Yudhoyono declared as President of Indonesia; Indonesia says Myanmar has every right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes, as a member of the NPT; ASEAN to appeal to Myanmar to release Suu Kyi; Arunachal CM urges sealing of Indo-Myanmar border
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  • Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, having won the 2009 presidential elections, was formally declared as the President of Indonesia for the next five years1.

    Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that Myanmar had every right to peacefully develop nuclear power as it was a signatory to the NPT. Australia among other countries has warned that Myanmar could make use of its expertise developed while building power reactors for weapons purposes2.

    Reports noted that ASEAN states have decided to appeal to the military authorities in Myanmar to allow pro-democracy leader and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to participate in the national elections scheduled to be held in 2010. Members of the international community have warned that without the participation of Suu Kyi and other political dissidents currently detained by the junta, elections will not be considered as fair and credible3.

    At the CM’s Conference on Internal Security, CM’s of Northeast states urged the central government to deal more effectively with the growing insurgency along borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh4. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on his part urged PM Manmohan Singh to quicken efforts to seal the Indo-Myanmar border5.

    Four Vietnamese fishing boats were detained by an Indonesian naval vessel, triggering fresh round of tensions in the South China Sea. Vietnam’s state-run newspaper Thanh Nien alleged that the Indonesian coast guard vessels had confiscated all materials on the four boats and set them adrift, leaving the 48 crew members of the four ships to return home on a fifth Vietnamese fishing boat seized by the Indonesians earlier6.

    Vietnam meanwhile denounced China’s claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea as “an unacceptable demand” with no foundation in international law. China had recently detained the crew of several Vietnamese fishing boats near the disputed Paracel Islands7.

    The Director-General of Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Adm. Amdan Kurish stated that Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will develop systematic and organized surveillance in the maritime zone and in air space of the region in order to curb smuggling and piracy. He also expressed concerns over the lack of coordination among these three countries so far8.