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Jakarta Post

Indonesia, the human rights defender in chief

  • Simone Galimberti


Kathmandu   /   Thu, March 4 2021   /  01:00 am
Demanding justice: Suciwati holds a mask of her late husband and human rights activist Munir Said Thalib as she participates in the Kamisan silent protest in front of Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Sept. 6, 2018.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

With all the attention focused on what has been called a fiasco of Indonesian diplomacy in relation to the situation in Myanmar, it would be unfair to just dismiss the attempts made by Jakarta to try to solve the coup impasse there. First of all, the fact that Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has been engaged in shuttle diplomacy within the ASEAN capitals shows how much Indonesia is invested in the issue of democracy in the region. Malaysia has been trying to back up a stronger “common” response to the crisis as well, but the delicate political situation there does not always allow the country to invest much in such type of delicate diplomacy. This makes, in short, Indonesia the most important “defender in chief” of human rights and democratic order in the region. ASEAN is a diverse regional group united more by shorter terms tactical objectives whose...