APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, August 11, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, August 11, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, August 11, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-11-august-2008/

APSNet 11 August 2008

  1. Papuans Want to Return: Jakarta
  2. Taliban Linchpin Taken Out
  3. Taliban Attacks Near Aussie Troops Rise
  4. Report Highlights Problems with Timor Police
  5. Nelson under Fire on Army Truck Bungle
  6. Great Deal at Stake in Rudd’s Seoul Visit
  7. Government Takes Hard Line against Torture
  8. Trafficking: the First Breakthrough

Policy Forum 08-07A: The Human Rights Olympics: Beijing 2008 and China’s Security Dilemma – Tracy L. Smart

1. Papuans Want to Return: Jakarta, Mark Forbes, SMH, 2008-08-11

Some of the 43 Papuans who sparked a diplomatic crisis by seeking asylum in Australia want to return to Indonesia, according to the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirayuda, who has offered to assist them. Mr Wirayuda would not say how many Papuans wanted to return and how they had communicated with Indonesian officials. The move would be a public relations coup for Jakarta.

2. Taliban Linchpin Taken Out, Mark Davis, SMH, 2008-08-11

Mullah Bari Ghul, the Taliban’s so-called “shadow governor” of the province, has been caught in an operation, said an ADF spokesman, Brigadier Brian Dawson. Bari Ghul has been taken to Tarin Kowt, the capital of Oruzgan, and transferred to a Dutch military jail. His incarceration would be negotiated between the Afghan Government and the International Security Assistance.

3. Taliban Attacks Near Aussie Troops Rise, Tom Hyland, Age, 2008-08-10

The security data paints a picture at odds with the Federal Government’s recent optimistic predictions of progress in Afghanistan. Data compiled by Vigilant Strategic Services Afghanistan (VSSA) says Taliban attacks in Oruzgan province jumped from 41 during the first seven months of 2007, to 91 in the same period this year. The number has risen since then, showing 100 incidents from January 1 to August 4 this year.

4. Report Highlights Problems with Timor Police, Stephanie March with Tony McLeod and Allison Cooper, ABC, 2008-08-08

It’s been six months since East Timor’s leadership came under attack by armed rebels and since then, the credibility of the country’s security, especially the local police force, has been under question. The UN has a 1,500-strong police presence in East Timor responsible for maintaining security and reforming the national police. UN chief Ban Ki Moon has released a report card on the UN Mission’s last six months.

5. Nelson under Fire on Army Truck Bungle, John Kerin, AFR*, 2008-08-11

Defence has been forced to recall a bungled $1.6 billion tender for up to 2400 armoured and conventional trucks awarded to BAE Systems, amid claims the former Howard government rushed the decision through in a bid to win votes in marginal seats in the lead-up to the 2007 election. It is understood that … Defence has ordered trucks in sizes that had not previously been manufactured. “This process failure demonstrates yet again what can happen when governments meddle in defence procurement for political gain” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
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6. Great Deal at Stake in Rudd’s Seoul Visit, Greg Earl, AFR*, 2008-08-11

Australia and Korea should have a more developed relationship. Their economies are about the same size, older South Koreans remember the assistance Australia provided in the 1950 war and both share a nervousness about being caught between China and Japan. Even though they are often managing some of the same challenges, they have not found much room for each other, despite a growing trade relationship.
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7. Government Takes Hard Line against Torture, Sarah Smiles, Age, 2008-08-09

Collaborating with torturers or conducting torture in Australia or abroad could be made a separate criminal offence by the Federal Government. The Government will also ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture – an extra treaty that allows UN or domestic inspectors to visit prisons and detention centres. It is unclear whether the proposed federal law criminalising torture will affect Australia’s security forces or their work with foreign agencies.

8. Trafficking: the First Breakthrough, Kathleen Maltzahn, APO, 2008-08-05

This extract from ‘Trafficked’ describes how the federal government’s attitude to the trafficking of women for prostitution began to change just six years ago, through the efforts of community activists and two journalists from the Australian.

9. Policy Forum 08-07A: The Human Rights Olympics: Beijing 2008 and China’s Security Dilemma – Tracy L. Smart

Tracy Smart argues that “the Western focus on the inter-related issues of human rights and Tibet in the context of the Olympic Games represents a major security dilemma for the government of China, which could have significant repercussions, both domestically and internationally”. Smart argues that while success in the bid to host the Olympics “strengthened the position of the government, it also intimately linked the success of the Olympics” with state legitimacy. Ultimately, Smart concludes “the only conceivable consequence” of further perception of interfering in China’s internal affairs “is a humiliated and less open China, and this is in no-one’s best interests.”

10. Updated Information from Nautilus Institute

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