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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                   5  August 2011

Two churches burned in Indonesia

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Two homes used as churches were burned to the ground in Riau on Tuesday night, a report said.

The incidents are the latest in a series of attacks on minority religious groups in Indonesia that have prompted international condemnation, including from the United States and European Union.

The homes were being used as unlicensed houses of worship in Kuansing regency, VIVAnews reported.

The first was in Pasarbaru in the district of Pangean and the second in the village of Logas in the district of the same name.

A Kuansing Police representative attempted to downplay the incident, saying the homes were “only made of board” and not real churches.

Pangean Police Chief Adjutant Cmr. Nazarudin was quoted by the news portal as saying that the houses were "easily burned because they were made of planks, thus flammable."

He said police were investigating the attacks and called on all residents to maintain security.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide recently said the lenient sentences handed down to 12 people convicted in the attacks that left three members of the minority Ahmadiyah community in Banten gave religious extremists a green light to continue their hatred.

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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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