Jakarta – The Papuan student dormitory in the Kalasan area of the East Java city of Surabaya was besieged by hundreds of people from various ormas (mass or social organisations) on the afternoon of Friday August 16.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
August 16, 2019
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – House of Representatives (DPR) speaker Bambang Soesatyo touched on the incompletion of severe human rights violation cases during his opening speech at the annual session of 2019-2020 on Friday, August 16.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has renewed his call to accelerate the development of palm oil-derived biodiesel in his State of the Nation address on Friday, claiming this would be one way to boost Indonesia's industrial prowess and shield the country from potential trade wars.
Jakarta – Time is running out for Jakarta. One of the fastest-sinking cities on earth, environmental experts warn that one third of it could be submerged by 2050 if current rates continue.
Marvie Chorawan-Basilan – Indonesia recently stopped foreign waste from entering the country but some villagers Bangun noted that "cash for trash" is their way of life – a booming business that helps sustain the needs of the village people.
Leaders of Pacific Islands Forum countries and territories want Indonesia to allow a team from the UN Human Rights Commissioner's office to visit West Papua soon.
At their annual summit in Tuvalu, Pacific leaders acknowledged the reported escalation in violence and continued alleged human rights abuses in Papua.
Jakarta – A number of workers planning to hold a protest action were arrested by police in the vicinity of the House of Representatives (DPR) and People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) building in Jakarta on Friday August 16.
The arrested workers were part of the People's United Labour Movement (Gebrak) who had come to Jakarta from various different areas.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The government is optimistic that it can reduce inequality and poverty rates next year by continuing current socio-economic initiatives.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo read the annual financial note speech on Friday, saying the government expected inequality to go down to between 0.375 and 0.380 on the Gini coefficient next year.
August 15, 2019
Darmadi Sasongko – A protest action on Thursday August 15 by the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) in the East Java city of Malang has ended in a riot with protesters and a rival group pelted each other with stones near the Rajabali intersection on Jl Kahuripan.
Jakarta – The Maluku Police are investigating a bomb threat at Pattimura University's School of Economics in Ambon amid rising fears of radicalism in academia.
Jakarta – The Jakarta High Court has ruled upon appeal to increase Irwandi Yusuf's sentence by one year, a ruling that comes three months after the suspended Aceh governor was found guilty of accepting bribes and illicit gifts totaling nearly Rp 10 billion (US$700,615) over two gubernatorial terms.
Yudha Baskoro – Papuan activists marched in Central Jakarta on Thursday to mark the 56th commemoration of the United Nations-brokered New York Agreement, which saw control over the western portion of the island of New Guinea transferred from the Netherlands to Indonesia.
Luthfi T. Dzulfikar, Iwan Pranoto and Satryo Soemantri Brodjonegoro – Indonesian schools have failed to recognise students' interest and talents, scholars said in a discussion on education last week.
Schools and campuses have also restricted students from freely exploring various thoughts and views, limiting their academic freedom.
An Indonesian lawyer says police have arrested dozens of West Papuan independence activists in Jayapura.
Demonstrators took to the streets in several Papuan cities on Thursday in support of their cause being raised at this week's Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit.
M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – The investigation on the alleged rape case experienced by a former employee of the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) which implicated the agency's former supervisory board member has officially been dropped by police.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has indicated his opposition to a discourse on restoring authority to the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) to appoint the nation's president, signaling his support for the peoples' right to directly elect their leader.
Jakarta – Four siblings with a brother-in-law have been officiated as council members in Hulu Sungai Selatan regency in South Kalimantan. They were officiated together on Monday to be council members for the period of 2019-2024.
Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – Indonesia has recorded a trade deficit of US$63 million in July on the back of weak commodity prices that has affected its export value, according to Statistic Indonesia (BPS) data released on Thursday.
Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – The Indonesian Institute of Sciences has recommended that the government employ more measures to protect biodiversity in some of the archipelago's remotest islands, after launching an expedition to eight out of 111 remote Indonesian islands in the South Pacific Ocean where they found unique and rare marine lives.
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Large billboards bearing photos of Golkar member Bambang Soesatyo have been popping up at numerous street corners in Jakarta recently as Indonesia's oldest and second-largest political party gears up for elections by December.
Jakarta – Indonesia will unveil plans for increasing how much foreign investors can own of businesses in some sectors by year-end, the head of the country's investment board told Reuters.
Thomas Lembong, who leads the agency known as BKPM, also indicated the government is looking to ease restrictions in areas that can support Indonesia's booming digital economy.
On 9 August, the Constitutional Court resolved the final dispute over the 2019 election results. Although the Court has ordered recounts in some areas, we can now say that Indonesia's first ever "simultaneous" elections – where national and regional legislators and the president and vice president pair were elected on the same day – are almost over.
Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) said that President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi) decision to form a ministry that specifically handles digital investment could lead to dualism in the investment sector.
Vela Andapita, Jakarta – The city administration of Bogor in West Java has vowed to resolve a dispute over a church that has been refused a building permit for years despite a Supreme Court ruling in its favor.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Indonesia's external debt level was up about 10 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter due to a significant increase in government net borrowing.
Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – Sitting in a white plastic chair in his home, Mr Soewarso Warsosoewito tried to remember what exactly he did when he fought against the Japanese in 1945.
The 95-year-old Indonesian war veteran, who suffers from senility, lives in a 60 sq m house with his second wife Karni in the slums of Jakarta.
Aisyah Llewellyn, Medan, Indonesia – A trial pitting student journalists and the top official of a government-run university official in this northern city has begun, in what is seen as a test case of Indonesia's limits on censorship, free press and gay rights.
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – University of Andalas Constitutional Law Expert, Feri Amsari, argues that the People's Consultative Assembly's (MPR) plan on reinstating the State Policy Guidelines (GBHN) is irrelevant to the presidential system Indonesia currently adopts.
Dewi Nurita L & Koran Tempo, Jakarta – Criticism is being voiced in response to the involvement of State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Head Budi Gunawan in the country's politics, especially his close ties with Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP).
Thresa Sandra Desfika, Jakarta – Gojek Indonesia and Grab, the top two ride-hailing companies in Indonesia, are facing a regulatory hurdle that could make a significant dent in their largest market: the capital Jakarta.
Aman Rochman, Malang, East Java – Amid rising fears of radicalism in academia in recent years, several universities in the country have taken measures to prevent their students from being exposed to religious intolerance and anti-Pancasila ideas.
August 14, 2019
Roni Afriyanto, Karawang – Around 3 thousand workers demonstrated in Karawang, West Java, on August 13 against planned revisions to the Law Number 13/2003 on Labour. In addition to the protest, the workers also handed out leaflets inviting the public to reject the revision which will further oppress workers.
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Democrat Party Deputy Chief Syarief Hasan stated that his political party has yet to determine whether the party would politically join the government alongside President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo or opt as an opposition.
Jakarta – The government is set to discuss and review discriminatory and intolerant bylaws issued by regional administrations, the Home Ministry's acting regional autonomy director general, Akmal Malik, has said.
Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has promised to make it quicker and easier for overseas investors and foreign workers to obtain visas and residence permits.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The Medan Administrative Court (PTUN) on Wednesday held the first hearing over a lawsuit against the North Sumatra University (USU) rector filed by students on the Suara USU student website who were fired from the editorial board for publishing a short story with a lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LBGT) theme.
Shotaro Tani and Ismi Damayanti, Jakarta – Indonesia is struggling to fill a massive hole in the finances of its compulsory national health insurance system.
Jakarta (Antara) – A fire destroyed 343 hectares of forest area, home to the edelweiss flower, in Mount Ciremai Kuningan District, West Java Province.
"The area gutted is some 343 hectares," Agus Mauludin, acting head of the Kuningan Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD), said here on Tuesday.
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Reports arose of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inviting Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) politician and 1998 activist Adian Napitupulu to the State Palace on Tuesday, August 13.
Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – The endless flow of refugees and asylum seekers into Indonesia and other countries around the world in the past few years has strained the resources of the United Nations Refugee Agency, or UNHCR, that now claims it has been massively underfunded.
Indonesia has complained to the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat over West Papuan leader Benny Wenda's participation at this year's Forum summit.
Leaders of Forum member states are meeting in Tuvalu this week, with Vanuatu's government including West Papuan representatives in its delegation.
Brussels – The European Commission on Tuesday imposed countervailing duties of 8 percent to 18 percent on imports of subsidized biodiesel from Indonesia, saying the move aimed to restore a level playing field for European Union producers.
Jakarta – It has been a cause for concern in the region that fires razing Indonesian forests have led to a haze crisis in Malaysia.
Although Indonesia has denied that the fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan have caused haze in the neighbouring country, it is indisputable that fires are on the rise again this year.
Adi Ahdiat, Jakarta – The Nduga Regency Humanitarian Team has again called on the government to withdraw Indonesian military (TNI) and police from Nduga regency in Papua because the military operations being conducted there are terrifying local people.
Jakarta (Antara) – Colonel Arh Sonny Septiono, Commander of the joint task force on the South Sumatra smog disaster, reportedly ordered his men to 'shoot on the sight' upon encountering wildfire arsonists. He asserted that this option can be used as a last resort against uncivilized suspects.
Jakarta (Antara) – Dara Nasution, who initiated the online petition against content supervision in new entertainment platforms such as Netflix and YouTube, submitted the request signed by 75,000 people to the deputy head of Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) Mulyo Hadi Purnomo today, August 14.
Made Supriatma – Indonesia's  riots over the disputed presidential election  this year were the worst since the 1998 unrest that toppled long-time strongman Suharto.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the country's highest clerical body that also long held sole authority in providing halal certifications in Indonesia, is taking legal action to regain that authority ahead of the government's imminent take over of the certification process.
August 13, 2019
M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Kivlan Zen's attorney, Tonin Tachta, said his client is suing Wiranto, demanding the Coordinating Minister for Political, Law, and Legal Affairs to pay him Rp8 billion.
Petaling Jaya – Nearly 80 per cent of hotspots detected in the Asean region over the past 29 days are located in Indonesia, figures from the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) show.
The hotspots caused by forest fires and open burning are driving the current haze situation that is affecting parts of the region, including Malaysia.