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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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December 30, 2020

Jakarta Globe - December 30, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno unveils his plan to help the pandemic-hit tourism industry back on its feet in 2021, pledging to continue his predecessor Wishnutama Kusubandio's policies, including tourism grants and health protocol certifications.

Jakarta Post - December 30, 2020

Jakarta – Experts have urged hospitals to better manage the admission of patients, arguing that most of them were overwhelmed by the constant increase in COVID-19 cases.

Jakarta Post - December 30, 2020

Jakarta – The government has decided to ban controversial hardline group the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and its activities, saying that it has no legal grounds to operate as a civil organization and that its activities often violated the law and caused public disorder.

Jakarta Post - December 30, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta and Central Java administrations have encouraged residents to stay home for New Year's Eve.

"We request that everyone stay home," Jakarta deputy governor Ahmad Riza Patria said on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.

Reuters - December 30, 2020

Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Jakarta – Indonesia has banned the controversial but politically influential hardline group the Islamic Defender's Front, the country's chief security minister announced on Wednesday.

Minister Mahfud MD said the group, widely known by its acronym FPI, was prohibited effective immediately.

Jakarta Post - December 30, 2020

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – The Foreign Ministry has said the German embassy staffer who allegedly visited the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) headquarters in Petamburan, Central Jakarta, is unwelcome in Indonesia after he left the country soon after a picture of the purported visit made the rounds on social media last week.

Jakarta Post - December 30, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – City-owned bus operator Transjakarta has an ambitious plan to expand its electric bus (e-bus) fleet to 10,000 units over the decade as Jakarta, a city with one of the world's worst air pollution, tries to push for cleaner air.

Jakarta Post - December 30, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta Police have named a woman and a man suspects in a leaked celebrity sex tape case for allegedly violating the 2008 Pornography Law amid calls from activists over privacy protection.

The woman, identified only as GA and the man, identified as MYD, were named suspects on Tuesday, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Cmr. Yusri Yunus said.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 30, 2020

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is facing yet another criminal charge with the reopening of an old and controversial pornography case.

Jakarta Globe - December 30, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Adi Marsiela, Jakarta – Indonesia has secured 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the US-based vaccine producer Novavax.

Monsters & Critics - December 30, 2020

John Thomas Didymus – Indonesian singer and actress Gisella "Gisel" Anastasia has been charged under the country's anti-pornography law after a 19-second intimate video of her was leaked online in November.

CNN Indonesia - December 30, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesian military (TNI) service personnel who commit immoral acts with the same sex or homosexuals shall be subject to a maximum sentence of 28 months in prison and dismissal from the service.

Southeast Asia Globe - December 30, 2020

Klas Lundstrom – Fly River, western Papua New Guinea. The chocolate brown water not only bears its colour due to high concentration levels of humus, it is also the result of centuries of floating timber transports and decades of spilled waste from the Ok Tedi mine mill, situated near the river's source.

Jakarta Post - December 30, 2020

Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has warned of another COVID-19 case spike following the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

"Our past experience shows that the [COVID-19] infection rate goes up within 10 to 14 days after holiday periods end.

Jakarta Globe - December 30, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian government announced Wednesday it has included hardline group Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, into the list of proscribed organizations, citing links to terrorism and violent acts against civilians.

December 29, 2020

Jakarta Post - December 29, 2020

Jakarta – As the government has allowed schools to reopen in January, the National Child Protection Commission (KPAI) conducted a survey to learn about the student's point of view on the plan.

The survey, which was conducted earlier this month, involved 62,448 students.

Jakarta Post - December 29, 2020

Jakarta – Orders have started rolling in after the Indonesian government approved the distribution of a COVID-19 detector developed at a local university, the GeNose.

Jakarta Post - December 29, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – While the Health Ministry has been given a fresh start ahead of the New Year with a new leader at its helm, concerns over the efficacy of preordered COVID-19 vaccines and the discovery of a more infectious strain of the coronavirus have put Indonesia's vaccination plan in the spotlight again.

Jakarta Post - December 29, 2020

Jakarta – The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has revealed that cases of violence against journalists had increased to an all-time high in 2020, with most cases related to intimidation tactics.

"We received reports of 84 cases of violence against journalists in 2020," AJI chairman Abdul Manan said in a press conference on Monday as reported by kompas.com.

Jakarta Post - December 29, 2020

Jakarta – The Central Java and Yogyakarta provincial administrations are currently mulling over closing down tourist sites in their areas during the year-end holidays to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Central Java has decided to temporarily close 84 tourist sites in the province during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 29, 2020

It has become evident that the law couldn't move on from what is arguably the Indonesia's biggest sex scandal of the year after the Jakarta Metro Police today named singer/actress Gisella Anastasia a suspect over her alleged leaked sex tape.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 29, 2020

International travelers packed the Soekarno-Hatta Airport yesterday, several viral social media posts have shown, which was said to be the result of last-minute policy changes to international arrivals in Indonesia.

Al Jazeera - December 29, 2020

Randy Mulyanto, Jakarta, Indonesia – Timor-Leste, formerly known as East Timor, has a creaky healthcare system and is one of the poorest countries in Asia, but even as neighbouring Indonesia grapples with one of the worst outbreaks in the region, it has managed to keep the virus at bay.

Jakarta Globe - December 29, 2020

Lenny Tristia Tambun & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian government will distribute coronavirus vaccine to 181 million of the country's 270 million population starting next month, the health minister said Tuesday as newly cases and daily death toll are spiking at an unprecedented rate.

Jakarta Post - December 29, 2020

Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) aims to complete its independent probe into the deaths of six members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) in January.

"We aim to complete the investigation by mid-January and announce the result. We have completed 70 percent of questioning," commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara said on Monday as reported by tempo.co.

Jakarta Post - December 29, 2020

Medan – The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has warned health workers nationwide to remain cautious with regard to the surge in COVID-19 transmission in the nation, as the number of fatalities among medical staff kept increasing.

The Diplomat - December 29, 2020

Tangguh Chairil and Aisha R. Kusumasomantri – In October, news broke about Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel who were dismissed for being a part of the LGBTQ community. As of this writing, TNI had fired and incarcerated 16 service members who were found to be homosexuals with the charge of disobedience to service orders.

CNN Indonesia - December 29, 2020

Jakarta – The secretary general of the Agrarian Land Consortium (KPA), Dewi Kartika, has called in a pledge by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who said during the 2019 presidential election that he would return land over which he has land use rights (HGU) to the state.

December 28, 2020

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – The Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) says 2021 may be a grim year for workers across the archipelago as the multidimensional crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and the Job Creation Law remains in force.

Kompas.com - December 28, 2020

Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Chairperson Abdul Manan says that there were many cases of violence against journalists in 2020.

Manan said that what are referred to as violence against journalists are actions which can be categories as attempts to obstruct journalists from doing their job.

Kompas.com - December 28, 2020

Tsarina Maharani, Jakarta – Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti says that the government's plan to upgrade the activities of the cyber police in 2021 threatens civil freedoms, particularly freedom of expression.

Jakarta Globe - December 28, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Herman, Jakarta – The Indonesian government obliges any foreign visitor to produce a negative coronavirus test result in the country of origin and spend five days in quarantine upon arrival, a spokesperson said Monday.

The new rule also temporarily bans visits by all travelers from the United Kingdom.

Jakarta Globe - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – Pondok Ranggon Public Cemetery, a burial ground in East Jakarta, the city administration reserve for Covid-19 victims, has run out of space for new burials as the capital stayed on course to see the deadliest month since the pandemic began nine months ago.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Recently installed Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has pledged to focus on reviving the pandemic-stricken tourism industry next year.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – Competition in Indonesia's heavy equipment market, which has already been hit hard by depressed mineral prices and investment during the COVID-19 pandemic, will become much fiercer with the entry of more Chinese products.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – The national COVID-19 task force has conducted a study of the risks of COVID-19 mortality based on age and comorbidities.

According to an analysis by a team of experts over the past five months, COVID-19 patients aged 60 and above are 19.5 times more likely to die than those between the ages of 19 and 30.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Novan Iman Santosa, Jakarta – Defense Minister Prabowo reignited an old debate in June when he sent a letter to his Austrian counterpart Klaudia Tanner on the possibilities of buying 15 Eurofighter Typhoon heavy jet fighters from the central European country to modernize the Indonesian Air Force.

Jakarta Globe - December 28, 2020

Dina Manafe, Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Government data reveal on Monday that hospital capacity in seven provinces has reached a critical level amid surging coronavirus cases.

The hospital bed occupancy rate in those provinces has passed 75 percent recently and it could reach capacity after the year-end holiday season when newly transmissions are predicted to soar.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – While most people can't wait to start a new year and leave this tough year behind, an epidemiologist has warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia at the beginning of 2021.

Asia One - December 28, 2020

Military Police have named nine soldiers suspects in a case pertaining to the killing of two Hitadipa villagers in Intan Jaya regency, Papua.

The soldiers are suspected of torturing two civilians identified as Luther Zanambani and Apinus Zanambani to death and burning their bodies to hide their crime, Military Police commander Let. Gen. Dodik Widjanarko said.

Mongabay - December 28, 2020

Hans Nicholas Jong – As global demand for edible oil keeps growing, palm oil has enjoyed unprecedented growth both in consumption and production. Used in everything from chocolate to ice-cream, lipstick to shampoo, palm oil is now the most consumed vegetable oil in the world.

Indonesian Catholic news - December 28, 2020

On Christmas Eve, the body of Catholic seminarian Zhage Sil, was found in a ditch in Jayapura, in the Indonesian province of Papua. According to the local police, the perpetrators of the crime are still unknown.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has allowed bodies of COVID-19 patients to be buried outside of dedicated graveyards.

The coordinator of the Pondok Ranggon COVID-19 public cemetery, Muhaemin, said the new regulation was aimed at addressing a shortage of graves at dedicated cemeteries.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – Experts have urged the government to implement stricter social restrictions to curb COVID-19 transmission as fatality and positivity rates continue to spike.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Indonesia is closing its borders to foreign travelers from all around the world for the first two weeks of 2021, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced on Monday, amid concerns over the discovery of a more infectious SARS-CoV-2 variant first detected in the United Kingdom.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – Hospitals nationwide are being urged to increase their bed capacity in anticipation of a possible COVID-19 case surge following the year-end holidays.

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – National Police (Polri) Traffic Corps head Insp. Gen. Istiono has said there has been a significant decrease in tourists traveling to Bali, following the country's efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission during the year-end holidays.

He said there were 90 percent fewer tourists than during the same period last year.

December 27, 2020

Asia Pacific Report - December 27, 2020

The commander of the Indonesian Army Military Police (Danpuspomad), Lieutenant-General Dodik Widjanarko says TNI AD soldiers in Papua have committed acts of violence, including burning bodies to erase traces of their killing.

Jakarta Post - December 27, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Unlike neighboring Singapore, Indonesia has not detected the new SARS-CoV-2 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom, but that may be due to the country's lack of genomic and molecular monitoring, a minister has said.

CNN Indonesia - December 27, 2020

Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) is urging the Attorney General and the Judge Advocate General to immediately to push for the shooting cases in Intan Jaya, Papua, to be heard in civilian courts.