Thursday, March 22, 2012


Robert Gates, on a 2010 visit to Indonesia, during which he announced that the US would continue helping to train Kopassus, an elite special forces unit accused of kidnappings and assassinations. Defense Dept. photo by Cherie Cullen

Indonesia is under attack.

1. On 21 March 2012, a bomb hit the outside of the Indonesian embassy in Paris.

The gas cylinder package had originally been inside the building but was removed by an observant member of staff.

(Bomb blast shakes Paris as 'gas cylinder package' explodes outside.)


2. On 19 March 2012, we read that five suspected militants, who had reportedly surveyed targets for attack on Bali, have been shot dead by Indonesian police.

The killings follow the start of a trial of Umar Patek, an Islamist militant believed to have worked for the CIA.

Patek is accused of making the bombs used in the 2002 Bali nightclubs attack, which has been linked to the CIA and elements of the Indonesian military.

Umar Patek was captured in Abbottabad, where the CIA is believed to have had a number of safe houses.

Patek is also accused of mixing chemicals for 13 bombs that hit five churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve, 2000, killing about 15 people. These church attacks are believed to have links to elements of the Indonesian military.

Police shoot dead five terror suspects in Bali


Why is Indonesia under attack?

1. China and Indonesia have signed deals worth a potential $17 bln

China and Indonesia signed prospective deals worth potentially more than $17 billion on Friday in the fields of mining, hydropower and steel, state media reported, during a visit by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Beijing.

2. INDONESIA has called on Australia to accept that the rise of China is natural and not threatening.

"Indonesia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marty Natalegawa, said countries should not react to the rise of China ''through traditional alliances and fault lines'', a veiled reference to the proposed US Marine deployment to the Northern Territory, a decision he criticised four months ago."

Indonesia urges calm over rise of China

3. Indonesia's 'Resource Nationalism' is upsetting foreign investors

A new law in Indonesia forces foreigners to divest at least 51 percent of their shares to Indonesians over a 10-year period.

Certain powerful Indonesians want a bigger share of the cake.

Indonesia has some of the world's biggest untapped mineral reserves, including tin, nickel, copper and gold.

In 2011 a three-month strike at a giant gold and copper mine owned by US company Freeport-McMoRan, led to a 37 percent pay rise for workers.


4. Indonesia wants oil from Iran.

Indonesia does not want an Iran crisis that will put up the cost of oil even further.

Indonesia Must Buy Iranian Oil Erwin Wirawan


What happens next?

1. Indonesia is considering raising fuel prices or lowering the subsidy to private vehicles.

The government is expected to make a decision by the end of March.

There have been protests.

Some protesters have chanted "Crush SBY, bring down SBY-Boediono regime", referring to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Indonesian labour unions are threatening to close ports and toll roads Ahead of the Fuel Hike

Thousands protest against proposed fuel hike in Indonesia


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