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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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May 19, 2022

The Interpreter - May 19, 2022

Parker Novak – This week, Timor-Leste will celebrate its 20th anniversary as an independent nation and inaugurate Jose Ramos-Horta as its new president. Since re-gaining independence in 2002, the world's third-youngest nation has built a functioning state and vibrant democracy from near-scratch amid trials and tribulations that would challenge any nation.

Kompas.com - May 19, 2022

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – Resolving gross human rights violations through non-judicial channels or outside of the courts will perpetuate impunity and legal immunity for the perpetrators.

May 18, 2022

Jakarta Post Editorial - May 18, 2022

Jakarta – In the past few weeks, health authorities have been puzzled by a mysterious strain of hepatitis popping up among children in several parts of the country since the first suspected cases were detected late last month in Jakarta.

Channel News Asia - May 18, 2022

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Tourism operators in Indonesia's tourism-dependent islands of Bali, Batam and Bintan said they welcome the government's decision to lift the COVID-19 test requirement for inbound travellers who have been fully vaccinated.

CNN Indonesia - May 18, 2022

Jakarta – The University of Indonesia Student Executive Council (BEM UI) believes that the state has been acting repressively against indigenous Papuans protesting against the creation of new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua.

ABC News - May 18, 2022

Elizabeth Byrne – Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery has asked to be allowed to call for more evidence from two former presidents of East Timor to support his case as a judge orders a trial date must be set.

Tempo - May 18, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – Minister of Investment and Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia ensured that the government would ban the export of bauxite and tin this year. The policy was decided as part of the government's effort to develop the domestic downstream mineral industry and raise the added value of mining commodities.

Jakarta Globe - May 18, 2022

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia on Wednesday reported that it had identified 14 suspected cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin, thirteen of which were still waiting for their test results before being classified as a probable case.

Reuters - May 18, 2022

Jakarta – Members of a cohort of suspected extremists arrested in Indonesia at the weekend had made pledges of loyalty to Islamic State via an instant messaging application, the national police said on Tuesday.

Antara News - May 18, 2022

Muhammad Zulfikar, Suharto, Jakarta – A Home Affairs Ministry's official clarified that Indonesians holding a foreign passport did not mean that they automatically lose Indonesia's nationality.

Kompas.com - May 18, 2022

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – Institute for Public Research and Advocacy (Elsam) Advocacy Manager Busyrol Fuad suggests there is a paradox within the government over agrarian policies.

The statement was made in response to the arrest of 40 members of the Prosperous Earth Crusaders Farmers Association (PPPBS) in Malin Deman sub-district, Mukomuko regency, Bengkulu province.

Tempo - May 18, 2022

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated that there is no significant increase in COVID-19 cases after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. But referring to last year's experience, Budi said signs of a surge in cases usually emerge 27 to 34 days after the long holiday.

Jakarta Globe - May 18, 2022

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesian Muslim cleric Abdul Somad Batubara has been refused entry to Singapore with the country pointing to his extremist belief.

"Somad has been known to preach extremist and segregationist teachings, which are unacceptable in Singapore's multi-racial and multi-religious society," the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement late Tuesday.

Antara News - May 18, 2022

Rangga P A J, Fadhli Ruhman, Jakarta – Access to safe drinking water in Indonesia currently only reaches 11 percent, Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin stated during the Sanitation and Water for All's (SWA) 2022 Sector Ministers' Meeting (SMM) here on Wednesday.

UCA News - May 18, 2022

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The Timor-Leste government and the bishops' conference have renewed a cooperation agreement that extends a concordat stipulation between the Catholic majority country and the Vatican, which provides millions of dollars in funds to assist the Church's services.

Jakarta Globe - May 18, 2022

Triyan Pangastuti, Jakarta – The Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia is optimistic that Tesla will realize an investment in Indonesia after the company's chief executive officer Elon Musk's met with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo last week.

Tempo - May 18, 2022

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from Australia's Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, assessed that President Jokowi's policy that allows people to take off face masks in open spaces was issued in haste. The removal of the mask mandate, he opined, should only be announced when the booster vaccination coverage is high enough.

May 17, 2022

Reuters - May 17, 2022

Gayatri Suroyo and Stefanno Sulaiman, Jakarta – Indonesia's trade surplus jumped to its largest ever at $7.56 billion in April, as exports rose to a record high while imports grew slower than expected, data from the statistics bureau showed on Tuesday.

UCA News - May 17, 2022

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Just days before the scheduled inauguration of President-elect Jose Ramos-Horta on May 20, Timor-Leste's parliament passed a bill establishing the president's responsibilities, along with criminal threats, to the country's constitution.

Tempo - May 17, 2022

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas on Tuesday denied allegations claiming that the hajj funds collected from pilgrims are used to finance the construction of the New Capital City of Nusantara (IKN). He insisted that the Ministry never diverted hajj funds to other projects.

Kompas.com - May 17, 2022

Fitria Chusna Farisa, Jakarta – Indikator Politik Indonesia researcher Bawono Kumoro says that there is a good possibility that three presidential and vice presidential candidate tickets will emerge in the 2024 presidential elections.

Reuters - May 17, 2022

Bernadette Christina and Fransiska Nangoy – Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil exporter, has since April 28 halted shipments of the edible oil in a bid to flood the domestic market with supplies to control the soaring prices of cooking oil.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 17, 2022

If you did the crime, you can't suddenly wear a hijab or a kopiah to save yourself from doing the time, as Indonesia's attorney general is set to enforce new dress codes preventing defendants from donning religious garb during their trial just to score sympathy points.

Jakarta Globe - May 17, 2022

Lona Olavia, Jakarta – The government has decided to relax the mask requirement in open places with no crowds and drop the testing rule for domestic and foreign travelers, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo Tuesday announced on Tuesday, marking the country's significant improvement in Covid-19 pandemic handling.

Reuters - May 17, 2022

Jakarta – Hundreds of smallholder farmers on Tuesday staged a protest in the capital Jakarta and in other parts of the world's fourth most populous country, demanding the government end a palm oil export ban that has slashed their income.

Independent Australia - May 17, 2022

Hannah Thomas – If the 96% of people who want a federal ICAC with teeth get their way after the Election, it's difficult to imagine an institution with a bigger backlog of work from its very inception. From sports rorts to car park rorts, from the Leppington triangle purchase to the Paladin contract – a federal ICAC will have an overflowing pile of cases to investigate.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 17, 2022

A woman in the Cianjur regency of West Java was reportedly banished from her village after her neighbors found out about her polyandrous marriage with two men.

Jakarta Globe - May 17, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia's famous Muslim cleric Abdul Somad was denied entry at a Singapore port as he arrived with his family for a vacation from nearby Batam Island on Monday.

Somad said Singaporean authorities didn't provide any specific reason why he was refused entry.

May 16, 2022

Agence France-Presse - May 16, 2022

Surabaya – At least 14 people were killed and more than a dozen others injured when a bus carrying domestic tourists crashed into an advertising sign in East Java province early on Monday, police said.

Al Jazeera - May 16, 2022

Aisyah Llewellyn, Medan, Indonesia – Indonesia, the world's largest producer of palm oil, has struggled with rising prices and low stocks of cooking oil amid a surge in global prices of the raw ingredient.

Mongabay - May 16, 2022

Donny Iqbal, Warief Djajanto Basorie – "Recover Citatah Karst, Make People Prosper." That's the call printed in red letters on a huge white banner pinned on a limestone cliff in Indonesia's West Java province.

Jakarta Post - May 16, 2022

Jakarta (Agencies) – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's approval rating has hit a six-year low amid dissatisfaction over soaring cooking oil prices and the perceived failure of an export ban to swiftly reduce the rising cost of goods, a new poll showed on Sunday.

Straits Times - May 16, 2022

Pasuruan, Indonesia (Reuters) – As dark clouds gather in the morning sky, Indonesian apple farmer Ali Akhbar hurries to finish spraying pesticides onto his trees before yet another afternoon downpour.

Australian Associated Press - May 16, 2022

The Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) Supreme Court has ruled the lawfulness of an alleged Australian spying operation in East Timor is not relevant to whistleblower Bernard Collaery's charges.

Collaery is accused of unlawfully sharing classified information about the alleged bugging operation of the East Timor prime minister by Australian officials in 2004.

The Guardian - May 16, 2022

Christopher Knaus – The federal government has successfully blocked Bernard Collaery from obtaining key documents about the lawfulness of the notorious spy operation against Timor-Leste, arguing that questions about its legality are irrelevant.

May 15, 2022

Channel News Asia - May 15, 2022

Nivell Rayda, Yogyakarta, Indonesia – As a person stricken with polio since he was a toddler, Triyono knows firsthand how hard it is for people with disabilities in Indonesia to travel to school, work or seek medical attention.

News ›› Indonesia ›› May Day
CNN Indonesia - May 15, 2022

Jakarta – The Labour Party considers it normal for Indonesian police chief (Kapolri) General Listyo Sigit Prabowo to have attended the commemoration of the May Day Fiesta 2022 at the Bung Karno Sports Stadium (GBK) in Jakarta on Saturday May 14.

Reuters - May 15, 2022

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo met Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Saturday in Texas to discuss potential investments and technology, Indonesia's government said in a statement.

Tempo - May 15, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – At least 42.4 million Indonesian citizens have received the third or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Saturday, according to a report from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force.

According to the task force data received by ANTARA on Saturday, the number of third dose recipients grew by 213,553 on Saturday, taking the total tally to 42,415,365.

News ›› Indonesia ›› May Day
Antara News - May 15, 2022

Tri Ameliya, Uyu Liman, Jakarta – National Police chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, lauded Indonesian workers for holding the May Day Fiesta peacefully at Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium, Jakarta, on Saturday.

The activity was held to commemorate the 2022 International Workers' Day. The celebration had been postponed as May 1 fell in the Eid al-Fitr holiday period.

May 14, 2022

Jakarta Post Editorial - May 14, 2022

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has a certain fascination with tech tycoons. In 2016, on the sidelines of a two-day US-ASEAN Summit, he made a stopover in Silicon Valley, meeting with then CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey and playing zero-gravity ping pong on a virtual-reality Oculus Rift headset with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Channel News Asia - May 14, 2022

Kiki Siregar, Wawonii, Southeast Sulawesi – Farmer Ratna, 65, had been walking barefoot for 40 minutes through a hilly plantation covered with lush cashew and coconut trees on the Indonesian island of Wawonii.

The air was humid and the soil was wet from a steady downpour which had stopped less than an hour earlier, but that did not prevent her from moving nimbly.

News ›› Indonesia ›› May Day
Kompas.com - May 14, 2022

Ahmad Naufal Dzulfaroh – A protest action commemorating International Labour Day or May Day took place today, Saturday May 14, in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building and the Bung Karno Sports Stadium (GBK) in Jakarta.

Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal said that four trade unions took part in the demonstration today.

May 13, 2022

Jakarta Globe - May 13, 2022

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo together with other Asean leaders on Thursday had dinner with US President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington DC.

Jokowi is currently visiting Washington DC for the Asean-US Special Summit. The forum also marks 45 years of US ties with the Southeast Asian bloc.

Tempo - May 13, 2022

Tempo Magazine, Tempo.Co, Jakarta – After the discovery of microplastic contamination in water wells and pipe water, followed by traces of it in bottled water, another new study eventually found microscopic plastic debris tainting gallon water jugs.

Jakarta Globe - May 13, 2022

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo recently promoted Indonesia's enormous potential in industrial raw materials, green energy, and digital economy to American business leaders in hopes that they would make investment in the country.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2022

Jakarta – The Directorate General of Immigration, through the Directorate of Immigration Stay Permits (Ditintalkim), held the virtual Immigration Stay Permit Services Publicization event on Tuesday (10/05/2022).

Reuters - May 13, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia likely registered a smaller trade surplus in April compared with March, as the value of exports was squeezed by a dip in commodity prices and due to higher imports over the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a Reuters poll showed.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 13, 2022

It's not that the Indonesian government has ever been a bastion of LGBTQIA+ rights, but the fiasco surrounding Deddy Corbuzier's podcast has become a reminder of just how homophobic some of the people running the country are.

Pembebasan - May 13, 2022

Sahabandi – On Friday May 13, the Greater Jakarta Papua People's Petition Joint Secretariat (PRP Sekber Jabodetabek) and the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) held a protest action with the theme "Expel the Indonesian occupation through the DOB and Otsus in West Papua", referring to the plan to create new autonomous regions in Papua (DOB) and the revisions the Specia