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05
May

 

After the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, the situation in Myanmar did not show any improvement. Attacks between the military and anti-coup groups have even tended to increase. The mass media in Myanmar is also polarized between the military junta media, the anti-coup media and the media that contains information about the various violence that occurred.

A few days after the ASEAN Summit discussed Myanmar's crisis following the military coup, the atmosphere in several regions there became increasingly tense. The bomb that exploded in the residential area made people even more afraid and worried. Local media reported that a parcel bomb exploded in the West Bago area that killed, among others, a former member of parliament who supported Aung San Su Kyi. Five people, including a policeman, were reportedly killed in the explosion that happened Monday, May 3. Naturally, people are increasingly fearful because neither party feels responsible for the bomb explosion that occurred more than once.

Ethnic armed resistance groups supporting the demonstrators have begun to step up attacks on Myanmar's military. Along with that, came attacks from unknown parties on Myanmar air bases and military bases.

The situation became increasingly unclear due to confusing news and information. The domination of news from the military is countered by the reporting of the opposing parties. Meanwhile, provoking information appears which is only reporting acts of violence. The closure of the media supporting the resistance action and the blocking of the internet and social media did not solve the problem or stop the resistance.

The people of Myanmar live in uncertainty due to the military coup. If the situation gets more chaotic and out of control, there is great concern that there will be civil war in that country.

In fact, the commitment to carry out the results of the ASEAN summit in Jakarta recently is very important to be realized, especially by the military junta government. The presence of the Myanmar Senior General then, should not be used by the military junta only to legitimize its existence and actions.

The points of the Summit results in Jakarta need to be realized immediately. ASEAN leaders, can and need to take further steps to prevent a civil war in Myanmar. The country is a member of ASEAN. Myanmar's increasingly chaotic situation will certainly have an impact on the existence of ASEAN and other member countries.

03
May

 

Although there is no clear timeline, Indonesia has set a number of scenarios to achieve a low-carbon development or net zero emission. Thereby, there is a need for synergy or connectivity between sectors. Director of Environment at the Ministry of National Planning and Development / National Planning and Development Agency, Medrilzam said that low-carbon development has been included in the 2020-2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan and has become one of the priority programs. This was revealed in a webinar entitled "Indonesia's Opportunity to Achieve Carbon Neutrality Before 2070" on Wednesday (28/4).

Based on a study conducted by the National Planning and Development Agency, the calculation of the zero-emission scenario must refer to a number of principles. For instance, zero emission policies must be in line with the targets in Indonesia's 2045 vision, while still pursuing emission reductions by 29 percent in 2030. In addition, the approach taken must be comprehensive across sectors.

Estimates of greenhouse gases in the land and energy sectors for zero-emission policies from 2045 to 2070 have also been calculated. This requires an additional area of 300-350,000 hectares per year and an increase in the reforestation of 250 hectares from the existing policy. Meanwhile, in the energy sector, this is carried out through the use of new renewable energy accompanied by an increase in energy efficiency to reach 6-6.5 percent in 2050. In addition, efforts to reduce waste are also being carried out starting from the circular economy through the efficiency of natural resources to reducing the production of liquid waste. On the fiscal aspect, the   elimination of fuel subsidies and application of a carbon tax are needed.

So far, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector has been on target and will be increased to achieve the national contribution target of reducing emissions by 29 percent by 2030. The main contribution of mitigation actions is the new renewable energy program and energy efficiency. However, efforts to increase it are still constrained by investment costs which tend to be expensive and lack of mastery of technology.

Whatever the reasons are, Indonesia must continue to pursue the target as set out in the Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as the Paris Agreement in December 2015. If this is not achieved, it will certainly have a negative impact on Indonesia, such as increasing temperatures, changes in rainfall, and rising sea levels. Indonesia will also be hit by extreme waves that increase by more than 1.5 meters.

To realize the scenario created by the government, each individual can contribute by reducing the use of fossil energy, reducing land and garbage burning, and replanting trees. If this is done, it is possible that Indonesia will be able to realize the national contribution to reducing emissions by 29 percent even before 2030.

30
April

 

Probably, recent days have been tough for Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The sharp increase in the spread of Covid-19 in the country has forced President Erdogan to take the decision to close or lock down his country completely until mid-May. This is aimed at avoiding  crowds of people when celebrating Idul Fitri on May 13, which could be a source of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. With this lockdown, someone can imagine that the country's economy will slow down again.

In addition, Turkey is also facing threats from Saudi Arabia to close 8 of the 26 Turkish-language schools in Saudi Arabia. Recently, communication between Turkey and Saudi Arabia has deteriorated as they became involved in various conflicts. It started with the case of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi government, who was killed by a team of Saudi agents inside the country's consulate building in the Turkish City of Istanbul in 2018. Previously, the Turks wanted those involved to be tried in Istanbul, but the Saudis refused. Turkey was eventually forced to follow Saudi Arabia's decision regarding the sentence for the accused murder of Jamal Khashoggi. But the impact of the problem is an unofficial boycott of many Turkish products by Saudi Arabia. The trade rate for Turkish products in Saudi Arabia fell by 98 percent. It is not a simple number and the follow-up action is the closure of Turkish schools in Saudi Arabia. It is not clear what steps President Erdogan will take in response to this matter.

It is only logical that President Erdogan would then seek to improve Turkey's relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. With Egypt, for example, next week a meeting is scheduled to establish new cooperation. Relations of both countries have deteriorated since the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who was close to Turkey in 2013. In time, Turkey started working to re-establish ties with Egypt and other Gulf states, while overcoming differences that left Turkey isolated in the Arab world. Since February this year, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu has made a series of visits to all of the Gulf countries. During his visit to Qatar, he held a press conference with his Qatari counterpart, and promised that both countries would continue to cooperate to further develop relations in all fields. Minister Cavusoglu also hopes that Turkey's relations with the Gulf countries will return to normal sooner, starting with the lifting of the embargo and restrictions.

Hopefully, the Turkish negotiation and communication team can approach Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries with the right strategy. Thus, peace and cooperation among the Gulf countries can be created well.

28
April

 

Countries in the world still need to be vigilant and alert to the threat of the Corona virus which has hit for more than a year. Now vigilance must even be increased by the spread of a new variant of Covid 19. India, one of the most populous countries, is currently suffering greatly from the Covid 19 attack, both old and new variants. When the calamity caused by the old Covid 19 virus has not been resolved, now the situation is exacerbated by a new variant attack that has been detected more vicious. The second wave of the Covid pandemic has indeed hit the country.

In India, hospitals are unable to accommodate the number of infected and there is a shortage of medicine and oxygen. Even the crematorium is no longer able to burn the bodies of the victims. As a result, empty parking lots and fields have to be used to cremate corpses who died from Covid. Besides being sad, the sight can certainly cause horror, especially for foreigners.

The tragedy in India has now penetrated its closest neighbor , Nepal. This small country in the Himalayan region must fight hard to escape from this invisible virus attack. But the vigilance isn't just for India's closest South Asian neighbor. The new Covid variant has now been detected in 17 countries. The World Health Organization, WHO, noted this development in light of the 1,200 case reports on the GISAID global science initiative data. Without mentioning details, WHO in its weekly report cited by various media said that samples of new Covid infections uploaded to the GIASID website mostly came from India, UK, United States and Singapore,

This information certainly makes a number of countries even more alert. Australia, for example, has banned the entry of flights from India. Indonesia also does not want to be off guard due to the undetected entry of Indian citizens. Vigilance at airports, which are the entry points for passengers of foreign nationals, especially India, is increased.

The catastrophe caused by the Covid 19 pandemic is not over yet, in various countries it is even increasing. In India, for example, the government and its people, who had previously experienced a decrease in cases, are now panicking because of the soaring number of infected and dead, and the very minimum health services.

The world does not only have to be vigilant, but must  try together to overcome this pandemic. Developed countries must provide assistance to those in need, such as India, which is currently hit by the crisis. The multilateral effort for cooperation in the procurement of the Covid19 vaccine is one of the efforts that must be increased.

23
April

 

Myanmar senior general Min Aung Hlaing is rumored to be attending the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on April 24. If so, this will be Min Aung Hlaing's first overseas visit since the military's takeover of power in Myanmar on February 1. General Min Aung Hlaing is chairman of the Myanmar State Administration Council, or the de facto government leader. He is also the Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces. Many then concluded that General Min Aung Hlaing was the mastermind behind the coup that led to the prolonged demonstrations in Myanmar at this time.

Will the plan for the General's arrival be realized? Of course, this is yet to be seen, although not for long.

But on the other hand, pressure from human rights activists has strengthened to ASEAN leaders. Asia Justice and Rights, for example, assessed that Hlaing's presence needed to be criticized because his bloody maneuvers had claimed many victims. Hlaing's coup against the elected government led by pro-democracy group Aung San Suu Kyi left at least 737 people dead as of last Monday (19/4), according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma.

The question is, will the upcoming meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) end the bloodshed in Myanmar?

However, this could be an opportunity for ASEAN member states to urge military rule in Myanmar to stop violence against civilians and restore the democratic process. As part of ASEAN, the forcible takeover of power by the military that took place in Myanmar is certainly of concern to the international community. ASEAN's response is very significant in the context of maintaining the continuity of democratization in Myanmar. How ASEAN maintains politics in the Southeast Asian region is eagerly awaited. It's just that there is a principle of non-interference which has been a hindrance. Even so, it is said that this principle can still be flexible within the boundaries of other ASEAN principles, especially those related to national sovereignty and consensus. It is hoped that ASEAN can propose diplomatic initiatives in the form of dialogue and communication with the military junta in Myanmar. Not to interfere in domestic affairs, but to maintain security in the region.

ASEAN leaders should be able to make the most of this opportunity and produce an important agreement that will lead to peace in the Southeast Asian Region.

21
April

 

The world is still being shaken by the Covid 19 pandemic. If previously African countries seemed not to be in that problem, recently several countries there, including South Africa, began to be hit. In some places like Europe, as well as China. where the pandemic started, the number of infected and dead is on the rise. In South Asia, India is seriously trying to overcome the Covid19 outbreak which continues to increase sharply.

Data from Woldometers cited by various media shows that the number of people infected and dying from a virus that has now even mutated continues to increase. As of April 21, 2021, the number of Covid 19 cases has reached more than 143 million. At least 3 million people in various countries have died from the disease caused by viruses and there is no cure. Even so, it was recorded that the number who recovered from Covid 19 was much higher than those who died. As of April 21, nearly 122 million people have been declared cured of Covid 19,

The United States is still struggling to reduce the number of cases and to prevent more people from getting infected and dying. The country is listed as the top in the number of cases and dead from Covid19 among the 10 other countries with the highest transmission rates. In the United States until April 21, nearly 33 million cases were recorded, with a death toll of more than 580 thousand people. India still has to deal with a spike in cases after experiencing a decline and relaxing restrictions.

Due to a new mutation of the Covid virus, a number of countries have returned to lockdown. In Europe, Britain is the country that is doing it again. China, which was originally reported to have been relatively free of Covid, has returned to implementing lockdowns in certain areas of the country.

In order to prevent transmission and casualties, vaccination is being intensified. This step is very costly, but must be done. If this year Covid 19 still cannot be controlled, the impact will further burden the economic growth of countries affected by the pandemic.

Covid 19 has indeed had a significant impact on economic growth. Including the increase in the unemployment rate because of layoffs due to losses and the closure of a number of companies. So, there is no other way, efforts to overcome Covid 19 pandemic must be done globally and together. It seems that the rules restricting human movement in the form of lockdowns and prohibitions on traveling abroad or receiving visits from other countries, are still needed and must be obeyed.

19
April

 

The Central Statistics Agency last Thursday released data on the Indonesia’s trade balance for March 2021, which showed an improvement in the value of exports and imports. The performance in March showed a strong increase with growth of 30.47 percent and 25.73 percent respectively on an annual basis (year-on-year). On a monthly basis, significant increases in exports and imports occurred in the oil and gas and non-oil and gas sectors when compared to February 2021.

On one hand, export performance in the first quarter of 2021 shows positive developments amid the recovery of demand, and is also supported by rising commodity prices. Signs of stronger economic recovery are also consistent with manufacturing activity in Indonesia's main trading partners, such as China, the United States and the European Union, which have expanded for 8 consecutive months. On the other hand, import performance will also experience an increase due to domestic demand starting to recover and the existence of a low-based effect last year.

The trade balance surplus is projected to continue throughout semester I / 2021. This was driven by the solid export performance of major export commodities, such as crude palm oil (CPO) and coal, as well as the global economic recovery. However, it should be noted, according to researchers, as it enters semester II / 2021, it is estimated that imports will soar along with the acceleration of economic growth by strengthening domestic consumption and increasing fixed capital investment activity. The growth in the trade balance, seen at least in February 2021, is expected to widen the current account deficit (CAD) in 2021 to -1 (minus one) percent of this year's Gross Domestic Product. Of course, this needs to be watched out for because it will affect the growing national economic growth. However, with the government’s efforts, the surplus that has been achieved in the first quarter is expected to continue the economic recovery in 2021.

 

16
April

 

Foreign forces under the command of North Atlantic Treaty Organization -NATO will withdraw from Afghanistan in joint coordination with US troops on September 11, 2021. This was disclosed by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday (14/4). Germany has also said it will match the United States' plan to leave Afghanistan after 20 years of war. On one hand, this recall will close the book on America's longest war history. On the other hand, critics argue that peace is meaningless after two-decade fighting in Afghanistan.

When President Joe Biden's plan to announce a US troop withdrawal was exposed, the US intelligence community reiterated their deep concern about the prospects for a US-backed government in Kabul. The arrival of NATO troops to Afghanistan in October 2001 was aimed at overthrowing the Taliban regime, driving Al-Qaeda out of the country, and laying the groundwork for a global "war on terrorism". Now, with the US and NATO leaving Afghanistan, does this mean that the problem of global terrorism has been resolved?

In fact, since the Donald Trump administration, the US has planned to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan. It was once a question, whether President Joe Biden would follow Donald Trump's intentions in this matter. During Trump's presidency, the US government reached an agreement with the Taliban to reduce the number of the US troops gradually to zero, by May 2021. Now, President Biden advocates maintaining a small counterterrorism force in Afghanistan as a way to ensure that extremist groups like Al-Qaeda cannot launch attacks in the USA.

President Joe Biden's plan is to withdraw all US troops in Afghanistan on September 11, 2021. The choice of this date is very symbolic, as it marks the 20th anniversary of the Al-Qaeda attack on the United States.

The question is, after 20 years of war on terrorism, how many people have died and how much budget has been wasted? Both from the human side and the economic aspect, directly or indirectly, America and the world have to bear significant costs after the war. How do the related countries make up for the losses that have occurred? Moreover, inevitably there will always be an impact on other countries.

14
April

 

Two of the world's great powers have shown  their might  in the South China Sea. That expression can be used in connection with the increase in the number of  US and Chinese fleets in the South China Sea. As reported by the international mass media, over the weekend, the military activities carried out by China and the United States in the South China Sea increased.

Beijing last weekend sent the aircraft carrier Liaoning to the waters of the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the United States and the Philippines have prepared joint military exercises in the disputed sea area. At the same time, Washington and Manila also discussed the possibility of increasing defense cooperation between the two countries.

The military movement and the diplomatic discourse that were brought up showed the intention, both by the United States and China, to fight for influence in the Indo Pacific Region. The escalation of the military movements of the two countries was shown not only in the South China Sea region, but also in the East China Sea. The issue of Taiwan is a reason for the two countries to mutually deploy troops at sea. The United States has deployed the USS Theodore Rooseevelt and Nimits aircraft carriers in the East China Sea, while China is also offsetting military training activities in the Taiwan Strait. It can be said that the relationship between the United States and China after Donald Trump's administration has not shown any significant changes. In this situation, the foreign policy of the United States during the Biden-Harris era also attracted attention.

According to Biden's vision, Washington's Foreign Policy is to turn the United States back into a global leader, both geo-politically and geo-economically, with one of the focuses being the Indo Pacific. This course of Biden-Harris foreign policy is certainly of concern to Beijing. Naturally, China must make an effort to keep up with the United States' movement in realizing its foreign policy vision.

Indeed, there are hints that these two great countries will relax the trade war that culminated in the final years of Donald Trump's administration. However, the relationship between the two at the beginning of the Biden administration was certainly not completely harmonious.

It is in this perspective that the occurrence of military movements in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea can be understood.

05
April

 

PT Pindad, an Indonesian state-owned company engaged in the defense industry, will focus on producing a number of orders from the Ministry of Defense or from within the country this year.

President Director of PT Pindad, Abraham Mose said for domestic demand, currently they are  focusing on prioritizing the manufacture of munitions, weapons for reserve components, special vehicles "Anoa" and medium tanks and tactical vehicles "Maung". All of which are to meet the needs of the main weaponry system ordered by the Ministry of Defense. 

Previously, Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto wanted  PT Pindad to be able to meet the needs of 4 billion Indonesian military munitions of various calibers. Currently, PT Pindad's production capacity has only reached 400 million items and is being increased to reach 600 million. Meanwhile, the target of providing 4 billion munitions is PT Pindad's first priority. 

The second priority is the manufacture of weapons to support the reserve component program of 25,000 weapons. Currently, the manufacture of these weapons has been completed. The third priority is the manufacture of special "Anoa" vehicles and medium tanks. Meanwhile, the fourth priority is to meet the demand to produce "Maung" tactical vehicles.

PT Pindad's ability to produce quality main weaponry system equipment has not only received recognition from within the country but also internationally. This is indicated by the high demand from European and Asian countries for Indonesia's domestic defense industry.

The defense industry is currently classified as promising, considering that many countries in the world spend large amounts of defense budget, even increasing from year to year. Despite the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 the alliance across Europe and Canada increased its defense budget for the sixth time in a row with a real increase of 3.9 percent. China even increased its defense spending by 6.8% this year.

The Indonesian Defense Industry needs to be continuously supported by the government and all elements of society, because it is not only beneficial for national defense, but also for national economic development.

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