Sabtu, 23 September 2017


 Jakarta, Sept 23, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia is prone to hydrometeorological disasters such as flooding in rainy season and wildfires or severe drought during dry season.
        This September is the peak of dry season, and several regions have experiences drought that has led to clean water shortage.
        In East Java Province, for instance, at least 169 villages have been hit by drought and scarcity of clean water supply this year.
        The worst dry season is yet to come by the end of Sept 2017, so that the impact could be more disastrous, Sudarmawan, head of the East Java disaster mitigation office stated.
        In East Nusa Tenggara, the provincial government has declared emergency status of drought as several regions have not had rains since Aug, and wells, rivers, and springs have dried up.
        In South Karawang near Pangkalan Sub-district, Karawang District, West Java, several springs have dried up during the current drought.
        "Not only springs but the rivers in our region have also dried up. The local inhabitants have been facing a shortage of clean water," Usep Supriatna, the Pangkalan sub-district head, noted in Kerawang on Sept 23.
        Eight villages have been hit by the drought, and some 10 thousand people have been affected over the last several weeks.
        "The BPBD (local disaster mitigation office) has provided clean water to our regions several times," he noted.
        According to data of Karawang's BPBD, the drought has affected 30 villages in the district, an increase from 25 villages last year.
        In response to the disaster, the central government has outlined precautionary measures to handle drought in some regions in Indonesia.


Jakarta, Sept 23, 2017 (Antara) - The alert status for Mount Agung was raised to Watch, or Level IV, on Sept 22 following increased seismic activity, though authorities ensure that Bali remains safe for tourists, particularly locations far from the volcano.
          Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has appealed to tourists and residents to avoid any activity near the crater of Mount Agung and all northward, northeastward, southeastward, and south-southwestward areas within a 12-kilometer radius of its peak, increasing the area from six kilometers announced earlier.
          "All people in the areas must be evacuated starting from 8:30 p.m. local time today (Sept. 23). No tourist or public activity is allowed there," Kasbani of the PVMBG emphasized.
          However, despite increased volcanic activity at the 3,142-meter-high Mount Agung, Bali remains safe for tourists, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
          "Until now, Bali is still safe for tourist visits, except the area within the radius around Mt Agung where any activity has been banned by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG)," he informed the press on Sept 23.
          Several key Balinese destinations, such as Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Lake Beratan Bedugul, Tampak Siring Palace, Bali Safari and Marine Park, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Sanur and Kuta beaches, Tanjung Benoa, Goa Gajah, and Nusa Penida, are safe and not affected by the increased volcanic activity at Mount Agung.
          "Tourist destinations in Bali are still safe. Please visit and enjoy the natural scenery, culture, culinary, and other attractions of Bali Island. The government will surely issue an early warning and information accurately if the volcano endangers the safety of the public," he said.

Kamis, 21 September 2017


Jakarta, Sept 21, 2017 (Antara) - Retno L. P. Marsudi, Indonesia's first-ever woman foreign affairs minister, has been recognized as an inspirational and phenomenal figure as well as a role model by UN Women, an organization of the United Nations (UN).
        Marsudi's hard work and sincere dedication to the nation and humanity globally received due recognition when UN Women bestowed the Agent of Change Award for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment on her.
        Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Lakshmi Puri, concurrently the assistant UN secretary general, presented the award during a luncheon held at the UN Headquarters in New York, the US, on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly (UNGA) Session.
        Puri of India, in her speech, said Minister Marsudi has become an inspiration and a role model for women in Indonesia and globally.
        Under the leadership of Marsudi, the Indonesian foreign ministry has promoted gender equality regionally and globally, she remarked.
        "She has also been in the spotlight regionally and globally for conducting sensitive diplomacy in the region, including in the context of Myanmar," Puri pointed out.
        This year, other recipients of the UN Women's Agents of Change Awards are President of Chile Michele Bachelet Jeria, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Margot Wallström, and Chairwoman of the General Women's Union of the UAE Sheikha Fatima binti Mubarak.
        The award is bestowed to recognize women leaders in public office for their pioneering work in achieving gender equality and women's empowerment across the globe.
        "Thank God, what Indonesia has done so far in humanitarian diplomacy and peace has been recognized by the world," Minister Marsudi stated after receiving the award.

Rabu, 20 September 2017


 Jakarta, Sept 20, 2017 (Antara) - The recent intensive efforts undertaken by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi demonstrate that she is a strong and hardworking person.
        Marsudi has just concluded a "marathon diplomacy for humanity" by extensively traveling to Myanmar and Bangladesh and conducting serious negotiations to help find solutions to the humanitarian crisis facing the Rohingya ethnic minority in Rakhine State, Myanmar, and some 400 thousand Rohingya refugees fleeing to the Bangladesh border.
        Minister Marsudi has currently embarked on another marathon diplomacy initiative to secure Indonesia's bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
        Currently, the minister is at the UN Headquarters in New York, the US, for the 72nd UN General Assembly (UNGA) Session being held on September 18-29, 2017. Leaders and representatives from 193 UN member states are participating in the UNGA session.
        Marsudi has planned to hold 70 bilateral meetings with counterparts and envoys from other nations to gather support for Indonesia's bid for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC.
        The bilateral meetings, called diplomatic marathons, will be held on the sidelines of the 72nd UNGA Session themed "Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet." 
   On Sept 18, the minister had held at least 10 bilateral meetings respectively with foreign ministers or representatives of Samoa, Croatia, Namibia, Niger, Liechtenstein, Ecuador, Georgia, Monaco, Tunisia, and Switzerland, among others.
        "We request their support for our bid for a non-permanent seat of the UNSC," she noted at the UN Headquarters, on Sept 19. 
   During the bilateral meetings, Minister Marsudi also discussed efforts to strengthen ties with those countries.

Selasa, 19 September 2017


Jakarta, Sept 19, 2017 (Antara) - Various stakeholders engaged in the tourism industry should work harder to help the Tourism Ministry achieve its target of attracting some 20 million foreign tourists by 2019.
          State company PT Taman Wisata Candi (TWC-Temple Tourism Park) is among the parties committed to helping achieve the national tourism target.  
     The company managing the temples of Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko, among other things, has been improving the quality of tourist attractions in Yogyakarta and Central Java Province and intensifying promotion activities in order to attract more foreign tourists to visit the temples.
          Last August, a TWC delegation had visited China to promote the tourist attractions in Central Java.
          They had sought assistance of the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing to help realize the target of attracting three million foreign tourists in 2017.
          "Perhaps, the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing could invite (Chinese) travel agents to bring along tourists to our temples," Retno Hardiasiwi, the technical and infrastructure director of PT TWC, informed Antara correspondent in Beijing, during the visit.
          "Without the help of others, it will be difficult for us to attract three million foreign tourists," she remarked.    
    General Manager of the Prambanan Temple Tourism Park Pujo Suwarno, a member of the delegation, said a total of 3,592 Chinese tourists had visited Prambanan Temple located in the border of Yogyakarta and Central Java during the January-July 2017 period.
          In 2016, a total of 207,952 foreign tourists, including 7,189 Chinese travelers, or only 3.46 percent of the total, had visited the Prambanan Temple.
          Harry Widianto, director of cultural heritage preservation and museums of the education ministry, who accompanied Hardiasiwi during the visit to China, noted that Indonesia and China had established cooperation to preserve the cultural heritage.

Minggu, 17 September 2017


 Jakarta, Sept 18, 2017 (Antara) - The Maluku provincial government is organizing the first Tour de Molvccas (TdM), an international cycling race of 2.2 class and Men Elite category, on September 18-22, 2017, that combines sports and tourism to attract tourists.
        To be held annually, the TdM is expected to develop into a prestigious international sports tourism event, as Maluku, or Moluccas, has been known worldwide since ages as the "Spice Islands," "discovered" by the Europeans centuries ago.
        Blessed with rich natural resources, maritime tourism attractions, history, and unique culture, Maluku will be able to avail the benefits of holding the TdM that will develop into a flagship tourism event, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated while welcoming and flagging off the TdM participants on Sept 17 in Ambon, the provincial capital.
        The tourism industry is one of the priority sectors that is expected to earn significant foreign exchange for the country.
        The Joko Widodo administration has set a target of earning foreign exchange worth US$20 billion from tourism by 2019, double the 2017 target of US$10 billion.
         Maluku Governor Said Assagaff has appealed to every resident of Maluku to support the TdM, as the tourism event is expected to contribute significantly to the province's economy and consequently to the welfare of the Maluku people.
       The governor thanked professional cyclists from 20 countries for their participation in TdM.
      On the evening of Sept 17, the governor, Minister Pandjaitan, and all participants took part in a Cycling For All tour to briefly introduce Ambon City to the participating cyclists.
         TdM is supported and under the supervision of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Indonesian Cyclists' Association.

Sabtu, 16 September 2017


Jakarta, Sept 16, 2017 (Antara) - Nearly every district and city in West Sumatra is keen to be involved in organizing the Tour de Sikarak (TdS) annual sporting event scheduled on Nov 18-26, as part of a tourism promotion initiative.
         Part of the Union Cycliste Internationale race series, the 9th edition of the TdS will involve 18 of the total 19 districts and cities of the province.
         Eager to be part of the international cycling race, the cities and districts are offering accommodation and transportation as well as showcasing their natural scenery, in addition to organizing traditional art performances to entertain foreign and domestic participants of the TdS.
         Nasrul Abit, the deputy governor of West Sumatra, has lauded the eagerness demonstrated by the cities and districts to be involved in the implementation of TdS.
         "This is a sports tourism event aimed at attracting tourists to visit this province. Hence, the race should cover every city and district here," he emphasized.
         "The schedule of the event has been agreed upon. Matters related to the technical implementation of the cycling event will be discussed further by the local tourism service," Abit revealed.
        He said the schedule and budget for the event faced no further problems.
         Covering a total distance of 1,150 kilometers (km), the TdS 2017 will be divided into nine stages, with prizes worth Rp2.3 billion up for grabs, according to Oni Yuflian, head of the West Sumatra tourism office.
        Yulfian said his office will still conduct a survey of the route on Oct 21-28 to ensure the safety of the TdS cyclists. 
   The nine stages will include Tanah Datar-Padang Panjang City covering 107 km; Painan-Sawahlunto, 166 km; Muaro Sijunjung-Pulau Punjung, 100 km; Danau Singkarak-Payakumbuh, 135 km; Lembah Harau-Padang Panjang, 101 km.
         The cyclists will continue to the following stages of Solok City-Padang Aro Solok Selatan covering 140 km; Pariaman-West Pasaman, 157 km; Padang Pariaman-Agam, 101 km; and Pasaman-Bukittinggi Sirkuit, 90 km.
        The grand start will be from Batusangkar, Tanah Datar District, and the grand finish in Bukittinggi City, West Sumatra. The official launch will take place in Jakarta on October 15, 2017.
        As for the fifth stage, the location of the finish line will be in the Padang Panjang City, which has been waiting for years to be part of the race.
         After crossing the finish line, the participants of TdS will stay overnight in the city to enjoy the cool, fresh air, Dalius, secretary of the Padang Panjang tourism office, said recently
   Local hotels and restaurants are gearing up for the annual cycling race, he revealed.
        The fifth stage will start on November 22, 2017, from Lembah Harau, Limapuluh Kota District, which is 112 km from Padang Panjang.
         Speaker of the Padang Panjang Legislative Council Novi Hendri expressed hope that the event would have a positive impact on the local economy, in particular, and the welfare of the people, in general.
         Meanwhile, South Solok District will organize a long house festival called One Thousand Gadang House (SRG) to highlight the TdS 2017.
        "We will improve it every year, so that it matches up to the Banyuwangi carnival and Lake Toba festival," Muzni Zakaria, district head of South Solok, said in Padang Aro.
        The SRG festival will be held in the SRG area located in Nagara Koto Barum Sungai Pagu Sub-district, South Solok District.
        Various local arts and traditions and a fireworks display will be showcased during the festival to be held to coincide with the arrival of TdS participants in the district.
        Zakaria expressed hope that the festival would help to promote tourism in his district, in general, and the SRG area, which is an icon of the district, in particular.
         The world-class TdS event takes renowned international cyclists on an exciting tour across the picturesque West Sumatra countryside's scenic landscapes comprising beaches, blue lakes, and numerous hairpin bends, as they climb up to the foot of the volcanoes.
         Inspired by the 119-year-old Tour de France, the TdS was first organized as part of the recovery program following a powerful earthquake that had devastated West Sumatra in 2009 in a bid to boost the tourism industry through a sport-based promotional activity.  
   Indonesia has intensified its tourism promotion, as the country is expecting to attract some 12 million foreign tourists this year as compared to 9.7 million last year.
        Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya noted that Indonesia has organized several sport tourism events that have gone global, such as TdS, Tour de Banyuwangi, Tour de Ijen, Tour de Bintan, and Tour de Flores.

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 16-09-2017

Jumat, 15 September 2017


Jakarta, Sept 15, 2017 (Antara) - The humanitarian crisis facing over one million Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, Myanmar, has moved the Indonesian people and the government, who are making concrete efforts to ease their suffering.
          The Indonesian people, the central government and several local governments, have been working hand in hand to provide assistance to the persecuted and oppressed Rohingyas, including those fleeing their country to neighboring Bangladesh for refuge.
         Over the last two weeks, many Indonesians from all walks of life, including teachers, students, ulemas, local officials, politicians, and professionals, organized fund-raising events to collect donations for the Rohingyas.
          At the bureaucratic level, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi has been tirelessly communicating with those relevant for a solution to the Rohingya problem. She even went directly to Myanmar and Bangladesh to talk with the leaders there, and those concerned with the handling of the humanitarian crisis.
          After collecting firsthand information and facts, the minister, under the instruction of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), coordinated the humanitarian aid dispatches, with the cooperation of other ministries and institutions, such as the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
         On Sept 13, 2017, at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base, eastern Jakarta, President Jokowi saw off two C-130 Hercules planes of the TNI AU carrying tons of humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, which has received some 400 thousand Rohingyas so far.

Kamis, 14 September 2017


   Jakarta, Sept 14, 2017 (Antara) - In farming, availability of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides are basic needs, but it takes more than those to improve the welfare of farmers.
         For efficiency and profit making, farmers need to be supported by appropriate agricultural technology and agribusiness.
         Therefore, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called for a paradigm change in the national agriculture policy to increase farmers' profit margins through agribusiness process.    
     Out of his concern for farmers' welfare and food resilience, the Head of State chaired a limited cabinet meeting to discuss the agricultural sector at the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Sept 12, 2017.
        Among those present at the meeting were Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman, Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Layout/Chief of the National Land Agency Sofyan Djalil, Minister of National Development Planning/Chief of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro, East Java Governor Sukarwo, and Central Java Governor Gandjar Pranowo.     
   The meeting also outlined a number of steps to improve farmers' welfare.
         "We forget the fact that farmers can obtain large profit actually from agribusiness process rather than from the farming sector. Once again, the high value added rests with the agribusiness process," he stated.
           According to the president, Indonesia must change the paradigm if it wants to increase profit  of farmers. They must enter the business sector, the agribusiness sector in particular.

Sabtu, 09 September 2017


Jakarta, Sept 9, 2017 (Antara) - Prayers, protest rallies, and fundraising activities have been organized in many cities across Indonesia to demonstrate solidarity toward oppressed, prosecuted, and discriminated Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar.
         A number of regional leaders such as governors, district heads, and mayors prayed and donated funds for Rohingyas. Several of them expressed strong condemnation against the Myanmar regime for allowing genocide and ethnic cleansing to happen in Rakhine.
         The local leaders include West Nusa Tenggara Governor Dr TGH M Zainul Majdi, Jakarta Governor-elect Anies Baswedan, Jambi Governor Zumi Zola, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, Banten Governor Wahidin Halim, Central Tapanuli District Head Bakhtiar Ahmad Sibarani Tasikmalaya District Head Uu Ruzhanul Ulum, Banyuwangi District Head Abdullah Azwar, Tasikmalaya Mayor Budi, Padang Mayor, Banda Aceh Aminullah Usman, Makassar Mayor, Grobogan District Head Sri Sumarniand, and Tangerang Mayor Arief R. Wismansyah.
         Jambi Governor Zumi Zola attended prayers for Muslim Rohingyas in Al-Alfallah Grand Mosque, in Jambi, on Sept 8.
         "This is to show the solidarity of Jambi's residents toward our Rohingya brothers and sisters. The Jambi Government strongly condemns the violence against Rohingyas in Myanmar," Zola stated.
         Every religion condemns the crimes against humanity happening in Rakhine, home to some 1 million Rohingya ethnic minority in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar, he noted, adding that the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar was, however, not a religious war. On the occasion, the government also collected donations for Rohingyas.


  Jakarta, Sept 9, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia and Singapore have just celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two immediate neighboring countries in a special occasion themed "Trusted Partners, RISING Together" held in Singapore on Sept 7, 2017. 
      RISING is an amalgamation of "RI" for the Republic of Indonesia and "SING" for Singapore. The two nations established formal diplomatic ties on Sept 7, 1967.
           To mark the commemoration of the golden jubilee of the bilateral relations, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong planted a Sunda oak tree, dubbed the "RISING tree," in the Singapore Botanical Gardens' Learning Forest. The tree is native to both Singapore and Indonesia.
        Accompanied by their spouses, Jokowi and Lee also had morning walk and breakfast in the garden.
          They later left the botanical garden for the Singaporean Presidential Palace for a formal meeting, flanked by their respective delegations.  
    A commemorative stamp set featuring coral reefs from both countries was also launched. The stamps were unveiled at the Palace by Lee and Jokowi.
         During bilateral talks, the two leaders discussed  efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation in investment, tourism, energy, and digital economic during the meeting.
          Singapore is Indonesia's biggest investor and source of tourists, with the number of Singaporean visitors to the country reaching 1.5 million in 2015, while Singapore's investment in the year was recorded at US$5.9 billion.
              Singapore has agreed to increase its investment and tourist visits to Indonesia and closer cooperation in the framework of bilateral or regional within ASEAN and multilateral cooperation.
         "Singapore continues to double its investment, from $5.9 billion in 2015 to $9.2 billion in 2016," Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi stated.

Sabtu, 02 September 2017


 Jakarta, Sept 2, 2017 (Antara)- Indonesian human rights activists, lawmakers, students and politicians, among others voiced a strong outcry to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize from Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, following the violence that killed hundreds of Muslim Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
        Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her "non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights." But, she has been criticized internationally for allowing genocide, discrimination, and violence against Muslim Rohingyas.
         Maneger Nasution, commissioner of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has urged the Indonesian Government to lead an international solidarity, demanding the revocation of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Suu Kyi.
        Rohingya ethnic minority has faced crimes against humanity committed by the Myanmar regime systematically, structurally, massively, and widely, he remarked in a statement on Sept 1.
       He urged the Indonesian Government to express its stronger condemnation over the alleged Rohingya genocide in Rakhine State.
        Nasution also asked the government to initiate an international move to take the Myanmar regime to the International Criminal Court. 
   The United Nations (UN) should impose sanction on Myanmar for the crimes against humanity, he stated.
        Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Laureate, had won general elections in Myanmar,  but her leadership fails to stop crimes against humanity on Muslim Rohingyas in her country, he said.


 Jakarta, Sept 2, 2017 (Antara) - Palembang is gearing up to implement the Asian Games 2018, and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) train network is expected to become operational before the games to be co-hosted by Palembang and Jakarta.   
   Construction of the LRT project is expected to be completed in October this year. State-run construction company Waskita Karya has been entrusted by the Transportation Ministry to develop the LRT system in Palembang. Waskita was appointed through a presidential regulation signed in late October 2015.
         The project is worth Rp10 trillion. Length of the Palembang LRT line is 23.5 kilometers, which includes 13 stations. Travel time will be shortened by 50 percent. The normal travel speed is 90 minutes. However, by using the LRT, the travel time will be only 45 minutes.
        Palembang was chosen as the pioneer project due to its potential, which was realized by the investors.
        Now the process of installing the elevated rail track has already reached 2.5 kilometers, and the work should be completed soon, South Sumatra's provincial administration secretary Nasrun Umar stated recently.
        The LRT project is being built ahead of the Asian Games in 2018 to cope with the congestion and traffic jams, especially during peak hours in the city.
        The LRT will facilitate the transport of thousands of athletes from all over Asia to take part in the largest sporting event in the continent.
         The use of LRT during the 18th Asian Games, however, is just a short-term target, and for the long term, LRT is expected to help support the tourism industry in the capital city of South Sumatra Province.
        South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin recently expressed hope that the LRT network, currently being built in Palembang, will enable tourists to enjoy the various attractions in Palembang.

Jumat, 01 September 2017


Jakarta, Sept 1, 2017 (Antara) - As a humanitarian disaster is happening in Myanmar, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi does not want just to talk and sit, but she has chosen to make some actions for the sake of humanity - the lives of thousands of Muslim Rohingya ethic minority.
        The ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Myanmar's Rakhine State, the home of some one million Rohingyas, has made the minister preoccupied as she has to arrange humanitarian assistance and discuss strategies and measures with her counterparts and high-ranking officials from other countries, to end the crisis in Myanmar, a fellow member country of ASEAN.
          Marsudi had received telephone calls among others from Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan to discuss Indonesia's contribution to implementing the report of the Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.
   According to the minister, Annan had expressed hope that Indonesia would help and implement the recommendations issued by the commission.
         Besides, she had also made phone calls to the high ranking officials directly concern about the crisis.
        "Yesterday (Aug 29), we had communicated with three officials, the first being Suu Kyi's security adviser with whom we discussed about the situation in Rakhine," Marsudi revealed.
         The minister also called her Bangladeshi counterpart, as the neighboring countries -- Myanmar and Bangladesh -- should work closely to handle refugees.
        Bangladesh's cooperation is crucial since without good cooperation, it will be difficult to tackle the refugee crisis, she pointed out.

Kamis, 31 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 31, 2017 (Antara)  - Papua Island has abundant marine resources, particularly in the Arafura Sea, which is rich in economically important fish species that include Barramundi, grouper, Penaeid shrimp, and Nemipteridae fishes.
          In a world where marine ecosystems and fish stocks are generally collapsing, the Arafura Sea stands out as among the richest marine fisheries in the world, making it a target for poaching by foreign fishing boats.
           The Indonesian Government has intensified the fight against illegal fishing activities and has intended to accelerate the development of fishery industry in various regions, including Papua, particularly for the welfare of traditional fishermen.
        Several Papuan regions having huge potential in the fishery industry include Biak, Jayapura, Merauke, Timika, Nabire, and Yapen Islands, F.X. Motte, head of the Papua maritime and fishery office, stated recently.
        The Papuan provincial administration will invite local and national businessmen to invest in fishery field, in order to boost the province's fishery industry development.
        Motte invited investors to also develop fish processing and canning plants in Papua.
        "Right now, Jayapura is flooded with canned fish and meat from Papua New Guinea. It is our challenge to develop similar plants in our neighboring country too," he noted.
        In the past, Papua had successful fishery companies, such as PT Mina Jaya located in Biak. The fish canning industry, however, was closed down due to several reasons.

Rabu, 30 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 30, 2017 (Antara) - Rakhine State, home to some one million Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority, has been bleeding again over the last several days following an escalation of tensions triggered by clashes between militants and Myanmar's security forces.
         In its latest report on Aug 28, the office of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi noted that the death toll from clashes between the security forces and Rohingya militants that began on Aug 25, has reached 96, which not only included alleged Rohingya attackers but also 12 security personnel, according to a report by Aljazeera.
         Myanmar's government has accused armed militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army for carrying out deadly attacks on police outposts, which sparked the latest violence.
         Since the violence erupted, thousands of Rohingyas, mostly women, children, and elderly, had fled towards Bangladesh, but authorities there refused entry to most of them.
         The Rohingya ethnic group living in Myanmar's Rakhine State is one of the world's most persecuted minority groups, according to a UN report.
         Indonesia has always expressed concern over the problem in Rakhine, where the Muslim Rohingyas  continue to face persecution and atrocities, and several women were raped and children were killed.
         Indonesia, singlehandedly as well as in cooperation with other members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has been working on measures to help improve the situation in Rakhine, where the Muslim minority have been oppressed and discriminated for years.

Sabtu, 26 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 26, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has pinned high hopes on some eight million members of the Indonesian diaspora living in various countries, as they are viewed as valuable assets and envoys representing the interests of Indonesia.
            In July this year, the fourth Diaspora Congress, organized by the Indonesian Diaspora Network Global (IDN Global), discussed recent issues, including tolerance, diplomacy, business, innovation, and cultural inheritance.
            A month later, the Indonesian Diaspora Global Summit was held for the first time by IDN Global and the Indonesian Diaspora Business Council in Jakarta on Aug 21-22 that focused on three main topics: education and health for Papua and West Papua, contribution of the diaspora to energy savings through the use of cutting-edge technology; as well as protection to the Indonesian diaspora.
           Edward Wanandi, who is in charge of holding the IDN Global Meeting, said the event was organized to exchange ideas between members of the diaspora and national stakeholders for the development of Indonesia.
           "We also want to seek inputs from the Indonesian government regarding the community's needs, so that we can better participate in the development of Indonesia, as sometimes, the things that we consider important are not really needed by our society," he pointed out.
        The Indonesian Government and the people have hoped that the Indonesian diaspora could contribute positively and concretely to national development by using the sciences and knowledge they have obtained overseas.


  Jakarta, Aug 26 , 2017 (Antara) - Children are the most valuable assets of a nation, as the future of a country lies in their hands.
          If the children are malnourished, they will experience stunted growth, and their brain development will not be normal.
          Indonesia is currently facing the issue of child malnutrition, and the country needs to make breakthroughs to solve the problem that threatens its future generation.
          According to the Health Affairs Ministry, some 37 percent, or approximately nine million children, under the age of five in Indonesia experience stunted growth and such cases are found across Indonesia.   
     Stunting is impaired growth and development observed in children due to poor nutrition, repeated infections, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.
          Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median.
          Stunting in early life, particularly in the first one thousand days from conception until the age of two, has adverse functional consequences on the child.
          Some of these consequences include poor cognition and educational performance, low adult wages, and lost productivity and when accompanied by excessive weight gain later in childhood can lead to an increased risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases in adult life.
         Currently, Indonesia is one of the countries with a high prevalence of stunting as compared to that of other middle-income nations.
          Indonesia lies in the group of countries with the worst stunting conditions, with cases of stunting in infants and anemia in adult women, along with 47 other nations, including, Angola, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Haiti, Malawi, Nepal, and Timor-Leste.


Jakarta, Aug 26, 2017 (Antara) - Within two years in a row, two director generals of sea transportation of the Transportation Ministry have been arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
        In February 2016, the anti-graft agency had detained Bobby Reynold Mamahit, the then director general, in a corruption case. In August 2016, the anti-corruption court had sentenced Mamahit to five years' imprisonment.
        The Indonesian public was in shock when the KPK made an announcement on August 24, 2017, that it had detained Antonius Tonny Budiono, the successor of Mamahit, for allegedly receiving bribes in connection with the issuance of permits and procurement for projects under his supervision during the 2016-2017 period.
        "Antonius Tonny Budiono (ATB), a suspect in his capacity as the sea transportation director general, and Adiputra Kurniawan (APK), as commissioner of PT Adhi Guna Keruktama (AGK), have been detained for the initial 20 days," Febri Diansyah, the KPK spokesman, had noted on Aug 24.    
    The anti-graft agency had closely monitored and investigated Budiono for seven months before naming him a suspect.
        "After an initial examination and questioning, it was concluded that Director General of Sea Transportation Budiono had allegedly committed corruption in the goods and services procurement projects at the Directorate General of Sea Transportation in the 2016-2017 budget year," KPK Deputy Chairman Basaria Panjaitan had stated at a press conference at the KPK building in Jakarta, Aug 24.
         During an impromptu operation conducted by the KPK on Aug 23-24, the agency confiscated money and automatic teller machine (ATM) cards from Budiono's bags.

Jumat, 25 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 25, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia's eastern most province of Papua is far from Jakarta, but the central government is paying special attention to it, particularly to public welfare, and protection of children and women in the province.
        It was with this purpose in mind that the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration had appointed Yohana Yembise, an indigenous Papuan, as Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister.
         Yembise has frequently visited Papua Island, comprising the Papua and West Papua Provinces, to participate in public awareness campaigns for the protection of children and women, and to help deal with various associated problems.
        Papua needs special attention, because the children and women on the island have been frequent victims of physical and sexual violence. In 2016, some 2,000 cases of violence against children were reported both in Papua and West Papua Province.
        "Most cases of violence against children include sexual abuse, physical violence and child neglect by parents," Harli Siregar, assistant to local public prosecutor office, said earlier this year.
        Speaking at a function to commemorate National Children's Day in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, on July 23, 2017, Social Affairs Minister Khofifah requested parents to provide the best education, healthcare, love and protection to their children.
         She urged the parents and teachers to not hurt children, but to keep them happy.

Senin, 21 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 21, 2017 (Antara) - Flores, the long island located in Indonesia's southernmost province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), is not only scenic but also rich in natural resources.
        Flores is positioned between the islands of Sumba and Timor, and the three are major islands of NTT, where some 566 isles are scattered in its waters.
         The exotic tropical island has been promoted internationally through the annual sports tourism event called Tour de Flores since 2016. 
    Since early August 2017, the central government has designated Flores as a geothermal island for its abundant geothermal reserves.
         The Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister has issued Decree No. 2268 on the designation of Flores as a geothermal island, Head of the Mining and Energy Office of NTT Boni Marasina said recently.
           "I just returned from Jakarta to collect the official letter from ESDM Minister Ignasius Jonan," Marasina had noted in Kupang, the capital of NTT, on Aug 11.
           He said a road map on Flores as a geothermal island has also been prepared by ARUP, an international consultant from Britain, in cooperation with the World Wide Fund.
           The road map was a result of cooperation on a strategic study on geothermal energy signed on August 19, 2015, by the Indonesian and British governments.
          Geothermal reserves are found in 16 locations on Flores Island: Waisano, Ulumbu, Wai Pesi, Gou-Inelika, Mengeruda, Mataloko, Komandaru, Ndetusoko, Sokoria, Jopu, Lesugolo, Oka Ile Ange, Atedai, Bukapiting, Roma-Ujelewung, and Oyang Barang.

Rabu, 16 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 16, 2017 (Antara) - The Joko Widodo (Jokowi) Administration has a strong political will to implement just and equitable economic development across Indonesia, including in remote and outermost regions.
        Development is not only for Java Island, or to cities, but to every region in the country, such as in the hinterland areas located in Indonesia's eastern most province of Papua.
        "I believe that only by implementing just and equitable economic development, we can increasingly become stronger to face global competition," the president said in his address to the annual session of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Aug 16, one day prior to the 72nd anniversary of Indonesia's Independence.
           He hoped that by doing so, nobody will feel they are second-and third-class citizens. "We are all Indonesian citizens," he stated.
          All Indonesian citizens should receive equal benefits from developmental gains and be responsible to implement national development, he noted.
          The Head of State particularly wanted the prices of fuel oil and other essential goods in the mountains and border areas of Papua to be the same as in other regions of the country.  
    "We want the people in Papua's border area to be proud of their country as the border areas have been developed as a front verandah of the country," Jokowi remarked.
         In Oct last year, the president launched the program to set the fuel oil price in Papua to be the same as in the rest of the country. Previously, prices in Papua were much higher than in other regions of the country.    

Selasa, 15 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 15, 2017 (Antara)- It seems that a cyber-fraud syndicate from China had found Indonesia as a heaven for their illegal operation and therefore they set up headquarters in several big cities in the country.
         More than hundred Chinese criminals, who included women, had lied as Chinese police or public prosecutors. They had connected Chinese victims and accused them of committing crimes. They had offered to cease legal process of their cases, if they transferred certain amount of money.
        Since they had operated in Indonesia in February 2017 (another report said since late 2016), they had collected at least Rp6 trillion (some US$455 million) from their victims.
         In simultaneous raids carried out on July 29, 2017, Indonesian police detained 149 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals operating their crimes in Jakarta, Surabaya (East Java), Bali, and Batam (Riau Islands).
         The raids were carried out with the cooperation of the Chinese Police, who had informed their Indonesian counterparts about the fraud targeting Chinese.
         The members of the syndicates had rented luxurious houses in elite areas in the Indonesian big cities. The Indonesian police also arrested five Indonesian believed to have helped their operation.
          In Surabaya, police had detained 93 suspects, comprising 81 Chinese citizens and 12 Taiwanese. Two Indonesian citizen were also arrested for being involved in providing means and facilities.
         "This evening, we raided four houses in Darmo Permai Golf or Graha Family in Surabaya that have been used for their operation," an officer of the special task force from the national headquarters dealing with the crime, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Susatyo Purnomo Condro, told newsmen following the raid on July 29.
          He admitted that the syndicate had been successfully uncovered thanks to cooperation from the Chinese police.

Kamis, 10 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 10 , 2017(Antara) - North Kalimantan (Kaltara), the Indonesia's 34th province, is located in the northern part of Kalimantan Island and was separated from East Kalimantan Province in 2012.
        The country's youngest province shares its border with the Malaysian states of Sabah and Serawak in its north and west; the Makassar Strait and the Sulawesi Sea in the east; and East Kalimantan in the south.
         Thanks to its strategic location, North Kalimantan is expected to be  a gateway to Malaysia, the southern Philippines and Brunei Darussalam.
        In the past, it's remote villages located along the border were almost untouched by development because of the great distance from the center of the East Kalimantan provincial administration in Samarinda.
        At present, the development of projects has been accelerated in Kaltara to catch up with other provinces.
        To carry out development, the province needs foreign and domestic investment in the infrastructure sector, in particular.
        Some 14 foreign diplomats visited North Kalimantan recently at the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry's initiative to evaluate and obtain first-hand information on the tourism and economic potential of Indonesia's youngest province having abundant natural resources.
        Foreign envoys from Oman, Serbia, Egypt, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Croatia, Venezuela, Bosnia Herzegovina, Laos, Sweden, Romania, India, Nigeria, and Ukraine were personally received by  Kaltara Governor Irianto Lambrie, who first briefed them on the history of the province formed five years ago.
        The governor invited the foreign countries to invest in his region, which has been gearing up for massive development by constructing a nine thousand-megawatt hydropower plant in the Kayan River area, an industrial zone, and an international seaport in Bulungan District.

Sabtu, 05 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 5, 2017 (Antara) - Some people view Novel Baswedan, a senior investigator of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), as a hero for his fearless and ceaseless fight against corruption, one of the most pressing problems facing Indonesia.
        Baswedan, a 40-year-old retired police officer, had joined the anti-graft agency in 2007 and since then has been frequently terrorized and attacked.
          In 2012, his motorcycle was seriously damaged after being attacked by supporters of convicted Amran Batalipu, a former district head of Buol in Central Sulawesi Province.
         Since 2012, he had also been criminalized, and in 2015, he was named a suspect in a case of maltreatment that had occurred in Bengkulu in 2004, when his subordinates had arrested several swallow nest thieves. Baswedan was head of the Bengkulu Police's criminal investigation unit at that time.
         In 2016, Baswedan was hit by a car while driving a motorcycle on his way to the KPK building.
       A fatal attack against him took place on the morning of April 11, 2017, when he was heading home after performing Fajr, or the Dawn prayer, at a mosque nearby when two motorcyclists hurled acid on his face that injured his eyes, particularly the left eye.
        His attackers escaped and until now are still at large, while Baswedan is currently being treated in a Singapore hospital. He has lost his left eye and has to undergo a major surgery.
         Former chief of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police Inspector General M. Iriawan had also investigated a possible link between the attack and the online hijab and Muslim dress business run by Baswedan's wife.
         Several parties, however, are certain that the attack is related to the corruption cases being handled by Baswedan.

Jumat, 04 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 4, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian government and Russia-based Telegram have finally settled a misunderstanding between them and pledged to work together to solve existing problems as they share a common concern about terrorism.
           The understanding was reached during Telegram CEO Pavel Durov's visit to Jakarta on Aug 1 following a decision by Indonesia to partially block web-based Telegram application.
          Durov held a meeting with Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara to discuss a follow up on the mechanism to handle negative content, particularly when it concerns terrorism.
          At the meeting, both sides agreed to open a special communication channel for the ministry and Telegram in order to prevent the spread of negative content effectively and swiftly.
          Durov remarked that his company was concerned about the terrorism content and shared a similar commitment with Indonesia's Communication and Informatics Ministry concerning counterterrorism.
         He revealed that Telegram was committed to working faster to "shut down publicly available content related to ISIS and propaganda of terrorism."
   "Telegram is highly concerned about the global threat of terrorism, particularly in a country like Indonesia," he explained.
          Minister Rudiantara has expressed appreciation to Durov for his response and his visit to Jakarta to meet him and discus the problem.
          "I laud Telegram for being very responsive concerning this issue," Rudiantara stated.
           He promised to normalize Web-based application Telegram this week since its blocking since July 14, 2017.

Kamis, 03 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 3, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government observed National Environment Day in a function themed "Connecting People to Nature," held at the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry office in Manggala Wanabakti complex in Jakarta on Aug 2 this year.
         The commemoration was aimed at increasing the people's awareness towards environmental problems such as deforestation, waste management, as well as air and water pollution.   
    Indonesia's forests, which are the third largest in the world after those in Brazil and Congo, hold some of the world's most diverse ecosystems, from endangered orangutans and rhinos to Rafflesias, the biggest flowers on earth.
         But, the country has lost a lot of its tropical rain forest due to illegal logging and rapid conversion of forests to plantations, despite the fact that since May 2011, the government has imposed moratorium on granting new licenses to clear forests in primary natural forest and peatland areas.
         Some companies appeared to have exploited protected national parks, for instance, to make way for plantations or have destroyed industrial parks, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) remarked while leading the function to observe National Environment Day 2017.
         The Head of State revealed that he will tighten requirements on the issuance of permits for the forest industry to protect natural resources and preserve the environment.
          "We should stop issuing any careless and irresponsible work permits to companies planning to operate in forest areas," Jokowi noted.
           The main objective of granting permits for industries in forest areas is to improve the welfare of the people.
            "The problem now is that most communities living near industrial forests are poor. Hence, we should rethink whether the teakwood plantations had contributed to the people's well-being" the president rhetorically told the audience.

Rabu, 02 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 2, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government has demonstrated a strong political will by launching a measles and rubella (MR) vaccination campaign to achieve an ambitious goal of eliminating measles and rubella by 2020.
         The campaign has been launched in accordance with WHO's Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan, 2012-2020.
         The two-month national campaign was officially kicked off by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at a function held in Islamic Junior High School 10 in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Aug 1, 2017.
        The Head of State expressed his hope that Indonesia would be free of rubella and measles by 2020.
        "I fully support the national campaign on immunization to protect the children from measles and rubella," Jokowi stated.
        The function was attended by First Lady Iriana, Coordinating Minister for Culture and Human Development Puan Maharani, Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Health Minister Nila Moeloek, Special Presidential Staff Staff Johan Budi SP, Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubowono X, and Sleman District Head Sri Purnomo.
        According to him, immunization is crucial for children's health as it could prevent deadly diseases.
        "That is the responsibility of parents and also the state," he noted.
        In Indonesia, less than one percent of children have received measles and rubella immunization, while ideally it should be more than 95 percent, he noted.
        The government has a strong commitment to eliminate measles and control rubella and to make the country free of measles and rubella by 2020, he affirmed.
         Working to eliminate measles and rubella can help strengthen health systems in general and immunization systems in particular.

Selasa, 01 Agustus 2017


Jakarta, Aug 1, 2017 (Antara) - A series of activities highlighting the Indonesian Floriculture Festival 2017, organized in Jakarta on July 24-29, marked the revival of floriculture as one of the country's economic assets.
           Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution officially designated July 24, as Indonesian Floriculture Day at his office on that day.
           On July 28, a seminar on national floriculture was organized at the Bogor University of Agriculture (IPB) Convention Center. On July 29, the Indonesian Floriculture Expo was held at the Baranangsiang Campus of IPB and was officiated by Mufidah, the spouse of Vice President Jusuf M. Kalla.
           On July 30, Bogor hosted the Floriculture Carnival, and IPB Rector Herry Suhardiyanto declared the "Love Indonesian Floriculture" Movement to encourage sustainability and promotion of the floriculture sector.
            The events were organized by the office of Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs in cooperation with the agriculture ministry, the IPB, and the Bogor municipality, Dr Syarifah IIs Aisyah, chairperson of the organizing committee, stated.
        Tens of flower-decorated vehicles went around the city, including to the Bogor Botanical Garden, during the carnival, which was officially kicked off by Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto and his deputy, Usmar Hariman.
        Other activities highlighting the carnival were an agricultural and culinary bourse, flower arrangement contest, fashion show, talk show, marching band competition, and flower-decorated vehicle contest. Indonesian flowers were used in all the activities.

Senin, 31 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 31, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the Philippines have agreed to strengthen cooperation and collaboration in counterterrorism amid the growing threat of radicalism resulting in violent extremism and terrorism in the region.
         The six neighboring countries reached the agreement during the First Sub-Regional Meeting On Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) and Cross Border Terrorism held in Manado, North Sulawesi, on July 29, 2017.
        The meeting, co-hosted by Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto and Australian Attorney-General Senator George Brandis, was focused on developing and coordinating responses to the threats posed by FTF returning to and operating in the sub-region.
         FTF pose a real threat to the Southeast Asian region, according to Commissioner General Suhardi Alius, head of the Counterterrorism Agency.   
    "FTF are a real threat in the Southeast Asian region that needs to be dealt with jointly," he had noted in a press statement.
          Southeast Asian countries need to step up vigil against the threat of FTF following a military operation by the Philippines in Marawi against armed groups allegedly belonging to the ISIS network, he remarked following the Manado meeting.
         Members of Indonesia's delegation in the meeting included Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi, Chief of the Indonesian Police General Tito Karnavian, Chief of Staff of General Affairs of the Indonesian Defense Forces Vice Admiral Didit Herdiawan Ashaf, Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara, Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, Head of the Indonesian Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Kiagus Ahmad Badaruddin, and Suhardi Alius.