Kamis, 27 Juli 2017


         Jakarta, July 27, 2017  (Antara) - Natural disasters that have hit Indonesia up to June 2017 include floods (37.4 percent), whirlwinds (29.2 percent), landslides (28.9 percent), earthquakes, and forest fires, among other things.
          Floods have claimed a total of 88 lives, landslides have claimed 84, and whirlwinds have claimed 19 lives across the country in the first semester of this year.
          Natural disasters, in fact, have been forecast by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as the country is prone to flooding in rainy season and wildfires during drought.
         In Dec 2016, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) had given warning to several regions for anticipation of natural disasters.
         Anticipation and disaster mitigation preparedness are crucial, given the fact that last year, Indonesia was battered by 2,342 natural disasters, the highest in the past 14 years, making it one of the most violent years in recent times. As many as 522 people were killed in the disasters.
         Natural disasters have inflicted material losses and caused a lot of suffering, mostly among the poor, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, BNPB spokesman, stated. He called on the media to help promote greater awareness of disasters among the public.
        In East Bangka District, Bangka Belitung Province, recent flooding inflicted material losses reaching Rp338 billion.
         "We do not have the exact figure, but our estimate is that the material losses have reached Rp338 billion," Yuslih Ihza, East Belitung District Head, noted on July 24, 2017.
           Losses from destruction of infrastructure were estimated at Rp300.7 billion, while losses from agricultural and animal husbandry were worth over Rp16 billion.
         He planned to seek assistance from the central and provincial governments to repair the affected infrastructure particularly.
         "It happens that this Thursday (July 27), there will be a meeting with President Joko Widodo, the Governor of BI (central bank), and the Public Works and Public Housing Minister. I think this is the right momentum to talk about infrastructure that was destroyed or damaged by the disaster," he stated.
         The Bangka Belitung chapter of Bank Indonesia (BI) has predicted that flooding and extreme climate that affected the province lately could cause economic sluggishness.


Jakarta, July 27, 2017 (Antara)- A family is a place where children can find love, security, safe shelter, and nutritious food. The family is the beginning of the formation of individual maturity and the personality structure of a child.
         To highlight the important roles of family in child rearing, the Indonesian Government had chosen ¿Protection of Children Begin from Family¿ as the theme, and ¿I am Indonesian Children, I am Happy,¿ as the main message.
         The function taking place in Pekanbaru, Riau, on July 23, was led by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who was accompanied by First Lady Iriana.
          Some 3,000 children from every province in Indonesia participated in the event, where President Jokowi performed several magic tricks to entertain them.
         In his remarks, the Head of State reminded children to avoid and prevent bullying among them. 
    "I have a message for you. Like in the play just now you must not bully your friends. Do you agree? You must not insult or make fun of your friends," he said, adding that they must respect and help each other.
         "If one of your friends is ill you must visit him/her and do not forget bringing her/him food so that he/she will get well soon," he told children attending the event.      
     Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa in her remarks she reminded parents to provide education, health needs, love, protection as best as they can to their children.
         She urged parents and teachers to not hurt children, but to make them happy.
         On the occasion, Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Yohana Yambise said number of cases of violence on children especially in Riau province was still very high.
         "Riau is ranked second with regard to the number of cases of household violence, child marriage and also child trafficking in Batam including Tanjung Pinang," she said.
          Ahead of the National Children's Day Commemoration, some 525 children from across Indonesia attended the 2017 National Child Forum being held in Pekanbaru, on July 19-22.
            During the forum, the children discussed about conditions in their regions and schools and play creative games. 
  The forum was organized by the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry as part of a series of activities to celebrate National Children's Day that falls on July 23.
         As results of the Forum, the children issued ten demands and submitted them to President Jokowi.
        "First, we, children of Indonesia, demand to improve access to birth certificate services especially in remote areas," a representative of the Forum read out the demands.
         The second demand is to increase the role of the National Child Forum (FAN) in development process. The third demand is to involve community's figures in the implementation of marriage after reaching adulthood. The fourth is to support child friendly rearing and the fifth is to enhance control on narcotic distribution and protect children from cigarette advertisement.
          The sixth demand is to improve children health facility and save children from poor nutrition. The seventh is to increase education quality by implementing five days of school and admission zoning system. The eighth is to increase the use of healthy Internet based on the spirit of children literacy.
        The ninth is to improve learning for disaster safety for children residing in disaster-prone areas.The last is to protect children from any kinds of exploitation and sexual abuse.
         The number of children in Indonesia reaches some 80 million, or one-third of the country's population, according to Lenny Rosalin, deputy in charge of child rearing issues in the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry.


Jakarta, July 27, 2017 (Antara) - Jakarta, with a population of some 10 million people, is notorious for being one of the world's most traffic-congested and populated cities.
        The government has provided several means of public transportation, such as the Trans-Jakarta bus services and commuter train KRL Jabodetabek to serve the Greater Jakarta or Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) areas.
        However, traffic jams persist, and the use of KRL Jabodetabek as well as the Trans-Jakarta bus services has become inconvenient since they are always crowded during peak hours.
        To solve the congestion problem, the authorities have been constructing Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) that will connect Greater Jakarta.
        The KRL has between eight and 10 coaches that are capable of carrying up to some two thousand passengers per trip. The MRT will have up to six coaches that will be able to transport around 1,950 passengers per trip or 173 thousand passengers per day, while the LRT will have three coaches, with a maximum of 628 passengers per trip.
        At least 23 percent of the Greater Jakarta LRT has been developed as of June 2017. The system will cover three lines: Cawang-Cibubur covering 14.5 kilometers (km); Cawang-East Bekasi, 17.1 km; and Cawang-Kuningan-Dukuh Atas, 10.5 km.
        In total, the first stage of the Greater Jakarta LRT railway will stretch around 42.1 km, according to President Director of PT Adhi Karya Tbk Budi Harto.
        The Jabodebek LRT project is expected to be completed in 2018, and the LRT service to become operational, starting early 2019. 
        Currently, the government has been striving to streamline the budget for the mass transportation project.  However, efficiency will be sought without reducing passenger comfort.
        Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan claimed that the government could save Rp6 trillion by using a moving block signaling system for the LRT railway connecting Jakarta with Jabodebek.
        The figure was arrived at after a recalculation following a change in technology applied in the project, he said while speaking at the National Technology Congress held in Jakarta recently.  
   Moving block signaling is a system in which the blocks, or sections of track, are defined in real time by computers as protected zones around each train.
        "The LRT project had already been started, but we made a recalculation. We saw that the technology could be changed, and in fact, the cost could be reduced to up to Rp6 trillion," he noted.
        Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi explained that initially, the government had chosen to use a fixed block signaling system, which determines the headway, or time interval, between trains for the LRT project.
        Later, however, the government decided to apply the moving block signaling system, which would allow more trains to operate.
        With a moving block system, trains can transport more passengers as compared to a fixed block system, according to the transportation minister.
        The LRT could transport up to 750 thousand passengers per day, while with the fixed block system, it would only be able to transport 500 thousand.
        "With more passengers, as they are a dividing factor, it can be ensured that the returns on investment will be faster," he explained.
        The government has adjusted the budget allocation from Rp21.7 trillion to Rp22 trillion for the project.
        "There is a small additional cost, notably only between Rp200 and Rp300 billion," he added.
        Meanwhile, the State Asset Management Institute has allocated a total of Rp1.6 trillion to compensate for the land procured in 32 areas for the LRT in Jabodebek.
        "There are two big areas, such as in (Cibubur) scout camping round, measuring 4.5 thousand square meters, and in East Bekasi, nearly 10 hectares, for a depot and a station," Prasetyo Boeditjahjono, the railway director general of the Transportation Ministry, stated recently.
        Land procurement is concentrated in those two areas in addition to several others, Pundjung Setya Brata, operation director III of PT Adi Karya Tbk, noted.
        The location in Cibubur will be the final station. In East Bekasi, five hectares of the total 10 hectares belong to Adhi Karya, so the depot construction could be carried out immediately.
        Minister Pandjaitan has instructed that the procurement of land should be completed by this July.
        "There are 32 locations to be cleared, and it is almost completed. I want it to be completed this month," he said.
        The government has hired independent appraisers to suggest compensation for private land.
        He said the average progress of the LRT construction project in the first phase has reached 15.5 percent, comprising 31.4 percent for Cawang-Cibubur, 2.7 percent for Cawang Dukuh Atas, and 15.1 percent for Cawang-East Bekasi. 
   By the end of this year, the progress in the construction of the LRT project is expected to reach at least 60 percent.

(T.F001/A/BESSR/O. Tamindael) 27-07-2017

Selasa, 25 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 25, 2017 (Antara) - Various varieties of flowers and fruits are found in Indonesia, though most of them are seasonal, while others are available all year round.
          Indonesia is believed to have a huge potential to become one of the world's largest exporters of flowers and fruits, as the country is blessed with fertile land and fruits as well as flowers that are abundant both qualitatively and quantitatively.    
     Owing to the high fruit production in Indonesia, the country can export them, thereby reducing their imports. According to data of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, in 2014, Indonesia had ranked 20th on the world fruit exporter list.
          President Joko Widodo, in his opening remarks at the Fourth Fruit Indonesia 2016 festival held at the Senayan eastern park area, Jakarta, on Nov 17, expressed optimism about the country's potential in floriculture and horticulture commodity exports.
          This year, a similar optimism was also voiced by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution while opening the Indonesian Floriculture Expo in Jakarta on July 24, which is also designated as Indonesian Floriculture Day.
          The role of floriculture and horticulture commodities in the national economy is growing, according to Nasution.
                "We should invite small- and medium-scale businesses to promote floriculture commercially. Only by doing this can we develop it better," he noted.    


Jakarta, July 25, 2017 (Antara) - Illicit drugs could be worse than terrorism as more Indonesians, particularly young people, had died because of drug abuse, than terrorism.
         Some six million Indonesians are reported to be drug users, and 30 to 40 people, mostly youths, die every day because of narcotics consumption.   
    President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has declared that the nation was in a state of drug emergency and ordered for firm action against narcotic drug traffickers to save the younger generation.
         "Do not give them any tolerance, because we are now under an emergency situation with regard to narcotic drugs," the president said on Friday (July 21).
         Indonesia is one of the few countries to have imposed the harshest drug laws in the world. Since 2015, 18 drug convicts have been executed. But it seems that the measure does not stop there.
         He remarked that the police and TNI (military) have also taken firm actions against those involved in drug abuse cases.  
    "Now Polri (police) and TNI have indeed been firm, especially while dealing with foreign drug traffickers entering the country. They will just shoot them if they defy arrest," he warned.
         Chief of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) General Gatot Nurmantyo has warned that drugs are no less dangerous than terrorism threat to the survival of the nation.
         "We need to always be on guard against the potential threats of both terrorism and drugs. Unfortunately, we tend to see only terrorism as a big threat, while the damage caused by drugs has also been widespread," the general said on July 14, 2017.

Senin, 24 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 24, 2017 (Antara) - Since the Indonesian government officially announced its bid for a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat in September 2016, the country has received support from several countries, such as Turkey, Chile, Sierra Leone, and Angola.
        It was Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla who announced Indonesia's bid to be a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2019-2020 period while addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year.
        Indonesia has, so far, been a non-permanent member thrice during 1973-1974, 1995-1996, and 2007-2008 periods.
        In pursuing its bid in the election to be held in the UN Headquarters in June 2018, Indonesia is promoting the theme "A True Partner for World Peace," according to Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi.
        Peace is a prerequisite to development, Kalla noted, adding that Indonesia had learnt first-hand from the internal conflict and regional strife and a diversion away from development during the 1950s and 1960s.
        In line with its constitutional mandate, Indonesia is committed to fully participating in and contributing to the maintenance of world order based on freedom, lasting peace, and social justice.
        The Indonesian government has been consistently contributing to the efforts aimed at achieving the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter in maintaining international peace and security, particularly in light of the major dynamic changes taking place in the current global arena.
        The country accords high priority to the cause of the United Nations peacekeeping and has actively participated in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations since 1957.

Sabtu, 22 Juli 2017


  Jakarta, July 22, 2017 (Antara) - In Indonesia, from the president to it's the people, many have strongly condemned the violence and blatant aggression committed by Israeli forces that killed three Palestinian worshipers and injured more than 100 others around Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Al Quds (East Jerusalem) on July 21.
        For Muslims, Al Aqsa belongs to every Muslims in the world, not only Palestinians. Al Aqsa Mosque is Islam's third holiest site after Masjidil Haram in Mecca and Nabawi Mosque in Medina; the first qibla (direction faced while praying); and the second mosque to be ever built on Earth.
        Therefore, the Indonesian Government and people are always concerned over Al Aqsa Mosque, which is in danger due to Israeli occupation and blatant aggression.
        "Indonesia asks the UN, the UN Secretary General (in particular), to allow the UN Security Council to convene a session soon to discuss the Al Aqsa Mosque crisis," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said in Yogyakarta on July 22.
         The Indonesian government has also demanded Israel not to change the status quo of Al Aqsa compound that guarantees access to Muslims to pray in Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque.
          "Indonesia once again strongly denounces the restriction of prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque. Likewise, it strongly denounces the death of three citizens," Jokowi said at the Ahmad Dahlan University compound.   
   Indonesia has also urged that the OIC can immediately hold an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Al-Aqsa complex, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said.   
   Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi, on July 19, had a telephonic conversation with the foreign minister of Jordan to discuss the situation in the Al Aqsa Mosque.      


 Jakarta, July 22, 2017 (Antara) - Visitors to Papua, Indonesia's easternmost island, would earlier hunt for the stuffed Bird of Paradise, or Passeriformes Paradisaeidae, locally called "Cenderawasih," and the very rare and exotic Black Orchid, or Ceologyne Pandurata, as souvenirs.
         Such practices no longer exist, as the government has placed a ban on them. Both the Bird of Paradise and Black Orchid are very rare and strictly protected.
         Black Orchid is one of the most wanted orchids in Indonesia and can also be found in the deep forests of Kalimantan, although the shape of the flower differs from that found in Papua.
         The form, color, and details of the Black Orchid are beautiful and unique. It has a honeyed tongue, and the petals emit a fresh fragrance.
         The Black Orchid derives its name from the brownish-black and purplish black color of its petals. The Black Orchid's petals are shaped in the form of a bright purple tongue.
         In fact, orchids are a part of Indonesia's natural wealth. More than six thousand species of orchids grow in Indonesia's rainforests, the second highest after Brazil.
         Of these species, some are endemic orchid varieties of Indonesia, which is home to various exotic and rare species of orchids.
         The number of the species continues to grow, as some new ones have been found in their natural habitat deep within the rainforests in Borneo, Sulawesi, and Papua.
         Apart from Black Orchids, Bulbophyllum Graveolens, or Papuan Orchid, is among the very rare and exotic species of orchids.
         Growing in the temperate forests of Papua, this orchid is also known as the Papuan Orchid. The plant is large, with the flower head measuring up to 10 inches.

Jumat, 21 Juli 2017


 Jakarta, July 21, 2017 (Antara) - Being developed into a world-class tourist destination, Lake Toba in North Sumatra Province needs to have better connectivity and accessibility as well as facilities for both international and domestic tourists.
          Lake Toba has been designated as one of the 10 priority tourist destinations selected alongside the Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuhan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru in East Java, Seribu or One Thousand Islands in Jakarta, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Morotai in North Maluku, and Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung.
           In accordance with the instructions given by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) during a limited meeting on February 2, 2016, the government, in cooperation with the private sector, has been developing infrastructure, such as airports, roads, and ports, to improve connectivity in North Sumatra.
          Tourism Minister Arief Yahya had last year stated that on an average, revenue worth US$1 billion is expected to be annually generated from foreign tourist arrivals to Lake Toba. Lake Toba's tourism industry is expected to contribute Rp30 trillion by 2019.
          Investment in the initial stage for Lake Toba's development will reach Rp20 trillion, of which the government will allocate Rp10 trillion and the rest will be sourced from the private sector, he revealed.    
    In June 2016, President Jokowi had signed Presidential Regulation No.  49 of 2016 on establishment of the Board of Lake Toba Tourism Strategic Zone Management Authority to help expedite  the development projects in the area.

Rabu, 19 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 19, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesian Muslims are very concerned about the situation in Al Aqsa Mosque, following a recent closure and ongoing stricter control of the third Islamic holiest mosque by occupying Israeli forces.
        Besides, radical Jewish settlers, under the protection of heavily armed Israeli forces, often break into the premises, and the forces often blocked Muslim worshipers from praying, in order to pave the way for the Jews.

Selasa, 18 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 18, 2017 (Antara) -  The 18th Asian Games, a regional sporting event for Asian nations, will be co-hosted by Palembang and Jakarta simultaneously from August 18 to September 2, 2018.
         Thousands of athletes from 54 countries are expected to participate in the games.
         This will be the second time that Indonesia will host the Asian Games, with the first one being held in Jakarta in 1962, under President Soekarno.
         The South Sumatra provincial administration, in general, and the Palembang municipal government, in particular, are determined to use the event to promote its tourism attractions in order to attract as many tourists as possible.
         To this end, they have been busy improving and renovating several tourist attractions in the city and developing infrastructure and facilities to support the tourism industry. 
    Among infrastructure being developed in the capital of South Sumatra  is a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. The vital LRT is expected to help reduce traffic in Palembang particularly during the implementation of the upcoming Asian Games.
         The 25 km long LRT track will stretch from Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport to Jakabaring Sport City.
         The construction work has, so far, been on track, and proceeded smoothly without serious problems.
         The Rp10 trillion (US$751.9 billion) Asian Games 2018 project has earmarked Rp2 trillion (US$15.04) for LRT project development.

Sabtu, 15 Juli 2017


  Jakarta, July 15, 2017 (Antara) - The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) is prioritized after UNESCO's World Heritage Committee's decision, in its 41st session, to retain TRHS on the List of World Heritage In Danger following threats to remaining rainforests.
         The 2.5 million-hectare TRHS site comprises three national parks: Mount Leuser National Park located in Aceh and North Sumatra; Kerinci Seblat National Park in Jambi, Bengkulu, West Sumatra, and South Sumatra; and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in the provinces of Lampung, South Sumatra, and Bengkulu.
         A large part of the TRHS lies within the Leuser Ecosystem, which is among the most biodiverse and ancient ecosystems to be ever documented by science and the last habitat of Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers, rhinos, and sun bears.   
   The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has identified Leuser as one of the world's "irreplaceable protected areas."
    UNESCO says the site "holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species."
   According to UNESCO, the area is home to some 10 thousand plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammal species; and about 580 bird species, of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic.


Jakarta, July 15, 2017 (Antara) - The second Tour de Flores (TdF) cycling race and tourism event being held on July 14-19 is expected to be more challenging, as the number of regions to be covered during the tour has increased.  
   The 2017 TdF covers a total distance of 808 kilometers (km), an increase from 661.5 km in 2016, due to the addition of the Aegela-Mbay route in Ngada District.     
   Some 20 cycling teams comprising more than 150 cyclists from 11 countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia are participating in the tour.
        Last year, 20 teams from 16 countries had taken part in the TdF that was held for the first time in May.
        East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Frans Lebu Raya flagged off the cyclists participating in the 2017 TdF race at the start line in front of the East Flores district head's office in Larantuka on July 14, 2017.
        The cyclists started in Larantuka and later headed to Maumere, Ende, Mbay, Borong, Ruteng, Aegela, and Mbay until finishing in Flores Island's westernmost town of Labuan Bajo.
        The first stage, covering a distance of 148 km, started from Larantuka in East Flores District and finished in Maumere in Sikka District, on Friday.
        The governor was optimistic that the cyclists would do their best to reach the finish line, as they love taking up new challenges.  
   "This year's cycling race is more challenging than that in the previous year due to the number of regions to be visited, longer distance, and the quite rough terrain," Governor Raya explained.
        He also reminded them to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Flores Island.

Jumat, 14 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 14, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian police shot dead a major drug trafficker for resisting arrest during a raid that successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle one ton crystal methamphetamine from China in Serang, Banten, on July 12, 2017.
          Lin Ming Hui, a Taiwanese citizen killed by the Indonesian police, was believed to have controlled the smuggling of the narcotics.
          The police detained two suspects -- Chen Wei Cyuan and Liao Guan You -- while Hsu Yung Li escaped arrest. The four smugglers are Taiwanese.
          The operation, conducted jointly by the Jakarta and Depok Police, was successful owing to cooperation between the Indonesian and Taiwanese Police, according to Inspector General M. Iriawan, chief of the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police.
          The illicit drug, smuggled into Indonesia aboard a boat, was seized from the Mandalika Anyer Hotel in Serang.
          "This was the result of a field investigation in Jakarta. We then traced it, thanks to a tip-off from the Police of Taiwan," he noted.
          Chief of the Indonesian Police General Tito Karnavian has lauded the joint team of the Jakarta and Depok Police for successfully foiling the smuggling attempt.
          Karnavian has instructed his personnel to continue the fight against illicit drugs even if they have to shoot dead drug traffickers.
          "Continue. If the traffickers resist, finish (them)," he noted.

Kamis, 13 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 13 , 2017(Antara) - Leaders of G20 member countries, including Indonesia, share a common view that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist-safe havens be eliminated in every part of the world.
        Hence, at a gathering in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7-8, 2017, the leaders pledged to forge closer cooperation in undertaking counterterrorism and deradicalization efforts.
       Their commitment was outlined in The Hamburg G20 Leaders' Statement on Countering Terrorism that, among other things, read: "We, the Leaders of the G20, strongly condemn all terrorist attacks worldwide and stand united and firm in the fight against terrorism and its financing. These atrocious acts have strengthened our resolve to cooperate to enhance our security and protect our citizens."
   The leaders, including President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), vowed to facilitate swift and targeted exchanges of information between intelligence, law enforcement, and judicial authorities on operational information-sharing, preventive measures, and criminal justice response while ensuring the necessary balance between security and data protection aspects in accordance with national laws.

        Moreover, they will ensure that counterterrorism steps will continue to be part of a comprehensive approach, including combating radicalization and recruitment, curbing terrorist movements, and countering terrorist propaganda.

Selasa, 11 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 11, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia and one of its closest partners, Turkey, have established cooperation in several fields, particularly in the economic, political, education, and strategic industries.
        In fact, Turkish-Indonesian relations can be traced back to the 12th century when Turkish Islamic scholars had visited Indonesia to spread Islamic teachings.    
    To strengthen the bilateral ties further, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made a state visit to Indonesia from July 30 to August 1, 2015, coinciding with the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
        On July 6, this year, it was President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) turn to pay a reciprocal visit to Turkey. Jokowi commenced his state visit to Turkey by holding a one-on-one meeting with Erdogan.
        The two presidents discussed economic development and security cooperation, including on counterterrorism efforts.
        They also witnessed the signing of documents of agreements on health and economic cooperation at the White Palace in Ankara.
         Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi signed the document of agreement on health cooperation, while Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita signed the document of inauguration of negotiations on Indonesian-Turkish Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IT-CEPA).
         "I welcome the signing of the two cooperation agreement documents between the governments of Indonesia and Turkey in the fields of health and the launch of negotiations on Indonesian and Turkish Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement," Jokowi stated.

Sabtu, 08 Juli 2017


   Jakarta, July 8, 2017 (Antara) - Borobudur Temple is known all over the world for its ancient and huge mountain-shape building, beautiful reliefs, statues, and stupas.
       The world's largest Buddhist temple has been popular worldwide particularly after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization included the place of worship on its World Heritage list in 1991.
        Built during the reign of a king belonging to the Saliendra Dynasty between 750 and 842 AD, the temple is located in Mendut Village, Magelang District, Central Java Province, about 42 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta, at the center of Java Island.
        Borobudur Temple, with a massive step pyramid structure made from giant stone blocks, is built on a hill and is surrounded by valleys and hills. The levels rise up representing the stages of enlightenment.
         It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms, and at the top, a monumental stupa.
        On the lower rectangular levels, stone-carved panels depict the story of the Buddhist Sutras through 1,460 scenes intricately carved into the stone.
        The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 square meters. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha.
        The list of the Seven Wonders of the World has changed many times over the years, and Borobudur has often been included in that list.

Kamis, 06 Juli 2017


Jakarta, July 6, 2017 (Antara) - Some eight million members of the Indonesian diaspora living in various countries across the world are viewed as valuable assets and envoys representing the interests of the world's fourth most populous nation.
       Indonesian Diaspora groups comprise Indonesian citizens living overseas and Indonesians having migrated from Indonesia and acquired foreign nationalities, as well as Indonesian descendants, or people of Indonesian origin.        
  According to the 2012 data, the number of registered Indonesian diaspora had reached 4.6 million people, but it is estimated that there are around eight to 10 million members of the Indonesian diaspora abroad.

       On July 1-4, 2017, the Indonesian Diaspora Network Global (IDN Global) organized the fourth Diaspora Congress, which was a series of discussions involving the Indonesian diaspora from various backgrounds and highlighting recent issues, including tolerance, diplomacy, business, innovation, and culture inheritance.
       Some nine thousand people from 55 countries, including the US, China, Mexico, Germany, Suriname, Qatar, Oman, Brunei Darussalam, France, the Netherlands, and Myanmar, attended the congress held in Jakarta.
       The congress, themed "Synergize To Build the Nation," presented 42 speakers including Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi, former US president Barack Obama, and Jakarta Governor-elect Anies Baswedan.     
  President Joko Widodo was presented an award by IDN Global for his efforts in supporting the community while promoting the country overseas.


Jakarta, July 6 , 2017 (Antara) - Thanks to good cooperation among government institutions and other relevant stakeholders, this year's homebound exodus of millions of Indonesian Muslims celebrating Idul Fitri Islamic Festivities, locally called Lebaran, ran smoothly and safely.
    Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of going back to their hometowns to celebrate Lebaran. As a result, there is an exodus of travelers, particularly from cities to villages, during this time of the year.
         The number of homebound travelers this year was estimated to reach over 19 million, up from 17,698,484 in 2016, and from 17,404,575 in 2015.
         To ensure people's safety during the exodus, more than 170 thousand police and military personnel were deployed for Ramdaniya Operation carried out from June 19 to July 4, 2017.
         The Transportation Ministry had carried out the checking of public vehicles' worthiness in various regions, while the National Narcotic Agency (BNN), with the support of local police and transportation offices, had conducted urine tests on drivers to make sure they were free of narcotics. Those measures were considered necessary to prevent traffic accidents.
         Relevant ministries and stakeholders had made their utmost efforts to provide smoother, safer, and more comfortable trips during the post-fasting Lebaran exodus optimally, in accordance with instructions given by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) earlier.
         Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan lauded the sound coordination among the Police, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, as well as state oil and gas company Pertamina to provide services and facilities for the travelers.
         Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi earlier expressed his appreciation and gratitude to all stakeholders who had helped smooth mudik implementation.

Selasa, 04 Juli 2017


  Jakarta, July 4, 2017(Antara) - Barack Obama, former US president, has emotional ties with Indonesia as he had spent four years of his memorable childhood in Jakarta with his American mother and Indonesian stepfather.
         Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961, Barack Hussein Obama II lived in Jakarta from 1968 until 1972.
        Many Indonesians are pleased because Obama, who had studied in a local regular elementary school in Menteng area, still remembers some of the Indonesian words such as "Apa kabar?" (How are you?), and of course, names of his favorite food such as "bakso" (meatball soup) and "sate" (grilled chicken or beef satay).
         Obama, whose skin color happens to be similar to most of Indonesians, because of a mixed marriage between his Caucasian mother and Kenyan father, had visited Jakarta for the first time as the 44th President of the US in Nov 2010.
        He had opened up about his nostalgic feeling about Indonesia, especially its people as well as local food, during his short visit that he had described as "pulang kampung" (homecoming).
        In the gala dinner hosted by the then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seven years ago at the presidential palace on the evening of Nov 9, , Obama had begun his remarks by thanking the host for providing "bakso, nasi goreng, emping, kerupuk, ... semuanya enak," he said. ("the meat balls, fried rice, crackers .... They were all delicious").
        While speaking at the University of Indonesia (UI), on the southern outskirt of Jakarta on Nov 10, 2010, Obama had thrilled Indonesians by declaring "Saya bagian dari Indonesia (I am part of Indonesia)." He had expressed keenness to bring his two daughters to Indonesia some day.

Jumat, 30 Juni 2017


 Jakarta, June 30, 2017(Antara) - Indonesia has played a crucial role in curbing the impacts of climate change, as the country has vast forest and peatland areas that can store huge amount of carbon emissions.
        Around 50 percent of the world's total carbon reserves are reportedly in Indonesia's forests and peatlands. The country's tropical rainforests have a total carbon storage capacity of 60 gigatons (billion tons).
        Its tropical peatlands are annually able to hold one gigaton of carbon reserves due to which they should be preserved to help address the impacts of climate change.
        Indonesia has 20 million hectares of peatlands, or the world's largest. The country's peatland areas are located on the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Papua.
        "Peatlands in Indonesia play a significant role in coping with the impacts of climate change," he confirmed.
        Nazir Foead, head of the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), said recently that peatland areas existing in seven Indonesian provinces and the damaged ones that are being restored could reduce carbon emissions amounting to one gigaton annually.
        President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) installed Nazir Foead, former conservation director at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), as head of the BRG on January 20, 2017.


 Jakarta, June 30, 2017 (Antara) - The El Nino natural phenomenon, which has increased water temperatures in many coral reef regions across the globe between 2015 and 2018, has triggered coral bleaching in many countries, including in Australia's Great Barrier Reef and in Indonesia.
        The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States has even declared the environmental disaster as the longest and most widespread coral bleaching event in recorded history.
        In Indonesia, the first signs of bleaching were reported in April 2016, and El Niño has impacted Indonesian coral reefs since 2015, according to a report published on www.biogeosciences.net. 
   However, a team of researchers studying Indonesian corals found that it is not the increase in rising water temperatures that caused the recent die-off of most corals globally but rather the decreasing sea level.
        While conducting a census of coral biodiversity in the Bunaken National Park, located in the northwest tip of Sulawesi (Indonesia), in late Feb 2016, the researchers noticed widespread occurrences of dead massive corals. Similar surveys carried out in the springs of 2014 and 2015 found the corals to be alive and thriving.
        The clear link between mortality and sea level fall also calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their consequences on coral reefs, the report stated.

Kamis, 29 Juni 2017


Jakarta, June 29, 2017 (Antara) - The current Idul Fitri Islamic holiday season has helped boost Indonesia's domestic tourism, among other things, thanks to the government's policy to grant additional holidays, after Muslims celebrated Idul Fitri, or Lebaran, on June 25-26.   
    President Joko Widodo had signed Presidential Decree No. 18 of 2017 on joint leave for extra holidays during the Idul Fitri celebration.
         The joint leave enables employees to avail additional holidays on June 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30 in addition to the weekend on July 1-2.
         Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of celebrating Lebaran in their hometowns with their families. They usually also spend time with their families to visit recreational centers and tourist attractions during the holiday.
         In Sabang, located on Weh Island, Aceh Province, some three thousand domestic tourists, mostly from North Sumatra and Java Island, enjoyed the white sandy beaches located in the northernmost Sumatra Island.
         The number of domestic tourists visiting Sabang had increased since the second day after Idul Fitri, according to Abdurani, a local official of Balohan Seaport, Sabang.


Jakarta, June 29, 2017 (Antara) - As archipelagic countries, Indonesia and Maldives share common interest in tourism sector and concerns over climate change impacts.
          Indonesia has more than 17 thousand islands, while Maldives has nearly 1.2 thousand. 
    The two countries have been blessed with white sandy beaches having crystal clear turquoise waters where various species of coral reefs and fish live abundantly.
        Almost similar to Indonesia, tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives, as it plays an important role in earning foreign exchange revenues and generating employment.
        Climate change, however, has threatened the two countries as some of their low-lying islands are being flooded by rising sea levels. Climate change may wipe some of their islands off the map.
        Therefore, bilateral cooperation in tourism and climate change were among issues discussed by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi and her guest, Foreign Minister of Maldives Mohamed Asim, in Jakarta on June 21, 2017.
         "Maldives is famous for its tourism, and Indonesia also has a huge potential in tourism sector," Marsudi said.
         They agreed to share experiences in developing the tourism sector and its promotional strategy.   
    Based on data from tradingeconomics.com, tourist arrivals in Maldives increased to 119,774 in April from 112,665 in March 2017. Tourist Arrivals in Maldives averaged 99,803,25 per month from 2012 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 125,336 in January 2017 and a record low of 59,379 in June 2012.
          Maldives, which has become the world's most popular tourism destination, has been developing hotels, in which most of the decorating furniture are from Indonesia.

Selasa, 27 Juni 2017


 Jakarta, June 27, 2017 (Antara) - Barack Obama has fulfilled his promise to spend holidays with his family in Indonesia, which he often referred to as "pulang kampung," or homecoming.
           During his visit to Jakarta in November 2010, Obama had expressed keenness to bring his two daughters to Indonesia one day.
           Seven years later, on June 23, 2017, he along with his wife, Michele and two daughters, Malia and Sasha, aboard a Gulfstream N50JE chartered jet, finally landed at the I Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.         
     Apart from his immediate family, Obama also brought along his stepsister Maya Soetoro and her family and some employees, with the number of people in his delegation reaching 14.
           The 44th US president was welcomed upon arrival by Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika, Chief of the IX/Udayana Military Command Major General Komaruddin Simanjuntak, Chief of the Denpasar Resort Police Senior Commissioner Hadi Purnomo, and Commander of the Ngurah Rai Air Base Colonel Wayan Superman.
          The Obamas plan to stay for five days until June 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sayan, Ubud, Gianyar District, which is located about 40 kilometers from the airport.
          This is Obama's second visit to Bali. During the first visit, he had attended the ASEAN Summit in 2011 as the US president. At that time, however, he was not accompanied by his family.
          This time, his holiday is a personal trip; hence the Indonesian authorities do not have the details of their agenda.

Sabtu, 24 Juni 2017


Jakarta, June 24, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia and Nigeria, which are among the most populous countries in the world, realize they have untapped potential in the areas of trade and investment that are waiting to be explored further.  
   Besides this, Indonesia and Nigeria are two major economies in their regions, with economic advantages that complement each other.
        Hence, it is only natural for the trade and investment relations between the two countries to be forged and stepped up.
        Both countries are also aware that they need to address the fact that Indonesia's trade with Nigeria has, so far, been conducted through third parties, leading to inefficiency and additional costs.
        Direct trade will be more beneficial to both countries.
        Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi, during a visit to Nigeria on June 5, 2017, conveyed to Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is also the country's acting president, that bilateral trade between both nations should be conducted directly, particularly in oil and gas.
   "The acting president of Nigeria agreed that direct trade is an attempt to reduce prices," the minister stated.
   The total value of trade between Indonesia and Nigeria in 2016 was recorded at US$1.5 billion.

Jumat, 23 Juni 2017


 Jakarta, June 23, 2017 (Antara) - The neighboring countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have agreed to collaborate to address the common threats of terrorism and violent extremism confronting the region, as terrorism is an extraordinary crime that transcends borders.
        The nations are committed to effectively addressing existing and emerging transnational challenges and threats that have the potential to undermine the stability and well-being of countries in the region.
        The commitment was stated in a joint statement issued during the Trilateral Meeting on Security held in Manila on June 22, 2017, and attended by Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anifah Hj. Aman, and Filipino Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter S. Cayetano.
        During the meeting, the ministers raised concerns over the recent incidents of terrorism and violent extremism in their countries and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to jointly develop and implement counterterrorism measures and strategies.
        They deliberated and agreed to task their senior officials to consider the proposed plan of action, in the context of several measures and to report thereon at their next meeting.
        The measures include enhancing efforts and cooperation to address the root causes and underlying conditions of extremism, including those not limited to poverty, narcotics or illegal drugs, crime, and social injustice.

Kamis, 22 Juni 2017


    Jakarta, June 22, 2017 (Antara) - Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of celebrating Idul Fitri Islamic Holiday, or locally called Lebaran, in their hometowns with their families.
         As a result, there is an exodus of travelers, particularly from cities to villages, during this time of the year.
         Of the country's over 250 million population, more than 85 percent are Muslims.
         This June, an exodus of homebound travelers has begun across Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, to celebrate Idul Fitri (Eid El Fitr) which falls on June 25.
         The number of homebound travelers this year is expected to reach over 19 million, up from 17,698,484 in 2016, and from 17,404,575 in 2015.
         To ensure people's safety during the exodus, more than 170 thousand police and military personnel have been deployed for Ramdaniya Operation being carried out from June 19 to July 4, 2017.
         As part of safety measures, the Transportation Ministry has checked the worthiness of transportation means for the travelers.  
    In early June 2017, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi noted that only 60 percent of intercity and inter-provincial (AKAP) buses operating during Idul Fitri were roadworthy.
         "In general, we are satisfied with the results of a ramp check, except land transportation in which only 60 percent of the buses are roadworthy," he stated in a discussion on the government's preparations to anticipate safe, secure, and comfortable homecoming at the Transportation Ministry recently.
         Data from the Directorate General of Land Transportation in early June showed that 5,026, or 43 percent of 11,605 buses checked were roadworthy; 1,632 buses, or 12 percent, must be repaired; and 4,947 buses, or 42 percent, were not roadworthy.


Jakarta, June 22, 2017 (Antara) - The Family Planning (FP) Program holds significance for Indonesia, as the country has a population of over 250 million, or is the world's fourth-most populated nation after China, India, and the US.
          From 1970s to the early 2000s, the Indonesian government had intensified the FP program to stem population growth, as the country's fertility rate was rather high at that time.
         With a strong political will, determination, and hard work, Indonesia had one of the strongest and most successful national FP initiatives in the world during the period.
         The country had managed to double its contraceptive prevalence rate to nearly 60 percent between 1976 and 2002 and halved its fertility rate from 5.6 to 2.6 children per woman.
         Indonesia was a leader in the FP program and viewed as a role model by developing countries.
         However, following the country's major political reform, the FP program seemed have to slowed down. 
    To revitalize the FP program, in 2016, the Joko Widodo administration came out with several strategies, including by establishing the so-called FP Kampongs or FP Communities.
        More than merely providing easy access to contraceptives for married couples, its goals are also to increase the welfare of Indonesian families through the FP program, increasing societal awareness on the population condition in Indonesia, and to ensure that every family in Indonesia can pursue its life goals.
        A FP kampong is a village or hamlet where there is a systematic and systemic integration of FP, population, and family development programs.

Selasa, 20 Juni 2017


Jakarta, June 20, 2017 (Antara) - A good connectivity is crucial for Indonesia, a huge country whose distance between the westernmost part of the archipelago and the easternmost is equal to the distance between London and Dubai or Los Angeles and New York.
         The vast Indonesian archipelago and its waters are rich in natural resources and tourist spots, but many of its outermost and remote regions are underdeveloped due to the lack of infrastructure and facilities.
         To improve connectivity and to address the underdevelopment in the country, the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration has accelerated infrastructure development in various regions, particularly in remote and eastern regions of Indonesia.
         The government has planned to build, among other things, airports, seaports, and roads.
          While speaking in a Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing, China, last May, Jokowi explained that the country's potentials are yet to be exploited optimally due to the lack of adequate infrastructure.
          "Hence, the biggest infrastructure development in the country's history is now going on," he pointed out.
          Addressing 28 heads of state and government, as well as chiefs of international organizations at the meeting, Jokowi stated that Indonesia, as the world's largest maritime economic zone located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, has a strategic and important role to play.
        He lauded the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative and invited the leaders attending the Beijing forum to participate in the Indonesian development programs.

Sabtu, 17 Juni 2017


 Jakarta, June 17, 2017 (Antara) - To support the Indonesian government's target of attracting at least 12 million foreign tourists, including some 2.4 million from China, several regions are gearing up to receive them this year.
         Tourism promotion events organized by Indonesia in China have resulted in a significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country's tourist destinations, particularly Bali and North Sulawesi.
         Chinese tourists constituted 28.15 percent of the total 1.81 million foreign tourist arrivals in Bali between January and April this year.
         North Sulawesi has also enjoyed a sharp increase in the number of Chinese visitors in the first quarter of 2017.
         During the period between January and March, North Sulawesi had recorded a five-fold increase in the number of foreign tourists reaching 17,335, of which most were Chinese, from 3,467 during the same period last year.
         Chinese tourists have dominated, in terms of the number of visitors to North Sulawesi. In March alone, 3,889 Chinese tourists had visited the province, or 75 percent of the total number of foreign visitors.
         Other tourist arrivals were from Singapore, Germany, the United States, and Hong Kong.
         In April 2017, Chinese also constituted the largest number of foreign tourists visiting North Sulawesi.
         "In April 2017, the number of Chinese tourists visiting North Sulawesi reached 4,477, constituting 72.84 percent of the total foreign tourist arrivals," Moh Edy Mahmud, head of the North Sulawesi statistic office, stated in Manado, recently.

Rabu, 14 Juni 2017


Jakarta, June 14, 2017 (Antara) - Over the past several years, labor strikes have hit PT Freeport Indonesia (FI), but the subsidiary of the US mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold has managed to find win-win solutions to the problems.
        Having operated the Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia¿s ''easternmost province since 1967, PT Freeport Indonesia is into the business of exploration, mining, processing, and worldwide marketing of minerals such as copper, gold, and silver.
        PT FI, one of the three biggest gold and copper mines on the planet, has provided jobs to local people and supported developmental programs in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua.
       However, since May 1 this year, thousands of PT Freeport workers have been on strike following a dispute between the management and its labor union. 
   The workers of Freeport's contractors have also joined the strike. The labor union has even proposed to extend the strike until June 30, 2017.
        The dispute began when the government banned the company from exporting copper concentrate as it failed to build a smelter for its minerals. The company was forced to lay off many workers for efficiency as it had to stop production.
        As a consequence, PT Freeport and its sub-contract companies fired more than 2.5 thousand workers.
       The layoff caused major concern for the authorities and the affected workers as well as their families, in particular.

Selasa, 13 Juni 2017


Jakarta, June 13. 2017  (Antara) - Terrorism is an extraordinary crime that could threaten Indonesia's sovereignty, therefore the fight against it needs participation of every possible stakeholder, particularly police and military.
        In Indonesia, the National Police (Polri) is indeed the main law enforcement institution that has carried out the fight against terrorism so far, through their  counterterrorism special squad Densus 88, and CounterTerrorism Agency (BNPT).
         The Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), however, has frequently supported the Police in operation to fight terrorists in several cases so far.
       But, the government wishes to see a bigger role of the military in eradicating terrorism.
        Currently, a special committee of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) is in the process of revising Law No. 15 Year 2003 on Counterterrorism.         
   President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed his hope that the DPR could conclude the revision as soon as possible and the revised law could clearly describe the role of TNI in the counterterrorism efforts in this country.         
    "I would like the anti-terror bill to immediately be pursued in the house and with the minister of political, legal, and security affairs, and I would like the discussion related to the bill to be completed as soon as possible," President Jokowi said recently.   
    The president also wants the revised law to mention the involvement of the Indonesian military in fighting terrorism.

Sabtu, 03 Juni 2017


Jakarta, June 3, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia's state-owned railway manufacturer PT Inka has been producing a variety of locomotives, trains, and cars that are competitive both in terms of their pricing and quality.
         As the first fully integrated rolling stock and automotive manufacturer in Southeast Asia, PT Inka has targeted to export its products to developing countries, particularly in South Asia and Africa.
         In fact, without much publicity, its products have been exported to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and even Australia.
         Last year, PT Inka had exported a shipment of 150 Shovon-type passenger carts ordered by Bangladesh Railways in a deal worth US$73 million. The coaches were made specifically catering to  Bangladesh's needs by the Indonesian company.
         Shawkat Jamil, the divisional traffic officer of Bangladesh Railway (BR) West Zone (Rajshahi), was last year quoted by Dhaka Tribune as saying that BR had imported the coaches under a bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Indonesia.
         This year, PT Inka is preparing to produce 250 railway carriages for exports to the South Asian country.
         "The process is now underway. All necessary requirements have been fully met. A total of 250 carriages will be exported to Bangladesh and 90 others to Sri Lanka," Agus Purnomo, the president director of PT Inka, had noted in Madiun, East Java, last February.
         The total value of export contracts from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka reached $200 million. Purnomo admitted that his company had faced stiff competition from China in the two projects.