Sabtu, 26 Desember 2015

Year-ender: TIME FOR INDONESIA TO TAKE CONCRETE ACTION TO CUT CARBON EMISSIONS by Fardah

Jakarta, Dec 26, 2015 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has pledged to increase its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions' growth by 29 percent by 2030, up from the previous promise of 26 percent by 2020.
         With international support, the emission could be reduced by as much as 41 percent.  
    President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reaffirmed his commitment before 147 heads of state and governments during the Paris Climate Change Conference in late November 2015.
         "I hope we are all part of the solution to make the earth a more liveable place for our children and grand children," Jokowi said.    
    Having the world's third largest forest area that serves as the world's lungs, Indonesia has decided to be part of the solution, the president remarked.

Rabu, 16 Desember 2015

Year-Ender: DIPLOMATIC TIES OF INDONESIA, PALESTINE TO OPEN NEW CHAPTER EARLY 2016 by Fardah

 Jakarta, Dec 16, 2015 (Antara) - Early 2016 hopefully will be a new chapter for the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Palestine as Indonesia plans to officially open an honorary consulate in Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine.
         "We are now moving one step further, further towards something greater," Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said after meeting her Palestinian counterpart, Riad Al-Maliki, in Jakarta, on December 14, 2015.
         Al-Maliki expressed his gratitude to Indonesia for always helping Palestine to survive particularly during the harsh situation. "We want to build our country for the future. That is why we cooperate with Indonesia," he said.
         "I am very satisfied with the establishment of Indonesia's honorary consulate in Ramallah in the beginning of next year," he added.

LOMBOK SET TO WELCOME SHARIAH TOURISTS AND HONEYMOONERS by Fardah

    
    Jakarta, Dec 16, 2015 (Antara)- Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province  was adjudged the best halal tourism and honeymoon destination during the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, in October.
     The event was held in conjunction with the World Halal Travel Summit 2015. 
      Some 65 percent of the 4.7 million population of NTB lives in Lombok and up to 93 percent of them are Muslims.
        "I hope these awards would serve as a starting point to seriously develop Lombok as a halal tourism destination," NTB Deputy Governor Muhammad Amin affirmed.
        The awards have instilled a sense of pride and optimism in the NTB administration to promote its tourism attractions nationally and internationally to lure more domestic and foreign tourists, particularly Muslims, who want to enjoy halal or Shariah tourism.     
   "After we received the best halal tourism 2015 awards in Abu Dhabi, we are optimistic of introducing NTB to countries in the Middle East as the region is one of our targets," NTB Tourism Office Head Lalu Muhammad Faozal stated in Jakarta, on December 14, 2015, after the launch of the tourism brand "The Charm of Lombok Sumbawa."

Selasa, 15 Desember 2015

Year-Ender: BOYCOTT NEEDED TO FORCE ISRAEL TO END OCCUPATION IN PALESTINE by Fardah

 Jakarta, Dec 15, 2015 (Antara) - Supporters of Palestine around the world are promoting a BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement to force Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian land and stop apartheid practices against Palestinians.
         These backers of the BDS movement include Palestine's supporters in European countries and the United States.
         The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting Israel is a peaceful way of putting international pressure on Israel which is following a policy of apartheid.
         The BDS action follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against South African apartheid.
         The most common Israeli exports include fresh fruit and vegetables such as Jaffa citrus fruits and Israeli Medjoul Dates,  Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream drinks machines, and Eden Springs bottled water.
         In an international conference in Jakarta, a leading Palestinian human rights activist has urged member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to boycott Israeli products to end the occupation, which has led to prolonged suffering of the Palestinian people.

Sabtu, 12 Desember 2015

PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN RECENT LOCAL ELECIONS LOW BUT CRUCIAL by Fardah

Jakarta, Dec 12, 2015 (Antara) - The number of female candidates contesting in the recent simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada) 2015 was relatively small, but their participation has been considered crucial to make Indonesia¿s politics more humane.
        The pilkada held simultaneously in 264 regions in 32 out of Indonesia's 34 provinces was participated in by 810 pairs of regional head candidates. They included 123 women contesting for regional heads or deputy regional heads, or only 7.32 percent of the total candidates.
        The General Election Commission (KPU) is expected to announce the results of the pilkada on December 18 and 19, 2015. But, some media have quoted preliminary results based on quick-count reports.
        At least 30 women are believed to have won the local elections, including 22 women as districts heads or mayors, while the rest as deputy district heads or deputy mayors.

Jumat, 11 Desember 2015

CREATIVE ECONOMIC SEEN AS KEY ASPECT TO FACE AEC by Fardah

   Jakarta, Dec 11, 2015 (Antara) - On December 31, 2015, the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will begin implementing a regional economic integration, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), to establish a common market.
        The AEC will lead to a freer flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labor among Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
        The common market, if successful, would create 14 million jobs by 2025 and improve the livelihood of 600 million people across all the 10 states, according to a joint study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) last year. 
   The government of Indonesia, the largest nation in the regional organization, has claimed that it is ready to carry out the AEC agreement.    

Rabu, 09 Desember 2015

FUTURE OF FREEPORT INDONESIA'S CONTRACT IN LIMBO by Fardah

 Jakarta, Dec 9, 2015 (Antara) - PT Freeport Indonesia (FI), one of the three biggest gold and copper mines on the planet, is seemingly eager to have its work contract, set to expire in 2021, extended early.
       Indonesia's existing law, however, says that a contract can be extended only two years before its expiry date. So, in this case, it can be extended only in 2019.
          PT Freeport Indonesia is into the business of exploration, mining, processing and marketing of minerals, such as copper, gold, and silver worldwide. It has been operating the Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia's eastern most province, since 1967.
        A subsidiary of the US Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, this company was founded in 1972 and is based in Jakarta.
         Freeport McMoRan's copper-concentrate exports from Indonesia are expected to reach 756,300 tons with an estimated value of $1.56 billion by the end of the year.
        According to its vice president of corporation communication, Riza Pratama,  the company paid  a total of US$15.8 billion or Rp 204.23 trillion at the current exchange rate to the Indonesian government between 1992 and 2014, Tempo online reported in October 2015.

SIMULTANEOUS REGIONAL ELECTIONS IN 264 REGIONS RAN SMOOTHLY by Fardah

    Jakarta, Dec 9, 2015 (Antara) - Millions of eligible voters visited polling stations to cast their ballot in Indonesia's first-ever simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada) held in 264 regions in 32 provinces, out of the country's 34 provinces, on December 9, 2015.
         In general, the local elections ran smoothly with some regions registering a very high voter turnout which in a few others, it was quite low.
  "We estimate that the turnout was between 60 and 70 percent," Nasrullah, commissioner of the General Elections Supervision Agency (Bawaslu), said after monitoring the way pilkada was implemented in South Tangerang, Banten Province.

          In two of the polling stations he visited in South Tangerang, the voter turnout was around 85 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
           He also expressed relief at the elections passing off quite smoothly in general in many regions. 
      National Police Chief General Badrodin, in an interview with a private television station in the afternoon, said the local elections overall went off peacefully across the country.

Selasa, 08 Desember 2015

UNESCO'S RECOGNITION OF BALINESE DANCES TO HELP PROMOTE INDONESIAN TOURISM by Fardah

     Jakarta, Dec 8, 2015 (Antara) - The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, on December 2, 2015, inscribed 20 new elements, including three Balinese dances on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.
    The three genres of traditional Balinese dance are sacred, semi-sacred, and that meant for enjoyment by communities at large, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Intangible Cultural Heritage published on its website recently.
   Coordinating Minister for Cultural and Human Development Puan Maharani lauded the UNESCO's decision to inscribe the dance forms on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the Committee for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
        The inclusion of the Balinese dance forms in the UNESCO World Heritage could help promote Indonesia's tourism internationally, the minister emphasized.
        The coordinating minister hoped that UNESCO's recognition would encourage the Indonesian people to preserve the country's culture and traditions.

Jumat, 04 Desember 2015

FREEPORT CASE SHAKES INDONESIAN POLITICS by Fardah

 Jakarta, Dec 4, 2015 (Antara) - The ongoing case concerning the audio recording of House Speaker Setya Novanto allegedly demanding shares in PT Freeport Indonesia (FI) has shaken Indonesian politics.
    Novanto reportedly mentioned the names of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President M Jusuf Kalla as would-be recipients of the company's stake, in his talks with PT FI President Director Maroef Sjamsoeddin.
    In the recording, which was secretly taped by Maroef Sjamsoeddin when he met Novanto and oil businessman M Riza Chalid in July 2015, the House speaker allegedly asked for some 20 percent shares of PT Freeport Indonesia in exchange for supporting the company seeking an early renewal of its contract.
   The US gold and copper mining giant, Freeport of Indonesia unit is now at the center of a controversy with Novanto facing questions by the Parliament's Ethics Tribunal (MKD), and possibly by the Attorney General's Office (AGO), too.
   President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President M Jusuf Kalla completely denied that they had ever asked for shares or discussed the matter with Novanto.

INDONESIAN TOURISM PROMOTION TARGETS INDIA AS POTENTIAL MARKET by Fardah

Jakarta, Dec 4, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia has turned its focus on India as another potential tourism market, after identifying China and Russia as its main tourism promotion targets, among others.
        The country is trying to expand its tourism markets to the Asian countries, apart from its traditional European, Australian and American markets.
         India is one of the 90 countries to which the Indonesian government extended the visa-free facility this year in its efforts to double the number of foreign tourists visiting the country, from the current 10 million every year to 20 million by 2019.
        As part of its efforts, the Indonesian government has set a target to attract at least 300 thousand Indian tourists next year.
         Indonesia considers India a potential tourism market as most Indian tourists are high-class travelers, Taufik Nur Hidayat, an assistant deputy for the Asian and Pacific Market Development of the Ministry of Tourism, said.

Kamis, 03 Desember 2015

ONSET OF RAINY SEASON TRIGGERS FLOODING IN PARTS OF INDONESIA by Fardah

   Jakarta, Dec 3, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia is bracing itself for the floods and landslides expected during the coming rainy season after the devastation caused by the El Nino-induced prolonged drought that triggered forest fires, particularly on Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands.

        As the rainy season has just begun, downpours have triggered floods and landslides in some regions, including in the provinces of North Sumatra, Aceh, West Sumatra, Riau, and Jakarta.

       Landslides killed two residents of Pematangsiantar in North Sumatra Province and injured 14 others following incessant heavy rains on the evening of December 1.

        Four people were seriously wounded and administered intensive medical care in nearby hospitals.

Selasa, 01 Desember 2015

INDONESIA URGES COUPLES TO PLANT TREES BEFORE MARRIAGE by Fardah

 Jakarta, Dec 1, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia is known as the lung of the world for having the world's largest forest area after Brazil and Congo.
         However, due to its dwindling forest area, the government has set a target to plant billions of trees to rehabilitate the forest area and re-green the country's arid regions.
         The massive tree-planting movement is also part of the country's efforts to fulfill its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent from projected levels in 2030.   
    The government has claimed that over the past five years, the Indonesian public has planted 7.3 billion trees.
        However, of the total 190 million hectares, the country still has 24.3 million hectares of arid area.
         President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) led a function to celebrate Indonesia's Tree Planting Day and Tree Planting Month at the Sultan Adam People Forest Park (Tahura) in Banjar, South Kalimantan, on November 26, 2015, by planting a three-meter-high gaharu tree (gyrinops versteegii).

Senin, 30 November 2015

IMO COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP REAFFIRMS INDONESIA'S ROLE AS LARGEST ARCHIPELAGIC NATION BY FARDAH

Jakarta, Nov 30, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia's re-election as a  member of  the International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Council is a reflection of the global body recognizing the country's role as the world's largest archipelagic nation.   
    As a nation located between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, Indonesia has  affirmed its ambition to become one of the world's maritime axis.
         Having more than 17 thousand islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelagic nation in the world, with some 5.8 million square kilometers of sea territory, that forms about 70 percent of its total territory, while its land territory covers only 1.9 million square kilometers.
        It has a 92 thousand kilometers long coastline, making it the second-longest after Canada.

Sabtu, 28 November 2015

PROMOTE LOCAL FRUITS INTERNATIONALLY, URGES PRESIDENT JOKOWI by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 28, 2015 (Antara) - Bogor City is hosting the 2015 Nusantara Flower and Fruit Festival (FBBN) from November 27 to 29. It is being organized by the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB).  
   The theme for the third FBBN is "Revolution in Nusantara Fruits and Flowers Cultivation By Small and Medium Businesses for the Welfare of the Indonesian Nation."
   Various kinds of activities have been organized to mark the event, including a small and medium local fruit and flower business and investment forum, "Fruitpreneur got talent", an exposition, and a fruit and flowers bourse and bazaar, in addition to an oranges and mangoes contest, a carnival, and a fruit and flowers declaration by 48 district heads.
        "Through this festival, we wish to show that we have the potential, and the question is how to market it," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said in his opening remarks during the Nusantara Flower and Fruit Festival, organized at the IPB campus, Bogor, West Java, on Nov. 28.    
   President Jokowi lauded the initiative of the IPB to launch the Orange Revolution aimed at increasing the national fruit production, improve the fruit quality and maintain continuity in production.   

WAKATOBI WAVE INCLUDED IN ANNUAL CALENDAR OF TOURISM EVENTS by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 28, 2015 (Antara)- Coordinator Minister for Cultural and Human Development Puan  Maharani was in Wakatobi District in Southeast Sulawesi Province, for two days to officially open the Wakatobi Wonderful Festival and Expo (Wakatobi Wave) 2015 organized in Wangiwangi, the district's capital on Nov. 27.
         Wakatobi Wave featured a cultural parade, a decorated boat contest, and various traditional dances portraying local culture, traditions, environmental wisdom and biological diversity.
         "I felt amazed while enjoying the cultural parade. The participants who were dressed to depict as certain kinds of fish, and the expressions on their faces -- these really made them look like fish," she said in her opening remarks.
         Local cultural and environmental wisdom must be preserved because these are assets to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists, she urged.
         "Another thing which is also important in order to attract tourists is hospitality of the local community. Welcome tourists with smiles, so that they want to come back again one day," she said.

Jumat, 27 November 2015

INDONESIA GEARS UP FOR SIMULTANEOUS REGIONAL HEAD ELECTIONS by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 27, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia is gearing up for the first-ever simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada) to be held in some 53 percent of its districts and municipalities across the country on December 9, 2015.
        The pilkada 2015, which is the first stage of the simultaneous pilkada, is important as the people in 269 regions will be able to simultaneously and directly elect regional heads.
         More than 800 candidates will contest in the pilkada that will elect nine governors and vice governors, 224 district heads and their deputies, and 36 mayors and their deputies.
         Of the total participating regions, three have only a single candidate each: Blitar in East Java, Tasikmalaya in West Java, and North Timor Tengah in East Nusa Tenggara.
         The government has planned to use an e-voting system in the second stage of the pilkada to be organized in 2017 and in the legislative and presidential elections in 2019.

Kamis, 26 November 2015

INDONESIA, VIETNAM PLEDGE TO ENHANCE TRADE, INVESTMENT COOPERATION by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 26, 2015 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung have committed to nearly double bilateral trade turnover to US$10 billion by 2018, from some US$6 billion currently.
        The two leaders agreed to enhance relations between both nations, particularly in the fields of trade and investment, during a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on November 22, 2015.
       "Indonesia's investment in Vietnam is also growing rapidly to reach almost US$500 million. We hope the Vietnamese government would pay attention," President Jokowi affirmed.
         According to Ari Dwipayana of Jokowi's presidential communications team, the president has also offered Indonesia's strategic products to Vietnam, and the offer was welcomed by Prime Minister Nguyen.
        Both Jokowi and Nguyen have also agreed to expedite negotiations on the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries.

Rabu, 25 November 2015

INDONESIA, DENMARK STRENGTHEN COOPERATION IN MARITIME FIELD by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 25, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia was very much honored for welcoming Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her husband, Prince Henrik during the state visit on October 21 -24, 2015, which marked 65 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
         During the historic visit which was aimed at strengthening the ties between the two nations, the royal couple was accompanied on their tour by Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen, Energy, Utilities and Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, and a hundred representatives from 64 Danish companies involved in the maritime, agricultural, urban, clean-tech, design and lifestyle sectors.
         During their stay in Indonesia, the Queen and the Prince of Denmark visited  three cities - namely Jakarta, Surabaya (East Java) and Yogyakarta.      
    Denmark and Indonesia used the opportunity of the Queen's visit to strengthen cooperation in four business sectors - maritime, agribusiness, urban solution and renewable energy, as well as designs and lifestyle.

Selasa, 24 November 2015

PRESIDENT JOKOWI PLEDGES TO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL TIES WITH JAPAN by Fardah

  Jakarta, Nov 24, 2015 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) spent half the day on November 23, meeting some 1,100 Japanese guests in Jakarta at a reception held to celebrate Indonesian-Japanese partnership and demonstrate Indonesia's commitment to strengthening their friendship.
       The reception was organized just a day after Jokowi's bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
        "I dedicated half of the day on Monday to my honorable guests from Japan," the president said.
   The arrival of 1,100 Japanese guests in Indonesia, he said, showed how close the relationship between Indonesia and Japan is.
        Indonesia considers Japan a very important partner for development and maintaining regional peace and security.

Senin, 23 November 2015

INDONESIA INCHING CLOSER TO BECOMING GLOBAL ISLAMIC FASHION CAPITAL by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 23, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim population, needs creativity to support its ambition to become a global Islamic fashion capital, particularly for Muslim women.  
  Indonesia has a population of over 250 million, of which 85 percent are Muslims.
       Increasingly more Indonesian Muslim women, including young girls, are opting to wear Islamic clothing as they are fashionable, decent, practical, comfortable, and alluring.
       Deputy Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs Emilia Suhaimi is even convinced that Indonesia deserves to become the global Islamic fashion capital by 2020. 
  "We know that Indonesia has been designated (to become) the world's Islamic fashion capital by 2020, and the country is nearing that target from time to time," Suhaimi said here on Monday.
        Besides being the largest Muslim populated country in the world,  Indonesia's Islamic culture is open to modernization, tolerance, pluralism and diversity, she added.

INDONESIA, CANADA VOW TO BOOST BILATERAL ECONOMIC TIES by Fardah

  Jakarta, Nov 24, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have expressed their commitment to intensify cooperation in various fields, particularly in the economic field.
         The two held their first bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Turkey on November 15, 2015 where they committed themselves to such a strong relationship.
         "We want to strengthen the cooperation between Indonesia and Canada," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said after the bilateral meeting.
        "We want to strengthen relations with a country that has the world's largest Muslim population," the Canadian Prime Minister said.
        The trade balance between Indonesia and Canada reached US$2.6 billion in 2014.
        Cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries is wide open.

Jumat, 20 November 2015

INDONESIA TO INTENSIFY PILGRIMAGE TOURISM PROMOTION ACTIVITIES by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 20, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim population nation and also home to the followers of other religions, such as Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.
       The country has a long history that dates back to the ancient kingdoms, which have left their monumental remnants, such as the Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Central Java.  
  Being multi-religion and multi-ethnic, Indonesia has several cultural attractions to offer to tourists, apart from its natural beauty.
       Bali is the country's most famous tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches and unique Hindu culture and arts.
       The country also has several other destinations to offer to tourists keen to undertake pilgrimage visits, either to the followers of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, or Confucianism, but most of the attractions are still not managed and promoted properly.    

Rabu, 18 November 2015

INDONESIA STEPS UP SECURITY FOLLOWING PARIS TERROR ATTACKS by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 18, 2015 (Antara) - Paris may be thousands of miles away from Jakarta, but the terror attacks that hit the French capital on Nov 13, have pushed the Indonesian government to step up security to thwart any such terror acts.
         "We have asked the Commander and the TNI to be more alert and careful, and keep on protecting strategic assets or places such as airports and crowded areas," Vice President M Jusuf Kalla said at the Sultan Iskandar Muda Air Force Base, in Aceh Darussalam on Nov. 15.
         He said stepped-up security  measures around vital assets and border areas could minimize the entry of strangers wanting to commit terror activities in Indonesia.
         "In the border areas, too, if foreigners come, check them carefully. Because terror attacks like those (that happened) in Paris could happen anywhere in this world. Therefore, we must increase the level of alertness," he said.

Selasa, 17 November 2015

S.E. SULAWESI PROMOTES TOURISM DURING ROYAL PALACE FESTIVAL by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 17, 2015 (Antara)- The Nusantara (Archipelago) Royal Palace Festival and the Third ASEAN Adat (Customary) Community Festival officially wrapped up in Kendari, the capital of Southeast Sulawesi, on November 14, following three days of festivities.
         The events, participated in by 143 kings, sultans or other royal family members, including from kingdoms in the Philippines, Pakistan, China, Singapore and Malaysia, was closed by the Southeast Sulawesi Administration¿s Provincial Secretary Lukman Abunawas.
        From Indonesia, the participants included sultans or kings and queens from the sultanates or kingdoms of Surakarta (Yogyakarta), Tabanan (Bali), Cirebon (West Java), Gorontalo, South Sumatra, Buton (Sultra) and Tidore (North Maluku).  

Kamis, 12 November 2015

JAKARTA GOVERNOR AMENDS REGULATION ON RALLIES FOLLOWING NGO PROTESTS by Fardah

    Jakarta, Nov 12, 2015 (Antara) - Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) has amended a gubernatorial regulation of 2015 governing freedom of expression in public following protests by some NGOs.
   Some of the NGOs that had protested were Kontras, Aji and an NGO coalition called PRJ (the Association of Jakarta Inhabitants).   
   The revision is meant to accommodate democracy in the capital city, Ahok said while announcing the revision in Jakarta on Nov. 11.
   On October 28, the Jakarta Governor had signed the regulation as he wanted protesters to behave in a more orderly manner.
   The Gubernatorial Regulation No. 228 of 2015 stipulates that protesters will be allowed to stage protests at just three venues: Senayan's Eastern Parking Area in the Bung Karno Sports Complex in Senayan, the Alun Alun Demokrasi (democracy plaza) located at the House of Representatives (DPR) complex, and at the Southern Cross located at the National Monument (Monas) Park in Central Jakarta.  
   The regulation also ruled that protests should be conducted at the three venues decided by the governor, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time, and that the noise levels of the sound systems should not exceed 60 decibels.

Rabu, 11 November 2015

INDONESIA INTENSIFIES FIGHT AGAINST DRUG TRAFFICKERS by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 11, 2015 (Antara) - Drug abuse, which has particularly poisoned several young men, is one of the two most serious threats being faced by Indonesia besides radicalism.
         Some 4.1 million Indonesians, mostly young people, or 2.2 percent of the country's population, are drug users. Around 40-45 Indonesians die daily as a result of drug addiction.
         Drug addiction will reduce the competitiveness of Indonesia's human resources in the long term and will even affect the nation's survival, Chief of the Indonesian Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti recently cautioned.
         Furthermore, illicit drug abuse has caused damages and losses worth Rp60 trillion annually in Indonesia, General Haiti affirmed.
         Immaterial losses and damages caused by illicit drug abuse amounted to Rp60 trillion per year, he reported.

VOLCANIC ERUPTION AFFECTS TOURISM IN BALI, WEST NUSA TENGGARA by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 11, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia's tourism sector has again been affected by a natural disaster as its two most famous tourist destinations --- Bali Island and Lombok --- are incurring losses due to the eruption of Mount Barujari.
        Mount Barujari, a cone inside Mount Rinjani's large volcanic caldera located in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), has erupted since Nov. 3, leading to the closure of several airports in neighboring provinces.
        The volcanic ash had forced the authorities to shut down the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali; the Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java Province; the Selaparang Airport in Mataram; and the Lombok International Airport in Lombok, NTB. 
   The data from the Transportation Ministry revealed that at least 1,180 flights had been cancelled due to the volcanic ash until Nov. 7.

Kamis, 05 November 2015

VOLCANIC ERUPTION FORCES CLOSURE OF AIRPORTS IN BALI, OTHER AREAS by Fardah

   Jakarta, Nov 5, 2015 (Antara)- Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, Lombok's Selaparang Airport in West Nusa Tenggara, and Banyuwangi's Blimbingsari Airport in East Java, among others, have been closed due to Mount Barujari's eruption in Lombok since Tuesday (November 3).
        This is the second blow to Bali's tourism industry this year after the eruption of Mount Raung located in East Java, which had also forced the temporary closure of the Ngurah Rai airport in July.

Selasa, 03 November 2015

"KUPANG MESSAGE" ENCOURAGES P2P CONTACT TO STRENGTEN MELANESIAN COLLABORATION by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 3, 2015 (Antara)- The first ever Melanesian Cultural Festival held in Indonesia yielded the "Kupang Message" that called for enhanced people-to-people contact to achieve better collaboration among the region's countries hosting Melanesian population.
         The Melanesian Cultural Festival was held in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, from October 27-30, 2015, to celebrate cultural pluralism in countries having Melanesian population. 
   The festival, hosted by Indonesia, was attended by delegates from New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands  and Timor Leste.
        Themed "Celebrating the Cultural Diversity of the Melanesian World,"  the event was aimed at promoting cultural commonalities among South Pacific countries to further enhance cooperation in the region.
          "We will build upon the similarities to enhance collaboration among parties in the region," Cultural Director General at the Indonesian Education and Culture Ministry, Kacung Marijan, said while reading out the Kupang Message on October 28, 2015.
        The Kupang Message also stressed the importance of celebrating the diversity and unity of the Melanesian culture.

Kamis, 29 Oktober 2015

HISTORICAL BANDUNG CONFERENCE ARCHIVES PRESERVED BY UNESCO By Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 29, 2015 (Antara) - The Asian-African Conference's (AAC)'s archives held in Bandung, West Java, in April 1955, have been preserved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
        The archives have been inscribed in the Memory of the World International Register, along with 46 other nominations.
        With the inclusion of the AAC archives in the Memory of the World register, the international community will now have access to the AAC documents that highlight world peace, independence, freedom, the welfare of human beings, and internationalism.  
    The conference was attended by 29 Asian and African countries, and was the first international assembly of Asian-African nations aimed at promoting world peace and cooperation, and freedom from colonialism and imperialism.
        Among the world leaders taking part in the Bandung Conference were U Nu of Burma (Myanmar), Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Mohammed Ali Jinnah of Pakistan, Sir John Kotelawala of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the Grand Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Amin Al-Husaini of Palestine, and Sukarno of Indonesia was the host.

Rabu, 28 Oktober 2015

MELANESIAN FESTIVAL CELEBRATES CULTURAL DIVERSITY by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 28, 2015 (Antara) - The Melanesian Cultural Festival is being held in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, on October 27-30, 2015, to celebrate cultural pluralism existing in countries having a Melanesian population. 
  "Diversity must not hinder unity," Indonesian Education and Culture Minister Anies Baswedan noted while opening the Melanesian Cultural Festival themed "Celebrating the Cultural Diversity of Melanesian World", in Kupang, on Oct. 28.
       He said the festival is not only being held due to historical or racial factors but particularly to achieve a common dream of a peaceful, just, and prosperous world.
       Cultural cooperation is a good way to develop a better future for the younger generation as it instills a sense of cooperation in economic, political, and social fields, among others, he remarked.
       "Further interaction will help to create peace and welfare," he stated, adding that having a common vision will help to unify the younger generation.

OVER 90 SHIPS SUNK BY INDONESIA UNTIL MID-OCTOBER 2015 by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 28, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia has incurred material losses and environmental damage due to illegal fishing activities mostly conducted by foreign fishing boats in its maritime territory.
          Therefore, Indonesia has vowed to impose stringent sanctions against the perpetrators of the crimes to serve as a deterrent to other poachers.
          This year alone, until mid-October, Indonesian authorities have sunk at least 91 foreign fishing ships caught poaching in Indonesian waters as the fight against illegal fishing activities in its maritime territory continues.
         Of the total, some 54 ships have been destroyed by the maritime affairs and fisheries ministry, and the Indonesian Navy has sunk 49 ships, according to Abdur Rouf Sam, the secretary of the ministry's directorate general for fishery and maritime resources supervision. ''

AIRPORT OPERATOR, AIRWAYS HIT HARD BY FOREST FIRE HAZE by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 28, 2015 (Antara) - The haze emanating from forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan harms not only the locals and the environment, but has also affected the financial performance of airways and state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II. 
    PT Angkasa Pura II has suffered an estimated loss of Rp30 billion during the past month due to the haze, PT Angkasa Pura II President Director Budi Karya Sumadi said in Padangpariaman, West Sumatra on October 27.
         Some three thousand flights were affected over the same period due to the haze, he stated. 
    The data on flight cancellations and delays were collected from September 1 to October 10, 2015.   
    "The worst hit airports are in Jambi and Pekanbaru followed by Pontianak. Other affected airports include Padang and Palembang as well as Kualanamu in Medan," he said.

Senin, 26 Oktober 2015

ANIMALS ALSO VICTIMS OF FOREST FIRES by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 26, 2015 (Antara)- The hazardous haze emanating from the ongoing forest and plantation fires has led to 10 deaths, left 503 thousand people sick and 43 million people exposed to smoke, in six provinces in Sumatra and Kalimantan alone.
          People are suffering from acute respiratory infection, eye and skin irritations, and pneumonia.
         These figures are based on data of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) about the human victims of the fires razing Indonesian forests, which are home to various species of flora and fauna, including some of the rarest ones, such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers.
         So far, no data is available regarding animals that have become victims of the fires triggered by El Nino-induced drought. But reports from villagers living near the forest areas showed that the animals also suffered because of the fires.

INDONESIANS URGED TO BESEECH GOD FOR RAINS AS PROLONGED DROUGHT HITS HARD by Fardah

    Jakarta, Oct 26, 2015 (Antara) -- Indonesia is now being hit hard by the current prolonged drought induced by El Nino weather phenomena that has triggered widespread forest fires, a water crisis and harvest failures in some regions.
         Early this year, El Nino was predicted to develop in a weak fashion, but by the middle of this year, the forecast was upgraded to a weak to moderate El Nino.
         Now, NASA has reported that a strong El Niño is developing and appears likely to equal the intensity that it showed during 1997-98, the strongest El Niño on record which had triggered massive forest fires, particularly in Kalimantan where five million hectares of rainforest were destroyed.
         This year's El Niño, nicknamed "Godzilla," has significantly reduced precipitation across Indonesia. In parts of East Nusa Tenggara, there has been no rain over the past five months.
         The rainy season that usually starts in September or October, has been delayed most likely until November, or even December, or even till early 2016 in certain provinces.

HAZARDOUS HAZE FORCES SCHOOL CLOSURES IN SUMATRA, KALIMANTAN by Fardah

  Jakarta, Oct 25, 2015 (Antara)- The thick and hazardous haze emanating from the prolonged forest, peatland and plantation fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan has a significant impact on education on the two islands as it is frequently impending teaching and learning activities there.
       Schools have frequently been closed for temporary in many provinces badly hit by the haze, such as in Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Jambi, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, and North Sumatra. 
   In East Kotawaringin district, Central Kalimantan Province, which is the worst affected by the haze, the local education office has once again decided to close schools - from kindergarten until senior high schools, due to the hazardous haze shrouding the region.
       "The school closure is extended until October 31," Head of the East Kotawaringin education office Suparmadi said in Sampit, on Oct. 25.
        The pollutant standard index in East Kotawaringin reached 680.73 ugh/Nm3 on October 23 and 24, which is categorically very hazardous.

Jumat, 23 Oktober 2015

SUMATRANS HOPE RUSSIAN WATER BOMBERS, RAINS TO END FOREST FIRES by Fardah

    Jakarta, Oct 23, 2015 (Antara)- The haze-choked Sumatran inhabitants' hopes of foreign assistance expediting the process of extinguishing the forest fires has suffered a setback as Australia and Malaysia withdrew their aircraft since the fires are spreading to wider areas.
        The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has recorded a total of 2,742 hotspots of forest, peatland, and plantation fires across Indonesia on Oct 22, including 703 hotspots in South Sumatra, 36 in Riau, and 23 in Bangka Belitung.
       "Thick haze is still shrouding Sumatra, Kalimantan, and parts of Papua," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman of the BNPB, stated in Jakarta on Oct. 23, 2015.
       The haze has also affected Singapore and certain parts of Malaysia and Thailand. Therefore, the Indonesian government decided to accept the offers put forth by Malaysia and Singapore to fight the wildfires.

GOVT PREPARES FOR EVACUATION OF HAZE-CHOCKED INFANTS by Fardah

  Jakarta, Oct 23, 2015 (Antara) - The prolonged drought in Indonesia, induced by El Nino weather phenomena, worsened the forest, peatland and plantation fires, leading to hazardous haze, particularly in six provinces.
         These six provinces are South Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan. 
    Between June 29 and October 5, 2015,  at least 307,360 people in the six provinces sought medical treatment for respiratory problems and other diseases caused by smoke or haze from the fires.
         People living in regions covered by haze mostly suffered from acute respiratory infections, eye and skin irritations, pneumonia, asthma and diarrhea.
         The most high-risk groups that might suffer from poor air quality are infants, toddlers, children, pregnant women and the elderly. They are three times more likely to suffer very serious consequences than others. According to a media report, at least 10 people, mostly babies, have died so far due to the effect of haze.

Kamis, 22 Oktober 2015

INDONESIA COMMITTED TO MAINTAINING STABILITY IN SOUTH CHINA SEA By Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 22, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia shares its border with the South China Sea in the northwest, off the Natuna Islands in Riau Islands Province.
         So far, Indonesia is not among the countries involved in the South East China dispute. It has remained neutral regarding the overlapping claims made over the South China Sea territories by some ASEAN member countries, and China in particular.
         The ASEAN countries that are making overlapping claims in the South China Sea include Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, and Malaysia. They have individually confronted China, which has claimed sovereignty almost the entire South China Sea area.
         However, some officials had expressed concerns last year following a report on China drawing nine-dash line maps claiming sovereignty, including over Indonesia's Natuna Islands.

Rabu, 21 Oktober 2015

HAZE-CHOCKED INHABITANTS OF C KALIMANTAN CRY FOR HELP by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 21, 2015 (Antara)- The thick hazardous haze shrouding Central Kalimantan over the past two months has become so unbearable that many inhabitants of the province have desperately called upon the central government to help.
        Some residents have even shifted to other areas, including to Java Island.
        Over the last three days, the air pollution standard index in Central Kalimantan Province reached a level so hazardous that it could significantly endanger public health.
       On Oct. 20 morning in Palangka Raya, the air pollution standard index had reached 1950.33 pm10, while a level of above 300 pm10 is categorically hazardous to health.
          With such a deteriorating haze condition, the authorities should have evacuated the entire population affected by the haze.
         "All efforts to tackle the haze problem have been concentrated in the Sumatra Island, while Central Kalimantan has been ignored," Chairman of the Central Kalimantan Dayak Customary Council (DAD), Sabran Achmad, said in Central Kalimantan when coordinating a coin collecting campaign on Oct. 21 as a protest against the government.

Selasa, 20 Oktober 2015

MAYORS OF ASIA-PACIFIC CITIES DISCUSS NEW URBAN AGENDA DURING APUF-6 by Fardah

     Jakarta, Oct 20, 2015 (Antara)- A number of mayors from cities across the Asian and Pacific nations are gathering in Jakarta for the Sixth Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-6) taking place from October 19 to 21, 2015, organized jointly by the Indonesian government and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
         The APUF 6 carrying the theme, "Sustainable Urban Development in Asia-Pacific: Towards a New Urban Agenda", is held back-to-back with the Asia-Pacific Urban Youth Assembly (APUFY 2015) from October 17 to 18 October, and the High-Level Preparatory Meeting for Habitat III from October 21 to 22, 2015.
         The third High-Level Preparatory Meeting for Habitat III will be organized in Surabaya, East Java Province, in July 2016.
         Indonesian Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimulyono officially opened both the APUF-6 and the APUFY 2015 participated in by some 300 youngsters from 34 Asia-Pacific countries to discuss the future of urban areas.

Minggu, 18 Oktober 2015

POLICE STRENGTHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGAINST SUSPECTS IN FOREST FIRE CASES by Fardah

  Jakarta, Oct 18, 2015 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has intensified its efforts to extinguish forest and plantation fires, following the pressure from neighboring countries affected by haze from the fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.   
   In fact, forest fires and the consequent haze that spread as far as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have affected Indonesia's reputation at the international level, according to the founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) and former Indonesian ambassador to the US, Dino Patti Djalal.
        The haze was no longer just an Indonesian problem, and had rather become a regional concern, Djalal stated recently.
        He said this has led to a negative effect politically, economically, socially, and psychologically, as it polluted the air, affected the transportation and disrupted flights, in Indonesia as well as in neighboring countries.
        "It is reported that the forest fires could end up raising the rate of global emission by two percent," Djalal, former deputy foreign minister, noted.

Sabtu, 17 Oktober 2015

INDONESIA INTENSIFIES PILGRIMAGE TOURISM PROMOTION by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 17, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia has a number of pilgrimage and cultural heritage sites, such as ancient trails and sacred places, which date as far back as the seventh century, apart from even some megalithic sites in the country. 
    The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2010 estimated that some 330 million tourists, or 30 percent of the total global tourists, visited religious sites.
         A study showed an increase of up to 165 percent in faith-based tourism over the past five years.
         Having a motto of "Unity in Diversity,"  Indonesia has a lot of characteristics to develop pilgrimage tourist destinations of Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and 245 local faiths.   

Kamis, 15 Oktober 2015

EL NINO-INDUCED DROUGHT LIKELY TO FORCE INDONESIA TO IMPORT RICE By Fardah

  Jakarta, Oct 15, 2015 (Antara) - The current prolonged drought triggered by the El Nino natural weather phenomenon has hurt paddy harvests in parts of Indonesia as rice fields have dried up, owing to the paucity of rainfall.    
   Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had forecast a drought warning earlier that would affect regions south of the equator, such as parts of Sumatra, the Java Island, Kalimantan, Bali Island, East Nusa Tenggara, and Papua, until November or December this year.
        El Nino significantly reduces precipitation and leads to a decline in water reserves and droughts. Therefore, agricultural land and forests are the most likely to feel its impact, the Head of BMKG, Andi Eka Sakya had said on July 30.
        To cope with the drought, the government has provided water pumps as a short-term solution. As a long-term solution, the government is set to build thousands of small and large dams, and reservoirs at several locations.

Minggu, 11 Oktober 2015

SIMULTANEOUS REGIONAL HEAD ELECTIONS IN 2017 TO USE E-VOTING SYSTEM by Fardah

 Jakarta,  Oct 11, 2015 (Antara)- Using the electronic voting (e-voting) system in the general elections has once again become a public discourse in Indonesia currently.
         The previous discourse was in 2010 when some officials debated whether the Indonesian public were ready to use the e-voting system in the 2014 general elections.
         The then home affairs minister, Gamawan Fauzi, had believed that the Indonesian public were not ready for e-voting in the presidential and legislative elections in 2014.
         "Our public is not ready. Our people feel more comfortable with ballots. Especially people in remote areas are not used to technological devices such as computers," Fauzi said on the sidelines of a national dialog on the use of the e-Voting system in the 2014 general elections organized by the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) in May 2010.
         From the facility concern, BPPT claimed that the agency was ready technologically and had even tried it in village head elections in Jembrana District, Bali Province, in 2009.

Sabtu, 10 Oktober 2015

PUTTING OUT FOREST FIRES CRUCIAL TO SAVING LIVES by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 10 , 2015(Antara) - At least 307,360 people in six Indonesian provinces, from June 29 to October 5, 2015, sought medical treatment for respiratory problems and other diseases caused by smoke or haze from forest fires coming from Indonesia's Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands. 
    "The number of patients visiting health facilities has increased by 15-20 percent over the last three weeks. The condition will be very worrying if the smoke does not stop," Health Minister Nila Djuwita Moeloek told the press on Oct 6.
        Those people living in regions covered by haze have mostly suffered from acute respiratory infections, eye and skin irritations, pneumonia, asthma and diarrhea.

Kamis, 08 Oktober 2015

INDONESIA ACCEPTS FOREIGN ASSISTANCE TO EXTINGUISH FOREST FIRES By Fardah

   Jakarta, Oct 8, 2015 (Antara)- The inhabitants of Sumatra and Kalimantan, as well as the citizens of Malaysia and Singapore, who have been choked by the haze emanating from Indonesian forest and plantation fires, will hopefully get some respite soon as Indonesia has accepted offers by some countries to help put out the prolonged fires.
        The forest fires have resulted in millions of people, including those from Malaysia and Singapore, to become victims of the haze.  
   Besides Malaysia and Singapore, the Thai holiday resort island of Phuket has also been shrouded in the haze coming from Sumatra. As a result, Thailand's Foreign Minister invited Indonesia's ambassador for a meeting on Thursday to discuss the forest fires, the Bangkok Post reported.
        Thousands of personnel, including from the Indonesian military, have been deployed to extinguish the fires, but the efforts were not successful because the fires in peat land areas particularly, keep flaring up repeatedly.

Senin, 05 Oktober 2015

INDONESIA OPTIMISTIC VISA-FREE POLICY WILL BOOST TOURISM by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 5, 2015 (Antara) - The Indonesian tourism ministry has observed that until October 2015, the government's visa-free policy has significantly boosted foreign tourist arrivals from 30 out of the total 47 countries being offered the facility.
         The number of tourist arrivals has increased by 16 percent since August, compared to only 2.9 percent during the January-July 2015 period.
        The most significant surge was observed from China, with an increase of 24 percent in August, in comparison with the same period last year, I Gde Pitana, the deputy in charge of international tourism marketing development of the tourism ministry, stated recently.   
   The government is offering visa-free facility to the citizens of 47 countries from October 2015 as the policy was earlier only applicable to 45 countries.
       The new policy is intended to boost the number of foreign tourist arrivals, which is expected to reach 20 million by 2019.

Minggu, 04 Oktober 2015

DIVING TOURISM TO BECOME PRIMA DONNA OF INDONESIA'S TOURISM by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 4, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia, the world's largest archipelagic nation, has a large potential for diving tourism, with excellent diving spots spreading from Weh Island in the country's western most province of Aceh to Raja Ampat isles located in the country's eastern most province of West Papua.
        Between these two tourist destinations, there are other exotic diving sites located in Banda Island (Maluku), Bunaken (North Sulawesi), Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), Lembeh Strait (North Sulawesi), Alor Isle (East Nusa Tenggara), Togean (Central Sulawesi), Gili Air (West Nusa Tenggara), Komodo Island (East Nusa Tenggara), and Cendrawasih Bay (Papua Province).
         Among the world's best diving spots to be found in Indonesia are those in Raja Ampat, Komodo Isle, Derawan (East Kalimantan), Togean, Wakatobi, Gilir Air and Bunaken (North Sulawesi).
        Indonesia has been promoting its world-class diving spots internationally in order to attract more tourists and meets its target of receiving some 10 million foreign tourists in 2015.    

INDONESIA WELCOMES RAISING OF PALESTINIAN FLAG AT UN by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 4, 2015 (Antara) - Many countries, including Indonesia, welcome the raising of the Palestinian flag for the first time in the Rose Garden of the United Nations (UN) in New York, Sept. 30, 2015.
       The flag hoisting took place following the UN General Assembly's approval of a resolution to raise the flag with an overwhelming majority voting in favor of it on September 10, Al Jazeera reported.
       The motion was passed with 119 votes in favor, while 45 countries abstained and eight voted against, among them Israel, the US, Australia and Canada. 
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi and the country's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Desra Percaya were present in the historic flag hoisting ceremony.

      Minister Marsudi told detikcom. on Oct 1, 2015 that Indonesia is very pleased and sees the raising of the Palestinian flag as an initial step toward a full UN membership.
         "Indonesia is and will always be with Palestinian people in their fight for Palestine's independence and full UN membership," she stated.

Kamis, 01 Oktober 2015

HARDWORKING KHOFIFAH PARAWANSA BELIEVES IN WOMEN'S ROLE AS PEACE PROMOTERS by Fardah

  Jakarta, Oct 1, 2015 (Antara) - Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa, Indonesia's hardworking minister, is almost always present and caring for the people whenever any calamity strikes, whether natural or made-made, in the country.
         At a time when most Muslims were enjoying the Idul Adha (Sacrifice) holiday on Sept. 24, 2015, she decided to join the victims of sectarian violence and performed Idul Adha prayers with them in Karubaga sub-district, Tolikara District, Papua Province.
         Attended by some 600 people, the prayers went off smoothly and peacefully at the Khairul Ummah mosque at a military complex in Karubaga.
         Imam Syekh Ali Jaber led the prayers while Ustad Fadlan Garamatan delivered the sermon.

Rabu, 30 September 2015

NOVEMBER BEST TIME TO ENJOY MARINE BEAUTY OF WAKATOBI by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 30, 2015 (Antara)- The legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau,  the French pioneering explorer of the seas, is said to have called the Wakatobi islands in Southeast Sulawesi Province, an underwater Nirwana.
         He also described the district as the finest diving site in the world.
         Located right in the heart of the Asia-Pacific Coral Triangle, the Wakatobi Islands which have been designated as a national marine park, offer crystal clear pristine waters and a rich biodiversity of underwater life, a true paradise for divers.
         Marine lovers now can have better access to Wakatobi as Indonesian shipping company PT Pelni is now offering marine tourism tours to guests to sail to Wakatobi and Raja Ampat in West Papua Province.
         The Raja Ampat tour will start from October 29 and last till November 1, 2015, by MV Tatamailu, Akhmad Sujadi, a spokesman of Pelni, said in a press statement recently.
    For the Wakaboti tour, it will use MV Kelimutu and will start from November 15, lasting till November 19 of this year.

KALIMANTAN FOREST FIRES THREATEN TO WIPE OUT CRITICAL ORANGUTAN POPULATION by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 30, 2015 (Antara)- The ongoing forest fires in Kalimantan not only threaten the inhabitants of the island but also the orangutans, which literally mean "person of forest," that live in the forests.   
    The fires, which worsen due to the El-Nino induced drought, have forced animals to flee to the remaining small forest areas located near villages.
         An orangutan (pongo pygmaeus morio) recently lost its way and entered a village as the endangered animal was trying to escape the forest fires in Sampit, East Kotawaringin District, Central Kalimantan Province.
        "It has been several days since this orangutan has been spotted roaming around in the forest here. It has been seen eating leaves on the trees as there is nothing else to eat. But, in the evening, it might come down to the settlement area in search of food. Therefore, we are afraid that it might attack us," Jitu, an inhabitant of Sampit, stated on Sept, 27.
        The male orangutan, believed to be 11 years old, lost its way in a forest near the construction site of a water boom recreational park in Baamang sub-district.

Selasa, 29 September 2015

WAKATOBI DECLARATION LAUDS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS' ROLE AS ACTORS OF DEVELOPMENT by Fardah

   Jakarta, Sept 29, 2015 (Antara)-  Some 177 representatives of Asian-Pacific cities, international organizations, and local governments and associations attended the Asia-Pacific Conference on "Local Government Voices towards Habitat III on a New Urban Agenda" in Wakatobi, Sulawesi, on Sept. 5-7.
        The conference was organized in Southeast Sulawesi in preparation for an international Habitat III conference themed "Housing and Sustainable Urban Development" to be held by the United Nations in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.
        "This conference addresses the urban issues we may face in the future. One of the major agendas of the United Nations is Habitat or New Urban Habitat," Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Asia-Pacific Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi stated in early September.

INDONESIAN FOREST FIRES CAUSE REGIONAL CONCERN by Fardah

    Jakarta, Sept 29, 2015 (Antara) - Millions of people in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore have been affected by the haze mainly arising from forest, peatland, and plantation fires on Sumatra and Kalimantan islands over the last few weeks.
        Dense haze has forced the temporary shutdown of schools in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Tens of thousands of people on the two islands have suffered from diseases, such as respiratory problems, pneumonia, and eye irritation due to the haze.
        The operations at airports in some provinces on those islands are almost paralyzed as flights are frequently hindered by the smog arising from wildfires that has reduced visibility up to 50 meters in the worst-hit areas.
        The Indonesian government has taken utmost efforts and has deployed nearly three thousand military and police personnel to help put out the fires and impose legal enforcement against the perpetrators. 
  The Indonesian Police have so far named a total of 204 people as suspects in forest and plantation fire cases across the country.

Sabtu, 26 September 2015

INDONESIA LOSES JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMPION ADNAN BUYUNG NASUTION by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 26, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia has lost one of its best-known sons, prominent lawyer Adnan Buyung Nasution, recognized as a champion of human rights and justice.
        Nasution, 81, died of kidney failure at Pondok Indah Hospital on Sept. 23 and was buried the next day at Tanah Kusir Public Cemetery in South Jakarta, with full military honors. Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution acted as the inspector at the funeral ceremony.
         The lawyer's daughter, Pia Akbar Nasution, told the press that her father began experiencing heart problems shortly after his acid reflux began acting up, due to a recent tooth extraction surgery, which did not allow him to eat solid foods.

Jumat, 25 September 2015

INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT URGED TO HELP STOP ISRAELI ATTACKS ON AL-AQSA by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 25, 2015 (Antara) - Tensions around Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third Islamic holiest site, have been high since Sunday (Sept. 13) when Israeli forces met Palestinians in the compound with tear gas and stun grenades.
        The Israeli attacks were aimed at preventing worshipers from performing prayers in the mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself had urged Muslims to pray in Al-Aqsa.
        Israel has been enforcing a unilateral temporal division on the mosque; banning Palestinians from entering the compound during specific hours, while settlers are provided with a police escort into the Islamic holy site.
        The Israeli brutality has triggered strong reactions from Muslims all over the world including in Indonesia.

Kamis, 24 September 2015

HIGH-SPEED RAILWAY PROJECT TO BE DEVELOPED UNDER B2B FUNDING SCHEME by Fardah

   Jakarta, Sept 24, 2015 (Antara)- The Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration has changed the financing scheme for the High-Speed Railway (HSR) project connecting Jakarta and Bandung in West Java from state budget (APBN) funding to a business-to-business (B2B) model. 
   The construction of the 150 kilometer (km)-long HSR, which is estimated to cost around Rp70-80 trillion, has so far been offered to two bidders -- Japan and China -- both of which have presented their proposals to the Indonesian government.  
   Initially, the government would construct the HSR similar to the Shinkansen train network, which could reduce the travelling time on the Jakarta-Bandung railway route to around half an hour.
        However, the Jokowi administration has changed its mind, affirming that the cost of the project is too high, and therefore, it would be offered to investors.

CONSTRUCTION WORK FOR RAILWAY PROJECTS OUTSIDE JAVA TO START SOON by Fardah

   Jakarta, Sept 24, 2015 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo has pledged that the government will soon start the construction of railway projects outside Java.
         The president said this after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in East Jakarta, on Sept. 9, 2015.
         Mass transportation infrastructure is not being solely constructed on Java Island, President Jokowi stated.
         "By the end of this month, the development of a railway line will begin in Sulawesi. The groundbreaking was initially scheduled to be held in August, but I will officiate at such a ceremony only after at least five to seven kilometers long stretch is constructed," he noted, adding that the construction work must be carried out seriously.

Selasa, 22 September 2015

MOUNT SINABUNG REFUGEES EXPECTED TO START NEW LIFE BEFORE ENTERING 2016 By Fardah

   Jakarta, Sept 22, 2015 (Antara) - Thousands of people in North Sumatra Province were displaced and have been forced to live in refugee camps for almost five years now due to the prolonged eruption of Mount Sinabung located in Karo District.
         Normal life of these people has been thrown out of gear. They could not make a living normally, nor could their children go to their usual schools since their villages have been destroyed by the volcanic eruption that has been going on and off since 2010. 
    The number of evacuees has reached 2,572 people, who are currently being accommodated in nine evacuation centers.
         In response to the refugees' complaints about their ordeals and the fact that they are being forced to stay in temporary shelters or emergency camps, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed that efforts to provide permanent houses for the victims of the Mount Sinabung volcanic eruption be completed before the end of 2015.

ELECTIONS COMMISSION TO ENSURE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, DATA TRANSPARENCY by Fardah

 Jakarta, Sept 22, 2015 (Antara) - The General Elections Commission (KPU), as the executor of the general elections and simultaneous regional head elections, is committed to ensuring the protection of human rLabelsights and data transparency in implementing elections across the country.
       As Indonesia is gearing up for simultaneous regional head elections on December 9, 2015, KPU Chairman Husni Kamil Manik on Sept. 21 signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) respectively on data transparency, accessibility and digitization, as well as on the protection of human rights.
        The MoU on data transparency and information accessibility was signed by Manik, Director of the Association for Election and Democracy (Perludem) Titi Anggraini, and MNC Media in a bid to ensure free and fair elections.