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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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December 2, 2020

The Drive - December 2, 2020

Thomas Newdick – It's a previously unknown story of an unusual, and dramatic, aerial encounter in a little-known conflict.

Jakarta Globe - December 2, 2020

Yeremia Sukoyo, Farouk Arnaz, Jakarta – Jemaah Islamiyah, or JI, a terrorist group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombing, has deployed charity boxes at minimarkets in several regions throughout Indonesia to trick the unsuspecting shoppers into giving money that would fund the group's terror activities, the police said on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has detained two more suspects for allegedly accepting bribes pertaining to the procurement of a backbone coastal surveillance system at the Maritime Security Board (Bakamla).

The two suspects detained were Bakamla's procurement service unit head, Leni Marlena, and a coordinator from the same unit, Juli Amar Ma'ruf.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Tourism has yet to recover from the pandemic-induced slump, with foreign tourist arrivals and hotel occupancy rate remaining below normal levels, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data have shown.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Djemi Amnifu, Kupang – More than 5,500 people have reportedly fled to evacuation shelters in Lewoleba city in Lembata regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), after Mount Ili Lewotolok experienced a series of eruptions over the weekend.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has instructed his ministers to ensure that the government's 2021 social aid budget is spent "as soon as possible" to stimulate domestic consumption during the global health crisis, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - December 2, 2020

Jakarta – The government has decided to reduce the number of collective leave days for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, including a substitute for Idul Fitri leave.

December 1, 2020

ABC News - December 1, 2020

Naseem Radmehr – West Papuan separatists say they will form a new provisional government for the region and reject Indonesia's rule, in a significant escalation of a decades-long battle over independence.

SBS News - December 1, 2020

The ULMWP says the fledgling provisional government is supported by all of West Papua's liberation groups.

Up to 70 per cent of West Papuans have signed a petition rejecting Jakarta's attempt to extend funding for so-called Special Autonomy provisions that were first introduced to the provinces in 2001.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Indonesia must carry out "thorough, independent and impartial" investigations into a string of violent incidents in its easternmost provinces, a spokeswoman for the United Nations' human rights office has said.

The Guardian - December 1, 2020

Ben Doherty – West Papuan leaders have declared a provisional "government-in-waiting" of the contested Indonesian province, as the United Nations said it was "disturbed by escalating violence" there, including the killing of a child allegedly by security forces.

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Media Release - December 1, 2020

The Australia West Papua Association thanks the Inner West Council in Sydney for supporting the raising of the West Papuan National Flag on its Leichhardt Town Hall today, 1st December (to commemorate the first official flying of the Morning Star flag on the 1st December in 1961).

Radio New Zealand - December 1, 2020

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has announced it is forming a 'Provisional Government' of West Papua.

The Movement is hoping to achieve a self-determination referendum in West Papua and independence from Indonesia.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Jakarta – The national COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito has admitted that there are data discrepancies between the central government and regional administrations, and the central government is synchronizing the data.

Asia Pacific Report - December 1, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – Academics, journalists and students today raised the West Papuan flag – an act banned in Indonesia and punishable by up to 15 years in jail – at a Pacific Media Centre-hosted symposium in Auckland today.

New Mandala - December 1, 2020

Idhamsyah Eka Putra and Yesaya Sandang – In his article published on 27 September 2020, Greg Fealy wrote with concern about Joko Widodo's (Jokowi) "systematic campaign of repression against Islamists", especially towards those who are described as "extremists" and "radicalists". Fealy argued that such a campaign may be welcomed by Indonesia's western partners, such as Australia.

Reuters - December 1, 2020

Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Jakarta – Hundreds of Papuans held rallies across at least eight cities in Indonesia on Tuesday to renew calls for independence, as a separatist group declared it had established a provisional government in exile.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Tebing Tinggi, North Sumatra – A swell of water 2 meters deep flooded thousands of houses in Tebing Tinggi city, North Sumatra over the weekend, blocking the roads connecting up to three regencies and cities in the area.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government expects to spend around 95 percent of the total COVID-19 stimulus budget by year-end, less than the initial target, as it struggles to ramp up state spending to support an economy still badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Bandung – The West Java provincial administration is mulling over the possibility of requiring voters to take a swab test prior to casting their ballots at the polls during the simultaneous regional elections on Dec. 9.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – State-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam's US$2 billion flagship coal gasification project has been added to the national strategic projects list as the government continues to pursue the development of a downstream mining industry.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – Poor internet connection and lack of digital device accessibility are still impeding distance learning as the pandemic continues.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has tested positive for COVID-19 days after his deputy, Ahmad Riza Patria, was found to have the illness.

"This should serve as a warning that anyone can contract COVID-19, so we need to remain cautious," Anies said on Tuesday.

Jakarta Globe - December 1, 2020

Jakarta – Monash University, one of the highest-ranked universities in Australia, has acquired a license from the Education and Culture Ministry and plans to open Indonesia's first international, foreign-owned university in Green Office Park 9, BSD City in the outskirts of Jakarta next year.

Tempo - December 1, 2020

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – The Jakarta Tanah Abang Police precinct on Tuesday announced that it has mobilized a number of its personnel to investigate a video, that went viral on social media, showing a person reciting the azan [call to prayer] containing calls for jihad.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Jakarta – Beds for COVID-19 patients at hospitals in Yogyakarta, one of the country's top tourist and education destinations, had reached almost full capacity on Monday following a continuous increase in confirmed cases over the past few weeks.

The province saw its daily average surge to 70 new cases in November compared to a daily average of 38 new cases in October.

Jakarta Post - December 1, 2020

Ardila Syakriah and Rizal Harahap, Jakarta – The governors of Jakarta and Riau, Anies Baswedan and Syamsuar, respectively, have become the latest additions to the long list of government officials who have tested positive for COVID-19, at a time when cases and hospitalizations continue to soar in the country.

Tirto.id - December 1, 2020

Adi Briantika – Police have arrested 15 demonstrators from the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) during a protest action at the Bamboo Monument in Sinjai, South Sulawesi.

Tirto.id - December 1, 2020

Adi Briantika – Natan Weya, a Papuan student from the Pattimura University (Unpatti), has confirmed that joint units of police and Indonesian military (TNI) officers along with local people besieged their dormitory on the evening of Tuesday December 1.

CNN Indonesia - December 1, 2020

Jakarta – Scores of Papuans held a protest action in front of the Arjuna Wiwaha (Horse) statue on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta on Tuesday December 1. The action coincided with the day which is often linked to the commemoration of Papuan independence, December 1.

Tempo - December 1, 2020

Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, demanded all officials to no longer allow people to gather in large numbers. This followed the significant hike in positive cases of COVID-19 in Jakarta and Bali after the long weekend in October's end.

Tempo - December 1, 2020

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) asked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to postpone the enactment of the Presidential Regulation Draft on the military or TNI task in countering terrorism acts.

Tempo - December 1, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Dozens of people on Tuesday, Dec 1, had gathered in the capital city's landmark Monas (National Monument) in Central Jakarta to commemorate the anniversary of the Free Papua Organization (OPM), which is considered by the government as a separatist group.This rally – that is heavily guarded by security personnel – reportedly comprises people from numerous pro-

Jakarta Globe - December 1, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The surge in newly coronavirus cases has extended the run of record-breaking seven-day average for the ninth day in a row on Tuesday, after hitting the 5,000 mark for the first time since the outbreak two days ago.

November 30, 2020

Bloomberg News - November 30, 2020

Arys Aditya – The Indonesian Medical Association of doctors is urging the government to shorten or scrap the year-end holiday entirely to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

More than 180 doctors have died in the pandemic so far and health workers are suffering heavy fatigue and exhaustion from work, Chairman Daeng M Faqih said in a briefing on Monday.

Radio New Zealand - November 30, 2020

Indonesian police have arrested 36 people in two West Papuan cities for demonstrations to support a pro-independence movement.

The Asia Pacific Report reported the demonstrations in Manokwari and Sorong were commemorating the anniversary of the West Papua New Guinea National Congress at the weekend.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 30, 2020

James Massola and Karuni Rompies – The brutal murder of four Christians in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi was inspired by the Islamic State, but not ordered by it, according to one of the world's foremost experts on the terror group.

Jakarta Post - November 30, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – The Jakarta administration is planning to alter the route of its first light rail transit (LRT) corridor, as city councilors, who were left out of the discussions, raise concerns that the decision was too hasty.

Jakarta Globe - November 30, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia has gone through nine months of desperate attempts to contain the spread of coronavirus with no immediate signs that it will ultimately flatten the curve.

Jakarta Post - November 30, 2020

Markus Makur, East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara – Maria Sedis was picking ripe chilies grown on a plot of land belonging to Santo Robertus Bellarminus Tilir Parish in the East Manggarai regency of East Nusa Tenggara.

Her friends, Fantiana Jemina and Kristiana Anu from Kampung Tilir were helping her harvest the popular ingredient to sell in the neighborhood.

Jakarta Post - November 30, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Deputy governor Ahmad Riza Patria has tested positive for COVID-19, raising concerns over the health and safety of other officials of the Jakarta administration who had been in direct contact with him, including Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

Coconuts Jakarta - November 30, 2020

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab continues to attract controversy since his return to Indonesia, with reports alleging that he escaped from the hospital amid a messy COVID-19 test drama.

Media Statement - November 30, 2020

Bangkok/Geneva – We are disturbed by escalating violence over the past weeks and months in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua and the increased risk of renewed tension and violence.

Tempo - November 30, 2020

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) researcher Tama Langkun on Monday said the alleged corruption committed by former Maritime and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo was a huge blow to President Joko Widodo or Jokowi.

Tempo - November 30, 2020

Swa.Co.Id, Jakarta – A member of University of Indonesia (UI) business and economy chairperson-cum-expert of the COVID-19 mitigation team on behavior changes, Turro Wongkaren, said Indonesians were not truly abiding by the government's health protocols.

He argued that this might stem from the sets of protocol that were not personally-related with society itself.

Tempo - November 30, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – Several sea tourist destinations in Bintan Regency of Riau Islands were polluted by oil waste, including ones in Madu Tiga Beach and Resort areas.

Jakarta Post - November 30, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has once again reminded the public of the risks of COVID-19 infection, after the national active case rate reached 13.41 percent, up by nearly 1 percentage point from last week.

Jakarta Post - November 30, 2020

Jakarta – Although the central government has given regional administrations the option to reopen schools in 2021, a recent study by the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has found that 83 percent of schools are not prepared for in-person teaching.

Jakarta Post - November 30, 2020

Jakarta – Brebes Regent Idza Priyanti's entourage, which accompanied her to several areas of East Java from Nov. 7 to Nov. 10, has contributed at least 36 new COVID-19 cases to the region.

Idza was accompanied by a number of administration officials on a visit to Malang, East Java, and the nearby Mt. Bromo by bus.

Jakarta Post - November 30, 2020

Djemi Amnifu and Nina Loasana, Kupang – The eruption of Mount Ili Lewotolok in Lembata regency, East Nusa Tenggara, on Sunday morning has forced 4,628 residents out of their homes, according to the Lembata Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD).