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The wRap Indonesia: Haze victims may be evacuated, karaoke fire kills 12
The wRap Indonesia: Haze victims may be evacuated, karaoke fire kills 12


Other stories include the cancelation of discussions about the 1960s massacre and the prevention of ISIS recruits

JAKARTA, Indonesia – From a possible evacuation of haze victims to a deadly karaoke fire, here are the top stories to start your day.

1. Possible evacuation

Indonesia has put warships on standby to evacuate people affected by acrid haze from forest fires which has killed at least 10 and caused respiratory illnesses in half a million, officials said Saturday, October 24.

For nearly two months, thousands of fires caused by slash-and-burn farming in Indonesia have choked vast expanses of Southeast Asia, forcing schools to close and scores of flights and some international events to be canceled. Read more.

2. No discussions allowed

HALF A DECADE AGO. Suharto at the funeral of 6 army generals on October 2, 1965. The general waged a relentless campaign to blame the Communist Party for the murders. Photo courtesy of the Department of Information of Indonesia/Wikimedia Commons

A major literary festival in Indonesia was forced to cancel events related to a 1960s anti-communist purge, the organizers said Sunday, October 25 after authorities threatened to revoke its operating permit.

5 programs, including discussion panels, a book launch and film screening were scrapped from the annual Ubud Readers and Writers Festival, which will kick off Wednesday on the resort island of Bali, a festival spokesman Hanna Nabila told AFP. Read more.

3. ISIS recruits

SILVER LINING. Authorities hope disenchanted ISIS fighters can deter recruits. File photo by AFP.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has a long history of struggling with Islamic militancy and has suffered a string of attacks in the past 15 years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Authorities say that over 250 Indonesians have headed to the Middle East to join ISIS, raising fears they could revive militant networks on their return. However the country’s counter-terror chiefs see a silver lining to the handful of former IS members returning disenchanted – they are hopeful that stories of misery and disappointment can deter potential recruits. Read more.

4. Karaoke fire

12 people were killed and dozens injured after a fire broke out in a crowded karaoke bar in a city on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, police said Sunday, October 25.

The blaze was sparked by a short circuit on the second floor of the popular 3-storey Inul Vizta club in the provincial capital of North Sulawesi after midnight, causing panic among the customers who were singing in private rooms, provincial police spokesman Wilson Damanik told AFP. Read more.

5. Resettlement

Papua New Guinea said Friday, October 23 that refugees held in contentious Australian-run detention camps will be resettled on the island, amid fresh scrutiny over the treatment of asylum seekers in the remote facilities.

The policy will encompass not just refugees from Australian camps but also those from Indonesia’s Papua province and others who arrive independently. Under Canberra’s tough immigration policy, asylum seekers who try to enter Australia by boat are turned back or sent to camps on Nauru and PNG’s Manus Island. Read more. –

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