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LGBT people in West Sumatra city to be fined Rp1 million if they 'disturb public order'
Detik News – November 29, 2018
The Pariaman municipal government in West Sumatra has responded swiftly to anxiety about deviant behaviour by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in the city.

Supreme Court sentences anti-mine activist to 4 years for 'spreading communist ideas'
CNN Indonesia – November 27, 2018
The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) says that a Supreme Court (MA) verdict increasing the sentence against an activist who protested a mine in East Java and was charged with spreading communist ideas is an example of the law being used to silence activists or SLAPP.

Lawmakers want to reactivate Suharto's era Pancasila indoctrination courses for schools
CNN Indonesia – November 27, 2018
The People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) – the highest legislative body in the country – has responded positively to plans to reactivate Pancasila Moral Education (PMP) courses in schools.

Trade union says surrendering wages to market forces is impoverishing workers
CNN Indonesia – November 25, 2018
The Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI) says annual minimum wage increases under the President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo administration has continued to decline every year.

Rights watchdog slams launch of 'deviant religious teachings' reporting app
Detik News – November 24, 2018
The office of the Jakarta chief prosecutor (kejati) has launched a smart phone application called the Social Beliefs and Teachings Monitor (Pengawasan Aliran Kepercayaan Masyarakat) or Smart Pakem for short.

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-Latest News
Aceh advises Muslims not to celebrate New Year
Jakarta Post – December 31, 2018
Officials and religious leaders in Aceh have called on Muslims in the province not to celebrate the New Year for religious reasons.

South Sulawesi mini markets raided again for openly selling condoms
Jakarta Post – December 31, 2018
Personnel of the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, have for the umpteenth time raided several mini markets for openly selling condoms. The sweeping raids were conducted ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations, which will take place on Monday evening.

Recite to lead? Proposed Quran competency test divides presidential candidates
Coconuts Jakarta – December 31, 2018
With Indonesia's 2019 presidential election fast approaching, both candidate pairs have yet to go directly head-to-head against each other in a debate. Yet, as one might expect considering the strong influence religion has had over politics in the majority Muslim country in the past few years, they may be made to prove their devotion to Islam first.

Gender politics and Thailand's political parties
Ugly Truth Thailand – December 30, 2018
Gender politics has always taken a back seat among the policies of Thailand's political parties. This is because of the weakness of gender social movements and the weakness of the left.

Interfaith figures call for fight against 'religious exclusivism'
Jakarta Post – December 30, 2018
A number of religious, cultural and interfaith figures have formulated a document called the Jakarta Treatise in response to the rising tide of religious conservatism sweeping the country.

Rights group condemns ban of 'kamisan' protest in Papua
Jakarta Post – December 29, 2018
A human rights group has condemned the banning of a protest by Jayapura Police in Papua on Thursday. The so-called kamisan is a peaceful, silent protest held every Thursday to call on the government to resolve cases of past human rights abuses.

Proposal for 'wife schools' sparks outrage
Jakarta Post – December 29, 2018
The West Bandung administration's plan to establish what it calls "wife schools" to prevent divorces has sparked outrage among the public, particularly from women activists, who have called the program unfair and sexist.

-Drunken Republic
Click to view imagesDrunken Republic

The lighter (or darker) side of Indonesian politics.

Drunken Repblic has also moved and is now hosted on the Indoleft website: www.indoleft.org

-Red Flag
Red Flag is the fortnightly newspaper of the Australian socialist organisation Socialist Alternative. More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Nduga attacks: Violating civil and political rights and threatening Lorentz National Park
Joint Statement – December 29, 2018
Since the shooting incident which took place in Nduga Regency in early December 2018, joint police and military forces have been carrying out a 'military operation' with the stated aim of evacuating victims and searching for the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army), who have been accused of carrying out the shooting.

Government urged to act on evidence of use of incendiary weapons in West Papua
West Papua Action Auckland Media Release – December 22, 2018
The latest reports from West Papua reveal a shocking escalation of violence in West Papua. Incendiary possibly white phosphorous – are being used to bomb villages in the Nduga area of the Highlands.

AWPA letter to Australian Foreign Minister
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) – December 18, 2018
On behalf of the Australia West Papua in Sydney, I am writing to you concerning an ongoing Indonesian security force operation that is taking place in the Nduga region of West Papua.

Cut military ties to Indonesia and demand justice for West Papua's murdered children
West Papua Action Auckland Media Release – December 10, 2018
West Papua Action Auckland is calling on the New Zealand Government to cut all military ties to the Indonesian security forces. Violence cannot solve the problems in West Papua.

Indonesia: Papuan militants kill 17
Human Rights Watch News Release – December 9, 2018
Indonesian police should investigate a Papuan armed group's killing of at least 17 people, including a soldier, at a construction area in Nduga in Papua's densely forested Central Highlands on December 2, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today.

Statements, press releases, solidarity and urgent appeals are archived under their country specific page/section, which can be selected from the drop-down menu on the left.

News, in-depth reports and analysis focusing on political developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Indonesia: Trade unions' initiative to create alternative political force in Indonesia
ISEAS Perspectives – August 10, 2018
Five trade union confederations organised a conference in April 2018 that brought together like-minded progressive trade unions, non-government organisations, student activists and political groups, to push for an alternative political force which would be independent of the two major power blocs led by President Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto.

Indonesia: How corrupt elections fuel the sell-off of Indonesia's natural resources
Mongabay – June 7, 2018
In June this year, elections will take place in 171 districts, provinces and municipalities across Indonesia. On paper, millions of citizens in the world's third-largest democracy will be afforded the right to select leaders with extensive powers over their everyday lives.

Indonesia: Democracy in Indonesia: A progress report
The Foreign Service Journal – May 1, 2018
With a population of more than 260 million and an economy that ranks tenth in the world, Indonesia appears destined to be one of the major international players of the 21st century.

Indonesia: Indonesian domestic helpers on sex abuse, slavery-like conditions they endure working overseas
The Star Online – April 8, 2018
Ernawati made great sacrifices for the well-being of her family. She was married at 14 to a man six years her senior and became the breadwinner two years later, when she first travelled to Saudi Arabia, to work as a domestic helper.

More >>

Max Lane’s Blog – Commentary and analysis on the history, contemporary politics and culture of Indonesian and its relationships with Australia and the world.

-Earlier this week
Indonesia's poor bear the brunt of deadly tsunami
Al Jezeera – December 29, 2018
Ahmad Hidayat's smile seemed strangely incongruous given the mess that lay around him. I have seen that smile before in Indonesia – a natural response, no matter the situation, maybe out of innate shyness or deference when talking to a stranger.

Police to tone down security crackdown in Papua for holiday season
Jakarta Post – December 28, 2018
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has called on his personnel to tone down for the Christmas and New Year celebrations a security crackdown in Nduga regency, Papua, that was initially aimed at pursuing an armed group with ties to the Free Papua Movement (OPM)

Christians call for end to church spite
Jakarta Post – December 28, 2018
Christians demanded on Thursday that the local administration and Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) be more active in putting an end to discriminatory actions related to the construction of churches in several parts of the country.

Environmental causes dominate Indonesia's clicktivism in 2018
Jakarta Post – December 28, 2018
Petitions on environmental issues dominated Indonesia's digital movements in 2018 with the number of people signing them having increased by 17 times compared to last year, according to online petition platform change.org.

PAN founders tell Amien Rais to stop meddling with party
Jakarta Post – December 27, 2018
National Mandate Party (PAN) patron Amien Rais, who is known as an outspoken critic of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, is being pressured to step down from his party post by its co-founders.

How Dec 25 became a point of contention for Indonesia's presidential candidates
Coconuts Jakarta – December 27, 2018
at least according to one contentious interpretation of Islamic law. Yet it's one many Muslims in Indonesia ascribe to, believing that wishing people of other faiths joy on their holy day equates to validating their beliefs, while casting into doubt your own faith in Allah as the only true God.

December violence in West Papua should be a wake-up call
The Daily Blog – December 26, 2018
Vanuatu is leading the way in promoting a peaceful diplomatic solution for West Papua and plans to take a resolution to the UN General Assembly next year calling for the West Papua to be restored to the UN list of nations still to be decolonised.

Indonesia prays on anniversary of 2004 Boxing Day tsunami
Agence France Presse – December 26, 2018
Thousands prayed at mass graves Wednesday to mark the 14th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, one of the worst natural disasters in history, even as aid workers raced to help victims of the latest killer wave to hit Indonesia.

'Destruction gets more likes': Indonesia's tsunami selfie-seekers
The Guardian – December 26, 2018
Solihat and her three friends had everything sorted for their perfect selfie, ready to be taken by the beach in Indonesia's Banten province. Their hijabs were striking: one pink, one green. One of the gang was ready with a 'V' finger peace sign.

Papuans wish to celebrate Christmas in peace as nationwide security beefed up
Jakarta Post – December 25, 2018
Religious figures in the predominantly Christian Papua have joined the provincial government's calls for the central government to withdraw security troops from Nduga regency ahead of Christmas, arguing that the presence of security forces and potential armed conflict with the rebel group have prevented civilians from celebrating Christmas in peace.

Thailand approves medical marijuana in New Year's 'gift'
Reuters – December 25, 2018
Thailand has approved marijuana for medical use and research, the first legalisation of the drug in a region with some of the world's strictest drug laws.

Massacre in Nduga: Indonesia's Papuan insurgency
The Diplomat – December 24, 2018
The recent killings highlight how Indonesia's attempts to use economic inducements to secure peace in Papua are failing. In early December 2018, separatist militants killed about 20 people in the Nduga Regency of Indonesia's easternmost Papua Province.

Military describes reports of chemical weapon attacks on West Papuans as 'fake news'
ABC News – December 23, 2018
Indonesia's Military has dismissed "ridiculous" claims it used a banned chemical weapon to subdue separatist forces in West Papua. Photos published by The Saturday Paper yesterday show a man with a gaping wound to his leg and severe burns.

News archives

  • News reports on Aceh, Indonesia and West Papua are archived in the Indonesia News Digests.
  • News reports on East Timor are archived in the East Timor News Digests.
  • Other news reports are archived under their country specific page/section.

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