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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 11, 2021

Tabloid JUBI - February 11, 2021

Benny Mawel, Jayapura – Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) Director Emanuel Gobay, said that Merauke Police had denied 13 activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) their right to health after the institute received a report that one of the detainees was critically ill.

Jakarta Post - February 11, 2021

Abigail Rose McCall, Brisbane, Australia – The struggles of Indonesia's Papuan communities have surfaced in various shows of solidarity, with indigenous Australians during the divisive Australia Day celebrations that took place across the "land down under" last month.

Reuters - February 11, 2021

Harry Jacques, Solok, Indonesia (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Clipped onto a rope, climbing high up in a tree swaying in gusts of wind, Topher White finally reaches the roof of the rainforest and opens a laptop to run checks on a machine he built to transmit 24-hour live sound from the surrounding forest.

Tempo - February 11, 2021

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Syahrizal Syarif, opined that Covid-19 cases in Jakarta and other regions could not be controlled without implementing lockdown or regional quarantine.

Tempo - February 11, 2021

Rini Kustiani, Jakarta – Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim launched the Kampus Mengajar or Teaching Campus program as part of the Merdeka Belajar (Freedom Campus) policy along with the Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) on Tuesday, February 9.

UCA News - February 11, 2021

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – Three Christians were flogged in public in Indonesia's Aceh province on Feb. 8 after being caught drinking alcohol at a small shop in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, according to a local government official.

The Guardian - February 11, 2021

Gemma Holliani Cahya in Jakarta, and Associated Press – A malfunctioning automatic throttle may have caused the pilots of a Sriwijaya Air jet to lose control, leading to the Boeing 737-500's plunge into the Java Sea last month, Indonesian investigators have said.

Mongabay - February 11, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Palm oil-driven deforestation is slowing down in Southeast Asia in 2020 but a handful of low-profile companies continue to drive the majority of the destruction, according to a new analysis.

Jakarta Globe - February 11, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia's export levy prevents palm oil from reaping enormous profits from the rising price of crude palm oil, or CPO, plantation giant Astra Agro Lestari, a subsidiary of Indonesian automotive conglomerate Astra Indonesia warned.

February 10, 2021

The Diplomat - February 10, 2021

Luke Lischin – On January 12, 2021 Indonesian President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, issued Government Regulation (Peraturan Pemerintah) Number 3 of 2021 implementing National Law 23 on the Management of National Resources for Defense of the Nation (Undang-Undang Nomor 23 Tahun 2019 – Pengelolaan Sumber Daya Nasional Untuk Pertahanan Negara).

Tempo - February 10, 2021

Adam Prireza, Jakarta – Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria said the elimination of the river normalization project noted in the draft of the 2017-2022 Jakarta mid-term development plan (RPJMD) was determined for the interests of the community.

Jakarta Globe - February 10, 2021

Jakarta – The government will start using rapid antigen test for tracing the Covid-19 suspects and plan to spend $100 on every person infected by the Sars-CoV2 virus, who had to self-quarantine in their homes, in its latest attempt to control the pandemic, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

ABC News - February 10, 2021

Anne Barker – The sons of Timor Leste's former president Xanana Gusmao have expressed their disappointment to the victims of a former priest facing child sexual abuse allegations, after their father visited him for his birthday at his home in Dili.

Coconuts Jakarta - February 10, 2021

Have Jakarta's streets been relatively free of maddening macet (traffic jams) over the past year? Like in most major cities during the pandemic, of course they have, but Governor Anies Baswedan has invited criticism upon himself after he seemingly took pride in the non-achievement.

Al Jazzera - February 10, 2021

Jessica Washington and Syarina Hasibuan, Jakarta, Indonesia – One month ago, Rahmania Ekanda and her two young daughters boarded a flight at Indonesia's Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

The family lived in Jakarta, while the girls' father worked in West Kalimantan.

Tempo - February 10, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Spokesperson for the Covid-19 Handling Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito, reported the good trend in the weekly pandemic mitigation. According to him, there was a decrease in the number of national weekly cases by 10.8 percent.

Straits Times - February 10, 2021

Jakarta (Bloomberg) – Indonesia's capital is racing to open more cemeteries to cope with the coronavirus death toll that has doubled in less than three months despite vaccination efforts.

Coconuts Jakarta - February 10, 2021

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has launched an independent COVID-19 vaccination scheme, which is estimated to reach at least 20 million workers in the private sector.

Kadin Chairman Rosan P. Roeslani said that companies can start registering for the program, which closes on Feb. 17.

Jakarta Globe - February 10, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The daily number of coronavirus cases have left the five-digit territory in the last three days in an apparent sign that post-holiday surge in newly cases is over.

Tempo - February 10, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Renowned political observer Rocky Gerung assessed President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's public call for more criticism as a paradox, saying that what the government had recently been engaged in depicted the otherwise.

Asia Pacific Report - February 10, 2021

Indonesia is trying again to "divide and rule my people" by further carving Papua into three new provinces, warns interim president Benny Wenda of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP).

And he says that Jakarta is bringing in another 450 troops in to "violently enforce" its policies.

Coconuts Bali - February 10, 2021

Are some Indonesian islands up for sale? It's all a hoax, the country's authorities have confirmed, after recent online listings suggesting exactly that made national headlines.

February 9, 2021

Tempo - February 9, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno along with Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly were discussing a policy to grant a long-term visa for foreign tourists that could last for five years.

Tempo - February 9, 2021

Adam Prireza, Jakarta – Jakarta's Environment Agency picks up garbage in rivers that are carried away after the rain. As of 16:00 yesterday, the agency picked up 746 cubic meters or 746,000 liters of trash from three locations in rivers.

Coconuts Jakarta - February 9, 2021

A social media star/singer in Jakarta has become the subject of controversy after she was vaccinated against COVID-19 when jabs are currently exclusive to health workers.

Tabloid JUBI - February 9, 2021

Yance Wenda, Jayapura – Hundreds of university students from Lapago Customary Territory gathered on Monday in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, to reject the central government and local administration plan to establish new provinces in Papua Land or West Papua.

Tempo - February 9, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – In the commemoration of the National Press Day on Tuesday, February 9, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said the press freedom must be maintained as stipulated in Law No. 40/1999.

The freedom of the press, Pramono underlined, is the main pillar to keep democracy going in this democratic country.

Reuters - February 9, 2021

Johan Purnomo and Tommy Ardiansyah, Jakarta – Floods, heavy rain and power outages led people to evacuate their homes in parts of Indonesia's capital on Monday, with the conditions – worsened by the La Nina weather pattern – expected to continue until March or April.

Indonesia at Melbourne - February 9, 2021

Krishna Hort, Tiara Marthias – Indonesia is facing an ongoing rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, often described as a "never-ending" first wave. This is probably the result of ongoing geographic spread, with cases now increasing in most provinces. Meanwhile, the increasing number of people developing serious conditions is putting strain on hospital capacity.

Tabloid JUBI - February 9, 2021

Hengky Yeimo, Nabire – People in West Papua called hip hop music "musik bicara-bicara", which can be loosely translated into conversational music or talks music, because it has spoken words.

CNN Indonesia - February 9, 2021

Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) has responded to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's statement yesterday asking the public to be more active in conveying criticism by citing the many cases of alleged criminalisation and digital attacks which have occurred over the last three years.

Tempo - February 9, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Tuesday, Feb. 9, revealed the reason why he thinks it is necessary to involve the military or armed forces (TNI) and police to suppress the spread of Covid-19 in Indonesia. He also likens the pandemic as a war.

Jakarta Globe - February 9, 2021

Farouk Arnaz & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – A self-proclaimed Muslim preacher who was being detained for alleged defamation died for illness on Monday evening, a National Police spokesman said.

Agence France-Presse - February 9, 2021

Banda Aceh – Two Christian men were publicly flogged Monday in Indonesia's ultra-conservative Aceh province for drinking alcohol and gambling, in a rare instance of non-Muslims facing a punishment frequently condemned by rights groups.

The Guardian - February 9, 2021

Christopher Knaus – The federal government's attempt to use "extraordinary" national security powers to obstruct Bernard Collaery engaging a highly respected barrister in the Timor-Leste spying case was "disturbing" and "unfair", a judge has ruled.

Coconuts Jakarta - February 9, 2021

Indonesia did not take kindly to a prediction that it would need at least 10 years to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 through vaccination, with officials adamant that the feat is achievable by next year.

Kompas.com - February 9, 2021

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's statement asking the public to be more active in conveying criticism and input on government performance is not in line with the actual situation.

February 8, 2021

Kyodo News - February 8, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia on Monday extended the closure of its borders to foreigners for another two weeks until Feb. 22 over coronavirus fears, a day after its drug monitoring agency approved the emergency use of China's CoronaVac vaccine for the elderly.

Tempo - February 8, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – Pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia on Monday announced that its recent survey found that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's satisfaction rate failed to improve in 2021 with 62.9 percent. It also recorded an increase in dissatisfaction rate.

New Mandala - February 8, 2021

Annie Sloman – The COVID-19 pandemic has not only had global health, economic and social impacts, it has also impacted on civic space. But what has been the impact of COVID-19 on civic space in Timor-Leste?

Tempo - February 8, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Traffic on Jalan Jatinegara Barat, East Jakarta, was congested as part of the road was flooded following the overflow of the Ciliwung River on Monday morning, February 8. The floodwater reached a height of about 20 centimeters.

ABC News - February 8, 2021

Hellena Souisa – The country hit 1 million COVID-19 cases at the end of last month, almost two weeks after the vaccine developed by China's CoronaVac was rolled out.

But among at least two tribes in West Java – the people of Baduy and Kasepuhan Ciptagelar – no positive cases have ever been detected.

Coconuts Jakarta - February 8, 2021

The central government has imposed a new set of restrictions in parts of Java and Bali, which is designed for more localized enforcement but with some policies relaxed.

Jakarta Globe - February 8, 2021

Yustinus Paat & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has relaxed coronavirus-related social restrictions by allowing malls, supermarkets and retailers to operate until 09.00 p.m. starting on Tuesday as the surge in newly cases begins to slow.

Business premises were previously ordered to halt operation at 7.00 p.m.

AsiaNews - February 8, 2021

Mathias Hariyadi, Jakarta – The massive floods that hit Semarang in recent days have sowed chaos and confusion.

A metre of water has interrupted rail links to the capital of Central Java province, paralysing east-west road traffic, and putting out of service the city's Tawang Central Station.

Tempo - February 8, 2021

Antara, Jayapura, Papua – State-owned Pertamina-Papua and Maluku Regional Office has distributed its aid packages to flood victims currently taking refuge in Pramuka building of Arso Swakarsa neighborhood, Arso Subdistrict, Keerom District, Papua.

Tempo - February 8, 2021

Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) chairman Jusuf Kalla or JK predicted that the number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia would reach 2 million in April 2021. This, he added, could happen if the addition of new infections per day consistently hit above 12,000.

UCA News - February 8, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – An indigenous community in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province has launched a campaign seeking more than US1 million in compensation from a palm oil company by blockading its plantation.

Coconuts Jakarta - February 8, 2021

Indonesian motorcycle taxi drivers may be among the first groups from the general public to receive vaccine shots against COVID-19, the Health Ministry said today.

With an ever-evolving mass vaccination schedule, the ministry said today that members of the general public, for whom interaction with other people is a necessity, may start getting the vaccine in March.

Tempo - February 8, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said two provinces reported a decrease in cases of coronavirus among health workers after the Covid-19 vaccination.

"We have seen that two provinces start to record a decline in positive cases among healthcare workers," Budi said in an online press conference on Sunday, February 7.