What does the new Indonesian government mean for Australia and ASEAN?

Andrea Booth | Journalist | SBS World News | 29 October 2014 | Indonesia, ASEAN and Australia political affairs

Joko Widodo addresses the huge crowd at a rally in a Jakarta stadium on the final day of campaigning. (Photo/Getty Images)

Joko Widodo addresses the huge crowd at a rally in a Jakarta stadium on the final day of campaigning. (Photo/Getty Images)

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Wido unveiled Sunday his 34 minister Cabinet, including Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi who has previously held a diplomatic post in Canberra. But what does the new government mean for Australia?

President Jokowi will likely delegate foreign policy decisions to more advisers, resulting in less cohesive guidance and potentially render the country less able to effectively approach problems that may occur in the region. A government with a majority that does not support him will continue to hold him back, says Aaron Connelly, Lowy Institute Research Fellow of the East Asia Program.

Aaron Connelly speaks with SBS producer Andrea Booth about Indonesia and the future of its relationship with Australia and ASEAN under the Jokowi Government.

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New Indonesian government set for fragile future: Expert

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Next three months critical to ensure Indonesia’s democracy: Expert

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Next three months critical to ensure Indonesia’s democracy

Andrea Booth | Journalist | SBS World News | 6 October 2014 | Indonesia

Joko Widodo popularly known by his nickname Jokowi examines document in his Jakarta governor's office (Getty)

Joko Widodo popularly known by his nickname Jokowi examines document in his Jakarta governor’s office (Getty)

Indonesian president-elect, Joko “Jokowi’ Widodo, is under pressure to gain a majority of parties in the House of Representatives within three months to prevent the archipelago potentially slipping back into an era that would echo Soeharto’s dictatorship, an Indonesian law expert says.

The Red-and White Coalition last week passed the Regional Election (Pilkada) bill into law, which eradicates direct elections at the regional level so that regional legislative councils elect regional leaders, instead of the people.

“This reflects a desire to return to the old pre-democratic model under Soeharto where political elite controlled power in the country,” said Professor Tim Lindsey, director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne.

Read the full story and listen to an extended interview on SBS World News here

 

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Australia accused of falling behind on Indigenous women’s rights

Andrea Booth | Journalist | World Affairs Journal and SBS World News | 5 September 2014 | Women’s rights and Indigenous rights

Australia has been accused of making little headway in protecting Indigenous women’s rights as the government launches a new initiative to prevent violence against women.

The allegations from an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous People coincide with the launch of Our Watch, an initiative of the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children.

The initiative, conceived by the Commonwealth of Australia and State of Victoria, has been launched ahead of the departure of an Indigenous delegation to the United Nation’s World Conference on Indigenous People in New York that will feature women’s rights.

Professor Megan Davis, an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous People, said violence against women was the number one human rights issue for Australia – but said it was slow to make progress in regards to Indigenous women.

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Former Japanese PM warns traditional owners on nuclear dangers

Andrea Booth | Journalist | SBS World News | 23 August 2014 | Nuclear energy, Indigenous rights

Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan views the Ranger uranium mine from the air.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will talk with traditional Indigenous land owners during his current visit to Australia.

The meeting follows Indigenous communities on Friday declaring the ongoing nuclear debate in the country was irrelevant unless they were making the decisions.

Mr Kan told NITV News’ Michelle Lovegrove that the Fukushima crisis was still unresolved and that the best place for uranium was in the ground. “It is not possible for human beings to control nuclear technology,” he said. Continue reading

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Bowraville murders: Push for justice continues

Andrea Booth | Journalist | SBS World News | 11 August 2014 | Human rights, justice and Indigenous affairs

BOWRAVILLE VICTIMS MARCH

Clarice Greenup (centre), aunt of Evelyn Greenup, one of the victims of the Bowraville murders, is comforted by Raymond Robinson (left) and Marg Campbell, prior to a march on NSW Parliament House. (File: AAP)

There is hope that the unsolved murders of three Aboriginal children killed more than 23 years ago in NSW may be solved if fresh evidence can be brought to light, a lawyer says.

An application by the Attorney General is required for a case to be heard in the Court of Criminal Appeal, however that application has not yet been made.

“He shouldn’t be making decisions. He should be sending it to the court,” said Professor Behrendt, a UTS professor of Indigenous research and director of documentary Innocence Betrayed that explores the case. “If the judge turns around and says there’s not enough evidence, at least [the families] had a hearing in court.”

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