator, who is leading a 10-member legislative delegation on a fact-finding visit to the South
Asian country. Cheng Li-wen, a lawmaker of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), told the Central News
Agency that India is poised for an economic takeoff, with large capital inflows, so it is eager to
learn from Taiwan's experience in economic development. Cheng, who doubles as chairwoman
of the Taiwan-India Parliamentary Amity Association, described the legislative delegation's visit
as fruitful, saying that the Indian side expressed high expectations for closer relations with
Taiwan's new administration. "The KMT administration should do everything possible to expand
Taiwan's maneuvering space in the international arena while seeking to improve relations with
China, " Cheng said. She added that enhancing Taiwan-India interactions will be conducive to
expanding Taiwan's role in regional affairs. The legislative delegation arrived in the Indian capital
city earlier this week. While here, they met with Indian government officials, parliamentarians, and
industrial and business leaders to exchange views on how to step up bilateral economic and
trade relations. The Taiwanese lawmakers also attended a Taiwan-India roundtable meeting
presided over by former Indian representative to Taiwan Ranjit Gupta, who is also an expert in
diplomatic strategy. (Cont)
Source: CNA, Kuo Chuan-hsin and Luis Huang
http://www.cna.com.tw/CNAeng/RealTimeNews/NewsDetail.aspx?strNewsDate=&strNewsID=20
0807310021&strType=PD

INDONESIA

Indonesia Foreign Minister Offers Concepts To End Violence
Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda offered concepts from Indonesian perspective to end the
violence in conflicts in his keynote address at the third International Conference of Islamic
Scholars (ICIS) here Thursday. In his written speech read out by director general for information
and diplomacy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Andri Hadi, the minister at first reviewed the
background of the tension and conflicts in the world due to political and economic injustice,
sectarian conficts triggered by lack of nation-building and acts of terrorism. These conflicts
happened in many parts of the world especially in Moslem countries, which had been in the
media, he said, adding that this had led to a perception that Islam had caused chaos and
destruction, as in the Bali bombings of October 12, 2002. He summed up the three concepts to
enhance the role of democracy, regular dialogues and to accept and promote multiple identities
based on what Indonesia has done and achieved as a nation in the time of conflicts such as
ending communal violence in Ambon and Poso, the two areas in eastern Indonesia, and starting
dialogues that may lead a peace in Aceh. At the conclusion of his speech, he said that it was both
easy start a conflict as it was to develop it. To achieve peace and unity in a country, it was also
important to listen to the cries of the people. In this way social welfare will be enhanced while the
national unity maintained, he said. (cont)
Source: Antara
http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2008/7/31/indonesia-foreign-minister-offers-concepts-to-end-
violence/
Bali I Bombers Officially Notified Of Supreme Court`s Rejection
The Cilacap District Court on Thursday served official notice on Amrozi et al, the three 2002 Bali
bombers on death row, that the Supreme Court has rejected their third application for a review of
their sentence, a court official said. The notice was given in the form of a copy of a Supreme
Court letter stating Amrozi et al`s request for the review was unacceptable as under the relevant
laws such an application could only be made once, the chairman of the Cilacap District Court,
Manahan Sitompul, said here Thursday. A three-member deputation of the Cilacap court had
delivered the copy of the Supreme Court`s letter to the chief warden of the Batu state penitentiary
on Nusakambangan Island, off the Cilacap coast (where Amrozi and his two associates are
incarcerated) for further coveyance to the three convicts. The Cilacap court deputation had
returned to Cilacap with a document certifying the receipt of the copy of the Supreme Court`s
letter by the Batu prison chief, Sitompul said, adding his office had received the copy of the
Supreme Court letter from the Denpasar District Court which had handed down the death penalty
on the three men He said with the official conveyance of the Surpeme Court`s decision to the
three death-row convicts, the courts had completed their tasks in regard to the Amrozi et al`s
case. "It is now up to the public prosecutor`s office to process it further," Sitompul said. With the
Supreme Court`s rejection of their third request for a review of their sentence, the three death-row
convicts had exhausted all possible legal means to get their death sentence commuted because
they had refused to seek a presidential pardon, according to Sitompul.
Source: Antara
http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2008/7/31/bali-i-bombers-officially-notified-of-supreme-courts-
rejection/

National Security Bill to Strengthen TNI – Police Coordination
Jakarta – Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono after attending a coordination meeting on Politics,
Law and Security Affairs in Jakarta on Tuesday (7/29) said that the government agreed to
strengthen coordination between TNI (Indonesia National Defense Forces) and Police in defense
and national security through the National Security Bill. The bill is currently being evaluated by the
National Defense Institute (Lemhanas).
Source: Indonesian Department of Defense, Translated by Virtual Information Center
http://www.dephan.go.id/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8414

Home-Made Bomb Jolts Indonesia's Restive Poso
A home-made bomb exploded Thursday in the restive Indonesian town of Poso but caused no
casualties, police said. Police said the roadside bomb rocked the Sayo residential area at 1:30
am (1730 GMT) and appeared to be designed to spread fear after years of relative calm in the
area, which has been plagued by Christian-Muslim violence. "There was no one injured and no
damage," police spokesman Irfaizal Nasution said. No one has claimed responsibility for the
blast but Nasution said it appeared to be the work of an unidentified group which was "not happy
if Poso remains in a peaceful condition." The bomb was made with PVC casing and potassium.
Police had interrogated two men but no one had been named as a suspect. About 1,000 people
were killed in violence between Muslims and Christians in Poso and the surrounding district in
2000-2001. In 2005 Islamic militants were widely condemned after beheading three teenage
Christian schoolgirls in Poso, which lies in Central Sulawesi.
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/364018/1/.html

Corvette Arrival Postponed to November
Jakarta – TNI AL (Indonesian Navy) Head of Public Affairs Rear Admiral Iskandar Sitompul in
Jakarta on Wednesday (7/30) said that the Corvette Sigma III ship will arrive in November instead
of September this year. The delay was due to the quality check that has not been completed.
Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Sumardjono visited the Netherlands two months ago to inspect the
last phase of the construction of Corvette Sigma III and IV. Indonesia ordered four corvette sigma
ships from the Netherlands at a cost of 700 million Euro each. Two of the ships; KRI Diponegoro-
365 and KRI Hassanudin-366 arrived in September 2007 and February 2008 respectively. The
rest were scheduled to arrive in September 2008 and June 2009.
Source: Indonesian Department of Defense, Translated by Virtual Information Center
http://www.dephan.go.id/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8413

NU Chairman: ICIS Results Not Too Keen In Conflict Settlement
The result of the ICIS (International Conference of Islamic Scholars) will not settle conflicts in the
world, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Chairman Hasyim Muzadi who is also ICIS secretary general said
here Thursday. "I wish, after every moslem in the world is able to improve themselves, we can
understand about the roots of conflicts in the world. The mapping on the roots of the conflicts
made in the conference. We are working on a formula or a recommendation for resolutions on
conflict settlement," he said. After working on the mapping and peace settlement, in a plenary
meeting today (Thursday), he said, adding that everything would be legitimate as a
recommendation for countries where conflicts were taking place. Hasyim also said the important
thing in the current ICIS was that all the participants shared the same vision. "So that we can
view a problem objectively, not based on interest," he said. He said the Islamic world gave priority
to cultural, awareness and religious approaches.
Source: Antara
http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2008/7/31/nu-chairman-icis-results-not-too-keen-in-conflict-
settlement/

TNI Warns Parties not to Lure Military
Jakarta – TNI (Indonesia National Defense Forces) Headquarters warned political parties not to
try to win votes from military personnel by approaching their families. TNI stressed that it will not
provide any support to any political parties in any shape or form. TNI will conduct its duty
professionally to ensure safe election.
Source: Indonesian Department of Defense, Translated by Virtual Information Center
http://www.dephan.go.id/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8412

Health Minister: Stop NAMRU 2 Operation in Indonesia
Magelang – Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari in Magelang, Central Java on Wednesday (7/30)
stressed that cooperation with US Naval Medical Research Unit (Namru) 2 does not need to be
continued because Indonesia could be infected by new virus from the US. Supari said that the US
could use this medical research opportunity to control another country. The Health Department
has been objected to Namru-2 presence in Indonesia.
Source: Metro TV News, Translated by Virtual Information Center
http://www.metrotvnews.com

Researcher Questions Capacity Of Indonesian Human Rights Body To Probe Papua
Abuses
A researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences has questioned whether the National Human
Rights Commission is capable of properly investigating historical human rights violations in
Papua. Muridan Widjojo says the Commission faces a big challenge after deciding to launch an
investigation into alleged human rights violations in Papua between 1963 and 2002. Mr Widjojo
says that the Commission must investigate the role of non-state parties, including separatist rebel
groups and foreign institutions, in alleged rights abuses. He says this has previously been
overlooked, resulting in biased and unbalanced reports, often based on invalid data. The
researcher says the question is whether the investigators have the capacity to adequately assess
these cases: ―In Papua from the 60s to the year 2000, there are hundreds of cases - both the
small cases and the big cases - and you really need a very good team to investigate all this
research. I think the National Commission will have a problem with the capacity of the team and
the funding.‖
Source: Radio New Zealand
http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=41213
Former Indonesian President's Party Could Defeat Golkar
A new opinion poll in Indonesia shows the party of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri would
beat its rival Golkar, the biggest party in the ruling coalition - if a general election was held now.
The survey by the Indonesian Research and Development Institute found the Indonesian
Democratic Party of Struggle would pick up 26.3 percent of the vote, compared to 24.6 percent
who said they'd vote for Golkar. The Democrat Party of President Yudhoyono came third, with
11.2 percent support. Indonesians are due to go to the polls in April next year, with a presidential
election to follow soon after, and the survey suggests the battle for victory will be close.
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200808/s2320921.htm?tab=asia

Indonesia Poised To Be Part Of Asia's Transformation, Says Mahbubani
Indonesia - Southeast Asia's largest economy - will be part of the great transformation that's
taking place in Asia. However, Indonesia's story and the rest of Asia's transformation have not
been fully spread to the world because the international media is still dominated by the West.
This was the analysis from Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Asia's foremost strategic thinker, who
was speaking in a presidential lecture in Jakarta. Professor Mahbubani from Singapore is only
the third person invited for the presidential lecture series, which was started by Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Professor Mahbunani drove home the point that
Indonesia is poised to be part of the great transformation taking place in Asia. Professor
Mahbubani, Dean of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said: "Indonesia has
already played a heroic role in the transformation of Asia. "It has successfully made one of the
most difficult transitions any society has to make - the transition to full democracy. This is a
remarkable story which has not been fully understood by the world." Professor Mahbubani said it
was a tragedy that Indonesia's story has not fully spread to the world. He argued that it stemmed
from the fact that the international media is dominated by the West, which cannot comprehend
that Asia can do better than the West in many areas. (cont)
Source: Channel News Asia; Sujadi Siswo
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/364109/1/.html

LAOS

Kuwaiti PM To Visit Laos
The Prime Minister of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-
Sabah, will pay a two-day official visit to Laos next week, according to an announcement from the
Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sheikh Nasser and his delegation will visit Laos from August 5-6,
in response to an invitation from the Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, Mr Bouasone Bouphavanh.
The governments of the Lao PDR and Kuwait signed an agreement on July 14, 2008 to establish
diplomatic relations. Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser was born in 1940 and received his primary
and elementary education at Kuwait School followed by the General Certificate of Education in
the United Kingdom and was awarded a Higher Diploma in French Language studies. In 1964 he
obtained a bachelor degree in political science and economics from the University of Geneva,
Switzerland. He is fluent in Arabic, French, English and Persian languages. In 1964 he was
appointed as the Third Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In October of the same year,
he was transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the
United Nations in New York , USA , and then returned to Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 1965.
In December 1965, his career saw two rapid changes: first as the Minister Extraordinary
Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then as the Permanent Representative of the
State of Kuwait to the European Office of the United Nations at Geneva, Switzerland. (Cont)
Source: Vientiane Times
http://www.vientianetimes.org.la/FreeContent/FreeContent_kuwaiti.htm
MALAYSIA

Anwar Not Worried About Possible Arrest
PETALING JAYA: PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not worried at all about the possibility
of being arrested or charged in the run-up to the impending Permatang Pauh by-election. Anwar
said the Government had gone on a one-month fishing expedition and had not caught anything.
"They have not caught any fish and they can catch whatever coconut plant they may consider is
fish," he said. Anwar however added that he did not want to anticipate anything like that and
reiterated that it would not affect PKR's plan. When asked if he was afraid of being arrested
following rumors that his arrest was imminent, Anwar said he could not comment on rumours.
"But I am being monitored very closely. During my recent trip to Pahang there were seven
Special Branch cars following me. They spend money on this when they should be taking care of
the crime rate," he said. Anwar added that as far as he was concerned, the Opposition is still on
track for the September 16 deadline. (cont)
Source: The Star
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/31/nation/20080731170650&sec=nation

Malaysia's Anwar To Contest Election For Wife's Seat
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Thursday he would contest a by-election for a
parliamentary seat vacated by his wife in a bid to expedite his return to political office. But party
officials said his plans could come to a crashing halt next week, if police arrest him on sodomy
charges that the former deputy prime minister says are politically motivated and aimed at
derailing his comeback. "I thank Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail) for stepping down as the member of
parliament for Permatang Pauh. The decision was not easy," Anwar told reporters at his Keadilan
party's headquarters. Wan Azizah said she handed her letter of resignation to the parliamentary
speaker on Thursday. Party officials said the by-election must be held within 60 days. Anwar said
he decided to contest his hometown seat in northern Penang state to speed up his return to
parliament after a 10-year absence, adding that leaders of the other two parties in the opposition
alliance supported him. "I will defend anyone who has been victimized, including Anwar," the
president of the Islamic PAS party, Abdul Hadi Awang, told reporters. The alliance made huge
gains in March general elections, seizing control of five states and a third of parliamentary seats.
Anwar has said he will form a new government with the help of defecting lawmakers from the
powerful ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. (cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/364067/1/.html

Police Complete Probe On Sodomy Case
PUTRAJAYA: Police have completed investigation on PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's
sodomy case and have sent the investigation paper (IP) to the Attorney-General's Chambers for
further action. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the police notified him that the
investigation has been completed. "Once they have submitted the papers, it is up to the A-G to
see if there are any charges to be made against (Anwar). "Under the law, Anwar is innocent until
proven guilty, there is no talking about charges until charges have been preferred against him,"
he told reporters Thursday after addressing staff of the Immigration Department here. Syed
Hamid, however, said he did not know the contents of the IP or the outcome of the investigation.
On Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail quitting as Member of Parliament of
Permatang Pauh to make way for her husband to contest in a by-election, Syed Hamid said it
was expected."I think it shows the love of the wife for the husband - that is very good," he said.
(cont)
Source: The Star
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/31/nation/20080731165623&sec=nation

Police Probe Attack On Malaysian Student In Australia
The mother of a Malaysian student, left in a coma after being attacked in Australia, says she
never thought he would come to harm in the southeastern city of Melbourne. Kevindra Joseph,
19, was beaten by a group of men in the city early last Friday. He spent two days in a coma and
remains in hospital. Police say the attack appears to have been racially motivated, and they want
help to find those responsible. His mother, Rohini Devi, says she is shocked by what has
happened. "I thought Melbourne was always a safe city," she said. "People around him,
especially his aunty, they've been here for a long time and nothing happens to them, nothing has
happened. "I never expected this, I'm sure he never would have expected the same."
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200807/s2320895.htm?tab=australia

PM: Govt May Lower Fuel Prices
PUTRAJAYA: The Government is considering lowering retail fuel prices, in line with falling global
crude oil prices, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said. He said the Cabinet discussed the
possibility on Wednesday, a day after crude oil slipped to US$122.19 (RM402) a barrel. Petrol
prices were raised by 41% and diesel by 63% in early June to curb a runaway subsidy bill when
crude prices were hovering around US$140 (RM460.60) a barrel. ―We are looking at it very, very
carefully. Of course I would be so happy if we can reduce it,'' the Prime Minister told AP in an
interview here Thursday. But he said the Government was wary of lowering prices at the pump
just to have to hike them when oil markets rose again, Abdullah said. Crude has fallen over the
last three weeks from a record high of US$147.27 per barrel on July 11, in part, on expectations
that the spike in prices over the last year has begun to dampen demand by the United States for
petrol. But the slide has since halted and sweet crude for September delivery was holding steady
at US$126.81 (RM417.20) per barrel Thursday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile
Exchange. (cont)
Source: The Star
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/31/nation/20080731202736&sec=nation

NAURU

Australia And Nauru Sign MOU Worth US$27m
Nauru‘s foreign minister, Dr Kieren Keke, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his
Australian counterpart Stephen Smith which governs Australia‘s development assistance to
Nauru. In the 2008-09 financial year, Australia will provide up to 27 million US dollars in Official
Development Assistance to Nauru. The assistance supports health, education, economic and
financial management and public sector capacity-building, including policing assistance. Australia
says this represents the government‘s commitment to help Nauru restore essential infrastructure
and services and to improve economic self-sufficiency. The deal also takes into account the
closure in March of Australia‘s Offshore Processing Centre on Nauru set up in 2001.
Source: Radio New Zealand
http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=41214

NEPAL

Maoists Still Not Firm On Govt Formation, Meeting Friday
KATHMANDU, July 31 - The central committee meeting of the CPN-Maoist held Thursday as part
of its bid to form the post-election government ended inconclusively. The Maoists, the largest
party in the Constituent Assembly and set to lead the post-election government, Thursday could
not fully come to agreement on the formation of a new government. ―We have not taken any firm
decision on how to move ahead,‖ Krishna Bahadur Mahara informed. Today‘s meeting discussed
a proposal presented by party Chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Dahal, for the structure of the
new government and future strategy. Around ten central leaders expressed their views on the
party proposal whether to lead the next government or not. A Maoist leader informed that the
meeting revolved around on formulating agendas for the next government. The party secretariat
meeting held on Wednesday had prepared a proposal for the formation of a new administration
after President Dr Ram Baran Yadav formally called the Maoists to form a new government.
Today‘s meeting was expected to pass the proposal prepared by yesterday‘s meeting. The
Maoists are preparing a consensus proposal to lead the new government in its capacity as the
single largest party in the CA. On Tuesday, President Yadav had asked the Maoists to form a
new government by forging a consensus within seven days.
Source: Kantipur Online
http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=155367

PM Meets President, Army Chief
Prime Minister of the caretaker government Girija Prasad Koirala met President Dr Ram Baran
Yadav and Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal Thursday morning. Prime Minister Koirala
had reached the president's residence in Dhapasi for discussion on latest political developments,
formation of new government and Nepal's representation in the SAARC summit. Similarly, during
an hour long meeting with Katawal held at the Prime Minister's residence Baluwatar, the duo are
learnt to have discussed the current security situation of the country. The meetings are being held
just before PM Koirala prepares to leave the country to participate in the 15th SAARC summit.
This is the first time PM Koirala met with the army chief since the election of the country's
president, who is supreme commander of the Nepal Army.
Source: Nepalnews.com
http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2008/jul/jul31/news06.php

PM Koirala Leaves For Colombo
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala left for Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday afternoon to attend the
15th summit of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). Prime Minister
Girija Prasad Koirala at Tribhuvan International Airport before leaving for Colombo, Sri Lanka, to
attend the 15th SAARC summit on Thursday, July 31 08. Leaders of various parties, ministers
and senior government officials were present at the airport to see him off. nepalnews.com/ANA
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at Tribhuvan International Airport before leaving for
Colombo, Sri Lanka, to attend the 15th SAARC summit... Koirala is leading a 28-member
delegation of Nepal to the summit scheduled for August 2 and 3. Before departure, he had held
separate meetings with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and army chief Rookmangud Katawal.
Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat is already in Colombo to attend the ministerial-level
meetings at the SAARC. Koirala is also expected to meet with regional leaders including Indian
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Summit. The Summit is expected to
finalise four different agreements. They include an agreement on SAARC Development Fund,
South Asian regional standards organization, taking on board Afghanistan into South Asian Free
Trade Area (SAFTA) pact and mutual legal assistance to deal with criminal activities. The Summit
is also likely to give high priority to regional cooperation in dealing with issues such as poverty
alleviation, food security, energy crisis, terrorism and climate change. There are eight member
states in SAARC - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and
Bhutan. (cont)
Source: Nepalnews.com
http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2008/jul/jul31/news02.php

Nepal PM Seeks To Meet Manmohan On SAARC Sidelines
KATHMANDU: Nepal's caretaker Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who is scheduled to attend
the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo this week amid uproar among the political parties, is
seeking a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the
regional meet. The meeting between the two premiers is likely to trigger another controversy in
Nepal with the Maoists regarding the wily politician, considered New Delhi's favorite, with
wariness. A chastened Koirala was forced to pare his jumbo 35-member delegation, which would
have cost the cash-strapped nation dependent on foreign aid Nepali Rs 7.3 million, to only 10
members after an uproar Wednesday among the major parties as well as in the caretaker
parliament. However, the team still includes his daughter, minister without portfolio Sujata Koirala,
whose inclusion was opposed by the Maoists on the ground that she lost the April election.
Koirala's personal physician, secretary and adviser on foreign affairs are also in the entourage.
Though officially Nepal wants to discuss enhanced investment and hydropower issues with India,
the Maoists feel Koirala would also try to gauge the extent of Indian support for him and his
Nepali Congress (NC) party. The bilateral meeting between Koirala and Singh is likely to have a
crucial effect on Nepal's future politics. (cont)
Source: IANS
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Nepal_PM_seeks_to_meet_Manmohan
_on_SAARC_sidelines/articleshow/3309961.cms

PAKISTAN

Bomb Wounds 3 At Pakistan Consulate In Afghanistan
HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A bicycle bomb outside the Pakistani consulate in the western
Afghan city of Herat wounded a police guard and two civilians on Thursday, a Reuters witness
said. Afghanistan has suffered scores of Taliban suicide and roadside bombs that have killed
more than 200 civilians already this year, but Herat is relatively peaceful and most violence there
analysts say is carried out by armed gangs and criminals. The explosives were attached to a
bicycle near a police kiosk outside the consulate, wounding a police guard and a woman and a
child. There was no damage to the consulate. Pakistan condemned the bombing. "The
government of Pakistan holds the government of Afghanistan responsible for the safety and
security of its personnel in its embassy in Kabul and consulates in Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad
and Mazar-i-Sharif," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement. "We hope that the government
of Afghanistan will take its responsibility seriously. The ambassador of Afghanistan is being
summoned to the Foreign Office to convey the grave concerns of the government of Pakistan," it
said. A suicide bomb killed 58 people outside the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital on July 7,
an attack Afghan officials blamed on Pakistani agents. Pakistan is unsettled by the growing
influence of its rival India in Afghanistan, analysts say, but Islamabad has denied any interference
in its western neighbor and says it only wants a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. (cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34762820080731

No Understanding On Allowing Unilateral Strikes : PM
WASHINGTON, July 31 (APP): Stressing that Pakistan itself would take anti-terrorism actions on
its side of the Afghan border, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has categorically denied any
understanding with the U.S. on allowing unilateral strikes into its territory. ―No. We believe in
sovereignty of the country. And naturally, nobody likes it,‖ he told Public Broadcasting Service
when asked if the country had any understanding on permitting unilateral anti-terror strikes on its
side of the Afghan border. ―We have discussed with them—I‘ve given our strategy to them. If
there is a credible or actionable information, and you give it to us, we‘ll perform the duty
ourselves. And in future, there would be more cooperation on the intelligence side,‖ he added.
The Pakistani leader, who met with President Bush at the Oval Office on Monday, said he
discussed more cooperation in the area of intelligence sharing. ―Certainly, I said that there should
be more cooperation between the intelligence agencies and a credible, actionable information
should be given so that we shall take the action ourselves, because we believe in our
sovereignty,‖ he told the channel, when asked if he raised the issue. He said the US president
agreed that there should be greater cooperation on the intelligence side, and expressed US
respect for sovereignty of Pakistan. (cont)
Source: APP
http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47091&Itemid=1

Pak Can't Expect Pact Similar To Indo-Us Nuke Deal: Nicholas Burns
WASHINGTON: Nicholas Burns, one of the architects of the Indo-US nuclear deal, has said that
Pakistan cannot expect a similar pact. The statement comes a day after its Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani openly demanded such a deal from the US. Burns also pressed for the speedy
approval of the nuke deal ahead of the IAEA taking up the India-specific safeguards pact on
Friday for approval saying it was ―good‖ for both the countries besides helping strengthen the
non-proliferation regime. ―India's trust, its credibility, the fact that it has promised to create a state-
of-the art facility, monitored by the IAEA, to begin a new export control regime in place, because it
has not proliferated the nuclear technology, we can't say that about Pakistan,‖ said Burns when
asked whether the US will offer a nuclear deal with Pakistan on the lines of the Indo-US nuke
deal during a panel debate on nuclear agreement at the Brookings Institution. After meeting US
President George W Bush, Gilani demanded from the US a nuclear deal similar to the one
Washington has forged with New Delhi, assuring that the nuclear proliferation network of its
scientist A Q Khan was broken and will not be repeated. ―There should be no preferential, there
should be no discrimination. And if they want to give civilian nuclear status to India, we would also
expect the same for Pakistan too,‖ Gilani said at a gathering here under the aegis of the Council
on Foreign Relations and the Middle East Institute. (Cont)
Source: PTI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Pak_cant_have_pact_like_Indo-
US_deal/articleshow/3311224.cms

Pakistan Spy Agency Accused By Us
Pakistan says its intelligence agents have been accused by the US of alerting al-Qaeda linked
militants before the US launches missile attacks against them. Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar
said members of Inter-Services Intelligence were accused of "tipping off" militants before strikes
in the tribal areas. Mr Mukhtar said that the Americans "mistrusted" the ISI. His unusual public
admission of the rebuke seems to mark a new low in ties between the US and Pakistan's spies.
'Who's in charge?' Mr Mukhtar was speaking in Washington, where he is accompanying Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on his first visit to the US. Speaking on Pakistan's Geo TV, he said
the Americans had alleged that information about targets was being "leaked". "The burning issue
of course is as to who controls the ISI," he said. "In their [the Americans'] view there are some
people at some level in the ISI who tip off the Taleban at some level about impending missile
attacks when these are shared with the Pakistanis. "They [the Americans] have expressed
displeasure over this." Mr Mukhtar also openly admitted that President Bush had asked who was
really in charge of the ISI during the visit to Washington. The BBC's security correspondent Rob
Watson says that relations between the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the ISI
appear decidedly strained. Our correspondent says that the stern message apparently being
delivered to Islamabad was that Pakistan has to do more to tackle ties between the ISI and
Islamic extremists based in the country's tribal areas. (cont)
Source: BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7534968.stm

U.S. Says Pakistani Spies Forewarn Al Qaeda Allies
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The United States has accused members of Pakistan's main spy agency
of tipping off al Qaeda-linked militants before U.S. missile attacks on targets in Pakistani tribal
lands, Pakistan's defense minister said. Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar openly acknowledged
American mistrust of Pakistan's main military spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in
remarks aired on Thursday on Pakistani television. "They think that there are some elements in
the ISI at some level that when the government of Pakistan is informed of targets, then leak it to
them (militants) at some level," Mukhtar told Geo in Washington, having accompanied Prime
Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on a maiden visit to the United States. "This is an issue on which
they were a bit annoyed." The disclosure of American displeasure by a minister in the four-month-
old civilian government of American could embarrass President Pervez Musharraf and the
Pakistani military, and reawaken concern about the stability of the nuclear armed state. The U.S.
no longer gives Pakistan advance notice when it targets militants in tribal areas. The News, a
Pakistani daily from the same media group as Geo, reported that Bush had asked who was
controlling the ISI. The ISI is the main intelligence arm of the military, which directs its operations,
though under the law it reports to the prime minister.
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34759820080731
Pakistan PM Meets A Skeptical US
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani came to Washington hoping to get President Bush
to see in him a reliable and durable alternative to Pervez Musharraf. But at the end of his three-
day visit to the US, it's far from certain that he has succeeded. He appeared self-assured during
his joint statement with Mr Bush and again during a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations
(CFR) where he boasted about his strong mandate secured through an unanimous vote of
confidence he got in parliament four months ago. But Mr Gilani has failed to assert himself at
home since he was elected and with the shadow of President Musharraf still looming large, the
new Pakistani leader found a skeptical audience among US officials and observers. 'Vibrant
democracy' During his talk at the CFR, he also failed to answer many of the questions put to him,
either by giving short, opaque answers or by launching into lengthy explanations that seemed
unrelated to the question. He frustrated the moderators and even drew some giggles from the
room. Pakistani Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani There should be no discrimination. If they
want to give such nuclear status to India, we expect the same for Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani
After their meeting at the White House, both Prime Minister Gilani and President Bush went to
great lengths to stress the strong ties between the two countries. The US president said
"Pakistan is a strong ally and vibrant democracy", while Mr Gilani emphasized the desire to have
excellent relations with America. Sovereignty was a word used repeatedly by both men, with
President Bush insisting that the US respected Pakistan's sovereignty. (Cont)
Source: BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7534597.stm

US Denied Pak PM The Red Carpet
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's arrival in the US for an official visit
earlier this week was bereft of any diplomatic courtesies extended to visiting foreign leaders. On
arrival at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington on Sunday afternoon, Gilani had to walk
from his aircraft to a welcome shed, a distance covered in two to three minutes. While walking
this distance, Gilani and his wife ―were seen quite perturbed as neither there was an ordinary
carpet nor the customary red carpet, as is usual on official visits‖, The News daily reported. At the
gate of the shed, Gilani was received ―by none higher than Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher,‖
the report said. All ministers and others accompanying Gilani on his first visit to the US after
becoming the Prime Minister were told to remain in the aircraft. This prompted Information
Minister Sherry Rehman to mildly protest at the treatment they were getting.
Source: PTI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/US_denied_Pak_PM_the_red_carpet/articleshow/3311438.cms

US Senate Panel Approves $15bn Aid Bill For Pakistan
WASHINGTON: The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday passed a bill that
would authorize tripling non-military aid to Pakistan for development, including building schools,
roads and health clinics. The Biden-Lugar Bill commits $15 billion to Pakistan over next decade.
The bill‘s sponsors include Democratic presidential candidate Sen Barack Obama of Illinois as
well as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden of Delaware and its senior
Republican member, Sen Richard Lugar of Indiana. The bill has no immediate effect. It would
have to be passed by the full Senate and House and would typically also require separate
legislation to appropriate the funds. In a speech organized by the Council on Foreign Relations
and the Middle East Institute, Prime Minister Gilani said the bill was a signal ―that not only is
Pakistan back in business but the United States is standing with it in a long-term, mature
partnership.‖ He said economic development of people through measures like these and
Reconstruction Opportunity Zones will help the country contain and defeat the menaces of
extremism and terrorism. ―This legislation also has the support of President Bush who is eager for
democracy to succeed,‖ Gilani said. He saw it as extraordinary recognition of the need to broaden
and strengthen the bilateral relationship beyond merely military relations to a genuine economic
and social partnership to building a prosperous, just and democratic Pakistan. The prime minister
said his government is striving to save Pakistan from terrorism. (cont)
Source: Pak Tribune
http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?203942

Pakistan Intelligence Rift Shows Deepening US Frustration: Analysts
WASHINGTON (AFP) — A reported rift between the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies
reflects deepening US frustration over Islamabad's role in a worsening insurgency in Afghanistan,
analysts said here. Suspicions about Pakistani intentions have grown in recent weeks following a
suicide bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, a sophisticated insurgent attack on a US-
manned combat outpost, and a sudden flare up fighting in Kashmir. "The administration I think
has finally come to the conclusion that it needs to have more transparence about what the ISI and
the army are up to," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer, referring to the Pakistani military's
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. "We need to know whose side the army and the ISI really
are on," Riedel, who has long experience with Pakistani intelligence, told AFP. The New York
Times reported Wednesday that a senior CIA official confronted Pakistani officials this month with
evidence of ties between the ISI and a militant network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani. Steve
Kappes, the CIA's deputy director, joined Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, in Islamabad July 12 for meetings with top military and civilian leaders, according
to the Times. A senior US official told the newspaper they delivered "a very pointed message
saying, Look, we know there's a connection, not just with Haqqani but also with other bad guys
and ISI, and we think you could do more and we want you to do more about it.'" A Pakistani
military spokesman called the report "unfounded, baseless and malicious." US officials would not
comment on it.
Source: AFP
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jAkCr2dJmfq7W35GYcF2CYGGsFYQ

U.S. Sees Rise In Pakistani Fighters In Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A growing number of Pakistani militants who earlier operated only
inside Pakistan and Kashmir are joining the intensifying insurgency against U.S. and NATO
forces in Afghanistan, U.S. officials say. The fighters, who are taking part in increasingly
sophisticated attacks on Western troops, include guerrillas hardened by years of combat against
Indian forces and others from outside the Taliban strongholds in Pakistan's Federally
Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA, the officials say. They say the influx far outstrips the flow of
other foreign fighters such as Arabs, Uzbeks and Chechens into the area and coincides with a
drop in high-profile attacks in Pakistan that reached a climax last December with the
assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Growing violence in Afghanistan, including
a bombing at the Indian Embassy that killed 41 people and wounded 139 on July 7, has put new
pressure on Pakistan to control militants and raised concern about possible links between militant
groups and Pakistani intelligence agents. The rise in the number of Pakistanis involved in the
Afghan insurgency was confirmed by several U.S. officials, including senior military officers, who
spoke on condition of anonymity because the topic involves classified intelligence. "When we're
talking about foreign fighters in Afghanistan, they're primarily Pakistanis," one official said. "The
number of Pakistani militants who previously focused inside Pakistan and are now operating in
Afghanistan has increased, and that increasing number is a concern." (Cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34756620080731

Pakistan's Islamic Party Condemns US Air Strike
Pakistan's major Islamic group on Wednesday condemned as "unfortunate and reprehensible" a
recent US air strike in the country's tribal region, which had killed at least seven people. "While
the US is assuring Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani of its respect for Pakistan's sovereignty, its forces
are continuing attacks inside Pakistan," deputy chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Prof. Khurshid
Ahmed said. "In the latest attack on a Madrassah in South Waziristan seven persons, including
children, were killed. This is most unfortunate and reprehensible," Prof. Khurshid Ahmad, also
leader of the Independent Opposition Group in the Senate said in a statement. "American
assurances amount to nothing but ritual expression of respect for Pakistani's sovereignty," he
noted. Saying that the government is failing to safeguard national interests, Prof. Khurshid
observed that independence and sovereignty of a nation is respected only when it is prepared to
defend it with determination and power rather than through appeals and pleadings. He said that
the US arrogance has crossed all limits as it feels emboldened by lack of appropriate response
from the Pakistani forces as well as the political command. The senator said that it has also been
reported that Indian and CIA agents are actively operating inside Pakistan and have a hand in the
bloodshed in different parts of the country, including the so-called Shia-Sunni tension in Hangu
and other areas. (cont)
Source: IRNA
http://www2.irna.com/en/news/view/menu-234/0807313442112524.htm

India Takes Up Ceasefire Violation With Pak
COLOMBO: India on Thursday took up with Pakistan the issue of recent ceasefire violations
along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir during a meeting between the Foreign Ministers
of the two countries here. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee raised the issue with his
Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Mohammad Qureshi when they held talks on the sidelines
of the SAARC Council of Ministers' meeting here. "We shared our perception about our bilateral
relations, the composite dialogue and certain recent events," Mukherjee told reporters after the
meeting with Qureshi by his side. The meeting, the second between them in a month, comes
after firing incidents from the Pakistani side along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. It also follows
the deadly suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul earlier this month for which both India
and Afghanistan blamed Pakistan's ISI. The Pakistani Minister recalled that he had a very
pleasant meeting with his Indian counterpart when he had visited Delhi. "It was a very positive
engagement," he said. On his talks with Mukherjee on Thursday, he said "the discussion today
was frank, candid and open discussion. We discussed a host of issues of mutual concern." The
two leaders said they would brief their respective Prime Ministers about the discussions they had
today and would come out with a detailed briefing later. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely
to meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday on the sidelines of the SAARC
summit. (cont)
Source: PTI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_takes_up_ceasefire_violation_with_Pak/articleshow/3311
251.cms

India Talks Bombings, Border Fire With Pakistan
COLOMBO (Reuters) - Foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee discussed "certain recent events" with
his Pakistani counterpart in Colombo on Thursday, amid an escalation in border skirmishes and
bomb attacks on Indian cities that threaten a sluggish peace process. But Mukherjee gave no
details of his meeting with Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of a
South Asian leaders' summit. Qureshi had said the prime ministers of the two countries would
meet on Aug.2 in Colombo and issue a comprehensive statement. "We shared our perception
about our bilateral relations, about composite (peace) dialogue and certain recent events,"
Mukherjee told reporters. Their meeting comes after a series of violations of a five-year-old
ceasefire on the de facto border between the two countries dividing the disputed Kashmir region.
There have been three exchanges of border fire this month alone, marking the most serious
violation since a 2003 ceasefire. "I can assure you our discussion today was a frank, candid,
open discussion," Qureshi said. The South Asian regional summit is also being held in the
shadow of a series of bomb blasts in India, and another at its embassy in Kabul this month, which
India blamed on Pakistan's spy agency. The attacks together killed more than 100 people. India
said after the Kabul attack that its four-year-old peace process with Pakistan was "under stress"
because its nuclear-armed foe was "inciting terror" inside India and trying to hit its interests
abroad.
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-34759220080731
India, Pakistan To Hold Talks On Summit Sidelines
COLOMBO (Reuters) - The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan will meet on the sidelines of a
South Asian summit on Thursday amid an escalation in border skirmishes and bomb attacks on
Indian cities that threaten a sluggish peace process. Foreign ministers of eight South Asian
countries are meeting in Colombo to set the stage for an Aug. 2-3 summit of their leaders that will
discuss, among other issues, terrorism and food and energy security. "They will meet sometime
in between the SAARC foreign ministers' meeting," A. Manickam, a top Indian diplomat in
Colombo, told Reuters. Manickam gave no details of the agenda of the meeting between the
Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers. But a senior diplomat said Indian foreign minister Pranab
Mukherjee is expected to send a strong message to Pakistan to do more to curb anti-India
militant groups in Pakistan. The meeting comes after a series of violations of a five-year-old
ceasefire on the de facto border dividing the disputed Kashmir region. There have been three
exchanges of border fire this month alone, marking the most serious violation since a 2003
ceasefire. The South Asian regional summit is also being held under the shadow of a string of
bomb blasts in India, and another at its embassy in Kabul this month, which India blamed on
Pakistan's spy agency. (cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34759420080731

ISI Within ISI
On July 26, 2008, the Pakistan government placed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the
Intelligence Bureau (IB) under the direct control of the Interior Division. A notification issued
before the departure of Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani for Washington for talks with President
George Bush, said: "In terms of Rule 3(3) of the Rules of Business of 1973, the Prime Minister
has approved the placement of the Intelligence Bureau and the Inter-Services Intelligence under
the administrative, financial and operational control of the Interior Division with immediate effect."
De jure, the ISI and the IB were working under the Prime Minister, while the Federal Investigation
Agency (FIA) was being overseen by the Interior Minister, but de facto, they were reporting to
President Pervez Musharraf till the elected government under Gilani came to office in the last
week of March, 2008. Since then, the Gilani government was under pressure from the US to act
against what had come to be known as "the ISI within the ISI"-- that is, a group of military officers
in the ISI who were allegedly helping the Taliban in Afghanistan and the anti-India jihadi terrorist
organizations. In December 2003, Musharraf escaped two attempts to assassinate him at
Rawalpindi allegedly mounted by Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda elements with the complicity of
some junior officers of the Army and the Air Force. The failure of the ISI to detect this conspiracy
led to fears that there are elements in the ISI, which are opposed to co-operation with the US
even against Al Qaeda. (Cont)
Source: Outlook India, B Raman
http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20080730&fname=isi&sid=1&pn=2

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

PNG Accuses Australia Of Interference
Papua New Guinea's foreign minister, Sam Abal, has accused the country's major aid donor,
Australia, of interfering in PNG's domestic politics. Our PNG correspondent, Steve Marshall, says
Mr Abal was referring to comments made by PNG AusAid chief, Margaret Thomas, about
corruption and leaders in PNG. Mr Abal says he aired his concerns over Ms Thomas's comments
to Australia's foreign minister, Stephen Smith, in Singapore recently. "I don't think it's right for
donor agencies to make political statements," he said. "I think to make a judgement on leaders -
that is the right of the PNG citizens." Australia commits nearly $US400 million a year in aid to
PNG.
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200807/s2320796.htm?tab=pacific
PHILIPPINES

CPP Scores ‘Secret’ Zambo Visit Of US Military Officials
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) scored Thursday an alleged "secret visit" by US
military officials to Zamboanga City over the weekend. In a statement, the CPP also contested
government claims that the special contingent of the US military assigned to the Joint Special
Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) is merely part of US visiting military forces. "The
unit has been permanently based in the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom)
headquarters for more than six years now. US military and AFP officials use the annual joint US-
Philippine military Balikatan exercises to camouflage the permanent basing and daily operations
of US forces in the country,‖ the CPP said in a statement on its website. ―US and Filipino military
officials constantly deny the involvement of the US JSOTF-P contingent in intelligence gathering,
reconnaissance patrols and military combat operations," the group added. It said Col. Bill
Coultrup, the JSOTF-P commander, and other ranking US military officials were at the Camp
Navarro headquarters of Westmincom in Zamboanga City over the weekend. (cont)
Source: GMA.new.tv
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/110621/CPP-scores-%E2%80%98secret%E2%80%99-Zambo-visit-
of-US-military-officials

US Military Flights Causing Delay In Zambo Airport Rehab
The operations of the US Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) is causing a delay in the
rehabilitation of the Zamboanga City Airport runway. Airport manager Celso Bayabos said that
there is a standing request from US troops to temporarily suspend an asphalt overlay project
since US aircrafts use the runway at night. Bayabos cited that there is a need to have the runway
repaired in the earliest possible time since there are existing holes in it that might damage
aircrafts. President Arroyo had mentioned in her State of the Nation Address July 28 that the
rehabilitation of the Zamboanga airport is among her administration's priority projects. The US
JSOTF had earlier said it is conducting training and support operations jointly with the Philippine
military in anti-terrorism efforts in Mindanao.
Source: Abs-Cbn News Zamboanga
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126900

China Donates P20 Million Worth Of Equipment To PCG
China, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), donated P20 million
pesos‘ worth of ―marine pollution‖ (MARPOL) equipment and personnel protective gear to the
Philippine Coast Guard Thursday. The MARPOL equipment turned over to the PCG are 10,800
meters of oil spill oom, 500 pairs of protective suits, 200 units of electric high pressure spraying
equipment, 142 bags of detergent powder, 50 folding beds, and 50 sleeping bags. The donation
will ―definitely make a difference in the oil spill response capability of the PCG as these type of
equipment are hard to come by due to its prohibitive costs," PCG Commandant Vice Admiral
Wilfredo Tamayo said in a statement. The equipment will be sent to Sibuyan Island, Romblon to
―augment‖ the oil spill boom rigged around MV Princess of the Stars. Part of the donated
equipment will also be used by the PCG to monitor possible oil spill from MT Lake Paoay, which
sank off the coast of Carles Iloilo, and MV Ocean Papa which sank off Culasi, Roxas City. All
three vessels went down during the onslaught of typhoon ―Frank‖ (international codename:
Fengshen). ―With our hands full in responding to these incidents, PCG could only be thankful to
the generosity of the People‘s Republic of China for this donation and to the DSWD for facilitating
it‘s immediate turn over to the PCG,‖ Tamayo said.
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://services.inquirer.net/mobile/08/08/01/html_output/xmlhtml/20080731-151917-xml.html

MILF Urges Critics Of Homeland Accord To Back Peace Process
The chief peace negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Mohager Iqbal on
Thursday said that there is no need for North Cotabato Gov. Jesus Sacdalan and all the
members of the province's legislative body to ask the Supreme Court (SC) to disclose the
controversial ancestral domain agreement. Iqbal said the Philippine government and MILF peace
panels are set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on ancestral domain on August 5
following the breakthrough in the peace process last week. "I‘m not a lawyer but the higher court
would only act on something that pertains to legal matter. Anyway, the signing would be very
short and it will be immediately released to the public and to the media," Iqbal said. He said the
signing of the accord is a political, not a legal issue. Iqbal said that Sacdalan and Vice Gov.
Emmanuel Piñol's action is a clear manifestation of their objection to the peace process. "I think
it‘s not good. We are trying to find solutions in the problem here in Mindanao but here comes the
two public officials who are in contrast... Ultimately, it will not be in favor to them because it would
appear they are anti-peace process," said Iqbal. Sacdalan, Piñol and all the board members of
the province of North Cotabato went to Manila Wednesday and filed their petition before the SC.
(cont)
Source: Abs-Cbn News
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126974

N. Cotabato Warns Of Bloodshed If MILF Pact Will Be Signed
MANILA, Philippines -- Armed conflict might erupt between residents in the Autonomous Region
of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) if the government
would push through with an agreement that would define new territories for Muslims in Mindanao,
a group of ARMM officials warned Thursday. In a press conference, the group led by North
Cotabato Vice Governor Ed Piñol said the "worst case scenario" was bloodshed between the
people and MILF if the government would refuse to provide them with a copy of the MOA. North
Cotabato Governor Jesus Sacdalan, Piñol, and the other officials in the province filed a petition at
the high court last week asking it to compel government negotiators, particularly presidential
peace adviser Hermogenes Esperon, to disclose details of the agreement before it was signed.
"Basic law of nature lang naman yan [That is a basic law of nature]. Kung di kami tutulungan ng
Army eh di maghasa na lang kami ng itak naming [If the Army won‘t help us, then we will simply
sharpen our bolos]," he said. But Piñol was quick to add that they would first exhaust all legal
procedures. Local officials also expressed concern over the "seemingly willingness of the
government to sacrifice our people in the push to sign the read treaty," Piñol said. (cont)
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://services.inquirer.net/mobile/08/08/01/html_output/xmlhtml/20080731-151834-xml.html

House Panel OKs Postponing ARMM Polls
The House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms on Thursday approved a measure
seeking to postpone the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Voting 17-3 with two abstentions, members of the House panel voted for the postponement of the
automated ARMM polls, 11 days before the conduct of elections on August 11. The committee
report is set to be forwarded to the Lower House plenary on Monday for floor debates. A similar
bill has yet to be filed in the Senate but Makati City Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr., House committee
chairman, explained that the upper chamber of Congress can vote on the House version once it
passes the floor. Locsin, however, said that based on his conversation with Sen. Juan Miguel
Zubiri no senators would take it up. Locsin said he raised this issue during the panel hearing.
Another insurmountable issue, Locsin said, is the 15-day publication requirement of the law,
which cannot be waived. (cont)
Source: Abs-Cbn News
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126923

Attack On Basilan School ‘Test Mission For Young Bandits’
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines -- Local officials in Basilan said on Thursday that an attack by
armed men on the Tipo-tipo National High School, on Tuesday, could have been a "test mission
for young bandits" as most of the assailants looked to be in their teens. Ungkaya Pukan mayor
Joel Maturan said he received information that the armed men were very young. Maturan said he
was informed by an "asset" that one of the armed men was hurt, while another, a 16-year-old boy
identified only as Tiayun, was killed. Albarkah Mayor Karam Jakilan said the attack "could be a
test mission for the young bandits." Jakilan said the police and Marines have been on high alert
"because they (bandits) could use our town when they escape from pursuing soldiers." Classes in
schools in Tipo-tipo town in Basilan have been suspended following Tuesday's attack on the high
school. Tipo-tipo mayor Tong Istarul said around 40 armed men attacked the Tipo-tipo National
High School, apparently to abduct teachers and students. "We are fortunate because the
teachers and students were on alert and they immediately reported the attack to the police, so we
sought support from the Marines," Istarul said. (cont)
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://services.inquirer.net/mobile/08/08/01/html_output/xmlhtml/20080731-151908-xml.html

Ex-Apalit Mayor Slain In Bulacan
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga - Motorcyle-riding gunmen shot and killed a former mayor of Apalit,
Pampanga while he was in Barangay Poblacion in Calumpit, Bulacan Thursday. Police identified
the victim as Tirso Lacanilao, a resident of Barangay Sulipan in Calumpit. He succumbed to
multiple gunshot wounds. Police said the victim was inside his Mitsubishi Gallant car (UHA-169)
in front of a gasoline station along Macarthur Highway when the suspects opened fire at him past
2 p.m. The victim's security aide, Arman del Moran, was spared from the attack. He rushed
Lacanilao to nearby hospital. The victim, however, expired before reaching the hospital. Crime
scene investigators found several spent shells from caliber 45 and 9mm pistols near attack site.
Investigators have yet to issue additional statements and the possible motive for the attack. Last
year, Lacanilao's son was also killed in Calumpit town by suspected drug-crazed men.
Source: Abs-Cbn News
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126957

Alleged Reds Burn Heavy Equipment In Davao Raid
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Suspected communist rebels raided a village in the southern
city of Davao even government offensives continue in Mindanao against the New People's Army
(NPA). About 50 NPA rebels stormed the house of a banana grower and seized weapons from
security guards after overpowering them late Wednesday in Davao City's Buhangin district. The
rebels also raided the Lapanday banana plantation and RTQ construction firm in Buhangin and
torched equipment and trucks. Police and military officials said there were no reports of casualties
and that security forces were pursuing the raiders. "We have dispatched additional police forces
in the area to protect civilians from future attacks by rebels," said a regional police spokesman,
Chief Inspector Querubin Manalang. Government troops were also deployed to track down the
attackers, led by Leonardo Pitao, said Lt. Col. Roland Joselito Bautista, spokesman of the Army's
10th Infantry Division. (cont)
Source: GMAnews.tv
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/110608/Alleged-Reds-burn-heavy-equipment-in-Davao-raid

[Philippines] Canned Food Price Hikes, Dwindling Fish Supply Add To Woes
First it ws the rice supply. Soon, consumers will have to contend with the rising price of canned
goods and the dwindling supply of fresh fish. This, after Zamboanga fisherfolk supplying fish to
makers of canned sardines stopped catching fish since Monday because the rapid rise of the
price of diesel have forced them to halt their operations to prevent further losses. "We are not
here to do a strike or something, but it's really forced by circumstances that we are at a loss. we
are at loss. So if you operate at a loss, its will shorten the lifespan of your company, so its better
to stop, at least, your operating loss will be minimal," said Eugene Yap, vice-president of the
Southern Philippines Deep-Sea Fishing Association. Deep-sea fishers want to raise the price of
Sardinella -- the fish species usually made into sardines -- to P25 per kilo from the current P20.
Sardine makers are blocking the attempt since a P5 increase would mean a P100-jump for each
carton of the canned product. And for each can of sardines, the price increase may go as high as
P1. "Tataas... at least P1.00 per tin... by August. At the moment, lumalabas na baka
magpatigasan yung dalawang grupo," said Bombit Buencamino, executive director of the Alliance
of Fish Canners. (cont)
Source: Abs-Cbn News
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126971

[Philippines] Oil Firms Cut Gasoline, Kerosene Prices
Petroleum companies in the Philippines on Thursday announced they will lower pump prices of
gasoline and diesel starting 12:01 a.m. Friday as world crude prices continue to decline. On
Thursday afternoon, Petron Corp., Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc. and Eastern Petroleum
Philippines Corp. said pump prices of gasoline and diesel products will be reduced by P1.50 per
liter. Flying V, an independent player, and industry giant Chevron starting 12:01 a.m. Friday while
Pilipinas Shell said price cuts for gasoline, diesel and auto LPG start 6 a.m. Friday. Independent
player SeaOil, meanwhile, will implement price cuts at 10 p.m. Thursday. Unioil said that it will
reduce pump prices of its gasoline and kerosene products by P1.50 per liter effective 2 p.m.
Thursday. Diesel and liquefied petroleum gas for cars, however, will be left unchanged. In a text
message to ABS-CBN News, Eastern Petroleum said it will also cut prices of gasoline and
kerosene products by P1.50 per liter also starting 2 p.m. Thursday Despite the rollbacks, Flying V
said it will still implement a P1.50 pump price increase for diesel this coming weekend. (cont)
Source: Abs-Cbn News
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=126961

SINGAPORE

[Singapore] NTUC Chief Concerned Global Economy Heading Towards Stagflation
SINGAPORE: Labour chief Lim Swee Say has urged workers to work together to cope with a
global economy which may be heading towards a state of stagflation - one sparked off by low
growth and high inflation. The NTUC secretary general made the call in his National Day
message. Singapore's National Day is being celebrated amidst concerns about the slowing global
economy and rising inflation, said Mr Lim. And to tackle these concerns, the labour movement,
the employers and the government are addressing two core priorities. First, coping with the
impact of inflation without being caught in a price-wage spiral. "The worse thing that any country
does at a time of high inflation would be for the unions and workers to push for wage inflation.
Wage inflation is different from wage increment. Wage inflation means you are pushing up wages
to fully offset the inflation," said the labour chief. He added that companies in the unionized sector
are currently in talks on their annual increment. (cont)
Source: Channel News Asia
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/364051/1/.html

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Solomons' Opposition Re-Submits Motion Against PM
The Solomon Islands' opposition has re-submitted a parliamentary motion of no confidence
against the prime minister, Derek Sikua. The Solomons' national broadcaster says the motion will
be moved by the MP for West Honiara, Isaac Inoke. Mr Inoke withdrew a previous motion last
week, two days before the motion would have been tabled and debated. No reason was given at
the time. Earlier, the opposition had said it was tabling the motion at the request of people
suffering from high fuel and food prices.
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200807/s2320794.htm?tab=pacific

Solomons Police Attacked By Villagers
Police in Solomon Islands say they have been attacked by a group of villagers on the country's
remote Weather Coast as they attempted to arrest a man wanted over a series of murders,
kidnappings and arson. The man, named as Robert Tatave, escaped during the melee, despite
being handcuffed. The police say they were pelted with stones as they waited for a helicopter to
take them to the capital, Honiara, and fired warning shots to drive off their attackers. The
operation was carried out by the Solomon Islands Police Force, backed by two officers serving
with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). One of the RAMSI officers
involved was hit on the arm by the stones, and slightly hurt.
Source: Radio Australia
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200807/s2320790.htm?tab=pacific

SRI LANKA

SLAF Fighter Jets Destroy Training Camp Of LTTE Suicide Bombers
Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets bombed a training facility of LTTE suicide bombers also
known as Black Tigers located in the Iranamadu area, three kilometers southeast of Kilinochchi
Wednesday morning. "The terror camp was destroyed in the air raid carried out. The camp was in
flames after the bombing mission," Sri Lanka's national news agency "Lankapuvath" reported
from Colombo quoting Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.
Meanwhile, defense intelligence sources said the targeted "Black Tiger" camp was operated
directly under guidance of LTTE's notorious intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman. The target
was obtained after receiving real time ground information that an activity of suicide bombers was
going on at the camp, said the sources. The exact location of the target was in the Thirivaiaru
area, just 3 Km off from the LTTE's main stronghold at Kilinochchi, the sources added.
Source: IRNA
http://www2.irna.com/en/news/view/menu-234/0807314172111447.htm

Sri Lanka Fighting Kills 25 As Summit Nears
The Sri Lankan army launched a wave of attacks against Tamil Tiger separatists in the north,
sparking battles that killed 24 rebels and one soldier, the military said Thursday. The summit of
the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation is scheduled to bring together the heads of
government of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
- .The Tamil rebels have been fighting for an independent state in the north and east since 1983,
following decades of marginalization by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. More
than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Fighting escalated in recent months after the
government vowed to crush the rebels by the end of the year. (Cont)
Source: AP
http://www.theacademic.org/#12175034520

Sri Lanka Jets Bomb Rebels, Fighting Kills 25
COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops killed 24 Tamil Tiger rebels in clashes in the north of
the island while helicopter gunships bombed a rebel position on Thursday, the military said, as
security was tightened ahead of a regional summit in the capital. The leaders of eight South Asian
countries are meeting in Colombo for an Aug. 2-3 summit that will discuss, among other issues,
terrorism and food and energy security. "Mi-24 helicopter gunships attacked a Tamil Tiger
position offering resistance to the ground troops in Mannar," said air force spokesman Wing
Commander Janaka Nanayakkara. Mannar is in the northwest of the island where fighting has
escalated in recent months. The military said ground troops had also killed 24 Tamil Tiger rebels
in day-earlier fighting. One soldier died in the fighting. The air raids on rebel position in Mannar
and the fighting in the north came as the security in capital Colombo was beefed up for the South
Asian Association of Regional Corporation (SAARC) summit from July 27 to Aug. 3. The SAARC
groups the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and
Afghanistan. Some 19,000 extra police and soldiers have been deployed in the capital for the
meeting. (Cont)
Source: Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-34761920080731

Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Visits Embattled North
July 31, Colombo: A top defense delegation led by Defense Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa today toured Mannar and Vavuniya in the restive northern region. Military sources said
the Chief of Defense Staff Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Army Commander Sarath Fonseka
and senior Army officers ―extended their warm greetings and plaudits to advancing ground troops
in the Mannar sector for their string of military successes in the most recent past.‖ ―The top-level
defense official and military chiefs as first leg of the tour was also meant to promote the morale of
the ground troops fighting the most ruthless terror outfit in the world further, and map out future
strategies to continue their forward march, in order to salvage besieged Tamil civilians in
Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts while bringing peace to the north of Sri Lanka, military reported.
Source: Colombo Page
http://www.colombopage.com/archive_08/July31173444JV.html

Sri Lanka Minister Laments Lack Of News Reporting On Progress
Sri Lanka's Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa has lamented the lack of reporting in the
media on issues of development and too much focus on politics. Addressing the Fourth SAARC
Journalist Summit Wednesday evening at the Trans Asia Hotel in Colombo, the Minister
emphasized the need for the media to be responsible and commended the South Asian Free
Media Association which organized the forum for its commitment to playing a progressive role in
the region's development, ColomboPage News Desk reported. "We are moving into an era which
challenges all of us to be more responsible in what we say and do and how we say it and do it,"
the minister said. "Where are the well-argued, well-written features investigating development
drives, the philosophies upon which they are founded, and the extrapolations thereof?" the
minister asked. Concluding his speech, Minister Yapa proposed a South Asian News Agency for
reporting regional issues. "Why should we let others make us inhabit their versions of our reality?
Let us first write our stories ourselves. I believe that a news agency of our peoples, for our
peoples and with our peoples, is something worth working towards," he added. Journalists from
the eight SAARC nations, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and
Afghanistan will gather at the two-day summit to discuss the access to free flow of information in
each country under the theme `Freedom of Media in Conflict Situations.' (cont)
Source: IRNA
http://www2.irna.com/en/news/view/menu-234/0807313731114936.htm

Sri Lanka's July Inflation Hits 26.6 Percent
Colombo - The Inflation for the month of July in Sri Lanka slightly dropped to 26.6 percent. The
inflation of the country reached to record 28.2 percent in June. Meanwhile, the annual average
inflation of Sri Lanka rose to 21.9 percent from 21.0 percent in June. High inflation is not good for
Sri Lanka and its share market in total shambles very bad news for Sri Lankan economy, another
observer said. "If there is a military buildup and operations and sharp increase in weapons
imports and a deterioration of the rupee, it will have a spiraling effect on inflation," said an analyst
in Colombo. There is gloomy prospect for the Sri Lankan economy. Sri Lanka‘s high inflation rate,
share prices falling down, repeatedly rising fuel prices, the high interest rates, wide range of
corruptions in the government, mismanagement of the public funds, heavy tax increases on
goods, the escalation of the violence and more importantly threat of looming war are all causing
great impacts on the economy of the war ravaged nation of Sri Lanka, a analyst in Colombo said.
Source: Tamil Eelam News Service
http://www.tamileelamnews.com/news/publish/tns_9969.shtml

THAILAND

New Case Against Thaksin
The Supreme Court's section for political office holders on Wednesday agreed to open a new
case against ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra on charges of abuse of power in pushing a state
loan to Burma to help his family's telecoms empire. The court set September 16 as the first day of
the trial which will examine whether Thaksin abused his position as prime minister when he
ordered the state-owned EXIM Bank to extend a loan of 1 billion baht (30 million dollars) to
Burma's military regime in 2004 to develop its telecommunications infrastructure to the benefit of
Shin Corp, then owned by the Shinawatra family. Thaksin and his wife Pojaman are already on
trial at the same court on charges of abusing power in the purchase of a plot of land on
Ratchadaphisek road in Bangkok at a government auction in 2003. On Monday, the Supreme
Court also named Thaksin and one of 47 defendants in a malfeasance case involving the
government lottery. The Assets Examination Committee, established by the military junta that
toppled Thaksin on September 19, 2006, pressed several charges against the former premier,
before it was retired on June 30. Thaksin, a billionaire telecommunication tycoon who was prime
minister between 2001 to 2006, was ousted by military on charges of corruption, dividing the
nation and undermining democracy and the monarchy. (cont)
Source: Bangkok Post
http://www.bangkokpost.com/topstories/topstories.php?id=129164

Potjaman: GUILTY!
The Criminal Court on Thursday, in an historic verdict against power-holders, found the wife of
ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra guilty of tax evasion, and sentenced both Khunying
Potjaman and her brother Bannapot Damapong to three years in prison as an example. The pair
and Khunying Potjaman‘s secretary Karnchana Honghern were all found guilty of tax evasion in
the transfer of Shinawatra Computer and Communication shares worth 738 million baht in 1997 -
about $16.4 million at that time, and now valued at about $22 million. Mrs. Karnchana was given
a two-year prison term for her lesser role in the case. "The three defendants have high economic
and social status," said judge Pramote Pipatpramote. They should have set an example for
society. Instead, "They worked together to avoid taxes, even though the taxes amounted to little
compared to their assets." Then he announced the verdict of jail terms. The 51-year-old former
first lady, in a pale blue suit and strand of pearls, looked stunned. Mr Thaksin, who was in the
courtroom throughout the proceedings with his children, was grim. The former premier,
overthrown in the Sept 19, 2006 military coup and faces several criminal charges himself. (cont)
Source: Bangkok Post
http://www.bangkokpost.com/topstories/topstories.php?id=129171

Thaksin's Wife Sentenced To 3 Years' Jail For Tax Fraud
The wife of deposed Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra was sentenced to three years in prison for
tax evasion Thursday, the first conviction against his family since he was toppled in a 2006 coup.
Pojaman Shinawatra and her brother were given three years in prison, while her secretary
received a two-year sentence. "The actions by the three defendants are serious violations of the
law. The court has decided that the three defendants were guilty of tax fraud," Judge Pramote
Pipatpramote said. All three were released on bail of five million baht each (US$150,000 dollars)
pending appeal, court officials said. The family's spokesman immediately announced an appeal
against the verdict. "We will appeal within 30 days... We will wait for the decision from the
highest court. We respect the decision of the highest court," Phongthep Thepkanjana told AFP.
The case is one of a dozen corruption claims against Thaksin, his family and his political allies
currently working their way through the legal system. This verdict signals a tougher line by the
courts against the former premier, Bangkok-based analyst and Thaksin biographer Chris Baker
told AFP. ―It's very significant for both of them. Nobody doubts this was a family matter. It will
reflect on all of them," Baker said. "I don't think we need to take the (corruption) cases as a team
effort, I think each one will be decided on its merits," he said. "The courts here are often
intimidated by people in power or who were in power and they are reluctant to convict. In this
case that doesn't seem to be operating." (cont)
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/364008/1/.html

Cambodia Preparing Lavish Celebration At Border Temple
Phnom Penh - Cambodia will host a huge post-election celebration at Preah Vihear temple
attended by the country's first lady, Bun Rany, and other high ranking officials, the government
said Thursday. Far from softening its stance on the 11th century border temple after it was made
a Cambodian World Heritage site by UNESCO, angering neighboring Thailand, Cambodia is
defiantly flaunting the site. "We are all in preparation for Bun Rany's arrival. We have no security
concerns because as a World Heritage site, the temple is a tourist destination, not a war zone,"
Preah Vihear Deputy Governor Ka Lean said by telephone. Although after recent talks with
Thailand both sides agreed in principal to withdraw troops estimated to have reached more than
2,000 in the area, observers on the Cambodian side say no troops have been redeployed so far.
The celebration is scheduled for Friday, according to government spokesman Khieu Kanharith
and Ka Lean. Bun Rany is the wife of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and is a powerful political force in
her own right, as well as being the head of the nation's Red Cross. Her presence is expected to
significantly boost the morale of Cambodian civilians and military on the border near the temple,
around 300 kilometers north of the capital. Thailand sent troops into what it maintains is disputed
land but Cambodia says is sovereign territory more than two weeks ago in a move that has
severely strained bilateral diplomatic relations.
Source: DPA
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/222660,cambodia-preparing-lavish-celebration-at-border-
temple.html

Blast Wounds 18, Including Infant, In Thai South
Eighteen people, including a six-month-old baby, were injured in a bomb blast early Thursday at a
busy market in Thailand's Muslim south, where a separatist insurgency is raging, police said.
The bomb was hidden in a motorcycle and detonated with a mobile phone signal. The blast sent
scraps of metal flying into the crowded market in downtown Narathiwat. Eighteen people,
including two soldiers and the baby, were hospitalized for treatment. Two were in serious
condition, police added. Witnesses told police that a teenager had parked the motorcycle at the
market early in the morning, and that the bombed exploded just as two soldiers walked by.
Despite televised claims of a ceasefire by self-proclaimed militant leaders two weeks ago,
violence has continued across the region. Army leaders have rejected the ceasefire claim, saying
the self-styled militant leaders have little connection to the fighting. More than 3,300 people have
been killed since separatist unrest broke out in January 2004 in the south, which was an
autonomous Malay sultanate until Thailand annexed it in 1902, provoking decades of tension.
Source: AFP
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/364030/1/.html

Credibility Crisis At The BoT
BANGKOK - Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor Tarisa Watanagase cuts a controversial profile,
from her surprise decision to slap capital controls on foreign equity, bond and currency trades, to
her counter-intuitive low interest rates during high inflationary times. While her breaks from
market orthodoxy have kept investors on their toes, her unconventional policies have raised
concerns about central bank independence and raised substantially the risk of a run on the Thai
currency, which despite Thailand's rich store of foreign reserves has recently come under heavy
foreign selling pressure. Thai inflation hit 8.9% in June, the highest rate in over a decade. The
BoT's monetary policy committee earlier this month failed to assuage market concerns when it
raised the benchmark interest rate by a mere 25 basis points to 3.5%. Foreign-currency traders
are on the look-out for policy mismatches to exploit and several have tuned into Thailand's out-of-
whack real interest rates, which apart from the Philippines are Asia's highest at a negative 5.4%.
Many attribute that unusually wide spread to political interference in the BoT's workings, where
politicians have apparently weighed against the more substantial hike in rates the market has
anticipated in the short-term interest of protecting economic growth. Minister of Finance Surapong
Suebwonglee said in mid-July that inflation is expected to ease in the second half of this year, a
projection at odds with what the BoT and most private economists have forecast. (Cont)
Source: Asia Times, Shawn W Crispin
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/JH01Ae02.html

Burma On Bush Agenda While In Thailand
WASHINGTON — US President George W Bush will travel to South Korea, Thailand and China
next week before taking part in the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. While in Thailand,
Bush, accompanied by his wife, Laura, will make a major policy statement on Burma while also
meeting Burmese opposition group members. On his second day in Thailand, Bush will attend a
briefing by nongovernmental organizations and US agencies on the Cyclone Nargis relief effort.
"He will have a lunch in Bangkok with Burmese activists and hear their stories. And then he will
be interviewed by the press in Thailand that broadcasts into Burma, so he can give a message
directly to the Burmese people," said Dennis Wilder, the senior director for Asian affairs at the
National Security Council. "During the time that he is doing these events, Mrs. Bush will travel to
Mae Sot, Thailand," Wilder said. The first lady has shown an exceptional interest in the affairs of
Burma and the Bush's administration policy with regard to this country to some extent is driven by
her strong support to the pro-democracy movement people. Laura Bush will meet with refugees
of the Mae La Refugee Camp, one of the largest refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.
"Following her visit to Mae La, she will travel to the Mae Tao Clinic," Wilder said. The clinic was
founded by Dr. Cynthia Maung. (cont)
Source: Mizzima News
http://www.irrawaddy.org/article1.php?art_id=13646

Bush Heads to Asia For Olympic Games, Talks
U.S. President George Bush leaves Washington Monday on what is likely to be his final official
trip to Asia. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports he will travel to South
Korea, Thailand and China for the start of the Summer Olympics. From the streets of Seoul, to
the Olympic venues in Beijing, this trip was controversial before it even began. Mr. Bush was
originally expected to travel to Seoul several weeks ago, following the G-8 summit in Japan.
Those plans were changed when Koreans staged massive demonstrations to protest a deal on
American beef imports, and to show their discontent with their government. Byong-Ki Kim of
Korea University in Seoul says it was the wrong time for a presidential visit. "The timing, let's say
a month ago, would have been different for Bush to come," Kim said. "It is not only playing into
the domestic political processes, but to possibly even be utilized politically in a very unproductive
manner. It is purely domestic politics. It happens anywhere in the world." Kim says the political
climate is still volatile but has cooled a bit. And he says the Bush visit will show just how well the
government can handle its diplomatic responsibilities. First stop of tour takes Bush to South
Korea. (cont)
Source: VOA; Paula Wolfson
http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-07-31-voa15.cfm

TONGA

Tonga Defends Lavish Coronation
Tonga's Prime Minister Fred Sevele has defended the lavish festivities marking the royal
coronation this week. "I, on behalf of the government, on behalf of the great majority of Tongans,
make no apologies," Mr Sevele said, according to AP news agency. Officials say some 5.7m
Tongan dollars (US$2.5m) are being spent, in a country where poverty is widespread. Hundreds
of dignitaries are arriving to see King George Tupou V enthroned in a Christian ceremony on
Friday. The king, 60, was given roasted pig and kava, a mild narcotic drink, to mark his
coronation in a traditional ceremony on Wednesday. On Tonga's main island, Tongatapu,
buildings and fences are decorated in bunting in the national colors, red and white. Hundreds of
banners congratulating the king have been hung across roads. Royals arrive. Thousands of
visitors arrived in Tonga on Thursday ahead of the main event on Friday. These visitors included
overseas Tongans and hundreds of dignitaries, including other royals such as Britain's Duke and
Duchess of Gloucester, the Crown Prince of Japan and Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand. There
will also be many South Pacific royals. Prime Minister Sevele defended the lavish nature of the
celebrations, saying they were part of Tongan custom in Polynesia's last remaining monarchy.
Officials also pointed out that guests were likely to spend large amounts of money during their
stay. Reforms promised. The king switched his woven mat skirt worn in Wednesday's traditional
ceremony for a black tunic and military medals at a dinner for dignitaries on Thursday evening.
He will defy the muggy weather on Friday to don a scarlet velvet robe with an ermine trim. (cont)
Source: BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7534482.stm
Tonga Gears Up For Friday’s Coronation Week Highlight
Royalty from around the world and regional political leaders have been arriving in Tonga for
tomorrow‘s coronation of King George Tupou V. About 1,400 dignitaries will be attending the
event, including the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of
Thailand, Britain‘s Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and leaders from around the Pacific.
Tomorrow‘s celebration is the culmination of a week of events which saw the king officially
annointed in an ancient Tongan ceremony on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the New Zealand Prime
Minister Helen Clark has announced that New Zealand‘s coronation gift will be an annual
Fellowship program for developing Tongan leaders. The Fellowship is based on a similar program
New Zealand has with Samoa, and is estimated to be worth 9,000 US dollars a year.
Source: RNZI
http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=41222

Tonga Coronation
home 31 July, 2008 - On the invitation of His Majesty King George Tupou V of Tonga to His
Majesty the King of Bhutan, Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck will be visiting
the Island of Tonga from 30 July to 3 August 2008 to represent His Majesty the King of Bhutan at
the Coronation ceremony of His Majesty the King of Tonga. While Bhutan and Tonga do not have
diplomatic relations, the two countries enjoy cordial relations. His Majesty the King of Tonga
visited Bhutan last December to personally invite His Majesty the King of Bhutan to attend the
Coronation in Tonga. His Majesty King George Tupou V ascended the Throne on 10 September
2006, following the demise at the age of 88 years of his father His Majesty King Taufa‘ahau
Tupou IV. The Coronation ceremony is to take place in Nuku‘alofa, Tonga on 1st August 2008.
Source: Kuensel Online
http://www.kuenselonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=10894

				
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