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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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May 20, 2022

Jakarta Post - May 20, 2022

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Indonesia has acknowledged that Singapore was within its right to bar the entry of Muslim preacher Abdul Somad Batubara earlier this week, a government official has said, after news of the divisive figure being excluded prompted threats of retaliation.

Jakarta Post Editorial - May 20, 2022

Jakarta – The government finally decided on Thursday to revoke the total palm oil export ban which was imposed on April 28 apparently because the draconian measure caused more damages to the economy.

Jakarta Post - May 20, 2022

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Journalists are caught in a maelstrom of proliferating false information on social media and threats to their own safety and their work, showing that freedom of the press remains precarious, especially in the region of Papua, observers say.

Antara News - May 20, 2022

Putu Indah S, Nabil Ihsan – "Every drop of blood shed in the Motherland will never be forgotten; it will be remembered under the red-and-white banner."

Antara News - May 20, 2022

Qadri Pratiwi, Uyu Liman, Jayapura, Papua – The Papuan People's Council (MRP) fully supports the central government's plans to establish new autonomous regions (DOB) of South Papua, Central Highlands Papua, and Central Papua to provide fair, equitable, and inclusive development.

The Guardian - May 20, 2022

Alex Soares with Luke Henriques-Gomes – This week, Timor-Leste celebrates 20 years of independence. On 20 May 2002, the United Nations formally handed power to the new Timorese government and, thus, to its people.

Tabloid JUBI - May 20, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi TV – The Papuan Customary Council of the IV Great Conference of Indigenous Papuans assessed that the government should impose restrictions on migration to the Papua land. Such restrictions can be stated in regional regulations, said Secretary-General of the Papuan Customary Council Leonard Imbiri on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Straits Times - May 20, 2022

Dili (Reuters) – Timor-Leste's independence figure and Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta was inaugurated as the country's fifth president on Friday (May 20), pledging to dedicate his time in office to strengthen national unity and forge closer relations with China.

CNN Indonesia - May 20, 2022

Jakarta – Papua Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Emanuel Gobay says that demonstrations or protest actions are regulated under Law Number 9/1998 on the Freedom to Convey an Opinion. This includes also, he added, the recent demonstrations criticising plans to create new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua.

New Mandala - May 20, 2022

Lisa Palmer – Timor-Leste turns 20 on the 20th of May 2022. It has a freshly minted new (and former) president, Dr Jose Ramos Horta who will be sworn into power on the same day. Fresh parliamentary elections await a date to be fixed sometime over the next 12 months.

May 19, 2022

Jakarta Globe - May 19, 2022

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The topic of gender equality in Indonesia took the center stage of the recent Inspiring Women 2022 conference hosted by Berita Satu Media Holdings.

Jakarta Globe - May 19, 2022

Jakarta – The government has decided to lift the ban on cooking oil exports on May 23, as cooking oil supply in the domestic market improved, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced on Thursday.

Antara News - May 19, 2022

Anita Permata, Raka Adji, Jakarta – The number of Indonesian citizens who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has reached 166.49 million as of Thursday, according to the Ministry of Health.

Al Jazeera - May 19, 2022

Randy Mulyanto and Sophie Raynor, Jakarta, Indonesia – East Timor's president-elect won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his efforts to liberate his country, but Jose Ramos-Horta may find charting a sustainable path for one of the world's most oil-dependent nations to be his toughest challenge yet.

Agence France-Presse - May 19, 2022
Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta was inaugurated as East Timor's president on Friday, pledging to break a longstanding political deadlock in Southeast Asia's youngest country as it celebrated its 20th independence anniversary.

The former Portuguese colony, which became independent from Indonesia in 2002 after 24 years of occupation, marked the occasion with a concert and fireworks for

Agence France-Presse - May 19, 2022

Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara – Rescuers were battling to free a ferry with more than 800 passengers Wednesday after it ran aground in shallow waters off the coast of the country's southernmost province, a local official said.

Antara News - May 19, 2022

M Zulfikar, Fadhli Ruhman, Jakarta – The resolution of cases involving gross human rights violations from the past relies on political will, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Ahmad Taufan Damanik has said.

"I believe that what is most crucial is the political will of a president," he noted here on Thursday.

Associated Press - May 19, 2022

Dili – Former Timor-Leste independence fighter and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta was to be sworn in as the president of Asia's youngest country on Thursday night as it marks its 20th anniversary of independence.

UCA News - May 19, 2022

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A 100-year-old Portuguese Jesuit priest who has spent more than half his life working in Timor-Leste has been awarded the country's highest honor.

Father Joao Felgueiras, who turns 101 next month, was one of several people to be awarded the Order of Timor-Leste by President Francisco Guterres on May 18.

CNN Indonesia - May 19, 2022

Jakarta – The United Indonesia Coalition, which is made up of the Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the United Development Party (PPP) claims that it will continue the development of the President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo era in the next period.

Jakarta Post - May 19, 2022

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The alert level for North Sumatra's Mount Sinabung has been lowered from siaga (watch), or level three of the country's four-tiered alert system, to level two, waspada (advisory). The volcano had been on level three for three years.

Eurasia Review - May 19, 2022

Perennial flooding in Jakarta caused by climate change, heavy rainfall and ongoing groundwater extraction uproots lives and disrupts communities – most recently in December when the city's rivers last swelled. Some areas in the sprawling metropolis of 10.5 million people are sinking at a rate of close to eight inches a year.

The Interpreter - May 19, 2022

Parker Novak – This week, Timor-Leste will celebrate its 20th anniversary as an independent nation and inaugurate Jose Ramos-Horta as its new president. Since re-gaining independence in 2002, the world's third-youngest nation has built a functioning state and vibrant democracy from near-scratch amid trials and tribulations that would challenge any nation.

Kompas.com - May 19, 2022

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – Resolving gross human rights violations through non-judicial channels or outside of the courts will perpetuate impunity and legal immunity for the perpetrators.

May 18, 2022

Jakarta Post Editorial - May 18, 2022

Jakarta – In the past few weeks, health authorities have been puzzled by a mysterious strain of hepatitis popping up among children in several parts of the country since the first suspected cases were detected late last month in Jakarta.

Channel News Asia - May 18, 2022

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Tourism operators in Indonesia's tourism-dependent islands of Bali, Batam and Bintan said they welcome the government's decision to lift the COVID-19 test requirement for inbound travellers who have been fully vaccinated.

CNN Indonesia - May 18, 2022

Jakarta – The University of Indonesia Student Executive Council (BEM UI) believes that the state has been acting repressively against indigenous Papuans protesting against the creation of new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua.

ABC News - May 18, 2022

Elizabeth Byrne – Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery has asked to be allowed to call for more evidence from two former presidents of East Timor to support his case as a judge orders a trial date must be set.

Tempo - May 18, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – Minister of Investment and Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia ensured that the government would ban the export of bauxite and tin this year. The policy was decided as part of the government's effort to develop the domestic downstream mineral industry and raise the added value of mining commodities.

Jakarta Globe - May 18, 2022

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia on Wednesday reported that it had identified 14 suspected cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin, thirteen of which were still waiting for their test results before being classified as a probable case.

Reuters - May 18, 2022

Jakarta – Members of a cohort of suspected extremists arrested in Indonesia at the weekend had made pledges of loyalty to Islamic State via an instant messaging application, the national police said on Tuesday.

Antara News - May 18, 2022

Muhammad Zulfikar, Suharto, Jakarta – A Home Affairs Ministry's official clarified that Indonesians holding a foreign passport did not mean that they automatically lose Indonesia's nationality.

Kompas.com - May 18, 2022

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – Institute for Public Research and Advocacy (Elsam) Advocacy Manager Busyrol Fuad suggests there is a paradox within the government over agrarian policies.

The statement was made in response to the arrest of 40 members of the Prosperous Earth Crusaders Farmers Association (PPPBS) in Malin Deman sub-district, Mukomuko regency, Bengkulu province.

Tempo - May 18, 2022

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated that there is no significant increase in COVID-19 cases after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. But referring to last year's experience, Budi said signs of a surge in cases usually emerge 27 to 34 days after the long holiday.

Jakarta Globe - May 18, 2022

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesian Muslim cleric Abdul Somad Batubara has been refused entry to Singapore with the country pointing to his extremist belief.

"Somad has been known to preach extremist and segregationist teachings, which are unacceptable in Singapore's multi-racial and multi-religious society," the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement late Tuesday.

Antara News - May 18, 2022

Rangga P A J, Fadhli Ruhman, Jakarta – Access to safe drinking water in Indonesia currently only reaches 11 percent, Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin stated during the Sanitation and Water for All's (SWA) 2022 Sector Ministers' Meeting (SMM) here on Wednesday.

UCA News - May 18, 2022

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The Timor-Leste government and the bishops' conference have renewed a cooperation agreement that extends a concordat stipulation between the Catholic majority country and the Vatican, which provides millions of dollars in funds to assist the Church's services.

Jakarta Globe - May 18, 2022

Triyan Pangastuti, Jakarta – The Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia is optimistic that Tesla will realize an investment in Indonesia after the company's chief executive officer Elon Musk's met with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo last week.

Tempo - May 18, 2022

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from Australia's Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, assessed that President Jokowi's policy that allows people to take off face masks in open spaces was issued in haste. The removal of the mask mandate, he opined, should only be announced when the booster vaccination coverage is high enough.

May 17, 2022

Reuters - May 17, 2022

Gayatri Suroyo and Stefanno Sulaiman, Jakarta – Indonesia's trade surplus jumped to its largest ever at $7.56 billion in April, as exports rose to a record high while imports grew slower than expected, data from the statistics bureau showed on Tuesday.

UCA News - May 17, 2022

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Just days before the scheduled inauguration of President-elect Jose Ramos-Horta on May 20, Timor-Leste's parliament passed a bill establishing the president's responsibilities, along with criminal threats, to the country's constitution.

Tempo - May 17, 2022

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas on Tuesday denied allegations claiming that the hajj funds collected from pilgrims are used to finance the construction of the New Capital City of Nusantara (IKN). He insisted that the Ministry never diverted hajj funds to other projects.

Kompas.com - May 17, 2022

Fitria Chusna Farisa, Jakarta – Indikator Politik Indonesia researcher Bawono Kumoro says that there is a good possibility that three presidential and vice presidential candidate tickets will emerge in the 2024 presidential elections.

Reuters - May 17, 2022

Bernadette Christina and Fransiska Nangoy – Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil exporter, has since April 28 halted shipments of the edible oil in a bid to flood the domestic market with supplies to control the soaring prices of cooking oil.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 17, 2022

If you did the crime, you can't suddenly wear a hijab or a kopiah to save yourself from doing the time, as Indonesia's attorney general is set to enforce new dress codes preventing defendants from donning religious garb during their trial just to score sympathy points.

Jakarta Globe - May 17, 2022

Lona Olavia, Jakarta – The government has decided to relax the mask requirement in open places with no crowds and drop the testing rule for domestic and foreign travelers, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo Tuesday announced on Tuesday, marking the country's significant improvement in Covid-19 pandemic handling.

Reuters - May 17, 2022

Jakarta – Hundreds of smallholder farmers on Tuesday staged a protest in the capital Jakarta and in other parts of the world's fourth most populous country, demanding the government end a palm oil export ban that has slashed their income.

Independent Australia - May 17, 2022

Hannah Thomas – If the 96% of people who want a federal ICAC with teeth get their way after the Election, it's difficult to imagine an institution with a bigger backlog of work from its very inception. From sports rorts to car park rorts, from the Leppington triangle purchase to the Paladin contract – a federal ICAC will have an overflowing pile of cases to investigate.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 17, 2022

A woman in the Cianjur regency of West Java was reportedly banished from her village after her neighbors found out about her polyandrous marriage with two men.

Jakarta Globe - May 17, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia's famous Muslim cleric Abdul Somad was denied entry at a Singapore port as he arrived with his family for a vacation from nearby Batam Island on Monday.

Somad said Singaporean authorities didn't provide any specific reason why he was refused entry.