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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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May 21, 2021

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2021

Tom Allard and Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Jakarta (Reuters) – A new security crackdown on armed separatists in the central highlands of Papua will be maintained until the separatists are wiped out, the National Police's intelligence chief has said.

Al Jazeera - May 21, 2021

Aisyah Llewellyn and Reno Surya, Surabaya, Indonesia – As Indonesian authorities announced this week that a salvage operation involving Chinese underwater rescue vessels had managed to recover "debris" from the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine, which sank off the coast of Bali last month, questions have been raised about the state of the country's military and its operational readiness.

Suara Papua - May 21, 2021

Charles Maniani, Manokwari – The group Papua People's Solidarity (SRP) in Manokwari, West Papua province, have demonstrated to demand the immediate and unconditional release of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson Victor Yeimo.

New Mandala - May 21, 2021

Yogi Setya Permana – Hydrometeorological hazards have outnumbered hazardous geophysical events such as earthquakes in the last two decades. While geophysical disasters have resulted in more deaths in Indonesia, hydrometeorological disasters have affected more people through injury, displacement, and property damage.

CNN Indonesia - May 21, 2021

Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia says that the protection of civil freedoms in Indonesia has gone backwards even though reformasi has been proceeding for 23 years.

Tempo - May 21, 2021

Antara, Medan – The North Sumatra Regional Police arrested employees of the North Sumatra Health Agency and a penitentiary for allegedly selling the COVID-19 vaccine illegally.

CNN Indonesia - May 21, 2021

Jakarta – Simultaneous protest actions held in three cities by the Papua People's Petition (PRP) have also taken up the situation in Palestine which has been heating up of late. They called for an immediate halt to the attacks on Palestine people in the Gaza Strip.

Jakarta Post Editorial - May 21, 2021

Something odd happened at the United Nations General Assembly this week. Indonesia joined 14 other countries in rejecting a resolution on "The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity".

Reuters - May 21, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has drawn up proposals to bring in a carbon tax to curb greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to raising VAT rates and reforming income tax, as part of a major overhaul of the tax system, a finance ministry document showed.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 21, 2021

Residents of a village in Gading Serpong, Tangerang swarmed a nearby housing complex in retort over an alleged protest against a loud mosque.

Human Rights Watch News Release - May 21, 2021

Jakarta – The Indonesian government should suspend and substantially revise a regulation on online content to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said in a May 17, 2021 letter to Indonesia's minister of communication and information technology.

CNN Indonesia - May 21, 2021

Makassar – Students from the Total Reformasi Struggle Front (FPRT) held a protest action on Jalan AP Pettarani in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar on Friday May 21. They were commemorating reformasi or the May 21, 1998 anniversary of former president Suharto announcing that he would step down from the presidency.

Tabloid JUBI - May 21, 2021

CNN Indonesia, Jakarta – Papuan people who are members of civil group Papuan People's Petition have staged protests in three cities on Friday, May 21, 2021 to voice opposition, among others, against the escalated armed conflict in Papua in the past month.

May 20, 2021

Tabloid JUBI - May 20, 2021

Hengky Yeimo, Nabire, Jubi – Dozens of people from the Kabuki Village of Mabugi District arrived in Ilaga, the capital district of Puncak Regency, on Wednesday after two weeks of walking through the forest and passing two mountains.

Christian Science Monitor - May 20, 2021

Kereng Bangkirai, Indonesia – By canoe, it's a 20-minute ride from the nearest village to the last piece of paradise in the heart of Borneo.

Asia Pacific Report - May 20, 2021

Antonio Sampaio, Dili – Timor-Leste today registered 172 more cases of covid-19 infection with the majority in Dili – passing the barrier of 5000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Tempo - May 20, 2021

Friski Riana, Jakarta – The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) Commissioner Retno Listyarti lamented the sanction imposed on MS, a senior high school student in Bengkulu, who was expelled for posting insulting remarks against Palestine on her TikTok.

Channel News Asia - May 20, 2021

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – An Indonesian court has postponed the issuance of a verdict regarding a lawsuit against the government over the alarming levels of air pollution that regularly blanket Jakarta.

The verdict was supposed to be handed down on Thursday (May 20) but the hearing was postponed to Jun 10.

Radio New Zealand - May 20, 2021

The West Papua Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the deaths of two Indonesian soldiers in Yahukimo regency on Tuesday.

It's the latest in a string of deaths as the Army's guerilla fighters trade attacks with Indonesia's military forces who recently mounted a crackdown on the rebels.

Indonesia at Melbourne - May 20, 2021

Usman Hamid and Ari Pramuditya – If insanity, as the saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then the Indonesian government's approach to Papua is a textbook example.

Liputan 6 - May 20, 2021

Tommy Kurnia, New York City – Indonesia has joined the List of Shame at the United Nations after rejecting a UN resolution on "The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity" (R2P).

Indonesia voted "No" during voting which took place on Tuesday May 18.

Tempo - May 20, 2021

Andita Rahma, Antara, Jakarta – The National Police recorded that there are around 150 members of the Papuan armed criminal groups. The number was obtained after the police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) mapped all rebel groups in the province.

Jakarta Globe - May 20, 2021

Jakarta – Health Ministry's vaccination spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said on Wednesday that only one out of the forty Astrazeneca batches, namely the CTMAV547, has its distribution paused, stressing that the remaining batches are safe for use.

The CTMAV547 batch comprised 448,480 doses and was part of the 3.8 million doses of Covax-procured shots received in late April.

ABC News - May 20, 2021

Prianka Srinivasan and Hellena Souisa – Two Indonesian military officers have been killed by independence fighters in Papua as violence continues to flare in Indonesia's easternmost provinces.

UCA News - May 20, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A Catholic priest and academic has joined more than 70 other leading professors in Indonesia in calling on the country's anti-graft body not to sack dozens of its employees, including senior investigators, after they failed to pass a controversial civil service exam.

Tempo - May 20, 2021

Jakarta – The success of habilitation programs in a number of jails proves that drug users need rehabilitation, not criminalization.

Jakarta Globe - May 20, 2021

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has notified the House of Representatives about his intent to introduce another tax amnesty program, the second in five years, as part of the government attempt to boost tax revenues amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior economic minister said on Wednesday.

Reuters - May 20, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia's exports racked up their strongest rise in 11 years in April, boosted by a surge in prices of key commodities such as palm oil and copper, though the unexpectedly robust figure is not expected to change the central bank's policy settings.

May 19, 2021

Reuters - May 19, 2021

Stanley Widianto – Two men embracing on a magazine cover was more than risque for Indonesia, thought LGBT+ researcher Ais, when he first discovered a trove of retro LGBT+ zines in Bali last year.

UCA News - May 19, 2021

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – Indonesian police have arrested 53 people in connection with a bomb attack on a Catholic cathedral in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province, nearly two months ago.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 19, 2021

There seems to be an ongoing trend on Indonesian TikTok involving young people bashing Palestine and its people, one of which resulted in the expulsion of a grade 11 high school student in Bengkulu recently.

Jakarta Globe - May 19, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has reached a commitment for the supply of 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group or Sinopharm, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization issued Interim recommendations for the global use of Sinopharm vaccine.

Jakarta Post - May 19, 2021

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Media personality, prominent critic of the New Order regime and former presidential spokesperson Wimar Witoelar passed away in Jakarta on Wednesday morning at the age of 75.

Suara Papua - May 19, 2021

Maria Baru, Sorong City – At least 31 human rights and pro-democracy organisations have urged the Indonesian government and the police to immediately release West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson Victor Yeimo (VY) from all charges.

Jakarta Globe - May 19, 2021

Yudha Baskoro, Jakarta – Hundreds of Indonesian Workers Union Confederation, or KSPI, members have held a protest outside the United Nations (UN) building in Central Jakarta on Tuesday to show solidarity and support for Palestinians in their latest violent clash with Israel.

UCA News - May 19, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Dozens of church and rights groups in Indonesia have called for the immediate release of Victor Yeimo, a pro-independence leader detained by police in Papua earlier this month.

Tempo - May 19, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian police asserted that not all members of the armed criminal group or KKB in Papua who surrender to the police would face sanctions.

The Police Chief's Assistant Operations, Inspector General Imam Sugianto, explained that the Nemangkawi Task Force would first explore the track records of those who surrendered.

UCA News - May 19, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Catholic-majority Timor-Leste has launched a special scholarship program for more than 900 students from disadvantaged families as part of government efforts to provide equal educational opportunities and promote higher education.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 19, 2021

The Jakarta Provincial Government recently lit up a number of pedestrian bridges and main roads in the city with the colors of the Palestinian flag in a show of solidarity with the Middle Eastern state, as hundreds were killed in escalating attacks in the Gaza strip.

CNN - May 19, 2021

Reuters – Born and raised in the bustling megacity of Jakarta, Indonesia's densely populated, traffic-choked capital, environmentalist Khalisah Khalid has long anguished over the city's toxic air.

Her young daughter has been plagued by ill health from birth, issues Khalisah believes are exacerbated by the city's worsening air pollution.

Tempo - May 19, 2021

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – Issues on boycotting Israel products have once again emerged among the public in Indonesia following the increasing conflict between Israel and Palestine. But how far is Indonesia's trade relationship with the Middle Eastern state?

May 18, 2021

Straits Times - May 18, 2021

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Indonesia is stepping up its vaccination programme, with the start of company-funded inoculations for employees on Tuesday (May 18).

Workers in labour-intensive industries such as food and petrochemicals will be the first to receive their vaccinations under the roll-out, as the country casts its eye on maintaining its economic output.

Associated Press - May 18, 2021

Niniek Karmini and Fadlan Syammay, Jakarta – Pro-Palestinian protesters marched to the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy in Indonesia's capital on Tuesday to demand an end to Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

Sydney Morning Herald - May 18, 2021

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore – Two life rafts from a lost Indonesian submarine have been retrieved from the floor of the ocean near Bali but the China-led recovery operation has not been able to find the bodies of any of the 53 men who were aboard.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 18, 2021

The tragic and disturbing death of a 7-year-old girl in Temanggung regency, Central Java shocked Indonesians this week, after reports surfaced that her parents were heavily implicated in her murder, as they believed she was possessed by a supernatural being.

Tempo - May 18, 2021

Inge Klara Safitri, Jakarta – Jakarta saw rampant banners rejecting travelers who returned from Eid al-Fitr holidays in their hometowns without a Covid-19-free letter.

Two of them were installed in Kartini Subdistrict of Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta. The banners also read "Covid-19 swab test is mandatory for people returning from mudik or Eid homecoming".

Channel News Asia - May 18, 2021

I Nyoman Sutarsa, Canberra – The Indonesian government set an ambitious goal to complete mass COVID-19 immunisation by the end of March 2022, covering the 181.5 million Indonesians eligible for vaccination.

UCA News - May 18, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Environmental destruction has put people living around Indonesia's largest lake at serious risk of natural disaster, Catholic and other Christian churches have warned.

Deforestation around Lake Toba in Sumatra has caused more frequent flooding, putting the lives of people at risk from mudslides and inundation, they said.

Australian Financial Review - May 18, 2021

Emma Connors, Jakarta/Singapore – Indonesian companies have begun paying to vaccinate employees as the country rushes to get ahead of an expected new wave of COVID-19 infections.

CNN Indonesia - May 18, 2021

Jakarta – The Papua Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) along with 30 other civil society organisations is urging the police to unconditionally release West Papua National Committee (KNPB) spokesperson Victor Yeimo following his arrest in Jayapura on Sunday May 9.