Indonesia

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Indonesia is forcing people with drug dependence problems to go into rehab. joloei/www.shutterstock.com

Forced rehabilitation of drug users in Indonesia not a solution

Indonesia's war on drugs aims to protect the country's young generation from an alleged "national drug emergency." But the government's coercive approach is harming the people it wishes to protect.
Former Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa says Australia’s turnbacks policy is “incompatible with good bilateral relations”. EPA/Jose Sena Goulao

Turnbacks remain an irritant in Australia-Indonesia relations: former foreign minister Natalegawa

Former Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has called out the Abbott government over its attempt to shrug off any cost to the bilateral relationship caused by the unilateral manner of its boat turnbacks.
Julie Bishop: ‘The best way for Indonesia to resolve any concerns it has about Operation Sovereign Borders is for Indonesia to enforce sovereignty over its borders’. AAP/Paul Miller

Catch him if you can: Abbott digs in against questions at home and abroad

The government has admitted that it will do whatever it takes to keep the boats stopped and, it seems, if that takes slapping the Indonesians around a bit, it doesn’t seem too concerned. As senior Indonesian…
Tony Abbott highlighted the importance of Indonesia knowing that the Australian government is ‘absolutely resolute’ on stopping the boats. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Abbott gives no ground to Indonesia in bribe allegation row

The government goes into the parliamentary session’s final fortnight on the back foot over two highly contentious issues: its citizenship legislation and Indonesia’s demand to know whether Australia paid…
Tony Abbott wouldn’t say whether ‘by hook or by crook’ included paying thousands of dollars to turn back a recent boat bound for New Zealand. AAP/David Moir

Abbott won’t say whether Australia paid people smugglers to turn boat around

Tony Abbott declared on Friday that Australia stopped the people smuggling boats “by hook or by crook”. What Abbott wouldn’t say is whether “by hook or by crook” included paying thousands of dollars to…
Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson (right) returned to Indonesia this week. AAP/Aaron Bunch

Ambassador’s return to Indonesia shows his recall was futile

In returning Paul Grigson to Jakarta so swiftly, the Australian government proved that its choice to put its relationship with Indonesia at risk for short-term political opportunism was pointless.
A crew of people smugglers have alleged that an Australian official paid them to return a boatload of asylum seekers to Indonesia. AAP/Customs

Is it an offence if Australians pay people smugglers to turn back?

If Australian officials did pay off people smugglers, has the government effectively joined the people smuggling trade? Has it broken any laws?
Joko Widodo is surrounded by politicians and military generals with agendas that are unlikely to help the Papuans. EPA/Mast Irham

Papuans and Jokowi are hostage to Indonesian politics

The future of Papuans remains subject to the swirling mists of Indonesian national and international political intrigue.
Governments and international organisations should find an effective solution for the Rohingya refugee crisis. EPA/STR

Refugee crisis meeting should learn from Indochinese solution

Representatives meeting to discuss South-East Asia's migrant crisis may learn from the previous refugee crisis that hit the region during the Indochina war.
These Rohingya women and children, rescued by fishermen in Aceh, are among thousands in need of resettlement. EPA

Australia can do better on Asian boat crisis than ‘nope, nope, nope’

A summit in Bangkok is discussing the fate of thousands of people who were stranded at sea. Australia is represented but refuses to resettle any refugees, casting doubt on its commitment to a regional solution.
A boat carrying 450 people from Myanmar and Bangladesh is inspected by Thai Navy officers in the Andaman Sea. EPA/Royal Thai Navy

Are those fleeing persecution and impoverishment so very different?

The political rhetoric would suggest that asylum seekers are deserving and economic migrants are undeserving. Yet their motivations overlap and are complex – forced migrants do not fit easily into one category.
President Joko Widodo is not crying over cuts to Australian aid for Indonesia. AAP Image/Eka Nickmatulhuda

How will a 40% cut in Australian aid affect Indonesia?

Australia has cut aid to Indonesia by 40%. That may cause diplomatic displeasure, but the country has restructured its development programs in recent years to be less dependent on foreign money.

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