Asia Pacific

Yudhoyono government says 1965 murders ‘saved’ Indonesia

By James Balowski, in Jakarta — Reneging on a pledge to apologise and make reparations for the victims of the 1965 anti-communist purge, when Suharto and the military seized power, the government of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is now parroting the New Order regime’s myth that the killings were justified to save the country from communism.

National strike changing Indonesia's political terrain

By Max Lane — In a press statement on October 3, the Indonesian Workers and Labourers Assembly (MPBI) said that 2 million workers mobilised for the national strike it called for that date, in industrial areas or outside government offices in 21 cities and towns.

Teenage suicide puts spotlight on Indonesia’s sexist laws

By James Balowski, in Jakarta — A suicide in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh by a teenager who was publicly humiliated by the province’s abusive sharia police has again put the spotlight on laws that discriminate against women.

Australian-funded soldiers policing West Papuan activists

By James Balowski, in Jakarta — The killing of a leading pro-independence activist in West Papua during a raid reportedly led by members of the Australian-funded and -trained counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 (Densus 88) raises serious questions about how Australian workers’ tax money is being used in Indonesia.

The Timorese elections and their aftermath

By Max Lane — Timor Leste’s third parliamentary election since the restoration of independence in 2002 was held on July 7. The largest of the incumbent parties, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao’s National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT), almost secured an absolute majority of parliamentary seats.

Indonesian commission urges trials of military rights abusers

By James Balowski, in Jakarta — After a three-year investigation and testimonies from 349 witnesses, Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has declared that the systematic prosecution of alleged members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) when former president Suharto and the military seized power in 1965 constituted gross human rights violations.

Militarist party positioning itself in Indonesia

The political party Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) recently announced its 314-strong leadership structure.

Australian-funded military accused of murder in West Papua

Riots erupted in the West Papuan provincial capital of Jayapura on June 14 after a leading pro-independence activist was shot dead during an arrest reportedly led by members of the Australian-funded counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88.

Tens of thousands rally across Indonesia for May Day

In some of the largest demonstrations seen in recent years, tens of thousands took part in May Day rallies across Indonesia calling for higher wages and an end to contract labour and opposing fuel price increases.