Tag Archives: military

Indonesia on notice – West Papuans still want independence

In a move that is expected to wind Indonesia’s military into a frenzy and which will again start an Indonesian witch-hunt for Australian supporters, a West Papuan petition calling for a vote on independence has been presented to the United Nations’ Decolonisation Committee. The petition demands a free vote on West Papua’s independence as well […]

Indonesian democracy may rest on election

When Indonesia’s 180 million voters go to the polls tomorrow, they will be deciding whether Indonesia continues, more or less, with further developing its democratic experiment, or whether it turns away from a relatively open society that is necessary to allow democracy to flourish. While the choice might appear to be obvious to anyone committed […]

Jokowi chooses safe and moderate running mate

The announcement yesterday by Indonesian presidential candidate Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo that his vice-presidential running mate will be former vice-president Jusuf Kalla has calmed concerns that Indonesia could be headed back towards an era of increased military influence. Until yesterday, it had been suggested that Jokowi’s running mate would be hard-line retired general Ryamizard Ryacudu. Jokowi’s […]

My life on the black list: Indonesia's tight grip on visas continues

Rejected. That’s how they returned it. “Application rejected” was stamped on a visa application to speak at a seminar in Jakarta. With this, I will now reach an arbitrary but quite substantial decade on Indonesia’s “black” list. It has been widely assumed that Indonesia’s practice of black-listing people disappeared when president Suharto was pushed from […]

Anti-reform actors hover over Indonesia’s coming elections

Indonesia’s democracy is being increasingly tested by the triple challenges of anti-reform actors, a high-level political malaise and popular disenchantment with the electoral process. Prabowo Subianto accepts the Great Indonesia Movement Party nomination for the 2014 presidential election (Photo: Wikipedia). One indicator of this has been an increasing tendency by the Indonesian military (TNI) to […]

Burma's reform process more than just window dressing

For long-term Burma watchers, it has been easy to regard that country’s recent political changes as window dressing by an authoritarian regime hoping to attract investment without actually giving up power. There is no doubt, too, that the 2010 elections remained a very long way from being free and fair. But the bi-elections in April […]

Dark forces still at work in Aceh, Indonesia

In early October, Aceh will hold its second gubanatorial elections since the 2005 peace agreement that ended almost three decades of separatist war. After five years of relative peace and stability, the main political tensions appear to be between competing factions of the former Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Other, more troubling tensions are, however, just […]

Indonesia’s dark forces confront its president

Yudhoyono was initially elected in 2004 promising reform. He was relatively successful, launching a major anti-corruption campaign, pushing the TNI to divest its business interests, trying to clean up the judiciary and getting the economy back on track. Yudhoyono was perhaps most successful with the economy, returning it to solid growth, if still struggling to […]

Security Sector Reform in Indonesia

There is no issue more critical to the success of democratic projects anywhere than the civilian control and accountability of those institutions of state that exercise the capacity for compulsion; the military, police and intelligence services. The two requirements of these institutions of the ‘security sector’ are that they are effective in providing security from […]