What is Jakartass?
If you didn't know, and I certainly didn't, then check out What is ...?(Thanks again to J-Walk Blog.)
Jakartass is hanging out for an extra day off. (Roll on Thursday!
Jakartass is notes that bars. (eh?
Jakartass is keeping the score in Indonesia's war on corruption.
Jakartass is trying to put things in perspective from an expat point of view.
Jakartass is on the case. (Right on!
Jakartass is aware that the Taliban in Afghanistan were originally supported by the USA.
Jakartass is that jingoism is rearing its ugly head.
Jakartass is also on the ball when there are direct links between the UK and Indonesia. I first heard of George Monbiot
about 16 years ago when I was given a photocopy of his book Poisoned Arrows : An Investigation in the Last Place in the Tropics
. This was an account of how he bluffed, cheated and forced his way into the remotest tropical place in the world - the forbidden forest territories of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Sealed from the outside world, it is home to tribes who have remained unchanged and unseen for centuries and who are now, along with their forest land, being systematically exterminated
(by the Indonesian army).
He returns to this theme today in the Guardian
. Irian Jaya is now known as Papua. It is questionable whether Papua should be part of Indonesia. In 1962 the Dutch were still the colonial rulers but were prepared to grant independence. However, the USA were deep into Cold War mode and wanted to appease Indonesia.In April of that year JF Kennedy wrote to the Dutch prime minister, warning him that if he did not give the country to Indonesia, "the entire free world position in Asia would be seriously damaged". The Indonesian government would "succumb to communism" if it were not appeased. Robert Komer, Kennedy's CIA adviser, was even more direct. "A pro-bloc, if not communist, Indonesia is an infinitely greater threat ... than Indo possession of a few thousand miles of cannibal land."
In 1969 the UN oversaw a 'referendum': 1,022 men were selected by Indonesian soldiers, taught the words "I want Indonesia", then lined up at gunpoint. One man who refused to say his lines was shot. Others were threatened with being dropped out of helicopters. This rigorous democratic exercise resulted in a unanimous vote for Indonesian rule.
The question raised today concerns the right of BP to start developing a vast gas field in Papua given their commitment to "corporate social responsibility". This is a topic I first raised in February
and I am naturally pleased that George Monbiot is also on the case.
In a different vein, the aseanist is a new weblog devoted to the hard work of creating a Southeast Asian common market. We hope to supply what's been missing in the nearly four-decade old history of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: participation by dedicated private citizens in designing and popularizing regional policy. So yes, we're unabashedly wonky: law, policy and politics gets us inspired. In particular, we focus on legal policy, market regulation, trade and competition, intellectual property, and the architecture of regional institutions.
But don't let our wonkiness alienate you. Our desire is to stimulate the kind of broad, public discussion and debate necessary to build a lasting and effective Southeast Asian union, and we welcome all contributions.
I would like to thank 'them' for enrolling Jakartass as a citizen. I'm not much for rules, as regular readers will have noted, so I'll stick with the wonkiness with the hope that 'their' blog will also stick around for a while.