Saturday, October 23, 2010

- Soldiers, police, protesters battle for President's anniversary

Plainclothes police threaten to use their side arms against protesters in Jakarta yesterday. The demonstrations throughout Indonesia coincided with the first anniversary of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-Boediono administration’s five-year term

From News Reports

Jakarta, October 21: Soldiers and police – some of the about 19,000 deployed around the capital - fired into the air and used teargas and water canon against protesters – most of them students – outside the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, yesterday.
Similar rallies were held elsewhere in the city and in the wealthy Menteng neighbourhood, students barricaded road with timber and burning tyres and fought police who tried to remove the obstacles.
The city administration’s website BeritaJakarta says thousands of people joined the rallies at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout, Central Jakarta; outside the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry; the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court as well as the Japanese and South Korean embassies.
Rallies were also held in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Bandung and Bogor, West Java, Denpasar, Bali, Yogyakarta, Central Java, Lampung, southern Sumatra, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Palu, Central Sulawesi, Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, Padang, West Sumatra, and Surabaya, Pamekasan and Gresik, East Java, reports the Antara news agency.
On Monday, students fought with police in Makassar, South Sulewasi, during a presidential visit to the city.
The protests coincided with the first anniversary of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-Boediono administration’s five-year term.
The administration’s continued application of neo-liberal economic policies was a major reason for the protests.
The president, a retired general, 61, is a technocrat.
He studied management at Webster University at St Louis, Missouri, and holds a PhD in agricultural economics from Bogor Agricultural University.
The popularity of both he and his deputy – former central bank deputy governor Boediono who was educated at the University of Western Australia, Monash University, Melbourne, and worked at the Australian National University as a research assistant as well as the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, - has waned since they were elected in the first-round ballot one year ago.
The Southeast Asian Times

Two Vietnamese fishing boats arrested off Natuna Islands
From News Reports:
Surabaya, October 21: Two Vietnamese-flagged fishing boats and their crews have been arrested for allegedly poaching off the Natuna Islands, northwest Borneo, reports the Antara news agency.
Both vessels were in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone of the South China Sea without permits from the Indonesian government, the news agency quotes navy spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Yayan Sugiana as saying.
The vessels - identified as the BV-99678 with 23 aboard and the KG-15381 – were at the Ranai naval base, the Riau Islands, he said.

Three Vietnamese vessels and their crew were arrested allegedly poaching off the Riau Islands earlier this month.
Three Thai fishermen were reported to have been killed when the Indonesian navy, police and fisheries officials arrested 13 boats from Viet Nam, Malaysia and Thailand allegedly poaching in the waters off the Natuna Islands in November last year.
Fisheries Ministry surveillance director general Aji Sularso said the arrests raised to 180 alleged poachers who had then been arrested in Indonesian waters for the year, mostly off the Natuna Islands.

Most of the poachers were from Thailand, Viet Nam, Malaysia and China.
In October last year, the House of Representatives passed a fishery law that allows the crews of Indonesia’s patrol boats to shoot and sink foreign poachers after surveillance director Aji Sularso said the harsh law was needed to deter the poachers.
The director, who chaired the government's working committee that helped write the new law, said: “We will immediately draw up standard operation procedures to enforce the measure.”
But Indonesian vessels would fire only at the vessels and not their crews.
“Implementation of the ruling should not breach human rights or international laws.”
The measure was necessary to the protection of Indonesian sovereignty and sinking the poachers was more feasible than towing the vessels ashore, he said.
Poaching, especially in the waters of North Sulawesi, Maluku and West Papua, are estimated to cost Indonesia rupiah 30 trillion, about US$3.26 billion, each year.
Indonesian marine patrols have seized more than 700 vessels, most of them from Viet Nam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and China during the past five years.
The fisheries ministry had long sought legal endorsement for the “shoot and sink’ policy, arguing that poachers disdain Indonesia's outnumbered and poorly equipped marine patrol boats.
The Southeast Asian Times