Asia Briefs: Cleric suspected of defaming Pancasila

Cleric suspected of defaming Pancasila

JAKARTA• Police in Indonesia yesterday named Islamic Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab a suspect for allegedly defaming state ideology Pancasila and the country's first president Sukarno.

"Based on witnesses against Rizieq Shihab, we have raised his status to suspect," West Java Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said.

The cleric is also in trouble for allegedly defaming the national currency in his remarks that new rupiah bills displayed communist symbols.


Tepco's possible breakthrough

TOKYO• • Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the operator of Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, yesterday said it may have found nuclear fuel debris below the damaged No. 2 reactor, one of three that had meltdowns in the 2011 disaster.

Should the finding be confirmed, it would mark a significant breakthrough in attempts to clean up the nuclear plant, after years of delays, missteps and leaks of radioactive water.

Finding the highly radioactive melted uranium rods may pave the way for Tepco to develop methods to remove the melted fuel.


Neolithic ruin found in Shaanxi

XI'AN• • Archaeologists have discovered a large Neolithic ruin dating back more than 5,000 years in north-west China's Shaanxi province.

The site, covering more than one million sq m, was found in Yulin city following a six-month excavation, according to the provincial archaeology institute.

Dwellings and ditches made between 3000BC and 1000BC have been discovered in seven sites.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe