Rabu, 31 Agustus 2016

TRANSFORMING BANJARMASIN, CITY WITH THOUSAND RIVERS, INTO VENICE OF INDONESIA by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 31, 2016 (Antara)- Dodoi (63) was fishing using a very simple string and a small hook. He usually got several small snake-head fish  or sepat fish (Trichogaster leeri), and sometimes few shrimps, too.
        Not much that he could collect but it was not bad as he fished from his home, to be exact in a hole that he made in his kitchen.
        Like many inhabitants of Banjarmasin, he built his nice and quite big house above a swampy area with the support of a number of strong pillars.
        Banjarmasin, in the old day called Bandar Masih, is an old city founded in September 1526, or 490 years ago.
        Now having a population of nearly 700 thousand, Banjarmasin is basically a swampy area measuring 98 km2 with at least 102 rivers.
        The major rivers are Barito and Martapura, which split the city and in fact the heartbeats of the city, as various daily activities particularly commercial ones, are carried out in the rivers.
        When he was a little, Dodoi, his brothers and sisters, his parents and most of his neighbors had to go to Martapura River located across his home for bathing.
        At that time, the water was relatively clean and clear as he could see fish and shrimp swimming around.
        As there were 11 siblings in his family, which was not categorized as rich, Dodoi and his elder brothers had often gone for fishing in the river and later they had given the fish to their mother for additional meal of the family.

OWI, BUTET RETURN HOME TO HEROES' WELCOME by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 31, 2016 (Antara) - Indonesian shuttlers Tantowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir who secured a gold medal for their country at the 2016 Rio Olympics were given a heroes' welcome on arrival.
         They have made the Indonesian people proud by winning the gold medal for the country on the day when the nation celebrated the 71st anniversary of independence.
         Moreover, the gold medal came from badminton, which is the most popular sport in the nation, with a population of over 250 million.
         Tontowi, popularly known as Owi, his partner, Liliyana alias Butet, defeated the Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in the badminton mixed doubles final in straight games, 21-14, 21-12, in Rio de Janeiro, on August 17, 2016.
         "I am thankful to Allah SWT. This is the most beautiful gift to us and all Indonesian people on the occasion of Independence Day. Thank you for all the support," Owi noted.   
    "Playing on Independence Day, in fact, boosted our energy and spirits to deliver our best," Butet remarked.

         Butet and Owi had worked hard to realize their dream and were the world champions in 2013 and the All England champions for three consecutive years in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
        Crowds of well-wishers gathered to greet the duo when they joined a parade along the main streets of Jakarta recently as well as on arrival in their hometowns.

Selasa, 30 Agustus 2016

POLICE, KPK JOIN HAND IN FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 30, 2016 (Antara) - No more "crocodile and gecko fight" as the Indonesian Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) have agreed to forge closer cooperation in the fight against corruption practices in the country.
         The "gecko vs crocodile" term became popular when a then police official had referred the KPK as a powerless gecko trying to fight a crocodile referring to the police force, in a "conflict between the two institutions" in 2009.
         At that time, several officials of the two institutions seemed to have been competing with each other in handling corruption cases.
         But, the two institutions have changed such a perception and tried to forge sound ties between them since the past several years.
         In December 2013, the then national police chief, general Sutarman paid a visit to the KPK office.
         "We paid a courtesy visit to the KPK leadership. There will be an integration of all the investigators, namely, police investigators, the attorney general office's investigators and the KPK's investigators. We will join hand in combating corruption in the country," the then head of the National Police's Crime Investigation Department (Bareskrim), Commissioner General Suhardi Alius, said after joining the visit to the KPK.
         The good tradition was continued by the new Police Chief, General Tito Karnavian, who was installed as the Police chief by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on July 13 to succeed general Badrodin Haiti, who entered retirement period.

Senin, 29 Agustus 2016

LEGAL ENFORCEMENT STEPPED UP TO COMBAT FOREST FIRES by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 29, 2016 (Antara) - Riau's inhabitants have long yearned to lead a haze-free existence as they have reeled under the impacts of smoke originating from forest and plantation fires over the past eight years, particularly in the dry season.
        Last year, despite various efforts to combat wildfires that had ravaged the country's six provinces, especially Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands, in September and October, the hazardous haze emanating from the fires had led to 10 deaths, left 503 thousand people ill, and exposed around 43 million people to smoke.
        Thousands of the two islands' inhabitants had suffered from acute respiratory infection, eye and skin irritations, and pneumonia.
         The haze emanating from the forest fires did not only harm  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 had suffered an estimated loss of Rp30 billion during the past month due to the haze, and some three thousand flights were affected over the September 1 to October 10 period alone, due to the haze.
          Airports in Jambi and Pekanbaru (Riau Province) in Sumatra and in Pontianak (West Kalimantan Province) had to be frequently shut down due to poor visibility.
        The World Bank recorded that forest and plantation fires, which had ravaged Indonesia last year, inflicted material losses worth trillions of rupiah, in addition to the operational costs involved in extinguishing the fires.

Minggu, 28 Agustus 2016

ALL-OUT FIGHT AGAINST FOREST FIRES IN SUMATRA, KALIMANTAN by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 28, 2016 (Antara)-  The Indonesian authorities had a fleeting sense of relief that there had been no haze from forest fires until early August this year, thanks to all out efforts to put out the fires by joint teams that included military and police personnel, as well as local inhabitants.
         The government claimed that the number of forest fire cases had drastically dropped by 78 percent until August this year, compared to last year.
         The significant drop was a result of the hard work of regional heads and security personnel, and was also attributed to the enhanced awareness on the part of plantation companies' managers, according to Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo claimed in statement posted on the home affairs ministry's website, around a couple of weeks ago.
         The role played by the regional governments, supported by the military, the police, various companies and the community, proved crucial to tackling the problem.
         Integrated and early fire detection and extinguishing systems have also been applied up to the rural area level.
         Village chiefs in eight areas, where local customs allowed slash and burn farming methods, were able to adopt new ways, thanks to the government's public awareness campaign, the minister said.
         In addition to the active role played by the state apparatus and the community, involving timber plantation concession holders (HTI) helped put in place important preventive measures, he noted.

Kamis, 25 Agustus 2016

LOMBOK BECOMES MORE POPULAR AS HALAL TOURISM DESTINATION --- by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 25, 2016 (Antara) - The first half of the year is usually a lean season for tourism industry in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, a center for halal tourism.
        This year, however, the Lombok Island enjoyed a significant increase in tourist arrivals.
        The beautiful island recorded some 2.2 million domestic and foreign tourist arrivals during the January-July 2016 period, and the hotel room occupancy rate reached some 80 percent.
        Intensive tourism promotion activities, organized by both regional and central governments, led to this increase in the number of tourists, Head of the NTB Tourism and Culture Office M. Fauzan said on Aug. 25.
        Various national-level events, such as the National Press Day and Quran Recital Competition, held in NTB earlier this year, also contributed to the trend, he added.
        The NTB provincial administration has set a target to attract some three million tourists this year.
        "Within just first seven months of 2016, we have received 2.2 million tourists. We are optimistic of achieving the target of three million tourists," he remarked.
         The NTB administration has lately intensified promotion of halal tourism. Halal means permissible according to Islamic teachings.
         "Halal tourism does not concern the products but is related to meeting the criteria for halal services. For instance, beer not being served in hotels is required for the facility to be halal," he pointed out.
         Halal tourism not only attracts tourists from Muslim-majority countries but also from others.

CROSS-SECTORAL SYNERGY CRUCIAL FOR UNDERTAKING COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 25, 2016 (Antara) - There is no room for terrorism in Indonesia, President Joko Widodo had remarked in his State of the Nation Address on the 71st anniversary of Indonesian Independence at the Parliament Building on Aug. 16.
          The government will not compromise with parties orchestrating acts of terror and violence across the country, the president noted.
          Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto recently held a coordination meeting to discuss counterterrorism efforts.
          The meeting was attended by the representatives of 17 ministries and state institutions, including Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara and National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Chief Commissioner General Suhardi Alius.
         As the problem of terrorism is very complex, the meeting agreed that relevant ministries and state institutions should establish synergy to conduct counterterrorism efforts.      
     The meeting also reached a consensus to make BNPT the leading body to coordinate the activities of a counterterrorism task force comprising representatives of relevant ministries and state institutions.
          "We will form a task force involving definitive officials having access to ministers or institution chiefs to enable them to formulate strategies to ensure effectiveness of de-radicalization and counter-radicalization programs and at the same time act as a bridge among ministries," Alius remarked following the meeting.

Rabu, 24 Agustus 2016

-LURING MORE INDIAN TOURISTS TO INDONESIA by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 24, 2016 (Antara) - With a population four times of Indonesia's, or the world's second largest after China, India is a potential market for the southeast nation's tourism industry.
        The number of Indian tourists visiting Indonesia has been increasing over the past several years, thanks to promotional activities launched by the Indonesian tourism ministry.
         A majority of Indian tourists head for Bali when they come visiting Indonesia. Besides Bali, Jakarta and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara also receive a large number of Indian tourists.
       A Wonderful Indonesia campaign was organized by the ministry during the Sale Mission India 2016 in Kolkata, India, on August 22, with the objective of attracting more tourists from India.
          Other tourist destinations in addition to Bali and Yogyakarta were also introduced to the Indian people, Dody Prianto, assistant deputy director of the Tourism Ministry, said on the sidelines of the sale mission event.
        "We will promote other regions, such as the 10 'new Bali' tourist destinations that include Tanjung Lesung, Pulau Seribu (One Thousand Islands in North Jakarta), Lake Toba (North Sumatra), Mandalika (West Nusa Tenggara), Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), and Morotai (Maluku)," he noted.
         He mentioned Sumatra as one of the interesting places for Indian tourists to visit as it is located near Singapore, and its culinary dishes bear similarities to those in Indonesia.
         The Tourism Ministry has set a target of attracting at least 350 thousand Indian tourists this year.
         "The target is quite high, but we are optimistic that it can be achieved," Prianto stated.

DEVELOPING LAKE TOBA INTO ECO-TOURISM, MICE DESTINATION by Fardah

  Jakarta, Aug 24, 2016 (Antara) - Lake Toba area is now being developed to transform the region, often envisioned as "Monaco of Asia," into a sustainable eco-tourism and MICE (meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition) destination of international standard.
         The government has promised funds to transform Lake Toba into a world class tourism object.
        President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), flanked by First Lady Iriana and several cabinet ministers, last weekend spent three days in North Sumatra to discuss projects necessary to make Lake Toba into one of the 10 priority tourist destinations, as designated by the Central Government.
        Besides, the Head of State also kicked off an Independence Day Carnival dubbed Lake Toba Charm in Balige town, Toba Samosir District, North Sumatra Province, on Aug. 20 and 21, to promote the tourist destination nationally and internationally.
         At present, the government is upgrading existing infrastructure and facilities as well as developing new ones for better connectivity, making the region more accessible.
         Among the infrastructure being upgraded is Silangit Airport, which is located in Siborong-borong, North Tapanuli District, and Sibisa Airport in Toba Samosir District.
         The North Sumatra administrations has provided a total of 600 ha plot of land in the Lake Toba authority zone for tourism purposes.   
    The government will among other things create a world-class flower garden and a botanical garden to support the Lake Toba tourism industry.

Selasa, 23 Agustus 2016

INDEPENDENCE DAY CARNIVAL HIGHLIGHTS LAKE TOBA CHARM by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 23, 2016 (Antara) - Cheers and joy were in the air as hundreds of decorated vehicles  carrying beautiful ladies and gentlemen wrapped in Batak traditional clothes took part in an Indonesian Independence Day Carnival dubbed Lake Toba Charm in Balige, Toba Samosir District, North Sumatra province, on Aug. 21.
         They joined a parade covering a 3.5 km-long route which started from Balige and finished in Parapat, Simalungun District, with a view of Lake Toba all along on one side.     
   In addition to the decorated cars, scores of decorated boats on Lake Toba also enlivened the carnival.
        President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), flanked by First Lady Iriana, kicked off the carnival, organized to promote Lake Toba and surrounding regions as an international tourist destination.   
    Wearing traditional woven clothes of Batak, President Jokowi and spouse were greeted by a number of Batak artists performing traditional dances.
        "This carnival must be held annually. We can see various cultures in our country here," he said before an audience among whom most people were wearing traditional Batak cloth "ulos" and a headband.   
   Among the audience were Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya.

Senin, 22 Agustus 2016

UPGRADING AIRPORTS, SEAPORTS TO SUPPORT LAKE TOBA TOURISM by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 22, 2016 (Antara)- Lake Toba, with the unique Samosir Island located in its midst, has huge tourism potential that is yet to be exploited for the welfare of the local community, most of which comprise Batak tribe members.
         Realizing that tourism is the top source of employment and Lake Toba and its surrounding regions located in North Sumatra are precious assets, the government has vowed to develop Lake Toba as one of the nation's 10 priority tourist destinations.
         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.
         The Lake Toba area is being promoted as an ecotourism and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions destination to be developed on a 600-hectare plot of land in the authority zone.
         The local culture and traditions will be highlighted and promoted as tourist attractions.   
    The government has promised to channel funds to transform Lake Toba into a world-class tourism destination.
         Currently, the government is upgrading existing infrastructure and facilities as well as developing new ones.

Kamis, 18 Agustus 2016

OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL IS GIFT ON INDONESIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 18, 2016 (Antara)- Indonesia received one of the most memorable gifts on its Independence Day, when its shuttlers Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir bagged the country's first gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 17.
         "This success is a gift for the Indonesian Independence Day celebration," Tontowi Ahmad, popularly known as Owi, said after he and his partner, Liliyana Nasir alias Butet, defeated Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in the badminton mixed doubles final in straight games, 21-14, 21-12. 
   President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) lauded the duo for winning the  gold medal in the badminton mixed doubles final at the 31st Olympics.
       "Finally, we heard Indonesia Raya (Indonesian national anthem) at the Rio 2016 Olympics," Jokowi tweeted on his Twitter account.
        "Gold medal from Tontowi Ahmad & Lilyana Natsir. Congratulations! - Jkw," he tweeted.
         Owi and Butet were calm, solid, and mature during the match.
         "Playing on the Independence Day, in fact, boosted our energy and spirits to deliver our best," Butet emphasized.
         Born in Banyumas, Central Java, on July 18, 1987, Owi thanked over 100 Indonesian supporters, including Indonesian Ambassador to Brazil Toto Riyanto, who watched the match in the Riocenro badminton arena in Brazil.

Rabu, 17 Agustus 2016

SAVING REMAINING SUMATRAN TIGERS by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 17, 2016 (Antara) - Indonesia is one of the 13 countries in the world that have tigers living within their borders. 
    India has the largest number of tigers, currently estimated to be be 2,226 in numbers, followed by Russia (433), Indonesia (371), Malaysia (250), Nepal (198), Thailand (189), Bangladesh (106) and Bhutan (103), according to data from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
         In Indonesia, Sumatran tigers (Pantera Tigris Sumatrae) are the only tigers surviving,  as the country has already lost two sub-species of tigers to extinction, namely the Bali tiger which went extinct in 1937 and the Javan tiger in the 1970s.
         Sumatran tigers, the smallest of all tigers, are currently a critically endangered species only found on Sumatra Island, Indonesia's second largest island.
        The tigers are on the brink of extinction because of deforestation, poaching and conflicts between the wild animals and local people as their habitats are shrinking.
         The exact number of Sumatran tigers left in the wild is uncertain but latest estimates range from under 300 to possibly 500 in 27 locations, including in the Kerinci Seblat National Park, the Tesso Nilo Park and the Gunung Leuser National Park.
          According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), their numbers have dwindled from about 1,000 in the 1970s. The biggest threat to conservation is conflict with humans, according to the 2009 report by the forestry ministry. On an average, five to 10 Sumatran tigers have been killed every year since 1998, the report said.      

BROADER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GENERAL PUBLIC TO WITNESS INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 17, 2016 (Antara) - Indonesia's Independence Day celebrations at the presidential palace are no longer exclusively for VIPs, as members of the general public have been given opportunities to personally participate in the ceremony since last year.
       Moreover, this year, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has offered broader opportunities to the common people to attend the commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the country's independence that falls on August 17.
       Jokowi led the ceremony highlighted by the hoisting of Indonesia's Red and White flag at the Merdeka Palace in the morning.
       First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, Vice President M Jusuf Kalla and spouse Mufidah Kalla, several cabinet ministers, and veterans also attended the ceremony.
       Among the VIPs also present at the event were former president Megawati Soekarnoputri and former vice presidents Boediono and Try Sutrisno.     
  Some 2,210 members of the working class were also invited to the ceremony on August 17, 2016. Of the total, 1,210 people were invited to attend the flag hoisting ceremony in the morning and the rest for the afternoon flag-lowering ceremony.
       Head of the Presidential Secretariat Darmansjah Djumala had earlier remarked that some 70 percent of the total invitees were members of the general public and 30 percent were high-ranking officials and other VIPs.

Sabtu, 13 Agustus 2016

PREVENTING MIGRANT WORKERS FROM BECOMING DRUG COURIERS by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 13, 2016 (Antara) - Last year, the South China Morning Post had reported that Hong Kong's triad was targeting Indonesian migrant workers to smuggle drugs into the workers' own country.
         Organized crime gangs from Hong Kong and southern China had long been key players in Indonesia's illicit drugs market, but recent cases indicate that they have been adopting a diverse range of tactics.
         According to domestic helpers' rights groups, maids could be an easy prey for drug rings looking for couriers, the media wrote.    
    The migrant workers were given money for carrying illicit drugs to Indonesia. These were usually concealed in their luggage, under their clothes or inside their shoes. Some packages were sent ahead by the syndicates, and recruited migrant workers were told to collect them upon their arrival in Jakarta.
         For the past several years, many major drug smuggling attempts into Indonesia had originated from China, Hong Kong or Malaysia.  
    Currently, as many as 38 Indonesian workers are in jail in Hong Kong in drug related cases.
         To prevent more migrant workers from falling into the trap of drug mafia, Chief of the National Narcotic Agency (BNN) Commissioner General Budi Waseso visited Hong Kong from August 11 to 13, 2016.
         Waseso spoke to a gathering of Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong and warned them not to be fooled by drug traffickers.
         "You are here to earn a better income, and make a better life for your families in Indonesia. You have traveled so far to this country, so now do not end up as drug couriers and going to prison. Prison might not be that bad, but what about capital punishment?" he asked the workers.
         He reminded the workers, mostly women, to not be fooled by strangers, especially those from Pakistan and Western Africa.
         "They are very good at flattery. After flattering you, they will give you a lot of money and goods, with the final aim to turn you into drug couriers. The destination is Indonesia, and drugs come from various countries, including the Middle East. Therefore, Indonesia is now in a state of emergency due to drugs," he told the workers.     
    He also reminded them not to use and buy drugs, and instead send their money to their children and parents in their hometowns.
         During his stay in Hong Kong, Waseso held a meeting with Commissioner of Drug Bureau of Hong Kong, Stephen Lo, to discuss anti-drug cooperation.    

FOREST FIRE EMERGENCY STATUS TO PREVENT WILDFIRES FROM SPREADING by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 13,2016 (Antara) - Hotspots indicating forest, peatland and plantation fires have been detected in several provinces in Indonesia, lately, but hopefully it would not spread to wider areas thanks to swift responses and anticipation.  
    Indonesia's National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) detected 54 hotspots across Sumatra Island, mostly in Riau Province, on August 11.
         "This morning, satellites detected the same number of hotspots as yesterday afternoon. The 54 hotspots are mostly concentrated in Riau," Head of the Pekanbaru meteorological, climatology and geophysics station Slamet Riyadi stated.
           As many as 29 hotspots were found in Riau, nine in South Sumatra, eight in North Sumatra, and five in West Sumatra, apart from two in Jambi, and one on Riau Islands.
          The accuracy rate for detection of hotspots in Riau was 70 percent, with 14 confirmed to have arisen from wildfires, particularly peatland fires, in six regions, with four wildfires respectively found in Dumai and Kampar, three in Bengkali, and one each in Meranti Islands, Pelalawan, and Rokan Hulu.
           The Riau wildfire task force has continued to drop water bombs using helicopters and air tractors to extinguish the blaze.
            The wildfire emergency status declared in June in Riau has been extended until November 30, 2016.
            From January to June 2016, a total of 1.4 thousand hectares of forest, peatland, and plantation areas were ravaged by fires, Edward Sanger, head of the Riau disaster mitigation office, noted.

FTFs POSE GRAVE THREAT TO GLOBAL PEACE, SECURITY by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 13, 2016 (Antara) - Watch out for individual terrorists returning home after fighting alongside terror groups overseas such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East.
         That was the message from the International Meeting on Counter-Terrorism (IMCT) which just concluded in Bali, on August 10, 2016.
          Some 140 delegates from 23 countries attended the meeting themed "Countering Cross-Border Movement of Terrorism," which was officially opened by Vice President M Jusuf Kalla.
        The phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) has become a threat to every nation, Chief of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) Commissioner General Suhardi Alius warned.
          "The perpetrators of terrorism, who not only come from local areas but also from overseas, enter certain countries to carry out various actions. This phenomenon is one of our key areas of focus for undertaking terrorism preventive measures," Alius noted in a press statement, Wednesday.
           There is also a growing phenomenon of ISIS sympathizers moving to Iraq and Syria to join the militant group.
         In the past, hundreds of Indonesians had gone to Afghanistan to join Al Qaeda. 
    "What had happened in Bali some years ago was the result of those people moving to Afghanistan. The government does not want this to recur with the return of Indonesians from Iraq and Syria," Alius remarked.

           The recruitment by the ISIS can be considered as human trafficking. They use the Internet to communicate with and recruit new members, Alius believed.   
    The FTF is a cross-border terrorism phenomenon, whose emergence coincided with the creation of the ISIS.

Kamis, 11 Agustus 2016

News Focus- INTERNATIONAL YACHTS READY TO PARTICIPATE IN DARWIN-AMBON RALLY by Fardah

Kategori: National News (NAT)
17:04 Kamis, 11 Agustus 2016

Jakarta, Aug 11 (Antara) - At least 22 yachts will set sail from Darwin Harbor, Australia, on August 13, as part of the 32nd annual Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race and Rally (DAYR) 2016.
  
To honor the participants, the Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia and City of Darwin will host an "Ambon Night" cultural event in Darwin on the evening of August 11. Indonesian delicacies will be served and traditional music as well as dances will be performed, particularly by artists from Ambon.
  
Ambon is located approximately 355¿ T from Darwin. Yachts usually enjoy fresh south-easterly winds until they enter the Ambon Harbor. The hills around Ambon can rein the breezes to a zephyr - a half a knot ebbing tide can then become a major obstacle to reaching the finishing line, according to information available on the official website of DAYR.
  
In Ambon, the capital of Maluku Province, the local authorities are gearing up to welcome the international sailors.
  
On arrival, all yachts are welcomed by the firing of a parachute flare. This also alerts the locals of the arrival of another vessel, and several residents head to the beach at Amahusa Village to watch and welcome the sailors.

Senin, 08 Agustus 2016

BALIEM VALLEY FESTIVAL SHOWCASES PAPUA'S TRIBAL CULTURE by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 8, 2016 (Antara)- Warriors of the Dani, Lani, and Yali tribes in Baliem Valley, Jayawijaya, Papua, usually engage in a mock war to enliven the Baliem Valley Cultural Festival that celebrates fertility and welfare of the tribal people.
         For the Dani tribe, a tribal war symbolizes maturity and power. Nowadays, these battles have also become a tourist attraction, drawing visitors to the Dani villages, particularly during the Baliem Valley Festival that has been organized annually since 1989.
          This year, the festival is being held on August 8-10 in Wamena, Walesi Sub-district, Jayawijaya District, Papua. Wamena is also known as a "cold town" as the temperature in the area drops to as low as eight to 10 degrees Celsius in the evening. 
     The Baliem Valley is located in the central mountains of Papua. The valley, once dubbed as "Shangrila," is incredibly lush and fertile and is surrounded on all sides by towering peaks measuring 2.5 thousand to three thousand meters in height.
        The grand valley is 72 kilometers (km) long and 16-31 km wide and is inhabited by the Dani Tribes, the Neolithic warriors and farmers, and other sub-tribes of Yali and Lani, with their complex and primitive cultures, which bear striking resemblance to the "stone age" cultures.

Sabtu, 06 Agustus 2016

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CRUCIAL TO COUNTER CROSS-BORDER MOVEMENT OF TERRORISM by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 6, 2016 (Antara) - Whether ISIS networks have expanded to Southeast Asia could still be a question to many, but an answer might be found during an International Meeting on Counter-Terrorism in Nusa Dua, Bali on August 10, 2016.   
    As a keynote speaker in the forthcoming meeting, Indonesian Police Chief General Tito Karnavian is expected to talk about a possible regional connection of the terrorist group ISIS.
          "Groups supporting the ISIS already exist in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia as proven by the bombings at Thamrin and Solo. Kidnappings by Abbu Sayyaf have also been very rampant. There is a possible connection among all of these," General Tito Karnavian said recently.   
   Every country in the world, not just in Southeast Asia, must rise to fight terrorism because the extraordinary crime poses a threat to international peace and security, as well as social and economic development, he believed.  
     Besides, the emergence of a new phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) as well as the misuse of cyber technology in spreading the ideas of extremism and radicalism will also be topics of discussion during the international meeting.
         The meeting aims to strengthen the international cooperation network in addressing the growing threat of cross-border ramifications of terrorism, which includes actors, information and also finance flows.

STRENGTHENING DERADICALIZATION EFFORTS IN INDONESIA by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 6, 2016 (Antara) - Vice President M Jusuf Kalla, concurrently chairman of the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI), has expressed concern over radical thinking that could endanger the nation, and appealed to mosque managers to help fight radicalism and heresies.
         Since the country has the largest number of mosques, notably some 800 thousand, he believed that mosques could become "effective fortresses" to prevent radicalism from penetrating the nation.
           "That amounts to one mosque or a mushola (small mosque) for every 250 Muslims in Indonesia," Kalla said when speaking at an international seminar themed "The role of mosques in the face of deviant thought", organized by the Muslim World League (MWL), or "Rabithah A' A'lam Al Islami."
     It would not be easy to supervise or manage the mosques as around 95 percent of mosques in Indonesia have been built by the public, while in many Middle Eastern countries, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and Pakistan, mosques have been built by the government, he, however, realized.
           "Therefore, all of the imams (leaders of the prayers), and khatibs (preachers of the sermons) there are personnel of the government, unlike in Indonesia. In Malaysia, when a khatib begins his sermon, he will first pray for the Sultan, and the government. In Indonesia, they begin by criticizing the government," he added.
         In accordance with the instructions of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), the Indonesian authorities have intensified efforts on deradicalization as part of its fight against terrorism.
          Commissioner General Suhardi Alius, after being installed by President Jokowi as chief of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) on July 20, 2016, vowed to strengthen deradicalization and anti-radicalization programs.
         The deradicalization program will target those familiar with or following the ideology, while the anti-radicalization program is meant for those who have not been influenced by radicalism.

BIRD OF PARADISE TO BE HIGHLIGHT OF PAPUA BIODIVERSITY CONFERENCE by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 6, 2016 (Antara) - Birds of Paradise or locally called birds of 'Cenderawasih' are the pride of Indonesia, and particularly Papua, whose forest is home to these birds considered to be among the most beautiful in the world.
           Papua will promote these Birds of Paradise, which are members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes (Perching Birds), during the Second International Conference on Biodiversity, Eco-Tourism and Creative Economy (ICBE) to be held in the provincial capital of Jayapura, from September 7 to 10, 2016.   
    The theme of the conference will be "Biodiversity and Ecotourism, Papua Economic Solutions", while its sub theme will be "Utilize Natural Resources, Increase Livelihood, Protect the Golden Generation of Papua."
     Some 750 foreign and Indonesian scientists, NGO activists, academicians and officials are expected to attend the conference, according to Elia Loupatty of the Papua administration secretariat.
          The organizing committee has sent invitations, among other things, to the United States, Britain, Brazil, and Spain, in addition to Australia, Japan, China, South Korea and Papua New Guinea.   
   At least 13 foreign experts and eight from Indonesia are expected to address the conference.
        The conference's participants will be taken on a guided tour to the bird habitats in Depapre, and Nimbokrang Mt Cyclop in Jayapura District.

Jumat, 05 Agustus 2016

MTQ BRINGS QURAN CLOSER TO MUSLIMS by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 5, 2016 (Antara) - Muslims believe that Quran, the Islamic Holy Book, is a timeless miracle given by Allah the Almighty to His last Prophet, Muhammad SAW (peace be upon him) some 1400 years ago.
         The Quran consists of the unaltered and direct words of Allah.  The words were revealed through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad, who was an orphan.
         The miracle can be viewed among other things from the artistic and verbal beauty of the Quran and its style which is neither poetry nor prose, as well as the intellectual and scientific content of the Quran.
         The Quran is not only spiritual guidance but contains complete way of life for the entire humankind, therefore Muslims read Quran regularly and many of them even memorize the whole Book.
         Many Muslim majority countries including Indonesia organize Quran Recital Competition or Musabaqah Tilawatul Quran (MTQ) to bring Muslims closer to Quran and allow them to gain a better understanding of Islamic teachings as stated in the Holy Book of Islam.
         This year, Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is hosting the 26th National MTQ from July 29 to August 6, with some 1.2 thousand participants from 34 provinces.
         President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) opened the MTQ on July 30 in a ceremony also attended by some 30 foreign ambassadors, at the NTB Islamic Center.  

Senin, 01 Agustus 2016

PARTICIPANTS MESMERIZED BY NTT'S CHARMS DURING SAIL INDONESIA'S STOPOVER by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 1, 2016 (Antara) - The exotic natural beauty and unique culture of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) have charmed more than 100 foreign sailors aboard 37 yachts currently making a stopover on their way to participate in Sail Indonesia.  
     The yachts taking part in the Sail Indonesia 2016 Rally have come from various countries and began their journey from Darwin, Australia.  
     Entering Indonesia through the country's southern gate on Koepan Beach, Kupang City, NTT, since July 25, the yachts are from Australia, France, the United States, New Zealand, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Marshall Islands, and Switzerland, among others.

          The participants took part in a city tour arranged by members of the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies on July 30, according to Head of the NTT Tourism and Creative Economic Office Marius Ardu Jelamu.
          "We are mesmerized by the traditions, traditional dances, and culture of this region, as well as the exotic natural beauty," Mrs Beel, one of the participants, stated in Kupang on August 1.
          In the evening of July 30, the Kupang municipality had hosted a gala dinner to introduce the local culinary delicacies to the participants. At the dinner, various traditional dances were organized to entertain the participants.
          "We are highly grateful for the welcome event. We are pleased and really enjoying Kupang," Beel stated.
          On August 2, the participants will be divided into two groups that will proceed respectively to the east toward Wini Beach in North Timor Tengah District and to the west toward Rote Isle to enjoy sightseeing in NTT.