West Papua media access still fettered - PFF

Indonesia opened access to West Papua for foreign journalists in 2015, more than 50 years after annexing the territory from the Netherlands.

The Forum's co-chair, the Papua New Guinean journalist, Alex Rheeney, said a visit by journalists to West Papua in January encountered violence, sexual harassment and interference from Indonesian minders.

Papuans still unhappy over Merauke food and oil palm project

Jakarta has thrown high level support behind the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate, or MIFEE, a project in the far south east of Papua province

Eventually expected to cover 1.6 million hectares, MIFEE has attracted dozens of investors, looking to grow food crops and palm oil.

Billed as a project to address food security concerns for parts of the country, local Papuan communities have complained that MIFEE is alienating them from their land.

Jakarta urges Pacific to recognise Palestine

The Antara news agency was reporting comments by the country's foreign minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday.

Ms Marsudi said Indonesia always discussed Palestine's independence in its bilateral talks with Pacific island countries and with those yet to recognise Palestine as a state.

Vanuatu recognised Palestine in 1989 soon after its Declaration of Independence in 1988.

Papua New Guinea followed in 1995.

The two countries are the only Pacific island countries listed among 137 states at the UN which recognise the State of Palestine.

Indonesia 'not suspending' all military ties with Australia

On Wednesday the military said all forms of co-operation were on hold, with things needing "to be improved".

But Wiranto, who goes by one name, said the suspension related only to a language-training programme.

The row relates to "teaching materials" at an Australian army language facility, officials say.

Indonesia's military chief said the materials included "unethical stuff" that discredited the military.


How close are Australia and Indonesia?

Indonesia suspends military co-operation with Australia

Army spokesman Maj Gen Wuryanto said the halt came into force in December and a broad range of activities were affected, including joint training.

Australian Defence officials confirmed Indonesia had halted all defence co-operation over "teaching materials".

Bilateral relations have been tense at times in recent years, although there were recent signs of improvement.

"All forms of co-operation with the Australian military, including joint training, have been temporarily withheld. I hope it can be resolved as soon as possible," Maj Gen Wuryanto said.

Indonesian push for education about Papua history

RNZ reports the newly-established Indonesian People's Front for West Papua, or FRI West Papua, this week declared its support for West Papuan liberation from Indonesian rule.

Made up of non-Papuans, the group said that the universal right to self-determination was denied in the case of West Papua.

Its spokesman Surya Anta says Indonesians are not well educated about what he calls the illegitimate takeover of Papua.

Indonesia arrests over 100 Papuans in Sorong

The police took in 106 activists from the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, for their involvement in an inauguration of its local governing body last week.

The KNPB is a pro-independence West Papuan political organisation with a wide following throughout Indonesia's Papua region.

The inauguration of the KNPB's Sorong governing structure included a mass worship celebration and drew Papuans from areas such as Tambrau, Ayamaru and South Sorong.

Indonesia castration law 'will wipe out paedophilia'

He said Indonesia respected human rights but there would be "no compromise" when it came to punishing such sexual crimes.

Indonesia passed controversial laws earlier this month authorising chemical castration for paedophiles.

The laws were subject to fierce debate in parliament.

"Our constitution respects human rights, but when it comes to sexual crimes there is no compromise," President Widodo said.

Indonesia bars LGBT job applicants for new youth position

The advert stipulates that the post is only open to applicants not involved in "sexually deviant behaviour".

It says this must be proven with a doctor's certificate.

Critics have accused the government in effect of destroying the futures of creative young LGBT people.

They have been barred from serving their country because of their sexuality, campaigners say.

Gay sex is not illegal in Indonesia, and the world's largest Muslim country has a vibrant transgender culture.

It is a tradition which is broadly met tolerantly by the Indonesian public.

Tonga parliament debates Indonesia ties

According to Matangi Tonga, he made the comment after being accused by Lord Nuku of interfering in Indonesia's affairs by speaking about concern for what Mr Pohiva claimed to be the ill treatment of West Papuans.

Mr Pohiva spoke at the United Nations last month when several Pacific concern about human rights abuses by Indonesian forces in Papua.

Lord Nuku said Indonesia had already responded that it didn't like Tonga's interference.

He said the Cabinet was convinced that what the PM did was right, but he was convinced that it clashed with the Constitution.