JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com –Indonesia has canceled sending pilgrims to the annual Islamic Hajj in Saudi Arabia, after the country was left from a list 11 countries permitted to send pilgrims.
Indonesia finally consigns the Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala-402 to the deep, after further salvage attempts by Chinese Navy vessels sent to help their Indonesian counterparts failed.
And the Papua Regional Police has revealed that the militants arrested by the Detachment 88 counterterrorist unit launched multiple attempts to assassinate the Archbishop of Merauke. This and more on Indonesia Highlights:
Indonesia Cancels Sending Hajj Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia
Indonesia has officially canceled sending Muslim pilgrims to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, after the country left out Indonesia from a list of 11 countries that are permitted to send pilgrims to the annual ritual.
Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas pointed out that the ban applies to all Indonesian nationals that go on pilgrimage through the Indonesian hajj quota or other means.
“The government decided to curtail sending [Indonesian] pilgrims for the hajj after [Saudi Arabia] has not cleared Indonesian nationals to go there. They were also unclear whether they will end or extend the closure of the airport there on July 14,” he said.
"Most of all, the global Covid-19 pandemic is still a threat to the health and safety of Indonesian pilgrims."
Indonesian Consul for the Hajj and Umrah (minor) Pilgrimage in Jeddah Endang Jumali confirmed Yaqut’s statement. “The Saudi government has yet to announce the operational aspects or mechanism for the holding the hajj during the [Covid-19] pandemic,” he said.
“They also have not given any information on the hajj quota [from Indonesia] or other technical aspects of the pilgrimage.”
Saudi Arabia has limited the number of countries which can send pilgrims to the annual hajj because of the Covid-19 pandemic to 11 nations.
The countries on the list, which are France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States, were those that are deemed to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control.
However, pilgrims from those countries are still subject to quarantine on entering Saudi Arabia.
Salvage Operation of Indonesian Submarine Ends
The Indonesian Navy decided to end efforts to salvage the KRI Nanggala-402, after a last ditch effort with the aid of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's salvage ships did not succeed in bringing the submarine to the surface.
"The salvage [operation] is over," Indonesian Navy spokesman Commodore Julius Widjojono plainly said to the Reuters news agency on Wednesday, June 2.
"The Indonesian Navy expresses our utmost gratitude to the PLA Navy for sending three ships to aid in the search [for KRI Nanggala-402]," said Indonesian Second Fleet Maritime Security Task Force head Commodore I Gung Putu Alit Jaya.
"The Indonesian Navy and PLA Navy's cooperation in the operations to salvage KRI Nanggala-402 reflects the 'Seaman's Brotherhood' between the world's navies. It is also a precedent in enhancing relations between navies."
The Naval Attache to the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta, Senior Colonel Chen Yongjing, praised the monthlong coordination between the PLA Navy and the Indonesian Navy during their ultimately unsuccessful attempts to salvage KRI Nanggala-402 last May.
The salvage attempt collected documentation in the form of photos and videos and raised several parts of the KRI Nanggala-402. The finds have been handed over to Indonesian authorities.
KRI Nanggala-402 lost contact with its base in Surabaya, East Java on Wednesday, April 21, soon after it requested permission to dive during a live torpedo drill in the Java Sea. 44-year old Type 209 submarine was lost with 53 men on board. Their remains have not been retrieved.
Indonesian Police: JAD Militants in Merauke, Papua Made Multiple Attempts on Archbishop’s Life
Police in the Indonesian province of Papua has disclosed that 11 suspected Jamaah Anshor Tauhid (JAD) members nabbed by Detachment 88 counterterrorist unit in the town of Merauke on Friday, May 28 made multiple attempts on the life of the Archbishop of Merauke.
“The militants tried to assassinate Archbishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi, the head of the Merauke archdiocese, on at least two occasions,” said Papuan Regional Police Chief Inspector General Mathius D. Fakhiri of the group on Thursday, January 3.
The Archbishop reiterated Fakhiri. “The first [assassination] attempt took place on January 1, 2021, when I just arrived at Merauke to head the archdiocese. One of the terrorists, who was pretending to search for a boarding house [in the area], had a backpack on his person."
“Fortunately [my staff] did not take me directly to the [Archbishop’s] residence, but instead headed for a pilgrimage in Buti, where the first [Catholic] missionaries arrived in Papua.”
He added that the second attempt occurred on Sunday, May 30, two days after the Detachment 88 or Densus 88 counterrorist police arrested ten of the militants. The last remaining militant attempted to carry out a suicide bombing during Mass at Merauke Cathedral, but was caught by the police.
Like the first assassination attempt, the Archbishop said he was elsewhere. On his part, Fakhiri asserted that the authorities are taking a hearts and minds approach to keep the peace and prevent sectarian tensions.
The police said that the 11 suspected JAD militants are affiliated with the perpetrators of the suicide bombing in Makassar Cathedral which killed the attackers and wounded dozens of others last March.
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