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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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April 8, 2021

Reuters - April 8, 2021

Stanley Widianto, Jakarta – Indonesia is in talks with China on getting as many as 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to plug a gap in deliveries after delays in the arrivals of AstraZeneca shots, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Wednesday.

Associated Press - April 8, 2021

Ricko Wawo and Niniek Karmini, Lembata, Indonesia – Two Indonesian navy ships have arrived with aid and medical equipment in the east of the country, as the death toll from mudslides rose to 140 and rain continued to pound the region and hamper the search.

More than 70 people were listed as missing on Thursday.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 8, 2021

With Ramadan just a few days away, we have established by now that getting a COVID-19 shot does not break one's fast, but what about getting cotton swabs shoved up your nose and down your throat?

That's all halal and does not invalidate the fast, according to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the highest clerical body in the nation.

Tempo - April 8, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – A total of 9,187,757 people in Indonesia have received their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday, an increase of 212,391 compared to the day before, according to the government's COVID-19 task force.

The Guardian - April 8, 2021

Naaman Zhou – Monash University in Melbourne has signed a formal agreement with the Indonesian government to strengthen ties between the two countries as Australian universities try to diversify from their reliance on China.

Tabloid JUBI - April 8, 2021

Benny Mawel, Jayapura – The police dispersed a rally where state Cenderawasih University (Uncen) students protested against PT Freeport Indonesia on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, demanding the mining company to cease operations.

Tempo - April 8, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Director General of Land Transportation of the Transportation Ministry Budi Setiyadi said his side will block the road access in 333 points during the enforcement of the ban on Eid homecoming. The government is determined to bar mass exodus during the Eid al-Fitr holidays from May 6 to 17, 2021.

Jakarta Globe - April 8, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia and the United Kingdom have agreed to improve trade and investment cooperation to boost economic recovery while strengthening initiatives in counterterrorism and efforts to ensure stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Straits Times - April 8, 2021

Jakarta – A lavish wedding of one of Indonesia's biggest YouTube stars, Atta Halilintar, costing 100 billion rupiah (S$9.2 million), has courted controversy, with questions raised on why President Joko Widodo attended the event amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has curbed many public functions.

Indonesia at Melbourne - April 8, 2021

Lies Marcoes – Last week, an Indonesian woman opened fire at police at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta. The woman, who was apparently inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), was shot dead after she fired six times at police. This incident came just days after a husband and wife launched a suicide attack on a church in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 8, 2021

Indonesia's Health Ministry said Jakarta has a fresh case involving a new strain of the coronavirus, which has a name that resembles an Indonesian word for poo.

Amnesty International - April 8, 2021

Many health workers did not have access to adequate personal protective equipment or COVID-19 tests. The right to freedom of expression was curtailed with the issuance of a directive by the National Police criminalizing criticism of the government's response to the pandemic.

Tempo - April 8, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto in Wednesday's press conference strongly urged businesses to pay the Eid allowances, or locally known as THR – a religious holiday allowance – to their workers.

Agence France-Presse - April 8, 2021

Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara – Two Indonesian Navy ships packed with aid arrived Thursday in a cyclone-ravaged section of the archipelago, as the disaster's death toll rose to nearly 180 people, including dozens killed in neighbouring East Timor.

April 7, 2021

Tempo - April 7, 2021

Jakarta – Without accountability, the police will lose public trust. People will suspect that the war on terror is being used to distract attention from other issues.

Agence France-Presse - April 7, 2021

Pedro Naolo, Adonara, East Nusa Tenggara – Homeless, injured, and with his daughter dead, Sugeng stares blankly as he comes to grips with the devastation left by floods and landslides on East Nusa Tenggara's Adonara island.

The 60-year-old was asleep with his family on Sunday night as torrential rain battered the community at the eastern end of the vast archipelago nation.

Jakarta Post - April 7, 2021

Nina A. Loasana – The human rights situation in Indonesia deteriorated in 2020 as the government failed to stop rampant unlawful killings in the Papua region and critical voices continued to be stifled by a draconian anti-defamation law, Amnesty International Indonesia found in its latest annual report.

Coconuts Bali - April 7, 2021

With Indonesia set to ban the annual homecoming exodus tradition next month, officials in Bali say the province will step up security measures at various ports of entry, ready to turn away travelers who defy the restrictions.

Jakarta Globe - April 7, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Today, the Indonesian young generation stands to benefit from its rapid growth and capital market development that present ample investment returns in the next few decades, Tourism and Creative Economic Minister Sandiaga Uno said on Wednesday.

Bloomberg - April 7, 2021

Arys Aditya and Haslinda Amin – President Joko Widodo has set a $200 billion goal for Indonesia's new wealth fund in the next two to three years, aiming to fund his push for the resource-driven economy to rise up the value chain.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 7, 2021

Jakarta is today starting a trial reopening of 85 schools ahead of a nationwide resumption of face-to-face learning in July.

CNN Indonesia - April 7, 2021

Jakarta – Amnesty International's annual report has found that the human rights situation in Indonesia worsened in 2020. Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid highlighted the issue of impunity which continues to haunt Papua and West Papua provinces.

Tempo - April 7, 2021

Friski Riana, Jakarta – Latest study of human rights group Setara Institute revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic creates fertile ground for discrimination and intolerance. The institute's research director Halili said that there are 180 cases of violations of the freedom of religion and worship (KBB) with 422 acts of violation.

Tempo - April 7, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, chief of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), laid the cornerstone for the construction of the command headquarters of the Marine Combat Force of the First Fleet Command in Natuna, Riau Islands, on Tuesday.

Malay Mail - April 7, 2021

Sylvia Looi, Kuala Lumpur – A man in Indonesia nearly married the wrong woman after navigation application Google Maps led him to the wrong location.

According to Indonesian portal Tribunnews, there were two ceremonies – a wedding and an engagement – in the same village on Sunday which led to the confusion.

The Guardian - April 7, 2021

Raimundos Oki, Dili – In Tasitolu, a suburb in the west of the capital, Dili, Batista Elo balances his young daughter on his hip as he stands in flood waters that reach up his thighs.

Tempo - April 7, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Press Council appreciated the National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo who apologized and revoked the telegram letter regarding the internal media coverage of police.

Head of Complaints and Press Ethics Enforcement Commission of the council, Arif Zulkifli, reminded the police to be more careful in issuing regulations.

Agence France-Presse - April 7, 2021

Bandung, West Java – A district court in West Java has handed death sentences to a gang of more than a dozen drug traffickers, including an Iranian couple and a Pakistani man, the prosecutor's office said.

Tempo - April 7, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The National Police's Criminal Investigation Department has named two personnel of the Metro Jaya Police as suspects in the unlawful killing case of six Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) members.

UCA News - April 7, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Priests and nuns in Timor-Leste have joined efforts to provide much-needed assistance to flash flood victims forced to flee their homes in recent days following storms that have struck the Catholic-majority country since Easter Sunday.

Many of those who fled have sought shelter at church-run facilities.

April 6, 2021

Jakarta Globe - April 6, 2021

Jakarta – The National Police on Tuesday made a sharp u-turn on a recent circular issued by Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo which bans the media from reporting violent acts by officers.

The controversial circular was dropped within 24 hours after its issuance following public uproar.

UCA News - April 6, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Timor-Leste announced the death of a woman from Covid-19 on April 6, its first recorded virus death, as it tries to stem a growing infection rate.

The 44-year-old woman tested positive on March 24 with no symptoms but started showing symptoms on April 4, said Niltor do Carmo da Silva, spokesman of the Integrated Center for Crisis Management.

ABC News - April 6, 2021

On Pacific Beat with Mala Darmadi – The death toll from floods and landslides in eastern Indonesia and neighbouring Timor Leste has reached almost 100.

Officials say many people are still unaccounted for and thousands have been displaced after Cyclone Seroja swept through on the weekend.

Associated Press - April 6, 2021

Ricko Wawo and Niniek Karmini – Lembata, Indonesia Rescuers in remote eastern Indonesia dug through the debris of a landslide on Tuesday in search of as many as 21 people believed to be buried in one of several disasters brought on by severe weather in the South-East Asian nation and neighbouring East Timor.

Tempo - April 6, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the upcoming rate of the Covid-19 vaccination distribution will not be as fast as before as the supply will drop due to an embargo in several vaccine-producing countries.

Jakarta Globe - April 6, 2021

Hendro D Situmorang, Jakarta – Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim called for more innovations at schools and campuses in hopes to instill creativity and analytical thinking within the younger generation.

OCCRP - April 6, 2021

Sasha Chavkin – Indonesia is failing to enforce its internationally acclaimed moratorium on deforestation, with officials at multiple levels of government granting development permits to politically connected companies, according to Greenpeace.

Jakarta Post Editorial - April 6, 2021

Jakarta – The government and the House of Representatives are preparing to amend the 2001 Papuan Special Autonomy Law to allow Jakarta to throw more money at the territory and form new provinces in the resource-rich land.

New Mandala - April 6, 2021

Amalinda Savirani and Linda Yanti Sulistiawati – Under the Indonesian Constitution Article 20A Paragraph 1, the legislative branch of the government (Parliament) has 3 functions: legislation, budgetary and monitoring. How do these functions come into play when governing amidst a pandemic?

CNN Indonesia - April 6, 2021

Jakarta – The Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy recorded 180 incidents and 412 acts which violated freedom of religion and belief (KBB) in Indonesia in 2020. The majority were committed by state actors.

These figures were contained in the Setara Institute's 14th research report for 2020 titled "Intolerance during the pandemic".

Tempo - April 6, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian National Police (Polri) Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo has issued a circular that firmly instructs every police internal media unit not to bring media personnel outside the institution in any police raids.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 6, 2021

Update: The National Police has apologized and rescinded the circular amid the public backlash.

Original story follows.

A fresh circular intended for internal viewing within the National Police has people on edge regarding media freedom in Indonesia, even as ambiguity regarding its enforcement has thrown up some degree of confusion.

Reuters - April 6, 2021

Tom Allard, Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Jakarta – One mid-February morning in the central highlands of the Indonesian province of Papua, the army said Prada Ginanjar Arianda, a 22-year-old member of the 400 Banteng Raiders commando battalion, was shot in the stomach by separatist fighters and died.

Jakarta Globe - April 6, 2021

Jakarta – At least 117 people dead and thousands others were forced to evacuate from their homes after floods and landslides caused by the Seroja tropical cyclones hit eight districts in East Nusa Tenggara, one of Indonesia's poorest provinces.

ABC News - April 6, 2021

Stephen Dziedzic – Timor-Leste's government says it will ask Australia and other nations for help following catastrophic floods that have killed dozens and left thousands homeless.

Late on Tuesday, officials confirmed the death toll from the disaster had reached 34. But that figure is expected to rise, with at least another eight people missing.

Channel News Asia - April 6, 2021

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – The design of the new state palace in Indonesia's future capital city in Kalimantan is still under discussion, said the minister of national development planning Suharso Monoarfa.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 6, 2021

Nadia Hamid – Jakarta is home to numerous luxurious malls, but these mega shopping centers often gloss over the extreme economic inequality in the capital, as one photo has painfully reminded us.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 6, 2021

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan says he's standing firm against sexual harassment at City Hall amid allegations against a high-ranking official.

The Provincial Government suspended Jakarta Goods and Services Procurement Agency (BPPBJ) head Blessmiyanda on March 29 as the Jakarta Inspectorate launched an inquiry into allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee.

CNN Indonesia - April 6, 2021

Jakarta – A survey by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) has found that people are becoming increasingly afraid of speaking about politics and of arbitrary arrest by police.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 6, 2021

Police in Ciputat, South Tangerang have arrested a man accused of raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter, with the abuse reportedly having gone on for several months.

According to the police, the suspect, who is identified by his initials BGW (38), repeatedly raped his stepdaughter whenever they were alone at home.