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Posts Tagged ‘international’

Singapore wins islet dispute with Malaysia

Posted by jtsmyth8 on May 23, 2008

The International Court of Justice ruled on Friday in favour of Singapore in a 28-year sovereignty dispute with Malaysia over a tiny but strategic uninhabited island the size of half a football field.

‘The court, by 12 votes to four, finds that sovereignty … belongs to the Republic of Singapore,’ Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh said.

Singapore, which knows the islet as Pedra Branca argued that sovereignty had passed to it tacitly, having operated the Horsburgh Lighthouse on the island for more than 130 years without any protest from its neighbour.

As for the island’s two rocky outcrops, the court ruled that sovereignty of Middle Rocks belonged to Malaysia, while that of South Ledge had yet to be determined as it fell within overlapping territorial waters. (story)


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IOC to China, open up the Internet for us

Posted by jtsmyth8 on April 2, 2008

Internet censorship is practically synonymous with China these days. The Chinese government is often used as the poster child for restrictive governments that restrict the free flow of information to its residents. That could be why the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is getting antsy, as Beijing is bound by contract as this year’s Olympic host city to allow the press to report as usual during the games. And reporting as usual means unrestricted Internet access.

The IOC “discussed and insisted” with the Chinese government again this morning that the Internet is required to be “open at all times during Games time,” IOC coordination commission vice chairman Kevan Gosper told Reuters. “There was some criticism that the Internet closed down during events relating to Tibet in previous weeks, but this is not Games time.” (story)

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Singapore small but carries a big stick

Posted by jtsmyth8 on March 10, 2008

As a small state, Singapore cannot ignore the dangers to its sovereignty and must view the world clearly, even clinically, President SR Nathan said. ‘It is critical to have a clear and clinical assessment of the world – seeing the world as it is and not as we hope or think it ought to be,’ he said on Monday at the launch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) Diplomatic Academy.

His speech focussed often on the way Singapore’s size and vulnerabilty has shaped its foreign policy, for instance, its distinct pragmatism and search for international space.

Pragmatism has allowed the 640 sq km-island to transcend its size and limits, he noted.

‘We knew very well that we had very little influence over our external environment, immediate and beyond,’ he said.

‘We dealt with the business of foreign relations without sentiment, ideology or illusion.’

In parallel, Singapore chose ‘to wrap ourselves in something larger’ – be it Asean, the United Nations or international legal regimes. (story)

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Singapore closes Pedra Branca case with strong arguments

Posted by jtsmyth8 on November 20, 2007

Singapore played its trump card in the Pedra Branca case on Tuesday as it wrapped up its oral pleadings before an international court. It argued that its claim to the disputed island stands on two legs – lawful acquisition of title between 1847 and 1851 when the British built Horsburgh Lighthouse there, and sovereign acts carried out over 150 years.

Malaysia’s claim, however, stands on only one leg: its claim that the Johor Sultanate had original title to the island since time immemorial.

Singapore proposed to the court that if neither side has proven it had title to the disputed island in 1851, then Singapore’s claim must prevail over Malaysia’s because it alone has carried out state activities on the island.

In inviting the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to look at the case in this light, Singapore’s Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh said it was an approach that was bound to cause Malaysia concern. (story)

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Singapore Airport contemplates acquisitions

Posted by jtsmyth8 on November 8, 2007

Singapore’s Changi Airports International is keen on a stake in Abu Dhabi’s international airport and is also eyeing two smaller terminals in China for takeover, its chief told Reuters today.

Changi Airports clinched an 18-month contract to operate the Abu Dhabi government-owned airport in December, and is angling to turn this into equity as authorities have said the airport was likely to be privatized by next year. (story)

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