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.

Jumat, 18 September 2015

INDONESIA KEEN TO FOLLOW UP INVESTMENT, ECONOMIC AGREEMENT WITH MIDEAST COUNTRIES by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 18 , 2015(Antara)- Following a five-day trip by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to three wealthy Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - the government is keen to enact agreements signed with those nations.  
    Saudi Arabia is Indonesia's largest trading partner in the Middle East, while the UAE is the main destination for Indonesian exports in the Middle East, and Qatar is the largest investor among Middle Eastern countries in Indonesia, including for its portfolio investments.

         The visit from Sept. 11 to 15 was aimed not only at opening greater access for Indonesian commodities in Middle Eastern markets, but also at encouraging investors from the three countries to make direct investments in Indonesia, particularly in infrastructure, maritime and energy sectors.
         Jokowi has assigned Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said to follow up on the agreements in investment, economics and investment cooperation signed between Indonesia and the three Arab nations.

ASEAN URGED TO HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AT AMF FORUM By Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 18, 2015 (Antara) - Some 60 mayors from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries participated in the ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF) and City Expo 2015.
        The forum was based on the theme, "Adaptive and Intelligent Cities for an Integrated Borderless Prosperous Region," and was jointly organized by the United Cities and Local Governments of Asia-Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), the Committee of Permanent Representatives of ASEAN, and the City of Makassar, which is also the host. The event was held from September 8 to 10.
        In a declaration issued on the last day of the meeting in Makassar, the mayors affirmed that local governments played an important role in ASEAN, particularly in building a stronger ASEAN Community.
        They urged ASEAN to reach out to local governments, to assess their needs and to support them through necessary actions that would help achieve solutions for the region's common problems.
        For this purpose, they call upon on the regional group to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat for dealing with local government issues, and to create a specific unit to coordinate regional action.

Rabu, 16 September 2015

NEW DISASTER MITIGATION AGENCY CHIEF SETS TIMETABLE TO EXTINGUISH FIRES by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 16, 2015 (Antara) -  About a week after he took over as the new chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency Agency (BNPB), Rear Admiral Willem Rampangilei has set a timetable to extinguish forest and plantation fires, particularly in Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands.
        The problem of haze in Riau Province would end next week, given the state of the fires and the capability of military and police personnel deployed to extinguish these, Rampangilei said at the Halim Perdanakusuma air force base, East Jakarta, on Sept. 15.  
  President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Sept. 7, appointed Willem Rampangilei, 60, as the new chief of the BNPB, succeeding Samsyul Ma'arif, at a time amid massive forest fires and consequent haze engulfing Sumatra and Kalimantan islands.

FIGHT AGAINST FOREST FIRES INTENSIFIED AS HAZE ENGULFS MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 16, 2015 (Antara) - A thick haze that followed the forest and plantation fires on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan has not only been chocking local inhabitants, but also the citizens of Malaysia and Singapore, over the past two weeks.   
   The cycle of fires, followed by haze, has become almost an annual occurrence.
         Some 1,887 hotspots--575 in Sumatra and 1,312 in Kalimantan--had been detected through the Terra and Aqua Satellites by Sept. 11 afternoon.
         People living in the haze-impacted regions in the three neighboring countries have been advised to avoid outdoor activities.
        In Indonesia and Malaysia, schools have been temporarily closed as haze has reached hazardous level.
         Malaysia began cloud-seeding operations to try to induce rain to clear the air after a layer of heavy haze hung in the atmosphere on Sept. 15.
        Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) is dispatching a total of 2,909 military and police personnel in stages to help put out the fires on those two islands, the agency's spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said on Sept. 15.

BENGKULU TO GROW RAFFLESIA TO BOOST ECOTOURISM by Fardah

     Jakarta, Sept 16 , 2015(Antara)- Bengkulu City, dubbed "The Land of Rafflesia," is hosting an international symposium on Rafflesia and Amorphophallus, two of the world's most charismatic yet endangered species, from September 14 to 16, 2015.
        Scientists and researchers from eight countries, including Japan, China, France, and Malaysia, are attending the symposium, which is being jointly organized by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry, and the Bengkulu administration.
         The meeting was originally planned to focus on Rafflesia, but later, the organizing committee decided to also include Amorphophallus as most of the people cannot distinguish between Rafflesia and Amorphophallus, which are among the world's rarest and largest flowers.

Senin, 14 September 2015

NGO TO PROVIDE LEGAL COUNSEL TO VICTIMS OF FOREST FIRES By Fardah

   Jakarta, Sept 14, 2015 (Antara) - The prolonged drought induced by the El Nino phenomenon, has resulted in a water crisis and harvest failure in some provinces, and also increased the incidence of forest fires in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java and Sulawesi.
         Smog and haze emanating from forest, peatland, and plantation fires has disrupted flight schedules, forced schools to shut down, and led to diseases, such as respiratory ailments, eye irritation and pneumonia.
         Schools in Palembang, Jambi, Pekanbaru and Bengkalis on Sumatra Island, and Singkawang and North Baritoon Kalimantan Island, have been closed as classrooms were filled with thick smoke and many students suffered from respiratory tract infections.

Sabtu, 12 September 2015

INCIDENCE OF INT'L CYBERCRIME SYNDICATES USING RI AS BASE INCREASES By Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 12, 2015 (Antara) - The Jakarta Metropolitan police has confirmed that more and more international crime syndicates are using Indonesia as one of their bases for carrying out cybercrimes.
         "Indonesia is no longer a destination for transnational crimes, but has slowly transformed into a hub for the operations of international crime syndicates," the Director of General Crime Investigation for the Jakarta Metropolitan Police Command, Senior Commissioner Krishna Murti, stated on Aug. 20.
         He said several crime syndicates had entered Indonesia, organized their activities, rented places, and carried out criminal acts.
         "The criminals are recruited from China, and the main players are members of Yakuza, Japan," he revealed.
         The police officer also revealed that big syndicates were controlled from Taiwan and other places, including from Indonesia, China, and Japan.

JOKOWI ADMINISTRATION OPTIMISTIC ABOUT INDONESIA'S ECONOMY by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 12, 2015(Antara)- Amid the global economic slowdown, President Koko Widodo (Jokowi) has emphasized the importance of having a common vision regarding the country¿s economic policies and their implementation.
        Jokowi explained that the economic slowdown in Indonesia has been caused by the Greek crisis that occurred a few months ago, the hike in the United States' interest rates, and the depreciation of the yuan in China, coupled with escalating tensions between South and North Korea.
        The president, however, believed that Indonesia's economy is now much better than in 1998 or 2008, when economic crises hit many countries, including Indonesia.
        Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves are now recorded at US$107 billion. "This is adequate to pay for 7.5 months of imports", he noted.

Jumat, 11 September 2015

GREATER JAKARTA TO HAVE LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT SYSTEM BY 2018 By Fardah

     Jakarta, Sept 11, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia's capital Jakarta is one of the world's most traffic-congested and populated cities, with over 10 million people commuting to the city on working days from the suburbs.
        As a solution to this problem, the authorities have provided a number of public transportation means, such as the Trans-Jakarta bus service and commuter train KRL Jabodetabek to serve the Greater Jakarta or Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi) areas.
        However, traffic jams persist and the use of KRL Jabodetabek, as well as Trans-Jakarta, has become inconvenient, owing to their always being crowded during peak hours.
        The grave traffic congestion in the capital city has inflicted material losses, amounting to some Rp65 trillion annually, and also caused psychological problems among commuters in addition to decreasing their productivity.

Kamis, 10 September 2015

BALI TOURISM RECOVERS FROM ASH PROBLEMS CAUSED BY RAUNG ERUPTION by Fardah

   Jakarta, Sept 10, 2015 (Antara)- Indonesia is prone to volcanic disasters as currently 18 volcanoes are in the status of watch out, three in alert status, and one in warning status.
         Mount Raung, one of the currently erupting active volcanoes, is located on the borders of Bondowoso, Banyuwangi, and Jember districts in East Java Province.
         The eruption of Mount Raung had led to some temporary closures of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali since July 9, with ash clouds drifting towards one of the world's most famous tourist islands.
         Besides the Ngurah Rai Airport, four other Indonesian airports, mainly Lombok International Airport and Selaparang Airport in West Nusa Tenggara Province; Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java Province; and Notohadinegoro Airport in Jember, East Java, were also shut down temporarily due to intermittent eruptions.

Rabu, 09 September 2015

FOREST FIRE SMOG FORCES FLIGHT DELAYS, CANCELLATION AT 16 AIRPORTS by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 9, 2015 (Antara) -  Forest and plantation fires producing thick smog have flared up on the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java and Sulawesi during the El Nino-induced drought at present. 
    The Transportation Ministry has reported that 16 airports on the Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands have been impacted by the smog hanging over the region for the past one week.
         "The visibility decreased to below 800 meters, preventing any plane from landing," the ministry's Spokesman J.A. Barata said in a press statement on Sept. 7, 2015.

CENTRAL SULAWESI STRIVING TO BECOME MAJOR VANNAMEI SHRIMP PRODUCER

     Jakarta, Sept 9, 2015 (Antara) -  As around 70 percent of Indonesia`s territory consists of water, it is but logical if the government has the ambition of making Indonesia one of the world`s biggest shrimp and fish producers.
       Indonesia, as one of the world`s largest maritime countries, has about 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory and 92,000 kilometers of beach and coastal strips, second only after Canada.
       Online media quoted estimates from Aquaculture Asia Pacific that suggest Indonesia became the second-largest shrimp producer in the world in 2014.
        Its vannamei shrimp production was up 31 percent or  504,000 metric tons, according to statistics cited by Shrimp News International, making it second only to China, which produced 955,000t in 2014, according to information on www.undercurrentnews.com.

Selasa, 08 September 2015

INDONESIANS ADVISED NOT TO BE WARY OF FOREIGN WORKERS By Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 8, 2015 (Antara) - Some Indonesians are becoming increasingly wary about the possible growth in the influx of foreign workers into the country.
        These concerns were intensified following President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) decision to scrap the requirement that foreigners working in Indonesia should master Indonesia's national language -- the Bahasa, and hold a Temporary Stay Permit (KITAS).
        The head of state had said during a recent Cabinet meeting that these two regulations need to be removed because they have hampered the government¿s efforts to create a conducive climate for investors.
        Foreign workers being mandated to speak Indonesian is a regulation formulated by the Manpower Ministry. Meanwhile, the requirement to hold a KITAS has been mentioned under the 2011 Immigration Law.    

Senin, 07 September 2015

STERN LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDED TO TACKLE FOREST FIRES by Fardah

 Jakarta, Sept 7, 2015 (Antara) - The problem of haze has been getting worse on Sumatra Island, forcing flight delays and temporary school shutdowns, and affecting the public's overall health.
        As of Monday morning, a total of 413 hotspots were detected across Sumatra Island. Riau Province had 45 hotspots, Bengkulu had five hotspots, Jambi had 170, Lampung had 31, South Sumatra had 79, West Sumatra had four, Bangka Belitung had 77, and two hotspots were found in Riau Islands.   
   For the past 18 years, Riau has been affected by the haze arising from forest and plantation fires on an annual basis. Over the last week, visibility in parts of Riau had dropped to between 200 and 800 meters.
        Feeling concerned with the environmental disaster and its impact on the public's health, hundreds of students from Riau University in Pekanbaru staged a rally on Monday to express five demands from the government regarding the haze disasters.

Selasa, 01 September 2015

SEA, HEARTHBEAT OF GORONTALO PROVINCE'S TOURISM by Fardah

    Jakarta, Sep 1, 2015 (Antara) - The word "Gorontalo" derived from "Hulontalangio", which is a name of one of Sulawesi's kingdoms. "Hulontalangio" was later shortened into "Hulontalo".
    Reportedly, Dutch colonizers had difficulty in pronouncing "Hulontalo" and instead called it as "Gorontalo".
       Gorontalo Province is a new autonomous region after separating from North Sulawesi Province on February 16, 2001.
        It has five districts - Gorontalo, Bone Bolango, Pohuwato, North Gorontalo and Boalemo Districts, and a city - Gorontalo City, the provincial capital.
        Based on the 2014 data, the population of Indonesia's 32th province is 1,115,633. It covers a total area of 12,435 km2 and shares borders with North Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi in the east and west respectively, Sulawesi Sea in the north, and Tomini Bay in the south.