Friday, November 21, 2014

AirAsia to introduce south-east Asia air pass for cheap travel

The pass will allow travellers to fly to 10 different destinations in Southeast Asia in one month for $172.
The pass will allow travellers to fly to 10 different destinations in Southeast Asia in one month for $172. Photo: Bloomberg

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

US ambassador to Timor-Leste ‘good step forward’

WASHINGTON (KOIN 6) — Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has called the Senate’s confirmation of Karen Stanton as U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste a “good step forward” in the case of Stacey Addison, a veterinarian imprisoned without charge in East Timor.
Merkley expressed his hope for expanded talks with the Timorese government in light of Stanton’s confirmation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Get Timor Leste Into Asean by 2020

On October 27th, Mr Christian Whiton, whose work I respect, wrote in on the reasons why Timor Leste should join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).  Now I would agree with the political, economic and other reasons put forth in the article. Unfortunately, I do not see how this will become reality any time soon, perhaps not in this decade.
Have things changed since 2011, when Indonesia was actively pushing for Timor Leste in its role as Asean Chair?
On the ground, Timor Leste has improved its governance and infrastructure, as Mr Whiton notes in his article.  However, sources in the Asean Secretariat and in Dili have indicated to me that Timor Leste is still far behind in understanding and incorporating the aquis of commitments associated with full Asean membership.  Much of this is related to the relative lack of skills and human resources in Timor Leste’s government; however, similar issues did not hold back Cambodia from joining Asean, issues which were resolved through the passage of time and the influx of resources.


Friday, November 14, 2014

G20 summit: World leaders meet in Brisbane

World leaders are meeting in Brisbane, Australia, for the first day of the G20 summit.
The two-day summit, attended by the US, Chinese and Russian leaders among others, will focus on promoting growth.
In a speech, US President Barack Obama sought to reassure Asia-Pacific allies of the US' commitment to the region.
Vladimir Putin is expected to face a hostile reception from some Western leaders concerned about Russia's increasing military assertiveness.
Speaking ahead of the G20 summit, the Russian president said US and EU sanctions imposed over Russia's actions in Ukraine would harm not just Russia but the global economy.

Democracy in Southeast Asia: Timor-Leste has the highest score

Democracy, like human development, is something that matters.  Furthermore, democracy is not an either-or, black-or-white, but has degrees, of greater or lesser magnitude.  In other words, it can be measured by an index, just as human development is measured by the Human Development Index (see “Lagging behind in Southeast Asia,” Opinion, 10/25/2014).
Since 2006, the Economic Intelligence Unit (, an independent business firm within the Economist group, has been making a Democracy Index—being branded, it is capitalized—specifically for its cross-country analysis.  This Index is published for 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  The latest report has scores for 167 countries, including 10 from Southeast Asia.
The Democracy Index is based on answers to a questionnaire of 60 items about conditions in a country, mostly answered by country specialists, but with up to 12 items drawn from existing national surveys.  The 60 items have five categories, allowing five category-indexes, which are averaged, without weights, into an overall index.  The indexes are scored from 0 to 10—democracy is complete at 10, and nonexistent at 0.
The Democracy Index classifies countries with a score of 8 or more as “Full Democracies.”  Those with scores from 6.0 to 7.9 are termed “Flawed Democracies.”  Those with scores from 4.0 to 5.9 are “Hybrid Regimes,” and those below 4.0 are “Authoritarian Regimes.”  Country No. 1 is Norway (9.93), and country No. 167 is North Korea (1.08), as of 2012.
Democracy in Southeast Asia. Based on the Democracy Index, the quality of democracy in Southeast Asia differs widely, but no country is a Full Democracy.  The highest score is that of Timor Leste (7.16)—which declared its independence from Portugal in 1975, was annexed by Indonesia in 1976, and regained its independence only in 2002.
Southeast Asia has five so-called Flawed Democracies, namely Timor Leste (7.16), Indonesia (6.76), Thailand (6.55), Malaysia (6.41), and the Philippines (6.30). It has two Hybrid Regimes, namely Singapore (5.88) and Cambodia (4.96).  And it has three Authoritarian Regimes: Vietnam (2.89), Myanmar or Burma (2.35), and Lao PDR (2.32).  (Brunei is not indexed, thus far.)
The world rankings in Southeast Asia, according to the Democracy Index, are: 43. Timor Leste, 53. Indonesia, 58. Thailand, 64. Malaysia, 69. Philippines, 81. Singapore, 100. Cambodia, 144. Vietnam, 155. Myanmar, and 156. Lao PDR.
Components of the index. The Democracy Index’s five categories are as follows (with the number of question-items per category in parentheses):
1. electoral process and pluralism (12),
2. functioning of government (14), 3. political participation (9), 4. political culture (8), and
5. civil liberties (17).  They are arranged here as sequenced in the questionnaire—as apparently addressed to the country-specialists.  Each question-item is answerable by Yes (which is given 1 point), or No (0 point), and sometimes is answerable by Moderate (0.5 point).  The category-index for a country seems to be the total number of points given to the country, divided by the maximum number of points for the category, times 10.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

JM Ocean Avenue 

JM Ocean Avenue China 5 Year Anniversary

November —Shanghai, China

Nov. 15th, JM Ocean Avenue China will have its 5 year anniversary in the heart of Asia ---- Shanghai, the very starting point of modern China. This is the place for JMOAers to gather and enjoy the success together.
The trip will be 4 days 3 nights, people from all over the globe will gather at Shanghai, the very first place for modern China to raise its wings; and now Shanghai will be a whole new beginning for JM Ocean Avenue.
JMOAers will stay at the Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Oriental Shanghai, a deluxe 5 star hotel. From here you can quickly and easily access the convention Hall .
The Convention will be held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center where the convention will attract 15000 people to enjoy the show
After the convention you are invited to have a nice little trip along the Yangzi River, the blood vessel of this city.
What are you waiting for? Contact your local JMOA branch for more details!

President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with the chairman of the standing committee of the national people's congress, Zhang Deijan  

The United States and China are pledging to move faster to reduce or limit emissions of heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. China and the U.S. are the world's two largest polluters, and by taking action together, leaders from both countries hope to spur other nations to be equally aggressive as they work to finalize a worldwide climate treaty next year.
What both countries are announcing, according to the White House:


AP Exclusive: Drone sightings up dramatically

Drones are threatening  the safety of the sky. They must be regulated. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Santa Cruz Massacre 
(12 November 1991-2014)

Twenty three years ago, today, earlier in the morning, young Timorese one-by-one arrived at Motael Church for a mass in memory of Sebastião Gomes, a young Timorese who was shot and killed by the Indonesia intelligence inside the Church the week before. The mass was a pretext to stage a peaceful protest against the Indonesian occupation and against Portugal for the cancelation of the most waited visit of a parliamentary delegation to Timor-Leste.  

Soon after mass, the protesters, assembled in front of the church, and began marching towards Santa Cruz cemetery where Sebastião was laid to rest.  They carried flowers and banners; they prayed and chanted free East Timor, dialogue, long live Xanana Gusmão, Independence or death. They did not expect nor believe the Indonesian army would kill them in cold blood.

At Santa Cruz the Indonesia military already was waiting for them to arrive.   Without warning, the Indonesian military fired at the crowed and killing more than 270 people men and women. My wife who was seven month pregnant also joined the protest; she would have been the only pregnant woman to be killed, but she managed to escape without harm. But her dress was tinted with blood.

I was shocked and perplexed to hear the shooting from where I was hidden. I was speechless.  It was me who proposed to Xanana Gusmão, the leader of the Resistance Movement, to organize that protest, which he agreed. Doing so I was confident that the Indonesian army would not kill the protester because it was a peaceful protest witnessed by foreign journalists and the United Nations Secretary General Special envoy. Had I known that the Indonesian military would kill the protesters, I would not have the courage to call for such protest.   

The Santa Cruz Massacre tough was an unintended consequence; it became the turning point of our struggle for Independence. It broke the silence of the international community for they have been lied to for many years by Suharto regime.  

My special thanks to foreign journalists, friends of Timor-Leste, like Max Stall, Allan Nairn, Amy Goodman,  and others whose  invaluable contribution  making the restoration of our independence possible. 

Long live Juventude Lorico Assuain!  Your death is our freedom.
Long live Timor-Leste!
Together we can

Friday, November 7, 2014

Energy-dependent East Timor faces succession dilemma

November 6, 2014 7:00 pm JST

Energy-dependent East Timor faces succession dilemma

SIMON ROUGHNEEN, Contributing writer
HALIDOLAR, East Timor -- Three years ago, Maximiliano de Sosa had neither electricity nor basic farm machinery. Now, there is power around the clock and a tractor that de Sosa can rent to plow his small plot of land about 40 minutes' drive from Dili, the capital.

   Perched on a 30cm ridge between de Sosa's mustard crop and a neighbor's spinach plants, an electric pump sucks water from a 12-meter borehole, making it easier to irrigate crops during the searing dry season. "If we don't have electricity, we have to carry water half a kilometer and then water the crops by hand," said de Sosa.
     Providing electricity to rural areas such as Halidolar is a major achievement for East Timor, also called Timor-Leste. The country lost much of its infrastructure during a 24-year fight against Indonesian occupation that culminated in secession in 1999, followed by formal independence three years later.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

UPDATE 2-Australia's Woodside opens door to resolving E.Timor gas dispute 

(Adds CEO, Timor expert comments)
By Aaron Sheldrick
Nov 6 (Reuters) - Australia's Woodside Petroleum is in talks with East Timor on building an onshore gas plant, potentially removing one of the major barriers to developing gas fields that could provide billions of dollars to one of the world's poorest countries.

Another major obstacle is a dispute between East Timor and its wealthy neighbour Australia on sharing revenue from the Greater Sunrise fields, which lie between the two countries. Both nations have said they are working to resolve the decades-long row but it's not clear how long they will take 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Noumea, New Calidonia

Never came to my mind to find such a beautiful city in the Pacific.  Noumea, the capital of New Calidonia,  is just like any other city in France.  French culture is very strong, the food, the language the architecture. Although it is France's territory, it has its own currency- the New Calodonian franc.
To know more about this litle island click on this link:  New Calidonia