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).