The wRap Indonesia: March 9, 2015
The wRap Indonesia: March 9, 2015


Fears for 16 missing Indonesians in Turkey, families visit Australians on Indonesian death row, Jokowi urged to protest New Zealand spying, and more

JAKARTA, Indonesia – In today’s wrap of stories from Indonesia, worries over the fate of 16 Indonesians who went missing in Turkey and the latest developments in the looming execution of drug convicts on death row. 

1. Missing 16 Indonesians in Turkey feared to have joined ISIS

Sixteen Indonesians who went missing in Turkey are feared to have joined the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo acknowledged the possibility on Saturday, according to, but added “there’s no accurate information related to it” so far. The 16 were part of a tour group of 25 that arrived in Turkey on February 24. As soon as they arrived in Istanbul, 16 Indonesians left the group, saying that they wanted to meet relatives in the country. “They promised to return. But until March 4, 2015, (the end of the tour) they didn’t appear at the airport,” Smailing Tour CEO Davy Batubara said, according to “They comprise three families, including four children, and two unrelated persons.”

2. Families visit Australians on Indonesian death row

The families of two Australian drug smugglers facing imminent execution in Indonesia, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, visited them Monday, March 9, on Nusakambangan prison island where they will be put to death. Sukumaran’s brother Chinthu said he and his mother Raji and sister Brintha “have been waiting, counting down the days”. “We’ve been told he’s doing well, so we just want to see him for ourselves, just to make sure, and let him know that we love him,” he said. A court will on Thursday hear the latest legal appeal by the pair – an appeal against a Jakarta court’s dismissal of their attempt to challenge Jokowi’s decision to reject their pleas for clemency. Jokowi has remained firm on the looming executions, but last week he said in an interview that he might be open to abolishing the death penalty in future, if the public were in favor.

3. Jokowi urged to protest New Zealand spying

House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon on Monday urged Jokowi to protest New Zealand’s reported spying activities on Indonesian phone company Telkomsel. “We have to criticize the wiretapping,” the lawmaker from opposition party Gerindra said, according to state news agency Antara, calling it “a violation of our sovereignty.” Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Friday said the government would not file a protest over the spying allegations as “it cannot be proven.” Besides, he said, it’s not the first case of spying on Indonesia, and that it’s so easy to wiretap these days because of technological advancements. “We also wiretap, BIN (State Intelligence Agency) also wiretaps. So just be careful. If anyone wants to discuss confidential matters, just meet directly or use anti-spyware.”

4. Jokowi in Aceh for two-day visit 

ACEH VISIT. Malik Mahmud, the Aceh cultural leader, placing a customary Acehnese headdress on President Joko Widodo, with the first lady, Iriana, beside him during their visit to Banda Aceh on March 9, 2015. Photo released by Aceh government/Rappler

Jokowi arrived in Banda Aceh on Monday for a two-day visit that will see him attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the IDR1.7 trillion ($130 million) Krueng Keureutoe reservoir in North Aceh district. Jokowi is aso scheduled to visit Pertamina Gas subsidiary PT Perta Arun Gas in Lhokseumawe, and review the construction of smaller reservoirs in Sabang Bay. He is also expected to launch on Tuesday the 70th Indonesian independence anniversary logo at the Kilometer Zero Monument on Weh Island, Indonesia’s westernmost point.

5. JavaJazz crowd goes wild for Jessie J.

British singer Jessie J. drove the Java Jazz Festival crowd wild on Sunday night by taking off her shirt on stage. Jessie J. along with Christina Perri were among the highly anticipated foreign acts at the 3-day music festival in Central Jakarta, which saw nearly 60 performances from local and foreign artists. Other foreign acts included Grammy-winning instrumental band Snarky Puppy, New York-based trumpeter and vocalist Jumaane Smith, Canadian bassist Alain Carron, and Japanese-Brazilian bossa nova singer Lisa Ono, according to the Jakarta Globe. –

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