- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 7, 2006

TAIWAN

Leader’s critics plan sit-in tomorrow

TAIPEI — Thousands of activists hoping to oust Chen Shui-bian, president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), plan to gather outside his office tomorrow, and some are promising they’ll stay until he goes.

The former chairman of Mr. Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party will lead the sit-in aimed at pushing out the president, whose reputation has been battered by charges of corruption involving his family. Participants have been asked to wear red clothes as a show of anger.

Protest leader Shih Ming-teh said he expected up to 300,000 people to attend. “They share the same goal — to topple a corrupt regime and rebuild a country where justice and virtue prevail,” he said. “The protest will continue until Chen resigns.”

PHILIPPINES

Commandos sent against terrorists

MANILA — The army said yesterday that it was sending 500 commandos to the southwestern island of Jolo to bolster an offensive against Abu Sayyaf militants, who have close ties to the regional group Jemaah Islamiyah.

Since Aug. 1, about 5,000 troops have been fighting several hundred rebels in the latest push to flush out Islamic militants on Jolo, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic country.

Khaddafy Janjalani, the Abu Sayyaf leader, is thought to be hiding on Jolo with two Indonesians suspected of carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings. They were driven out of nearby Mindanao island by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

INDONESIA

‘05 Bali bomb makers get prison sentences

BALI — Judges sentenced two Islamic militants to prison yesterday for their roles in the 2005 Bali bombings that killed about 20 people, saying they helped make explosives used in the blasts and videotaped confessions by the suicide bombers.

Mohammad Cholili and Dwi Widiarto were among four men charged in the attacks on the Indonesian resort island, which targeted three restaurants and wounded nearly 200 people.

A panel of three judges at the Denpasar District Court sentenced Cholili to 18 years in prison, saying he helped the reputed masterminds of the attack, Noordin Top and Azahari bin Husin, assemble electric circuits for 21 backpack and motorcycle bombs.

Weekly notes

Philippine national police said yesterday that they arrested an officer from a local force and two other men in connection with the shooting of a newspaper reporter last month, at least the 10th attack on journalists this year. Roger Panizal, who covers the crime beat for Tiktik, a tabloid in northern Manila, survived five bullet wounds, including one behind his ear. The Philippines is the most dangerous country in the world for disseminating news, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Only three of more than 80 killings of journalists there have been solved by the police in the past 20 years. … Australia urged clemency yesterday for six of its citizens sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug smuggling, and some lawmakers questioned why the 2002 Bali bombers had received lesser penalties. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said he would appeal to Jakarta to spare the young men facing the firing squad for heroin trafficking, but he warned he was not optimistic.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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