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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 9, 2021

Jakarta Globe - March 9, 2021

Bernadus Wijayaka, Jakarta – Aprilia Manganang, once was the key player in the Indonesian women's volleyball team, was confirmed to be a man on Tuesday after he underwent surgery.

Aprilia, 28, has sparked controversy during international competitions before with rivaling teams raising suspicion about his gender judged by his physical appearance.

Mongabay - March 9, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Indonesia's deforestation rate hit a historic low in 2020, with the government crediting its various policies prohibiting forest-clearing, and experts attributing the trend to more rains, falling oil palm prices, and an economic slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kompas.com - March 9, 2021

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (Safenet) Executive Director Damar Juniarto is questioning the government and the House of Representatives' (DPR) scale of priorities after revisions to the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law were not included in the 2021 priority National Legislation Program (Prolegnas).

Tempo - March 9, 2021

Bisnis.Com, Jakarta – The Indonesian Private Hospital Association (ARSSI) Secretary-General Ichsan Hanafi said 700 private hospitals handling Covid-19 cases have not yet received incentives for health workers.

Jakarta Globe - March 9, 2021

Muawwan Daelami, Jakarta – Waskita Toll Road, or WTR, a subsidiary of state-controlled construction company Waskita Karya, has announced a plan to divest all of its 30 percent interest in the Medan-Kualanamu-Tebing Tinggi Toll Road to Kings Ring, a subsidiary of Hong-Kong-based investment company Road King Expressway in a deal worth $57 million.

Antara News - March 9, 2021

Markeus FK/Suharto, Wamena, Papua – Thousands of families in Jayawijaya district, Papua province have been shifted to higher ground due to floodwaters submerging their homes, the Jayawijaya District Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) reported.

CNN Indonesia - March 9, 2021

Jakarta – A video of a police officer warning that they will shot Papuan students gathered in front of the Malang municipal police headquarters in East Java has gone viral on social media. In the video, a local police unit chief can be heard threatening the Papuan students.

Tempo - March 9, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Chairperson of the Covid-19 Handling Task Force Doni Monardo called on all parties to comply with the traveling restriction during the upcoming holidays of Isra Miraj and Nyepi (Day of Silence), particularly the state apparatus (ASN) up to state-owned enterprises (SOE) employees.

Reuters - March 9, 2021

Nelson Da Cruz, Kate Lamb, Dili – The tiny Southeast Asian nation of East Timor will put its capital city on a coronavirus lockdown for the first time, its government said on Monday, amid fears it could be facing its first local outbreak.

March 8, 2021

Coconuts Bali - March 8, 2021

Sheany – The issue of privilege resurfaced on Indonesian Twitter over the weekend, after one user showed a photo of foreigners without masks when boarding a Citilink flight from Denpasar.

The post, which has gone viral recently, alleged that airline hostesses kept quiet despite the apparent violation of COVID-19 protocol.

Liputan 6 - March 8, 2021

Henry, Jakarta – The baton urging the enactment of the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS) into to law has been taken up.

Liputan 6 - March 8, 2021

Novia Harlina, Padang – Women community members from the Women's Concern Network (JPP) held a peaceful action at the traffic circle in front of the West Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in Padang on Monday March 8. The action was held to commemorate International Women's Day (IWD) 2021.

Waspada Aceh - March 8, 2021

Banda Aceh – Non-government organisations (NGOs) and millennial groups in Aceh held an International Women's Day (IWD) virtual campaign at the Ivory Cafe in Setui, Banda Aceh, on Monday March 8.

Jakarta Globe - March 8, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia received 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine from the global vaccine procurement program Covax on Monday afternoon.

Indonesia is among developing countries entitled for free vaccine supply under the UN-backed scheme.

Tabloid JUBI - March 8, 2021

Abeth You, Enarotali – Reports from Intan Jaya confirmed that in late February and early March, two civilians, one a man with disability and another a teenager, were shot dead.

CNN Indonesia - March 8, 2021

Bandung – Activists from the Women's Liberation Knot (Simpul Pembebasan Perempuan, Simpulpuan) held a parade (long-march) to the Gedung Sate building in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on March 8 to demand the ratification of the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS).

The Diplomat - March 8, 2021

Kevin O'Rourke – The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed social inequities worldwide, including in the administration of vaccines. Indonesia, however, stands out for a vaccination policy that deliberately accommodates – and indulges – the country's most prosperous groups.

Tempo - March 8, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said in commemoration of the International Women's Day that both men and women have equal opportunity, as he wrote on his Instagram account on Monday, March 8, 2021.

This year's theme of International Women's Day (IWD2021) is "Choose to Challenge."

Asia One - March 8, 2021

Three days after the first suspected case of Covid-19 was announced last year in Tulungagung, East Java, 55-year-old Sutikno came up with a unique idea: As he harvested the dry, fan-shaped sheaths of coconut leaves at his farm, a vision of a familiar traditional mask came to him.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 8, 2021

The Health Ministry has announced an updated schedule for its COVID-19 mass vaccination program, with the general public now expected to begin receiving their shots in September.

Detik News - March 8, 2021

Tiara Azzahra, Jakarta – On March 8 protesters held a long-march from the central business district on Jalan MH Thamrin to the State Palace in Central Jakarta to commemorate International Women's Day (IWD) 2021.

Jakarta Post - March 8, 2021

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Ambassadors and foreign representatives in Jakarta's diplomatic circles have taken a diversity pledge to decline speaking engagements in all public discussions where women's voices are not represented, part of a bigger move to ensure equal representation as the world celebrated International Women's Day on Monday.

Earth Observatory - March 8, 2021

Adam Voiland – Though it covers just 1 percent of Earth's land surfaces, Indonesia's rainforest is believed to shelter 10 percent of the world's known plant species, 12 percent of mammal species, and 17 percent of bird species.

Detik News - March 8, 2021

Pradito Rida Pertana, Yogyakarta – Protesters calling themselves the People's Struggle Front (FPR) held an action commemorating International Women's Day (IWD) today in front of the governor's office in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta. The action however was marred by an altercation between the protesters and local people.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 8, 2021

While many Jakartans have gradually gone back to spending weekends visiting their favorite malls, the overall visitation rate has yet to return to pre-pandemic times, one year after Indonesia reported its first COVID-19 cases.

Jakarta Globe - March 8, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia announced last week that it had identified two new cases of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, which was first detected in the UK late last year.

CNN Indonesia - March 8, 2021

Surabaya – Police broke up an International Women's Day (IWD) action by the Women's Movement with the People (Gempur) Alliance in Malang, East Java on Monday. A number of protesters were also arrested by police because of the chaos that ensued when they tried to disperse the crowd.

Jakarta Globe - March 8, 2021

Yudha Baskoro, Jakarta – Women in Jakarta participated in a march to commemorate International Women's Day on Monday, demanding that the government enact sexual violence eradication bill into law.

They carried posters with slogans criticizing violence, rape culture and unequal work environment in Indonesia. One of them showed a placard that reads "Women aren't Property".

Mongabay - March 8, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – "Birds might fall as they're not strong since there's no more trees standing."

This is how Jemris Nikolas characterizes the response of many in Sorong, a district in Indonesia's easternmost region of Papua, to the deforestation unfolding in their area.

Tabloid JUBI - March 8, 2021

Theo Kelen, Jayapura – The police arrested nine rally participants in West Papua on Monday, March 8, 2021 and dispersed International Women's Day rallies in Jayapura, the biggest city in West Papua.

Detik News - March 8, 2021

Muhammad Aminudin, Malang – A demonstration held near the Gajayana stadium in Malang city, East Java, ended in chaos and anarchy with demonstrators smashing a police truck window after they were asked to disperse for violating health protocols.

Republika - March 8, 2021

Rizky Suryarandika and Nawir Arsyad Akbar, Jakarta – The executive director of Voxpol Center Research and Consulting, Pangi Syarwi Chaniago, suspects that there is a hidden agenda behind attempts to take over the Democrat Party leadership. Chaniago is concerned that one of the aims is so President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo can run for a third term in office.

Tempo - March 8, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Constitutional law expert from Jentera School of Law, Bivitri Susanti, opined that the government should not remain silent in responding to the conflict of the Democrat Party. The government, she added, has the responsibility to keep democracy going well.

Jakarta Post - March 8, 2021

Zurich, Switzerland – Swiss voters on Sunday narrowly backed a free trade agreement with Indonesia that would abolish duties on industrial products including palm oil.

March 7, 2021

ABC News - March 7, 2021

Anne Barker, Indonesia – Indonesia is drawing up a plan that could allow foreign tourists to return to Bali within months if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and return a negative test on arrival.

Tempo - March 7, 2021

M Yusuf Manurung, Jakarta – Hundreds of Democrat Party cadres in the Capital City held a blood thumbprint event to declare their loyalty to General Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono or AHY.

The event was held at the DPD office of the Jakarta Democratic Party, Jalan Bambu Apus Raya, Cipayung, East Jakarta, on Sunday, March 7, 2021.

March 6, 2021

Kompas.com - March 6, 2021

Devina Halim, Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) hopes that the requirements for independent candidates to take part in the election of regional heads (pilkada) will be eased for the sake of preventing the emergence of oligarchies.

UCA News - March 6, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Indonesia's Ministry of Religion Affairs has withdrawn a history textbook for Protestant students following a complaint by a Catholic priest who claimed the book contained misleading information.

Tirto.id - March 6, 2021

Zakki Amali – The accusations by Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) have been proven true after the passing of several weeks. The former infantry major accused Moeldoko, a retired TNI (Indonesian military) general, of meeting with leading Democrat Party members and prepared a coup d'etat to take over his leadership of the party.

Tempo - March 6, 2021

Jakarta – The decision by three ministers on school uniforms must be supported. The politicization of what students wear in school must be stopped.

Jakarta Globe - March 6, 2021

Jakarta – Bank Pan Indonesia, or Bank Panin, the country's eighth-largest lender by assets, controlled by Indonesian billionaire Mu'min Ali Gunawan, is implicated in the latest tax corruption case Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati dubbed as an act of betrayal to the country.

March 5, 2021

Jakarta Globe - March 5, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesian palm oil producers have recorded higher export sale value in 2020 amid the global coronavirus pandemic than in the previous year thanks to stronger global prices.

The country's palm oil exports were valued at $22.97 billion last year, in comparison to $20.22 billion in 2019, according to data from industry association Gapki.

CNN Indonesia - March 5, 2021

Semarang – Police have broken up a protest action against the extension of Special Autonomy (Otsus) in Papua that took place on Jalan Imam Barjo in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang on Friday March 5.

Tempo - March 5, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Democrat Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) stated the extraordinary congress or KLB held in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, today was illegal and unconstitutional. The congress appointed Moeldoko as the party's new chair.

Asia Pacific Report - March 5, 2021

The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) has called on the Australian government to stop trying to keep Papua off the agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum and "strenuously support" Pacific leaders in urging Jakarta to allow a PIF fact-finding mission to the territory.

Coconuts Bali - March 5, 2021

Sheany – An "orgasm retreat" initially scheduled to start this weekend in Ubud has been canceled, after it gained traction online and was castigated by Indonesians, with one local public figure saying that the event tainted Bali's dignity.

Jakarta Globe - March 5, 2021

Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Carlos Paath, Jakarta – The Democratic Party is facing the leadership duality after disgruntled members held an extraordinary congress and elected a presidential aide as their new leader on Friday, challenging current chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Tempo - March 5, 2021

Friski Riana, Jakarta – Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) executive director Damar Juniarto argues that the existence of a cyber policing unit by the National Police (Polri) dubbed the 'virtual police' is a form of 24-hour surveillance by the state.

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Statement - March 5, 2021

The Australia West Papua Association congratulates the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Meg Taylor on her statement to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in February.

The Forum SG raised the issues of COVID-19, Climate Change and West Papua and pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic must not hinder efforts to address critical issues of concern.

Straits Times - March 5, 2021

Jakarta (Reuters) – A top aide of Indonesian President Joko Widodo was named chairman of an opposition party on Friday (March 5), in a move that could broaden the President's coalition and tighten his grip on Parliament – although the legitimacy of the move was challenged by other party members.