Renewed calls for Indonesian military reform

James Balowski While rights groups have welcomed the conviction last month of 12 soldiers from the army’s notorious Special Forces (Kopassus) for the murder of four civilians in March, lenient sentences and a failure to investigate senior officers have led to renewed calls for military reform. In the ear...CONTINUE READING

A forgotten massacre on our doorstep

Max Lane The systematic political murder of around 1 million people in Indonesia began on 1 October 1965 and lasted around three years. The violence was accompanied by mass arrests, probably hundreds of thousands going in and out of ad hoc prisons between 1965 and 1968. Almost 20,000 were kept in p...CONTINUE READING

US expands arms sales to Indonesia

James Balowski Human rights groups have condemned a US government decision to go ahead with the sale of eight Apache attack helicopters to Indonesia, saying they are offensive weapons likely to be employed in counterinsurgency operations in West Papua. The US$500 million deal – the largest since Washingt...CONTINUE READING

Indonesian unions divided on next steps

Sherr Rinn During July and August, the Indonesian government firmed up its resistance to any further large increases in the minimum wage. Regulations are to ensure that wage increases don’t exceed companies’ “capacity to pay”. The regulatory offensive is meant to consolidate a several months long cou...CONTINUE READING

Neo-colonialism in PNG

Tom Bramble The decision to dump up to 3,000 refugees at a time on PNG’s Manus Island tells us as much about Austraia’s neo-colonial relationship with its former dependency as it does about its racist disdain for the rights of vulnerable asylum seekers. Although nearly 40 years have passed since PNG w...CONTINUE READING

Australian colonialism in Papua New Guinea

Tom O’Lincoln In the earliest days of colonisation, Australia was a spearhead for the British Empire. But in the 1850s, gold rushes caused economic boom. The accumulated wealth began seeking outlets in the surrounding region, giving rise to an expansion drive. The colonists themselves became imperialist...CONTINUE READING

Hong Kong’s new radicals

Over the last few months, Hong Kong has been shaken by two immense struggles. First there was a momentous 40-day strike involving hundreds of crane operators and stevedores inside the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal, the world’s busiest container port. The workers won a 9.8 percent wage rise...CONTINUE READING

‘We are treated like animals’: Nauru asylum seeker speaks out

Sawsan Hassan They have committed no crime but in fleeing the destitution of Gaza, “the world’s largest open air prison”, 17 Palestinian asylum seekers now find themselves in one of the world’s most remote concentration camps. The group was transferred from Christmas Island to Nauru on 25 May by the Aus...CONTINUE READING
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is presented with the World Statesman Award by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on May 30 in New York.

Indonesian president’s award an insult

James Balowski The Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF) – a US-based interfaith organisation of business leaders – presented Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with the World Statesman Award in New York on 30 May, in “recognition of his work in supporting human rights and religious freedom”....CONTINUE READING