Matthew LoCastro & Diovio Alfath – The UNHCR data says there are about 13,657 persons registered at the UNHCR Indonesia as refugees or asylum seekers.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
March 21, 2020
Jakarta – The government said it was ready to disburse Rp 38 trillion (US$2.3 billion) for social safety net programs to help about 70 million underprivileged citizens cope with the financial impacts of COVID-19.
Ni Komang Erviani, Denpasar – Balinese authorities have confirmed that a French national who died on the resort island six days ago tested positive for COVID-19 post-mortem.
His body was found on top of a motorcycle on a sidewalk on Jl. Imam Bonjol in Denpasar on Sunday.
Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian government warned on Saturday that asymptomatic persons may act as unsuspected carriers of the highly contagious Covid-19 virus, as positive cases jumped by 81 to 450 on Saturday.
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Indonesia has estimated the number of people who have had possible contact with Covid-19 suspects to be at more than half a million, as a two-week emergency was declared in its capital Jakarta.
Randy Mulyanto – I Gusti Ngurah Adi Mahendra, the owner of a tour agency in the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, has lost 80 per cent of his income after receiving mass cancellations from clients amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
March 20, 2020
Jakarta – The long search for a figure to fill the Jakarta administration's deputy governor position will be postponed amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the capital, the city council has said.
Jakarta – Talk of sex is still taboo in most parts of predominantly Muslim Indonesia, but over the past few years the country has borne witness to a growing conversation on sexuality led by a younger generation of women.
Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has declared a state of emergency for the next two weeks in the capital city in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jakarta – Several Blora Legislative Council members from Blora regency, Central Java, have refused to take a screening test of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) administered by the regency's health agency as a precautionary measure following their domestic working trips.
Andi Hajramurni, Makassar – South Sulawesi health authorities put the participants of a suspended international Islamic event in Pakkato village, Bontomaranmu district, Gowa regency into isolation wards in several locations on Thursday.
Jakarta – Indonesia's death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 32 with 369 cases reported nationwide on Friday, as the novel coronavirus spread to 17 of the country's provinces, half of the total 34 provinces in the archipelago.
Diana Mariska, Jakarta – The Financial Services Authority, OJK, has advised banks and financing companies against using debt collectors during the Covid-19 pandemic as the authority relaxed the lenders' bad loan requirement as part of a concerted effort to help local businesses to survive the pandemic-induced economic shocks.
Dylan Tokar – The palm oil industry's sustainability certifier has for the first time been asked to review allegations that one of its member companies paid bribes to cover up the improper use of protected forest land in Indonesia – a case that highlights the difficulties facing multinationals whose supply chains rely on the widely used vegetable oil.
Depok, Indonesia – While many Muslims in Indonesia's capital accepted advice to avoid religious gatherings and prayed at home on Friday elsewhere in the world's most populous Muslim country, people ignored the risk of coronavirus and crowded into their mosques.
Basten Gokkon, Jakarta – Indonesian authorities have ordered a temporary closure of dozens of national parks and conservation sites to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed thousands of people worldwide.
Ardila Syakriah, Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Sausan Atika, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ruled out the possibility of imposing a lockdown on the virus-stricken capital and has instead ordered mass testing to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has claimed thousands of lives worldwide.
Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Civil society groups assisting HIV patients in the country have urged the Health Ministry to pay attention to the supply of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for such patients, who have been affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak.
Jakarta – Unimpressed legal experts have called on the government to make the Indonesian justice system fairer despite the country's improved position in a global rule of law index.
Jakarta – Two patients under surveillance for COVID-19 in Tasikmalaya, West Java, became an unusual spectacle for dozens of locals when they were transferred into isolation wards at the Soekardjo General Hospital on Friday morning.
Jakarta – The National Police have named 30 individuals across the country by Thursday as suspects for allegedly spreading false information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
"We named 22 suspects for allegedly spreading fake news on Tuesday. We named eight more on Thursday," National Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Asep Adi Saputra told journalists on Thursday.
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) has bought about Rp 163 trillion (US$10.1 billion) worth of government bonds to stabilize the country's financial market amid foreign investors' selling spree over COVID-19 fears.
Budi Sutrisno and Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Indonesia is to fly military aircraft to the Chinese city of Shanghai on Saturday to pick up medical equipment to help those on the front lines of the Southeast Asian country's battle against the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale on Thursday met with the Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Mr. Jacob Rumbiak.
Mr. Rumbiak updated Hon. Wale on the human rights situation in West Papua, and the ongoing struggle for self-determination by West Papuans.
Ed Davies, Stanley Widianto, Jakarta – Indonesia likely faces a large surge in coronavirus cases after a slow government response masked the scale of the epidemic in the world's fourth most populous country, health experts say, as the capital, Jakarta, declared a state of emergency on Friday.
I Nyoman Sutarsa, Atin Prabandari and Fina Itriyati – The spread of COVID-19 continues to unfold across the globe. More than 209,000 people in 168 countries have been infected. The disease has recorded a fatality rate of more than 4% as 8,600 people have died from the disease.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The frame of a 45-meter-tall statue of Jesus in North Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra, was dismantled Thursday following a court order that declared that the stalled project had constructions faults.
Jakarta – The North Jakarta District Court held a session on Thursday to hear the indictment against two active police officers allegedly involved in the acid attack against top corruption investigator Novel Baswedan.
The defendants are Ronny Bugis and Rahmat Kadir Mahulete, both officers from Depok's Kelapa Dua mobile brigade.
Jakarta – Most mosques in Tangerang, Banten are holding Friday prayers on March 20 despite a warning from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to suspend the mass prayers, especially in areas hit by COVID-19.
Jakarta – The effect of social distancing and the work-from-home policy has created a significant decrease in the number of public transportation passengers, the Transportation Ministry reported.
"There has been a drop of about 40 to 70 percent," the ministry's spokesperson, Adita Irawati said in a written statement published by the ministry on Friday.
Arya Dipa, Bandung – Home Minister Tito Karnavian is urging village heads and local leaders to speed up their budget proposals to immediately get transfers from the central government and reallocate spending to prioritize the mitigation of COVID-19.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the government had officially kicked off rapid tests to detect COVID-19 on Friday afternoon.
He went on to say the first tests had been conducted in South Jakarta, considering that the area was very prone to the disease according to contact tracing carried out by the authorities.
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government will reallocate Rp 62.3 trillion (US$3.9 billion) of state spending from the 2020 budget to tackle COVID-19, focusing on health care, the disbursement of social funds and financial incentives for enterprises.
Chandra Iswinarno, Ria Rizki Nirmala Sari – The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has return the investigation dossier on alleged gross human rights (HAM) violations during the bloody Paniai incident to the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM).
Responding to this, the Komnas HAM suspects that there is potential for the investigation into the case to come to a halt.
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – A number of mosques in Jakarta have disregarded appeals by Governor Anies Baswedan to cancel Friday prayers for two weeks aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has so far killed at least 17 people in the capital.
Basten Gokkon, Jakarta – Conservationists and affected communities have slammed a plan to build a road through a jungle-clad mountain in Indonesia's West Java province, citing the lack of permits and the threat of exacerbated flooding and landslides in the area.
Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – As the coronavirus outbreak gains pace in Indonesia, so far affecting 17 out of 34 provinces, the number of infected persons could grow to between 600,000 and 700,000, a government spokesman said on Friday.
Gemma Holliani Cahya and Aman Rochman, Jakarta – On a Friday night several nurses were seen sitting on the floor of an intensive care unit (ICU) in a hospital in Jakarta. Near the ICU were the isolation rooms.
March 19, 2020
Andi Hajramurni, Makassar – The South Sulawesi provincial administration has cancelled an international Islamic event that was set to take place in Pakkato village, Bontomaranmu district, Gowa regency over heightened concerns about COVID-19, but not before thousands of participants had already arrived at the site.
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) cut on Thursday the nation's policy rate to prop up the economy, which is likely to grow at the lowest rate in 15 years, battered by a slump in economic activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The West Papua Liberation Army says four of its members have been shot dead by Indonesia's military in Tembagapura district.
The district, home to the large Freeport gold mine, is the latest focal point for conflict between pro-independence Papuan guerilla fighters and Indonesian security forces.
Beh Lih Yi, Kuala Lumpur (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – An Indonesian YouTube star, whose videos about being gay and living with HIV have generated millions of views, is hoping his popular channel will help fight moves by lawmakers to clamp down on the country's beleaguered LGBT+ community.
With Friday just a day away, the question of whether or not Muslims in Indonesia should go to the mosque to perform the mandatory Friday prayers looms large, despite the fact that religious authorities have advised against mass prayers in order to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Jakarta – Preventing public participation in the drawing up of the omnibus law is anti-democratic. There is no reason to continue with this unrealistic project.
Robert Isidorus, Jayapura – The Indonesian Military and National Police have accused what they call an "armed criminal group," or KKB, of burning down a church in Tembagapura, Papua, on March 12.
But a spokesperson for the National Liberation Army of West Papua-Free Papua Movement, Sebby Sambom, denied the allegation.
A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – The Environment and Forestry Ministry has named an individual identified as IQ, the commissioner of logging company CV. Sumber Berkat Makmur (SBM), a suspect in an illegal logging case in Sabuai village, Eastern Seram regency, Maluku.
Jakarta – The Election Organization Ethics Council (DKPP) has discharged a General Elections Commission (KPU) member, Evi Novida Ginting Manik, from her position as she was found to have violated the commission's code of ethics by falsifying the 2019 regional election results in West Kalimantan.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has called on Muslims to cancel or suspend events involving crowds such as conferences, discussions and seminars amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The appeal is also a call for the organizer of a Muslim gathering titled Asian World Ijtema to suspend the event, which is set to be held in Gowa, South Sulawesi, on March 19-22.
Apriza Pinandita and Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Doris Sianturi, 40, a street vendor from North Jakarta's district of Pademangan, has stayed home for the last five days.
The place where he usually works, the Ancol Dreamland amusement park, has been shut down by the Jakarta administration for two weeks to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Hamish McDonald – With the release of his book detailing the sorry saga of Australia's negotiations with less well-equipped neighbours over oil in the Timor Sea, Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery has dramatically raised the stakes in his impending trial for breaching secrecy laws.