Resza Mustafa, Semarang – A Kamisan (Thursday) action was held by 32 activist and students from several different groups in front of the University of Diponegoro Statue in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang on Thursday February 28.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
February 28, 2019
James Massola and Karuni Rompies, Jakarta – Indonesia and Australia will end months of uncertainty and finally sign a landmark free trade deal in the Indonesian capital next Monday.
The deal will be signed by Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham and his counterpart Enggartiasto Lukita, while Vice President Jusuf Kalla will also be on hand at the Luwansa Hotel.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The North Sumatra Police named 11 members of hardline group the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) suspects on Thursday for allegedly causing a commotion during the 93rd anniversary event of Indonesia's largest Islamic organization Nahdatul Ulama (NU) in Tebing Tinggi, North Sumatra, held on Wednesday morning.
Max Lane, Jakarta – The second televised debate between Indonesia's two presidential contenders, the incumbent Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his challenger, Prabowo Subianto, on Feb. 17 primarily focused on economic issues. But as a debate on economic policies, it was rather lackluster and relatively uninteresting.
February 27, 2019
Jakarta – Former Army Strategic Reserves Command (Green Berets, Kostrad) chief of staff retired Major General Kivlan Zen has spoken out about a request for money from Wiranto in 1998. Zen claimed that he asked Wiranto for money to cover the cost of setting up Pam Swakarsa.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Exporters are hoping the current tax waivers will be continued, with half of respondents surveyed by the University Network for Indonesia Export Development (UNIED) saying they had benefited from the schemes.
Jakarta – The head of the anticorruption body has suggested that the number of corruption cases involving politicians would decline if the government increased state funding for parties.
Kate Lamb – More than a dozen western pop songs, including Ed Sheeran's Shape of You, have been deemed pornographic and banned from being played in daylight hours in Indonesia's notoriously conservative West Java province.
The West Java broadcasting commission singled out 85 songs, including 17 western pop songs, it said contained adult and offensive content.
Jakarta – Amid the brouhaha surrounding the large land concessions managed by members of Indonesia's political elite, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan has admitted to owning a 6,000-hectare coal mine in East Kalimantan.
Yulia Savitri, Palembang – The South Sumatra Police say they are looking into the alleged wrongful arrest and assault committed by their officers in relation to a rape case in Ogan Ilir regency.
The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66, by Geoffrey B. Robinson. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.
Dozens of people have been buried by a landslide at an unlicensed goldmine in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province, the national disaster agency has said, as emergency personnel used their bare hands and farm tools to reach victims calling for help from beneath the rubble.
The agency said two people were dead and 14 were injured, with at least 60 buried.
Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – A preacher popular on social media, Fuadh Naim, has told Muslims to stay away from South Korean popular culture, claiming that its drama and music exposed people to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lifestyles and free sex.
Indra Komara, Jakarta – Air force chief of staff (KSAU) Air Martial Yuyu Sutisna has attended the Avalon Air Show in Melbourne, Australia. During a break in the visit, Sutisna met with the Commander General of the US 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Major General Thomas D Weidley.
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta – State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Rini Soemarno has ordered all state-owned companies to eliminate duplication of business lines to increase public-sector efficiency and improve the quality of products and services.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – Medan prosecutors have sought 18 years' imprisonment for Agung Kurnia Ritonga, a 22-year-old student from North Sumatra University's School of Agriculture, for allegedly insulting a flag bearing the tauhid on social media.
Manado – In the lead up to International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8, a number of organisations in Manado, North Sulawesi, have joined together in the Civil Society Coalition Against Sexual Violence (KMSAKS) to hold actions supporting the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS).
Yamin Kogoya, Canberra – In the days leading up to Christmas, 16 Indonesian construction workers were killed in Nduga by the West Papuan National Liberation Army.
Lukas Enembe, Governor of Papua, declared through media: "I am asking President Jokowi to withdraw all the troops in Nduga."
Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto has, on numerous occasions, promised Rizieq Shihab – the founder of the controversial hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) who is currently living in exile in Saudi Arabia after being charged in an infamous pornography case – a safe and prosecution-free return to Indonesia.
February 26, 2019
Fachrul Sidiq, Jakarta – Barefooted, Azis Syahputra and his wife stroll around the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Sunday to collect plastic bottles littered by participants of the weekly Car Free Day.
Jakarta – Six people named Tuhan (God) are registered to vote in Jember, East Java, in the April 17 general elections.
The six "Gods" are residents of Arjasa, Balung, Kencong, Patrang and Sumberbaru of Jember Regency, East Java.
A global grouping of Christian churches has found that discrimination and human rights violations in Indonesia's Papua region are as severe as they were two decades ago.
A team from the World Council of Churches wrapped up a week-long trip to Indonesia on Friday, which included visits to several cities in Papua province.
Haris Ismail AKA Ujang, a 25-year-old laborer, was allegedly abducted and tortured by police officers on Thursday evening last week in the South Sumatra capital of Palembang.
Balawyn Jones and Max Walden – Proposed legislation to eliminate sexual violence in Indonesia has made headlines in recent weeks because of vocal opposition to the bill from Islamic conservatives. They argue that it "promote[s] free sex and deviant sexual behaviour".
Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) senior researcher Siti Zuhro has spoken out about the plan for active TNI (Indonesian military) officers to be placed in strategic posts in ministries and government institutions.
M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said that the land-cultivation permit (HGU) is one type of assets that must be listed in the state official wealth report (LHKPN) because the business license is ownership rights that have economic value.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – The simpler process of claiming tax refunds has caused an increase in claims over the past few months and cut into the tax revenue, the tax office has said.
Jon Afrizal, Jambi – Months after being forced to close their houses of worships, members of the Assemblies of God Church (GSJA) in Jambi City, Jambi, have found a new site to build their church. Yet, challenges still await them.
Jakarta – The Indonesian government has announced three new policies that aim to jack up the price of natural rubber, which has hit a record low since 2018.
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said the new policies would restrict natural rubber exports, expand the domestic use of rubber in construction, and replant rubber plantations.
Jakarta – Muara Baru residents have been soaking up oil spills following a fire that destroyed 34 vessels on the coast of North Jakarta.
Police in West Java named three women, identified by their initials ES, IP and CW – all in their 40s – as suspects for appearing and uploading a video in which they spread unsubstantiated rumors that incumbent President Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin winning in April's election would be detrimental for Muslims in the country.
Jakarta – The Indonesian government paid Rp 22.99 trillion (US$1.64 billion) of its debt interest that was due in January, or 8.33 percent of the debt interest payment target it set in the 2019 state budget.
Jakarta (Antara) – Land and forest fire in a number of regencies and city of Riau Province occurred since January continuously spread up to 1,136 hectares.
The head of Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) Riau, Edwar Sanger, said that the figure jumped over 150 hectares in less than the last 48 hours.
Ni Komang Erviani, Denpasar – It was a bright Sunday morning when hundreds of Denpasar residents flocked to the area around Puputan Margarana field in Renon, which is a car-free area every Sunday. Some people were exercising while others were just spending the day with family members.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Over 300 people crowded the lobby of telecommunications company Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) in South Jakarta at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
They stared intently at a giant LED screen showing a live broadcast of a SpaceX Falcon 9 space rocket located over 17,400 kilometers away at the Cape Canaveral in Florida, the United States.
Jakarta – The recent rape of a disabled woman in Lampung in which her father and two brothers have been implicated has highlighted the fact that women are often not safe even in their own homes.
Slamet Maarif, the head of the Islamist group the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), has been relieved of all charges of illegal political campaigning, a mere two weeks after he was named suspect in the case.
Jakarta – Indonesia's most populous province has set restrictions on when certain English-language songs can be aired on television and radio, citing concerns over "vulgar" and "negative" lyrics.
Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Environment and Forestry Ministry received eight reports related to companies that dumping industrial waste to Cileungsi River, and so one of them has undergone criminal proceedings, said the ministry official Beni Setiawan.
February 25, 2019
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Suherdjoko, Jakarta and Semarang – The Central Java Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu Central Java) said on Saturday that Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and 34 other regional heads in the province had broken the law by participating in an event in support of incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Indonesian consumer confidence rebounded in the fourth quarter of last year after having slipped in the previous quarter, according to the latest installment of the 2018 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey.
A 57-year-old teacher of religion, identified by his initials BS, who works at an elementary school in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, has been arrested on suspicion that he molested nine girls, all of whom are his students.
Winny Tang, Jakarta – Massive infrastructure projects by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have helped Indonesia improve its logistical performance, although the country still lags behind neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Edho Sinaga, Jayapura – A child and nine West Papua National Committee (KNPB) activists in Merauke were arrested by the Merauke district police on Saturday February 23.
Five-year-old Martina Yawon was arrested as he was walking with nine KNPB members who were wearing the Morning Star (BK) flag logo on their shirts.
This month, the World Council of Churches sent a delegation to West Papua in solidarity with the West Papuan people and to help understand the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
Yulia Savitri and Kharishar Kahfi, Palembang and Jakarta – The government has declared 16 provinces across the country as prone to forest and land fires ahead of the upcoming El Nino, a climate pattern linked to warming waters in the central and eastern areas of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Jakarta – Gerindra Party chairman and presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto joked about his wealth during a recent campaign event in Lamongan regency, East Java, in the wake of criticism about his extensive landholdings.
The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) says nine of its members were questioned by police in Merauke for wearing the Papuan Nationalist emblem.
The KNPB's secretary-general in the southern Papuan city, Yoris Yapo, said a five-year old child accompanying the members was also taken in by police.
Bandung (AFP) – Three Indonesian housewives have been arrested over an online video that claimed President Joko Widodo would ban prayer and make gay marriage legal in the Muslim majority country if re-elected, police said on Monday (Feb 25).
News Desk, Jakarta – Vice-presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno received a less-than-friendly welcome as he hit the campaign trail in areas that strongly support President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's reelection bid.