From Wildlife Extra:
November 2011: International Anthicidae specialist Dr Dimitri Telnov, of the Entomological Society of Latvia, Riga, writes about the amazing discovery of 84 new ant-like flower beetles [species] in Wallacea and New Guinea.
Ladybugs change color, reacting to climate change: here.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
‘Postpone deadline for relatives of victims in Indonesia’
Survivors of men who during the Indonesian war of independence were executed by the Dutch armed forces should get more time to file claims. This says the Stichting Comité Nederlandse Ereschulden which investigates war crimes committed during the Indonesian struggle for independence.
Two years ago, the Dutch government announced that widows of victims would get two years time to file claims. On September 11 that deadline will run out.
The foundation calls the deadline “not realistic, not generous and undesirable.” The time people need to get the documents together is too short, they say. They also say that relatives face “petty restrictions”.
One of the objections is that widows are only eligible for compensation if the execution is “listed in already published public sources”. The foundation points out that many cases have not yet come to light and that the necessary documents are often not available.
The foundation also wants to make the children of executed Indonesian men able to claim compensation. They points out a ruling by the court in The Hague on March 11th. Which ruled in favor of five children of men who had been executed in South Sulawesi (formerly Celebes). The Netherlands, according to the verdict, had wrongly argued that the cases are time barred and that the arrangement with widows already had taken into account the loss of income for the family.
In 2011, a judge already ruled that the crimes were not time barred. After that, a settlement was reached with widows of Rawagede. In August 2013 a settlement was reached as well with widows of victims in Sulawesi. The compensation amounted to 20,000 euros.
This video from Australia says about itself:
Asylum seekers: Indonesian foreign minister wants answers over allegations Australia paid people smugglers
Updated about 6 hours ago
Indonesia’s foreign minister says she wants answers from Australia over claims navy officials paid people smugglers to turn a boat back into Indonesian waters.
The crew told police on Indonesia’s Rote Island they had been paid thousands of dollars by Australian officials to turn around.
Retno Marsudi said she had raised the issue with Australia’s ambassador Paul Grigson in Jakarta.
“I just met the ambassador just now … so I made use of the opportunity to talk to him directly. Because we’re very concerned if it is confirmed,” she said.
“I just asked him ‘What is it about, tell me, what is it?’.
“He promised to take my question, my inquiry, to Canberra and he promised to get back to me again.”
Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir said on Saturday the country was investigating the allegations.
“Of course on Australia’s push-back policy we have been consistently saying they are on a slippery slope,” he said.
“And should this situation [be] confirmed … it would be a new low.”
Professor of International Law at the Australian National University Don Rothwell told the ABC that, under regional protocols, such activity could be tantamount to people smuggling.
The Australian government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott faces allegations that military personnel paid so-called “people smugglers” and supplied them with boats to take asylum seekers back to Indonesia. In media interviews yesterday, Abbott refused to confirm or deny the claims, despite categorical denials by his own foreign and immigration ministers earlier in the week: here.
In statements to the media yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott again refused to deny allegations that Australian officials paid six so-called “people smugglers” $US5,000 each in May to return 65 refugees to Indonesia against their will. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who had earlier denied the claim, have now reverted to the same position as Abbott. The government’s stance can only be taken as a tacit admission that it has been caught out engaging in actions that are flagrantly illegal: here.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his senior ministers refused again throughout parliamentary question time yesterday to either confirm or deny the allegation that Australian officials recently paid six “people smugglers” to return 65 refugees to Indonesia against their will. Government representatives answered every attempt by the Labor opposition to score political mileage from the scandal by insisting that they would not comment on “security, intelligence or operational matters”: here.
This video says about itself:
Court to rule on Dutch massacre in Indonesia
14 September 2011
A Dutch court is expected to rule if survivors of a massacre carried out more than 60 years ago will get compensation.
According to Indonesian researchers, Dutch troops wiped out almost the entire male population of a village in West Java, two years before the former colony declared independence in 1949.
Indonesia declared independence in 1945. The Dutch government recognized that only after four years of war later.
Most Indonesians do not know about the massacre that took place in Rawagede.
Only recently has a monument been built to remind residents that Dutch soldiers killed all the men of the village.
The only living witnesses are now in their 80s, and illiterate, after having to fend for themselves following the deaths of their husbands.
“There were dead bodies everywhere, many of which we found in the river after the shooting stopped,” said Cawi, a survivor.
Of the nine widows and survivors who have filed the case, three have died while waiting for the verdict.
The Dutch government has admitted that war crimes were committed in Rawagede but it says the survivors filed their claims for compensation too late.
They should have done this within 30 years after the atrocities were committed, says the Dutch government.
It is now up to the judge to decide whether it is justified to have a time limit on war crimes.
The massacre in Rawagede is not the only village where the Netherlands has an unresolved dark history.
Al Jazeera’s Step Vassen reports from Rawagede.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:
The Dutch government has a list of names of Indonesians who were executed in 1947 on the island of Sulawesi by Dutch soldiers, says online journalism platform De Correspondent. Those names are important in a lawsuit which relatives of the victims have filed against the government.
Five children of men who were shot claim damages. The government refused because these cases supposedly had been barred. On March 11 the court decided in favour of the children, but some of them must still prove that their father was actually among those executed.
Now De Correspondent writes that the government itself ever since the nineteen seventies has lists of some 180 names of men who were summarily executed in 1947. These lists, along with about sixty testimonies by both Dutch and Indonesian witnessses are in the National Archives.
‘Shot like dogs’
A letter to one ‘Paul’ is one of the hundreds of documents in the National Archives that focus on the mass executions. An excerpt:
“Dear Paul, (…) have witnessed this morning the confirmation of the power of Dutch bayonets in the Supa region. (…) Yesterday there was a large-scale action (…) to put an end to the evil of bandits and terrorists. Burned some villages, people gathered and based on denunciations by a bunch of spies then over two hundred people (…) shot like dogs, with revolvers.”
Sulawesi, which was called in colonial times Celebes, was regarded as a bulwark of resistance against Dutch rule. To prevent villagers from providing food and shelter to the insurgent nationalists, Dutch soldiers burned villages and male residents were summarily executed.
From documents in the National Archives it can be deduced that alone between January 14 and February 14 1947 at least 1200 people in South Sulawesi were killed illegally, says De Correspondent. This refers only to men who were not killed during battles with the Dutch armed forces.
The judge has already ordered the Dutch State twice before to give financial compensation to relatives of victims from Indonesia. In 2011 the surviving widows from the Javanese village Rawagade were vindicated, and the Netherlands in 2013 settled with widows from South Sulawesi. They each received a compensation of 20,000 euros.
From Laughing Squid:
‘Cherax (Astaconephrops) pulcher’, A Newly Described Species of Brightly Colored Crayfish Found in Indonesia
by Glen Tickle at 12:43 pm on May 21, 2015
Cherax (Astaconephrops) pulcher is a newly described species of brightly colored crayfish found in Indonesia. The paper describing the species was published by Christian Lukhaup in the journal ZooKeys on May 4, 2015, but Lukhaup had seen the animal ten years ago in a photograph, and it has been sold in pet shops in Japan and Europe.
The bright blue, pink, and purple colors seen particularly in the males of the species along with spots on the animals’ shells make them look not unlike images of distant galaxies and gas clouds captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, or as Elahe Izadi of The Washington Post described them, “a Lisa Frank creation.”
This video says about itself:
Critically endangered yellow-crested cockatoos discovered stuffed inside plastic bottles – TomoNews
8 May 2015
Indonesian police discovered more than 24 yellow-crested cockatoos stuffed inside empty water bottles at the port of Tanjung Perak customs. These critically endangered birds could be sold for a lot of money if the smugglers were not caught.
Indonesia’s very own Wildlife Crimes Unit works hard to stop smugglers and educate locals about animal habitat.
These majestic cockatoos live in the lush islands of Sulawesi, however their habitat is also threatened due to illegal logging and pesticides. Almost 50% of the birds die during smuggling.
Yellow-crested cockatoos also seldom breed and are in greater danger as they only lay two eggs in one year.
From Wildlife Extra:
22 live birds found stuffed in water bottles at Indonesian port
An Indonesian man has been arrested on suspicion of wildlife smuggling by Indonesian police after almost two dozen rare live birds, mostly yellow-crested cockatoos, were found jammed inside plastic water bottles in his luggage.
He was stopped by police when he left a passenger ship in Surabaya.
The head of the criminal investigation unit at Tanjung Perak port, Aldy Sulaiman, said police found the birds stashed inside the man’s luggage.
“We found 21 yellow-crested cockatoos and one green parrot,” he said. “All the birds were found inside water bottles, which were packed in a crate.”
The birds have since been sent to Indonesia’s natural resources conservation office, which deals with wildlife-trafficking cases.
If he is found guilty of smuggling he could face up to five years in prison.
The critically-endangered Yellow-crested cockatoos are native to Indonesia and neighbouring East Timor and can sell for around £1,000 each.