APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, April 16, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, April 16, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, April 16, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-16-april-2009/

APSNet 16 April 2009

  1. Watchdog probes hawks’ Defence Intelligence Organisation push on China
  2. Those with loud voices must speak up to restore democracy in Fiji
  3. West warned on nuclear terrorist threat from Pakistan
  4. Protection rackets on the rise in East Timor
  5. Basking in a bilateral bubble as the reality of Indonesia gets airbrushed
  6. Climate change ‘tops Australians’ security fears’
  7. Indonesia: Japan to grant aid for nine economic cooperation projects
  8. PNG’s Baki says no locals were hurt in Indonesia-PNG border fighting

Briefing note: Fiji political developments, Richard Tanter, 2009-04-16

1. Watchdog probes hawks’ Defence Intelligence Organisation push on China, Cameron Stewart and Patrick Walters, Australian, 2009-04-14

The internal pressure exerted by Defence hardliners on the DIO to toughen its views on China was so great that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Ian Carnell, chose to personally examine whether the DIO’s independence had been compromised.

2. Those with loud voices must speak up to restore democracy in Fiji, Jone Baledrokadroka, SMH, 2009-04-16

With the abrogation of the constitution, Fiji’s coup now appears for what it is – a naked power grab. Fiji is now on a slippery slope towards becoming a failed state. Australian Government needs to carefully weigh up diplomatic and economic sanctions. Sanctions will help undermine Fiji’s military rulers, but the primary force in ending this slide towards a failing state must come from within Fiji.

3. West warned on nuclear terrorist threat from Pakistan, Paul McGeough, Age, 2009-04-12

The next few months will be crucial in defusing a global terrorist threat that would be even deadlier than the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. David Kilcullen — a former Australian army lieutenant colonel who helped devise the US troop surge that revitalised the American campaign in Iraq — fears Pakistan is at risk of falling under al-Qaeda control.

4. Protection rackets on the rise in East Timor, Paul Toohey, Australian, 2009-04-15

Protection rackets run by so-called martial arts gangs are an increasing part of life in the East Timorese capital, Dili, with up to 20,000 paid-up members available for standover work and rent-a-crowd destruction. Gang specialist James Scambary said an apparent lull in troubles after 2007 had allowed the gangs to evolve and develop links with Chinese and Indonesian organised crime syndicates.

5. Basking in a bilateral bubble as the reality of Indonesia gets airbrushed, Hamish McDonald, Brisbane Times, 2009-04-10

Yudhoyono is well positioned for the presidential poll in July. Canberra will be hoping for this outcome. Its officials have been basking in one of the sunniest periods in the history of bilateral relations. Yet the Rudd Government’s recent effort at generating more ideas and interest in this critical foreign relationship has turned out a flat performance.

6. Climate change ‘tops Australians’ security fears’, AFP, 209-04-15

Australians believe climate change is the biggest security challenge facing their country and are largely relaxed about the rise of China, a government report showed. The report, which canvassed community attitudes as part of a review of the country’s defence forces, also found that Australians were interested in friendly relations with Indonesia.

7. Japan to grant aid for nine economic cooperation projects, PhilSouth Angle, 2009-03-25

The Embassy of Japan announced that Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura will sign a total of nine grant contracts that include various economic cooperation projects in Mindanao’s conflict-affected areas under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and  Development (J-BIRD). “This new package of assistance, amounting to about P31-million, will form part of Japan’s commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao.”

8. PNG’s Baki says no locals were hurt in Indonesia-PNG border fighting, RNZI, 2009-04-16

PNG media reports say that six Indonesian soldiers and five Papuans were killed in the border fighting between Indonesian military and Papuan separatists late last week. The Commissioner, Gary Baki, says he is unable to confirm the deaths because the fighting occurred on the Indonesian side of the border. However he says the fighting has coincided with a large build-up of Indonesian troops hunting separatists in the border area.

 9. Briefing note: Fiji political developments, Richard Tanter, 2009-04-16

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator