Selasa, 25 Juli 2017

PROMOTING FLORICULTURE TO BOOST INDONESIA'S ECONOMY by Fardah

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.    

INDONESIA HAS NO HESITATION TO SHOOT DOWN FOREIGN DRUG TRAFFICKERS by Fardah

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

INDONESIA'S BID FOR UNSC SEAT GAINS INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT by Fardah

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

INDONESIA STRONGLY CONDEMNS ISRAELI AGGRESSION AT AL AQSA by Fardah

  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.      

News Focus - PRESERVING EXOTIC NATIVE ORCHIDS OF PAPUA ISLAND by Fardah


 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

SYNERGY BETWEEN PRIVATE, STATE ENTERPRISES KEY TO LAKE TOBA'S DEVELOPMENT by Fardah

 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

ISRAELI GRIP ON AL AQSA VIOLATES HUMAN RIGHTS by Fardah

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

CONSTRUCTION WORKS OF PALEMBANG LRT TRAIN ON TRACK by Fardah

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

APPEAL TO PROTECT LEUSER ECOSYSTEM by Fardah

  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.

TOUR DE FLORES THROWS GREATER CHALLENGES THIS YEAR by Fardah

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

INDONESIA IMPOSES HARSHER MEASURES AGAINST DRUG SMUGGLERS by Fardah

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

G20 NATIONS STAND UNITED AND FIRM AGAINST TERRORISM by Fardah

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

TURKEY, INDONESIA TO FORGE CLOSER TIES IN VARIOUS FIELDS by Fardah

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

BOROBUDUR TEMPLE PANORAMA CASTS LASTING CHARM by Fardah

   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

INDONESIA VIEWS DIASPORA AS A VALUABLE DEVELOPMENT ASSET by Fardah

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.

IDUL FITRI TRAVELERS WITNESS SMOOTH IMPLEMENTATION OF "MUDIK" By Fardah

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

OBAMA'S HOMECOMING GOOD FOR INDONESIAN TOURISM by Fardah

  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.