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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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May 25, 2021

Jakarta Globe - May 25, 2021

Jakarta – At least 17 soldiers have been slapped with dishonorable discharge after they were found guilty of attacking a police station in East Jakarta, the Indonesian Military said in a statement on Monday.

Nikkei Asia - May 25, 2021

Erwida Maulia and Ismi Damayanti, Jakarta – The Indonesian government is working on a plan to send thousands of Jakarta-based civil servants to work remotely from Bali, in a bid to help the economy of the tourism-reliant island rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Antara News - May 25, 2021

Astrid Faidlatul Habibah, Katr, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati expressed pride while highlighting that Indonesia's COVID-19 vaccination program was ranked 11th internationally, with 24.84 million doses of the vaccine administered to the public.

Radio New Zealand - May 25, 2021

Indonesian police have forcefully dispersed a number of West Papuan protests around the region today.

The protestors were calling for the release of pro-independence activist Victor Yeimo who was taken into police custody over two weeks ago.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 25, 2021

Authorities have arrested two men for their alleged roles in an online prostitution ring involving over a dozen teenagers in West Jakarta.

In a raid conducted on Wednesday and Friday last week, police apprehended at least 75 people from two hotels in the area. Among them were 18 underage girls, who the pimps took in after going on dates with them.

Tempo - May 25, 2021

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – Until the end of April 2021, the Indonesian government had spent Rp10.7 trillion from the state budget to treat Covid-19 patients. The money was used to pay for hospital facilities, health workers, and medicines that were given free to 159,700 patients.

Jakarta Globe - May 25, 2021

Jakarta – The government has proposed a plan to add a new income tax bracket imposing a 35 percent tax rate on any annual income above $348,000 as part of a sweeping move to revamp Indonesia's tax code and boost state revenue.

Suara Papua - May 25, 2021

Charles Maniani, Manokwari – Hundreds of people in Manokwari from the Papuan People's Solidarity (SRP) once again articulated their opposition to the extension of Special Autonomy in Papua and other demands on the morning of Tuesday May 25.

UCA News - May 25, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A priest who heads a theology and philosophy school in Indonesia has sparked controversy by claiming the Catholic Church will probably accept same-sex marriages.

Divine Word Father Otto Gusti Madung's comments were made last month during a talk with members of a group called Journalists Union for Diversity, which posted them on Facebook on May 23.

Straits Times - May 25, 2021

Medan, Indonesia (AFP) – Four people have been arrested in Indonesia for allegedly stealing Covid-19 vaccines marked for prisoners and selling them to the public, the authorities said on Tuesday (May 25).

Fulcrum - May 25, 2021

A'an Suryana – A series of changes in Indonesia's KPK will seriously dent the anti-graft body's ability to investigate cases of corruption.

The Diplomat - May 25, 2021

James Guild – A recent article from Mongabay reports that as of 2023 Indonesia will no longer build new coal-fired power plants. The article notes, however, that Indonesia still intends to finish dozens of projects that are currently under construction, and that these will continue burning coal and emitting carbon for many years to come.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 25, 2021

East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa has been reported to the police for allegedly breaching COVID-19 protocols at her birthday party last week.

CNN Indonesia - May 25, 2021

Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD claims that only a handful of Papuans want independence. More than that, he said, 92 percent of Papuans support the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

Reuters - May 25, 2021

Kate Lamb and Fanny Potkin – Indonesian anti-corruption activists have suffered a surge of digital attacks, from the hacking of messaging accounts to the sabotage of a Zoom conference with pornography, and they say they fear they are being targeted for speaking out.

Al Jazeera - May 25, 2021

Aisyah Llewellyn and Arif Budi Setyawan, Medan, Indonesia – When Zakiah Aini, a 25-year-old university dropout, walked into the Indonesian National Police Headquarters in Jakarta brandishing an air gun on the last day of March, it was initially widely reported, and perhaps assumed, that the perpetrator had been a man.

Jakarta Post - May 25, 2021

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) decided on Tuesday to hold its benchmark seven-day reverse repo rate at 3.5 percent amid a continually weakening rupiah and unusually low inflation last month, despite the Ramadan and Idul Fitri holidays.

The New Lens - May 25, 2021

Leo Galuh – Bandung, Indonesia – Farah Prisiliana woke up at 7 a.m., as she normally does, to start her routine from a rented room in Bandung, the capital of West Java.

Prisiliana, 42, stood up slowly, looking for her right prosthetic leg. Watering vegetables and plants on the windowsill is her first task once she affixes her leg and leaves her room.

Straits Times - May 25, 2021

Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – At least eight family members of 47 Indonesian health workers who contracted Covid-19 after treating 14 sick Filipino ship crew members have tested positive for the coronavirus as the health authorities intensify tracing on their close contacts.

Asia Pacific Report - May 25, 2021

An exiled West Papuan leader has condemned Indonesian for "hypocrisy" in speaking out about Myanmar and Palestine while voting to ignore genocide and ethnic cleansing at the United Nations.

The leading English-language daily newspaper, The Jakarta Post, has also criticised Jakarta's UN vote.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 25, 2021

The arrest of an alleged breast groper in Jakarta has sparked a discussion on the trivialization of sexual harassment in Indonesia, with netizens coming forward to share stories about their horrifying trauma as victims.

The Interpreter - May 25, 2021

Leanne Jorari – As popular support for West Papua grows more vocal, PNG officials walk a diplomatic tightrope.

A video recently surfaced on social media in Papua New Guinea, featuring a group of about 20 men, gathered around their apparent leader, declaring war on Indonesia.

New Zealand Herald - May 25, 2021

Thomas Bywater – An ambitious $4 billion tourism development dubbed 'the next Bali' has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office after shocking land grabs and treatment of the islands' indigenous people have been brought to light.

May 24, 2021

ULMWP Statement - May 24, 2021

The Indonesian government is speaking out about Myanmar and Palestine whilst voting to ignore genocide and ethnic cleansing at the UN. We are thankful that Indonesian leaders show solidarity with the suffering of the Palestinians and Myanmarese, but Indonesia is desperately trying to cover up its own crimes against humanity in West Papua.

Tempo - May 24, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The South Jakarta Metro Police is currently launching an investigation on the viral video in Instagram on an alleged burning of Muslim's Holy Quran. The police headquarters' Chief Grand Commissioner Azis Andriansyah said on Sunday confirms this "It's an ongoing investigation."

Nikkei Asia - May 24, 2021

Shotaro Tani, Jakarta – Indonesia is considering introducing a carbon tax as it seeks to boost revenue to fund its spending to support an economy reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 24, 2021

Facebook, TikTok, and Clubhouse may be banned in Indonesia within six months if the Information and Communications Ministry's order for them to be legally registered in the country proves to be more than a mere bluff.

Tempo - May 24, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Covid-19 national task force's head of data and information technology, Dewi Nur Aisyah, on Sunday announced that four Indonesian provinces have seen a rise in hospital bed occupancy rate with many hospitals treating coronavirus cases already over 50 percent occupied.

WA Today - May 24, 2021

Chris Barrett – Farahnaz Salehi calls them the lost years. There have been seven of them for the 21-year-old Hazara refugee since she fled Afghanistan with her parents and her seven brothers and sisters in 2014, ending up in Indonesia.

"We are stuck here and we cannot do anything," she said from Cisarua, a mountainous district an hour's drive outside Jakarta.

DevPolicyBlog - May 24, 2021

Alex Ray – Fifty kilometres east of Dili is the site of one of Timor-Leste's most renowned scuba diving locations. It is reached via the nearby Santo Antonio Grotto rest stop where timber-slat huts sell plastic bottled water and noodles in Styrofoam cups.

Jakarta Globe - May 24, 2021

Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – The Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Monday found Maria Pauline Lumowa guilty of corruption and money laundering and sentenced her to 18 years behind bars for a major bank embezzlement case back in 2003.

Tempo - May 24, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Following news about an alleged massive data breach of 279 million Indonesians' confidential BPJS (social security) data on Friday, Commission I House of Representative (DPR) legislator Sukamta highlighted the fact that confidential data breach has happened too often which exposes Indonesia's cyber security weaknesses.

UCA News - May 24, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a district court in Timor-Leste to postpone the resumption of a trial of an ex-priest accused of sexually abusing children for the third time.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 24, 2021

Officials in Bengkulu have reversed the expulsion of a high school student, whose viral TikTok video mocking Palestinians became the subject of nationwide outrage last week.

May 23, 2021

Tempo - May 23, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesia added 5,296 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections on Saturday, taking the total tally since the start of the pandemic in March, 2020 to 1,769,940, according to data provided by the COVID-19 Handling Task Force.

Antara News - May 23, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign debt until the first quarter (Q1) end of 2021 reached US$415.6 billion, or decreased 0.4 percent (qtq), from the external debt position recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020, at US$417.5 billion.

Bloomberg - May 23, 2021

Harry Suhartono and Tassia Sipahutar – PT Garuda Indonesia needs to completely restructure its business, potentially reducing the number of planes it operates to less than half its main fleet as it seeks to survive the crisis wrought by the pandemic, its president told staff this week.

Jakarta Globe - May 23, 2021

Jakarta – The Jakarta's Regional Commission for Post-Immunization Events, or KIPI, ensures every Covid-19 vaccine rolled out to the public is safe, as they have undergone several trials.

"All vaccines have undergone three-phase trials for safety," the commission's chief Ellen Roostati Sianipar told an online #tanyaIDI conference themed "Is AstraZeneca Safe?" on Thursday.

Insider - May 23, 2021

Ah, Bali. Land of holy temples, age-old traditions, beaches and jungles – and hordes of influencers in flowing white clothing.

Suara Papua - May 23, 2021

Markus You, Nabire – With the exception of a mass protest against racism on the grounds of the Papua governor's office on August 19, 2019, Victor Yeimo was never involved in the subsequent protest action on August 29 in Jayapura city which ended in a riot.

Reuters - May 23, 2021

Indonesian authorities on Friday summoned state insurer BPJS Kesehatan, which provides universal health coverage, as part of an investigation into an alleged breach of personal data involving millions of people, the communications ministry said.

May 22, 2021

Eurasia Review - May 22, 2021

Shailaja Neelakantan (BenarNews) – Indonesia joined North Korea, China, Russia and other repressive regimes in voting "no" this week on a U.N. resolution mandating annual debate on preventing crimes against humanity – raising alarm among human rights advocates and observers of Southeast Asia's largest democracy.

Asia Pacific Report - May 22, 2021

Pacific churches have condemned the media blackout in West Papua, military crackdown in parts of the territory and the silencing of dissenting voices.

They have also criticised the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for "allowing Indonesia into their fold".

The Guardian - May 22, 2021

Zevonia Vieira in Dili and Tjitske Lingsma – Lita grew up in a poor family in a hamlet surrounded by the spectacular mountains of Oecusse in Timor-Leste. When she was 11 years old she went to live in Topu Honis shelter home, in the mountainous, forest-encircled village of Kutet.

Nikkei Asia - May 22, 2021

Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Bali – "Here in Bali, we believe in the law of karmaphala – that our actions will determine what we receive in return, good or bad," says Gede Robi, frontman of rock band Navicula and the lead in "Palau Plastik," a new documentary about the sources and consequences of, and possible solutions to the scourge of plastic waste that pockmarks so many of Indonesia's 17

May 21, 2021

Jakarta Globe - May 21, 2021

Jakarta – A suspected breach of Indonesia's social security data has put virtually all Indonesians exposed to digital attacks and frauds, authorities and digital security experts warned on Friday.

Fulcrum - May 21, 2021

Syafiq Hasyim – In 2020, Eid-al-Fitri was a national superspreader event. This year the government and Muslim organisations were better prepared.

CNN Indonesia - May 21, 2021

Jakarta – A brief protest action was held by Papuan activists from the Papua People's Petition (PRP) at the Horse Statue on Jalan Medan Barat Jakarta in Central Jakarta at 8 am.

Kompas.com - May 21, 2021

Rahel Narda Chaterine, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia says it is disappointed over the Indonesian government's position of opposing discussions on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) resolution during a vote at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday May 18.

CNN Indonesia - May 21, 2021

Bandung – Activists from the Papua People's Solidarity (Sorak) held a protest action in front of the Merdeka building in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on the afternoon of Friday May 21.