Over Coffee #9: One year of the Myanmar coup and Indonesia’s third wave

This week marks the anniversary of the Myanmar coup, which was remembered by Myanmar citizens in silence as the junta continues to crack down on opposition. In other news, Indonesia faces its third wave, and its initially rosy relationship with Singapore faces some potential turbulence.

I received another gift today, a fresh batch of Aceh Gayo wine-processed coffee beans. When brewed with a V60, the result is an intensely bright coffee with a strong fermented taste. It was a bit too overpowering for my palate.

As the people of Myanmar silently remember the anniversary of the coup. However, the junta has arrested 109 people for supporting the silent strike online, accusing them of supporting “terrorist groups”. In the meantime, the Myanmar junta is now officially barred from sending their representatives to the previously postponed ASEAN Summit, as Cambodia has made clear. The problem now would be whether ASEAN moves beyond simply isolating the junta while hoping they follow through with the Five Point Consensus.

Indonesia’s third wave begins with a staggering rise of COVID-19 cases in early February. The rise in cases, however, have not been followed by a return to social restrictions. Quite the opposite. Bali welcomed its first international flight after two years and the government’s mandatory quarantine period for international travellers has been cut to 5 days (provided the traveller has had 2 doses of the vaccine). Meanwhile, as local transmissions soar in Jakarta, schools reconsider face-to-face learning. Some schools return to full remote learning, while others allow it given parental consent. Jakarta Governor, Anies Baswedan, has requested the central government to consider raising social restrictions level from Level 2 to Level 3, given the substantial daily spike of new cases. At the time of writing, Indonesia has over 163,000 active cases, with over half being reported in Jakarta.

What looked like an amicable start to 2022 between Indonesia and Singapore might be running into some turbulence. The House of Representatives claim to have yet to receive a detailed explanation of two agreements—the Defence Cooperation Agreement and the Flight Information Region agreements—inked by Lee Hsien Loong and Joko Widodo in their retreat last week. As stated by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, the terms of the DCA agreed-upon last week were similar to the DCA in 2007 which Indonesia did not ratify due to sovereignty concerns.

That’s all for this week! See you next week with another recap of niche topics in Southeast Asia.

Header image: Protest in Myanmar against the coup, 14 February 2021. By MgHla (aka) Htin Linn Aye, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Edited to suit blog style.

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