Thursday, August 28, 2014

1) Soldiers to guard Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border

1) Soldiers to guard Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border
2) Indonesia, Australia Sign Deal to End Spying Row
3) The Look of Silence, review: 'astonishing'

1) Soldiers to guard Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border

Kamis, 28 Agustus 2014 20:19 WIB | 426 Views
Palu, Central Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - About 450 Indonesian Army (TNI) soldiers will secure the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border area in late September 2014 to replace the previous security personnel.

Chief of 174/Anim Ti Waninggap Military Rayon Command Brigadier General Supartodi said here on Thursday that the soldiers will guard the area for the next six months to keep regional stability.

"TNI soldiers and Papua New Guinea officers will work in cooperation to maintain harmony," Supartodi noted.

He expressed hope that the soldiers should respect to each others policy and must prepare physically and mentally to cope with the weather.

Although security conditions in the area is generally safe, Supartodi has urged the soldiers to be vigilant to prevent unwanted actions.

The TNI soldiers had conducted the second preduty exercise in Bangga, Sigi District.

To prepare the soldiers for the weather, TNI had chosen Bangga as their training area because the region has similar geographical conditions to Merauke, Papua.

The two-week training program was completed on August 15, 2014.

The soldiers who were mostly from 711/Raksatama Infantry Battalion will replace 715/Mololiatu Infantry Battalion.

At the next border guard period, Raksatama soldiers will be replaced by 713/Satyatama Infantry Battalion from Gorontalo.


2) Indonesia, Australia Sign Deal to End Spying Row

Nusa Dua. Indonesia and Australia on Thursday signed an agreement aimed at drawing a line under a damaging espionage row and paving the way for the resumption of full cooperation on issues such as defense.
Ties between the neighbors sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle.
Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas over the incident, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats reaching Australia.
Yudhoyono called for a code of conduct to govern behavior and, after months of talks on the issue, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa on Thursday signed an agreement.
With Yudhoyono looking on, the pair inked the deal, named the “Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia”, at a ceremony on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
In the agreement, Indonesia and Australia pledge to not use their intelligence agencies to harm one another and to increase cooperation at a time fears are growing about the threat posed by home-grown Islamic militants returning from Middle East conflicts.
“We are back to where we should have been in terms of Indonesia-Australia relations,” Natalegawa said, adding that he believed cooperation would be “even more enhanced in the future in front of us”.
Bishop said: “Despite some recent challenges in our relationship — as there can be between neighbors, even strategic partners as close as Australia and Indonesia — we have proven that our two countries can keep working together across the board.”
She added the agreement was “the most effective way to defeat those who would do harm to the people of Australia and Indonesia”.
Extremist concerns
Both countries have expressed alarm that home-grown extremists are heading in increasing numbers to fight with violent groups such as the Islamic State overseas, and have stepped up counter terrorism efforts.
Yudhoyono said he hoped relations would be strengthened by the accord: “I am hoping, personally, that we could go back to our strong relations and effective cooperation.”
Allegations that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of Yudhoyono, his wife and several top officials in 2009 sparked one of the worst diplomatic crises between the two strategic allies in years.
Reports at the time said that Australia’s electronic intelligence agency tracked Yudhoyono’s activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, when Labor’s Kevin Rudd was prime minister.
The list of tracking targets also included his wife Ani, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister and the information minister.
Jakarta responded furiously to the reports, which were based on documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden, by suspending bilateral cooperation in key areas.
Ties were further strained by Australia’s policy of pushing people-smuggling boats carrying asylum-seekers back to Indonesia.
Indonesia and Australia are close strategic and trading partners and have traditionally worked together in many areas, including on anti-terrorism initiatives and on the sensitive issue of would-be refugees.
Agence France-Presse

Joshua Oppenheimer's film about Indonesia’s mass murders of the Sixties is a shattering voyage into the jungle of human nature, says Robbie Collin

Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer. Cert TBA, 98 mins
In 1965, the Indonesian government was overthrown by the country’s armed forces, who embarked on an instant and merciless purge of Communists, their sympathisers and the ethnic Chinese: in reality, anyone who was less than volubly supportive of the new regime. Within a year, at least half a million people had been slaughtered. The Look of Silence is about one of them.
Joshua Oppenheimer has made a follow-up film to his acclaimed documentary The Act of Killing that’s as different from that film as a microscope is from a proscenium arch: while his Oscar-nominated 2013 picture showed the death squads’ leaders gleefully re-enacting the butchery in a series of surreal, ghoulish theatrical tableaux, this second film zooms in close, finding unfolding fractal patterns of horror-within-horror in the story of a single victim’s plight.
Ramli, a supposed enemy of the new state, was cornered by a squad of soldiers and stabbed until his intestines started spilling out of his side. He fled to his parents’ home in the sleepy countryside close to the city of Medan in North Sumatra where a death squad led by two men, Amir Hasan and Inong, picked him up.
They promised his mother they would take him to a hospital: instead, they threw him in a van with other captives, drove him to a nearby river, stripped him naked, carved his flesh with a machete, listened to him plead for mercy, then chopped off his genitals and watched him bleed out, before rolling his body into the water.

We know this because Oppenheimer filmed the two men describing the murder, while laughing, in 2004, standing on the spot where they carried it out. And Ramli’s younger brother Adi also knows this, because when we first see him, he’s watching Oppenheimer’s tape.
The Look of Silence’s title really describes Adi’s face in that early shot when he watches the tape: his eyes shine and his lips are slightly parted, but he doesn’t say a word. Instead, we hear the sound of crickets chirping in the bushes outside: a cartoon sound-effect for silence, which Oppenheimer turns up loud, drawing attention to the cacophony of things that are being unsaid.
Throughout the film, Adi goes to confront various men, now frail and mostly toothless, who were involved in his brother’s killing: he’s an optometrist, and often interviews them during eye-tests while they wear a trial frame and lenses. The symbolism here is obvious and ingenious: by confronting these decrepit thugs with his brother’s story, Adi is trying to correct their self-perception; make them look clearly at their deeds for perhaps the first time.
Some men respond to Adi’s calm questioning with mild irritation, others with thinly veiled death threats. At one point, Inong starts talking about drinking human blood during the purge as a means to stay sane, and you assume he's talking figuratively until he describes the process by which the blood was collected: a glass tumbler held under the jugular, which filled up in a second or two when the throat was slit. “Human blood tastes both salty and sweet, did you know that?” Inong asks, one eye twitching strangely, with gentleness in his voice. Again, you realise a look of silence is the only sane response.
The Act of Killing was about the mechanisms of moral delusion – mass-murderers escaping the implications of their pasts by turning them into performance – but The Look of Silence connects the dots back up, and turns the focus back on culpability and complicity. The extent to which Adi’s community conspired in the murder of his brother is shattering, and when the end credits roll, and you notice most of the crew’s names are listed as "anonymous", the threat seems fresh and immediate. (One of Adi’s interviewees, a man directly involved in the 1965 purge, is the current head of his local government.) This is an essential companion piece to Oppenheimer’s earlier film; another astonishing heart-of-darkness voyage into the jungle of human nature.

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1 September 2014
Indonesia Facing a New Future

Indonesia has long been one of Australia’s most important strategic partners, and the relationship has become closer – if occasionally fraught – under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Following legislative and presidential elections earlier this year, Indonesia faces a new future under president-elect, Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

Indonesian writer, journalist and Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono and award-winning journalist Hamish McDonald, author of the recently published book Demokrasi: Indonesia in the 21st Century will be in conversation with Vannessa Hearman from the Department of Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney to discuss human rights and democracy in Indonesia, the Jokowi administration and what lies ahead for Indonesia. 

Honorary Associate Professor David Reeve, UNSW will launch Demokrasi: Indonesia in the 21st Century by Hamish McDonald

Andreas Harsono is based in Jakarta. Before joining Human Rights Watch, he helped found the Jakarta-based Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information in 1995, and in 2003 he helped create the Pantau Foundation, a journalist training organisation also based in Jakarta. A staunch backer of the free press, Harsono also helped establish Jakarta’s Alliance of Independent Journalists and Bangkok’s South East Asia Press Alliance. Harsono began his career as a reporter for the Bangkok-based Nation and the Kuala Lumpur-based Star newspapers, and he editedPantau, a monthly magazine on media and journalism in Jakarta. He regularly briefs diplomats, journalists and government officials on the state on human rights in Indonesia. His visit to Australia is arranged by Human Rights Watch Australia, for whom he has worked covering human rights issues in Indonesia since 2008.

Hamish MacDonald is an award-winning Asia Pacific journalist and part time scholar. He graduated with a BA from Sydney University, majoring in Government and spent 1978-79 as an Honorary Fellow in the former Department of Indonesian and Malay studies while writing Suharto's Indonesia (1981).

 He was Foreign Editor and Asia-Pacific Editor at the Sydney Morning Heralduntil 2013 and is the author of several other books, including Mahabharata in Polyester (2010) about India's most famous and controversial business family, the Ambanis, and, with Desmond Ball, Death in Balibo, Lies in Canberra (2000), which gave the definitive account of the military, bureaucratic and intelligence manoevres around the killing of five Australian newsmen.

 Currently Hamish is a Visiting Fellow/Journalist in Residence, College of Asia & the Pacific, Australian National University, and world editor for The Saturday Paper.

Event details

  • When:5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Where:History Room S223
    The Quadrangle
    The University of Sydney
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  • Cost:Free and open to all with online registration requested
  • RSVP:Register online now by entering your details at the bottom of the page. Click 'register' once and wait for the screen to refresh. You will receive a confirmation email in your inbox shortly after.
  • Contact:Sydney Ideas
    T| 9351 2943t
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