Working around the clock, thousands of firefighters are struggling to contain smog-belching blazes raging across rainforests and farmland in Indonesia, one of the frontlines against fires blamed for aggravating global warming.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
September 15, 2019
Nur Azizah Rizki Astuti, Jakarta – The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) is urging the House of Representatives (DPR) to immediately ratify the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU-PKS).
Singapore's air quality deteriorated to "unhealthy" levels on Saturday for the first time in three years, data from the National Environment Agency (NEA) showed, threatening to deepen a regional dispute over forest fires.
Karen Barlow, Jakarta – The thick, hot smog and its accompanying dangers never seem to go away.
It is this city's state of being.
It is a blanket without comfort.
Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – Aviation and shipping activities in and around the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan were severely impacted by haze caused by forest fires over the weekend, while the government stepped up efforts to address the problem.
Jakarta (Antara) – Tens of people staged a rally outside the West Sumatra Provincial Legislative Assembly (DPRD) building on Friday, calling on the central government to endorse the revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) law soon.
Indonesia has told the United Nations that it has no intention of giving in to the demands of protesters for a referendum to be held in its troubled province of West Papua.
According to a report in CNN Indonesia, Indonesian Ambassador to the UN Hasan Kleib said this during a public debate in Geneva, Switzerland.
James Massola, Amilia Rosa and Karuni Rompies, Balikpapan – When Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the country's capital city was moving from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, it kicked off fevered speculation about the cost, location and efficacy of such a move.
Jakarta – Protesters have admitted that they were promised money if they took part in enlivening a protest action critical of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in front of the KPK's Red-and-White building in Jakarta on Saturday September 14.
CNN Indonesia managed to speak with several people at the action although none of them were willing to give their names.
Linda Yulisman in Jakarta and Trinna Leong Malaysia in Putrajaya – The Indonesian government yesterday vowed to impose criminal charges on companies, as the authorities sealed off more plantations run by a further 13 companies amid worsening haze in the region.
September 14, 2019
Jakarta – Around 20 Papuan students from the Javanese cities of Bandung, Malang and Yogyakarta have met with the family of former president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid to discuss the current situation in Papua. The meeting was held at the residence of the late Gus Dur in Ciganjur, Jakarta, on Friday September 13.
Jakarta (Antara) – Environment and Forestry Ministry has sealed off 42 lands owned by corporate and one land owned by individual regarding the prevention and control of land and forest fire in several areas in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Jakarta – Papua Student Alliance (AMP) lawyer Veronica Koman has finally spoken out about being declared a suspect by the East Java provincial police for inciting an incident at the Papuan student dormitory in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya in August.
With fierce blazes raging in jungles from the Amazon to Indonesia, concerns are mounting about the impact as rainforests play a vital role in protecting the planet against global warming.The latest serious outbreak is in Indonesia, where smog-belching fires started to clear land for agriculture are burning out of control, blanketing the region in toxic smog.
Jakarta – Two international non-government organisations (NGOs), namely the Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) from Holland and the Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) from Canada, have written to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in relation to the prosecution of Veronica Koman.
Amanda Hodge and Chandni Vasandani in Jayapura and Papua – In streets heavily secured by fresh contingents of Indonesian police and soldiers this week, those hit by recent violent protests and rioting in the provincial Papuan capital of Jayapura have begun rebuilding.
September 13, 2019
Tassia Sipahutar – Indonesian President Joko Widodo defended his support for amendments to a key anti-corruption law, ignoring calls from the nation's anti-graft watchdog and rights groups to veto the move over fears it could hinder the fight against crime.
Gardi Gazarin & Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – Police say they have uncovered a plot to stage more riots in Papua and West Papua until Dec. 1, following the arrest of the head of the West Papua National Committee's (KNPB) branch in Mimika, Steven Itlay, on Wednesday.
Saeed Kamali Dehghan – Indonesia is stepping up efforts to protect people with mental health conditions by affording national agencies new powers to monitor and close down institutions found to be abusing patients.
Jakarta – The House of Representatives has finally agreed to raise the minimum age for marriage for females from 16 years old to 19.
During a working meeting to discuss the revision of Law No. 1/1974 on marriage, the House's working committee on the minimum marriage age bill deliberation originally proposed to increase the legal age for marriage to 18 years old.
Cocoa plantations in Indonesia are passing through a bitter phase, and the bulk of the blame falls on old farmers and ageing trees.
Shinta Maharani, Jakarta – The Indonesian Islamic University (UII) Yogyakarta's faculty of law is reportedly planning to aim President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo with a motion of no-confidence after he ratified the controversial revision of the law overseeing the Corruption Eradication Commission.
Jakarta (Antara) – Saut Situmorang announced his resignation from the position as deputy chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) just one day after the House of Representatives (DPR) elected five leaders to run the anti-graft agency.
Nur Hadi, Surabaya – The East Java Police claimed to have found suspicious transactions in the bank accounts of human rights advocate Veronica Koman, a suspected spreader of provocative contents during the Papua riots. The police said there were big withdrawals in the conflicted area.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry decided this month to increase mining company Freeport Indonesia's copper concentrate export quota to 700,000 wet metric tons (wmt), a more than threefold increase on the previous quota of 198,282 wmt.
Kylie Grey – For decades, the Indonesian government has operated with relative impunity in West Papua. Human Rights Lawyer Veronica Koman spoke with SBS in June about her mission to expose environmental vandalism and human rights violations in the Indonesian province.
Veronica Koman is living in fear.
The Balinese People's Forum to Reject Reclamation (ForBALI) is urging Indonesia's Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to issue a strict prohibition on infrastructure development in southern Bali, highlighting the area as being prone to disasters.
Jakarta – Indonesia on Friday blamed four Malaysian companies, including the world's biggest producer of sustainable palm oil, for causing some of the forest fires within its borders, in an escalating row between neighbours over regional haze.
Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – Commissioners of the national antigraft agency released a statement on Friday evening to "return their mandate" to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
Hundreds of people held a mass prayer for rain in a smoke-filled Indonesian city on Friday, desperately hoping that downpours will extinguish forest fires and wash away the toxic haze covering wide swathes of the country.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's approval of revisions to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law has disappointed many – from political observers to academics – who have voiced their disagreement with the planned revisions.
Kate Lamb in Kalideres, Jakarta – Once a military command post, the two-storey lime green building in Kalideres, West Jakarta, is now essentially a refugee camp.
Adam Prireza, Jakarta – East-Timorese Nelson Da Cruz (38) was one of the thousands of people that packed the public streets on Thursday to escort former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie (BJ Habibie) to his final resting place in the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery.
M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Jakarta's expanded traffic policy known as the odd-even policy on Monday, September 9, 2019, that has entered its fifth-day seems to not significantly improve the city's air quality. According to AirVisual's air quality monitoring the air quality of the city remains at the level of 'unhealthy.'
Jakarta – President Joko Widodo told Indonesians on Friday he would not compromise in the fight against graft, amid concerns over the officer picked to head the anti-corruption agency and proposed changes curbing its right to wiretap suspects without a warrant.
Beritasatu Team & Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – Despite objections from its own staff, former South Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Firli Bahuri was voted in by acclamation as the new head of Indonesia's anti-graft agency, the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, by the House of Representatives on Friday morning.
Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – A riot broke out in front of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta as protesters in support of the KPK law revision burned banners and threw bottles and sticks into the building on Friday afternoon.
Wahyu Setiawan, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that the meeting between President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and scores of Papuan figures at the State Palace three days ago failed to resolve the problems in Papua.
Kuala Lumpur (Reuters) – Indonesia moved closer to ending child marriage on Friday (Sept 13) after the government secured a key nod paving the way to raise the age for girls to wed in the world's most populous Muslim country by three years.
Gangsar Parikesit, Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has reportedly allocated Rp166.91 billion into its 2020 budget priorities (KUA-PPAS) for Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) members' salaries, numerous allowances, and operational costs.
Andita Rahma, Jakarta – There is something notably different on the official website of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Friday, September 13. Its homepage now features an entirely black image with a message that reads; "We continue to work, we will continue the fight. #SaveKPK."
Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – Indonesia restated the progress it has made on human rights, especially in dealing with the security situation in Papua, during a meeting at the United Nations Office at Geneva on Wednesday.
Hasan Kleib, Indonesia's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said the country had been implementing the National Action Plan on Human Rights since 1998.
Kate Lyons – The first president of Timor Leste has paid a touching visit to the bedside of the Indonesian president who granted the region a referendum on independence in 1999, before his death on Wednesday night.
September 12, 2019
Jakarta (Antara) – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) urged the government to evaluate the implementation of the national peatland restoration following constant numerous forest fires in large areas.
Dili – The prison in the six interconnected bungalows of Comarca became notorious during the 24 years that Indonesia occupied East Timor. Many of those locked up there for resisting the occupation did not survive its torture cells.
Amy Chew – Indonesian anti-graft activists are protesting against plans by legislators to revise a law governing the country's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that critics fear will weaken the agency.
Kate Lamb, Jakarta – Indonesia has shot back at claims the country is solely responsible for the fires that have created a thick haze across parts of Malaysia this week and forced the closure of hundreds of schools.
Andita Rahma and Friski Riana, Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy head, Laode M. Syarief, lamented the non-transparency of the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government in discussing the draft of KPK Law revisions.
Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara – Indonesia's Main Naval Base (Lantamal) VII in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), is conducting a joint maritime patrol exercise called Cassoway Exercise Uasindo Corpart 2019 in NTT waters with the Royal Australian Navy, Sept 10-16.
Dessy Sagita, Pekanbaru, Riau – The number of blazes in Indonesia's rainforests has jumped sharply, satellite data showed Thursday, spreading smog across Southeast Asia and adding to concerns about the impact of increasing wildfire outbreaks worldwide on global warming.