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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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April 5, 2021

Reuters - April 5, 2021

Tommy Ardiansyah and Stanley Widianto, Indramayu, Indonesia – Caked in mud up to their knees, a small group of Indonesian youngsters plant mangrove saplings along a stretch of exposed coastline next to the Java Sea under the watchful eye of local environmentalist Samsudin.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 5, 2021

Questions are being asked about whether or not the rule of law applies equally to all citizens after President Joko Widodo attended a glitzy celebrity wedding when it has been so difficult for regular Joes and Janes (or Jokos and Jumintens, as it were) to celebrate their unions during the pandemic.

Jakarta Globe - April 5, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia hopes their new recycling facility at Bekasi, West Java, can help slash virgin plastic usage and thus, closing the loop on packaging.

Suara.com - April 5, 2021

Bangun Santoso and Stephanus Aranditio – It was not just President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The wedding of YouTuber Atta Halilintar and actress Aurel Hermansyah was attended by a number of senior government officials, including Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto

Mongabay - April 5, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – The Indonesian government's decision to categorize the palm oil industry's solid waste as non-hazardous has triggered environmental concerns.

Tempo - April 5, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Ahead of this year's Ramadan, the Confederation of Indonesian Workers' Unions (KSPI) president, Said Iqbal, on Monday officially asked companies to no longer pay their workers' Eid allowances or THR in installments.

ABC News - April 5, 2021

The Australian government says it "stands ready" to help Timor-Leste after devastating floods hit the country, forcing thousands to take refuge and leaving at least 27 people dead.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 5, 2021

The Health Ministry says it is working closely with law enforcement to crack down on the reported spread of fake medical masks in Indonesia.

Local news outlets recently reported their discovery of fake medical grade-labeled face masks being openly sold online and at physical stores.

CNN Indonesia - April 5, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Executive Director Umbu Wulang T. Paranggi says that the flash floods and landslides in 10 regencies and cities in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) were triggered by damage to the environment.

Paranggi said that the environmental damage has been caused by a shift in land function, mining and illegal logging.

Associated Press - April 5, 2021

Jakarta – Multiple disasters caused by torrential rains in eastern Indonesia have killed at least 55 people and displaced thousands, the country's disaster relief agency said Monday. More than 40 other people were missing.

April 4, 2021

Tempo - April 4, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The number of active COVID-19 cases in Indonesia on Saturday at 12 a.m. local time dropped by 943 from the previous day to reach a total of 120,068 cases, according to the Health Ministry's data.

Data on the active cases of COVID-19 indicates the number of COVID-19 patients still undergoing treatment and those in self-quarantine.

Sydney Morning Herald - April 4, 2021

Chris Barrett, Singapore – Already facing a worrying new COVID-19 outbreak, Timor Leste has been hit by devastating flooding and landslides, claiming the lives of at least 11 people, destroying roads, bridges and houses and leaving the capital Dili under water.

Agence France-Presse - April 4, 2021

Jakarta – Rescuers were searching for 17 missing fishermen after two boats collided in waters off Indramayu, in West Java province, officials said Sunday.

A fishing ship hit a larger cargo vessel on Saturday evening off Indramayu regency, flipping the wooden boat's 32 crew members into the water, said Bandung rescue agency spokeswoman Seni Wulandari.

Jakarta Globe - April 4, 2021

Bayu Marhaenjati, Leonard A.L. Cahyoputra, Jakarta – Muhammad Farid Andika, the cofounder and former chief executive officer of Jakarta-based peer-to-peer lending startup Restock, is facing a maximum 20 years prison sentence after the police naming him as a suspect in an alleged illegal firearm ownership case.

New Zealand Herald - April 4, 2021

Landslides and flash floods from torrential rains in eastern Indonesia have killed at least 23 people and displaced thousands, the nation's disaster agency said today.

Mud rolled down from surrounding hills shortly after midnight and struck nearly 50 houses in Lamenele village on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara province.

Asia Pacific Report - April 4, 2021

Antonio Sampaio, Dili – Hundreds of people, many of them students, mobbed exit routes out of the Timorese capital Dili on Good Friday seeking to leave the city to escape the difficulties they are experiencing over the covid lockdown.

April 3, 2021

Tempo - April 3, 2021

Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – State toll road operator Jasa Marga recorded that 351,256 vehicles left the Jakarta Greater Area (Jabotabek) on D-1 and the D-day of Good Friday holiday, or on April 1-2.

Kompas.com - April 3, 2021

Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) believes that the termination of the investigation into the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support (BLBI) funds corruption case involving Sjamsul Nursalim and his wife Itjih Sjamsul Nursalim by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on the Thursday April 1 is one of the bad effects of the 2019 revisions to the KPK Law.

Tempo - April 3, 2021

Jakarta – The authorities have been acting against criticism online using the virtual police. This is an erroneous way to apply restorative justice.

April 2, 2021

Jakarta Post - April 2, 2021

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – With special autonomy funding for Papua approaching its expiration date this year, the government has called for a limited legal revision to allow money to keep flowing and to begin new development projects in the region.

Tempo - April 2, 2021

Jakarta – The twists and turns between Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi and the Chief Executive Officer of the State Logistics Agency Budi Waseso over the plan to import rice is a result of the lack of clarity in food policy. We need a National Food Agency.

Jacobin Magazine - April 2, 2021

Eduard Lazarus – Little noticed in the West, the past two years have witnessed the largest protest wave in decades against Indonesia's increasingly authoritarian crony-capitalist government.

Al Jazzera - April 2, 2021

Erwin Pietersz, Jessica Washington and Syarina Hasibuan, Bali, Indonesia – Sixty years ago, I Ketut Soki was the delighted recipient of his first painting kit – and since that day, he has rarely put his brushes down.

"I still have the spirit to paint. I still have a lot of ideas," he told Al Jazeera.

Reuters - April 2, 2021

Rina Chandran, Bangkok (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A tourism mega-project on the Indonesian island of Lombok has uprooted local and indigenous people, and destroyed homes, fields, rivers, and religious sites, U.N. human rights experts said.

Antara News - April 2, 2021

Muhsidin, Rahmad Nasution, Jayapura, Papua – The Free Papua Movement (OPM) ceases to exist owing to the Indonesian government's prosperity-oriented and humanistic approaches applied in Papua, a Papuan youth figure stated.

East Asia Forum - April 2, 2021

Titik Puji Rahayu – For more than a decade, the Electronic Information and Transaction Law (ITE Law) has been the face of internet governance in Indonesia. First enacted in 2008, the law was later revised in 2016, granting the Indonesian government considerable power to control internet access in Indonesia.

Nikkei Asia - April 2, 2021

Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Sanggua, West Kalimantan, Indonesia – Made from the solidified saliva of white-nest swiftlets, the edible bird's nest has been a part of Chinese cookery for 1,200 years. Soaked in boiling water to make a hearty gelatinous soup with broth or sugar, the flavorless ingredient is prized by connoisseurs for its alleged health benefits.

April 1, 2021

Energy Voice - April 1, 2021

Damon Evans – East Timor is considering building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and converting oil-fired power plants to gas in an effort to slash energy supply costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The move seems slightly ironic given the country advocated developing an LNG export complex for much of the past decade.

Jakarta Globe - April 1, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia's key manufacturing sector indicator has climbed to a decade high last month as producers ramp up outputs following a rise in new orders while pausing downsizing their workforce as pressures on capacity began to appear.

Channel News Asia - April 1, 2021

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Indonesian police said on Thursday (Apr 1) that they will be stepping up security at churches across the country ahead of the Easter weekend, after two recent terror attacks.

Jakarta Globe - April 1, 2021

Fana Suparman & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, announced on Thursday it has dropped the protracted bailout graft case against business tycoon Sjamsul Nursalim and his wife Itjih Nursalim in a landmark decision.

It's for the first time for the KPK to terminate a corruption case in the commission's history.

Tempo - April 1, 2021

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono, said that the Jakarta government's plan to conduct a trial reopening of schools is still prone to Covid-19 transmission.

Agence France-Presse - April 1, 2021

Jakarta – Firefighters on Wednesday extinguished a large blaze at one of the country's biggest oil refineries that had been burning for more than two days after an explosion.

Crews blasted fire-suppressing foam to quench the flames at two storage tankers after the inferno seriously injured at least six people early Monday.

Indonesia at Melbourne - April 1, 2021

Tim Mann – For a brief moment in February, it looked as though Indonesia's notorious Information and Electronic Transactions Law ("the ITE Law") would be revised. This is well overdue, as the law has become a weapon used by the powerful to silence criticism, and a major threat to democratic freedoms.

Coconuts Bali - April 1, 2021

Indonesia this week reported a notable decrease in the number of high-risk "red zones" for COVID-19 across the country. And three out of the remaining five regions are in Bali.

Jakarta Globe - April 1, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia once again spoke up against the singling out of palm oil, with the second round discussion on the vegetable oil – between European Union, or EU, and Asean – coming up this April.

The issue of sustainable palm oil has been a hot topic between Asean and the EU.

Asia Pacific Report - April 1, 2021

Jeffrey Elapa in Vanimo, PNG – The West Sepik administration is not happy with the way illegal border crossers are being handled by the Indonesian and Papua New Guinean consular officials in Jayapura amid the worsening covid pandemic crisis.

March 31, 2021

Tapol Press Release - March 31, 2021

London – TAPOL strongly denounces the proposal put forward by the Indonesian National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT/Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Terorisme) to categorise the Free Papua Organisation (OPM/Organisasi Papua Merdeka) as a terrorist organisation. Such a move will lead to more serious human rights abuses in West Papua.

Tempo - March 31, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud Md confirmed that the government extended the special autonomy funds for Papua.

UCA News - March 31, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Security officers will guard churches across Indonesia at Easter following the suicide bombing at a cathedral on Palm Sunday.

Business Times - March 31, 2021

Artie Villasanta – Indonesia will buy as many as eight Mogami-class stealth frigates from Japan.

Suara Papua - March 31, 2021

Human rights defenders have exposed updated information on the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the regencies Nduga and Intan Jaya.

Jakarta Globe - March 31, 2021

Farouk Arnaz, Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – The gun-waving woman who was gunned down at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta has fired at least six shots into officers before her death on Wednesday afternoon, a top law enforcement official said.

Vanuatu Daily Post - March 31, 2021

Len Garae – The Executive Committee of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) has welcomed the Melanesian Spearhead Group Virtual Meeting with Port Vila MSG Secretariat and remind them of their sacred responsibility to make West Papua a full member of MSG.

Straits Times - March 31, 2021

Jakarta (Reuters) – An ambitious Indonesian project to create a single database of the country's land area and stop conflicts is destined to flounder unless it includes maps created by indigenous communities, advocates said on Wednesday (March 31).

Coconuts Jakarta - March 31, 2021

Some might say it's majestic while others are aghast at the tackiness on display, but it seems the pros have no love at all for the proposed design of Indonesia's state palace in the country's planned new capital city in East Kalimantan.The design doesn't hold back in taking its inspiration from the Garuda – a divine bird in Hindu mythology that makes up Indonesia's national emblem

Jakarta Post - March 31, 2021

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Last week, Indonesia's handling of insurgencies in Papua took a new turn, eliciting a strong response from rights watchdogs and experts.

Suara Papua - March 31, 2021

Reiner Brabar, Sorong – Scores of activists from the Papua People's Solidarity Against Racism (SPMR) held a free speech forum in front of the Elin traffic light intersection in Sorong city, West Papua province.

Coconuts Bali - March 31, 2021

Public health experts in Indonesia are raising concerns after the government announced that it will allow the use of GeNose COVID-19 detectors to fulfill test requirements for air travelers across the country starting tomorrow.

March 30, 2021

Tempo - March 30, 2021

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Two suspected terrorists who were arrested in Condet and Bekasi had been seen coming to the East Jakarta District Court, to attend the trial of former FPI leader Rizieq Shihab. The police said that they have photographs of the suspects in court.