Indonesia to participate in Melanesian art festival MACFEST in Vanuatu

The ministry's Director-General of Culture, Hilmar Farid, stated that Indonesia will present its Papuan and East Nusa Tenggara artists during the festival.

"The artists will perform a series of shows that promote friendship and raise awareness of environmental issues," he remarked in a statement received on Tuesday.

Indonesia hopes to strengthen ties among Melanesian communities in Indonesia and other Pacific countries through the festival, he said.

Indonesia creates new committee on Papua after talks with Vanuatu

It comes amidst tensions in the region, and ahead of a state visit next month to Papua New Guinea by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia's state-owned news agency Antara reports Vice President Ma'ruf Amin met with Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Jotham Napat in Jakarta on Monday.

Vanuatu has strongly supported the separatist push in West Papua for many years and Antara reports the issue of conflict in the province was discussed.

Indonesia Sends Humanitarian Assistance to Vanuatu

Indonesia will bring this humanitarian assistance on a My Indo Airline B737-800 cargo aircraft, which will depart from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. 

Indonesia will also send a 14-membered humanitarian mission to Vanuatu with members coming from the Coordinating Ministry for Cultural Affairs, Foreign Affairs Ministry, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN). This humanitarian mission will fly on a B737-800 Garuda plane.

Stranded Indonesian fishermen rescued after six days without food

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said they were airlifted to safety on Monday from Bedwell Island, some 330km (205 miles) west of the town of Broome in Western Australia.

But nine others are feared dead.

The survivors said their two boats were hit by the powerful Tropical Cyclone Ilsa last week, sinking one boat.

Nine of the 10 crew members on that vessel are still missing.

Indonesia stripped of World Cup after refusing to host Israel

The decision to remove Indonesia as host of the May 20-June 11 tournament was taken after its football federation said it had cancelled the draw after the governor of the largely Hindu island of Bali refused to host Israel's team.

"FIFA has decided, due to the current circumstances, to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023," a FIFA statement said.

"A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged. Potential sanctions against the PSSI may also be decided at a later stage."

Papua group wants NZ to challenge Jakarta over 'shoot first' policy

Reuters reported that Indonesian security forces responded to a riot - where they opened fire on a crowd - late last month.

The riot began after locals started throwing rocks at Wamena police station in Highland Papua where a man accused of abducting a six-year-old was detained.

Catherine Delahunty, a spokesperson for the network, said the group condemned the decision to open fire.

Indonesia passes criminal code banning sex outside marriage

Sex outside marriage will carry a jail term of up to a year under the new laws, which take effect in three years.

BBC reports the raft of changes come after a rise in religious conservatism in the Muslim-majority country.

Critics see the laws as a "disaster" for human rights, and a potential blow to tourism and investment.

Several groups of mainly young people protested against the legislation outside parliament in Jakarta this week. It is expected the new laws will be challenged in court.

Church leaders in Papua call for end to military operations

Pastor Alberto John Bunai headed a press conference to deliver the statement by the group of Catholic leaders at the Bright World of Christ Parish in Waena, Jayapura city, Papua province.

He said there had been dozens of ideological and political conflicts between indigenous Papuans and the Indonesian government, and that these conflicts had triggered armed violence in Papua to this day.

Indonesia and Australia renew defence and security ties

Memoranda of understanding (MOU) were signed in counter-terrorism, defence and cybersecurity, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.

Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto added discussions took place over the possibility of Indonesian military cadets attending Australian academies, in what would be "a historic first".

The Indonesia trip, by Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton, was the first such ministerial visit from Australia since the start of the pandemic.

Climate change destroying world's oldest animal painting

This includes a picture of a wild pig drawn 45,500 years ago on the island of Sulawesi - said to be the world's oldest animal cave painting.

Other cave motifs in the region depicting hunting scenes and supernatural beings have also crumbled faster as temperatures increase.

The findings signal that more needs to be done to preserve the priceless art.

"[These pieces of art are] disappearing before our eyes," study lead Dr Jillian Huntley, from the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, said in a statement.