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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 1, 2019

News ›› West Papua ›› Arbitrary Arrest & Detention
CNN Indonesia - September 1, 2019

Jakarta – Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) spokesperson Surya Anta was arrested by police in Jakarta overnight.

After being taken to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters (Mapolda), Anta was then transferred to the Mobile Brigade headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Kelapa Dua, Depok, and is undergoing further questioning.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Health & Education
ABC News - September 1, 2019

Tasha Wibawa – Walking through rural Indonesia, it's not uncommon to see primary school children smoking cigarettes.

It's just one part of an epidemic in a country where nearly 70 per cent of all men and one in five children aged between 13 and 15 smoke, according to official data.

August 31, 2019

News ›› West Papua ›› Independence & Self-Determination
CNN Indonesia - August 31, 2019

Jakarta – West Papua National Committee (KNPB) spokesperson Victor Yeimo says that they are calling for a national strike throughout the territory claimed to be West Papua to demand a referendum or an act of self-determination through a popular vote.

News ›› West Papua ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Tempo - August 31, 2019

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Police Chief of Public Information Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said his office and the national armed forces (TNI) despatched 2,500 joint personnel to Jayapura, Papua, after the peace rally that turned to riot in the region.

"In total, there is 2,500 Police-TNI personnel. It's in Jayapura alone," Dedi said Saturday, August 31.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Tourism & Hospitality
Jakarta Post - August 31, 2019

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is seeking to speed up the development of four priority tourist destinations across the country, as part of his administration's efforts to boost the country's tourism industry.

News ›› East Timor ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
SBS News - August 31, 2019

Sandra Fulloon – Australian inventor and entrepreneur Dr Len Humphreys has found a way to convert used plastic into products such as fuel – and he says it's a game changer.

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Australian Associated Press - August 31, 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a major funding package for the East Timor defence force to counter China but former president Jose Ramos-Horta says he is more worried about its influence in Australia.

News ›› West Papua ›› Ethnic and Racial Discrimination
The Guardian - August 31, 2019

Kate Lamb, Jayapura – At the base of the verdant mountains of Sentani, where dense, tropical jungle overlooks a sprawling teal lake, worshippers stream into church, men in suits and ties and sandals or batik shirts, women with colourful woven bags strung from their foreheads and slung over their backs.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Religion & Worship
Jakarta Post - August 31, 2019

Jakarta – Amid reports of intolerance between ethnic groups and religious communities, pictures showing a Christian funeral service in the courtyard of a mosque has attracted people's attention on the internet.

News ›› West Papua ›› Arbitrary Arrest & Detention
CNN Indonesia - August 31, 2019

Jakarta – Scores of students from Papua and West Papua plan to surrender themselves to the Metro Jaya regional police following the arrest of two activists who took part in a rally at the State Palace in Central Jakarta which ended in the raising of the Morning Star flag.

They are currently gathering on the sidewalk in front of the Metro Jaya police headquarters.

News ›› West Papua ›› Ethnic and Racial Discrimination
Jakarta Post - August 31, 2019

Wahyoe Boediwardhana, Surabaya – The East Java Police have named another suspect involved in a protest that led to racist abuse against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on Aug. 16, a day before the country's independence day.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Jakarta & Urban Life
Bloomberg - August 31, 2019

Indonesia's plan to build a new capital from scratch on the island of Borneo has sent real-estate developers scrambling for land in the vicinity of the proposed city. And the industry's representative body says that is already pushing up prices.

News ›› East Timor ›› International Solidarity
SBS News - August 31, 2019

The Timor-Leste government has presented the Australian union movement the Medal of the Order for their assistance in achieving independence.

Australian unions have been presented the Medal of the Order of Timor-Leste in recognition of the role the movement played in the campaign for the country's independence 20 years ago.

News ›› West Papua ›› Human Rights & Justice
Radio New Zealand - August 31, 2019

An Australia-based human rights group has condemned the fatal shooting of West Papuan protesters by Indonesian security forces this week.

This comes amid widespread protests in cities and towns across Papua region which began almost two weeks ago as anti-racism rallies but have developed into the biggest West Papuan pro-independence demonstrations seen in decades.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Sydney Morning Herald - August 31, 2019

James Massola, Dili – Joanna Remejio has a crystal-clear memory of the night her first child, Pedro Unamet, entered the world. She was 20 and her husband, Simplicio, was 17. It was Tuesday, September 7, 1999.

News ›› East Timor ›› National Holidays & Celebrations
Reuters - August 31, 2019

Alison Bevege, Sydney – Thousands of people turned out on Friday night to celebrate East Timor's independence on the 20th anniversary of the 1999 referendum that led to the end of Indonesian occupation.

Fireworks, music and song erupted at Tasi Tolu outside Dili, where the crowd sang the national anthem "Patria" which means "Fatherland", ABC News reported on Saturday.

News ›› West Papua ›› Treason & Subversion
CNN Indonesia - August 31, 2019

Jakarta – On Friday August 30 the Metro Jaya regional police arrested two people on charges of treason (makar) for allegedly flying the Morning Star flag in front of the State Place during a rally on Wednesday August 28.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Taxation & State Budget
Jakarta Post - August 31, 2019

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Indonesia's tax office has announced several tax incentives for oil and gas contractors operating in the country.

News ›› East Timor ›› Analysis & Opinion
The Diplomat - August 31, 2019

Jonas Guterres – Every year on August 30, Timor-Leste celebrates Popular Consultation Day 1999. It commemorates an event of historical importance: when the people of Timor-Leste were finally given the chance to vote on their future, with a strong majority – 78.5 percent of voters – choosing independence from Indonesia.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Guardian - August 31, 2019

Luke Henriques-Gomes – In my family, the thought of Timor always lingered in the air.

At birthday dinners, or Easter or Christmas with the cousins (like all Timorese, cousins is an imprecise term), we would talk about the football or our jobs or studies.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Radio New Zealand - August 31, 2019

In 1999, Navy Captain Shaun Fogarty was deployed to East Timor as a military liaison officer with the United Nations.

Capt Fogarty was in town for the country's independence referendum and to make sure it was free from political interference.

While the vote went off without a hitch, the results triggered violence around the country from pro-Indonesian militia.

News ›› East Timor ›› National Holidays & Celebrations
ABC News - August 31, 2019

Anne Barker – It was Timor-Leste's biggest party since independence itself.

Thousands turned out last night at Tasi Tolu ("Three Lakes") just outside Dili, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1999 independence vote that led to Timor-Leste's freedom from Indonesian occupation.

News ›› West Papua ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Jakarta Globe - August 31, 2019

Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – The government wants those responsible for provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua to immediately stop their actions, Chief Security Minister Wiranto said on Friday evening.

August 30, 2019

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Jakarta Post - August 30, 2019

Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – A thick blanket of haze from forest fires has forced schools in Dumai, Riau, to dismiss their students early.

On Wednesday, four principals from different elementary schools asked the Dumai Education Agency for permission to dismiss their students early because of the increasing severity of the haze.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Land & Agrarian Conflicts
Jakarta Post - August 30, 2019

Jon Afrizal, Jambi – Members of Suku Anak Dalam (SAD), grouping remote indigenous communities in Jambi, are marching from their villages to the State Palace to demand that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo help them resolve a land dispute with palm oil company PT Berkas Sawit Utama (BSU).

News ›› West Papua ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Asia Pacific Report - August 30, 2019

Pacific Media Watch – Papuan demands for a referendum on self-determination have erupted more strongly amid fears of civilian casualties in the Melanesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

A government-imposed internet blackout is in place following a two-week wave of protests triggered by racial abuse against Papuan students in East Java, reports The Jakarta Post.

Statements ›› West Papua ›› International Solidarity
United Liberation Movement for West Papua Urgent Alert - August 30, 2019

The people of West Papua need urgent international attention. I am calling on all the world's governments, parliamentarians and media to shine the spotlight on West Papua. If the world and international media ignores West Papua now, the Indonesian security services may turn it into a bloodbath.

News ›› West Papua ›› Internet & Social Media
Voice of America - August 30, 2019

Sasmito Matrim – Indonesia's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said Friday that it would continue to block telecommunication services in Papua and West Papua, in an effort, it said, to restore security in the wake of civil unrest that flared in several cities over allegedly racist attacks on Papuan students.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Brisbane Times - August 30, 2019

Perth's Colleen Thornton-Ward and Murray Thornton were on the ground as East Timor struggled for independence in 1999. The memories of that year are still fresh in their minds.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Corruption & Abuse of Power
CNN Indonesia - August 30, 2019

Jakarta – Hundreds of people and three command vehicles arrived on the grounds of the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) Red-and-White building in Jakarta at 3 pm Friday August 30.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Jakarta & Urban Life
The Conversation - August 30, 2019

Kyle Springer – Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, known for various infrastructure projects during his tenure, is embarking on another mega-project yet with his plan to build a brand-new national capital in East Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Jakarta & Urban Life
Reuters - August 30, 2019

Rina Chandran, Bangkok – Thousands of indigenous people may be uprooted from their ancestral lands on Borneo island as large areas of forests are cleared to make way for Indonesia's new capital, human rights groups said on Friday.

News ›› West Papua ›› Transport & Communication
Tempo - August 30, 2019

Jakarta (Antara) – The Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Minister Rudiantara announced that the lack of cellular services in Jayapura, Papua, and its vicinity are caused by the acts of "unknown people" who sabotaged the region's main optical telecommunication network.

News ›› West Papua ›› Transport & Communication
Tempo - August 30, 2019

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Gojek announced that it has temporarily halted operations of its app services in the Papua Province following the massive protests that happened in the past week. The company's decision, according to Go-Jek spokesperson Michael Say, is due to security concerns.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Religion & Worship
Coconuts Jakarta - August 30, 2019

In recent years, we have seen a depressing number of stories from Indonesia related to religious minorities being robbed of a place to perform their religious duties. But one mosque in Jakarta shows how that's not the whole story and why there is still hope for religious tolerance in Indonesia.

News ›› West Papua ›› Fake News & Black Campaigns
Tempo - August 30, 2019

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN) has discovered foreign social media accounts that deliberately spread false reports or hoaxes on conditions in Papua.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Jakarta Post - August 30, 2019

Jakarta – The House of Representatives has approved the government's target of 5.3 percent economic growth for next year and this will be the foundation for other projections made under the draft 2020 state budget.

News ›› West Papua ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Tempo - August 30, 2019

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, has pledged to withdraw military troops from Nduga, Papua, should conditions return to normal.

News ›› West Papua ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Asia Pacific Report - August 30, 2019

Michael Andrew – As Timor-Leste celebrates 20 years since the landmark vote that determined its independence from Indonesian rule, activists are urging the New Zealand government not to repeat mistakes from the past and back West Papuan independence until the last minute.

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Viet Nam News - August 30, 2019

Ha Noi – Timor Leste always appreciates the support from Viet Nam for his country during the war time and in the past 20 years, Prime Minister of Timor Leste Taur Matan Ruak told the special envoy of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyan Minh Hung.

News ›› East Timor ›› Military Ties & Arms Trade
Bernama - August 30, 2019

Canberra – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a "maritime security package" for Timor-Leste including a revamped military base, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting local media.

News ›› East Timor ›› Timor Sea Spy Scandal
Australian Associated Press - August 30, 2019

Australia will not compensate East Timor for an alleged $5 billion in gas revenue it collected during a previous treaty signed after it spied on the country by bugging its offices.

Australian and East Timor signed a new maritime boundary treaty in Dili on Friday giving the latter a far greater share of gas royalties.

News ›› East Timor ›› Timor Sea Spy Scandal
Sydney Morning Herald - August 30, 2019

James Massola, Dili – Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dismissed calls for the Australian government to drop the prosecution of whistleblowers Bernard Collaery and Witness K.

Mr Morrison was asked about the cases during a trip to East Timor where he finalised a long-awaited revenue-sharing agreement for the Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields.

News ›› West Papua ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Tempo - August 30, 2019

Jakarta (Antara) – Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) member Ahmad Suaedy says the security operations by the National Police (Polri) and Armed Forces (TNI) in Nduga, Papua, are hampering the public services in the region.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Guardian - August 30, 2019

Paul Daley – Australia's precise role in bringing independence to Timor-Leste two decades ago continues to simmer as unsettled business at the heart of modern Australian diplomatic and military history.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Jakarta & Urban Life
Tempo - August 30, 2019

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is in the midst of composing a roadmap policy to organize street vendors that open their businesses across Jakarta. Inside that roadmap, the governor said the will give business opportunities for the vendors to sell their goods on sidewalks.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Jakarta & Urban Life
Agence France Presse - August 30, 2019

Natalia Santi – Abandoning Jakarta for a new capital in Borneo won't save the fast-sinking Indonesian megacity from disaster and could even spark a fresh environmental crisis in a region home to rainforests and endangered orangutans, critics have warned.

News ›› West Papua ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Tempo - August 30, 2019

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, demanded Papuans immediately stop the mass demonstrations staged in all areas of the province.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Corruption & Abuse of Power
Jakarta Post - August 30, 2019

Jakarta – The Supreme Court has decreased the punishment for former Constitutional Court justice Patrialis Akbar to seven years in prison following a case review petition filed by the graft convict to the court.

News ›› Indonesia ›› National Holidays & Celebrations
Jakarta Post - August 30, 2019

Jakarta – Would-be holidaymakers are now able to start planning vacations for next year as the government has finalized the list of public holidays for 2020.