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In Aceh, hope that election can boost economy – RTÉ World Report

Shopping for vegetables, downtown Banda Aceh (Photo: Simon Roughneen)

BANDA ACEH – Almost a decade on from the ruinous, deadly 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Banda Aceh is back on its feet.

Last Wednesday, people in the province were on their feet, voting, along with almost 200 million other Indonesians, in the third presidential election held since ousting of dictator Suharto back amid economic collapse back in 1998.

It ain’t over yet – The Edge Review

JAKARTA/BANDA ACEH – Late Wednesday night, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono held somber-sounding meetings with the two men claiming to have won the right to replace him, after elections held earlier that same day.

The incumbent, who will step down in October and is known by his initials “SBY,” asked the contestants – Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, and Prabowo Subianto, the one-time head of Indonesias’s special forces – to rein in their supporters, pending official election results on July 22.

Myanmar, Japan see promise, problems in economic zone – Nikkei Asian Review

Thilawa SEZ officials give presentation to would  be investors (Photo: Simon Roughneen)

THILAWA, Myanmar — The Thilawa Special Economic Zone might be just a 45-minute drive from downtown Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city and commercial hub, but the Japanese presence is unmissable. Outside the site offices — an island of prefabricated shelters surrounded by acres of upturned earth — a row of six flags dries in the breeze after a short downpour. The yellow, green and red of Myanmar alternates with Japan’s unmistakable red sun on a white background.