The Director General of the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and the Indonesian Legal Entity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, stated that trilateral patrol cooperation between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines needs to be reviewed, given the abduction of two fishing crew members Indonesian Citizens by armed groups in Samporna Waters, Sabah, Malaysia, on 11 September. To the media at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jakarta, Wednesday (September 19), Muhammad Iqbal said, there was something wrong with the trilateral patrol cooperation that had been running for more than one year. Because since the cooperation was carried out, there have never been any more kidnappings in the waters of Sabah or around the Sulu Sea. Therefore, the ministry wants a review and strengthen the Trilateral Patrol cooperation.

β€œIn 2016, President Jokowi initiated a trilateral Jogja meeting, where the Foreign Minister and Defense Minister and Armed Forces Commander of the three countries were directly invited by President Jokowi to meet. Well, from that meeting, it later developed into a trilateral cooperation called Coordinated Joint Patrol. That was done, so the safeguards were carried out in a coordinated manner in three regions, regions of Indonesia, the Philippines region, the territory of Malaysia which was adjacent to the Sulu Sea. And if we look at it, the standard operating procedure will be effective around January 2017, and since then, there has been no hostage-taking until the 11th. So something went wrong with that good cooperation. So in the future the direction is to re-strengthen the existing cooperation,” Muhammad Iqbal said.

Furthermore, Muhammad Iqbal explained that the temporary measures taken by the Indonesian Government is to respond to the abduction of two crew of the fishing vessels namely Syamsul Saguni and Usman Yunus, the Indonesian Consulate General in Tawau issued an appeal to Indonesian citizens working in the fisheries sector, especially in the Sabah and Sulu waters. They are asked not to temporarily go to sea. The appeal will only be revoked if the security situation is seen to be conducive by the local security authorities. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has communicated with Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs to request security guarantees for Indonesian citizens working in the Sabah waters. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines, Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, had previously also held a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, to discuss cooperation in the trilateral patrols of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines which would be upgraded to trilateral joint operations. (VOI/Rezha/AHM)


The Czech Republic Senate Chairman, Milan Stech and his Entourage that consist of five senators and 18 Czech Businessman is holding a working visit to Indonesia on September 16th to 20th to discuss several agenda with President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. In a Cocktail Reception at Czech Republic Embassy in Jakarta recently, to Voice of Indonesia, Milan Stech explained the main purpose of his visit to Jakarta is to develop good relation between Indonesia and Czech Republic especially in business.

β€œThe main purpose of my visit is to actually follow up on traditionally good relation between Indonesia and the Czech Republic and to promote these relations further. Since we have very good relations in the field of businesses and business cooperation  we would like to take this opportunity to promote mutual business relations to the next level in order to follow up on what has been already started in the past,” Milan Stech said.

Furthermore, Milan Stech said that his visit to Indonesia along with the delegations is to strengthen business opportunity and investment in Indonesia especially in infrastructure, energy and education. Moreover Stech said that Czech Republic and Indonesia has a similar governmental system such as People Representative Assembly (DPR) and regional Representative Assembly (DPD). (VOI/REZHA/AHM/trans : NK/DP)


Indonesia Urged to End Rohingya Crisis

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The Coalition of Indonesian Civil Society Organizations urged the government to utilize Indonesia`s position as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to help put an end to the humanitarian crisis against Rohingya people in Myanmar. The statement was made by Fatia Maulidiyanti from the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.

UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar reported at least 319 villages to have been destroyed by the Myanmar army. The report also confirms the attacks, extrajudicial killings, deprivation of arbitrary freedom, enforced disappearances, destruction of property and looting, torture and inhumane treatment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence against the Rohingya people. The attacks have forcibly evicted more than 700 thousand Rohingyas from Myanmar. Still according to the report, it was determined that the Myanmar government was responsible for the act of violence committed by non-state armed groups against civilians.

In its own stance, KontraS sees that the Myanmar government, which should be responsible for handling this crisis, acts defensively and fortifies itself with the principle of non-intervention and state sovereignty to avoid international pressure. For this reason, the Coalition of Indonesian Civil Society Organizations called on the government of Indonesia to be more proactive in playing a role as the non-permanent member of the UNSC for 2019-2020 period to help resolve the humanitarian disasters. It is based on the UN`s proposition to conduct humanitarian intervention, namely the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), so that it can act to stop cruel military operations in Myanmar and seek accountability for all violations that have occurred.

"We emphasize the importance of upholding the `responsibility to protect` in the UN Charter. The state is obliged and responsible for protecting its citizens. If the state is considered to have failed in protecting its citizens, the international community has the right to intervene," Maulidiyanti noted.

In the recommendation of the UN Fact-Finding Mission report on Myanmar, it was stated that the UNSC must ensure accountability for crimes under international law carried out in Myanmar. It would be even better if the crimes against humanity could be referred to the International Criminal Court or alternatively by creating an ad hoc International Criminal Court. For this reason, Amnesty International Indonesia advised the government of Indonesia to use its position in the UNSC to recommend the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"Since Myanmar is not a member of the ICC, the only way to try them is to recommend the humanitarian disaster situation in Myanmar to the Security Council and immediately make a resolution. We can consider applying other pressures, such as the imposition of an economic embargo," Papang Hidayat, Amnesty International Indonesia senior researcher, remarked.

The Coalition of Indonesian Civil Society Organizations consists of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), Amnesty International Indonesia, the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), Yayasan Perlindungan Insani Indonesia (Protection Desk Indonesia), Asia Justice and Rights, as well as Forum Asia. (ant)


 President Joko Widodo laid emphasis Jakarta on Wednesday that 50 percent of the receipts from cigarette excise must be directed for health services.

"We have issued the presidential regulation for it," the president noted at the State Palace while referring to the mandate of the law.

He said the law had mandated that 50 percent of the cigarette excise must be used for services linked to health.

"BPJS Kesehatan (health insurance) suffered a deficit that must be covered. Public health service, no matter how much, must be given as best as it could, so the deficit must be covered partly from the cigarette excise," he stated.

Widodo said he had ordered the development and financial comptroller BPKP to check the financial condition of BPJS Kesehatan.

"This is procedure. Accountability must be ensured," he noted.

Widodo said he had also ordered the president director and board of directors of BPJS Kesehatan to improve all its systems, including the verification of claims.

"BPJS Kesehatan covers central to district and city levels across the country. It is not easy controlling and monitoring claims from hospitals. It is not easy," he emphasized.

In view of its coverage, BPJS Kesehatan must continue to improve its system, so that it is more efficient.

"I have experienced it all. In Jakarta, we have the Jakarta Health Card. Controlling hospitals is not easy, and this covers the entire country. It means the system must constantly be improved," he stated.

In response to the question of whether income of regions will decline if 50 percent of the cigarette excise would be used to pay BPJS Kesehatan, the president noted that it was the mandate of the law.

"It will be the regions that will also enjoy it, as the service is not at the central level only," he noted, adding that the regions had also approved it.

Deputy Finance Minister Mardiasmo stated that his office will apply several scenarios to control deficit in BPJS Kesehatan by increasing the role of regional governments. (ant)