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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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August 18, 2021

Straits Times - August 18, 2021

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Foreigners and Indonesians who had Covid-19 shots overseas may soon get their records verified at clinics appointed by the health ministry so that they can be used in Indonesia.

The country requires long-distance domestic travellers – by air, sea and land – to have been vaccinated.

Coconuts Jakarta - August 18, 2021

To realize the government's wish to make swab tests accessible to more Indonesians, state pharmaceutical producer and distributor Kimia Farma has become among the first to slash test prices, including that of the PCR test, which has been reduced by almost half.

The Diplomat - August 18, 2021

Alif Satria – On May 28, Indonesia's Special Detachment 88 (Densus 88) arrested 12 members of Jema'ah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), the country's homegrown pro-Islamic State terrorist organization, in Merauke, Papua.

CNN Indonesia - August 18, 2021

Jakarta – A 20-year-old man with the initials RS has been questioned by police after offering a T-shirt with a picture resembling the "Jokowi 404: Not Found" mural on social media several days ago.

East Java regional police spokesperson Senior Commissioner Gatot Repli Handoko said that the man – who owns a T-shirt printing business – was taken in for questioning.

Kompas.com - August 18, 2021

Fitria Chusna Farisa, Jakarta – Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko has asked the public not to criticise President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in a reckless manner. After all, the president is a parent to the ordinary people and must be respected.

Tempo - August 18, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Human rights groups that consist of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute Foundation (YLBHI), Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Yayasan Inklusif, and Paritas Institute have sent an open letter demanding President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to lift the ban against an Ahmadiyah Mosque in East Kalimantan.

Coconuts Bali - August 18, 2021

Hundreds of Australian nationals categorized as "vulnerable" left Bali this afternoon on a chartered flight organized by their government, officials have confirmed.

Coconuts Jakarta - August 18, 2021

The neighborhood of Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) in North Jakarta certainly exudes exclusivity due to its plethora of elite gated communities and well-planned urban development compared to other parts of the capital, and that has seen it become victim to unfounded accusations of being un-Indonesian, including during Independence Day yesterday.

World Socialist Website - August 18, 2021

Robert Campion – Indonesia persists as the epicentre of COVID-19 infections in Asia and, in terms of deaths, of the world.

August 17, 2021

Jakarta Globe - August 17, 2021

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has introduced an expansive 2022 budget bill that contains a total of $188 billion in spending to funds reforms in healthcare, social protection, and infrastructure programs in an attempt to overcome a prolonged pandemic and uneven global economic recovery next year.

Mongabay - August 17, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – An area of rainforest nearly five times the size of London has been destroyed in the past two decades in Indonesian New Guinea, home to Asia Pacific's largest area of intact old-growth forest, a new study shows.

Asia Pacific Report - August 17, 2021

By Pastor Dr Socratez S. Yoman – The reality is that we now live under an Indonesian ruler who is anti-democratic, anti-justice, anti-freedom, anti-peace, anti-equality and anti-humanity. This is the real reflection of the face of the colonial rulers of Indonesia.

Kompas.com - August 17, 2021

Rahel Narda Chaterine, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has criticised President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's state of the nation address to the People's Consultative Assembly's (MPR) annual session at the parliamentary complex on Monday August 16.

Straits Times - August 17, 2021

Banda Aceh (AFP) – Five suspected poachers have been arrested over the beheading of an endangered Sumatran elephant, the Indonesian authorities said on Tuesday (Aug 17), as the South-east Asian archipelago's battle with wildlife crime continues.

Jakarta Post - August 17, 2021

Jakarta (Agencies) – The government on Monday extended its COVID-19 curbs though relaxed some measures in eight unspecified areas on the most populous islands of Java and Bali, as fewer infections have been reported in cities.

New Mandala - August 17, 2021

Arnoud Arps – On the 13th of August 2021, four days before Indonesia celebrated its 76th year of independence, Jim Taihuttu's De Oost [henceforth The East] was released worldwide.

Jakarta Globe - August 17, 2021

Yudha Baskoro, Jakarta – Considering the increasing Covid-19 positivity and death rate in Jakarta, Father Yustinus Ardianto ventures to take one of the most important decisions in his life.

Jakarta Post - August 17, 2021

Sudibyo Wiradji – Sumatra is home to a large proportion of the peatlands of Indonesia and that is why fortified efforts to protect the peatland ecosystem on the island are indispensable as the forest fire-triggering dry season has arrived.

Out of the total 14.9 million hectares of peatland in Indonesia, about 6.4 million ha, 43.2 percent, are found on Sumatra.

Straits Times - August 17, 2021

Jeffrey Hutton, Jakarta – During the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, cut off from her regular doctor at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, Ms Fenny Nelly, 61, made do with regular online consultations and medication that she could buy in Jakarta.

August 16, 2021

Reuters - August 16, 2021

Heru Asprihanto, Bogor, West Java – Four-year-old pitbull Gledis was home alone for two days without food when a group of volunteers found her.

She is among many pets left behind when their owners tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized or placed in isolation.

Coconuts Jakarta - August 16, 2021

Much has been made about the relatively steep price of PCR swab tests in Indonesia amid comparisons with India recently, prompting President Joko Widodo yesterday to order the Health Ministry to slash the price by about half to make it more affordable for the general public.

Jakarta Post - August 16, 2021

Dio Suhenda and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has underlined that the spirit of mutual cooperation and collaboration across all parts of society had strengthened the country's COVID-19 response.

Reuters - August 16, 2021

Tabita Diela, Gayatri Suroyo, Jakarta – Indonesia's President Joko Widodo on Monday proposed a $188 billion budget for 2022, a touch bigger than this year's spending outlook and with a narrowing fiscal deficit, as he set higher growth targets despite a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Jakarta Globe - August 16, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia recorded the lowest daily number of newly Covid-19 cases in nearly two months on Monday, but the daily death toll remained within four-digit territory.

The country has added 17,384 cases in the past 24 hours, the lowest figure since June 23, for a total of 3,871,738 cases, government figures show.

CNN Indonesia - August 16, 2021

Jakarta – A rally by protesters from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Jayapura, Papua, was forcibly and violently broken up by police on Monday August 16. Two people were injured after being allegedly struck by rattan sticks.

Tempo - August 16, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) on Monday criticized President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo for wearing a traditional clothing of the Baduy tribe during his speech at the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) annual meeting today.

Australian West Papua Association (Sydney) Statement - August 16, 2021

AWPA condemns the crackdown on peaceful demonstrators today in West Papua. Early reports (from FB and local media) indicate up to 50 people arrested and two wounded.

Rallies were called today by the Papuan People's Petition, consisting of over a 100 organisations and were demanding the release of Victor Yeimo who is sick in the Mako Brimob prison.

Sydney Morning Herald - August 16, 2021

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore – The awarding of one of Indonesia's highest honours to a former militia leader indicted for crimes against humanity has been labelled an insult to both East Timor and Australia.

Channel News Asia - August 16, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia's central bank will keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low on Thursday (Aug 19) as it tries to continue to support the economic recovery without adding more pressure on the rupiah amid United States tapering concerns, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Radio New Zealand - August 16, 2021

A series of demonstrations in West Papua today have been forcibly stopped by Indonesian police.

The demos were organised by a network of 111 organisations behind the Papuan People's Petition, formed to reject Jakarta's plans to renew Special Autonomy in Papua.

Suara Papua - August 16, 2021

Arnold Belau, Jayapura – The Yahukimo West Papua National Committee (KNPB) says that police forcibly broke up a peaceful protest action on Monday August 16 arresting scores of people and shooting one person in the Dekai district of Yahukimo regency, Papua.

Tempo - August 16, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) asked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to take over the entire assessment process of the Nationality Knowledge Test (TWK) for employees of the Corruption Eradication Commission. Komnas HAM found 11 human rights violations during the process which resulted in the dismissal of the 57 employees.

Jakarta Globe - August 16, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian government on Monday decided to relax a bit the community restrictions amid a steady decline in newly Covid-19 cases, allowing a greater capacity for malls, restaurants and worship places across Java and Bali.

Tempo - August 16, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) economist, Eko Listiyanto, on Sunday talked about the urgency of PCR tests and other Covid-19 screening tests that are now mandated for a number of public activities, and believes reducing the cost cap of PCR tests would benefit the government's contact tracing capabilities.

Jakarta Globe - August 16, 2021

Yudha Baskoro, Solo, Central Java – While most charity groups and state agencies have opted for instant noodles as a more practical way to supply food for people under the Covid-19 quarantine, these men in Central Java offer fiber intake for free.

West Papua Action Auckland - August 16, 2021

16 August 2021

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Parliament Buildings

Kia ora Nanaia Mahuta

Coconuts Jakarta - August 16, 2021

Police in Tangerang city, Banten have questioned witnesses regarding a graffiti, which, depending on your outlook, painted President Joko Widodo in either a satirical or a negative light.

Channel News Asia - August 16, 2021

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – COVID-19 has taught Indonesia how to find a balance between health and economic interests, said President Joko Widodo on Monday (Aug 16) as he addressed perceptions that government policies may not have been consistent when it comes to tackling the pandemic.

UCA News - August 16, 2021

Ryan Dagur – The archbishop of Dili hopes that Timor-Leste's first Catholic university will open this year after he met with Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak.

Salesian Archbishop Dom Virgilio do Carmo da Silva of Dili met Ruak on Aug. 13, a month after the archdiocese formally applied for permission to start the Catholic University of Timor in the Catholic-majority country.

Jakarta Globe - August 16, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry is preparing evacuation of its embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as Taliban looks set to overtake power, but it will retain a small team for diplomatic mission, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Tabloid JUBI - August 16, 2021

Hengky Yeimo, Jayapura – A group of people of the Papuan People Petition took to the streets on Monday, August 16, 2021, to demand the release of human rights activist Victor Yeimo, the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) spokesperson. The Indonesian Military (TNI) and police, however, blocked the protesters with water cannon and even hit some of the protesters.

Tempo - August 16, 2021

Joniansyah (Contributor), Jakarta – The Halfway Connection Community (HFC) – the group behind the once viral 'God I'm Hungry' mural in Tangerang – on Monday regrets the police clampdown against critical mural paintings and street artists, especially after a mural of President Jokowi went viral.

August 15, 2021

The Guardian - August 15, 2021

Christopher Knaus – The government will be forced to defend its decision to withhold long-secret cabinet documents about negotiations with Timor-Leste in the years prior to the controversial bugging operation revealed by Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

Jakarta Globe - August 15, 2021

Maria Fatima Bona, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has told Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin to find ways to bring down the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test for Covid-19 in the country by a half to help it expands tracing and testing capacity, key measures to curb the pandemic.

AsiaOne - August 15, 2021

On July 28, Pastor Marselinus Monang Sijabat, the head of the St Lusia Church in Pakpak Bharat Regency in North Sumatra, Indonesia, began to feel decidedly unwell.

By August 2, the Catholic priest, 42, had received a double diagnosis – typhus and Covid-19.

Nikkei Asia - August 15, 2021

Erwida Maulia, Jakarta – Indonesia's next presidential election is still two and a half years away, but campaigning to succeed Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is already getting into swing.

Asia Pacific Report - August 15, 2021

Today – 15 August 15 1962 – marks "a day of betrayal for us West Papuans", says a Papuan leader as critics reminded the world about what happened 59 years ago.

Tempo - August 15, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has urged President Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, to reiterate his commitment to handle and promote human rights when he delivers his address to the annual session of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Monday.

August 14, 2021

Joint Statement - August 14, 2021

London, New York, Berlin – TAPOL, ETAN and Watch Indonesia! strongly condemn President Joko Widodo's decision to grant 'Bintang Jasa Utama', one the highest national awards, to Eurico Guterres on Thursday, 12 August 2021.

Antara News - August 14, 2021

Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji, Jakarta – A total of 166 thousand volunteers from various regions in Indonesia have undergone vaccination training to help the government accelerate the realization of the COVID-19 vaccination target by December 2021.