Saturday, May 13, 2017

Problems in Asia not in the news

this is not good: Indonesian Islamicist leader says ethnic Chinese wealth is next target.

the Chinese diaspora run the economies in SE Asia.

Here in the Philippines, because foreigners can't own businesses, often they intermarry, (so a lot of the leading families have inherited the Chinese round faces and the lighter skin). As a result, there is a low grade dislike of China, but no outright pogroms...

But that is not always true elsewhere.

This makes them vulnerable to pogroms (similar to the Anti Jewish pogroms in Europe).

one little covered story is how VietNam threw out their ethnic Chinese (the second wave of boat people).

 Many Chinese were thrown out of Vietnam at the time China and Vietnam fought a border war in 1979. In the early 1970s there were about a half million ethnic Chinese in Vietnam. In the early 1980s there were practically none. 

 But it was worse in Indonesia, where there was mass murder of Chinese ethnics in 1965-66, under the guise of anti communist infiltration. However, a lot of the murder was not official and a lot of the victims were targeted for ethnicity and religious reasons (i.e. Christian or Buddhist or pagan). The wikipedia article discusses the question of the number of people killed or if a lot of people were actually killed.

But riots in 1998 suggest it might indeed have something to do with targeting a prosperous community with different religious and cultural roots.

there has been an ongoing problem with radical Islamicists trying to take the place over.

And there is an underlying religious hatred behind the conviction of a (ethnic Chinese Christian ) political candidate for governor who was convicted of blasphemy for saying the Koran doesn't insist you can't vote for a non Muslim.

While campaigning for re-election in September, Ahok - himself a Christian and ethnically Chinese - was critical of his political opponents who used verse 51 of al-Maida - a chapter of the Koran - to persuade voters not to support Ahok because he was non-Muslim.
I should note that in Indonesia, many supported him and are upset at his conviction.

But the article goes into how the Islamicists use the law to target Shiite and other minority sects of Islam.

and not in the article: what is going on in Papua, where the gov't is settling lots of Malays, and then persecuting locals who are Christian, partly because they are protesting the newcomers but a lot of it is because they are not Muslim.

one background note: Australia is quietly helping with a lot of the anti terrorism stuff there (similar to the US here in the Philippines).

And Australia joined the war on terror before 9-11 after the Islamicists targeted Australian tourist spots in Bali (which is a majority Hindu island).

The reason behind the bombing was payback because the Australians helped East Timor regain their independence from Indonesia. East Timor remains a mess, but the background is that they were a Christian area annexed illegally by Indonesia and rebelled against this, causing a nasty murderous civil war there.

Strategy page has a summary of China's mini-wars against their neighbors,  and what is going on with them in North Korea.

The Philippines have defied China by moving troops and construction equipment to Pagasa, a disputed island in the Spratly’s.
This particular incident got started in early 2016 when China was seen making preparations to build an artificial island at Jackson Atoll, install a small military garrison and declare the area part of China.
Nearby Pagasa is the second-largest (37.2 hectares/93 acres) of the Spratly Islands and is inhabited by 200 Filipinos civilians and a few military personnel. China has been increasingly belligerent in its claims to Pagasa and threatens to “take it back” by force. Chinese military and civilian ships are showing up near Pagasa with increasing frequency and sometimes the Chinese vessels try (by getting in the way) to prevent non-Chinese vessels from getting too close to the island.
The Philippines often has a coast guard patrol boat off the island (which is 480 kilometers from the nearest Filipino territory China does not claim) and that provides the possibility of a violent military encounter.
China is also concerned with the increasingly frequent visits of American warships to the Philippines (for leave and maintenance) and the South China Seas (to challenge Chinese claims.) So far China has not been violent but with more and more Chinese warships, warplanes and troops showing up in the South China Sea there appears to be increased risk of someone opening fire

oh well: as the Chinese curse goes: May you live in interesting times.

this Inquirer article on a pork barrel scam shows you how hard it is to get justice.

However, they are clamping down on those who use children in the sex industry

Police in the Philippines are collaborating with their counterparts in Europe, Australia and the United States to investigate and prosecute.
The Australian Federal Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation separately provided Filipino authorities information that led to the arrests of the mother and two other women on May 5, rescuing four girls.

translation: one of the side effect of the drug war is that the cops are not taking bribes to look the other way.

and the Trump administration is making the enforcement of child trafficking laws a priority.

we've been hearing airplanes/helicopters overhead in the last two days, and yesterday a small helicopter (with blue civilian markings) was making rings in the air nearby (we live on the edge of town, so it was circling like it planned to land in the fields near us).

The helicopter appeared to be an EC135, commonly used in search and rescue operations, but which I had never seen here before; it was painted royal blue (not with military colours).


Yup. Balikatan Phil/Am military exercize time again at nearby Fort Magsaysay.

more at ABSCBN

doing search and rescue practice and other drills to prepare for disasters (which happen frequently here in the Philippines). But in the last two years, the big push is to get ready if "the BIG ONE" hits Manila, with a minor stress on terrorism.

and other countries are with them to learn from us.

An earthquake fault runs through metro Manila... and the bad news is it runs near us too...
we have frequent small quakes but no big ones since the early 1990's.

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