Kamis, 16 November 2017

W SUMATRA SET FOR NINTH TOUR DE SINGKARAK by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 16, 2017 (Antara) - West Sumatra Province is ready for the implementation of the Ninth Tour de Singkarak (TdS) cycling race, which will take place from Nov 18 to 26, 2017. 
    Some 230 cyclists, grouped in 20 domestic and foreign cycling teams from 30 countries, will participate in the sports tourism event.       
    Part of the Union Cycliste Internationale race series, the TdS will involve 18 of the total 19 districts and cities of the province.  
    The TdS, themed "The Biggest Sport Tourism" and part of a tourism promotion initiative, will be divided into nine stages, covering a total distance of 1,150 kilometers.
         The grand start will be from Tanah Datar District and the grand final in Bukittinggi.
             The  first stage is Istano Basa Pagaruyung-Padang covering 109.3 kilometers on Nov 18; the second stage, South Pesisir-Sawahlunto measuring 155.9 kilometers on Nov 19; the third stage, Sijunjung-Dharmasraya spanning 161.3 kilometers on Nov 20; the fourth stage, Solok-Payakumbuh District  reaching 106.4 kilometers on Nov 21; the fifth stage, Solok City-South Solok covering 153.2 kilometers on Nov 22; the sixth stage, Pariaman-West Pasaman measuring 145.7 kilometers on Nov 23; the seventh stage, Limapuluh Kota-Padang Panjang spanning 112 kilometers on Nov 24; the eighth stage, Padangpariaman-Agam reaching 135.2 kilometers on Nov 25; and the ninth stage, Pasaman-Bukittinggi covering 117.2 kilometers on Nov 26.

Selasa, 14 November 2017

ROHINGYA CRISIS BECOMES SPOTLIGHT ON SIDELINES OF 31ST ASEAN SUMMIT by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 14, 2017 (Antara)- The international media have reported that a draft of the statement to be issued at the end of the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila on Nov 13-14, would not mention the ongoing prolonged humanitarian crisis happening in Myanmar's Rakhine State, home to over one million Rohingya ethnic minority.
         This is not a surprise for ASEAN which follows principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of one another. But, individually and in bilateral meetings held on the sidelines of the Manila Summit, Rohingya plight is not totally forgotten.
         During a bilateral meeting held in Manila on Nov 13, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres agreed to the need to immediately address the humanitarian crisis being faced by the Rohingya minority in Rakhine State.
         "If it is not solved (immediately), the crisis could affect regional stability and security. A prolonged crisis could trigger radicalism and even terrorism," President Jokowi said.
         Jokowi and Guterres shared a common concern regarding the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, where Rohingya people were prosecuted and discriminated.       
    They called for a speedy solution to the problem and for the signing of a memorandum of understanding on repatriation between Myanmar and Bangladesh, the neighboring country that has some 600 thousand Rohingya refugees.
         In September, Guterres said the situation in Rakhine was best described as ethnic cleansing.  
    During the bilateral meeting, Guterres lauded the Indonesian government and people for helping the prosecuted Rohingya people.
         The Indonesian Government has approached the Myanmar Government to return peace in Rakhine, and sent humanitarian aid for the affected communities both in Rakhine and in the border of Bangladesh.
         The Indonesian government will again send humanitarian aid comprising 30 tons of rice, one ton of sugar, 2,004 packages of instant food, 14 thousand blankets, 20 emergency tents, 10 water tanks, 600 packages of family kits, and 900 packages of clothing to Bangladesh.

Sabtu, 11 November 2017

INVESTMENT CONTRIBUTES SIGNIFICANTLY TO INDONESIA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH by Fardah

  Jakarta, Nov 11, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian government is optimistic of its economic growth, as the nation has managed to record a seven percent growth in investment this year, the highest over in the past several years.
         The country's economy grew 5.06 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, driven mainly by the consumption sector, and partly owing to the growing investment rate, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.
         "The growth rate of 5.06 percent, perhaps, was not up to expectations, but some areas, in terms of the data, were very interesting. Investment grew seven percent, the highest in the past several years. This is what we want," Head of the National Development Planning Board and Minister for National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro noted while opening the Indonesia Infrastructure Week 2017 in Jakarta on November 8, 2017.
         Moreover, the construction sector grew seven percent, and positive performance was also recorded in the manufacturing sector, which grew more than four percent, though not up to expectations.
         "The investment sector grew seven percent, the manufacturing sector grew four percent, and the construction sector also grew seven percent. This means there has been a lot of investment in the construction sector, either in property or infrastructure. We begin to see that investment in infrastructure is not only from the government but also from the private sector," he noted.

PARTNERSHIP CRUCIAL TO ACHIEVE INDONESIA'S PEATLAND RESTORATION TARGET by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 11 , 2017 (Antara) - Peatland restoration is one of the priorities of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)'s environmental agenda, which is aimed at partly preventing forest fires and addressing climate change impacts.
        In January last year, Jokowi established a Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), through Presidential Regulation No. 1/2016, in order to coordinate and accelerate the recovery of peatlands.
       Indonesia's peatlands are estimated to cover an area of 20.6 million hectares, or about 10.8 percent of Indonesia's total land area.
        Peatlands help to preserve water resources, mitigate flooding, prevent seawater intrusion, support biodiversity, and control the climate through carbon absorption and storage.   
   According to BRG's target, a total of 2,492,527 hectares of peatlands would be restored within a five-year period, with the completion target set at 30 percent in 2016; 20 percent each in 2017, 2018, and 2019; and 10 percent in 2020.  
     This year, the BRG plans to build some 5,600 canal dams that could wet 400 thousand hectares of peatlands, thereby preventing forest fires.
         The restoration program in that area is carried out in cooperation with the local people trained to build water canals in line with the concept of the BRG to wet the dried peatlands.
         Forests and peatland fires in 2015 affected the health of millions in Sumatra and Kalimantan, in particular, as well as in several neighboring countries. The forest fire disaster has cost Indonesian economy an estimated US$16.1 billion.
        The agency has allocated some Rp152 billion, or some 36 percent of its total budget this year.
        "Some Rp117 billion (of the Rp152 billion) will be channeled to build infrastructure and revitalize the economy, while Rp35 billion will be allocated to strengthen the agency, as well as to boost its capacity and empower the agency," Myrna Safitri, BRG's deputy of education, socialization, participation, and partnership, noted in Jakarta on Nov 1, 2017.
        According to Safitri, the BRG has maintained partnership with some civil groups and the local governments to restore peatlands in several targeted provinces, such as Riau, Jambi, South Sulawesi, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and Papua.
       Safitri revealed that the peatland office, along with the civil groups, have built some supporting infrastructure, such as canal partitions and wells in dozens of villages.
        She remarked that the office has launched a pilot project to manage land without setting fire to trees and initiated the development of the local commodity, maritime and livestock businesses, and honey culture.

Rabu, 08 November 2017

SAFETY PRIORITIZED IN DECIDING VENUE FOR 2018 IMF-WB ANNUAL MEETING by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 8, 2017 (Antara) - The increased activity of Mount Agung located in Karangasem District, Bali Island, has raised Indonesia's concerns, as preparations for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) are underway.
          The next IMF-WB annual meeting is scheduled to be held in Bali in October 2018.
          Some 15 thousand to 17 thousand people from 189 countries, including country officials, international observers, academics, journalists, and representatives of non-governmental organizations, are expected to participate in the annual event.
         Mount Agung has been active since August 2017, but the volcano has not yet erupted, and most parts of the island remain safe.
          The Indonesian government, as the host of the important meeting, however, has prepared an optional venue, as part of the precautionary measures in case the volcano erupts.
          "Everyone's safety is our main priority while taking any decision regarding the venue," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indarwati had noted on the sidelines of the 2017 IMF-WB annual meeting in Washington D.C., the US, last October.
          Any change concerning the next meeting's schedule or venue will be discussed with the IMF and WB, she revealed.
     Moreover, the IMF and WB have been monitoring the developments of Mount Agung that has been active since last August.
          "They are also monitoring the developments of Mount Agung, and at certain points, if the risks could be controlled, we will be able to host the 2018 meeting of (IMF and WB)," the minister had noted on the sidelines of the 2017 IMF-WB annual meeting held in Washington D.C., the US, last October.

Selasa, 07 November 2017

NOVEL BASWEDAN CASE REMAINS MYSTERY by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 7, 2017 (Antara) - More than 200 days have passed since Novel Baswedan, senior investigator of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), was attacked with acid that has caused him to lose vision in his left eye, but the perpetrators are still at large and unidentified.
         Until now, both the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police and the National Police's Crime Investigation Department are incessantly investigating the case.
         The National Police does not intend to either slow down the investigation into the case or lose focus in dealing with it, according to Brigadier General Rikwanto, a spokesman of the National Police (Polri)
    He, however, admitted that the investigation has failed to trace the attackers.
         "It remains uncertain as to who the perpetrators are. We do not have strong evidence to name someone as a suspect," Rikwanto told the press on Oct 6, 2017.
         He urged anyone with information on the attackers to report it to the police or the KPK.
         He confirmed that the National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian will, in the near future, report to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) about the ongoing investigation into the unsolved case.
         Earlier, President Jokowi said he will discuss Baswedan's case with Karnavian.
         "Later, I will invite the Police chief. I will call him," President Jokowi stated recently in response to questions posed by the press regarding a suggestion to establish a joint fact finding team (TPGF) to probe the case.
         He said every case has to be dealt with in a clear and transparent manner. "For sure, every case must be open and clear," Jokowi noted.