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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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August 23, 2021

The Strategist - August 23, 2021

Donald Greenlees – A persistent question lurking in the background of Australia's alliance with the US has always been whether our powerful ally would come to our aid in a time of military crisis.

Tabloid JUBI - August 23, 2021

Catherine Delahunty, Jayapura – When I first met West Papuan activist Paula Makabory, she told me she came from the land of the "Morning Star", home to the bird of paradise. In the same breath, she said her people were living in an occupied country – and they were bleeding.

I had no idea at the time where West Papua was, but meeting Paula changed the world map in my head.

Coconuts Bali - August 23, 2021

While it's no secret that tourism plays a huge role in Bali's economy, an expert from the Udayana University says the pandemic is a lesson for the hugely popular holiday destination to grow out of its dependence on foreign tourists.

Jakarta Globe - August 23, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia recorded fewer than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths for the first time in over two months on Monday while the daily count of newly cases also fell to below 10,000 as the lengthy community restrictions appear to deliver positive impacts.

Indonesia at Melbourne - August 23, 2021

Maidina Rahmawati and Erasmus AT Napitupulu – Over the past few weeks, police and local governments have painted over at least three murals voicing public criticism about the government's management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tabloid JUBI - August 23, 2021

Theo Kelen, Jayapura – Director of the Indonesian Women's Legal Aid Institute for Justice (LBH APIK) Jayapura Nur Aida Duwila said reports of sexual violence against children in Papua continued to increase from 2019 to 2021.

Jakarta Post - August 23, 2021

Jakarta (Agencies) – Indonesia will from Tuesday start to allow the partial reopening of restaurants, shopping malls and places of worship in some areas, including in the capital Jakarta and the holiday island of Bali, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Monday.

Jakarta Globe - August 23, 2021

Fana Suparman, Jakarta – Former social affairs minister Juliari Peter Batubara was found guilty on Monday of accepting bribes in government's social assistance project for families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

East Asia Forum - August 23, 2021

Liam Gammon – Two genres of viral video encapsulate Indonesia's devastating wave of COVID-19 infections over the past six weeks.

August 22, 2021

Reuters - August 22, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has moved its Afghanistan diplomatic mission from Kabul to Pakistan, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Saturday, after its air force evacuated dozens in the wake of the Taliban's seizure of power.

Jakarta Globe - August 22, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia recorded the lowest daily tally of Covid-19 cases in more than two months on Sunday, with figures returning to the level before the highly contagious Delta variant began to dominate new infections.

The country has added 12,408 new cases in the past 24 hours, the lowest daily count since June 16, to take its total to 3,979,456, government figures show.

Tabloid JUBI - August 22, 2021

Victor Mambor, Jayapura – Ferianus Asso, the victim of a police shooting during a peaceful demonstration in Dekai, Yahukimo regency on Monday August 16, which was demanding the release of Papua activist Victor Yeimo, has reportedly died in hospital in Jayapura.

August 21, 2021

The Economist - August 21, 2021
Agree or disagree: "Homosexuals should be given corporal punishment." That is one of the many odd questions posed in a civil-service exam taken by the 1,300 employees of Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in April. The formerly independent anti-graft agency is to be folded into the civil service, thus requiring its staff to pass an entrance test.
The Conversation - August 21, 2021

Tim Lindsey – Soeharto was the giant of modern Indonesia. For many Indonesians, his resignation in 1998 after 32 years in power is still a watershed moment. Much that has happened since has been a reaction against his rule, or an attempt to recreate it.

Agence France-Presse - August 21, 2021

Jakarta – The extremist group behind the Bali bombings was planning a fresh attack during Indonesia's independence day celebrations this week, police said Friday, citing militants arrested in a crackdown that netted dozens of suspects.

Jakarta Globe - August 21, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia recorded 16,744 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday to take the country's total to 3,967,048. While the surge in newly cases has been slowing in recent weeks, the daily death toll continues to top 1,000.

Radio New Zealand - August 21, 2021

A Polish man imprisoned in an Indonesian jail after visiting West Papua as a tourist is doing okay, according to his lawyer.

Jakub Skrzypski is serving a seven-year sentence for treason after being arrested in Papua in 2018 when he was found to have consorted with Papuan pro-independence activists.

UCA News - August 21, 2021

Ryan Dagur – A Society of the Divine Word (SVD) official has denied allegations of "conspiracy" and "false accusations" against Richard Daschbach, who was dismissed from the priesthood for sexual abuse committed in Timor-Leste.

August 20, 2021

Coconuts Jakarta - August 20, 2021

An Indonesian COVID-19 conspiracy theorist attacked a judge in court after he was handed a sentence for his antics, as seen in a video that has circulated widely on social media.

Tabloid JUBI - August 20, 2021

Hengky Yeimo, Jayapura – The Jayapura District Court has started to examine the pretrial motion filed by the legal advisory team of Victor Yeimo, the international spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and the Papuan People's Petition leader, who is named a suspect for allegedly provoking the anti-racism protests in 2019.

Kompas.com - August 20, 2021

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia is concerned that the public will become even more reluctant to express an opinion after police acted excessively by hunting down and arresting a person who painted a mural critical of the government.

Suara Papua - August 20, 2021

Arnold Belau, Jayapura – The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) emphasized that Victor Yeimo's treatment should be prioritized before conducting a trial at the District Court.

Coconuts Bali - August 20, 2021

Bali is hoping to fill the pandemic tourist void by becoming a quarantine destination for foreign travelers entering Indonesia, which an official said would benefit the local tourism industry.

Asia Pacific Report - August 20, 2021

Ronna Nirmala, Jakarta – A pro-independence activist in Indonesia's Papua province will stand trial next week on charges of treason, says his lawyer.

A day earlier, one protester suffered gunshot wounds when police opened fire to disperse a rally demanding the activist Victor Yeimo's release, activists and a church group said.

Amnesty International News Release - August 20, 2021

Indonesian security forces have used discriminatory excessive force and racially abused protesters peacefully opposing the renewal of the Papuan Special Autonomy Law, new research by Amnesty International has revealed.

Reuters - August 20, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesian police have arrested 53 militants suspected of planning an attack on independence day this week, including alleged members of networks blamed for past attacks like the 2002 Bali bombings, the police said on Friday.

Coconuts Jakarta - August 20, 2021

All adult foreign nationals in Indonesia can now sign up to get their COVID jabs, with the Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) in Jakarta now accepting vaccine registrations for a date set next week.

Tempo - August 20, 2021

Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – The notorious Bank Bali graft case convict, Djoko Tjandra, received a two month remission from the Law and Human Rights Ministry on Indonesia's 76th independence day commemoration.

Jakarta Globe - August 20, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has evacuated its 26 nationals including embassy staff from Kabul amid chaotic situation and political uncertainties after the Taliban return to power in Afghanistan following the departure of US military forces from the country, the foreign minister said on Friday.

Mothership - August 20, 2021

Faris Alfiq – The Indonesian Broadcast Commission has given a written warning to South Jakarta-based television channel, Trans TV, over its broadcast of the 2017 movie, Baywatch.

Show deemed to contain 'sensual' depictions of women

New Left Review - August 20, 2021

Rohana Kuddus – Leapfrogging from a provincial furniture factory to become President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo was greeted by a Time magazine cover hailing him as 'A New Hope' for the world.

Coconuts Jakarta - August 20, 2021

Did you know that humans and orangutans share about 96 percent of their DNA? Sadly, the apes' human-like characteristics and intelligence have contributed to their popularity as attractions in zoos and entertainment parks worldwide, which is, in turn, contributing to the species' rapidly declining population.

Tempo - August 20, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Head of the National Police Criminal Investigation Unit Comm. General Agus Andrianto urged his personnel to avert from acting aggressively against street mural artists behind the wall painting resembling the President, which became viral as its eyes were covered by a statement '404: Not Found.'

Jakarta Post - August 20, 2021

Dio Suhenda and Ary Hermawan, Jakarta – A graffiti depicting President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo with his eyes covered and captioned "404: not found" in Batuceper, Tangerang, Banten, has become a symbol of political resistance in an increasingly illiberal Indonesia.

August 19, 2021

Tempo - August 19, 2021

Pribadi Wicaksono (Contributor), Jakarta – The new daily cases of Covid-19 recorded in the Yogyakarta region is currently dipping on Wednesday after the special region logged another all time low of 700 daily cases. Active cases have also dropped considerably despite remaining above 20,000 cases.

Jakarta Globe - August 19, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – State-owned pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma has slashed the price of polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test for Covid-19 to Rp 495,000 (about $34) in all its clinics, following the Health Ministry's new circular on the price cap on PCR tests.

Asia Pacific Report - August 19, 2021

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has called on Indonesian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Papuan leader Victor Yeimo from custody.

Benny Wenda, interim president of the ULMWP, said Yeimo was a "clear victim" of Indonesian racism and his health was deteriorating under captivity.

Jakarta Globe - August 19, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has received close to 1.6 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer on Thursday, the first batch of 50 million doses the country ordered from the American pharmaceutical giant to boost its vaccination effort.

The Conversation - August 19, 2021

A'an Suryana – A few weeks ago, Religious Affairs Minister Cholil Yaqut Qoumas became a target of public criticism and praise for congratulating followers of the minority Baha'i faith in Indonesia on celebrating their Nowruz holiday.

Nowruz is the first day of the Baha'i calendar year. It is one of nine holy days for Baha'i adherents.

Tempo - August 19, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – PDIP chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri in a written statement on Wednesday on the construction of protected temple area in Bali said she is heartbroken by the waves of criticism made against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, which in her terms made the President lose weight.

Jakarta Globe - August 19, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has increased its climate ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2060 at the latest, a decade faster than previously estimated, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Indonesia at Melbourne - August 19, 2021

Anne Suryani and Ahmad Bukhori Muslim – The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in abrupt shifts in schooling practices across the world, including in Indonesia.

Reuters - August 19, 2021

Kate Lamb – The World Health Organization has urged Indonesia to take action to stem transmission of the coronavirus, following new data showing that mobility for retail and recreation has reached pre-pandemic levels in some key regions.

Coconuts Jakarta - August 19, 2021

Nadia Hamid – Indonesia is seeing a disturbing trend of authorities cracking down on political satire, and the fact that a member of the First Family is doing just that – to promote his business, no less – would hopefully help push back authorities' overzealous and repressive approach in shutting down criticism.

Tempo - August 19, 2021

Syailendra Persada, Maudey K. Setyakusuma, Jakarta – The Health Access Justice Coalition said there are still many families of Covid-19 patients who are forced to pay treatment costs of up to hundreds of millions of rupiah to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Government has committed to take responsibility for the entire cost of Covid-19 patients.

Jakarta Globe - August 19, 2021

Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Jakarta – Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri said on Wednesday she was very concerned with people shouting insults at President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and calling him with abusive names.

The chairwoman of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) also said the name-calling strategy was so ugly she often cried.

August 18, 2021

Jakarta Globe - August 18, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The daily tally of newly coronavirus cases continues to trend down in Indonesia with 15,768 new cases recorded on Wednesday, the lowest single-day count since June 23.

There have been a total of 3.9 million Covid-19 cases in the country of 272 million since the pandemic began, according to government data.

UCA News - August 18, 2021

Ryan Dagur – A surge in Covid-19 cases triggered by the highly transmissible Delta variant has prompted the Timor-Leste government to close schools barely a month after easing restrictions.

Armindo Maia, the minister of education, youth and sports in the Catholic-majority country, announced the closure on Aug. 17.

Tabloid JUBI - August 18, 2021

Timoteus Marten, Jayapura – Most of the customary land in Wembi Village, Manam District, Keerom Regency has been taken for oil palm plantations and other development projects.