Tag: conflict

Indonesian lawmakers question visa for Israeli badminton player

Indonesian legislators have questioned a decision to grant a visa to an Israeli badminton player to compete in the World Championship this week.

Indonesia initially refused to give a visa to Misha Zilberman to play in Jakarta, but relented following intervention from the World Badminton Federation. Zilberman was eliminated in the first round.

“This is a bad precedent,” a member of the House of Representatives, Ahmad Zainuddin, was quoted as saying by Viva.co.id.

“How could it be that an Israeli managed to obtain a visa, while Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel?” he said. “This has to be explained.”

He said he suspected that the decision was made after pressure from Israel and the international pro-Israel lobby.

“If that’s true, it shows how hollow is our stated principle of supporting Palestinian independence and opposing Israel’s colonization,” Zainuddin said.

BWF said it had assisted Zilberman in his visa quest.

“BWF has worked extremely hard with both local and Israeli stakeholders,” it said in a statement on its webiste.

“However, BWF chose not to engage in a public discussion to avoid any distraction while focusing on a solution, as such public attention could have endangered the ultimate objective – to get Misha Zilberman to play in the World Championships,” it said.

Another lawmaker from the Muslim-based Prosperous Justice Party, Mahfudz Siddiq, said he was informed that the Foreign Ministry was not consulted in the decision.

“It shows that there’s no coordination with the immigration department,” he was quoted as saying by inilah.com.

Indonesia has at least twice refused to play Israel in sports tournaments, and excluded the Jewish state from participating in the 1962 Asian Games hosted by Jakarta.

Counter-terrorism chief acknowledges death of policeman fighting for IS

Indonesia’s counter-terrorism chief has confirmed the death of a police sergeant who fought alongside the Islamic State group in Syria. Continue reading “Counter-terrorism chief acknowledges death of policeman fighting for IS”

Indonesian military tells fishermen not to help migrants unless they are sinking

Jakarta – The Indonesian military has urged fishermen not to help Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants to reach the country’s shores unless their boat is sinking.

Armed forces spokesman Fuad Basya said three navy ships and an aircraft had been deployed to patrol the sea to prevent migrant boats from entering Indonesian territory.

“Our intelligence indicates there’s a new modus operandi: They threw people overboard so that they will be saved by fishermen” Fuad said.

“So we urge the fishermen not to take the refugees and evacuate them, unless they are sinking or the engine of their boat stalls,” he said.

Fuad said it was the military’s duty to safeguard the country’s territorial sovereignty.

“We can’t allow people to enter with documents, unless there’s approval from the Foreign Ministry,” he said.

More than 1,300 Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees have been rescued off Aceh province by fishermen and the navy.

Their refugee status is being verified by the UN refugee agency UNHCR and IOM. It is believed that most of the Bangladeshis are economic migrants seeking work in Malaysia.

Thousands of others are believed to be still drifting at sea after they were turned away by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

One of the refugees sheltered in Aceh, Saidul Islam, told reporters that about 100 people died at sea in a fight over remaining food.

“We had food but they didn’t have. The Bengals attacked us with knives, sickles, hammers and cables,” he told Acehkita.com website on Friday.

Captain abandoned boat carrying Rohingyas, Bangladeshis: IOM

Jakarta – The captain abandoned a boat carrying migrants from Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority and Bangladesh before the passengers steered the vessel to shore off Aceh province over the weekend, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. Continue reading “Captain abandoned boat carrying Rohingyas, Bangladeshis: IOM”

Indonesia condemns bombing of its embassy in Yemen

Jakarta – Indonesia on Monday condemned the bombing of its embassy in Yemen that injured two staffers and another Indonesian. Continue reading “Indonesia condemns bombing of its embassy in Yemen”