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Indonesia in Focus

Archive for the Politics Category

Ten Years after May 1998 Tragedy

May 8th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments 6 Comments »

This May we are commemorating the 10th anniversary of the May 1998 tragedy, which is better known as the May 1998 riots. This historic incident is an important life-changing milestone in many people’s lives, whoever they are. I lost my innocence in May 1998, politically and spiritually. In a few fast-paced heart-racing days, I realized many unthinkable and unimaginable things, including what human beings are capable of doing to fellow humans, which could have happened to a person like me: the targeted rape of Chinese women, the burning and looting of properties belonging to Chinese owners and the denial of such incidents by those in power.

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The Media Dilemma in the 2009 Elections

May 5th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

A year before the 2009 election, the Indonesian media community faces a stifling prospect. A clause in the 2008 law on legislative elections states “print mass media (must) provide fair and balanced space and time for election coverage, interviews and campaign ads for election candidates”.

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69 Parties Take 2009 Elections Registration Form

April 17th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Sixty nine political parties took the 2009 elections registration form, but five parties did not show up in the General Elections Commission (KPU) on the last day to take the form. The five parties that did not take the registration form were the Gotong Royong Party, the Star Crescent Party, the Patriot Party, the Marhaenis National Party, and the Unitary Republic of Indonesia Party.

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Independent Candidates and Winning Elections

April 10th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

mini-megawati.jpgIndonesian Democratic Party- Struggle (PDIP) leader Megawati Soekarnoputri said independent candidates for next year`s general election would have difficulty consolidating their positions because they depended on floating masses. “How can an independent candidate consolidate his or her position as he or she will only have the support of floating masses,” Megawati said at a meeting with party cadres here on Thursday. Someone who ran for president, governor, district head or mayor would have a better chance to succeed if he or she was supported by one or more political parties. she said.

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Democracy in Jeneponto Community: South Sulawesi

January 6th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

mini-school-democracy.jpgHarry Bhaskara was recently invited to visit the School of Democracy in the southern Sulawesi regency of Jeneponto. The school is one of five run by the Jakarta-based Indonesian Commission for Democracy (KID). Below is his report of the visit. Jeneponto regency in the province of South Sulawesi is home to a militant Muslim community. It is a public secret that Christians are not allowed to build churches there and Chinese Indonesians as well as Javanese are barred from conducting business, local activists say. In the last two years, however, the secret has made its way into school discussions for the first time.

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Indonesians in Focus: Jusuf Kalla

January 4th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments 1 Comment »

Jusuf Kalla is known for being quick with a comeback and unafraid to mince words - qualities that have at times landed him in hot water. He began serving as Vice President under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in September 2004 and several months later was elected as leader of the Golkar Party - the largest party in the legislature putting him firmly in the media glare.

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Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Book Launch

December 29th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched Friday Indonesia on the Move, a compilation of his articles and speeches depicting a “true picture” of Indonesia. Yudhoyono said the book could be used to tell the global community about Indonesia. Yudhoyono said the title was chosen because the phrase accurately portrayed the development of the country.

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Aceh Struggling: North Sumatra

December 26th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

The Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR), which was given the task of helping to rebuild communities in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of late 2004, is set to end its mission in April 2009. However, several issues are far from being settled in the hardest-hit areas of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and Nias in North Sumatra. Aceh is also going through a transition period after signing a deal in 2005 ending decades of war between the government and rebel forces. The following report, detailing the latest situation in Aceh, was written by The Jakarta Post’s Ridwan Max Sijabat and Nani Afrida.

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Road to Eternal Peace: Poso, Central Sulawesi

December 26th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

It is debatable whether or not the Malino Peace Treaty has brought significant change to conflict-torn Poso in Central Sulawesi. The significance of the pact, signed on Dec. 20, 2001, in terms of its ability to bring Poso back to more pleasant days, remains unclear.

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Indonesians in Focus: M. Syafi’i Anwar

November 1st, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

mini-anwar.jpgIn a country where people are grappling to live up to democratic values, standing firmly with a controversial principle can have dire consequences. M. Syafi’i Anwar, for example, was branded a “CIA agent” and “Western puppet” by Islamic radicals here when he publicly denounced the fatwa of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which deemed pluralism as “religiously unlawful” and driving the nation toward disintegration. He received angry responses and threats via email, SMS and over the telephone. One big mosque in Jakarta even forbade him from giving speeches and sermons there, despite the fact Syafi’i is a renowned Muslim intellectual and activist whose contributions to the development of the mosque’s youth movement have been well noted.

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