Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Australia-Indonesia relations dip further amid spying row
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (UPI) Nov 20, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Relations between Australia and Indonesia dipped further after Jakarta said it would suspend military and intelligence cooperation, including joint anti-people smuggling activities.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said it was in response to Australia's failure to satisfactorily explain its surveillance activity in Indonesia, The Jakarta Post reported.

Indonesia's move is a blow to Australia's recent hard-fought and won case for joint military action to prevent people smugglers from preying on thousands of asylum seekers looking for passage from or through the archipelago en route to Australia.

This week Indonesia recalled its envoy and said it is reviewing its agreements with Australia after leaked material indicated Australia tried to spy on the Indonesian president, including wiretapping of the cell phones of Yudhoyono and members of his inner circle.

Documents obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and The Guardian-Australia indicate Australian intelligence had attempted to listen to the president's phone conversations at least once.

Also targeted were the phone conversations of his wife, Ani Yudhoyono, and other senior Indonesian government members, ABC reported Monday.

Intelligence officials also tracked activity on Yudhoyono's cell phone for 15 days in August 2009, documents indicated.

"Why spy on your friend and not your enemy," Yudhoyono said after announcing the suspension of military cooperation.

In addition to halting cooperation on people smuggling, the Indonesian government is putting a stop to joint military exercises and the sharing of all intelligence information, the Post reported.

Yudhoyono also said both countries should agree to a code of conduct that would prevent such an incident as the wiretapping from happening again.

Indonesia reacted strongly this week when news of Australia's spying was reported by ABC.

Indonesia recalled its ambassador from Canberra and said it would review the status of Australia's diplomatic personnel.

"This is an unfriendly, unbecoming act between strategic partners," Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said.

"It's impossible for an ambassador in foreign country to do their duty in the midst of an unfortunate situation like this," he said. "The summoning of the ambassador isn't considered a light step, but it's a minimum step we can do to consolidate situation."

Natalegawa also reacted strongly to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's statement to Parliament that all governments gather intelligence on each other.

"I've got news for you," Natalegawa said. "We don't do it."

Yudhoyono reportedly Tweeted his displeasure at Abbott's remarks.

"I also regret the statement of the Australian prime minister that belittled this tapping matter without any remorse," the president said on his Twitter account @SBYudhoyono, the Post reported.

Canberra has been working hard to agree joint anti-people smuggling activities with its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Australian detention centers are overflowing with thousands of asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australian waters, often with tragic consequences.

In September an asylum boat sinking off Indonesia's south Java coast in September left many as 50 people, including 30 children, dead or missing.

But Canberra's attitude toward asylum issues also has been an irritant for Australia's neighbors.

The Post reported that the last time Jakarta recalled its ambassador to Australia was in 2006 in protest over Australia granting temporary visas to 42 asylum seekers from Papua where the government is battling independence movements and rebels.

Indonesia's provinces of West Papua and Papua together are about the size of Spain and occupy the western half of the island of Papua. Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half.

The provinces have a history of low-key but often brutal violence by rebels involved in Free Papua independence movements. Rebel groups claim rural poor are being exploited by big international forestry and mining corporations.

Three police officers were killed in November last year when up to 50 armed gunmen attacked the Pirime Police Station near Wamena, an isolated Papuan highland town with a population of around 10,000.

Abbott, during his visit to Indonesia in September -- his first official trip since taking office and only days after the tragic asylum drownings -- managed an agreement in principle for closer asylum seeker and people smuggler cooperation.

Yudhoyono announced greater bilateral cooperation with Australia to tackle people smuggling, reversing a policy based on regional multinational talks.

In return, Abbott said Australia would keep a careful watch on protesters in Australia agitating for independence of the Indonesia's Papuan territories.

Australia maintains "total respect for Indonesia's sovereignty, a total respect for Indonesia's territorial integrity," Abbott said.

"The government of Australia takes a very dim view ... of anyone seeking to use our country as a platform for grandstanding against Indonesia. We will do everything that we possibly can to discourage this and prevent this," he said.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

China sends rescuers to Philippines after criticism over aid
Beijing (AFP) Nov 20, 2013
China was Wednesday sending an emergency response crew to the Philippines nearly two weeks after super typhoon Haiyan wreaked devastation, following staunch criticism over meagre assistance from the world's second largest economy. Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement that the first batch of Chinese Red Cross relief workers will depart for the Philippines on Wednesday, and ... read more

Blow-up hospitals help Philippine typhoon effort

Australia-Indonesia relations dip further amid spying row

Grisly race to identify the Philippines' typhoon dead

China sends rescuers to Philippines after criticism over aid

Raytheon awarded US Navy contract for radar production

UNH scientists document, quantify deep-space radiation hazards

Bayanat Airports And Lockheed To Deploy Windtracer Lidar In Middle East

Czech gold deposits make foreign prospectors drool

Fishermen adrift after typhoon takes livelihood

Respiratory disorder in the ocean

Aqua-Spark fund dives into fish farming future

Ocean acidification: Hard to digest

Russia frees three more Greenpeace crewmembers

Putin says Greenpeace had 'noble' motives as more crew freed

Underwater 'tree rings'

Could volcanoes be causing Antarctic ice loss?

Romania moves to allow EU citizens to buy farmland

Chinese farms torture angora rabbits for fur: PETA

Farmers' blockade of Paris ends after fireman killed

Coconut farmers face ruin after Philippine typhoon

China hospital ship heads for typhoon-hit Philippines

Heavy rains force closure of Dubai Airshow, UAE schools

Search for victims as Sardinia floods leave 18 dead

Philippines counts the cost of Typhoon Haiyan

Somalia troops boosted as al-Shabaab fights on

Chinese candidate a Shanghai surprise in Mali polls

Nigerian troops claim nine Boko Haram members killed

Algeria only NAfrica state to block rights visits: HRW

Ancient, modern DNA tell story of first humans in the Americas

DNA of early hominid found to include 'mystery' early genes

China one-child law change small but crucial: experts

Dogs likely originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement