Asia Briefs: Lombok volcanic ash shuts airports

Lombok volcanic ash shuts airports

JAKARTA • Volcanic ash from an eruption of Mount Rinjani on the island of Lombok yesterday has caused several flights to be disrupted.

The flights cancelled included those from Bali to Lombok, and from Australian cities into and out of Bali, an airport spokesman in Bali said.

Last year, hundreds of flights were grounded after the authorities closed Bali airport as well as two smaller airports on Lombok and in East Java due to a large volcanic ash cloud from Mount Rinjani.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Sue Yingluck over rice scheme, says military

BANGKOK • Thailand's military yesterday said a rice subsidy scheme by the government it ousted cost the state more than US$8 billion (S$10.7 billion), adding that former leader Yingluck Shinawatra should be personally sued for the loss.

Ms Yingluck was booted from office by a court days before army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha seized power in May 2014. The rice scheme was a major catalyst in months of debilitating protests that led to the military takeover.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

India-Arab talks to get migrant workers home

NEW DELHI • India said yesterday it is negotiating with the authorities in Saudi Arabia to repatriate thousands of migrant workers after they lost their jobs, leaving them destitute and with no money to return home.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament she was sending a junior minister to Riyadh after reports that around 10,000 workers had lost their jobs and been left to starve.

Indians are among millions of poor Asians working in the Gulf states, where human rights groups say many suffer exploitation and abuses, including non-payment of wages, with no channels for redress.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe