Tag Archives: Indonesia

A strong ASEAN will immensely benefit India: Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the 16th ASEAN-India Summit, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.

Bangkok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, 3 October 2019 that a strong ASEAN will immensely benefit India.

The Prime Minister was addressing the 16th India – ASEAN Summit here. He said that India’s Act East Policy is a significant cornerstone of the Indo-Pacific strategy; adding that ASEAN is at the core of Act East Policy.

Modi highlighted steps being taken to improve surface, maritime, air and digital connectivity. One billion dollar Indian line of credit will prove beneficial for improving physical and digital connectivity, he said.

Prime Minister said that last year’s Commemorative Summit and Singapore Informal Summit’s Decisions implementation has brought India and ASEAN closer. India is willing to increase cooperation and partnership in areas mutually beneficial to India and ASEAN and expressed readiness to improve partnership and capacity building in the areas of agriculture, research, engineering, science and ICT.

The Prime Minister said that India wants to strengthen cooperation in the areas of maritime security and blue economy. He also welcomed the recent decision to review India ASEAN FTA saying it will improve economic partnership between the two countries.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister expressed happiness in being part of the 16th India – ASEAN Summit and thanked Thailand for the warm hospitality and extended best wishes to Vietnam for taking over as Chairman of next year’s Summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, on the sidelines of the 16th India-ASEAN Summit, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.

The Prime Minister met the President of Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo in Bangkok on Sunday on the sidelines of ASEAN/EAS related meetings.

PM Modi congratulated President Widodo on the start of his second term as the President of Indonesia and conveyed that as the world’s two largest democratic and plural societies, India is committed to work with Indonesia to strengthen ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges.

Noting that India and Indonesia are close maritime neighbours, both leaders reiterated their commitment to work together for peace, security and prosperity in order to achieve their shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely bilaterally and globally to tackle this menace.

Prime Minister Modi had a forward looking discussion on enhancing bilateral trade and highlighted the need for greater market access for Indian commodities including, pharmaceutical, automotive and agricultural products. While noting that Indian companies have made substantial investment in Indonesia, PM Modi invited Indonesian companies to use the opportunities presented in India for investment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Prime Minister of Thailand, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the sidelines of the 16th India-ASEAN Summit, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.

Modi also met Prime Minister of Thailand Gen (ret.) Prayut Chan-o-Cha on on the sidelines of 35th ASEAN Summit, 14th East Asia Summit(EAS) and 16th India-ASEAN Summit.

During the meeting both leaders reviewed the progress made in bilateral relationship and noted that frequent high level meetings and exchanges at all levels have created positive momentum in the relationship. Noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security fields, both sides agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in defence industries sector. Welcoming 20% growth in bilateral trade last year, leaders decided to task the trade officials to discuss ways and means to enhance trade and investment.

The Prime Ministers also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity. Both leaders welcomed the growing air connectivity between the two countries and start of a direct flight between Bangkok and Guwahati and also finalisation of agreements for cooperation between Ranong Port, Thailand and Indian ports in Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakapatnam.

The leaders also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Police identifies 4 Jakarta attackers

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jakarta attacksJakarta : Indonesian police have worked overtime to nab down the attackers who took the country under militancy in the recent series of attacks this Thursday. A convicted militant has been named as one of the attackers. Additionally, police in Indonesia have identified four out of five of the Jakarta attackers. Two were previously convicted militants.One has been named — the police tagged named him as Afif Sunakim, as identified from images of the attack where he was seen carrying a gun and rucksack during the attacks. This convict was earlier jailed for seven years for attending a militant camp.

The attack on Thursday rendered all the five dead. besides the five militants who died, this act of terror took the lives of two civilians. Three arrests were made today, but clear reports have not been yet revealed as to confirm if they were connected with the attacks.

Security forces fought on a fierce encounter with militants for many long hours in the busy commercial district where the militants had carried out the attacks. Casualties were reported, among which a Canadian and an Indonesian national died, and at least 20 people were injured. The assault finally ended when two attackers died in a suicide bombing. According to police information, the other three were killed in gun battles.

Indonesia is highly sensitive to such attacks, and, following recent IS threats, the country, which had been attacked by Islamist militants several times in the past, had been on high alert. Indonesia has witnessed severe and several militant attacks in the past, but has been relatively successful in clamping down home-grown Islamist extremism after a spate of attacks in the last decade.

Multiple explosions in central Jakarta, Indonesia near UN agency office

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Indonesia attacksJakarta : A series of blasts and explosions took place in Jakarta resulting in panic and intense disruption of lives and security of people in the Indonesian city. At least six blasts went off in the city center of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in an apparent terrorist attack involving suicide bombers. People who stood witness to this deadly attack described that the explosion resulted in immediate casualties, and chaotic scenes erupted as people began to run helter-skelter to save their lives from the attack as gun shot were heard in the vicinity since exchanges of gunfire shot off between the militants and police.

At least six people have so far been confirmed killed in the attack. The official Twitter account of the Jakarta police said that the explosions went off in front of a shopping center known as Sarinah mall. Police informed that attackers arrived on motorcycles and threw grenades. the situation is chaotic as series of explosions and a possible scenario of terrorists wandering on the streets with loaded guns is not being ruled out.

Multiple explosions, and gunfire in central Jakarta has rocked Indonesia as explosions went of near café and in the area of UN agency office. There were apparently 10 to 14 attackers involved in the Jakarta blasts, as reported by local media. Eyewitnesses have reported an exchange of gunfire following the explosions, while at least three bodies were seen lying on the ground. A police officer is among the four dead, as revealed by local authorities. It is being interpreted that at least one suicide bomber set off the explosions, but confirmed reports are trickling down constantly with police on a high alert. Police is still chasing down the roaming attackers and citizens are under a terror grip as an active shooter is reported to be on scene on the loose.

Australia launches Australia-ASEAN Council

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australian govtSydney, Australia : With an eye on strengthening partnership bonds between Australia and South East Asian countries, the Australian government launched Australia-ASEAN Council. This initiative will work towards building links between all the countries of South-East Asia.

South-East Asia is the one of the most important strategic and economic regions in the world with a combined GDP of around 2.5 trillion US dollars, and a population of over 620 million people. The 10 member nations of ASEAN now represent almost 15 per cent of Australia’s total trade, with two-way trade valued at almost $100 billion in 2014. The 10 member ASEAN countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The Australia-ASEAN Council will shape Australia’s engagement with South-East Asia and strengthen partnerships through stronger business, education, science, arts and cultural links. It will also work closely with the New Colombo Plan and Australia Alumni networks to facilitate ongoing links between individuals and organisations.

UK Today – David Cameron initiates Global Fin Tech Hub

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UK 10 downing streetLondon, UK: Prime Minister David Cameron has taken up an initiative to project and promote UK as a Global Financial Technology Hub for the world participants. On a trade mission during his South East Asian visit, Cameron strongly promoted UK’s quest of attaining the FinTech Leader status in the world map.

Companies such as Blockchain, Pennies and Earthport were amongst the 31-strong delegation hoping to capitalise on the opportunities available in the fast-growing markets of Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The Prime Minister’s trade mission came as FinTech membership body Innovate Finance published its new manifesto titled Innovate Finance Manifesto 2020.
Innovate Finance is an independent membership-based industry organisation that aims to advance the UK’s standing as a leader in financial technology (FinTech) innovation both domestically and abroad.

Members range from the world’s leading global corporations to the UK’s most promising FinTech start-ups who through Innovate Finance, receive a single point of access to policy makers, regulators, investors, customers, educators, talent and key commercial partners.

Global investment in FinTech-related activity has tripled in the last year from $4billion to $12billion across more than 730 deals. Projections for annual global investment in FinTech is expected to reach $46bn in 2020. It is becoming increasingly evident that FinTech and the digital revolution, that underpins the expansion of this sector, has the potential to fundamentally change the way financial services operate.

With over 120 members from across the FinTech ecosystem, Innovate Finance seeks to address some of the key issues affecting the growth of the sector, from attracting greater inward investment to helping shape the development of proportionate and effective regulation, whilst continuing to champion a truly democratic and inclusive financial services industry.

In its quest to become the leading FinTech centre, at the Summer Budget the government appointed UK’s FinTech Special Envoy. It also announced that it will undertake a FinTech benchmarking exercise in the autumn to help identify barriers to the development of the sector in the UK.

On Nebraska abolishing the death penalty

Jamsheed Rizwani


lethal injection chamberYet another US state joins the civilized world by banning the death sentence… This is something? quite something coming from a state reputed to be very conservative……My respects to the legislators and the people of Nebraska…. who defied public opinion and their seats in the legislature to vote against the death sentence.

The world is currently in the midst of a maelstrom, we have conservatives who favor progressive laws and the so called progressive ones who turn conservative …….

But good common sense and respect for human life has prevailed….. in Nebraska..Governor Pete Ricketts was defeated in his effort to veto their vote to repeal the death penalty and the lawmakers have succeeded in abolishing the death sentence. Let us hope that this positive step will find other states moving forward and abolishing this punishment of another age which strikes mainly the minorities. The number of executed persons who were subsequently found innocent is evidence enough that some judgements were racist in nature……Iran, Saudi Arablia,, Indonesia, North Korea share the pride of place with the US as the countries which apply the most number of death sentences……india maintains the death sentence…… which it applies. Honour to those prosecutors who do not favor the death sentence in their pleadings before the tribunals in India……. In India, I must say that encounter killings are on the rise and a type of primitive parallel justice seems to have set in , with law and order forces killing suspects on the run… and trying to pass off these as killings in self-defence.This must stop……

The death sentence is not a deterrent and has never been sufficiently so throughout history… Crime and violent crime still occur in those countries and will still continue to do. Ever since Cain killed Abel, humanity has inherited the curse of violence and murder….. There is no deterrent which can prevent violent crime….. Society has to invest in education, and other methods of prevention…. right from an early age……and have properly trained law enforcement forces who are respectful of the people they are supposed to protect.

Human life is too precious…. no man, and no state has the right to take the life of a human being.

Australia Today: Organiser of asylum seeker boats sentenced to 10 years in jail

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boat peopleIraqi national, 43-year-old Sayed Omeid was sentenced on 20 May 2015 to ten years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of six and a half years for his role as an organiser of two asylum seeker boats carrying a total of 555 passengers from Indonesia to Christmas Island in 2001. The case presented by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) demonstrated how Omeid had a central and integral role in the people smuggling enterprise.

Chief of Joint Operations welcomes Australia’s strong partnership with NATO

The Australian Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, has welcomed the continuing strength of Australia’s partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), including through the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) contribution to the NATO-led non-combat Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. During the NATO Chiefs of Defence meeting on 19 and 20 May, Australia’s Vice Admiral Johnston represented the Chief of the Defence Force at a Military Committee meeting on the Resolute Support Mission.

New scholarships for rural arts leaders

Aspiring arts leaders living in regional and rural Australia have been invited to apply for a new scholarship to further develop their leadership skills. Regional arts are vitally important in Australia and the Australian Government has reiterated commitment to ensuring that the next generation of rural arts leaders in Australia are supported to develop their skills for the benefit of the sector. The new scholarships for regional arts leaders complement the Australian Government’s support for regional arts through the Regional Arts Fund

Indigenous leaders seek to enable economic development on native title land

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have called on the Australian Government to work with them on pursuing economic development on native title land and commit resources to this process. Participants of the Indigenous Leaders Roundtable have determined that the Australian Human Rights Commission should lead and facilitate ongoing dialogue on these issues.

Asian African partnership will contribute to world peace: Sushma Swaraj

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India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren of Mongolia on the sidelines of 60th Asian African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren of Mongolia on the sidelines of 60th Asian African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta: India’s external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has utilised the 10th anniversary of the New Asian African Strategic Partnership to send out a message to the world that shared will and capacities of the Afro-Asian countries will contribute to peace, stability and sustainable development with the United Nations playing a central role in dealing with global challenges and threats.

Ms. Swaraj was speaking at the 60th Anniversary of Asian-African Conference and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership, under the theme of “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity” in Jakarta this Monday.
The Indian external Affairs Minister underscored that the 10th anniversary of the New Asian African Partnership is taking place in the year 2015 in which various streams of the global discourse are gathering pace to culminate in four key events – COP21 on Climate Change in Paris, Summit to finalize Post-2015 Development Agenda, 70th Anniversary of the UN and the 10th WTO Ministerial in Kenya – each one of which will have far-reaching political and economic ramifications.

Ms. Swaraj drew attention to “significant transitions and developments” taking place in Asia, Europe and the Middle East with regional and global implications. Every country in this world, she said, had faced the scourge of terrorism.

The year 2015 marks the 70th year of the foundation of the United Nations and 10th anniversary of the World Summit and also comes with an unique opportunity to demonstrate collective will to reform the UN which is the global institution for political governance, Ms. Swaraj emphasised adding: “Our failure to push for any kind of outcomes only adds to the increasing sentiment of frustration amongst the wider membership and dents the credibility of the Security Council’s decisions, if it continues to ignore contemporary realities of the 21st century.”

CLICK HERE for full text of the speech

50 countries do not meet fiscal transparency requirements: US Report

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Department of StateThe US department of State has concluded that, of the 140 governments that were potential beneficiaries of foreign assistance and were evaluated 50 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. Of these, eleven governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

On January 14, US Secretary of State John Kerry released the FY 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report, assessing whether governments that receive U.S. assistance meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. The Department’s assessments evaluate the substantial completeness, reliability, and public availability of budget documents, as well as the transparency of natural resource extraction contracting and license procedures.

The Report is prepared under Section 7031(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014. The Report examines governments receiving bilateral allocations of assistance under the Act. In compiling the Report, the Department assessed the fiscal transparency of governments as of the date the Act became law.

Governments meeting fiscal transparency requirements

The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for FY 2014: Albania, Angola, Armenia, Argentina, The Bahamas, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Vietnam, and Zambia.

The following table lists those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency and identifies whether the governments made significant progress toward meeting those requirements:

Governments Assessed Pursuant to the Act as not Meeting Minimum Requirements of Fiscal Transparency for FY 2014

Significant Progress

No Significant Progress











Burkina Faso










Central African Republic








Congo, Democratic Republic of the


Congo, Republic of the


Dominican Republic










Gambia, The






























Sao Tome and Principe


Saudi Arabia




South Sudan






















US views fiscal transparency as a critical element of effective public financial management since it helps in building market confidence, and sets the stage for economic sustainability. Transparency also provides a window into government budgets for citizens of any country, helping them to hold their leadership accountable. Reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance help to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is used appropriately and sustain a dialogue with governments to improve their fiscal performance, leading to greater macroeconomic stability and better development outcomes, the US department of State goes on to emphasise.

The Office of Monetary Affairs (OMA) monitors global macroeconomic developments and works to prevent and resolve financial crises in countries where U.S. interests are at risk. It seeks to increase the financial security of the United States and its key partners. OMA also works to expand global economic growth and development by advocating sound macroeconomic policies that foster economic stability and expand opportunities for U.S. trade and investment worldwide.

OMA provides the Secretary of State with expertise on global financial and macroeconomic issues, working in close cooperation with the Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs. OMA is also the Department’s liaison with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, OMA interacts with a wide range of foreign government officials and representatives of other international and non-governmental organizations. It also consults with representatives of private financial institutions to ensure that U.S. financial interests abroad are accurately and effectively reflected in U.S. foreign economic policy.

To help poorer countries overcome unsustainable debt burdens and improve their chances for economic growth and development, OMA promotes debt relief through the Paris Club, representing the Secretary of State as Head of the U.S. delegation. The Paris Club is the forum for coordinating debt relief policy among sovereign creditors and negotiating individual country debt treatments. Paris Club agreements can also affect non-member country and private sector creditors when debtor countries are required to seek comparable treatment. OMA also coordinates with the Treasury Department to formulate U.S. debt-relief policies more broadly and to promote initiatives through multilateral institutions.

OMA develops strategies to fight corruption and improve transparency from an economic and business perspective. OMA heads the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, coordinates the interagency to combat bribery of foreign public officials, and ensures compliance with the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in Internationals in International Business Transactions, also known as the Anti-Bribery Convention.

Click Here for Government by Government Assessment (Fiscal Transparency Report)