Kamis, 31 Maret 2016

RI TO SCRAP OVER 3,000 OUTDATED REGULATIONS TO BOOST INVESTMENT By Fardah

Jakarta, March 31, 2016 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government plans to scrap thousands of local regulations, which seem to be hampering investment, given that they are slowing down the process of licensing and for doing business in the country.
        Home Affairs Minister, Tjahjo Kumolo, said 3,226 local regulations are potentially stalling investment and contradicting higher laws in Indonesia.
        "We have called officials of legal bureaus of all provinces and sent letters to district heads and mayors, (informing that) within the next three months, such local regulations will be revoked," Tjahjo Kumolo said in Padang, West Sumatra, on March 31.
        The regulations contain complicated bureaucratic and licensing procedures.
       The minister cited the example of when an investor needs to apply for a principle permit, a building permit (IMB), or a Hinder Ordonantie (HO) or Nuisance Permit, for opening a business in Indonesia.
       "In fact, the HO permit is from the Dutch colonial era. Why is it still being used? That's what we want to deal with," he pointed out.

AGENCY TO RESTORE OVER 800 THOUSAND HECTARES OF PEATLAND AREAS by Fardah

Jakarta, March 31, 2016 (Antara) - Two months after its establishment, the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) has claimed that it is now initiating on-field activities to restore over 800 thousand hectares (ha) of peatland areas spread across four districts. 
    "The (restoration) cost is estimated to reach Rp12 million per ha for five years," BRG Head Nazir Foead informed the press here, Thursday.
         The World Bank and the Center for International Forestry Research had estimated the restoration cost to reach between Rp6-36 million per ha, he remarked.
         Foead explained that the agency had completed the mapping of the peatland areas in the districts of Meranti Islands in Riau; Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin in South Sumatra; and Pulang Pisau in Central Kalimantan, which need restoration work.
        Of the 834,491 ha areas, 77 percent lie within cultivation areas while 23 percent are located in protected areas.

Selasa, 29 Maret 2016

POLIO IMMUNIZATION DRIVE LIKELY TO REACH 95 PERCENT TARGET by Fardah

 Jakarta, March 29, 2016 (Antara) - The Polio Immunization Week (PIN Polio) 2016 campaign carried out by the Indonesian government from March 8 to 15,  2016, is likely to have attained its 95 percent coverage target.
         First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo officially launched the PIN Polio 2016 in Mojosongo, Solo, Central Java, on March 8.
         She symbolically administered a dose of oral polio vaccine to a local baby boy.
         Minister of Health Nila F Moeloek, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani and Chairperson of Central Java PKK (Family Welfare Movement) Atiqoh Ganjar Pranowo also administered similar vaccines to several other children.
         In her remarks, Puan Maharani asserted that the  campaign is very important as an effort to ensure optimal vaccination against polio in Indonesia.
         Health Minister Nila Moeloek announced in early March plans to vaccinate 23.7 million infants up to the age of 59 months during the PIN Polio campaign to keep the world on track towards becoming polio-free by 2020.
         "We hope that this campaign can bring benefits so that the country can maintain its polio-free status and contribute to achieving the target of making the world polio-free by 2020," she said, adding that all infants must be given polio vaccine, so that they are immune to polio.
        

Senin, 28 Maret 2016

INDONESIA, CZECH FOCUS ON BILATERAL COOPERATION IN FIVE PRIORITY AREAS by Fardah

Jakarta, March 28, 2016 (Antara)- Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek's visit to Indonesia along with 31 businessmen in late February holds significance for enhancing Indonesian-Czech cooperation and partnership established 23 years ago, following Czechoslovakia's breakup into Czech Republic and Slovakia.
       During a bilateral meeting in Jakarta on Feb. 25, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and Zaoralek held discussions on the two countries' cooperation in five priority areas: trade, investment, tourism, education, and people-to-people contact.
        "Bilateral relations between Indonesia and the Czech Republic, especially in the economic field, are progressing well and continue to develop. The two countries, however, still need to optimize their potential and opportunities," Minister Marsudi stated.
        Marsudi and Zaoralek discussed bilateral business relations and the "removing of trade barriers," Czech News Agency (CTK) said while quoting Zaoralek's Tweet.

Sabtu, 26 Maret 2016

INDONESIA TO PROMOTE WHALE-WATCHING TOURISM by Fardah

 Jakarta, March 26, 2016 (Antara)-  With over 17 thousand islands, Indonesia is the largest and most varied archipelago on Earth and spans over 5,000 equatorial kilometres between Asia and Australia.
        Its total coastline extends over 80,000 km, close to one third of the Earth's circumference at the equator.
        So, it is not surprising if Indonesian waters have an exceptionally high whale and dolphin diversity.
        Twenty nine different cetacean species inhabit these waters, several of which are rare and endangered, according to APEX Environmental, an environmental organization with extensive expertise in oceanic whale and dolphin surveys, and cetacean ecology research.
         More than one third of all known whales and dolphins species worldwide can be found in Indonesian waters, according to APEX,  whose Indonesian Oceanic Cetacean Program (IOCP) has conducted research in Bunaken, Tua Marine Park and Sangihe Talaud in North Sulawesi, and Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). 
   Indonesia's tropical cetaceans include Spinner, Spotted, Indo-pacific Bottlenose, Fraser's and Rough-toothed Dolphins, as well as Melon-headed, False Killer, Pygmy Killer Whales and Eden's Whale.

Jumat, 25 Maret 2016

AUSTRALIA STRENGTHENS PRESENCE IN INDONESIA by Fardah

Jakarta, March 25, 2016 (Antara)- Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, as part of her busy schedule, visited Jakarta, Makassar in South Sulawesi Province, and Bali during a working visit on March 20-23, 2016.
        Bishop started her agenda by holding meetings with her Indonesian counterpart Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla in Jakarta to discuss efforts to boost bilateral, political, trade, and investment cooperation.
        Foreign Minister Bishop then formally inaugurated Australia's newly constructed embassy in the Patra Kuningan area, South Jakarta, which includes a five-storey Chancery, accommodation for some Embassy staff, and a recreation and medical center covering an area of more than 50 thousand square meters.
        "The state-of-the-art building and joint project between Australian and Indonesian companies symbolizes our commitment to strong and enduring ties with Indonesia. The new embassy facility will accommodate Australia's increased presence in Indonesia and will provide a secure working environment for our personnel," she stated.

INDONESIA TIGHTENS SECURITY MEASURES FOLLOWING BRUSSELS ATTACKS by Fardah

Jakarta, March 25, 2016 (Antara) - The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, have prompted the Indonesian government to tighten security measures across the country and to issue a travel advisory for Indonesians in or planning to visit Belgium.
      "We have told all (security personnel) to prevent (any possible terror act) and to increase alertness," Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Padjaitan stated a few hours after the Brussels attacks on March 22.
      The Indonesian government does not want such a terror attack to happen in the country, he emphasized.
         Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi expressed her sympathy and offered condolences to the Belgian government, people, and families of the victims of the Brussels attacks.
       "We strongly condemn terror acts, and let us unite in fighting terrorism," she stated before officially opening the Sixth Bali Process Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons, and Related Transnational Crime in Bali, on March 23.

Rabu, 23 Maret 2016

BALI PROCESS UNDERLINES CONCRETE ACTIONS TO ADDRESS IRREGULAR MIGRATION PROBLEMS by Fardah

Nusa Dua, Bali, March 23, 2016 (Antara) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi of Indonesia and Julie Bishop of Australia here Wednesday closed the sixth Bali Process that yielded a 14-point Bali Declaration on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons, and Related Transnational Crime.
        "...we are committed to have a mechanism of the Bali Process to facilitate timely and proactive consultation to respond to emergency situations. We underline the need to translate political commitments into concrete actions," the Declaration said.
        Minister Marsudi cited the influx of Rohingya refugees in May 2015 as an emergency situation.
        During the emergency situation, the Bali Process failed to offer either a concrete solution or cooperation in addressing the problem, she said at a press conference held after the closing of the meeting.
         Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand have been impacted by the influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
         "This must not happen again. Indonesia believes, in this case, that the humanitarian aspect must prevail. It was for this reason that Indonesia went the extra mile in accepting irregular migrants last year. But the task at hand is much bigger than one country can handle by itself. Therefore, we need to establish a special mechanism that would allow us to address this collectively," the minister stated earlier in her opening remarks.

Selasa, 22 Maret 2016

INDONESIA'S FIRM STANCE ON CHINA'S TERRITORIAL VIOLATIONS LAUDED by Fardah

    Jakarta, March 22, 2016 (Antara) - Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti was seemingly furious when she received a report about a Chinese flagged fishing vessel and a coast guard vessel violating the country's territorial waters off Natuna Island.
        As per the report, her ministry's patrol ship Hiu 11 had intercepted and detained FV Kway Fey 10078 on March 19 for fishing illegally in Indonesian waters off Natuna, Riau Islands.
         However, just when the Kway Fey, weighing 200 gross tonnage (GT),  was being taken away by the Hiu 11, a Chinese coast guard ship came all of a sudden and hit KM Kway Fei, ostensibly to prevent the Chinese fishing vessel from being taken to the Indonesian shore.
        To prevent a clash, the maritime and fishery ministry (KKP)   officers left FV Kway Fey and returned to the Hiu 11, bringing along  eight crew members of the Chinese fishing vessel.
         The minister told reporters on March 20 itself of her intention to "lodge a strong diplomatic protest," since the incident had taken place in the Indonesian economic exclusive zone (EEZ).
         "The intervention by the Chinese coastguard ship was a blatant violation of Indonesian sovereignty," the minister said, adding she would summon the Chinese ambassador for explanation.

COUNTERTERRORISM ACTIONS MUST UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS by Fardah

Jakarta, March 22, 2016 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has been working to strengthen its Special Detachment (Densus) 88 counterterrorism squad by seeking a revision of a law on terrorism and increasing the allocation of funds for the unit.
         Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said in February that he had informed the president and vice president of the need to improve the squad's facilities, personnel, and lodging.
          "We will again look at their remuneration as many of them have to stay away from their families since they are assigned duties out of town for several months. I think they deserve to be treated better," the minister emphasized.
         To this end, Pandjaitan said the government would propose the allocation of additional funds for Densus 88 to be included in the Amended State Budget (APBNP).

BANYUWANGI LURES TOURISTS WITH TRAIN RIDE, SCENIC NATURE by Fardah

Jakarta, March 22, 2016 (Antara)- Banyuwangi is the right choice for families looking for a tourist destination that offers a fun trolley train ride that will take them to picturesque mountainous areas, lush green plantation areas, and a historical tunnel.   
    The trolley train starts from Kalibaru Station and its final stop is at the Mrawan Station after passing through a 700-meter-long Gumitir tunnel, where passengers could make a brief stop and enjoy the surroundings.
         During the ride, the train passes through cacao and coffee plantation areas located more than 400 meters above sea level and surrounded by several mountains such as Mount Raung and Mount Gumitir.
         The region enjoys moderate temperature, usually lying between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. The trip takes some 50 minutes and costs Rp100 thousand per passenger.
         On March 20, Banyuwangi District Head Abdullah Azwar Anas inaugurated the operation of the trolley train ride in a ceremony also attended by PT KAI's Finance Director, Didiek Hartantyo.
         He recommends parents to bring along their children, who usually spend a large amount of time on games and gadgets, to be part of the ride that will take them on an adventure through plantations offering scenic views.
         The touristic ride is suitable for a family trip to introduce the children to nature, he said.
        

Minggu, 20 Maret 2016

INDONESIA'S ANTI-DRUGS DRIVE ALSO TARGETS MILITARY, POLICE, STATE PERSONNEL by Fardah

Jakarta, March 20, 2016 (Antara) - Military, police officers and civil servants have been targeted in a new anti-drugs strategy being launched throughout Indonesia lately.
          The move comes after  Ogan Ilir District Head Ahmad Wazir Nofiadi was arrested recently for alleged drug possession.
         The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) is currently targeting state officials using illicit drugs, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated in  Bandung, West Java, recently.
         Drug abuse in Indonesia is worse than terrorism as 30 to 50 people die every day due to drugs, and the total number of drug users reaches 5.9 million, according to the minister.
          Vice President Jusuf Kalla recently said he agrees with the idea of state officials, including members of the House of Representatives, being made to undergo urine drug tests .
         "It's a good idea. I agree. Aren't we now fighting against narcotic drugs?" he said.
         Kalla said he is ready to undergo the test himself to set an example for other state officials to follow.

Sabtu, 19 Maret 2016

INDONESIA HIGHTENS ZERO-TOLERANCE STANCE ON DRUGS Fardah

  Jakarta, March 19, 2016 (Antara) - Drug abuse, which is spiraling out control, has put Indonesia in a state of emergency, the Indonesian government has repeatedly said.
           Some 30 to 50 people die daily from drug abuse, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan revealed in Bandung, West Java March 18.
          "Drug abuse in Indonesia is worse than terrorism," the minister said, adding that the number of drug users has reached 5.9 million in the country.
         The country has 4.5 million drug addicts who need rehabilitation. Some 1.2 million drug addicts are in such dire straits that even rehabilitation is no longer an option for them.
          Nearly 75 percent of those convicted for drug trafficking still manage their businesses from jails, he affirmed.
          Despite the government's serious fight against illicit drugs, the number of drug-related cases had increased 13 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year.
         "This is recorded as the highest surge in the last five years. The increase in methamphetamine usage reached 350 percent and ecstasy 280 percent, which is very dangerous," Pandjaitan pointed out.
          Indonesia is one of the few countries that have the harshest drug laws in the world.
          In 2015, the Attorney General's Office had executed 14 death row inmates.

Jumat, 18 Maret 2016

INDONESIA, BELGIUM AGREE TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC TIES by Fardah

Jakarta, March 18, 2016 (Antara) - The Belgian government has sent a high-profile delegation to Indonesia, headed by Princess Astrid of Belgium, to strengthen bilateral economic relations, particularly in the fields of trade and investment. 
    Some 25 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and business contracts between business associations of both countries were signed during Princess Astrid's visit to Jakarta.
         Also, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Princess Astrid, during their meeting at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, on March 15, 2016, agreed that the two nations should step up economic cooperation.
         Jokowi expressed his optimism that Belgium's largest economic mission to Indonesia would help strengthen bilateral relations between both countries.    
    The Head of State also called for expanding interactions between both nations' business communities and for expanding market access for Indonesian products, such as footwear, rubber, textiles, electronics and furniture, to enter Belgium.

         Jokowi also invited Belgian investors to start businesses in strategic sectors in Indonesia, such as infrastructure, telecommunications, the film industry, and raw materials.
         "The president agreed to boost economic ties with Belgium, especially in trade and investment, as Indonesia is the production base and gateway for Belgian products to Southeast Asia," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi stated after the bilateral meeting.

BILATERAL, MULTILATERAL COOPERATION NEEDED TO FIGHT ILLEGAL FISHING by Fardah

Jakarta, March 18, 2016 (Antara)- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) instructed to partly blow up FV Viking, so the other part could be turned into a monument to serve as a reminder of the fight against illegal fishing activities.
        Jokowi decided to make FV Viking a monument as the foreign fishing ship had poached fish in the waters of several countries and had managed to evade arrest until the Indonesian Navy was finally able to capture it.    
    "For years, 13 countries had been on the lookout for FV Viking, a ship that had poached fish in several countries. Indonesia has managed to catch it - Jkw," President Jokowi tweeted on his Twitter account @jokowi on March 14.
         The FV Viking vessel had allegedly violated some international laws and conventions and had committed fraud by conducting illegal fishing practices.
          Earlier, Minister of Marine and Fishery Affairs Susi Pudjiastuti had revealed that according to the Norwegian Interpol, the fugitive vessel had changed its name 13 times and had used 12 different flags, thus the ship was designated as a stateless vessel.

Kamis, 17 Maret 2016

INDONESIAN SECURITY FORCES INTENSIFY MANHUNT FOR SANTOSO-LED GROUP by Fardah

 Jakarta, March 17, 2016 (Antara) - Shortly after Joko Widodo became Indonesia's seventh president in October 2014, Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo echoed the government's commitment to crush a terror group of Eastern Indonesian Mujahidin led by Santoso hiding in Poso, Central Sulawesi.
          "President Widodo's instruction is to sweep clean, for which all the TNI forces have been deployed. How come (we have done) nothing against them for the last decade? Starting next month, we are going to the field and will crush (them)," Minister Kumolo had stated in Papua in late December 2014.
          From early 2015 until January 9, 2016, joint police and military forces had launched security operations dubbed Seagull Maleo I to IV involving thousands of personnel, as well as warships and jet fighters in Poso.   
  During the Seagull Maleo IV operation, the forces managed to arrest 17 alleged terrorists and killed seven others, but Santoso was not among them. 
   Following the conclusion of the Seagull Maleo operations, the authorities have launched another security operation termed Tinombala to continue their hunt for Santoso and his men in the jungles of Poso, Central Sulawesi Province, since January 10, 2016, for two months.

Rabu, 16 Maret 2016

BANDUNG FLOODS CONSIDERED WORST IN 10 YEARS by Fardah

Jakarta, March 16, 2016 (Antara)- Floods have spread to wider areas across Indonesian provinces in the last few weeks, with the worst flood striking early this week in Bandung District, West Java Province.
         The Bandung floods have left two dead and three missing, as the Citarum River overflowed following incessantly heavy rains, which began March 8.
         The downpours caused flooding in 15 regions in Bandung District,  Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said in a statement on March 13.
         Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa and West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan visited flood victims on March 14. The minister inspected a public kitchen set up to feed the victims, to ensure that it had adequate supplies.   
    The flood-affected regions include Cicalengka, Rancaekek, Cileunyi, Solokan Jeruk, Majalaya, Ciparay, Baleendah, Dayeuhkolot, Bojongsoang, Pameungpeuk, Banjaran, Arjasri, Cangkuang, Katapang and Kutawaringin.

Senin, 14 Maret 2016

INDONESIA'S FIRST HONORARY CONSULATE FINALLY OPENS IN PALESTINE by Fardah

 Jakarta, March 14 , 2016 (Antara)- Indonesia has realized its overdue plan to open an honorary consulate in Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine, thanks to the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration's strong resolve and the courage of Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, in particular.
       Minister Retno had traveled a long way from Jakarta to Amman, Jordan, from where she was scheduled to go Ramallah, to inaugurate Maha Alkhus Hussein, who is also known as Maha Abu-Shusheh, as Indonesia's first-ever lady honorary consul to Palestine.
       The Israeli occupation forces, however, denied Retno and her delegation entry into the West Bank, Wafa news agency of Palestine reported.
        However, the Israeli injustice failed to deter the minister from going ahead with her plan to install the new honorary consul.
         Abu-Shusheh and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki decided to go to Amman for the inauguration ceremony that was finally held at the Indonesian embassy in Jordan's capital.  
  

Minggu, 13 Maret 2016

INDONESIA'S PAVILION AGAIN BAGS BEST EXHIBITOR AWARD AT ITB BERLIN by Fardah

 Jakarta, March 13, 2016  (Antara)- Indonesia's pavilion featuring a Phinisi tall ship has again won the Best Exhibitor Award for the Asia, Australia and Oceania category  in the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin held in Messe Berlin, Germany, on March 9-13, 2016.
        For the last two consecutive years, Phinisi has brought lucks to Indonesia as the country's pavilion also displaying the Indonesian legendary seafaring icon, won the Best Exhibitor Award for the same category in the 2015 ITB Berlin.
       Phinisi ship is a sea transportation means since time immemorial for Indonesian sailors who live in the archipelagic country, particularly South Sulawesi, which is dominated by water areas.
       Taking the Phinisi ship as an icon for the Indonesian pavilion is aimed at promoting the country's maritime tourist destinations.

Jumat, 11 Maret 2016

SIGI GOES INTERNATIONAL, THANKS TO TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE by Fardah

Jakarta, March 11, 2016 (Antara) -  The March 9 total solar eclipse (TSE) proved to be a blessing for the Sigi District located in Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia, as it resulted in international publicity for the area.
         A large number of tourists and Western scientists thronged the district to watch the spectacular natural phenomenon
    The province received some three thousand tourists, most of them arriving in Sigi, to observe the TSE as the district was considered one of the best viewing spots for the event.
         Sigi has four observation points, respectively, located in  Ngatabaru, Kotapulu, Pakuli, and Wayu Matantimali villages.
         District Head of Sigi Irwan Lapata expressed optimism that the number of tourists visiting his region would increase significantly this year, thanks to the TSE.
         During the TSE that occurred on March 9 morning, thousands of local villagers, domestic and foreign tourists, including those from Iran, Vice President M Jusuf Kalla, and Western scientists as well as Dutch physicist and astronaut André Kuipers gathered in a football field in Kotapulu, Sigi, to witness the extraordinary phenomenon.  

INDONESIA PROMOTES "WONDERFUL INDONESIA" BRAND IN ITB BERLIN by Fardah

Jakarta, March 11, 2016 (Antara) - Indonesia is once again participating in the annual Internationale Tourismus-Börse (International Tourism Bourse - ITB) Berlin in Germany, currently on.
        The event, which opened on March 9, will continue till March 13, 2016.
        Indonesia's pavilion, themed "Wonderful Indonesia," is once again featuring a Phinisi tall ship, a means of transport on the sea since times immemorial for Indonesian sailors living in the archipelagic country, particularly in South Sulawesi.
        Phinisi ship brought luck to Indonesia as its pavilion featuring the Indonesian legendary seafaring icon won the Best Exhibitor Award for the Asian, Australian and Oceania region in the ITB, held in Messe Berlin, on March 4-8, 2015.
        Over 100 travel operators joined the Indonesian delegation to promote the country's tourist destinations and offer various tour packages to buyers from all over the world.
        In 2015, Indonesia's delegation, consisting of 88 travel agents, recorded business transactions worth Rp4.8 trillion in the ITB Berlin.

INDONESIA EMPOWERS COMMUNITIES TO PREVENT FOREST FIRES by Fardah

     Jakarta, March 11 , 2016 (Antara)- The traumatic experiences due to forest fires and the consequent haze disaster are still fresh in the minds of Sumatrans, yet new hotspots indicating fires have reportedly reemerged in several provinces on Sumatra Island.
     The Terra and Aqua satellites detected 28 hotspots in eight of Sumatra's 10 provinces on March 10, 2016, with only Aceh and Bengkulu Provinces having no hotspots.
     Of the total 28 hotspots, 11 were detected in Riau, five in North Sumatra, three each in Bangka Belitung and Jambi, two each in Riau Islands and Lampung, and one each in West Sumatra and South Sumatra.
    The number of hotspots on the island reached 69 on March 6, including 53 hotspots found in Riau Province and 16 in North Sumatra, Head of the Pekanbaru Meteorology Office Sugarin said.
    He said 37 hotspots in Riau indicated forest and plantation fires.  On March 5, 53 hotspots were also detected in Riau.

Rabu, 09 Maret 2016

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE THRILLS WATCHERS ACROSS INDONESIA by Fardah

Jakarta, March 9, 2016 (Antara) - A solar eclipse visible in most parts of Indonesia, either totally or partly, thrilled and satisfied millions of Indonesians who watched the rare natural phenomenon from almost anywhere they could--homes, football fields, beaches, hilltops, temples, bridges, and planetariums, on the morning of March 9.
         The spectacular phenomenon that attracted foreign tourists and scientists to come to Indonesia, moved many Muslim watchers who spontaneously chanted "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest) repeatedly.
         As recommended by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), almost every mosque, big and small, across the country was crowded with worshipers who performed special eclipse prayers.
       The shadow of the total solar eclipse (TSE) fell over 12 of Indonesia's 34 provinces, stretching some five thousand kilometers from east to west, before heading across the Pacific Ocean.
         While in most parts of Indonesia, such as Java Island, the solar eclipse was visible partly, at certain places from 80 to over 90 percent.

Senin, 07 Maret 2016

OIC Calls For Boycott of Products Produced in or by Illegal Israel Settlements by Fardah


Jakarta, March 7, 2016   (Antara News)- The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called for a boycott of products produced in or by illegal Israel settlements to pressure the Israeli Zionist regime to end its occupation of Palestinian land.

"Calling on the international community to support the boycott of products produced in or by illegal Israel settlements," the OIC said in the 16th point of 23-point Jakarta Declaration issued at the conclusion of the Fifth Extraordinary OIC Summit on Palestine and Al Quds Al Sharif (Jerusalem), in Jakarta, on March 7.

The Declaration, which according to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, comprises a number of concrete steps toward supporting Palestine in its struggle to gain independence, urges the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to address the issue of illegal Israeli invasion and occupation in Palestine and provide international protection to the Palestinian people.

The OIC member countries also declare their plan to establish "an intergovernmental legal expert group to examine the ways and methods for referral of individual human right violations in Palestine to provide advocacy for the State of Palestine in international institutions and other legal mechanisms." 

The Muslim-majority nations also pledge to increase financial assistance and capacity building to strengthen the Palestinian government institution. 

They strongly reject the restriction of access to worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque and accuse Israel of trying to Judaize the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, including through spatial and temporal division at Al Aqsa, one of the Muslims holiest sites.

Jumat, 04 Maret 2016

OIC EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN CONCENSUS ON FREEING PALESTINE FROM ISRAELI OCCUPATION by Fardah

Jakarta, March 4 , 2016 (Antara) - Nearly 50 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will gather in Jakarta for the March 6-7, 2016 extraordinary Summit.                                                                    The summit has been convened in response to the escalating human rights violations in occupied Palestine, particularly in Al Quds (Jerusalem), where almost every day one or two Palestinians were being murdered by Israeli occupying forces or by illegal armed settlers, and Palestinians' farming lands and homes were being destroyed and confiscated by Israeli occupiers.
         The situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate as a result of the unrelenting illegal and destructive policies and practices adopted by Israel. Such an approach of Israel is causing immense suffering to the Palestinian civilian population under occupation and severely diminishing the prospects of a peaceful solution, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations said in a letter dated February 11, 2016.
         The Palestinian people continue to endure countless human rights violations and war crimes at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer, wrote in his letter addressed to the UN Secretary General, the Security Council and the UN General Assembly.

Kamis, 03 Maret 2016

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE MOMENTUM TO BOOST INDONESIA'S TOURISM INDUSTRY by Fardah

Jakarta, March 3, 2016 (Antara) - Indonesia is the starting point and the best spot to watch a total solar eclipse (TSE) that will occur on the morning of March 9, 2016.
        A TSE happens when the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow (the umbra) on Earth. During a total eclipse of the Sun, a Supermoon, which is a full Moon or a new Moon at its closest point to Earth, covers the entire disk of the Sun.
        The forthcoming TSE is considered very rare as it is believed that another total solar eclipse will return only after a century, though some say in the next 350 years.
         Being the major path of totality, Indonesia will be eager to use the momentum for the extraordinary and spectacular natural phenomenon to boost its tourism industry, by luring as many foreign tourists, scientists and astronomy lovers, as possible to watch from its islands.
         The TSE will be visible for some two to three minutes in 45 cities and districts in 12 provinces across Indonesia.

Rabu, 02 Maret 2016

TOUR DE FLORES CYCLISTS TO EXPLORE NATURAL BEAUTY OF E NUSA TENGGARA by Fardah

 Jakarta, March 3, 2016 (Antara)- Indonesia will, for the first time, organize an international cycling race Tour de Flores in East Nusa Tenggara Province (NTT) on May 19-26, this year, to promote tourism attractions in its eastern region.
        Tour de Flores is aimed at attracting domestic and foreign tourists, which will help to boost the tourism industry in NTT and to improve the welfare of the local community, Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs' Deputy, Safri Burhanuddin, stated recently.
        Initially, the government had planned to hold an international event to exclusively promote Laboan Bajo, a small town located on the westernmost tip of the Island of Flores in NTT.
        Laboan Bajo, which faces the isles of Rinca and Komodo, the world's only habitat of Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), or giant lizard, has been designated as a priority tourist destination by the central government along with nine other regions across Indonesia.

PRESIDENT JOKOWI ORDERS BETTER CONNECTIVITY, ACCESSIBILITY TO LAKE TOBA by Fardah

Jakarta, March 2, 2016 (Antara) - Designated as a world-class tourist destination, Lake Toba in North Sumatra Province needs to have better connectivity and accessibility, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has stated.
        The President's determination to turn Lake Toba into a priority tourist destination was discussed in a meeting held in a Lake Toba resort in Samosir District, on March 1.
          The meeting was attended, among others, by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, and acting North Sumatra Governor Tengku Erry Nuradi, as well as district heads from regions in the vicinity of Lake Toba.
         Lake Toba is one of the 10 priority tourist destinations selected along with Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuhan Bajo, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru, Seribu (One Thousand) Islands, Wakatobi, Tanjung Lesung, Morotai, and Tanjung Kelayang. 
     President Jokowi has asked the national flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, to operate  flights to Silangit Airport in North Tapanuli District, to cater to tourists visiting Lake Toba.

Selasa, 01 Maret 2016

INDONESIA BEEFS UP SECURITY MEASURES AHEAD OF OIC SUMMIT by Fardah

  Jakarta, March 1, 2016 (Antara)- The Indonesian authorities have beefed up security measures in Jakarta and surrounding areas for an Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), scheduled to be held in the capital city on March 6-7, 2016.      
    Leaders of the OIC's 57 member countries are expected to participate in the summit and will discuss the latest developments in Palestine in general and Al Quds (Jerusalem) in particular. 
    As the host, Indonesia has also invited Thailand, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Russia to the summit as observer states.
         Invitations were sent to permanent members of the UN Security Council - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
         Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), General Gatot Nurmantyo, has instructed officers to adopt tighter security measures for the Summit, particularly to protect VVIPs.