APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 12, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 12, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 12, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-12-may-2008/

APSNet 12 May 2008

  1. Inquiries into Abuse Claims by Taliban
  2. Inquiry Findings into 2007 Incidents in Afghanistan
  3. Sikua: RAMSI Should Stay in Solomons for Decade
  4. Top Diplomat in Fiji Gets Death Threats
  5. Pakistan Seeks Spy Planes from Australia
  6. Greenpeace Calls for End of Trans-shipment at Sea
  7. Will Australia Help North Korea?

1. Inquiries into Abuse Claims by Taliban, Brendan Nicholson and Jonathan Pearlman, SMH, 2008-05-10

Three separate investigations are under way into allegations that Australian troops maltreated Afghan civilians who were captured during a raid on a bomb-making operation just north of the Australian base at Tarin Kowt on April 30, 2008. Air Chief Marshal, Angus Houston, said an initial inquiry carried out in the country by the ADF indicated there was no truth in the allegations. However, two teams have gone to Afghanistan to investigate further.

2. Inquiry Findings into 2007 Incidents in Afghanistan, News Blog, Department of Defence, 2008-05-12

Today Defence released the findings of inquiries into the combat deaths of three Australian soldiers last year.  A fourth inquiry investigated civilian casualties and an allegation of detainee mistreatment by Australian troops during the 23 November incident in which Private Worsley was killed.

3. Sikua: RAMSI Should Stay in Solomons for Decade, ABC, 2008-05-11

The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands says he’d like to see Australia’s regional assistance mission in his country continue for the next decade. Derek Sikua says it could take up to a decade to achieve [Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands] RAMSI’s goals of stability, security and prosperity.

4. Top Diplomat in Fiji Gets Death Threats, Chris Hammer, Age, 2008-05-09

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has said the Government is taking “very, very seriously” two death threats made against Australia’s high commissioner in Fiji, James Batley. The high commission and the Fiji police have both confirmed the threats have political overtones.

5. Pakistan Seeks Spy Planes from Australia, Brendan Nicholson, Age, 2008-05-12

Pakistani officials are expected in Australia soon seeking to buy equipment including unmanned surveillance aircraft to help patrol Pakistan’s mountainous and porous border with Afghanistan. Air Chief Marshal Houston confirmed that the Pakistani officers were particularly keen to obtain the Scan Eagle pilotless reconnaissance aircraft Boeing builds in Australia.

6. Greenpeace Calls for End of Trans-shipment at Sea, RNZI, 2008-05-12

Greenpeace is calling for an end to exemptions for transfer of fish at sea because it is a major loophole for pirate fishing in the Pacific. The Philippines is allowed to have its flagged vessels to do their transfers at sea, but the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza found an illegal tuna fishing vessel from the Philippines with juvenile yellow tuna and very small size skipjack catches on board.

7. Will Australia Help North Korea? Leonid A. Petrov, NAPSNet, Nautilus Institute, 2008-05-08

Leonid A. Petrov, Research Associate, Pacific and Asian History, ANU, writes, “By intensifying diplomatic ties, expanding economic cooperation and providing humanitarian aid both countries can make a significant contribution to the peaceful resolution of the Korean nuclear problem and prepare the basis for durable peace and prosperity in the region.”

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator