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Archive for Indonesia

Newsline: Indonesia summons China’s ambassador over burials at sea on fishing fleet

Indonesia has summoned China’s ambassador to clarify the deaths of four Indonesian crew from two Chinese-flagged vessels, Indonesia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday, after rights groups alleged the crew were mistreated and exploited. The ministry issued a statement after a video was circulated on social media, appearing to show a burial at sea aboard a Chinese-flagged ship. The footage showed a group of men praying around an orange body bag before it was tossed into the ocean. A Chinese embassy official in Jakarta did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the ambassador was summoned. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi later told a news conference that three Indonesian crew members had died aboard Chinese-flagged fishing vessels since December and had been buried at sea. “One crew member died and was buried at sea on March 31. In December 2019, two other crew members…died and were also buried at sea,” Marsudi said, adding that another crew member crew died onshore of pneumonia in a hospital in the South Korean port of Busan. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-china-burials/indonesia-summons-chinas-ambassador-over-burials-at-sea-on-fishing-fleet-idUSKBN22J1PM) Marsudi said she had asked Xiao Qian, Chiana’s ambassador to Indonesia, for clarification of whether the burials had been carried out at sea in accordance with International Labour Organization (ILO) rules and whether “unsuitable” conditions on board the vessels contributed to the deaths.

Newsline: Indonesian embassies ramp up efforts to help citizens abroad

Indonesians diplomatic missions are ramping up efforts to help citizens abroad who are facing hardship amid the stringent measures imposed by many countries in the battle against COVID-19. For the last few days several embassies have been actively delivering aid to isolated citizens or those whose livelihoods have been disrupted as a result of the policies of the countries they live in. In Australia, for instance, the Indonesian Consulate General in Sydney has delivered aid packages to 210 Indonesians with Work and Holiday Visas (WHV) who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The packages consisted of staple foods such as rice, cooking oil, eggs, sugar, milk, instant noodles and hand sanitizer – all of which are now scarce in Australia. They were delivered to three states – New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia – Indonesian Consul General in Sydney Heru Subolo said in a statement. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/04/16/covid-19-indonesian-embassies-ramp-up-efforts-to-help-citizens-abroad.html) The Indonesian Embassy in Kuwait City, the capital of Kuwait, said that it had been receiving reports from Indonesian citizens starting to face difficulties. The embassy received about 240 reports on April 2, but the number rose to 1,700 on Tuesday.

Newsline: Embassy to help Malaysians in Indonesia return home

The Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia is cooperating with Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Garuda and the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel to help Malaysians in the republic return home. Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Zainal Abidin Bakar said the cooperation was to facilitate the process of Malaysians who wanted to go back as most airlines had reduced their flight frequency.“Malaysians in Indonesia who wish to return home should take this opportunity,” he said, adding that those who returned from overseas must undergo a 14-day quarantine. (https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/03/31/embassy-to-help-malaysians-in-indonesia-return-home/1852094) Zainal Abidin said under the collaboration, MAS would provide flights from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur on April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30.

Newsline: US Embassy Tells Citizens to Leave Indonesia

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic that’s spreading in Indonesia, the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia has asked their citizens to set a time to leave Indonesia. The notice was given by the U.S. Embassy on its official website in which U.S. citizens are being urged to arrange their return home, except for those who are in Indonesia for long-term purposes. “Under the Global Health Advisory Level Four, U.S. citizens who are currently in Indonesia should arrange for an immediate return to the United States, unless they are ready to remain abroad for a long time. U.S. citizens who wish to leave Indonesia must make their own travel arrangements as soon as possible, as commercial flights are still available, although at a greatly reduced rate,” according to the written statement by the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia. (https://indonesiaexpat.biz/news/u-s-embassy-leave-indonesia-and-come-home/) There are still 37 commercial flights per week from Indonesia to the U.S. with 28 from Jakarta, specifically 17 via Tokyo, four via Doha, and three via Bangkok, a further eight from Bali which are three via Tokyo and five via Doha, and one from Surabaya which flies via Kuala Lumpur, with the last flight on March 30th. The government spokesman for handling the coronavirus outbreak, the Head of National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Achmad Yurianto, stated on Sunday 29th March 2020 that the increase in positive cases illustrates that there is still transmission in the community.

Newsline: Indonesia’s diplomatic corps increase social distancing to curb spread of coronavirus

As the Indonesian government calls on the public to implement social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19, diplomatic corps in Jakarta and abroad are adjusting their workflows, including rearranging consular services for Indonesians overseas. Shortly after President Joko “Joko” Widodo called on all Indonesians to “work from home, study from home and worship at home” on Sunday, Indonesian embassies across the world announced new measures to limit social contact. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/16/indonesias-diplomatic-corps-increase-social-distancing-to-curb-spread-of-coronavirus.html) The Indonesian Embassy in Paris, for example, has required all visitors to fill out a form declaring their travel history and their whereabouts and forbids entry to those who have been in virus-stricken areas in the country or abroad within the last 14 days. “The embassy has postponed or cancelled all activities and events that involve many people until the end of April including religious, promotional and social activities conducted inside the embassy. Embassy staff have been asked to not receive guests unless it is urgent,” said Indonesian Ambassador to France Armanatha Nasir on Sunday. Although consular services remain available, the embassy has shortened its operational hours to 10.30 a.m. to 15.30 p.m. to maintain social distancing. The embassy has also directed staff members who feel ill to work from home. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has also been rearranging its procedures and emphasizing social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. On Sunday, the embassy announced it would only provide services for those with urgent matters. Similarly, the Indonesian Consulate General in San Francisco, United States, said that it would only provide consular services to those with online appointments. “Walk-ins will no longer be allowed to enter [the consulate general office],” it wrote in a statement on Monday, adding that non-passport consular services could be accessed through post. Back in Jakarta, diplomats working at the Foreign Ministry headquarters have been allowed to work from home starting Monday. “At least 50 percent of the employees in each department should work from home, except departments related to public services,” said the ministry’s secretary-general, Mayerfas, in a statement on Sunday.

Newsline: Indonesia shuts down embassy in South Korea over coronavirus outbreak

Indonesia has temporarily shut down its mission in South Korea due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, local media reported on Friday. According to Indonesian daily Republika, Indonesian Ambassador in Seoul Umar Hadi said the embassy and Indonesia Investment Promotion Center are temporarily closed as of Friday, as a coronavirus case has been reported in the area. Hadi said the embassy will be closed until further notice. (https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/coronavirus-indonesia-shuts-down-embassy-in-skorea/1747942) Meanwhile, health authorities in South Korea said the total number of confirmed cases in the country has risen to 2,022, with 256 new cases. Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry warned the public not to travel to the areas of Daegu and Gyeongsang Bukdo, which have a high number of coronavirus cases.

Newsline: US embassy raises ‘critical’ coronavirus concerns with Indonesia

US diplomats have expressed concerns to top Indonesian government officials about their country’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, warning of the “critical” need to be seeking out and more frequently testing for the virus. A diplomatic source with knowledge of the meetings also revealed that ambassadors from several western nations – including the United States’ recently-departed Joseph Donovan – have raised their concerns with Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto and senior officials. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald has seen talking points about the coronavirus outbreak that are being circulated throughout the diplomatic community in Jakarta. (https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/asia/us-embassy-raises-critical-coronavirus-concerns-with-indonesia-20200223-p543l3.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_feed) These talking points, circulated by US officials, are designed to ensure foreign diplomats in closed door meetings with Indonesian health officials are delivering a consistent message about the need for Indonesia to do more to prepare for and protect itself from coronavirus. The messages being delivered by diplomats include a warning that “we believe it is critical for your government to be actively conducting case detection”.

Newsline: Kenya to open embassy in Jakarta in 2020

The government of Kenya plans to open an embassy in Jakarta in 2020, according to the Kenyan cabinet secretary of foreign affairs, Monica Juma. This was revealed by Juma during a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi on the sidelines of the 12th Bali Democracy Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali. “Preparations are being made and hopefully by mid-2020 the Kenyan Embassy in Jakarta will be opened,” Retno said. Kenya’s mission to Indonesia is currently led by a non-resident envoy based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/12/06/kenya-to-open-embassy-in-jakarta-in-2020.html) Diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Kenya began in 1979 and a few years after that, in 1983, Indonesia opened its embassy in Nairobi.

Newsline: 3 on trial in Singapore over graft charges involving Indonesian embassy worker

An Indonesian Embassy labour attache allegedly tasked a Singaporean freelance translator to look for insurance firms or agents willing to give them a share of the premiums linked to performance bond guarantees for Indonesian maids. A district court heard on Monday (Nov 4) that the insurance firms or agents would then allegedly receive accreditation from the embassy in return. James Yeo Siew Liang, 48, who represented AIG Asia Pacific Insurance and Liberty Insurance, is accused of agreeing to be part of the plan. He is accused of giving more than $21,000 in bribes to the translator, Abdul Aziz Mohamed Hanib, 64. Yeo is also said to have given more than $71,000 to the labour attache, Agus Ramdhany Machjumi, who is no longer in Singapore. (https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/3-on-trial-over-graft-charges-involving-embassy-worker-and-bond-guarantees) The court heard that Aziz allegedly found Yeo through an intermediary, Benjamin Chow Tuck Keong, 56, who was a corporate development director of a firm dealing with organic products. According to court documents, Chow did not give or receive any money. Aziz, Yeo and Chow are on trial, with Aziz and Yeo facing more than 15 graft-related charges each and Chow, one.

An Indonesian migrant worker has died while lining up for a passport extension at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the embassy confirmed on Friday. He had been suffering from heart disease. At about 6:45 p.m. on Thursday Tamam Arsyad, 66, collapsed on the embassy’s doorstep at the front of the application line. The Bawean, East Java native had been a permanent resident of Malaysia for three years and was waiting for the consular office to open so he could extend his red identity card when he collapsed. “An applicant who was sitting behind him then laid him down on the floor. He passed away shortly after that,” the Indonesian Embassy wrote in a statement on its official Facebook page, noting that Tamam was immediately taken to the hospital. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/seasia/2019/11/01/indonesian-in-kl-dies-of-heart-attack-in-embassy-line.html) Indonesian Embassy coordinator for consular affairs Yusron Ambary said the line was not as packed as earlier reports had made it seem, as few other applicants were present.