Binoy Kampmark – Like Timor-Leste, West Papua, commonly subsuming both Papua and West Papua, remains a separate ethnic entity, acknowledged as such by previous colonial powers. Its Dutch colonial masters, in preparing to leave the region in the 1950s, left the ground fertile for a declaration of independence in 1961.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
September 12, 2019
Marni Cordell, Ben Doherty and Kate Lamb – A West Papuan independence group has accused the Indonesian police of "abducting" a leading West Papuan activist in a dramatic arrest on Monday.
Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Police announced that it had arrested the head of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Mimika, Steven Itlay, for an alleged connection to one of the demonstrations in Papua.
Police deem Steven to be the figure behind the demonstration at the University of Cendrawasih in Jayapura, Papua Province and other similar public uprisings.
Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Ahmad Safrudin, the executive director of the leaded fuel eradication committee (KPBB), revealed the toll of air pollution in Jakarta.
Jakarta – Authorities have shut most schools in parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island to protect children from a thick, noxious haze as deliberately set fires burn through peatland forests, officials said.
Jakarta – Police have arrested the chairperson of the Mimika West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Steven Italy, for allegedly playing a role in the riots and protest actions which took place in Jayapura, Papua. Police has already declared him a suspect.
Bilveer Singh – Papua has been in constant turmoil for more than 50 years, especially following the territory's incorporation into Indonesia in 1969. This includes incidences of violence where either Papuans, or Indonesian military and civilian personnel, have been killed.
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.
September 11, 2019
A leading West Papuan independence activist has been arrested by Indonesian police in Jayapua.
Buchtar Tabuni is a member of the executive committee of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
Suara Papua reported that police suspected Mr Tabuni was an instigator of recent riots related to large anti-racism and pro-independence protests in recent weeks.
Jakarta – Haze that has blanketed parts of Malaysia and forced the closure of schools came from forest fires in that country, and not from Indonesia, the government in Jakarta said on Wednesday (Sept 11).
Jessie Yeung – Malaysian authorities distributed half a million face masks to residents on Tuesday after large-scale forest fires in Indonesia spread smoke and thick smog to neighboring countries.
The governor of Papua New Guinea's capital has promised more public action regarding West Papua.
Powes Parkop led thousands of people on a march in Port Moresby yesterday to voice support for West Papuan independence.
James Massola, Jakarta – Indonesia's third president, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, who was the first person to lead the country after 32 years of the Soeharto dictatorship, has died.
He was 83 years old. The family of the former engineer-turned-politician confirmed his death on Wednesday evening.
Ahmad Jilul Qurani Farid, Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I has asked Foreign Affairs Minister (Menlu) Retno Marsudi to prevent the internationalisation of the Papua issue so it is not used as propaganda by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) led by Benny Wenda.
Malaysia has stepped up pressure on neighbouring Indonesia to tackle huge blazes tearing through its rainforests and smothering Southeast Asia in smog, as fires typically started to clear land for crops send diplomatic tensions soaring.
Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – The coalition against natural resources graft states that revising the KPK Law will benefit mafias of the mining industry.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The government is mulling over a number of policies to improve the performance of the domestic timber and furniture industries, which it identifies as key industries that could seize the momentum amid an ongoing trade war between the United States and China.
Jefferson Ng – During the New Order, the GBHN was a set of political, economic, and social principles issued by the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat, MPR) to guide and direct national development.
Byniniek Karmini, Jakarta – Authorities shut most schools in parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island to protect children from a thick, noxious haze as deliberately set fires burned through peatland forests, officials said Wednesday.
Dan McGarry, Port Vila – In the wake of a Vanuatu Daily Post investigation into what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to spread fake news targeted at the government of Vanuatu and other supporters of West Papuan independence movement, a BBC investigative journalist has found clear evidence of a concerted campaign to pollute discussions relating to West Papua.
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – The recent protests in Papua, West Papua and other regions have brought the issue of a Papuan referendum on self-determination to the forefront of the national debate.
Lani Diana Wijaya, Jakarta – Following Tuesday's court trial, Kivlan Zen has officially been named as the defendant in the case of illegal firearm possession. His indictment states he had retained four firearms and 117 ammunitions.
Caesar Akbar and L Ahmad Faiz, Jakarta – Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said his office will establish a design contest of Presidential Palace in Papua. The design is planned to meet for completion this year.
Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – State-owned electricity firm PLN has enlisted the help of the Indonesian Military (TNI) to safeguard its Java-Bali 500-kilovolt overhead transmission lines, in an effort to ensure that serious incidents, such as the hours-long mass blackout in Greater Jakarta and West Java last month, would not happen again.
Jakarta – House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I Deputy Chairperson Satya Yudha believes that efforts by United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Chairperson Benny Wenda to provoke the Papuan people resemble the scenario by Jose Ramos Horta when he invited the people of East Timor – now called Timor Leste – to separate from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indones
Telly Nathalia & Mikael Erawan, Jakarta – The State Secretariat has announced a three-day national mourning period for former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, who passed away from an illness in Jakarta yesterday.
Luthfi T. Dzulfikar, Berry Juliandi, Chairil Abdini, Melissa Ilardo and Muhammad Dimyati – Scholars are urging the government to dampen the potential negative effects of Indonesia's recently issued science and technology law. They suggest renewing government regulations on foreign research permits and streamlining the process through an integrated online permit system.
Audrey Santoso, Jakarta – Police have arrested the deputy chairperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Buchtar Tabuni. Tabuni was arrested on Monday for alleged makar (treason, subversion, rebellion).
Jakarta – Thousands of Indonesians prayed for rain in haze-hit towns on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo on Wednesday, as forest fires raged at the height of the dry season, the state Antara news agency reported.
Michael Andrew – For the past three weeks a wave of violent protest has been spreading across West Papua and Indonesia.
Jakarta – Papua has a special place in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's heart. Throughout his first four years in office, he visited Papua eight times, spending much of his time there at the now-famous Mama-Mama Market in Jayapura.
Calla Wahlquist – The Department of Agriculture is investigating a live export company after it received footage showing Australian cattle being pulled to the ground with ropes and slaughtered without being stunned in a carpark underneath an Indonesian mosque.
Taufiq Siddiq, Jakarta – Jakarta's Directorate General of Politics and Public Administration (Kesbangpol) noted an additional surge of people at the former West Jakarta military command in Daan Mogot Baru, Kalideres, after it was reopened to accommodate asylum seekers.
September 10, 2019
Jakarta – Inter-faith religious leaders have called on the government to be careful in dealing with the problems in Papua.
Evi Mariani – Indonesians love conspiracy theories. In 1999, I spent two months in Ambon, Maluku, just as a religious conflict between Muslims and Christians flared up. I spent most of the time taking refuge among Christians, but I had the chance to meet Muslims too.
Huge fires are raging across vast swathes of Indonesia's rainforests – some of the world's biggest – with toxic smog shutting hundreds of schools across Southeast Asia, officials said Tuesday.
Massive jungle areas in Sumatra and Borneo island are ablaze as thousands of personnel battle to quell the fires, frequently started to clear land for crop plantations.
Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) politician, Kapitra Ampera, boldly stated that showing defiance against the House of Representative's revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law – which is currently strongly opposed by the public – could be treated as an act of treason.
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – House of Representatives' (DPR) legal commission III frets on the attitude shown by the current Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) management in the public hearing with KPK leader candidates today.
Exposure of widespread racism against Papuans has prompted a shift in the discourse about the acceptance of Papuans in Indonesia.
Protesters at one of the recent anti-racist demonstrations in Papua held a banner reading "If we are monkeys, don't force monkeys to fly the Red and White (Indonesian flag)".
Jakarta – Amid maneuvers to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the anticorruption body on Tuesday named former president director of now-defunct Pertamina Energy Trading Ltd (Petral) Bambang Irianto a corruption suspect in oil and gas business.
Ratu Annisaa Suryasumirat, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Wiranto has responded to plans by separatist figure Benny Wanda to take the Papua conflict to the United Nations Human Rights (HAM) High Commission which met in Geneva on Monday September 9.
Hans Arnold Kapisa, Jakarta – West Papuan human rights activist and Manokwari Legal Aid Assessment, Research and Development Institute (LP3BH) Director Yan Christian Warinussy is critical of the 61 figures that were included in a delegation of Papuans who held a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the State Palace today.
James Massola, Jakarta – Extra marital sex, homelessness, criticism of the President and spreading communist ideology would all be crimes – and attract jail time – under looming sweeping changes to Indonesia's penal code.
Jakarta (Antara) – Some 700 native Papuan students studying at various universities outside Papua Province have returned home in the aftermath of the Surabaya incident although they have received safety and security guarantees from all regional police chiefs.
Jakarta (Antara) – The Jakarta Legal Aid (LBH Jakarta) argues that the suspect-naming of human rights activist Veronica Koman by the Indonesian National Police (Polri) presents a threat toward other activists.
Ahmad Faiz, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi has agreed on the provincial division (pemekaran) in Papua and West Papua as requested by Papuan figures during a meeting in the State Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday, September 10.
Heru Asprihanto, Bogor, Indonesia – It's a warm night in Indonesia and the air is filled with excitement as villagers watch a puppet show accompanied by traditional music.
To the rhythmic beat of cymbals, drums and a bamboo harmonica, the hand-held puppets wearing brightly colored batik headdresses and sarongs fight, and one gets flung off the stage.