APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 31, 2007

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 31, 2007", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, May 31, 2007, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-for-20070531/

APSNet for 20070531

Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)

Twice weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.

Thursday 31 May 2007

  1. Whitlam ‘Duped’ By Indonesia
  2. Whistleblowing: Lying for Your Country
  3. DFAT Officials Labour under the Chains of Command
  4. PNG Still to Agree on Aust Police Advisers Plan
  5. Blast in East Timor Capital Injures Four, Homes Torched Elsewhere
  6. Australia and Philippines Sign Defence Pact
  7. Burma and Nuclear Proliferation: Policies and Perceptions
  8. Defence Management Review: Cure Less Severe than Diagnosis

  1. Whitlam ‘Duped’ By Indonesia, Hamish McDonald, SMH, 2007-05-31

    A Sydney QC has demolished three decades of claims by Australian politicians and officials about their prowess in handling relations with Indonesia. Mark Tedeschi, the senior Crown counsel assisting the inquest into the Balibo killing of five newsmen in 1975, portrayed then prime minister Gough Whitlam and his officials as dupes falling into a successful Indonesian effort to compromise them.

  2. Whistleblowing: Lying for Your Country, Peter Ellis, New Matilda, 2007-05-30

    In 2005, while I was the head of the Australian aid program in East Timor, the Minister for Foreign Affairs decided that the Commonwealth should break an overseas aid contract with the East Timorese human rights NGO Forum Tau Matan. I was pressured by some individuals, orally and in writing, to provide false reasons to Forum Tau Matan, and to – in effect – maintain a secret blacklist as the basis for future funding decisions.

  3. DFAT Officials Labour under the Chains of Command, Geoffrey Barker, AFR*, 2007-05-26

    The pursuit of sacked foreign affairs official Trent Smith has turned so spectacularly against the federal government in the IR Commission that spectators have been guffawing loudly at evidence given by the government’s chief witness. There is less amusement inside DFAT where many concerned officials see Smith’s case as reflecting a determination to impose a culture of caution and timidity throughout the department.
    * Subscription required.

  4. PNG Still to Agree on Aust Police Advisers Plan, ABC, 2007-05-29

    A Senate committee has heard that Papua New Guinea has still not agreed to a plan that the Federal Government announced two years ago to send 10 Australian police advisers there. Foreign Affairs Department official David Ritchie says Australia can not send the police advisers until the PNG Government agrees formally. Mr Ritchie says PNG has not given the go-ahead despite several Australian requests.

  5. Blast in East Timor Capital Injures Four, Homes Torched Elsewhere, Jakarta Post, 2007-05-31

    Foreign peacekeepers in East Timor fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse clashing gangs after an explosion injured four people, officials said. National Police spokesman Mateus Fernandes said the violence took place near the headquarters of the Fretilin party, which is struggling to hold on to power after being blamed for widespread violence a year ago that killed 37 people and sent 155,000 fleeing their homes.

  6. Australia and Philippines Sign Defence Pact, Rob Taylor, Malaysia Star, 2007-05-31

    The Philippines and Australia have signed a defence pact which will see elite Australian commandos and soldiers train Philippines troops to step up the fight against insurgents in the troubled south. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Prime Minister John Howard signed an agreement which will also see Canberra supply 28 high-speed gunboats to help security forces in the Philippines.

  7. Burma and Nuclear Proliferation: Policies and Perceptions, Andrew Selth, Griffith Asia Institute, Regional Outlook Paper No. 12, 2007 [PDF]

    In 2000, the ruling State Peace and Development Council announced that it planned to purchase a small nuclear reactor from Russia. Construction, due to begin in 2003, was postponed. A new agreement was signed in May 2007. It is highly unlikely that Burma currently has any intention of acquiring nuclear weapons. There is, however, scope for misperceptions which can lead to policy errors and even more serious misunderstandings.

  8. Cure Less Severe than Diagnosis in Review, Mark Thomson, Australian, 2007-05-26

    Any official report released late on the Thursday before Easter must be worth a read. The Defence Management Review is no exception. The review was conducted by a small external team led by ex-Esanda managing director Elizabeth Proust. The report paints a sobering picture of a $22-billion-a-year bureaucratic leviathan where accountability is confused, efficiency is ignored and personnel management is antiquated.

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