Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Snow Job at SCMP? plus Colombos's Deep State, Canberra's Crackdown and Flight Capital Boomerang

Tom Phillips on concerns over a confession in the pages of HK's flagship newspaper which seems all too convenient:
Trust us,” said Ma, scoffing at fears that under his watch editors at the SCMP might buckle to political pressure from the Communist party. But, seven months later, there is anger in the Post’s newsroom and among readers and claims that what was once Hong Kong’s newspaper of record has lost its way. That anger has been brought into relief after the publication of the mysterious interview with Zhao.
Zhao was the youngest target of what activists describe as an unprecedented crackdown on human rights lawyers in mainland China. The interview with her was conducted by telephone on 10 July, just three days after Zhao’s release was announced, and was published the following day under the headline: ‘Young Chinese legal activist ‘regrets’ civil rights activism’.

“I have come to realise that I have taken the wrong path,” Zhao was quoted as saying in the article. “I repent for what I did. I’m now a brand new person.” The story did not make clear how the SCMP had managed to make contact with Zhao and activists, media experts and Zhao’s husband and lawyer suspect the interview was set up by mainland authorities and conducted against her will

Nilantha Ilangamuwa on an all too convenient arrest in the daylight murder of a journalist in Sri Lanka:
Arresting the former Secretary will not be the solution as there are significant political implications. But monitoring, gathering, assessing and analyzing the movement he is instigating would be important. If the government arrested him to teach a lesson, it will be a golden opportunity for him to escalate his political career which is not yet established in the country. 
In this situation, the most important task of the statesmen or stateswomen is to take the country back to the administrative rules and principles. However, unfortunately, the fundamental changes within the administration are yet to be implemented. 
It is amusing to read the answers by the Secretary of Defence Mr Hettiarachchi in a recent interview to a local print newspaper. Those answers show that he is not capable managing this important portfolio of this country. While talking about the Islamic State (IS), the notorious, wicked and diabolical terror outfit, he has urged media to not highlight domestic threats.

Stephanie Peatling on Canberra's new security laws:
"It needs to be targeted at serious offenders, not just someone who's jailed for giving a small amount of money to a terrorist organisation. That's very different from someone who has been convicted of a terrorism offence," Professor Williams said. Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull in Sydney on Monday. Photo: Nic Walker

The test for who "posed a clear and present danger to the community" also needed to be carefully set out, Professor Williams said.

The New South Wales Council of Civil Liberties president, Stephen Blanks, said the legislation was a distraction from the issue of dealing with the risk of terrorism.

"People who have been convicted of serious terrorism offences are in jail for many years to come. We're not being told who is about to be released that they're concerned about." Mr Blanks said.

"With the sex offender cases, there were particular individuals that we were told were about to be released that represented a danger. We're not being given that information now. I don't think there's anybody about to be released, this is possibly just window dressing."

Finally, Reuters on the perceived threat to Singapore banks from Jakarta's new tax amnesty:
The difference between this and other tax amnesties is that ... there's a big risk that all the information is shared with tax authorities," said Dustin Daugherty, an associate for ASEAN Business Intelligence at Dezan Shira & Associates, a consultancy firm for foreign investors. 
Because of the timing we might see a bigger impact than normal ... We expect 10-15 per cent, which should still be considered a success." A Singapore-based private banker and a lawyer, both of whom declined to be named, also estimated around 15 per cent of the money might move back home, based on feedback from their clients.

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