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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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April 17, 2021

Tempo - April 17, 2021

Jakarta – President Jokowi validated hedonistic sensibility on social media when he attended the wedding of social media celebrity Atta Halilintar. It showed scant regard for social empathy.

Pink News - April 17, 2021

Emma Powys Maurice – A same-sex Thai couple who shared their heartwarming wedding photos on social media have been flooded with vicious homophobic hate from Indonesian trolls.

Suriya Koedsang and his husband Bas found themselves in the middle of a cross-cultural flame war after they shared images from their marriage ceremony on 3 April.

April 16, 2021

Bloomberg News - April 16, 2021

Fathiya Dahrul and Claire Jiao – Indonesia aims to welcome back foreign tourists to the resort islands of Bali, Bintan and Batam by the end of July, with a plan to speed up vaccinations in those areas to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Benar News - April 16, 2021

Arnold Belau, Jayapura, Indonesia – Separatist rebels shot dead a 16-year-old schoolboy in Indonesia's Papua province, police said Friday about the latest in a spate of recent killings of civilians whom the insurgents accused of spying for the government.

Tempo - April 16, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – An anthropologist with the University of Indonesia (UI) Meutia Hatta Swasono on Wednesday expressed concern about polygamy and how it is solicited in current society through social media for the past three years.

She conveyed it in a scientific discussion on 'poligamy amidst the fight for resilience among families and the nation' on Wednesday, April 14.

Tempo - April 16, 2021

Gerin Rio Pranata, Jakarta – The Indonesian National Police (Polri) under the command of Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo has launched a mobile app touted as 'Propam Presisi' – Propam is the Indonesian Police internal affairs – for both Android and Apple users. The digital app accommodates complaints related to the performance of police personnel.

Channel News Asia - April 16, 2021

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Planted on the ground near its main gate was a recent addition to the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park): a sign which says that the recreational area is under the control and management of the Indonesian State Secretariat Ministry.

New Mandala - April 16, 2021

[The following text is also forthcoming in Indonesian with Forum 100 Ilmuwan Sosial Politik LP3ES.]

Olle Tornquist – In part 1 Prof. Tornquist outlined the methods of leftist repression that characterised Suharto's early efforts to gain power. Part 2 describes the obstacles faced by those who have sought to revive the left in the decades since.

The Diplomat - April 16, 2021

Chloe King – Over the Easter weekend, as the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines was expected to arrive in Timor-Leste's capital of Dili, Tropical Cyclone Seroja arrived instead.

Tempo - April 16, 2021

Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ministry for Women's Empowerment and Child Protection said that women have lost their income since the pandemic began. According to the Ministry, since Covid-19 started at the end of 2019, the decline in women's income has reached a level of 82 percent.

Tempo - April 16, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Jakarta chapter of the Alliance of Indonesian Journalists (AJI) reported the alleged persecution of Tempo journalist Nurhadi by police members to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). Komnas HAM Commissioner Beka Ulung Apsara and his staff received the report directly.

Radio New Zealand - April 16, 2021

Maire Leadbeater – As further details emerge about New Zealand's military exports, questions are growing about the country's role as a defender of human rights. After a recent spotlight on military goods sent to Saudi Arabia, information is coming to light about New Zealand's exports to Indonesia's military forces which are engaged in a long-running conflict in West Papua.

Tempo - April 16, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – An Indonesian Military (TNI) soldier has reportedly joined an armed criminal group (KKB) in Papua. This was confirmed by the Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) spokesperson, Col. Czi IGN Suriastawa.

Tempo - April 16, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The spokesperson of the Religious Affairs Ministry, Abdul Rochman, on Thursday addressed a local regulation of the Serang City government in Banten Province that bans restaurants and cafes from opening business at daytime during Ramadan.

Tempo - April 16, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Indonesian Covid-19 Task Force said that the number of red zone and orange zones for transmission Covid-19 risks has increased. "Six districts or cities that were previously orange zones have become red this week," the National Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said in a written statement, Friday, April 16.

April 15, 2021

Coconuts Bali - April 15, 2021

A video showing dangdut singer Lucinta Luna swimming with a dolphin at the Dolphin Lodge in Sanur, Bali is being widely castigated online as viewers condemn the apparent animal exploitation.

Activists also say the incident illustrates local authorities' lack of seriousness in protecting animals, considering that the venue was officially ordered to shut last year.

Tempo - April 15, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has charged former minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Edhy Prabowo for accepting Rp24.6 billion bribe in an attempt to accelerate the export of lobster seeds.

New Mandala - April 15, 2021

[The following text is also forthcoming in Indonesian with Forum 100 Ilmuwan Sosial Politik LP3ES.]

CNN Indonesia - April 15, 2021

Jakarta – Transparency International (TII) Indonesia says that 40 out of the 90 coal-fired power plant (PLTU) companies in the country have directors or commissioners who have a conflict of interest or are politically exposed persons (PEPs).

Associated Press - April 15, 2021

Margie Mason, Robin McDowell and Raimundos Oki, Dili – It was the same every night. A list of names was posted on Reverend Richard Daschbach's bedroom door. The child at the top of the roster knew it was her turn to share the lower bunk with the elderly priest and another elementary school-aged girl.

Tempo - April 15, 2021

Tempo.Co, Kukuh S. Wibowo, Jakarta – Tempo.co editor in chief, Setri Yasra, on Wednesday, April 14, fulfilled East Java police summons in Surabaya to be questioned about the case where a Tempo journalist, Nurhadi, became a victim of physical abuse as he was working to report a news.

The editor in chief was questioned by the police for seven hours from 13:00 to 20:00.

Jakarta Globe - April 15, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia's trade surplus shrank in March from a month earlier amid robust export growth and imports of raw material and machinery picking up the pace, presenting the latest indication for its economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic slump.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 15, 2021

Not that we condone going on mudik amid a pandemic, but the National Police's Traffic Corps has pretty much validated a glaring loophole of the government's ban on the annual Eid homecoming exodus.

UCA News - April 15, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Indonesian police have shot dead a suspected terrorist they believe was connected to a suicide bombing at a Catholic cathedral in Makassar in South Sulawesi province on Palm Sunday.

The police anti-terror squad Densus 88 shot dead the 42-year-old man, who was not named, during a raid on his home in Makassar, the provincial capital, on April 15.

Kompas.com - April 15, 2021

Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) believes that the obstacles hampering government efforts to handle the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support Scheme (BLBI) corruption scandal are too complex.

Tempo - April 15, 2021

Jakarta – Women conducting acts of terrorism are themselves the victims of terrorism. There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift in deradicalization programs.

Jakarta Post - April 15, 2021

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne has announced the appointment of Penny Williams as the country's new ambassador to Indonesia, making her the first woman to assume the position.

The Conversation - April 15, 2021

Andreas Ufen – In early March this year, a retired Indonesian army general named Moeldoko was elected chairman of the Democratic Party (known locally as Partai Demokrat or PD) in a controversial extraordinary congress. Moeldoko – who, like many Indonesians, goes by just one name – is also the chief of staff of Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

ABC News - April 15, 2021

Felicity James – Fernanda Borges remembers Australia assisting Timor-Leste when the tiny country was struggling with violence after its independence vote.

Ms Borges lives in Darwin now but was formerly Timor-Leste's finance minister during this transition – she would like to see a similar response to the country's recent catastrophic floods and landslides.

Jakarta Globe - April 15, 2021

Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – The Constitutional Court on Thursday disqualified an elected district head in East Nusa Tenggara after it was revealed that he is in fact an American citizen.

April 14, 2021

Kompas.com - April 14, 2021

Dian Erika Nugraheny, Jakarta – Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) Executive Director Damar Juniarto say that the state of freedom of expression in digital space worsened in 2020. He referred to it with using the term "alert level two" to describe the current situation in Indonesia.

Kompas.com - April 14, 2021

Dian Erika Nugraheny, Jakarta – The Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) recorded 147 digital attacks in 2020, the majority of which targeted groups that are often critical of the government such as academics, journalists and activists.

Tempo - April 14, 2021

Syailendra Persada, Jakarta – A number of House of Representatives (DPR) legislators plan to be vaccinated with the Nusantara vaccine – which has not passed local health agency inspection – at the Gatot Soebroto army hospital in Central Jakarta.

Fulcrum - April 14, 2021

Max Lane – The condemnation in Indonesia of the anti-religious nature of this latest terrorist attack is stronger and broader than before.

ABC News - April 14, 2021

Stephen Dziedzic – Labor is ramping up pressure on the federal government to send military helicopters to Timor-Leste, which is struggling to provide aid to remote communities devastated by catastrophic floods.

The government announced a $7 million assistance package for Timor-Leste on Sunday, including emergency supplies and personal protective equipment.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 14, 2021

The civilized among Indonesia's large internet population are apologizing en masse to Thailand following an ugly cross-border display of homophobia toward their regional neighbors.

Kompas.com - April 14, 2021

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – PT Pertamina did not immediately respond to protests by local people about a pungent petrol like smell in the vicinity of the Balongan oil refinery in Indramayu, West Java.

Jakarta Globe - April 14, 2021

Farouk Arnaz, Jakarta – At least 31 suspected members of shadowy homegrown terror group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) have been arrested since the suicide bombing at a Catholic church in Makassar, police said on Wednesday.

The latest raids were conducted on Tuesday, in which seven suspects were arrested by counterterrorism squad Detachment 88 in separate places.

Tribune - April 14, 2021

Vincentius Jyestha, Jakarta – The United Development Party (PPP) and the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) have agreed to continue fighting for the enactment of several pieces of national legislation – one of which is the Draft Law on the Prohibition of Alcohol (Minol).

UCA News - April 14, 2021

Ryan Dagur – Xanana Gusmao, Timor-Leste's independence hero and former prime minister and president, has been at the center of a protest demanding the release of the body of man who health authorities claim died of Covid-19 while his family claim he died of a stroke.

Tempo - April 14, 2021

Jakarta – Alleged trading of postings within the Villages Ministry shows a major flaw in the practice of good governance. Placement of politicians in ministries are most often problematic.

China Dialogue - April 14, 2021

Adi Renaldi – Over the years, married couple Edi Suriana and Masitah have grown accustomed to the great smokestacks that emit a constant plume of thick smog a few hundred metres from their home.

Suara Papua - April 14, 2021

Julian Howay, New York – Papuan and South Maluku Republic (RMS) activists have again held a joint peaceful action. This time the action was held outside the Indonesian Consulate General in New York on Monday April 12.

Jakarta Globe - April 14, 2021

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is expected to reshuffle his cabinet again this week after the House of Representatives greenlighted the president's plan to reorganize the ministries, the President's close aide said on Tuesday.

Sydney Morning Herald - April 14, 2021

Michael Rose – Xanana Gusmao, famed icon of East Timor, is letting his people down. Once placed by many of his Australian supporters in the same pantheon as Nelson Mandela, on Monday he was filmed assaulting two women in the street.

April 13, 2021

AsiaOne - April 13, 2021
Five children of Suharto, the late Indonesian dictator, are being sued for the second time by a Singapore-based company involved in a project to modernise a Jakarta tourist attraction seen as a legacy of the country's authoritarian era – the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), or "Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park".

Mitora Pte Ltd filed a lawsuit at a South Jakarta court on March

Channel News Asia - April 13, 2021

Beijing – Indonesia said on Monday (Apr 12) that it is satisfied with the effectiveness of the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine it is using, after the acknowledgement by China's top disease control official that current vaccines offer low protection against the virus.

Channel News Asia - April 13, 2021

Jakarta – Muslims in Indonesia began marking Ramadan with communal prayers on Tuesday (Apr 13) in a socially distanced contrast to the empty mosques of a year ago when Islam's holiest month coincided with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bloomberg News - April 13, 2021

Arys Aditya – Indonesia will keep using the vaccines developed by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and U.K.'s AstraZeneca Plc. to curb the spread of Covid-19 because they have met the standards set by the World Health Organization, according to the government.

Tempo - April 13, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian National Police through its virtual police unit had disbursed official warnings for 200 social media accounts that have allegedly spread offensive contents related to SARA or ethnicity, religion, and race.