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Explaining ceaseless jihadism and jihadi violence in Indonesia

August 24, 2010

This commentary attempts to answer the question as to why the flow of jihadis is unending despite tough measures being undertaken by Jakarta, on its own or in collaboration with its regional and international partners.

Indonesia’s New Foreign Policy - ‘Thousand friends- zero enemy’

August 23, 2010

Indonesia is trying to gain the leadership position in Southeast Asia through constructive and cooperative gestures and balanced bargaining between major powers.

Challenges Before New Government in Indonesia

August 19, 2009

A Constitutional court recently dismissed a petition about alleged electoral irregularities filed by opposition presidential candidates Megawati Sukarnoputri and Jusuf Kalla. The decision effectively clears the decks for a second term for the incumbent president Bambang Sushilo Yudhoyono. Both Megawati and Kalla registered complaints against voting list frauds and bogus voting in the constitutional court on July 28 and demanded reelection.

Jakarta Blasts and Jemaah Islamiyah

July 23, 2009

Indonesian police confirmed on July 19 that the twin blasts at the Ritz Carlton and Marriott Hotels in Jakarta two days earlier, which left nine people dead (including two suicide bombers) and more than 50 injured, was the handiwork of Jemaah Islamiyah. This shows that terrorism and terror networks are still existent in Indonesia, a nascent democratic country with the largest Muslim population in the world. These blasts are meant to create panic and show that the nebulous terror groups like Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) are trying to come out of their oblivion.

India-Indonesia: Emerging Strategic Confluence in the Indian Ocean Region

May 2008

India and Indonesia, the two major regional powers, have in the recent past initiated intimate bilateral relations. With globalization as a key driver, the two countries have reconfigured their relationship particularly in the economic and defence spheres. The signing of the strategic partnership in 2005 has been critical to strengthening of the bilateral ties. Security relations are complimentary. While India needs to safeguard its interests in Southeast Asia, Indonesia needs a benign power like India for its security concerns.

Aceh's Future Challenges

July 26, 2006

The Indonesian Parliament passed the Aceh Governance Bill on July 11, 2006. Dissemination of information about the bill started two days later to ensure that the peace building process, which came into force after the peace accord was signed with Free Aceh Movement (GAM, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka) in Helsinki in August 2005, stays on track. One clause of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) related to laying down of arms by GAM rebels and the passing of the Aceh Governance bill.

Aceh: The Road Ahead

May 29, 2006

The Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) formally launched its political party on May 23, 2006 at Banda Aceh. It has also appointed two independent candidates for the gubernatorial elections in Aceh, the date for which is likely to be announced after the passage of the Aceh Governing Bill in the Indonesian parliament. The Indonesian government claims that the bill would be passed by the end of May or early June, which would decide the standing of the political party instituted by GAM.

Indonesia's Papuan Problem

May 09, 2006

Indonesia and Australia have been at diplomatic loggerheads on the issue of granting political asylum to 42 Papuan refugees who sailed into Australia's Cape York Peninsula in January 2006. While Australia has granted them temporary visas, Indonesia has been asking for their repatriation. Papua has been projected as the next East Timor by Australia and this has become an issue for the Indonesian authorities as Papua has rich mineral resources and Indonesia would not like to have Papua go the East Timor way.