World Bulletin / News Desk
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned Indonesia of the potential for diplomatic fallout if Jakarta goes ahead with the looming execution of two Australian citizens on death row for drugs charges.
Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap. Five foreigners were among six people executed last month, the first executions since President Joko Widodo took office in October.
Australia has been pursuing an eleventh-hour campaign to save the lives of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, two Australian members of the so-called Bali Nine, convicted in 2005 as the ringleaders of a plot to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.
The case has enormous resonance as a domestic political issue in Australia, and Abbott ratcheted up the rhetoric at the weekend amid a growing campaign to boycott travel to Bali, one of the most popular destinations for Australian tourists.
"We will be finding ways to make our displeasure felt," Abbott told Australia's Channel Ten on Sunday.
"Millions of Australians are feeling sickened by what might be about to happen in Indonesia."
It was unclear what measures Abbott was considering, but Australia and Indonesia have a long history of diplomatic tension, which has periodically complicated cooperation on regional issues, including people smuggling and intelligence.
Indonesia recalled its envoy and froze military and intelligence cooperation in 2013 after reports that Canberra had spied on top Indonesian officials, including former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's wife.
Full diplomatic cooperation was restored last May, but Foreign Minister Julie Bishop last month refused to rule out following Brazil and the Netherlands in withdrawing its ambassador from Jakarta if the executions went ahead.
Those two countries withdrew their ambassadors last month after two of their citizens were among six people executed for drugs offences.
Australia outlawed capital punishment in 1973 and public opinion staunchly opposes the death penalty for any crime.
The last Australian citizen executed by a foreign government was Nguyen Tuong Van by Singapore in 2005, also on charges of smuggling heroin. That incident had little effect on bilateral relations. But the execution of two Australians for drug offences in Malaysia in 1986 saw relations plummet.
In Sydney, more than 150,000 people signed a petition for clemency handed to the families of the prisoners at the weekend.
"As the date for the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran appears to draw closer, Australian public and political opposition is crystallising," Michael Fullilove, executive director of the Lowy Institute, said in a statement.
A boycott campaign has been building on social media, where Australians have been using the Twitter hashtag #BoycottBali to announce the cancellation of their holiday plans.
International pressure is also mounting over the executions.
Amid displacement, trauma in refugee camps, Turkish humanitarian aid provides dose of comfort for persecuted Rohingya
South Korea finds no fault with US President Donald Trump's threat to 'totally destroy' North
Indonesia expresses concern over humanitarian crisis but Myanmar blocks resolution
Delivery put on hold due to alleged extrajudicial killings, human rights violations from President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war
'Aung San Suu Kyi must demonstrate far greater leadership in efforts to stop the bloodshed,' Bob Corker says
Army’s success due to intensified offensives being launched to contain terrorists
Government closes Ibn Mas'ud Islamic Boarding School at urging of local community
Tents, food, kitchenware and clothing have also been distributed among more than 22,000 families: IHH deputy chair
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov urged all parties to seek a "peaceful resolution" to the current stand-off with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.
Maria strengthens to Category 4 as it nears region hit hard by Irma
Nepal announces expedition to re-measure world's tallest peak after Indian announcement
The sign is in contrast to Duterte's own iconic gesture, a clenched fist raised at or above eye level that is immensely popular with his support but which opponents have likened to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's hand salute.
Fact-finding mission chief tells UN Human Rights Council Rohingya Muslims targeted by 'dehumanizing propaganda'
The Rohingya refugee crisis is worsening daily as new arrivals from Myanmar join more than 410,000 from the Muslim minority who have fled to Bangladesh since late August, overwhelming camps short of food, water and shelter.
The war-time general, who is now minister of regional development, said he was due to travel to New York this week, but he was the only one in the Sri Lankan delegation not issued a visa.
De facto leader claims no conflict or military operation in Rakhine since Sept. 5 despite reports of fleeing Rohingya