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Analysis and Comment (116)

Symbols such as the monument of the slain Indonesian generals continue to propagate Suharto’s version of events to today’s Indonesian youth. Symbols such as the monument of the slain Indonesian generals continue to propagate Suharto’s version of events to today’s Indonesian youth. Chez Julius Livre 1/Flickr

Breaking the silence around the 1965 Indonesian genocide

Next year it will be 50 years since a group of middle-ranking army officers abducted the top brass of the Indonesian army. They had planned to bring them before President Sukarno, as they had heard rumours…
Indonesia enacts a moratorium on new permits to clear forests but gives exemptions to mining and palm oil companies. Indonesia enacts a moratorium on new permits to clear forests but gives exemptions to mining and palm oil companies. EPA/STR

Indonesia shows pledges aren’t enough to save global forests

This week’s United Nations Climate Summit produced the New York Declaration on Forests. It promises to halt deforestation, one of the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions, by 2030. Indonesia…
In Indonesia, motorists quickly line up in the petrol station before subsidised fuel price go up. In Indonesia, motorists quickly line up in the petrol station before subsidised fuel price go up. EPA/BIMO SATRIO

Priming for Indonesia’s fuel subsidy cut

Discounts for fuel in Indonesia have been hurting Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Set to inherit an account deficit when he takes office in late October, newly elected president Joko Widodo has pushed…
In Indonesia, ranting online holds the risk of offending thousands of people and even jail time. In Indonesia, ranting online holds the risk of offending thousands of people and even jail time. EPA/ADI WEDA

‘Social media capital’ brews with hatred between us and them

“Unity in diversity” is how Indonesia likes to describe its multicultural country. But cyber-bullying cases in Indonesia’s active social media project a different view of how Indonesia’s diverse groups…
The Red-White party coalition of Prabowo Subianto is pushing to scrap direct elections for local leaders. The Red-White party coalition of Prabowo Subianto is pushing to scrap direct elections for local leaders. EPA/Bagus Indahono

Indonesian reform threatened by return to indirect regional elections

Indonesians might lose their rights to directly elect local leaders as opponents of president-elect Joko Widodo are pushing to eliminate direct regional elections. The Red-White coalition of defeated presidential…
Friends of assassinated rights activist Munir Said Thalib within Joko Widodo’s circle can influence the president-elect to re-open the murder case. Friends of assassinated rights activist Munir Said Thalib within Joko Widodo’s circle can influence the president-elect to re-open the murder case. EPA/MAST IRHAM

Audio Q&A: Activist’s murder case a test for new Indonesian president

Indonesian human rights activist Usman Hamid says president-elect Joko Widodo could do better than the outgoing Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in solving the murder of rights activist Munir Said Thalib, despite…
Alleged masterminds of the murder of Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib have yet to be held accountable. Alleged masterminds of the murder of Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib have yet to be held accountable. AAP/Newzulu/Gholib

Solving Munir’s murder case, a test for Indonesia’s president-elect

A few weeks into his presidency, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono uttered one of his most memorable statements. Solving the murder case of the nation’s leading human rights activist, Munir…
The annual Eid exodus to home towns and villages contributes to the pace of urbanisation in Indonesia. The annual Eid exodus to home towns and villages contributes to the pace of urbanisation in Indonesia. EPA/BAGUS INDAHONO

A crowded city can be a sign of a good thing for Indonesians

Jakarta has returned to its normal crowded self, a month after the Eid holiday exodus that nearly emptied the city. Except that now the Indonesian capital has around 68,000 more residents. Every year thousands…
The real issue in the Australia-Indonesia relationship is not what SBY has just done, but rather what incoming president Joko Widodo will do. The real issue in the Australia-Indonesia relationship is not what SBY has just done, but rather what incoming president Joko Widodo will do. EPA/Tanaya Pramudita Raras

Spying pact is SBY’s last foreign policy gasp – now for Jokowi

It’s not a good sign when parties cannot even agree on what they have just put their signatures to. On Thursday, Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop and her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa…
The signing of the code of conduct closes the rift between Australia and Indonesia over spying. The signing of the code of conduct closes the rift between Australia and Indonesia over spying. AAP/Office of the Foreign Minister

Intelligence code of conduct saves face for SBY with added benefits

Australia and Indonesia have agreed on a code of conduct on intelligence co-operation, with Australia pledging never to use its spy agencies in ways that could harm Indonesia’s interests. Today’s signing…
Indonesia’s Constitutional Court, the only institution mandated to settle election disputes in the country rejected Prabowo Subianto’s challenge. Prabowo lost in the 2014 presidential election in Indonesia. Indonesia’s Constitutional Court, the only institution mandated to settle election disputes in the country rejected Prabowo Subianto’s challenge. Prabowo lost in the 2014 presidential election in Indonesia. EPA/BAGUS INDAHONO

Prabowo fights on, but Indonesian court ruling ends legal challenge

As many analysts predicted, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (MK) has rejected losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s challenge to the election result. Despite the decision, which is final and…
Ahok may be the first Chinese Indonesian politician to break the shackles of identity politics in Indonesia. Ahok may be the first Chinese Indonesian politician to break the shackles of identity politics in Indonesia. Steven Fitzgerald Sipahutar/Flickr

Jakarta’s first ethnic Chinese governor takes Indonesia forward

Basuki Tjahaya Purnama, better known as Ahok, will be the first ethnic Chinese to govern Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. Ahok is not the first ethnic Chinese to gain political prominence in Indonesia, where…
The Indonesian media often portrays the lives of transgender people as “sinful” and wrong. The Indonesian media often portrays the lives of transgender people as “sinful” and wrong. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Flickr

On Indonesian TV, transgender people are made to repent

A transgender woman with heavy makeup, a red wig and dressed in pink is chased by her pimp’s henchmen. A young woman hides her in her house. So begins the TV drama, a story of repentance of a transgender…
A ban on Islamic State in Indonesia will not be enough to stop young extremists from joining the group. A ban on Islamic State in Indonesia will not be enough to stop young extremists from joining the group. AAP/Newzulu/Agoes Rudianto

To stop Islamic State spreading to Indonesia, target the young and reform prisons

The Indonesian government recently banned Islamic State (IS) – formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – the extremist group that has been on a rampage in Syria and Iraq. The Indonesian…
By telling the stories of Boni, Titi and Ho, Jalanan brings to the screen the hardships and precarious lives of marginalised people in one of the most economically promising Asian countries. By telling the stories of Boni, Titi and Ho, Jalanan brings to the screen the hardships and precarious lives of marginalised people in one of the most economically promising Asian countries. Courtesy of Jalanan Movie Team

Jalanan: Busking and dreaming in the city

Daniel Ziv’s documentary feature Jalanan (Streetside), currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival, is a film that seeks to move its audience. Documentaries sometimes invite viewers…
Not amused by reports linking him to a suppression order, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono demanded transparency. Not amused by reports linking him to a suppression order, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono demanded transparency. AAP Image/Yuli Seperi

Audio Q&A: Indonesia’s reaction to suppression order

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently called for Australia to be “transparent” following its attempt at protecting international relations by suppressing details of an international bribery…
A new law aims to eliminate the national practice of shackling people with mental disorders. A new law aims to eliminate the national practice of shackling people with mental disorders. Akaris Tafoei/Shutterstock

Indonesia aims to free the mentally ill from their shackles

On July 8, a day before Indonesia held its presidential election, the parliament passed the bill on mental health into law. The election coverage drowned the news of the new law, but not its significance…
Jailed Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar recently declared his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). Jailed Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar recently declared his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). EPA/Adi Weda

Indonesian cleric’s support for ISIS increases the security threat

Behind bars in Indonesia’s version of Alcatraz, radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has declared his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). After taking over Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul…
Tony Abbott’s responses to Indonesian concerns about spying suggested a weak understanding of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s different cultural milieu. Tony Abbott’s responses to Indonesian concerns about spying suggested a weak understanding of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s different cultural milieu. EPA/Tanaya Pramudita

Cultural intelligence key to future of Australia-Indonesia relationship

The official result in Indonesia’s presidential election contest between Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto is still some days away, with both claiming victory. But no matter who the next president is, there…
This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. UN Photo/Mark Garten

How the world is turning tropical before our eyes

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the first in a four-part series about…
The big question around Indonesia’s presidential election is whether it will be able to provide a new kind of political leadership. The big question around Indonesia’s presidential election is whether it will be able to provide a new kind of political leadership. AAP/W.F Srihardian

Prabowo vs Jokowi: the race between Indonesia’s old and new guard

Indonesians will next month cast their votes in their third presidential election since the end of president Suharto’s “New Order” regime in 1998. The new democracy has struggled to establish effective…
Australia under the Abbott government has so far been treated to a succession of foreign policy gaffes, including with Indonesia. Australia under the Abbott government has so far been treated to a succession of foreign policy gaffes, including with Indonesia. EPA/Adi Weda

The state of Australia: our international standing

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may have been Australia’s ‘best friend’ in southeast Asia, but not any more. Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may have been Australia’s ‘best friend’ in southeast Asia, but not any more. EPA/Adi Weda

Abbott spurning Indonesia’s invite confirms relationship troubles

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision not to accept Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s invitation to meet at the Open Government Partnership forum Yudhoyono is chairing in Bali…
Joko Widodo is seen as the most committed to human rights of Indonesia’s potential leaders, but it’s not a big issue in coming legislative and presidential elections. Joko Widodo is seen as the most committed to human rights of Indonesia’s potential leaders, but it’s not a big issue in coming legislative and presidential elections. EPA/Mast Irham

Half a century on, victims' voices haunt a democratic Indonesia

The Indonesian army and civilian vigilantes killed at least half a million people between 1965 and 1968. Hundreds of thousands more were imprisoned without trial for long periods. Some were sent to remote…
The huge caldera of Mount Tambora, Indonesia – still active today. The huge caldera of Mount Tambora, Indonesia – still active today. Jialiang Gao

Largest volcanic eruption in human history changed the 19th century as much as Napoleon

Most have heard of the Battle of Waterloo, but who has heard of the volcano called Tambora? No school textbook I’ve seen mentions that only two months before Napoleon’s final defeat in Belgium on June…
Jokowi, the current favourite to be Indonesia’s next president, represents a break from the old Indonesian political elites. Jokowi, the current favourite to be Indonesia’s next president, represents a break from the old Indonesian political elites. EPA/Adi Weda

Indonesian elections: nationalism and the men most likely

On Wednesday, Indonesians will go to the polls to elect their national, provincial and area representatives for the next five years. These elections will not only determine who controls parliament, but…
Largely lost in the politics of Tony Abbott’s campaign to ‘stop the boats’ is the fate of refugees. Largely lost in the politics of Tony Abbott’s campaign to ‘stop the boats’ is the fate of refugees. AAP/Ava Benny-Morrison

From Darfur to Cipayung: refugees are left stranded

The Abbott government has celebrated the 100th day without any asylum seeker boats reaching Australian territory. This is the result of policies that favour the protection of borders rather than of people…
Is Jakarta governor Joko Widodo the next Indonesian president? Is Jakarta governor Joko Widodo the next Indonesian president? EPA/Bagus Indahono

Corruption, religion and leadership: India and Indonesia at the polls

Between April and July this year, the world’s first and third largest democracies, India and Indonesia, will go to the polls. Opinion polls tell us that both countries will almost certainly see a change…
An Indo-European family form part of a new photography exhibition. An Indo-European family form part of a new photography exhibition. National Gallery of Australia

Garden of the East – a look at how we look at Indonesia

Say “Indonesia” today and what visual associations does the word prompt? For many Australians, an ambivalent mix of pleasant and troubled images, no doubt. But a new photography exhibition at the National…
The decision to investigate the Australian navy’s actions in towing back asylum boats could have been an opportunity for greater transparency. The decision to investigate the Australian navy’s actions in towing back asylum boats could have been an opportunity for greater transparency. AAP/Scott Fisher

Indonesia incursion report provides more questions than answers on turn-backs

The release on Wednesday of the review into the circumstances of how and why the Australian navy repeatedly entered Indonesian waters might have been expected finally to reveal information about Australia’s…
Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Flickr/Austronesian Expeditions

How global forest-destroyers are turning over a new leaf

Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations…
Pitching the saga of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby as one of gender inequality is laughable. Pitching the saga of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby as one of gender inequality is laughable. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Do feminists have a duty to care about ‘Our Schapelle’?

I’d written a piece for the ABC about “Our Schapelle”. As is often my approach it was largely a think piece. Not a condemnation, not a defence, it was simply some observations – some talking points – about…
Schapelle Corby remains behind bars – but Channel 9 is spruiking its telemovie about her time in jail in Indonesia. Schapelle Corby remains behind bars – but Channel 9 is spruiking its telemovie about her time in jail in Indonesia. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Did she do it? The ethics of the Schapelle Corby telemovie

However 4.2 kilograms of marijuana made its way into Indonesia in a body board bag in 2004, the story of Schapelle Corby’s arrest, conviction and subsequent jailing for drug smuggling is known by every…
A still from the film, The Act of Killing. A still from the film, The Act of Killing. ©2012 FINAL CUT FOR REAL APS, PIRAYA FILM AS AND NOVAYA ZEMLYA LTD

The Act of Killing: Oscar nod lifts the lid on Indonesia’s dark past

Academy Award nominations rarely enter into the domain of politics, and certainly have not delved into Indonesian politics in the past. This year, however, is different. US-British director Joshua Oppenheimer’s…
Should Australia change tack on its relationship with Indonesia and start keeping the nation at ‘arm’s length’? Should Australia change tack on its relationship with Indonesia and start keeping the nation at ‘arm’s length’? EPA/Romeo Gacad

Fatal attraction: is our relationship with Indonesia worth the trouble?

The decision by the Australian government to turn asylum seeker boats back into Indonesia’s territorial waters and its ports was always a high-risk game. It is no surprise that it has ended in a serious…
The navy is permitted to intercept vessels in Australian waters, but the high seas or Indonesian waters are a different matter, as are tow-backs to another country. The navy is permitted to intercept vessels in Australian waters, but the high seas or Indonesian waters are a different matter, as are tow-backs to another country. AAP/Scott Fisher

Explainer: the legal implications of ‘tow-backs

Australia has been engaging in “tow-backs” of asylum-seeker boats. This has involved intercepting boats carrying asylum seekers at sea, before they reach Australia, and forcing them to return to Indonesia…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks to Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri during a business breakfast in Jakarta in October. Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks to Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri during a business breakfast in Jakarta in October. Bagus Indahono/AAP

Australian trade with Indonesia: what’s really at stake?

Indonesia has a population ten times as big as that of Australia, but its per capita income is only one-tenth of Australia’s, so what’s really at risk if the trade relationship between the two countries…
Australian troops participated in the post-war occupation of Indonesian territories and is yet to formally apologise. Australian troops participated in the post-war occupation of Indonesian territories and is yet to formally apologise. EPA/Abror Riziki

Australian espionage and the history of foreign intervention in Indonesia

Indonesia’s response to the spying imbroglio last week – when president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recalled his ambassador and suspended security co-operation with Australia – reflects a political history…
Australia must develop a stable, close and mutually respectful relationship with Indonesia, its government, its leaders, and its people. Australia must develop a stable, close and mutually respectful relationship with Indonesia, its government, its leaders, and its people. EPA/Adi Weda

Our politicians have failed yet again – it’s time we fixed the mess with Indonesia

Every so often over the last 50 years, Australia’s relations with Indonesia have hit stormy waters. The present tensions over the spying scandal may not be the most serious, but they are serious enough…
It’s uncertain what effect Indonesia’s downgrading of diplomatic and military relations will have on Australia’s asylum seeker policies. It’s uncertain what effect Indonesia’s downgrading of diplomatic and military relations will have on Australia’s asylum seeker policies. EPA/Tubagus

Stopping people smuggling requires more than just Indonesia’s help

Australian-Indonesian military relations have been downgraded in recent days following Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s decision to reduce military co-operation until he receives an explanation…
What’s behind the public, media and political response in Indonesia to the revelations of the extent of Australia’s spying activities? What’s behind the public, media and political response in Indonesia to the revelations of the extent of Australia’s spying activities? AAP/Eka Nickmatulhuda

On the ground: the Indonesian response to the spying saga

Expressions of public outrage in Indonesia at allegations Australia had engaged in the phone tapping of Indonesian politicians – including president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and Cabinet members…
Sustainable palm oil production should have local consent: often, it doesn’t. Sustainable palm oil production should have local consent: often, it doesn’t. Rainforest Action Network

Sustainable palm oil must consider people too

Businesses, government and civil society met this month in Medan, Indonesia, for the 11th annual Roundtable meeting on sustainable palm oil. While orangutan conservation organisations dominated conversations…
Tony Abbott needs to learn a thing or two about Indonesian culture if he’s to have a successful working relationship with his Indonesian counterpart. Tony Abbott needs to learn a thing or two about Indonesian culture if he’s to have a successful working relationship with his Indonesian counterpart. EPA/Made Nagi

Saving face: lessons for Abbott on working with Indonesia

There’s a widespread perception in Australia that Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s reaction to Australia’s phone tapping is all about playing domestic politics in Yudhoyono’s home country…
Should Tony Abbott follow Barack Obama’s example and apologise personally to Indonesia leaders over the spying scandal, as Obama did to Angela Merkel? Should Tony Abbott follow Barack Obama’s example and apologise personally to Indonesia leaders over the spying scandal, as Obama did to Angela Merkel? EPA/Andrew Harrer

Spying scandal: Obama, Abbott and why sorry is the hardest word to say

The contrast between Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s self-defeating response to spying allegations with Indonesia and US president Barack Obama’s reaction to smooth its similar row with Germany…
It is sensible to keep an eye on our friends in order to manage risk. It is sensible to keep an eye on our friends in order to manage risk. Image from shutterstock.com

I spy, you spy, we all spy – but is it legal?

The specifics of whose phone was tapped and when may be new to Indonesia but the fact that Australia monitored its close friend’s activities will not be a surprise. Governments have been watching each…
The Indonesian president, and his government, have experienced a serious loss of face at a time when they least wanted it. The Indonesian president, and his government, have experienced a serious loss of face at a time when they least wanted it. EPA/Abror Rizki

Diplomatic crisis: can the PM mend our relationship with Indonesia?

When The Guardian Australia and the ABC broke the news that Australian intelligence agencies had been monitoring the phones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and leading Cabinet…
For the Australian Signals Directorate – as with all organisations in the spying business – the secret of success is in keeping your success secret. For the Australian Signals Directorate – as with all organisations in the spying business – the secret of success is in keeping your success secret. AAP/Lukas Coch

Protecting secrets: inside Australia’s mysterious spy agency

Much like in the movie Casablanca, there is much huffing and shaking of heads about activities of the nation’s electronic spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), after allegations emerged…
The Guardian and ABC’s case to publish information about Australia’s phone tapping is a defensible one. The Guardian and ABC’s case to publish information about Australia’s phone tapping is a defensible one. EPA/Adi Weda

To publish, or not to publish? The ethics of reporting spying

Were The Guardian Australia and the ABC ethically justified in publishing leaked classified material showing Australia tapped the telephones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife…
The ABC’s Four Corners program investigated the people smugglers allegedly behind this asylum seeker boat, which sank off the coast of Java in September this year. The ABC’s Four Corners program investigated the people smugglers allegedly behind this asylum seeker boat, which sank off the coast of Java in September this year. AAP

Four Corners: human smuggling and the spectacle of suffering

Last night, the ABC’s Four Corners program fed us with yet another 50 minutes worth of emotional, heartbreaking and harrowing testimonies of traumatised survivors of yet another human smuggling tragedy…
Reports from Jakarta suggest Indonesia may be moving to review all aspects of its relationship to Australia. Reports from Jakarta suggest Indonesia may be moving to review all aspects of its relationship to Australia. EPA/Adi Weda

Australia-Indonesia spy standoff more than just ‘gestural’ politics

The revelations that Australia was spying on its “best friends” in Indonesia have rocked Indonesia-Australia relations. Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has withdrawn the country’s ambassador…
Swapping asylum seekers for refugees is unlikely to be the panacea that the federal government hopes it will be. Swapping asylum seekers for refugees is unlikely to be the panacea that the federal government hopes it will be. AAP

Outsourcing refugee policy: the Australia-Indonesia ‘people swap’

For those of us with a long enough memory of asylum politics, discussion this week of a “people swap” deal between Indonesia and Australia harks back to earlier plans by the then-Labor government to exchange…
What are Australia’s legal and moral responsibilities under the relevant conventions and the law of the sea to rescue and ‘turn back’ asylum seeker boats? What are Australia’s legal and moral responsibilities under the relevant conventions and the law of the sea to rescue and ‘turn back’ asylum seeker boats? AAP

Explainer: the law of the sea and asylum seekers

Prime minister Tony Abbott said on Monday he expects Jakarta to take responsibility for the asylum seekers that Australian authorities rescue in Indonesia’s search and rescue zone. He claims this is the…
Who holds the upper hand in the Australia-Indonesia relationship? The power may be shifting Indonesia’s way if recent events are anything to go by. Who holds the upper hand in the Australia-Indonesia relationship? The power may be shifting Indonesia’s way if recent events are anything to go by. EPA/Romeo Gacao

Stretching the friendship: Australia, Indonesia and the ‘good friend’ narrative

How far can friendships stretch? Two months ago, the rhetoric of the Indonesian and Australian governments was centred on the countries being good friends. Until last week, from the Indonesian perspective…
Indonesia foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has criticised Australia over allegations of spying, but will it actually adversely reflect our relationship? Indonesia foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has criticised Australia over allegations of spying, but will it actually adversely reflect our relationship? EPA/Bagus Indahono

Spying ‘scandal’: another challenge to the Australia-Indonesia relationship?

For anyone interested in Australia-Indonesia relations, nothing so characterises the phenomenon as a car on a roller-coaster. Any rise is followed inevitably by a fall. The ride is never boring, and in…
Survivors of last week’s Lampedusa boat sinking, which is estimated to have left hundreds of African migrants dead. What can Australia learn from the tragedy? Survivors of last week’s Lampedusa boat sinking, which is estimated to have left hundreds of African migrants dead. What can Australia learn from the tragedy? EPA/Ettore Ferrari

The Lampedusa asylum tragedy and the lessons for Australia

The recent event of yet another boat sinking off the coast of Lampedusa in Italy resulted in the death of hundreds of migrants with still more unaccounted for. Despite the tyranny of distance, the incident…
Three West Papuan activists ‘took refuge’ in Australia’s consulate in Bali on the weekend. What is the actual state of play in the troubled region? Three West Papuan activists ‘took refuge’ in Australia’s consulate in Bali on the weekend. What is the actual state of play in the troubled region? EPA/Bagus Indahono

Will Australia take a stand on West Papua?

Recent commentary has compared the situation in West Papua to genocide and drawn parallels to East Timor. There seems to be little doubt that human rights abuses have occurred over a long period of time…
Tony Abbott’s first foreign trip to Indonesia yielded some return, but time will tell if his ‘Jakarta focus’ is a success. Tony Abbott’s first foreign trip to Indonesia yielded some return, but time will tell if his ‘Jakarta focus’ is a success. EPA/Adi Weda

Was Tony Abbott’s Jakarta trip a success? We’ll see

Evaluating the success of Tony Abbott’s first prime ministerial visit to Indonesia depends, of course, on what you saw as its objectives. Those with high hopes – that it would mark a breakthrough in discussions…
Australian prime minister Tony Abbott met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on September 30, a date loaded with historical and political significance in Indonesia. Australian prime minister Tony Abbott met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on September 30, a date loaded with historical and political significance in Indonesia. EPA/Adi Weda

Why Tony Abbott needs to recognise Indonesia has changed

September 30 is an important date in Indonesian history. On that day in 1965 the Indonesian military seized power and unleashed a massacre of innocent civilians, killing and incarcerating hundreds of thousands…
Nationalistic politicking on both sides has set the scene for prime minister Tony Abbott’s first foreign trip abroad - to Indonesia. Nationalistic politicking on both sides has set the scene for prime minister Tony Abbott’s first foreign trip abroad - to Indonesia. EPA/Adi Weda

The politics of brinksmanship: Abbott heads to Indonesia

Running foreign policy on domestic agendas is always risky business. In the lead-up to the Australian federal election, the two main political parties locked themselves into a competition over who had…
Once majestic low-lying rainforests, Indonesia’s peatlands now emit around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year. Once majestic low-lying rainforests, Indonesia’s peatlands now emit around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year. H Dragon/flickr

Indonesia sets a carbon time-bomb

One of the world’s major terrestrial carbon pools is rapidly deteriorating as large parts of Indonesia’s peatlands are deforested and converted to oil palm and paper plantations. No longer a carbon sink…
The ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia caused a major rift in relations. Can new governments in both nations repair the damage? The ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia caused a major rift in relations. Can new governments in both nations repair the damage? AAP/Animals Australia

Beef, boats and elections: what’s in store for the Australia-Indonesia relationship

Somehow, the debate on Indonesia-Australia relations has got stuck on Bali, beef and boats. While there is no point pretending that either beef or boats are about to disappear as issues any time soon…
Tony Abbott has said he wants to focus his foreign policy objectives in ‘Jakarta, not Geneva’. But how successful will he be? Tony Abbott has said he wants to focus his foreign policy objectives in ‘Jakarta, not Geneva’. But how successful will he be? EPA/Adi Weda

All politics is domestic: the Indonesian response to the federal election

Australia’s recent federal election was – as usual – won and lost primarily on domestic policy issues. Unlike his predecessor, new prime minister Tony Abbott made no claims to great expertise in foreign…
Indonesian military officers have been caught up in people smuggling rings, but what actually happens to the kingpins of these operations? Indonesian military officers have been caught up in people smuggling rings, but what actually happens to the kingpins of these operations? AAP/Karlis Salna

Prosecuting people smugglers in Indonesia

Against widely held opinion in Australia that Indonesia is not doing anything to stop people smugglers from shipping asylum seekers to Australia, Indonesia has, in fact, stepped up its activities to curb…
Indonesian ownership of Australian cattle is a step in the right direction for both countries, but welfare still needs work. Indonesian ownership of Australian cattle is a step in the right direction for both countries, but welfare still needs work. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Indonesians can buy our land but shouldn’t ship live cattle

Australians should not be alarmed but pleased at the current Indonesian proposal to invest in cattle production in the north of Australia. It demonstrates a renewed confidence in Australia’s ability to…
West Papuan refugee Amos Wainggai is on board the Freedom Flotilla, headed for Papuan shores from Australia. What will it mean for our relations with Indonesia? West Papuan refugee Amos Wainggai is on board the Freedom Flotilla, headed for Papuan shores from Australia. What will it mean for our relations with Indonesia? AAP/Cleo Mary Fraser

What will the West Papua flotilla mean for Australia-Indonesia relations?

Given the extreme sensitivity with which the issue of West Papua is viewed in Indonesia, the “Freedom Flotilla” heading from Australia to the Indonesian-controlled territory is sure to create tension…
It’s smart of Abbott to prioritise Australia’s relationship with Indonesia but can he leave his ‘Anglosphere’ past behind? It’s smart of Abbott to prioritise Australia’s relationship with Indonesia but can he leave his ‘Anglosphere’ past behind? EPA/Adi Weda

‘Anglosphere’ or regional friend? Abbott’s foreign policy future

Many foreign policy observers are apprehensive about the election of Tony Abbott. A key concern is that his government may be liberal in name only and that we may see a return to the sorts of policies…
Greg Hunt will face hurdles in his plan to stop rainforest logging, but there is much he could do now. Greg Hunt will face hurdles in his plan to stop rainforest logging, but there is much he could do now. Rainforest Action Network

Hunt’s direct action on rainforest could reap carbon rewards

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt’s ambition to broker a new global rainforest recovery plan reopens an important conversation about Australia’s role in tackling tropical deforestation. And it…
Bali remains a popular tourist destination for Australians. But what do we really think about Indonesia? Bali remains a popular tourist destination for Australians. But what do we really think about Indonesia? Chong Eileen

Same old stereotypes of Indonesia - and our politicians aren’t helping

Indonesia is one of Australia’s closest neighbours, but attitudes towards our southeast Asian counterparts are far from neighbourly. A recently released Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) report…
It involves dams, but so much more than dams. It involves dams, but so much more than dams. Andrew Campbell

The north’s future is electrifying: powering Asia with renewables

Northern futures, northern voices: It seems everyone has ideas about how Australia’s north could be better, but most of those ideas come from the south. In this six-part weekly series, developed by the…
Relations between Australia and Indonesia may become strained as allegations of spying and failure to follow protocol on the Australian side are released. Relations between Australia and Indonesia may become strained as allegations of spying and failure to follow protocol on the Australian side are released. EPA/Mark Irham

Spies, Zionist agents and the ‘PNG solution’: Australia through Indonesian eyes

Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd’s so-called “PNG solution” to the asylum seeker issue has attracted much comment from within both Australia and Papua New Guinea. It has also stirred the pot in Indonesia…
Indonesian cattle transport and slaughter practises are not acceptable by Australian standards of welfare. Indonesian cattle transport and slaughter practises are not acceptable by Australian standards of welfare. Clive Phillips

The northern cattle industry: no longer Rudderless

Kevin Rudd advocated a return to a strong live cattle export trade between Australia and Indonesia at a business breakfast in Jakarta on Friday. Maybe he thought the Australian public wouldn’t notice…
Kevin Rudd’s visit to Indonesia may yet mark a high point between the two countries. Kevin Rudd’s visit to Indonesia may yet mark a high point between the two countries.

A new turn in the Australian-Indonesian relationship?

An Australian prime minister visiting Indonesia is nothing new, but Kevin Rudd’s current visit is generating more than the usual amount of attention, coinciding with the DFAT release of its Indonesia Country…
Australian PM Kevin Rudd and Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will meet today to discuss the asylum seeker issue - what is the view from Indonesia? Australian PM Kevin Rudd and Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will meet today to discuss the asylum seeker issue - what is the view from Indonesia? EPA/Bagus Indahono

View from Indonesia: how can Australia deal with asylum seekers?

Today’s Indonesia-Australia Leaders' Meeting - where Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd will meet with Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - takes place against a backdrop of the asylum seeker…
Australia enjoys a privileged relationship with most economies in the Asian region because of the integrated global value chain. Australia enjoys a privileged relationship with most economies in the Asian region because of the integrated global value chain. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Increasing Australia’s edge through Asian value chains

Australia is facing increasingly stiff competition from developed economies all vying for a share of the growth pie in the East and South Asian region, where Australia has integrated its value chain activities…
Has Australia’s relationship with Indonesia been damaged by domestic political debates such as that over asylum seekers? Has Australia’s relationship with Indonesia been damaged by domestic political debates such as that over asylum seekers? NATSAR / AAP

Beyond boats, beef, and Bali: reassessing Australia’s relations with Indonesia

Australia’s relations with Indonesia are at risk if the political discourse in this country continues to focus on border security issues expressed through domestic-driven, vote-garnering and media-grabbing…
Kevin Rudd and Australia would do well to pay more attention to our northern neighbour. Kevin Rudd and Australia would do well to pay more attention to our northern neighbour. AAP Image

What Rudd can learn from Indonesia

If there is one thing we know from Kevin Rudd’s first period as Prime Minister it is that he was comfortable on the international stage. Although he inherited the date in his diary from Julia Gillard…
Australia can break the people smugglers' business model by changing its ‘prohibition regime’ policy approach. Australia can break the people smugglers' business model by changing its ‘prohibition regime’ policy approach. AAP

Can we break the people smugglers’ business model?

As prime minister Kevin Rudd prepares to visit Indonesia and meet with his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, he should bear in mind that the asylum seeker problem plaguing the Australian…
Just how much co-operation can Tony Abbott expect from Indonesia leaders on his plan to turn back asylum seeker boats? Just how much co-operation can Tony Abbott expect from Indonesia leaders on his plan to turn back asylum seeker boats? EPA/Adi Weda

Does Indonesia care about turning back the boats?

In the coming days, prime minister Kevin Rudd will visit Indonesia to discuss asylum seeker policy with Indonesian officials, including Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Rudd’s visit will…
New PM Kevin Rudd will meet with his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Indonesia this week - do we see Indonesia as equal partners in our relationship? New PM Kevin Rudd will meet with his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Indonesia this week - do we see Indonesia as equal partners in our relationship? AAP/Alan Porritt

Australia and Indonesia: a meeting of equals?

New prime minister Kevin Rudd will visit Indonesia later this week for the third Indonesia-Australia Leaders' Meeting. Rudd will seek to exchange military - and possibly developmental - aid for Indonesian…
Smoke from deliberately lit forest fires is destroying the health of Southeast Asians, and looks set to be a yearly event. Smoke from deliberately lit forest fires is destroying the health of Southeast Asians, and looks set to be a yearly event. EPA/Amriyadi Bahar

Southeast Asian smoke warns of never-ending fires

Look at satellite images from Southeast Asia this week and you will see large areas of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore blanketed by dense plumes of smoke. These smoke plumes have severely degraded ground-level…
The Coalition remain steadfastly in favour of an asylum seeker policy that seeks to turn back the boats, but is this really feasible? The Coalition remain steadfastly in favour of an asylum seeker policy that seeks to turn back the boats, but is this really feasible? AAP/Jon Faulkner

Towing back the boats: bad policy whatever way you look at it

There is not much bipartisanship in Australian federal politics these days, but the ALP and the Coalition are in agreement on one matter: the boats must be stopped. They just don’t agree on how to do it…
Indonesia and Australia ace many similar challenges, such as intense flooding. Indonesia and Australia ace many similar challenges, such as intense flooding. AAP/Bagus Indahono

Going local in our relationship with Indonesia

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman does not often make it into the Indonesian press, but he did in reports on the Queensland floods. These reports shared news space with coverage of the even more devastating…
By pulling out of deforestation activities, APP says it is responding to climate change concerns. By pulling out of deforestation activities, APP says it is responding to climate change concerns. Rainforest Action Network

Major forestry company stops Indonesian deforestation

Asia’s largest forestry, pulp and paper manufacturing company announced in Jakarta this week it has stopped all activities that lead to deforestation in Indonesia. In a rare public event, the Chairman…
Australia needs to engage with Indonesia, but in the region there is the perception it makes mistakes. Australia needs to engage with Indonesia, but in the region there is the perception it makes mistakes. AAP

Without business on side, the Asian Century White Paper just gets whiter

The dust has settled on the Asian Century White Paper. It is time to reflect on the challenges the Australian government might have in getting the rest of the country to engage with Asia, in particular…
Part of the Kuta tourist strip that was destroyed by the 2002 Bali bombings in which 202 people - including 88 Australians - were killed. Part of the Kuta tourist strip that was destroyed by the 2002 Bali bombings in which 202 people - including 88 Australians - were killed. AAP/Dean Lewins

Remembering the Bali bombings ten years on

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombings. Although more than 120 Australian civilians have been killed by terrorists overseas since 2000, and the embassies in Jakarta, Iraq and Phnom…
The proposed logging bill would tighten exportation from Indonesia in particular. The proposed logging bill would tighten exportation from Indonesia in particular. CIFOR

Australia attempts to stump illegal loggers

The Australian Senate is about to take on the task of stopping illegal logging, with legislation banning the importation and sale of timber products containing illegally logged timber being considered…
Egyptian Muslim preacher Ahmed Mohamed Abdullah stands accused of blasphemy charges after burning a copy of the Bible during last month’s protests by Muslims against a film depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Egyptian Muslim preacher Ahmed Mohamed Abdullah stands accused of blasphemy charges after burning a copy of the Bible during last month’s protests by Muslims against a film depicting the Prophet Muhammad. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Anti-blasphemy laws don’t work in Muslim countries, and they won’t work here

In the wake of the violence sparked around the world by the anti-Islam video entitled Innocence of Muslims, the debate about the need for anti-blasphemy laws has re-emerged. The Organisation of Islamic…
West Papuan activists protesting at the Hague for independence of the Indonesian-held province. West Papuan activists protesting at the Hague for independence of the Indonesian-held province. Apdency/Wikimedia Commons

All the ingredients for genocide: is West Papua the next East Timor?

Allegations that Australia is funding death squads in West Papua have brought the troubled province back to Australian attention. Blanket denials by both Indonesian and Australian governments – standard…
For many asylum seekers the route to Australia is via Ashmore Reef, and fraught with danger. For many asylum seekers the route to Australia is via Ashmore Reef, and fraught with danger. AAP/Department of Defence

Benevolent neglect: how Indonesia handles its asylum seeker problem

Despite arrivals of asylum seekers by boat being a major political issue for Australia over the last decade, the Indonesian government has not regarded the presence of asylum seekers and refugees with…
Australia’s mining companies have intensified their exploration of resources in Indonesia, much to the detriment of local communities. Australia’s mining companies have intensified their exploration of resources in Indonesia, much to the detriment of local communities. Jeff Lewis

The Australian assault on Indonesia’s riches

Not satisfied with the abundance of our own natural resources, Australian mining companies have spread their interests across the region. Many of these ventures— Ok Tedi, Bougainville, Freeport-Grasberg…
Rohingya asylum seekers from Myanmar rest at a temporary shelter in the port of Krueng Raya, Aceh, Indonesia. Rohingya asylum seekers from Myanmar rest at a temporary shelter in the port of Krueng Raya, Aceh, Indonesia. EPA/Hotli Simanjuntak

Houston panel offers a circuit breaker in regional asylum crisis

As we waited for the release of the Houston panel’s report on asylum seekers yesterday, I saw a mixture of high hopes and low expectations from those in attendance at the Parliament House briefing room…
Detention on Nauru is not the answer – and neither is the Malaysian solution. Detention on Nauru is not the answer – and neither is the Malaysian solution. AAP/Rural Australians for Refugees

Fraser: increase refugee intake, process in Indonesia and Malaysia

Recent debates on asylum seeker problems have revolved around two approaches that are not going to work. The opposition’s Nauru solution is not going to get people off boats. It is part of the process…
Rohingya asylum seekers from Burma in a temporary shelter at Aceh, Indonesia. Rohingya asylum seekers from Burma in a temporary shelter at Aceh, Indonesia. EPA/Hotli Simanjuntak

Want to stop the boats? Make refuge accessible off-shore

Last week Australia’s politicians determined to “do something” to stop people risking their lives at sea on asylum boats headed for Australia. The government wanted a bill from independent MP Rob Oakeshott…
Refugees on boats en route to Australia are seen by many Indonesians as our problem, not theirs. Refugees on boats en route to Australia are seen by many Indonesians as our problem, not theirs. AAP/Karlis Salna

Not our problem: the Indonesian perspective on asylum seekers

If the lead stories in the digital and print media are anything to go by, Indonesians have little interest in the recent asylum seeker boat sinkings and the accompanying loss of life. Over the past couple…
Indonesian activists protest against the Indonesian government’s violence in West Papua. Indonesian activists protest against the Indonesian government’s violence in West Papua. EPA/Bagus Indahon

Violence in West Papua: the vulnerable become Indonesia’s latest target

Why has West Papua’s non-violent student movement the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) become the latest target of a campaign of terror in West Papua? Calls for a referendum Since Indonesia’s 1963…
Worst hit by the Asian financial crisis in 1998, Indonesia’s economy has returned to pre-crisis growth rates. What lessons are there for Greece? Worst hit by the Asian financial crisis in 1998, Indonesia’s economy has returned to pre-crisis growth rates. What lessons are there for Greece? Flickr/Cillian Storm

Can Greece learn from the story of Indonesia in the Asian financial crisis?

European financial woes are mounting daily is what some have called the biggest economic challenge of our generation. However, just over a decade ago an even larger financial crisis was unfolding in Australia’s…
Julia Gillard and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono both acknowledge the importance of a strong relationship between Australia and Indonesia. Julia Gillard and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono both acknowledge the importance of a strong relationship between Australia and Indonesia. AAP

Growth in our MIST: the economic bloc to watch

Trade liberalisation has pulled many developing countries into emerging markets in the last decade. Jim O’Neil, an economist and chairman of Goldman Sachs, who forecast global economic domination by certain…
There isn’t much sympathy for convicted Australian drug smugglers in Indonesia. There isn’t much sympathy for convicted Australian drug smugglers in Indonesia. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Fair trade: Indonesians want justice for jailed teens if Schapelle Corby goes free

Schapelle Corby’s fate may be the centre of public attention in Australia, but not here in Indonesia where I currently live and work. The hot topic here for the past few days has been whether or not Lady…
The coalition needs to tread more lightly when it comes to Indonesia. The coalition needs to tread more lightly when it comes to Indonesia. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Attention Tony Abbott: Indonesia wants collaboration, not confrontation

In his budget reply speech last week, opposition leader Tony Abbott said Indonesia was to be a “vital partner in Australia’s future”. He’s right, and for now, at the government-to-government level, Australia-Indonesia…
Knocking down forests and planting palm oil makes sense in Asia. Providing alternative income sources for villagers could make it less attractive. Knocking down forests and planting palm oil makes sense in Asia. Providing alternative income sources for villagers could make it less attractive. Simon J. Rowntree

Forestry, economic development & climate change in Asia: resolving the tension

Reducing poverty in developing countries through economic development is often contrary to addressing climate change. In countries like Indonesia, many of the strongest drivers of the economy – palm oil…
A prison official examines damage to the prison wall that collapsed after this week’s earthquake in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. A prison official examines damage to the prison wall that collapsed after this week’s earthquake in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA

The Sumatran earthquake didn’t cause a tsunami because …

The earthquake that struck roughly 400km off the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday reminded us all that our planet hasn’t gone to sleep. Big earthquakes can happen at any time and often have severe consequences…
Aceh’s provincial elections will test democratic progress. Aceh’s provincial elections will test democratic progress. AAP/Hotli Simanjutak

Votes not violence: rebuilding post-disaster Aceh

The massive but largely benign earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday left millions in Aceh reliving the nightmare that engulfed them on Boxing Day 2004. On that day, a similarly large earthquake…
Changes to foreign ownership laws in Indonesia will present further challenges for mining companies. Changes to foreign ownership laws in Indonesia will present further challenges for mining companies. AAP

Challenges for investors amid Indonesia’s foreign ownership regulations

The recent announcement that foreign mining companies in Indonesia would have to sell at least 49% of their shares to local interests raises questions about whether this indicates a change of direction…
A trading coalition would help Indonesia meet its emissions-reduction targets. A trading coalition would help Indonesia meet its emissions-reduction targets. World Resources

Building carbon markets with our nearest neighbours

International carbon markets are on the nose in some quarters. From some on the left they are seen as a cheap way to absolve polluters’ sins without having a real impact on reducing emissions. From some…
Julia Gillard and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono both acknowledge the importance of a strong relationship between Australia and Indonesia. Julia Gillard and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono both acknowledge the importance of a strong relationship between Australia and Indonesia. AAP

Indonesian knowledge is dying - just when we need it most

A detailed report launched in Parliament House within hours of the ALP leadership ballot last Monday revealed that, whoever is Prime Minister, the Australian government needs to act decisively and urgently…
Foreign Affairs minister Kevin Rudd with his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa. Foreign Affairs minister Kevin Rudd with his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa. AAP

The ties that bind: strengthening our trade relationship with Indonesia

Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd recently gave a rev-up to Australian businesses about the neglected opportunity that exists on our northern doorstep. He accused Australian firms of harbouring decades-old…
Our conduct has damaged relations with Indonesia and has serious implications for the environment. Our conduct has damaged relations with Indonesia and has serious implications for the environment. AAP

Australia owes Indonesia an apology over live export calamity

Indonesia’s decision to cut live cattle imports from Australia is the clearest example yet of the significant and long-lasting damage that June’s export ban did to relations with our nearest neighbour…
Indonesia’s Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Julia Gillard both have domestic issues to overcome. Indonesia’s Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Julia Gillard both have domestic issues to overcome. AAP

Mending Indonesia ties will take more than free trade

Indonesia has announced that it will finally join the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement in January next year, making it the last of the 12 states involved to formally to implement the agreement…
Indonesian police chief Timur Pradopo has dismissed payments from Freeport McMoran as “pocket money”. Indonesian police chief Timur Pradopo has dismissed payments from Freeport McMoran as “pocket money”. AFP/Bay Ismoyo

Bribes and bullets: Police corruption linked to violence at the world’s biggest mine

President Barack Obama is being urged to raise human rights abuses with the Indonesian President during his visit to Bali. Indonesia is a key ally of the US, now America’s security focus has shifted to…
The Australian Ambassador is doing everything he can for the Australian boy detained in Bali, but Indonesian children aren’t so lucky. The Australian Ambassador is doing everything he can for the Australian boy detained in Bali, but Indonesian children aren’t so lucky. AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

Hypocrisy over Bali teenager as Indonesian children remain in jail

This week the nation has been in an uproar over the arrest of a 14 year old Australian boy in Indonesia, accused of buying drugs. TV news reports discussed the terrible conditions of the prison, where…
Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Greg Moriarty, has been working to secure the release of the 14 year old, amid huge media interest. Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Greg Moriarty, has been working to secure the release of the 14 year old, amid huge media interest. AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

Bali teenager used as political pawn in domestic politics

The arrest of a 14 year old Australian boy accused of possessing marijuana in Bali has provoked a media storm. The Australian Ambassador to Indonesia says the case is his “top priority”, and even the Prime…
It’s a bleak picture, but there’s hope on the horizon. It’s a bleak picture, but there’s hope on the horizon. Bill Laurance

Clearing Indonesia: is there hope for the world’s biggest logger?

What comes to mind when you think of Indonesia? For biologists like myself, Australia’s northern neighbour provokes visions of ancient rainforests being razed by slash-and-burn farmers, and endangered…
Can trade regulation enhance - or block - improvements to animal welfare? Can trade regulation enhance - or block - improvements to animal welfare? AAP

Can the WTO overturn our Indonesian live animal export ban?

The suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia will also have significant implications on Australian cattle farmers, Australian and Indonesian domestic markets, and on the trade relationship between…
Abu Bakar Bashir is driven away from court after being sentenced to 15 years in jail. Abu Bakar Bashir is driven away from court after being sentenced to 15 years in jail. AAP

Abu Bakar Bashir’s sentence: why only 15 years?

Radical Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir was yesterday sentenced to 15 years in jail for supporting and sponsoring terrorism. RMIT Associate Professor Jeff Lewis, an Indonesia expert, tells The…

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