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ASEAN ANALYSIS

Asean Affairs  22 April 2011

Security issues flare up in Asean


By  David Swartzemtruber

 
AseanAffairs     22 April 2011

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As Christian communities in Asean look forward to the Easter weekend, security issues are intruding on the weekend events in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, 150-kilogram bombs underneath a gas line 50 meters from a Catholic Church were discovered. The location of the bombs was tipped to police following r the arrests of 19 persons suspected of sending “book bombs” to selected targets and individuals in Indonesia.

According to a security supervisor, the bombs weighed around 150 kilograms each and were equipped with timers. They were expected to be detonated to coincide with the Good Friday celebration observance. The bombs were placed within 50 meters of the Christ Cathedral Church. Good Friday is a national holiday in Indonesia, again upholding the multi-religious concept of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country.

This event follows the recent suicide bombing of the Cirebon police mosque in West Java, allegedly by suspect M Syarif, who will be buried at the Pondok Rangon public cemetery in East Jakarta today. This was the first time a bomb had been set off inside a mosque in Indonesia. Jakarta is under tight security for the Easter weekend, particularly near Christian churches As Indonesia continues its progress toward becoming a major world economic power, continuing terrorist attacks in the country will be a subplot in its national development. Most important will be the national strategy on how to respond to them.

By
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

 

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