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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 16, 2021

Tempo - June 16, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas banned religious activities in areas categorized as Covid-19 red zone until they are declared safe from the virus through the issuance of a Circular No. SE 13 of 2021. The zone categorization is set by respective regional governments.

CNN Indonesia - June 16, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) researcher Hussein Ahmad is calling on the government to withdraw all non-organic Indonesian military (TNI) troops who originate from outside Papua in order to stem the violence which has been taking place in Papua.

The Conversation - June 16, 2021

Dirk Tomsa and Ken M.P. Setiawan – Studies examining how the pandemic has affected the environment around the globe have produced mixed results.

Among some good news, for instance, lockdown measures worldwide have resulted in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and better air quality.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 16, 2021

Once they were friends, then they were enemies, and now it seems like there's no rebuilding the figurative bridge between Islamist group Persaudaraan Alumni 212 (PA 212) and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto if the former's burn on the latter is anything to go by.

Mongabay - June 16, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Officials have cast doubts on a government plan that would somehow see Indonesia phase out all its coal-fired power plants while at the same time build more than a hundred new ones, while activists have welcomed the move.

Tempo - June 16, 2021

Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – The Delta variant of coronavirus, which is first identified in India, has already spread in Indonesia. A number of experts and studies explain that the variant or known as B.1.617.2 is quickly transmissible, and patients infected with the variant develop worse symptoms than those with other variants.

Tempo - June 16, 2021

Inge Klara Safitri, Jakarta – The Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital in Jakarta added 2,000 beds to accommodate Covid-19 patients. The hospital's coordinator, Maj. Gene. Task Ratmono, said that the number of beds is raised as there are lines of patients coming in to Wisma Atlet.

Nikkei Asia - June 16, 2021

Erwida Maulia, Jakarta – Jobs for a rock guitarist and a prominent cleric as commissioners at Indonesia's state-owned enterprises are among a clutch of appointments raising questions over SOE Minister Erick Thohir's restructuring push.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 16, 2021

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has urged tourists to stay away from the Bandung Raya region, also known as the Bandung Metropolitan Area, as the region elevates its alertness for COVID-19 amid a worrying spike in cases.

The Guardian - June 16, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Protesters supporting Witness K will gather at federal parliament to decry his treatment as he faces possible sentencing and "a very real prospect" of being jailed for speaking out about Australia's misconduct abroad.

Tempo - June 16, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The National Police's Special Anti-Terror Detachment or Densus 88 arrested a suspected terrorist identified as KDW in Bogor, West Java.

The Head of Public Information Bureau of the National Police, Brig. Gen. Rusdi Hartono, said KDW is a member of the terrorist group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD)

New Mandala - June 16, 2021

Yuji Mizuno – In Indonesia Halal certification emerges as a contentious issue time and time again. For example, in March 2021, the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) made a controversial fatwa that ruled the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as "haram" but permissible for urgency, despite the company's insistence that it does not contain pork ingredients.

UCA News - June 16, 2021

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – A Christian church in Indonesia closed by local authorities more than a decade ago has rejected a local mayor's move to end the resulting dispute by relocating their congregation.

Tabloid JUBI - June 16, 2021

Jakarta, Jubi – Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has spoken that war would not solve the Papua conflict but law enforcement against the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) was a part of the strategy to expedite a dialogue with the Papuan people, suggesting the TPNPB was only a small group and not representing the Papuans.

Prensa Latina - June 16, 2021

Dili – Timor Leste's Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, on Wednesday acknowledged the prestige of Cuba's biopharmaceutical industry, which has won international awards for products developed in the country's scientific centers.

Ruak conveyed his ideas to Cuban Ambassador Omar L. Marrero Betancourt, whom he received in his residence.

June 15, 2021

Tabloid JUBI - June 15, 2021

Jayapura, Jubi – The Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) has expressed their support to the Papuan People's Assembly (MRP), calling on the government to evaluate the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law thoroughly while involving the MRP in the process.

Reuters - June 15, 2021

Fransiska Nangoy and Gayatri Suroyo – Indonesia's export growth shot up on a yearly basis to an 11-year high in May, supported by high commodity prices and a low base effect, while imports also jumped as domestic demand rose, official data showed on Tuesday.

Asia Pacific Report - June 15, 2021

West Papuans have joined the people of Vanuatu in mourning the loss of independence and human rights campaigner Pastor Allen Nafuki who died at the weekend aged 72.

As well as campaigning for Vanuatu's independence from Britain and France in the 1970s, Pastor Nafuki also embraced the West Papuan struggle for freedom from Indonesia.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 15, 2021

Jakarta's Wisma Atlet makeshift COVID-19 quarantine facility is struggling to admit an ever-increasing number of patients, its spokesman confirmed, as the capital's caseload continues to rise.

Tabloid JUBI - June 15, 2021

Benny Mawel, Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura Police has reportedly inspected a discussion and book launch of the book "Demanding Dignity, Papuans Punished" by Theo van den Broek on Friday, June 11, 2021.

Tempo - June 15, 2021

Hussein Abri, Jakarta – National Awakening Party (PKB) politician Luqman Hakim said that the rising number of Covid-19 cases across Indonesian regions can be attributed to a number of government policies, which permitted tourism sites to remain open during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

East Asia Forum - June 15, 2021

Andree Surianta – Despite initial worries about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into Indonesia, the country did well to woo foreign investors in 2020. FDI inflows shrunk 2.4 per cent year-on-year, better than the 31 per cent drop experienced by ASEAN and the 42 per cent collapse globally.

UCA News - June 15, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Catholic-majority Timor-Leste has launched a Covid-19 vaccination drive targeting students and lecturers to speed up efforts to reopen universities.

It began on June 14 at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL), the country's largest, and will see the giving out of doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 15, 2021

Indonesia has set a precedent for reducing punishment on the basis of gender with the Jakarta High Court knocking six years off a disgraced public attorney's 10-year sentence for corruption.

Kompas.com - June 15, 2021

Rahel Narda Chaterine, Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) says that the Bogor city municipal government's (Pemkot) move to grant land to the Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI Yasmin) to build a new church sets a bad example in resolving such conflicts.

Jakarta Globe - June 15, 2021

Jakarta – The government urges the public to pay more attention than ever to health protocols, as several regions are seeing drastic surge in Covid-19 cases.

According to the Covid-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN), new Covid-19 infections are rising sharply in several regions.

CNN Indonesia - June 15, 2021

Jakarta – West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) spokesperson Sebby Sambon has welcomed a directive by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to resolve the Papua conflict with dialogue, not just armed conflict.

Tempo - June 15, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from the Griffith University of Australia, Dicky Budiman, asked the government to be aware of the spread of the Covid-19 delta variant (B.1.617.2) from India which has already entered a number of regions in Indonesia.

Mongabay - June 15, 2021

Basten Gokkon, Della Syahni, Jakarta – Human rights and environmental activists have called for an investigation following the sudden death of a top government official in a remote Indonesian archipelago who was opposed to a planned mine covering more than half of his district.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 15, 2021

Disgraced Garuda Indonesia CEO I Gusti Ngurah Askhara AKA Ari Askhara has been sentenced to one year in prison for smuggling Brompton bikes and Harley Davidson parts using the flag carrier's plane.

June 14, 2021

UCA News - June 14, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Catholic groups in Indonesia have criticized a draft bill that would impose a tax on educational services, which the government claims is part of efforts to spur economic recovery following the slump caused by Covid-19.

Reuters - June 14, 2021

Indonesia expects a new wave of coronavirus infections will peak in early July, as the highly transmissible delta variant becomes more dominant in some areas and with the occupancy of hospitals in Jakarta hitting 75%, officials said.

Jakarta Post - June 14, 2021

Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Kate Lamb (Reuters), Jakarta – The police are looking into the death of a politician from North Sulawesi who opposed a gold mining project there, after environmental groups and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) called for an investigation.

Jakarta Globe - June 14, 2021

Dion Bisara, Jakarta – The government has extended micro-scale restrictions on community activities, known as PPKM Mikro, until June 28 across Indonesia in an attempt to stem the spread of the Covid-19 spread following a dramatic spike in weeks after the Idul Fitri holiday due to people dropping health protocol and the arrival of more infectious coronavirus variant.

Straits Times - June 14, 2021

Arlina Arshad, Singapore – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has officially granted special economic zone (SEZ) status to a technological park and an aircraft maintenance facility in Batam to jump-start economic recovery there amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

China Dialogue - June 14, 2021

Sandy Milne – The protesters who took to the streets of Jakarta, Bandung and other Indonesian cities in October 2020 were diverse to say the least. Islamic leaders, dressed in white jalabbiyah, stood with scantily clad Instagram influencers. Trade unionists, indigenous leaders and environmentalists rubbed shoulders with the National Anti-Communist Alliance.

Jakarta Globe - June 14, 2021

Vento Saudale & Heru Andriyanto, Bogor – A Christian congregation in Bogor has been granted a new location to build their church, ending a standoff that prevented them from congregating at the original place of worship for nearly 15 years.

June 13, 2021

Jakarta Globe - June 13, 2021

Jakarta – Jakarta Provincial Government has now allowed foreign nationals older than 18 to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the city's free immunization program in a race to protect Indonesia's capital from the pandemic.

Tempo - June 13, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – At least 20,044,187 Indonesians have received the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Saturday, according to the COVID-19 Handling Task Force.

The number of Indonesians administered the first dose of the vaccine rose by 374,219 on Saturday, it said.

Kyodo News - June 13, 2021

Jakarta – Two Javan rhino calves were caught on video in the Ujung Kulon National Park jungle in March, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said Saturday, raising hopes for the longer-term survival of the endangered species.

Asia Pacific Report - June 13, 2021

Benny Mawel, Jayapura – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) believes that the Indonesian government has nine motives behind the branding of National Liberation Army of West Papua as terrorists.

Executive director Markus Haluk of ULMWP said this during a seminar and book discussion about Demanding Dignity, Papuans Are Punished in Jayapura on Friday.

Kompas.com - June 13, 2021

Rahel Narda Chaterine, Jakarta – The Semarang Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Eti Oktaviani says that a joint screening of the film "The End Game" was disrupted by people claiming to be "intel" (police intelligence) and had to be cancelled.

June 12, 2021

East Asia Forum - June 12, 2021

Maxensius Tri Sambodo – Indonesia's Balongan refinery, one of six operated by the state-owned oil firm Pertamina, contributes about 12 per cent of Indonesia's petroleum refining capacity, or 125,000 barrels a day. The net profit margin of Balongan was some US$225 million in 2017, equivalent to about 4.3 per cent of Pertamina's total profits.

Tempo - June 12, 2021

Jakarta – Garuda Indonesia's financial problems must be resolved based on careful commercial considerations. Liquidation of the state-owned airline would not be the end of the world.

Tempo - June 12, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The Center for Indonesia's Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI), released its latest survey report on Covid-19 situations in Tanjung Priok District, North Jakarta. The survey found that 29.9 percent of Tanjung Priok residents were infected with the new coronavirus in February 2021.

East Asia Forum - June 12, 2021

Fadhilah Fitri Primandari, Bandung – The Economist's Democracy Index for 2020 has confirmed that Indonesia's democracy is dwindling. The report gave the country its lowest score yet, casting doubt on Indonesia's prospects for democratic consolidation.

Jakarta Globe - June 12, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia's logistics sector is still facing various competition hurdles such as pricing regulations and obligatory vessel ownership, to name a few, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD.

Nikkei Asia - June 12, 2021

Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Ubud, Indonesia – My first visit to Ubud, in 2006, coincided with the launch of "Eat, Pray, Love," the bestselling memoir of an American traveler, Elizabeth Gilbert, who finds inner peace and love in this idyllic temple town set in the river valleys of central Bali.

Tempo - June 12, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Italian shipbuilding company, Fincantieri, on Friday, June 11, has reportedly signed a contract with the Indonesian Defense Ministry to procure six class multipurpose FREMM frigates, the modernization, and sales of two Maestrale-class frigates along with its logistics.