Sabtu, 30 September 2017

TOUR DE BANYUWANGI OFFERS UNIQUE, MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES by Fardah

 Jakarta, Sept 30, 2017 (Antara) - The international cycling race of "Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen" (TdBI) 2017 has combined sports and tourism events to offer unique and unforgettable experiences to some 100 participants from 29 countries.
          The participating countries included Iran, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Eritrea, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Colombia, and New Zealand.
          Held on Sept 27-30, the international professional cyclists and tourists have enjoyed the special hospitality offered by the host, according to Banyuwangi District Head Abdullah Azwar Anas.
          "The TdBI has become the best cycling race event in Indonesia, so we will use it to promote Indonesia, in general, and Banuwangi, in particular," he noted.   
     During the race, cyclists passed through iconic locations in Banyuwangi, which has been known as the Sunrise of Java.
          The TdBI, first held in 2012, has become an annual agenda for the Union Cycliste Internationale.
          A total of 20 teams participated in the event ranked as "excellent" by the World Cycling Race Federation that has declared it as the best in Indonesia.
         The cycling teams include the PCS Cycling Team from the Netherlands, Pishgaman Continental Team from Iran, LX Cycling Team of South Korea, 7 eleven RBP of the Philippines, BRCC of Indonesia, Bikelife Dong Nai of Vietnam, and Sapura Pro Cycling Team of Malaysia.
        The 533-kilometer-long race was divided into four stages. The race route covered Watudodol Beach, Bangsring Underwater, cacao village in Glenmore, and Ijen Mountain, among others.
        Hundreds of local artists performed traditional dances to welcome the guests to mark the opening and start of the event in Banyuwangi City.

Kamis, 28 September 2017

PUBLIC SAFETY PRIORITIZED AMID MT AGUNG'S INCREASED VOLCANIC ACTIVITY by Fardah

 Jakarta, Sept 28, 2017 (Antara) - Mount Agung has been rumbling since August, with an increase in the magnitude of tremors, though the volcano has not erupted so far.
        The volcano is located on the resort island of Bali, but it is quite far from the island's main tourist destinations, such as Kuta Beach, which is some 75 kilometers away.
        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 quite far from the volcano and not affected by the increase in volcanic activity at Mount Agung.   
   Bali has set a target to attract 5.5 million foreign tourists this year.
        The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali from January to August 2017 had reached 3.99 million, an increase of 25 percent as compared to that recorded during the same period last year.
        According to data of the Bali statistics office, the resort island had received 4.92 million foreign tourists in 2016, an increase of 23.14 percent as compared to 4.001 million in 2015.
        In the wake of Mount Agung showing signs of increased volcanic activity, the Indonesian authorities have ensured that Bali remains safe for tourists, and its Ngurah Rai International Airport remains open and functions normally.
        Several ministers had visited Bali to monitor the disaster mitigation handling activities and to coordinate measures and preparations to be better prepared to face the worst in case the mountain erupts.
        On Sept 26, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had visited the Mt Agung refugees in Klungkung District, Bali, and urged them to abide by the instructions given by the officers following an increase in the mount's volcanic activities.

NTT WORST AFFECTED BY CURRENT PROLONGED DROUGHT by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 28 , 2017 (Antara) - The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province is categorized as among the most arid regions in Indonesia due to which it is prone to severe drought that hits the province annually.
         Currently, every district in the province has been hit by prolonged and severe drought since the past several months.
         Springs have dried up in thousands of villages in the province's 22 districts, and the local authorities have sought clean water supplies for the local inhabitants.
         Last August, the Sabu Raijua district administration declared a severe drought emergency status, as the entire region had been affected by the extreme dry season.
         Several district administrations are supplying clean water sufficient only for drinking and cooking but not for bathing and washing. The local villagers have to draw water from rivers for bathing and washing purposes.
         The Kupang meteorology, climatology, and geophysics station has forecast that the rainy season in NTT will begin in late October and last until December 2017 for NTT.
        There are several seasonal zones in NTT, according to Apolinaris Geru, head of the Kupang meteorology and climatology stations.
         For seasonal zones in the districts of northern West Manggarai, Manggarai, East Manggarai, and northern Ngada in western Flores Island, the rainy season will begin in October 2017.

Sabtu, 23 September 2017

SOME INDONESIAN REGIONS HIT BY DROUGHT, OTHERS BY FLOODS by Fardah

 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.

MT AGUNG'S ACTIVITY ON RISE, BUT BALI REMAINS SAFE by Fardah

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

RETNO MARSUDI CONFERRED AGENT OF CHANGE AWARD BY UN WOMEN by Fardah

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

MARSUDI CONDUCTS "MARATHON DIPLOMACY" FOR INDONESIA'S UNSC BID by Fardah

 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

INTENSIFYING BOROBUDUR PROMOTION TO HELP ACHIEVE NATIONAL TOURISM TARGET by Fardah

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

News Focus -TOUR DE MOLVCCAS TO BECOME MALUKU'S FLAGSHIP SPORTS TOURISM EVENT by Fardah

 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

WEST SUMATRA'S DISTRICTS EAGER TO PARTICIPATE IN TdS 2017 by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 16, 2017 (Antara) - Nearly every district and city in West Sumatra is keen to be involved in organizing the Tour de Singkarak (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; Lake 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.
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EDITED BY INE

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

Jumat, 15 September 2017

INDONESIAN PEOPLE, GOVT JOIN HANDS TO HELP ROHINGYA REFUGEES by Fardah

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

AGRIBUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY CRUCIAL TO IMPROVE FARMERS' WELFARE by Fardah

   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

SOLIDARITY TOWARD ROHINGYA DEMONSTRATED ACROSS INDONESIA by Fardah

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.

COOPERATION IN DIGITAL ECONOMY HIGHLIGHTS CELEBRATION OF RISING 50 by Fardah

  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

INDONESIA SENDS STRONG CALLS TO REVOKE SUU KYI'S NOBEL PRIZE by Fardah

 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.

LRT TRAIN EXPECTED TO SUPPORT TOURISM INDUSTRY IN PALEMBANG by Fardah

 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

INDONESIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT MYANMAR FOR HUMANITY'S SAKE by Fardah

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.