Indonesia: China and America Come Bearing Gifts

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April 20, 2007: The U.S. has wants agreements with Indonesia on how to coordinate military activities during disaster relief and peacekeeping operations. These discussions are part of the renewal of military cooperation, which was halted in 1999 because of Indonesian involvement in East Timor atrocities. Meanwhile, China is offering to sell Indonesia just about any weapons it wants, at good prices. China also wants to establish military ties with Indonesia.

April 16, 2007: Some 200 additional police were sent to a village in Sulawesi, where the murder of a fisherman sparked rioting and the destruction of seven homes. People in Sulawesi are nervous about the return of Islamic radicals, and calls for violence against Christians.

April 15, 2007: More scary adventures with Indonesian airlines. On April 12th India conducted a ballistic missile test, with the missile landing in the Indian ocean. As is customary, they sent an official warning to all nations that fly aircraft or move ships through the area where the Indian missile would come down. It's the responsibility of the nations getting those warnings, to issue official notices to their mariners and airlines, to avoid the area where the missile will be landing. This is to eliminate the very small chance that a ship or aircraft might get hit by the missile. The Indonesian bureaucracy failed to issue the notice, and an Indonesian airline pilot, who was flying an airliner in the area, saw the Indian missile streaking into the atmosphere (in the distance), freaked out, and returned to the Indonesian airport. Naturally, the Indonesians blame it all on the Indians, claiming they never got a notice. Meanwhile, the U.S. has advised its citizens to avoid flying on Indonesian airlines, which have some of the worst safety records in the world. The Indonesians government has proved remarkably inept in overseeing aviation safety, and shows no signs of changing. Military aviation is no better off.

April 14, 2007: Two bombs exploded in Sulawesi, the scene of frequent battles between Islamic militants and the half of the population that is Christian. There were no injuries. One bomb went off in an empty lot, the other in front of the home of a Christian.

April 11, 2007: The U.S. has revealed that its interrogation of terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiah (JI) members it has captured, indicates that JI had no formal relationship with al Qaeda. Any connections between the two organizations were purely cosmetic and for propaganda purposes.

April 10, 2007: In Aceh, an inmate gang got control of the largest prisons in the province, and freed all 238 prisoners. But only 108 were willing to leave. The prisoners behind the escape were apparently there on drug charges, as were most of the prisoners. The peace deal with the separatist rebels has emptied the prisons of those held on treason and rebellion charges.

 

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