Archive for Indonesia
Indonesia has summoned the British ambassador in Jakarta after a cruise ship crashed into coral reefs off the coast of Indonesia earlier this month. The Caledonian Sky, a 4,200-tonne cruise ship, was on a voyage organised by a London company when it smashed into the reefs at low tide around Kri, one of hundreds of tiny islands in Raja Ampat, West Papua province. The region attracts many travellers and divers – those on the ship were on a bird-watching expedition – as it is one of the most biodiverse marine habitats on the planet. Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs, summoned British ambassador Moazzam Malik to Jakarta on Friday. “I’m disappointed to learn about the damage to this coral reef in West Papua – as we are with any environmental incident that occurs in Indonesia or anywhere else in the world,” Malik told reporters following a meeting at Pandjaitan’s office. “We hope the matter can be resolved quickly between the Indonesian authorities and the company that is responsible for this accident.” Further damage to the coral reef was caused when numerous attempts to free the ship using a tug boat failed. The ship, carrying 79 crew members and 102 passengers, was later refloated during high tide. “He [the captain] attempted to break free from the reefs and made the damage even worse even though he was ordered to stop,” Pandjaitan said. The Indonesian government has said that the British captain piloting the ship could face criminal charges, while marine researchers have estimated that it could take decades and millions of dollars to restore the coral.
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuala Lumpur today explained that it was a former embassy official that the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had detained. Its spokesman said this in response to media reports that one of its former officials was arrested here yesterday. He said the ex-official was detained in Jakarta, Indonesia. “The official is no longer with the embassy after completing his stint in December 2016 and has returned to Jakarta. His post at the embassy here has already been filled,” he told Bernama when contacted today. Indonesian media quoted KPK’s Public Relations chief Febri Diansyah as saying that the individual was detained in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and would be repartriated to Jakarta as soon as possible, to be charged. Febri said the individual was believed to have solicited bribes from agents and a number of companies in the issuance of passports and visas for Indonesians in Malaysia.
Indonesian diplomat Tazwin Hanif has succumbed to injuries sustained in a fire at the Indonesian Embassy in Rome earlier this month. Deputy Ambassador Des Alwi said Tazwin’s condition had worsened significantly in the three days following the incident. Hospital doctors had done some emergency operations but were unable to prevent the patient’s death at 4:25 p.m. local time on Dec. 25. Initially, Tazwin’s injuries from the Dec. 2 incident had described has mild. Tazwin leaves one wife and three children. He was a senior diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a specialist on the issue of climate change. He was also a member of the evaluation committee at the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “The Indonesian Embassy in Rome is coordinating with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the legal process related to autopsy obligations. Once the administrative necessities are cleared, we will bring the body back to Indonesia as soon as possible,” Des said to thejakartapost.com on Dec. 26.
Belarus ambassador to Indonesia Vladimir Lopate-Zagorsky said that he hoped Indonesia would open an embassy in the Belarussian capital of Minsk in the near future, given that relations between the two countries had improved over the past few years. “We hope that Indonesia will establish an embassy in Minsk to promote bilateral relations. In the economic sector, Belarus and Indonesia complement each other, as we have goods that Indonesia needs and vice versa,” Zagorsky said as quoted by Antara. According to data from the Belarussian embassy in Kuningan, South Jakarta, trade between Indonesia and the former Soviet republic totaled U$219.2 million in 2011, a massive increase on the U$1.8 million recorded in 1995. Lopate-Zagorsky claimed that opening an embassy in Minsk would ease business partnerships between both countries, as well as promote Indonesia in Belarus. Indonesia currently conducts its affairs with Belarus via its embassy in Moscow, Russia.
Australia and Indonesia have come to a “joint understanding” following a diplomatic row after reports surfaced last year alleging that the former had spied on Indonesian leaders. Reports alleged that Australia used its embassy in Jakarta in the spying effort. President Yudhoyono had reacted angrily to the spying allegations at the time.
An American tourist’s battered body has been found in a suitcase at an exclusive hotel on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali and her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend have been arrested over the killing, police and US embassy said Wednesday. The US embassy in Jakarta said in a statement that it was “aware of the death of an American citizen that took place in Bali and we understand that two individuals have been arrested in connection with the case”. The body of Sheila von Wiese Mack was found Tuesday stuffed into a suitcase in the boot of a taxi in front of the five-star St. Regis hotel in the upscale Nusa Dua resort area of Bali. The 62-year-old victim was half naked, had several wounds to her head, and appeared to have put up a struggle, a doctor said. She had been staying in the hotel with her daughter, Heather, 19, and her daughter’s boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21. Mack and her daughter stayed in the hotel together for several days before the boyfriend joined them on Monday, Utomo said. Mack was recorded on CCTV arguing with Schaefer in the hotel lobby the same night, he said. The next day, the couple were checking out and sent several suitcases down to a taxi, allegedly including the one that contained the victim. The body was discovered when the couple failed to show up at the waiting taxi. They were seen on CCTV leaving the hotel via a stretch of beach at the back of the property, instead of the main entrance. Police launched a hunt and the pair were found sleeping at a hotel in the tourist area of Legian, north of Nusa Dua, early Wednesday. The beachfront St. Regis is one of the most exclusive hotels in Bali with rooms starting at $470 a night and a 24-hour butler service, according to its website.
The fate of two French journalists detained by Indonesian police for almost a week in the restive region of Papua remains uncertain. Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, from the Franco-German television channel Arte, have been accused of reporting without valid visas. The documentary filmmakers were on tourist visas when they were detained in the highland town of Wamena, along with a number of local human rights activists. The French embassy in Jakarta says its been in constant contact with the men. Human Rights Watch’s Andreas Harsono has told Asia Pacific the pair were charged with immigration offences and could face up to five years in jail.