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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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July 16, 2021

Bloomberg News - July 16, 2021

Jinshan Hong – Indonesia's daily Covid-19 case count has passed Brazil's to become the worst in the world, hitting a record 56,757 on Thursday as the highly-contagious delta variant rampages through the nation.

Radio New Zealand - July 16, 2021

Johnny Blades – Indonesia's House of Representatives has passed a bill that is expected to reshape the future administration of West Papua.

The Revision of the Special Autonomy Law for the provinces of Papua and West Papua was ratified by Indonesian lawmakers despite widespread opposition by Papuans who have been calling instead for an independence referendum.

Jakarta Post - July 16, 2021

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – The government has banned public celebrations of Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice), which is set to fall on Tuesday, in areas where the emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM Darurat) are in effect, to avoid further transmission of the COVID-19.

Tabloid JUBI - July 16, 2021

Jayapura, Jubi – The Indonesia House of Representatives has passed the revised Special Autonomy (Otsus) Bill into law despite continuous protests from the Papuan people rejecting the extension of the special autonomy status.

Tempo - July 16, 2021

Syailendra Persada, Koran Tempo, Jakarta – An epidemiologist from Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, asked the government to extend the enforcement of the emergency state of public mobility restrictions or Emergency PPKM.

Although the implementation was not ideal, he opined, this policy should be applied as an effort to suppress cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

BBC News - July 16, 2021

Valdya Baraputri – A firefighter hauling the dead from their homes, a lack of access to oxygen and a community banding together during a time of crisis. These are scenes that have emerged from Indonesia, a country currently seeing its worst Covid outbreak so far.

Jakarta Globe - July 16, 2021

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Natasia Christy Wahyuni, Herman, Kezia Kho, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has provided 600,000 packages of free medicine for people infected with Covid-19 in self-isolation on Thursday, kicking off a government-led drive that it hoped would curb wild speculation that drives up prices of critical supplies for the disease treatment.

Jakarta Post - July 16, 2021

Nur Janti, Jakarta – The government started on Thursday the distribution of free medicine packages to support self-isolating COVID-19 patients during their isolation period amid soaring coronavirus cases in the country.

CNN Indonesia - July 16, 2021

Jakarta – Lawyer and Papua advocate Veronica Koman has criticised the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government for ratifying the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua, saying that the law only represents the interests of the government.

The Guardian - July 16, 2021

Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – Every day, before 7am, volunteers gather in front of a house in Yogyakarta. Wearing masks and maintaining distance, they measure and cut panels of wood, smoothing the edges with sandpaper. For the past 11 days, the front yard has been turned into an emergency casket-making workshop. The coffins are painted white, and lined inside with plastic.

Straits Times - July 16, 2021

Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – Indonesia on Friday (July 16) began giving booster shots to its medical workers inoculated with Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine, as it battles a record-breaking surge in new infections and deaths caused by the more transmissible Delta variant.

Tabloid JUBI - July 16, 2021

Jayapura, Jubi – The West Papuan Council of Church (WPCC) has spoken in an online forum organized by the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, asking the Pacific and international community to stop the Indonesian government's racism toward the West Papuan people, which is perpetuated by the government-designed Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law planned to be

Tempo - July 16, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesian health system failed to stem the spread of the pandemic. Stop politicizing the pandemic and entrust the handling of it to the medical authorities.

UCA News - July 16, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Many primary and secondary schools forced to close for months in Catholic-majority Timor-Leste's worst-hit Covid-19 areas will be allowed to reopen next week, the government says.

Jakarta Globe - July 16, 2021

Grace Nadia Chandra, Jakarta – AstraZeneca has begun delivering its Covid-19 vaccine to Indonesia, shipping more than one million doses on Friday, the first part of the country's 50 million direct order to the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company.

Jakarta Globe - July 16, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Novy Lumanauw, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has dropped the plan to allow citizens to pay for vaccination against Covid-19 instead of waiting in a long line for free jabs under the government program, an aide said on Friday.

World Socialist Website - July 16, 2021

Robert Campion – Following months of skyrocketing daily cases and deaths, Indonesia overtook all other countries this week to become the new global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jakarta Globe - July 16, 2021

Jakarta – The Ministry of Health has reached an agreement with Pfizer Indonesia and BioNTech to procure 50 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine throughout 2021 to accelerate its vaccine program in Indonesia.

July 15, 2021

Coconuts Jakarta - July 15, 2021

Indonesia has added another weapon to assist it in its struggle against COVID-19, and it's a vaccine that has proved to be successful in slowing down coronavirus transmissions in other parts of the world.

Jakarta Post - July 15, 2021

Jakarta (Agencies) – Former maritime affairs and fisheries minister Edhy Prabowo was sentenced by a court on Thursday to five years in prison for accepting bribes in a corruption scandal involving the export of lobster larvae.

Suara Papua - July 15, 2021

Agus Pabika, Jayapura – As many as 40 protesters opposing the extension of Papua special autonomy at the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Jakarta were arrested by police and taken away in two crowd control vehicles to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters.

Tempo - July 15, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The civil coalition for proper healthcare access suspected that the government was more concerned about the economy than the health sector in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the indications was that the government insisted on holding individually-paid vaccination.

Tempo - July 15, 2021

Fajar Pebrianto, Maudey K. Setyakusuma, Jakarta – Deputy Head of the Covid-19 Handling Committee, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, compared the spread of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia with several other countries, amid the delta variant outbreak. He said that the increase in cases recently also occurred in other countries.

UCA News - July 15, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Indonesian police have arrested at least 23 students staging a peaceful protest in Papua province, church and rights group said.

Some of those arrested were subjected to brutal assaults by police, they alleged on July 15.

Radio New Zealand - July 15, 2021

Fresh demonstrations by West Papuans have again been stopped by armed Indonesian police who arrested dozens of people.

The demonstrations are the latest in a series of protests by West Papuan students, churches and customary representatives opposed to the Indonesian government's plans to extend Special Autonomy provisions in the two Papuan provinces.

Coconuts Jakarta - July 15, 2021

Gibran Rakabuming Raka, President Joko Widodo's eldest son and the mayor of Solo, says that he will continue to carry out his duties remotely after testing positive for the coronavirus – the latest high profile Indonesian public figure to do so.

Gibran, 33, announced via text messages to journalists yesterday that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Jakarta Post - July 15, 2021

Soe Tjen Marching – Perhaps it was about five years ago, I cannot remember. What I still remember clearly is her powerful and determined voice: "Please do not forget the West Papuans, before it is too late."

Tempo - July 15, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Social Affairs Ministry explained the controversial remark by Minister Tri Rismaharini, or more known as Risma, about threatening to transfer state civil apparatus or ASN to Papua.

Tempo - July 15, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday had ordered the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) commander Hadi Tjahjanto to coordinate the distribution of free Covid-19 therapeutic medicines and vitamins for patients in self-isolation.

Jakarta Globe - July 15, 2021

Jakarta – Industri Baterai Indonesia, an electric vehicle battery subsidiary of state-owned largest miners, has estimated that it would need $15.3 billion in total investment to develop an integrated electric vehicle battery, the company top executive said on Wednesday.

The Interpreter - July 15, 2021

Eduard Lazarus Teguh Maulana – Since mid-May, Indonesia has faced a massive surge in Covid-19 infections with the number of reported positive daily cases increasing fivefold.

The Conversation - July 15, 2021

Luthfi T. Dzulfikar, Ella S. Prihatini and Muhammad Fajar – Millennials and Gen Z form more than half the population of Indonesia – the world's third-largest democracy.

Polling agency Indikator Politik predicts nearly 60% of eligible voters in 2024 will be younger than 40. That's a big increase from the 40% in the 2019 elections.

Sydney Morning Herald - July 15, 2021

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore – Indonesia is making a new appeal for oxygen tanks as it enters its "worst case scenario", surpassing even India and Brazil right now in new COVID-19 cases, but a leading epidemiologist believes the true number of infections there may be five to 15 times as high as what has been reported.

Coconuts Jakarta - July 15, 2021

More often than not, a negative PCR test result is desired for ease of mind or as an administrative requirement, that the emergence of criminals selling fake negative results was a nigh inevitability. In Jakarta, it appears that there's a demand for fake positive results, which is fueling a criminal trend.

Suara Papua - July 15, 2021

Agus Pabika, Jayapura – Earlier this morning on Thursday July 15 Papuan students from the Papua People's and Student Front held a peaceful rally at the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Senayan, Jakarta, rejected the extension of special autonomy (Otsus) and new autonomous regions anywhere in the land of Papua.

Kompas.com - July 15, 2021

Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Jakarta – World Health Organisation Immunization Program Unit Head Ann Lindstrand has criticised the Gotong Royong paid vaccination program in Indonesia. On the WHO's official website, Lindstrand stated that all people must have the same right to be able to access Covid-19 vaccines.

Coconuts Jakarta - July 15, 2021

Footage of Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers hitting a married couple during a raid in South Sulawesi has sparked anger across Indonesia, prompting fresh discussions about the use of force during the Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) protocol.

Tempo - July 15, 2021

Tempo.Co, Maudey K. Setyakusuma, Jakarta – In order to maximize the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister of Manpower, Ida Fauziyah, asked companies, especially in the essential sector, to tighten working hours. This is done so that the goal of limiting people's mobility during the period of the Emergency PPKM can be achieved maximally.

Cosmetics Business - July 15, 2021

Becky Bargh – Korean Palm oil giant Korindo has had its trademark license with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) stripped after a BBC investigation found the group had deliberately set fire to forests in Indonesia's Papua province.

East Asia Forum - July 15, 2021

I Gede Wahyu Wicaksana – On 18 May 2021, Indonesia opposed a new UN General Assembly resolution to formally embrace the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The resolution would require annual reporting and debate on its implementation.

Straits Times - July 15, 2021

Jakarta (Reuters) – Indonesia is bracing for its Covid-19 outbreak to get worse after a near vertical climb in cases, a senior minister said on Thursday (July 15), warning that infections had spread faster than anticipated due to the more virulent Delta variant.

Coconuts Jakarta - July 15, 2021

Jakartans traveling throughout the city are more likely to bump into roadblocks starting today as the police step up measures to limit mobility in the capital.

July 14, 2021

Tempo - July 14, 2021

Caesar Akbar, Maudey, Jakarta – The President of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions or KSPI, Said Iqbal, responded to the plan of extension of the emergency PPKM for 4-6 weeks. He said that basically, KSPI agreed upon the extension of the emergency PPKM with clear and firm arrangements.

Jakarta Post - July 14, 2021

Yerica Lai, Jakarta – Jakarta and Yogyakarta will be the regions hit hardest by the latest COVID-19 wave if authorities fail to contain the ongoing case surge, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said.

ABC News - July 14, 2021

Max Walden – The COVID-19 ward at the Jakarta hospital where resident doctor Amira* works is over capacity, but patients continue to arrive at the emergency department around the clock with coronavirus symptoms.

"During night shifts, it feels like patients keep arriving without stopping," she said.

The Conversation - July 14, 2021

Dicky Budiman – Indonesia is currently experiencing a massive spike in COVID-19 infection and deaths, as experts (including myself) have unfortunately been predicting.

The country recorded its largest single-day increase in new cases on July 13, with more than 47,000 infections. And this is likely to be a huge undercount because too few people are getting tested.

Jakarta Globe - July 14, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Herman, Jakarta – The Indonesian government seeks to become electric vehicle production hub in the region, aiming for an output of 600,000 electric cars and 2.5 million electric motorcycles by 2030, an official said on Wednesday.

Sydney Morning Herald - July 14, 2021

Chris Barrett, Singapore – A defrocked Catholic priest accused of systematic child abuse in East Timor has been reported to police for allegedly threatening to kill the human rights lawyer representing the victims.

The claim against American-born Richard Daschbach was made in a statement released on Tuesday night by law firm JUS Juridico Social Consultoria.

CNN Indonesia - July 14, 2021

Jakarta – Around 23 Cendrawasih University (Uncen) students at several different locations were arrested by police when they held a protest action on Tuesday July 14 opposing the extension of special autonomy in Papua.

UCA News - July 14, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A Catholic priest has found himself in hot water with Papuans seeking independence by speaking out in favor of plans that would keep the restive region under Indonesian rule.