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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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December 4, 2020

CNN Indonesia - December 4, 2020

Jakarta – The Presidential Staff Office says it regrets the raising of the Morning Star flag – which is identified with Papuan independence – at the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI) in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday December 1.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 4, 2020

Indonesia's National Police have arrested a man believed to be behind one of the hugely controversial viral videos showing the Islamic sacred adhan (call to prayer) being modified to include a war cry.

Kompas.com - December 4, 2020

Ardito Ramadhan, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has revealed that around 45 percent or 665 candidates running in the December 7 election of regional heads are businesspeople or have a background in the private sector.This total is in addition to incumbent regional heads running in the election that also have business backgrounds.

Sydney Morning Herald - December 4, 2020

Aja Styles – The Australian Indonesian Business Council has written to Murdoch University's vice chancellor calling for the reconsideration of a decision to axe its Indonesian language studies, as the course was "crucial to the future prosperity of Western Australia".

Nikkei Asia - December 4, 2020

Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia – Graffiti as a bona fide art form in Indonesia can be traced to the early 1990s when hip-hop, break dancing and elements of the urban American protest movement were assimilated by local youth.

The Interpreter - December 4, 2020

Johannes Nugroho – Indonesia's new Omnibus Law has attracted a great deal of commentary. As a piece of legislation meant to make investing in the country easier, its provisions, including changes to labour rights and environmental protection, were controversial enough to spark mass protests.

The Conversation - December 4, 2020

Herlambang P Wiratraman – The pandemic has justified governments around the world restricting certain rights. These include the imposition of quarantine or isolation, which limits freedom of movement, and intrusions on privacy in the name of "contact tracing".

Reuters - December 4, 2020

Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Stanley Widianto, Jakarta – Dr Sardjono Utomo, a senior Indonesian doctor, admitted himself to his local hospital in East Java late Tuesday afternoon.

The Diplomat - December 4, 2020

Bilveer Singh – On November 10, the firebrand Islamic preacher Rizieq Shihab returned to Indonesia from exile in Saudi Arabia to a hero's welcome. Rizieq has long been a fixture of Islamist politics in Indonesia.

Indonesia Expat - December 4, 2020

Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has summoned the British Ambassador in Jakarta, Owen Jenkins, regarding the declaration of an independent Papua on 1stDecember 2020 that was echoed by the Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda.

Tempo - December 4, 2020

Andita Rahma, Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – The National Police (Polri) on Friday said it would continue to uphold Indonesia's anti-cannabis law despite the World Health Organization (WHO)'s recommendations to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as they acknowledged the drug's medical tactility.

Jakarta Post - December 4, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the University of Indonesia (UI) have joined the national team for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The two organizations are now allowed to research COVID-19 candidate vaccines to help the country develop and produce one in the future – to be called the Merah Putih vaccine.

Jakarta Post - December 4, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government is considering several ways to collect the Rp 773.8 billion (US$54.86 million) loan made by oil and gas company Lapindo Brantas Inc. and subsidiary PT Minarak Lapindo Jaya in the aftermath of the 2006 mudflow disaster in Sidoarjo, East Java.

Jakarta Post - December 4, 2020

Jakarta – Amid the government's robust campaign on the coronavirus health protocols, a survey conducted between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1 indicated a declining trend in the public compliance rate with the face mask and physical distancing policies.

Agence France-Presse - December 4, 2020

Lucie Godeau, Jakarta – Every year, pounding rains wash away mountains of plastic waste from the streets of Jakarta, with some of it ending up as far away as Bali's beaches. So scientists are turning to satellites to trace the rubbish and figure out how to tackle the problem.

Indonesia allows more waste to enter the ocean than any other country apart from China.

Jakarta Globe - December 4, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Daily death toll in the Indonesian coronavirus outbreak has exceeded 100 in the last 13 days, the longest run since the outbreak began as newly confirmed cases continue to surge.

The country reported 124 more Covid deaths on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 17,479. The previous record was a span of 12 days from Sept. 14 through 25.

Jakarta Globe - December 4, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – British alcoholic beverage company Diageo focuses on responsible drinking campaigns while the House of Representatives weighs in on deliberating the alcohol ban.

CNN Indonesia - December 4, 2020

Jakarta – The fissure in relations between the West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) began to sharpen in 2017.

December 3, 2020

Radio New Zealand - December 3, 2020

Indonesia has been urged by the United Nations to engage with West Papuans in an inclusive dialogue to address long-standing grievances.

The UN Human Rights Office says it is disturbed by escalating violence and increased arrests of people for simply exercising their basic rights in the Indonesia-ruled Papua region.

Mongabay - December 3, 2020

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Paying villages in Indonesia to ensure they don't burn their land for farming appears to have little to no effect on reducing fires, researchers have found.

TTG Asia - December 3, 2020

Kurniawan Ulung – Jakarta has seen a decline in hotels' support for the government-initiated quarantine programme intended to accommodate Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms, following public backlash from fears of virus spread.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 3, 2020

The General Election Commission (KPU) says it will fulfill the rights of all to vote – including COVID-19 patients – with the highly controversial Dec. 9 regional elections fast approaching.

On Dec. 9, Indonesia is set to hold simultaneous regional elections in which nine provinces, 37 cities, and 224 regencies will be going to the polls.

Jakarta Post - December 3, 2020

Jakarta – Amid the significant spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has threatened regional administrations with a "stern warning" if the rise in infections continued unabated.

Jakarta Post - December 3, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Indonesia reported on Thursday afternoon the highest daily COVID-19 surge the country has yet seen with 8,369 new cases, shattering all previous single-day records by a few thousand.

The latest spike brings the total nationwide tally to 557,877 confirmed cases, 17,355 of which have ended deadly, while 462,553 patients have recovered.

Jakarta Post - December 3, 2020

Jakarta – Indramayu, Purwakarta, Karawang, West Bandung, Bandung city and Banjar, all in West Java, have been categorized as COVID-19 high-risk red zones since Nov. 23.

Meanwhile, 19 areas in the province have been classified as at medium risk of COVID-19 infection, or orange zones.

Jakarta Globe - December 3, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia set a new record in daily number of coronavirus cases on Thursday amid a dramatic single-day surge in West Java and Papua.

Antara News - December 3, 2020

Imam B, Rahmad Nasution, Jakarta – Responding to the recent developments in Papua and West Papua, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR), Azis Syamsuddin, has urged the government, military, and police to maintain state authority and safety in the region.

Tempo - December 3, 2020

Lani Diana Wijaya, Jakarta – Jakarta provincial government recorded a total of 9,085 burials based on the COVID-19 protocol from March 4 until December 2, 2020.

The city's official page corona.jakarta.go.id noted the rise in the funeral trend since the end of March 2020. The rate fluctuated from June until mid-August and jumped again from August's end until September.

Jakarta Globe - December 3, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo claimed Thursday government response in the coronavirus pandemic has produced results as the country beats the global average in terms of recovery rate and the proportion of active cases, despite recent record-breaking daily numbers of newly cases.

CNN Indonesia - December 3, 2020

Jakarta – Environmental organisation Greenpeace says that corporations in the palm oil sector have begun to venture into forests in Papua in concert with diminishing land availability in Kalimantan and Sumatra.

CNN Indonesia - December 3, 2020

Jakarta – On December 1, United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Chairperson Benny Wenda declared Papuan independence. He did not make the declaration on Papuan soil but rather through a press release on the ULMWP's official website.

ULMWP Press Release - December 3, 2020

Following the announcement of the Provisional Government of West Papua on Tuesday, the new interim President, Benny Wenda, has said he is ready to sit down with President Jowoki and discuss a solution to the conflict, amidst massive controversy in Indonesia regarding the announcement.

December 2, 2020

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Jakarta – Men, women, rich or poor, COVID-19 can infect anyone and without prejudice.

It has been over eight months since President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced the first COVID-19 cases in Indonesia in March.

Since then, the number of cases continues to increase and the disease has also infected numbers of high-ranking central and regional government officials.

CNN Indonesia - December 2, 2020

Surabaya – Protesters from the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) held a demonstration commemorating the declaration of West Papuan independence at the Negara Grahadi building in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on Tuesday December 1.

The Conversation - December 2, 2020

I Nyoman Sutarsa, I Md Ady Wirawan and Putu Ayu Swandewi Astuti – After nine months of constant battles with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems Indonesia, Southeast Asia's most populous country, is losing.

Since Indonesia declared its first cases in March, the pandemic has continued unabated.

The Guardian - December 2, 2020

Christopher Knaus – The Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery has won a prestigious British free speech prize for his efforts exposing a secret Australian operation to bug Timor-Leste's fledgling government during sensitive oil and gas negotiations.

Asia Pacific Report - December 2, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – West Papuan leaders have begun forming a "provisional government" in defiance of a crackdown by Indonesian security forces and have pledged that the Melanesian region will establish the world's first "green state".

Coconuts Jakarta - December 2, 2020

Free internet at a public facility is basically a crowd magnet in Indonesia, and officials in Jakarta may have just realized that they've shot themselves in the foot by providing free Wi-Fi at all TransJakarta bus stops despite the ongoing pandemic.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 2, 2020

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab has come forward to address his recent controversies, during which he apologized for being irresponsible during the pandemic while also calling on the public to be responsible.

Kompas.com - December 2, 2020

Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia says that the police committed acts of violence when securing the protest actions against the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation in October and November.

Tempo - December 2, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that a group of trespassers had entered the Indonesian Consulate General in Melbourne, Australia, to hoist the Free Papua Movement (OPM) morning star (Bintang Kejora) flag.

This incident was captured in the consulate general's CCTV footage that was shared by Twitter user @Tbuch2.

Tempo - December 2, 2020

Andita Rahma, Jakarta - The Indonesian National Police (Polri) on Wednesday has officially considered the declaration of West Papua's provisional government by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as a form of provocation and propaganda.

Antara News - December 2, 2020

Abdu F, Rahmad Nasution, Jakarta – Hikmahanto Juwana, professor of international law at the University of Indonesia, has urged the Indonesian government to ignore Papuan separatist leader Benny Wenda's maneuvers, including his declaration of a so-called "interim government" in West Papua.

Antara News - December 2, 2020

Imam Budilaksono/Suharto, Jakarta – Deputy House Speaker Azis Syamsuddin urged Indonesia's government to act sternly and promptly against the claim of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) that declared a West Papua provisional government on Dec 1.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Jakarta – In light of the rising COVID-19 hospitalizations in South Tangerang, Banten, Mayor Airin Rachmi Diany is looking at providing hotel rooms for self-isolating asymptomatic carriers.

On Monday, the South Tangerang COVID-19 task force reported 19 new patients, bringing the total of people receiving hospital treatment to 331.

Tempo - December 2, 2020

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – A small group of Petamburan residents on Wednesday had reportedly blocked the arrival of police personnel from the Jakarta Police that intended to summons Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab for questioning.

Arah Juang - December 2, 2020

Protest actions took place in several cities around Indonesia on December 1 including in Jakarta, Yogyakarta (Central Java), Ternate (North Maluku) and Sinjai (South Sulawesi). The actions were launched to commemorate West Papua Independence Day.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Suspected cases and close contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases, especially those without symptoms, are left to their own means to find out their infection status as the government still lacks the ability to provide testing in many parts of the country.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Jakarta – Families across the country, especially younger ones, are still working hard to provide adequate nutrition and attention for their children, which are necessary to ensure proper early childhood development.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Jakarta – Reopening schools will lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI) has stated.