Posts Tagged ‘Indonesia’

Indonesia to Buy $1.14 Billion Worth of Russian Jets

August 22, 2017

JAKARTA — Indonesia will buy 11 Sukhoi fighter jets worth $1.14 billion from Russia in exchange for cash and Indonesian commodities, two cabinet ministers said on Tuesday.

The Southeast Asian country has pledged to ship up to $570 million worth of commodities in addition to cash to pay for the Suhkoi SU-35 fighter jets, which are expected to be delivered in stages starting in two years.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in a joint statement with Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu that details of the type and volume of commodities were “still being negotiated”. Previously he had said the exports could include palm oil, tea, and coffee.

The deal is expected to be finalised soon between Indonesian state trading company PT Perusahaan Perdangangan Indonesia and Russian state conglomerate Rostec.

Related:

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Indonesian Air Power – Pilots of the Air Force’s Sukhoi SU-30MK2 aircraft walk on the tarmac after a rehearsal of the 2016 Angkasa Yudha airborne training module at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, on Oct. 3, 2016. (Antara/MN Kanwa)

IS Cleric Granted Early Release in Indonesia Is Re-Arrested

August 18, 2017

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A radical Islamic cleric granted an early release from prison to mark Indonesia’s Independence Day has been re-arrested for alleged involvement in several militant attacks.

Aman Abdurrahman, who has led an Islamic State group-affiliated militant network from prison, was included among more than 90,000 inmates granted sentence reductions for Thursday’s national holiday.

Image result for Aman Abdurrahman, photo, indonesia

Ibnu Chuldun, who heads the Justice Ministry’s provincial office in Central Java, said Friday that Abdurrahman was transferred from Nusa Kambangan prison island to a police detention center near Jakarta.

Chuldun says the cleric is being questioned about his role in attacks including a January 2016 suicide bombing in central Jakarta that killed four civilians and four attackers.

Abdurrahman was serving a nine-year sentence for helping set up a jihadi training camp.

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From January 2016

JAKARTA: Unlike his contemporaries, cleric and terrorist convict Aman Abdurrahman has never seen war. He never fights along his fellow jihadists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria or in any domestic sectarian conflict.

But Aman’s preaching is so contagious that Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the elder statesman of the regional terrorism network, has succumbed to his doctrine and authority.

Aman’s notoriety was extended with the alleged involvement of his followers in an attack targeting police and foreigners in a Central Jakarta district packed with shopping centres, embassies, the UN headquarters and government offices on Jan 14. The attack killed four civilians and four perpetrators.

Bahrun Naim, who is suspected by the police to have orchestrated the attack and has been in Raqqa, Syria, with the Islamic State (IS) movement since early 2015, was a member of Aman’s prayer community before leaving Indonesia.

Afif, also known as Sunakim, identified on the day of the attack wearing a DJ Tiesto shirt, shared Aman’s ideology as he joined Aman’s terrorist training camp in Aceh in 2010, as well as his prayer community.

“The perpetrators shared a similar doctrine that has been widely preached by Aman,” National Police spokesman Insp Gen Anton Charliyan said recently.

While the police have not uncovered any evidence to suggest that Aman orchestrated the attack, many in the intelligence community have pointed to Aman’s proliferating doctrine and his ability to win over many influential figures in the terror network as invigorating for the terrorism movement.

It was not until the establishment of IS in 2013 that Aman and his takfiri doctrine (an offshoot of fundamentalist Salafism that accuses other Muslims of apostasy, and therefore liable to be killed) gained ground in the domestic violent jihad community long dominated by al-Qaeda’s Salafism doctrine.

Takfiri is the prime doctrine of IS, a terrorist organisation that has occupied territory in Syria and Iraq in its quest to repeat the glory of the Islamic caliphates.

Introduced by Abu Musab al Zarqawi in 2001, takfiri is represented by his group Tawhid walJihad, and was quickly adopted by Aman for distribution in Indonesia through Aman’s version of Tawhid wal-Jihad.

Unlike Ba’asyir’s al-Qaeda splinter, Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), which focused its attacks primarily on Western interests, Aman and his followers have declared war on anyone, including fellow Muslims, who refuse to follow their doctrine.

However, Aman’s track record during Ba’asyir’s heyday between 2000 and 2011 was not as impressive as his JI fellows.

Aman was sentenced in 2004 to seven years in prison for a failed terror plot. The bomb, prepared by his group, was prematurely detonated in the terrorists’ hiding spot in Cimanggis, Depok, West Java.

During his time in prison, Aman met with Ba’asyir, who spent time in prison for terrorism between 2005 and 2006. In 2008, Aman was released after receiving remissions for good behavior.

Soon after his release, Aman collaborated with Ba’asyir to form a joint terrorism training camp in Aceh in 2010 that united the different factions of terrorism groups.

Due to the Aceh camp incident, Aman and Ba’asyir received nine and 15 years in prison, respectively, and are now detained in a supposedly maximum-security prison on Nusakambangan, an island off the shores of Cilacap, Central Java.

But while Aman is kept behind bars, the police have accused his followers of involvement in several terror plots, including a suicide bombing at a mosque inside a police headquarters in Cirebon, West Java, that only claimed the life of the perpetrator in 2011.

His doctrine is also blamed for a string of attacks that killed several police officers, including one in Pamulang, South Tangerang, Banten, in 2013.

When IS was declared in 2013, Aman used his flare to lure others into joining his group, particularly JI hardliners who longed for action at a time when Ba’asyir’s influence was waning.

Encouraged by Aman, Ba’asyir agreed to pledge his allegiance to IS in mid-2014, enraging his own family and loyalists who had long provided support to al-Qaeda splinter faction Jabhat al-Nusra in its fight against Syrian government forces.

“Aman is IS’ master ideologue in Indonesia. He has long preached the takfiri doctrine, and IS has served his cause,” former National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chairman Ansyaad Mbai said recently.

“He can easily lure people into his influence through his eloquence in preaching. Many extremists have high respect for Aman for his extensive knowledge of the religion as his fluency in Arabic is unrivaled by his peers,” he said.

After the merger of many terrorist factions into Tawhid wal-Jihad, Aman renamed his organisation Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) to propagate IS ideology and recruitment in Indonesia.

Through his group, Aman manages his followers, conducts recruitment for IS and spreads IS propaganda behind bars.

Aman, also known as Oman Rochman, is among the few individuals in Indonesia trusted by the IS hierarchy, with their recommendations and schemes considered sufficient without additional references from IS headquarters, according to research by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).

According to the National Police, Aman’s JAD has produced four prominent figures: Santoso, a former JI member who leads the Eastern Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) in an insurgency movement in Poso, Central Sulawesi; Bachrumsyah, commander of the Western Indonesia Mujahidin (MIB), who has joined IS in Syria but still has pools of followers in Greater Jakarta; Bahrum Naim, the recent attack orchestrator; and Salim Mubarak At Tamimi, known also as Abu Jandal, who has also joined IS in Syria.

The police suspect Bachrumsyah, Bahrum and Abu Jandal of collaborating from Syria to direct more attacks in Indonesia through their followers.

Bachrumsyah, a dropout communications student from the State Islamic University (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah in South Tangerang, Banten, is among Aman’s staunchest disciples recruited through his prayer community in Pamulang.

In July 2014, Bachrumsyah uploaded a video to YouTube inciting Indonesians to join IS.

Similar to Bachrumsyah, Bahrum was also recruited by Aman through his prayer community in Bandung, West Java, between 2008 and 2010. According to the National Police, Bahrum often visited Aman in Nusakambangan to hear him preach.

Born in Sumedang, West Java, on Jan 5 1972, Aman was mostly educated in Islamic boarding schools. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Islamic and Arabic College of Indonesia (LIPIA) in Jakarta after seven years of study.

The college is a branch of the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.

After graduating, he served as a lecturer and preacher at the campus and at other education institutions in Jakarta, Bogor and Bandung, West Java. However, he was dismissed in early 2000 for his radical adoption of the takfiri doctrine.

With Aman’s doctrine proven to be contagious and detrimental, as evidenced by the Jan 14 attack, the prison authority has finally confined Aman into an isolation cell on Nusakambangan.

Jakarta Police chief Insp Gen Tito Karnavian recently acknowledged the extent of threat that the takfiri doctrine will pose in encouraging future attacks, and the need for the public to become more aware of such teachings.

“The movement is more dangerous than those inspired by al-Qaeda. The takfiri doctrine means that everyone is permitted to be killed whereas, al-Qaeda prioritises attacks on Western symbols,” said Tito, who has been handling Aman’s cases since 2003. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network.

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Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/01/25/the-rise-of-aman-abdurrahman-the-is-ideologue/#EezpX0VFs6lZE25J.99

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/01/25/the-rise-of-aman-abdurrahman-the-is-ideologue/

After Philippine Police Kill 32 Drug Suspects in One Day; President Duterte Urges Them To Kill 32 More The Next Day

August 16, 2017
Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country. PPD/File

MANILA, Philippines –  President Duterte welcomed the killing of 32 drug suspects in simultaneous raids in Bulacan last Tuesday and defended policemen from critics who questioned the way the operations were conducted.

Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country.

“Yung namatay daw sa Bulacan, 32 (Thirty-two people reportedly died in Bulacan) in a massive raid. Maganda yun (That’s good),” the President said at the 19th anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption at Malacañang.

“Pumatay tayo (Let’s kill) another 32 everyday, maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” he added.

Thirty-two suspected drug offenders died and 107 others were nabbed during simultaneous law enforcement operations, which began last Monday in the province. Police recovered illegal drugs, grenades and firearms during the raids.

The President said he is expecting human rights advocates to criticize the law enforcement operations.

“There will be outcry again over the 32 who were killed. They would grieve again for justice,” he said.

“Many are being killed because policemen are working. They are protected under my watch.”

Duterte said he has ordered security forces to destroy the apparatus of the drug trade, which he said is “taking a toll on the lives of the people.”

“My order is to destroy the apparatus. Kung napatay ka, pasensya ka (If you get killed, sorry). We will finish this for the next generation,” he said.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/17/1729961/rody-bulacan-drug-deaths-kill-32-more-daily

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Duterte says drug problem can’t be solved in just one term

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed during the campaign period that he can fix the country from illegal drugs in three to six months. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the country’s illegal drugs problem is so severe that a six-year term for a president is not enough to solve it.

“Look itong shabu, ang drugs, etc., cannot be solved by one man, for a president for one term,” Duterte said in his speech at the Philippine Development Forum: Sulong Pilipinas 2017 forum last Wednesday.

“It has bugged nations, hindi nga kaya ng Amerika, tayo pa,” he added.

READ: Duterte vows to keep drug war amid human rights concerns

 

During the campaign period, Duterte vowed to solve the problem in three to six months.

Three months after assuming presidency in July, the president asked for an extension of another six months.

READ: Rights groups want tougher stance on Duterte’s drug war from Trump

http://www.philstar.com/news-videos/2017/08/11/1727928/watch-duterte-says-drug-problem-cant-be-solved-just-one-term

Related:

Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image result for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image result for Boy Cruz, philippine policeman, photos

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Amnesty: Indonesia waging its own ‘war on drugs’

August 16, 2017

Police killings of suspected drug dealers have spiked, with 60 recorded deaths so far this year compared to 18 in 2016. The trend has led Amnesty International to warn that the country could be emulating the Philippines.

Indonesien Beschlagnahmte Drogen nach einer Razzia (Getty Images/AFP/Ricardo)

The dramatic spike in the number of unlawful killings carried out by Indonesian police against suspected drug dealers is the latest signal that the country could be sliding into a “war on drugs” similar to that seen in the Philippines, rights group Amnesty International warned on Wednesday.

Data obtained by the group showed a more than 200-percent rise in drug-related killings carried out by Indonesian police so far this year, with the number of deaths rising up to 60 from just 18 last year.

Read more: Why Jakarta presses forward with drug executions despite global outcry

Amnesty’s director in Indonesia, Usman Hamid, said in a statement: “This shocking escalation in unlawful killings by the police sounds serious alarm bells. While Indonesian authorities have a duty to respond to increasing rates of drug use in the country, shooting people on sight is never a solution. Not only is it unlawful, it will also do nothing to address the root causes that lead to drug use in the first place.”

Most of the violence has been concentrated around the capital city of Jakarta or the well-known drug trafficking hub of Sumatra.

Indonesia officials back tough stance

Indonesian police forces have justified the increase in killings, saying victims were shot for resisting arrest. However, Amnesty said it found no evidence that authorities had conducted even a single independent investigation into the shootings.

That data also reflects the Indonesian government’s increasingly tough rhetoric on drug-related crime, with President “Jokowi” Widodo openly endorsing the use of unrestrained force against suspected foreign traffickers, especially those resisting arrest. “Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest,” he said at a speech in Jakarta in late July. “Enough, just shoot them. Be merciless.”

Indonesia Joko Widodo (Reuters/Beawiharta)Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has endorsed the use of force in policing drug-related crimes

Police chief hails Duterte’s “war on drugs”

The president’s remarks came after the country’s national police chief, General Tito Karnavian, ordered officers “not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest” and praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal “war on drugs” as an effective means of making drug dealers “go away.”

Since coming to power in May last year, Duterte has waged a brutal war on drugs in a bid to wipe out the use of narcotics in the Philippines. According to police data, some 3,500 so-called “drug personalities” have been killed by Duterte’s anti-drug squadsover the past year, as well as a further 2,000 people linked to drug-related crimes.

Read more: Alleged hitman links Duterte to ‘death squad’ killings

Earlier this year, Amnesty documented that anti-drug forces had grown to resemble a criminal enterprise more than a police force.

“President Duterte should not under any circumstances be considered a role model for Indonesia,” said Amnesty’s Hamid. “Far from making the Philippines safer, his bloody ‘war on drugs’ has led to the deaths of thousands without any form of accountability.”

http://www.dw.com/en/amnesty-indonesia-waging-its-own-war-on-drugs/a-40110231

dm/kms (AFP, Amnesty)

Related:

Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Related:
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

.
.
Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image may contain: 2 people

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Indonesia maintains merciless stance on drug dealers

August 16, 2017
  • Haeril HalimThe Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, August 16, 2017 | 04:00 pm

Jokowi maintains merciless stance on drug dealers

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo delivers his state of the nation address before members of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Aug. 16. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The war on drugs was one of the focal points of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s state of the nation address on Wednesday.

Jokowi reiterated his commitment despite the recent criticism he has received after it was revealed that law enforcement officers had shot dead a total of 60 alleged drug dealers they argued had been resisting arrest.

“We stand firm in our war against drug dealers. Narcotics are destroying our youth. Jokowi said.

Read also: Sending drug dealers to God is my business: Jakarta Police chiefAccording to data from Amnesty International, at least 60 suspected drug dealers were killed by the police and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) between January and August, a sharp increase from 18, last year.

In July, Jokowi ordered law enforcers “to be firm and merciless, especially with foreign drug dealers who enter the country” and to shoot them if they resisted arrest. Around 10 drug dealers have been shot dead onsite after Jokowi made the order.

Last year, the international community also lambasted Jokowi after Indonesia executed four drug dealers, most of them foreigners. Authorities have sent 18 drug dealers before firing squad since 2015.

Jokowi said he would also remain firm in his decisions to protect the country’s sovereignty. “We also have to be brave to fight against illegal fishing to protect our natural resources and fishermen. We have shown we are brave by dissolving Petral,” Jokowi said referring to the now-defunct oil and gas trading company Pertamina Energy Trading. (bbn)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/08/16/jokowi-maintains-merciless-stance-on-drug-dealers.html

Statue of Chinese god stokes tension in Muslim-majority Indonesia

August 11, 2017

Reuters

TUBAN, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesia has urged officials to stand up to mob pressure after Muslim and nationalist protesters called for a 30-metre-tall (100-ft-) statue of a Chinese deity erected in a temple complex in an East Java town to be torn down.

The brightly-painted statue of Guan Yu, a former general who is worshipped by some Chinese, was inaugurated in July in a temple complex in the fishing town of Tuban and is claimed to be Southeast Asia’s tallest such representation of the deity.

The statue in Tuban, about 100 km (60 miles) west of the city of Surabaya, has been partially covered up after the protests, provoking both praise and ridicule on social media in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

“If they ask for the statue to be torn down, authorities cannot bow to such pressure,” Teten Masduki, chief of staff to President Joko Widodo, told reporters.

Protesters demonstrated this week outside Surabaya’s parliament against the statue, some wearing paramilitary-style outfits and waving placards that read “Demolish It” and “We are not worshippers of idols”.

Allowing a depiction of a foreign general was “a symbol of treason to this nation,” an unnamed protester said in a video of the rally on news portal Kompas.com.

Officials of the Kwan Sing Bio Temple in Tuban declined to comment, but media have quoted residents as saying the statue was good for tourism.

Indonesia is a secular state whose constitution enshrines religious freedom and diversity, but there are concerns that rising intolerance threatens its reputation for moderate Islam.

Muslims form about 85 percent of the population, but there are also substantial Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and other minorities.

Religious tension has soared this year after Islamist-led rallies saw Jakarta’s incumbent governor, a member of a so-called double minority who is ethnic Chinese and Christian, put on trial during city elections over Koran insult allegations.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was later jailed for two years for blasphemy, a sentence rights groups and international bodies condemned as unfair and politicized.

The protests against the statue were primarily about nationalism, said Suli Da’im, a lawmaker in East Java.

“What they were protesting about is that the statue did not represent their general or commander,” he said, adding that a permit for the statue had also not yet been approved.

The fate of the statue, reported to have cost 2.5 billion rupiah ($190,000) to build, has sparked sparring on social media.

“Praise be to God, the noisy fighting in social media succeeded in ensuring the idolatrous statue has been covered. I hope it will soon be taken down,” Muhammad Syahrir, using the handle @Muhamma37029013, said on social network Twitter.

Another Twitter user ridiculed the protesters.

“Like they have nothing else to do but to protest against a statue,” said Paring Waluyo, under the handle @paringwaluyo. “Instead they should be protesting about Tuban being among the poor regencies of East Java.”

($1=13,368.0000 rupiah)

Additional reporting by Stefanno Reinard and Gayatri Suroyo in Jakarta; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

See also:

In Indonesia, Chinese Deity Is Covered in Sheet After Muslims Protest

Indonesia, Russia to work together to fight terrorism

August 9, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talks with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi

JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesia and Russia pledged Wednesday to strengthen cooperation in cyber-security and counter-terrorism as concern grows about the spread of radicalism in Southeast Asia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is on a two-day visit to Indonesia, said the two countries would work together more closely to counter the spread of Islamic State (IS) ideology.

“The threat that the ISIL is has not vanished. Its members have been spreading all over the world, including areas close to the Russian and Indonesian borders,” Lavrov said, using another acronym for the group.

Hundreds of radicals from Indonesia have flocked abroad to fight with IS, and the country has seen a surge in plots and attacks linked to the jihadists over the past year.

Indonesian officials have also said dozens of Indonesians have travelled to the southern Philippine city of Marawi to fight with militants loyal to IS.

The militants seized parts of the city over two months ago and have resisted all attempts by the Philippine army to evict them.

“We have agreed that our special services will pay particular attention to increasing coordination in our joint efforts to fight this scourge,” Lavrov said.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the two countries had strong ties on political and defence issues, and Indonesia wanted to deepen trade ties.

The ministers also discussed tensions on the Korean peninsula, the South China Sea and conflict in the Middle East, but gave no details.

Sending drug dealers to God is my business: Police Chief

August 9, 2017
  • Callistasia Anggun WijayaThe Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, August 8, 2017 | 07:41 pm

Sending drug dealers to God is my business: Jakarta Police chief

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Idham Azis (center) poses during an award ceremony held on Tuesday, Aug. 8 for police investigators who succeeded in foiling the smuggling of a record-breaking one ton of crystal methamphetamine, or sabu-sabu, in Anyer, Banten in July. (Antara/Reno Esnir)

The newly appointed Jakarta Police chief Insp.Gen. Idham Azis has vowed to combat drug dealers, especially those from other countries, and will take responsibility for his subordinates’ actions if they shoot alleged drug traffickers during raids.

“If the drug dealers want to apologize, it is their business with God. Sending them to God, on the other hand, is my business,” Idham said at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Tuesday.

Idham, who was inaugurated as the Jakarta Police chief on July 26, expressed his appreciation to the team of investigators that thwarted the record-breaking smuggling attempt of one ton of crystal methamphetamine, locally known as sabu-sabu, in Anyer, Banten last month. In the raid, investigators arrested three Taiwanese nationals and shot dead another alleged to have resisted arrest.

He asserted that he would also dismiss his subordinates if they failed to handle the mass drug trafficking in the capital.

Under his leadership, he said he would give all drug units in all police precincts under the Jakarta Police’s authority a month to crack down on drug dealers.

“There will be no compromises. If the drug unit chiefs cannot enforce the law against drug dealers, I will replace them,” he said.

Greater Jakarta has the highest demand for drugs of all provinces in the country, according to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN). The National Police announced that Indonesia had become the main target of international drug syndicates following tougher anti-drug policies imposed by neighboring countries like the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. (wnd)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/08/08/sending-drug-dealers-to-god-is-my-business-jakarta-police-chief.html

New North Korea Sanctions Are in a Race With Pyongyang’s Missile Development

August 7, 2017

U.N. Security Council action aims to close loopholes, but many Asian nations have ties to Pyongyang

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© POOL/AFP | US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi supported a tough stance on Pyongyang’s arsenal

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Updated Aug. 6, 2017 9:42 p.m. ET

MANILA—The United Nations Security Council passed the toughest-ever economic sanctions against North Korea over the weekend. Now comes the hard part: making them stick, and fast.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met here Sunday with counterparts from China, Russia, and a host of Asian countries as he sought to build momentum to isolate North Korea. He described the sanctions as “a good outcome.”

 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who met Sunday in Manila with his North Korean counterpart, said Beijing has urged Pyongyang “to stop the missile tests and even nuclear research which violate U.N. Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the international community.”

There is one major obstacle, however: Time is running out. The most recent missile launched by the regime at the end of July would be able to fly more than 6,400 miles, according to one analysis, putting Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago within range. Some experts believe North Korea could develop a nuclear missile capable of handling atmospheric re-entry as early as next year.

“The problem with sanctions alone is that we don’t have that kind of time,” said Leon Sigal, director of the New York-based Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project, pointing to lags between when sanctions are implemented and enforced and when the economic effects are felt. “They’re very close to an ICBM.”

The Security Council has passed eight rounds of sanctions since 2006, when North Korea performed its first nuclear test. The sanctions hurt the secretive regime economically but failed to deter Pyongyang from working to become a nuclear power.

The latest sanctions, passed unanimously with the support of China, North Korea’s biggest economic partner, are meant to close loopholes around the world that have allowed the rogue regime to cultivate trade, financing and labor ties to support its nuclear programs.

China in a statement Sunday called the sanctions necessary. Beijing accounts for 90% of the North Korean regime’s trade, according to various estimates.

In the meeting with China on Sunday, North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, restated Pyongyang’s position on nuclear policy, said Mr. Wang, the Chinese foreign minister, without elaborating. North Korea has previously refused to disarm, arguing that its nuclear capability is a deterrent to protect it from foreign aggression.

North Korean officials were unavailable for comment. Mr. Ri will have a chance to speak Monday to the 27 members of the Asean Regional Forum gathered in Manila for the security meetings.

R.C. Hammond, Tillerson’s communications adviser, told reporters that the Chinese meeting made clear to the North Koreans “what they need to do to demonstrate to the world they understand and would like to discuss a new role for North Korea in the global community.”

The new sanctions ban trade in coal with North Korea and bar countries from employing North Korean laborers and entering into joint ventures with Pyongyang. U.S. officials say the sanctions could cut a third, or $1 billion, from North Korea’s foreign revenue.

“I think the efforts to isolate [North Korea] are already working, even with the previous sanctions in place. The problem is that they have not brought the ‘desired effect’ — which should be progress in the denuclearization,” said Oh Joon, a professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul and a former South Korean ambassador to the U.N.

The U.S. faces resistance in Asia, where countries have business ties with North Korea dating back decades and experts say that many companies and individuals profit from hard-to-detect financing of trade. The biggest challenge is China, experts say, which hasn’t fully enforced past sanctions, chiefly because it is concerned that if the Pyongyang regime collapses a conflict could draw U.S. troops near the Chinese border or send droves of North Korean refugees across its border.

China has said in the past it complies fully with U.N. sanctions on North Korea but opposes U.S. unilateral sanctions.

China’s trade with North Korea rose 10.5% in the first half of this year as part of its normal economic relationship not covered by sanctions, Chinese trade data show.

“Beijing’s reluctance to implement U.N. sanctions is further enabling Pyongyang to sprint down the weapons path,” said Duyeon Kim, a visiting senior fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul. “China knows it can squeeze the North enough without the collapse that it fears, but Beijing chooses not to because of its own strategic interests.”

U.S. presidents have implored China to crack down on North Korea. Former President Barack Obama called on China to put pressure on the regime to abandon its nuclear missile program, while President Donald Trump has accused China of not doing enough.

On Sunday, Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary for the State Department Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in Manila that the U.S. would focus on China’s implementation to keep measures from “slipping back,” as she said they had in the past.

Elsewhere in the region, the U.S. faces other diplomatic challenges reining in Pyongyang, in part because policing sanctions is expensive.

“Very rigorously enforcing sanctions has significant costs for the enforcer, and Southeast Asian countries are not generally willing to bear those costs,” said Justin Hastings, professor of international relations at the University of Sydney.

In addition, some nations say they prefer to engage diplomatically with North Korea rather than isolate the regime as the U.S. has argued for.

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday that “now is not the time for dialogue but the time to increase effective pressure on North Korea, so that they will take concrete actions toward denuclearization.”

Others took a different tack. “I think it’s better that people talk,” Philippine foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Friday. “The less we talk, the more grave the situation can become.”

Several countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, host North Korean embassies and some ties will be hard to unravel. Thailand was North Korea’s third-largest import partner in 2015.

Malaysia has historically close ties to North Korea and until early this year was one of only a handful of nations to allow North Koreans to travel visa-free. That relationship deteriorated in February after the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was killed in a Kuala Lumpur airport in an operation that South Korean officials believe was orchestrated by Pyongyang. North Korea has denied any connection with the killing.

–Jonathan Cheng in Hong Kong, Patrick McDowell in Jakarta and Eva Dou in Beijing contributed to this article.

Write to Jake Maxwell Watts at jake.watts@wsj.com and Ben Otto at ben.otto@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/enforcing-new-north-korea-sanctions-poses-challenge-1502050649

282 hot spots detected across Indonesia

August 6, 2017

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Indonesia — Fire-fighting operations in South Sumatra, one of the five provinces currently in a state of emergency. Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB)

JAKARTA – Indonesian satellites on Sunday (Aug 6) morning picked up 282 hot spots – believed to be the highest number across the country this year – as the dry season continues.

The worst hit province was West Kalimantan, where more than half of the hot spots were detected, said National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) spokesman, Dr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, as he released the figures yesterday (Aug 6) evening.

Five districts in the province – Kubu Raya, Ketapang, Sekadau, Melawi and Bengkayang – have declared a state of emergency to enable local authorities to access central government support, including military assistance, to put out the fires.

Dr Sutopo also expressed concern that although 150 hot spots were detected across West Kalimantan, the number of fires there may be higher.

“Land and forest fires in West Kalimantan continue despite our continued efforts to suppress them,” he added.

He warned that the number of hot spots is probably higher as the satellites may not have passed over all the forest and land areas where fires could be burning.

Other areas in Indonesia were also hit by forest fires, albeit not as badly as in 2015 when the burning of forest and peatland in Kalimantan and Sumatra produced a transboundary haze, which blanketed the region and led to record air pollution levels for months.

Aside from those in West Kalimantan, the hot spots were spread across other provinces such as South Sumatra (23 hot spots), South Sulawesi (18), Riau (16) and East Nusa Tenggara (12).

Dr Sutopo said the hot spots were spotted on private plantation land, community-owned land and in national parks, in hard-to-reach locations.

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An Indonesian woman and a child walk on a bamboo bridge as thick yellow haze shrouds Palangkaraya on Oct 22, 2015. AFP photo

“The areas burned are generally areas that are difficult to access and away from settlements, that is why (the fires) are difficult to extinguish,” he added.

As of Saturday, 18 helicopters have been deployed for fire-fighting operations in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and South Kalimantan. All five provinces are currently in a state of emergency.

Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said last Sunday that helicopters will deployed to put out fires over areas where there is limited road access.

“If land access is difficult or shut down for a long time, then we will use water-bombings,” she said.

The dry season in Indonesia is forecast to end in September, at the earliest.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/282-hot-spots-detected-across-indonesia-on-sunday

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Carbon monoxide concentrations world-wide during the Indonesian burning season, 2015

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