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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 5, 2021

Agence France-Presse - March 5, 2021

Nathalie Olof-Ors, Zurich, Switzerland – Switzerland votes Sunday on a free trade deal with Indonesia but the agreement, which opens up a vast potential market, could slip up over the issue of palm oil imports.

The Conversation - March 5, 2021

Ika Krismantari – A year into the pandemic, Indonesia has made no significant progress in containing COVID-19 since President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced the first two cases on March 2 last year.

Since last October, the world's fourth-most-populated country still reigns as the nation with the most COVID-19 cases and highest fatality rate in Southeast Asia.

March 4, 2021

Tempo - March 4, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in an opening speech at the 2021 Trade Ministry national meeting on Thursday called for the development of local products to be handled more seriously and even went as far to encourage a xenophobic campaign against foreign products.

Tempo - March 4, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The National Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) Director, Brig. Gen. Andir Rian on Thursday said that the perpetrators responsible for the alleged unlawful killing against six FPI members will be charged with homicide.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 4, 2021

An Indonesian man has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison after he was found guilty of sexually exploiting underage university students for his bondage fetish.

Tempo - March 4, 2021

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Michael Hilman, a lawyer for the Papuan Students Alliance in Greater Jakarta, on Thursday criticized the arrest of two of his clients, Kelvin Molama and Roland Levy, who were arrested after they were accused of committing persecution against another individual named Rajid Patiray after a mass protest held in front of the Indonesian House of Representat

Tempo - March 4, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) and the Attorney General's Office (AGO) will commence the sinking of 10 illegal fishing boats that were caught operating over Indonesian waters. The sinking is planned to be held at the Air Raja waters, Galang Batam.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 4, 2021

The National Police have charged six deceased members of the banned Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) over a deadly shootout in December, which one rights group said constituted unlawful killing by the police.

March 3, 2021

Tempo - March 3, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin asked the public wishing to get the Covid-19 vaccine to be patient, as the distribution process is carried out in stages. Besides, the vaccine is still being fought over by the international community to date.

UCA News - March 3, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Police in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province have charged a Catholic priest with a public order offense in what he says is a move to silence him.

East-Asia Forum - March 3, 2021

Alexander R Arifianto – As Indonesia slowly inches toward the 2024 general election, preparations for the legislative framework that will serve as the electoral rules are now underway. Several provisions of the election amendment created strong polemical debate upon their introduction in the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR).

Tempo - March 3, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister of Politics, Law, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD in Twitter wrote that the retraction of the law on alcohol investments announced by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday is proof that the government is not allergic to criticism.

Tempo - March 3, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The Health Ministry on Wednesday has officially started to vaccinate Ulemas in Indonesia amidst the phase two Covid-19 vaccination program with 250 members of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) as vaccine recipients.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin was present at the vaccination held at the MUI headquarters in Central Jakarta.

Jakarta Globe - March 3, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia names the safety of the Myanmar people a top priority – calling for a halt on Myanmar's military use of force against civilians.

The Strategist - March 3, 2021

David Engel – If the premises about Australian soft power in Indonesia treated in the first two parts of this series don't jar, nor should the premise of this final one.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 3, 2021

Yesterday marked one year since Indonesia first officially recorded COVID-19 cases in the country. Throughout the year, Jakarta has seen various iterations of what eventually amount to partial lockdowns, which experts say were insufficient measures to contain the coronavirus.

And now, Jakarta's own vice governor has admitted as much.

Fulcrum - March 3, 2021

Max Lane – On 8 February, President Joko Widodo made a call for more criticisms of his government from society. Ironically, his call was met with a shower of criticisms that many people had been charged and jailed precisely for making criticisms, under the Law on Information and Technology (ITE Law) which regulates social media content.

Tempo - March 3, 2021

Bisnis, Jakarta – A research that was conducted by the University of Indonesia Faculty of Medicine's department of mental health and Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM) revealed the alcohol consumption and smoking behaviour amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tempo - March 3, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Army (TNI AD) Chief of Staff Andika Perkasa on Tuesday, March 2, led the simultaneous Covid-19 vaccination of all army personnel at the Indonesian Army Headquarters (Mabesad).

Coconuts Bali - March 3, 2021

The ensuing backlash following President Joko Widodo's revocation of a Presidential Regulation (Perpres) that placed alcoholic production in the country's positive investments list has begun in Bali, with one lawmaker arguing that the province should get special treatment.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 3, 2021

Indonesia has become the latest country to detect the B117 strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Health Ministry has confirmed, with the more contagious mutation found in two recent COVID-19 cases.

Tempo - March 3, 2021

Amirullah, Jakarta – The Information and Electronics Transactions (ITE Law) review team reportedly completed gathering inputs from people who were both reported using the law and people who filed a report under the law.

March 2, 2021

Tabloid JUBI - March 2, 2021

Jayapura – Papua Legislative Council deputy speaker, Yunus Wonda, said the legislators who use their constitutional rights to voice native Papuans' concerns to the central government were often labeled as "separatists" by "some offended people".

Tempo - March 2, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno on Monday said that he plans to reopen Bali's tourism through a program entitled the 'Free Covid Corridor' which he said was formed based on input from tourism businesses in Bali that were often mentioned to the government in multiple occasions.

Jakarta Globe - March 2, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – It has been a few years since Hamka Didit Ardiansyah – a driver-partner for a ride-hailing firm Grab – accepted his first trip.

Reuters - March 2, 2021

Angie Teo, Jakarta – North Sumatra's Mount Sinabung volcano sent a cloud of hot ash as high as 3 km (1.86 miles) on Tuesday, in its first big eruption since August last year.

Mount Sinabung's activity has increased since August last year and the alert for the volcano has been placed at second highest level.

UCA News - March 2, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Christians in Indonesia have called on the government to scrap or revise Islamic religious textbooks that allude to the Bible, saying religious studies in schools should not touch on doctrine but focus on moral values to avoid misunderstandings.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 2, 2021

President Joko Widodo has revoked a Presidential Regulation (Perpres) putting alcoholic production in the country's positive investments list, following outcry from religious groups in the Muslim majority country.

Tempo - March 2, 2021

Friski Riana, Jakarta – It has been a year exactly to the day since President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced the first Covid-19 case in Indonesia on March 2, 2020, and since then the country has been battling with the virus outbreak that first spread from Wuhan, China.

Jakarta Post - March 2, 2021

Ardila Syakriah and Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – When Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin was sworn into the position in December 2020, he said this about the country's COVID-19 efforts: "We believe it is not enough for the government to come up with its own programs; there must be a movement carried out together with the Indonesian people."

Tempo - March 2, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced the revocation of Presidential Regulation No. 10 of 2021 concerning the investment which legalizes alcoholic drinks.

Jakarta Globe - March 2, 2021

Natasia Christy Wahyuni & Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The Health Ministry recently announced the new coronavirus B117 variant – which was first detected in the UK – has entered Indonesia, one year since the country confirmed its first two Covid-19 cases.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 2, 2021

It was exactly a year ago that Indonesia officially reported the first COVID-19 cases on its soil. In the time since, the country has struggled to contain the outbreak, becoming one of the few in Asia to surpass 1 million cases and having one of the worst death rates in the continent.

March 1, 2021

Coconuts Jakarta - March 1, 2021

Remember Siti Zainah, the woman from Cianjur, West Java who said she got pregnant without intercourse and gave birth after a one-hour gestation period? Turns out that the pregnancy was only as miraculous as childbirth ordinarily is, with the father of the child having come forward to claim the baby.

Fulcrum - March 1, 2021

Max Lane – Indonesia's pandemic response and relief efforts continue to struggle with the tensions between economic and health priorities. Last year, this manifested itself in the uneven and changing "lockdown" policies restricting social mobility.

Kompas.com - March 1, 2021

Zakarias Demon Daton, Samarinda – Three leading figures from the Dayak Modang Long Wai traditional community in Long Bentuk village, Busang sub-district, East Kutai, East Kalimantan, were arrested by police on the afternoon of Saturday February 27.

Tempo - March 1, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) deputy chairperson, Anwar Abbas, on Sunday criticized the recently-passed legislation that permits investments on alcoholic drinks which he said may spark exploitation.

Jakarta Globe - March 1, 2021

Jakarta – Chevron Pacific Indonesia, a local subsidiary of the American oil and gas company, has spilled an unknown amount of oil at one of its facilities at Dumai Port in Riau on Saturday, and the company is working to contain the spill and assess the damage to the surrounding area, Chevron Pacific said on Monday.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 1, 2021

A North Aceh woman has been forced to take her six-month-old baby to prison after she was convicted of defamation under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), as concerns continue to grow about unnecessary enforcement of the controversial law.

Morning Star Online (UK) - March 1, 2021

West Papuan independence advocates have accused Indonesian police chief Untung Sangaji of the torture and killing of peaceful activist Kristianus Yandum, who died on Saturday.

The National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) said Mr Yandum was among 13 of its members arrested on December 13 for merely sitting in front of its offices.

Jakarta Globe - March 1, 2021

Farouk Arnaz, Jakarta – Counter-terrorism squad Detachment 88 has arrested 12 suspected militants with alleged links to global terror network the Islamic State in separate operations in East Java, the National Police said on Monday.

Police alleged that the group had plotted attacks and even prepared a hideout.

The Diplomat - March 1, 2021

Joao da Cruz Cardoso – Timor-Leste, like many other countries, has experienced considerable economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the country's economy was fragile long before the pandemic and will likely continue to face challenges for the foreseeable future.

Tempo - March 1, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Public policy expert Agus Pambagio said the legalization of alcoholic beverage-related investments mentioned in Presidential Regulation No. 10/2021 could potentially attract foreign investments.

Tempo - March 1, 2021

Lani Diana Wijaya, Jakarta – The Jakarta provincial government categorized 6,422 neighboring units or RTs as COVID-19 red zones or at high risk of coronavirus transmission.

The most vulnerable zones were detected in East Jakarta at 1,963 RTs, followed by West Jakarta with 1,502 RTs, South Jakarta with 1,310 RTs, North Jakarta with 935 RTs, and Central Jakarta 712 RTs.

Channel News Asia - March 1, 2021

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – It was the sudden loud cry of 10-year-old Indonesian Aisyah that caught her neighbours' attention in South Tangerang, Banten province, one day in January.

They quickly rushed to her house, but since they knew Aisyah's mother had contracted COVID-19 and was isolating at home, nobody dared to go in to see what had happened.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 1, 2021

A motorcyclist in Jakarta felt the swift boot of justice, and thankfully nothing more severe than that, from a member of the president's security detail (Paspampres) when he and his rev-happy pals drove too close for comfort to the State Palace.

CNN Indonesia - March 1, 2021

Jakarta – Activist Veronica Koman has addressed the different positions taken by the Indonesian government in response to calls to resolve the Papua problem and in its response to the coup d'etat in Myanmar.

According to Koman, Indonesia's position on the Myanmar coup has been very good, but not its attitude on the Papua issue.

Mongabay - March 1, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Forests in parts of Indonesia regions that have remained largely untouched are now fast disappearing as deforestation driven by agribusiness and infrastructure development moves east, according to a new report.

Tempo - March 1, 2021

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Coalition of Pedestrian head Alfred Sitorus said street vendors and illegal parking had occupied 90 percent of sidewalks in Jakarta.

"There are almost no sidewalks in Jakarta that are free from street sellers or illegal parking," said Alfred on Monday, March 1.

Tempo - March 1, 2021

Ahmad Faiz Ibnu Sani, Jakarta – A number of activists joined under a group dubbed the Milk Tea Alliance Indonesia declared their support for the struggle of the people of Myanmar in defying the military coup that has shattered the Southeast Asian nation.