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.