Tag Archives: Indonesia

22 May 2015

UNHCR official on Southeast Asian migrants issue: ‘it is key for States to share the responsibility to disembark these people immediately’

The United Nations refugee agency has said it is ‘extremely alarmed’ at reports suggesting that Indonesian and Malaysian authorities have pushed back boats carrying numerous migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Indonesian navy stated that it had escorted a boat out to sea this week in a move which may signify a change in the government’s overall policy. Similarly, Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency announced that it would prohibit foreign ships from docking unless they are unseaworthy and sinking. (more…)

Source: UN News Centre | UN voices alarm over ‘pushbacks’ of boats carrying migrants in Southeast Asia

20 November 2014

Republic of Indonesia to monitor impact of new Australian asylum seeker policy

Following the announcement by the Australian government to lower the yearly quota of refugees applying from Indonesia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Michael Tene said “Indonesia will monitor closely the implication of the implementation of this new policy and should it have adverse implication to the interests of Indonesia, then necessary measures will be taken in due course to protect our interests.” (more…)

Source: The Jakarta Post | RI to monitor impact of new Australian asylum seeker policy

22 April 2014

Indonesia calls on states to stop ‘shifting responsibility’ for asylum-seekers

In response to Australia’s policy of returning boatloads of refugees back to Indonesia, the Indonesian government called on other states to stop ‘shifting responsibility’ for asylum-seekers.  Asylum-seekers often use Indonesia as a transit state to cross over to Australia, and with the Australian policy of returning asylum-seekers before they touch Australian soil has forced Indonesia to take on the burden of these asylum seekers. During an international meeting in Jakarta regarding asylum-seekers, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, stated that the commitments made by states at a conference last year regarding asylum-seekers ‘confirmed our shared responsibility – shared responsibility, not (the) shifting of responsibility. Shared responsibility requires coordination and cooperation.’

Source: The Jakarta Post | Indonesia speaks out on boatpeople amid Australia tension

17 February 2014

Australian intelligence agency eavesdrops on American law firm

The Australian Signals Directorate, Australia’s intelligence agency, informed the NSA that it was conducting surveillance of an American law firm, which was retained by the Indonesian government for help in trade talks, and offered to share the information. This information comes from a top-secret document obtained by Edward J. Snowden, former NSA contractor. Additionally, the Australians said that ‘information covered by attorney-client privilege may be included.’ Liaison officials for Australia asked the NSA for guidance about the spying and the Australian agency ‘has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.’ The Australian surveillance of such talks shows the extent to which the NSA and its allies engage in economic espionage.

The NSA and the Australian government have declined to answer questions about the surveillance. However, the Australian Defense Force stated that information gathering is to support Australia’s national interests and that intelligence agencies obey their legal obligations, including when it involves foreign counterparts. Recently disclosed documents show the cooperation between the US and Australia, including the sharing of facilities and highly sensitive intelligence. The Australian and NSA eavesdropping services focus mainly on Asia, particularly Indonesia and China.

Source: The New York Times | Spying by N.S.A. Ally Entangled U.S. Law Firm

30 October 2013

The 2013 Southeast Asia haze – a shared responsibility?

Singapore covered in haze (20 June 2013), compared to a clear day (13 April 2012). © AFP

Singapore covered in haze (20 June 2013), compared to a clear day (13 April 2012). © AFP

Last summer, hazardous levels of air pollution affected the health and lives of many people, the economy (e.g. disruptions of air traffic due to reduced visibility, decreased tourism and business activities) and the environment of multiple states.[1] In both Singapore and Malaysia, record breaking levels of atmospheric pollution were measured.[2] Large parts of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia were covered in smog, and the smoke haze[3] even spread to Thailand and Brunei. (more…)