JAKARTA, Indonesia – From Amnesty International urging justice for victims of the 1960s anti-communist mass killings to Rohingyas alleging sexual abuse by local men in Aceh, here’s the top news stories to start your day.
1. Justice for massacre victims
Indonesia must do more to provide justice for victims of a 1960s anti-communist purge and their families, Amnesty International urged Wednesday, September 30, 50 years on from events that triggered one of the worst mass killings of the 20th century.
At least 500,000 people died in the killings across the archipelago that started after General Suharto put down a coup on October 1, 1965, that the authorities blamed on communists. Security forces supported local groups in conducting the massacre over several months, with many suspected of even weak links to Indonesia’s communist party killed, and hundreds of thousand of others imprisoned, some for years. Read more.
2. Tougher drug stance
Head of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) Budi Waseso said he plans to isolate drug users. Waseso said he met the president to report to him and discuss the direction of the BNN.
Waseso said the plan is to use one island to isolate drug offenders. Since he took over the BNN, the former police chief of detectives has taken a tougher stance against drug users. Read more in Bahasa Indonesia.
3. Rohingya rape?
Indonesian police were investigating claims that several Rohingya women were sexually assaulted by local men outside a camp housing members of the Myanmar minority who had arrived as migrants by boat.
The probe came a day after anger at the alleged attack sparked a mass walkout. Hundreds of Rohingya, a Muslim group which has long suffered persecution in Buddhist majority Myanmar, have been languishing in the camp since they came ashore in May. Read more.
4. Higher cigarette tax
After an earlier plan to raise cigarette excise tax by 23%, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said the government will raise the value-added tax cigarettes to 8.7% of the sales price.
Brodjonegoro said the increase was not as big as that in the state budget, but the federation on cigarette and tobacco workers said the increase in excise duty and VAT means the possibility of increased layoffs. Read more in Bahasa Indonesia.
5. Indonesia’s dog-eating culture
Eating dogs is legal in Indonesia, which remains one of the few countries in the world where dog meat is a delicacy.
While the country is predominantly Muslim, and eating dogs is considered haram or strictly forbidden in Islam, Christian minorities and ethnic groups across the country enjoy eating dogs. Just this week, the Marine Agriculture and Food Security Agency said around 40,000 dogs are delivered to Jakarta daily to compensate for the demand for dog meat. Read more. – Rappler.com