Kamis, 30 November 2017

RENOVATION WORKS OF BUNG KARNO STADIUM NEARLY COMPLETE by Fardah

   Jakarta, Nov 30, 2017 (Antara) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati was very pleased and satisfied with the renovation works of Indonesia's largest sports stadium, Bung Karno Stadium, as the works have reached over 90 percent completion.      
   The Bung Karno Stadium, which is located in Senayang, South Jakarta, will be the heart of the implementation of the Asian Games 2018 activities.
        She expressed her relief while inspecting the stadium, which will be the venue of the 18th Asian Games, along with Palembang, the South Sumatran provincial capital.
         The minister admitted that she had been worried about the renovation works, but expressed her satisfaction after witnessing the significant progress of the renovation directly.
          "I have heard that there will be a jogging track on the upper floor of this stadium. It had never existed before. Moreover, the greenery area, which is currently being revitalized, will function as 'the lung of the capital city.' We are certainly pleased," Indrawati remarked, while visiting the stadium, along with Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, on Nov 23.
         In addition to visiting the main stadium, she also inspected the aquatic stadium and the Istora (literally means sports palace), which are located inside the Bung Karno Stadium complex, along with Erick Thohir, chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC),.
     The complex has been temporary closed to the public, as massive renovation works have been underway.
         Hadimuljono is optimistic that the renovation works would be completed before Dec 31, 2017.
         "All projects will be completed by Dec 31, except for a parking area and an urban park located in the former driving range golf area," the minister explained.    
    The Asian Games 2018, Asia's biggest sporting event, will be held in Jakarta and Palembang from Aug 18 to Sept 12, 2018.

BALI OFFERS BETTER SERVICES TO "STRANDED" TOURISTS by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 30 , 2017 (Antara) - The I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport reopened on Nov 29 at 3 p.m. local time following a temporary shutdown since Nov 27 morning, as its airspace is currently free of ash from Mount Agung.
         Volcanic ash has drifted in the southeast direction from its earlier southwest movement toward the airport. Thus, activities have returned to normal at the airport. In addition, the Volcano Observation Notice for Aviation has downgraded its color code from red to orange.
         However, the aviation authorities have urged all airlines to remain vigilant and conduct flight operations in accordance with the standard operating procedures.
        Owing to the three-day closure of Bali airport on Nov 27-29, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has urged all stakeholders in the tourism industry in Bali to provide support, better services, and facilities to tourists compelled to prolong their stay on the island following the eruptions of Mount Agung.
         He also called on all parties to understand the situation that had led to the previous closure of Ngurah Rai international airport.
         "We must show empathy towards those affected. Imagine if it were to happen to us or our families. It would be highly commended if hotels, the industry, and the government are able to sincerely help them," he remarked.
         The minister expressed hope that the visitors would also be impressed if Bali was able to provide better services during the disaster.

Senin, 27 November 2017

- MT AGUNG'S ERUPTIONS LEAD TO TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF BALI AIRPORT by Fardah

  Jakarta, Nov 27 , 2017 (Antara) - After rumbling since August 2017, the 3,142-meter-high Mount Agung has finally erupted, forcing a temporary closure of the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport located on the world's most famous resort island of Bali.
         The Indonesian Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has raised the alert level of Mount Agung from three to four, indicating eruption hazards on and near the volcano.
         The alert level was raised, as the eruptions of Mount Agung have shifted from phreatic to magmatic since a red glow was visible from the peak of Mount Agung on Nov 26 at 9 p.m. local time, according to I Gede Suantika, the mitigation head of PVMBG.
         The magmatic eruptions produced thick ash rising to heights of between two thousand and 3,400 meters from the volcano's peak.
         Suantika has forecast that larger explosions might occur as is indicated by the continuous ash puffs that are sometimes accompanied by explosive eruptions along with a weak sound of boom audible in the radius of up to 12 kilometers from the mountain's peak.
         The danger zone has been expanded from six kilometers to eight kilometers from the volcano's peak.
         People living within a 10-kilometer radius towards the north, northeast, southeast, south, and southwest of the mount have been advised to evacuate.
         Villages located within the danger zone are Ban, Dukuh, Baturinggit, Sukadana, Kubu, Tulamben, Datah, Nawakerti, Pitpit, Bhuana Giri, Bebandem, Jungutan, North Duda, Amerta Bhuana, Sebudi, Besakih, and Pempatan.
         The danger zone can be changed at any time based on the condition of the volcano.
         No casualties have been reported so far, and 40 thousand people have left the area, though tens of thousands still need to move, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.    
   Volcanic ash dispersed into the air over the airport after the second eruption forced its closure for 24 hours from 7 a.m. local time on Nov 27.

Sabtu, 25 November 2017

SAIL SABANG TO BE LARGEST MARITIME TOURISM EVENT IN INDONESIA by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 25, 2017 (Antara) - Sail Sabang, the ninth edition of Sail Indonesia series, is the largest maritime tourism event to be ever held in this country, under the theme "Towards Sabang, Gateway of Global Maritime Tourism Destination."
     President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is scheduled to inaugurate the event on Dec 2, 2017. The inauguration ceremony will be centered at three locations, notably Sabang Bay or CT3 BPKS seaport, Sabang Fair, and Indonesia's Zero Kilometer Monument.
         At least 30 activities will be organized during the event, with the aim of promoting the tourist destinations in Aceh, in particular, and Indonesia, in general.
          Some 20 thousand people, including the Deputy Mayor of Elverum, representing the Norwegian Government, and nearly three thousand other foreigners, are expected to attend the peak ceremony of the international maritime event to be held in Sabang, Weh Island, Aceh Province, from Nov 28 to Dec 5, 2017.     
    At least 22 foreign travel agents, along with 125 local and foreign buyers, have confirmed their participation, which will be highlighted by the Aceh Travel Mart, according to Reza Fahlevi, head of the Aceh tourism office.
          A total of 100 yachts from Asia, Europe, Australia, and America, and three tall ships, namely Bima Suci and Dewa Ruci Indonesian warships and MV Lili Marleen, along with the Baruna Jaya research ship and other warships, are expected to participate in the event.
         The transportation ministry will provide 20 shuttle buses, along with four speedboats and four ferries, to transport visitors from Ulee Lheu to Sabang.
           The Indonesian Navy will operate four ships and water taxis to serve the Malahayati-Balohan route from Dec 1 to 3, 2017.

EAST NUSA TENGGARA GEARS UP FOR SECOND TOUR DE TIMOR by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 25, 2017  (Antara) - The Indonesian government has organized international cycling events at national as well as regional levels, to enable the domestic and foreign participants to have a close encounter with the country's scenic beauty.
         Among the sport tourism events are Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra, Tour de Central Celebes in Central Sulawesi; Tour de Lombok Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara; Tour de Flores and Tour de Timor in East Nusa Tenggara; Tour de Moluccas in Maluku; Tour de Indonesia, Tour de Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua, Tour de Ijen in Banyuwangi, East Java Province, and Tour de Barelang in Batam, the Riau Islands Province.
        East Nusa Tenggara is among the most ambitious one as it has two cycling and tourism events annually, namely Tour de Flores (TdF) on Flores Island and Tour de Timor (TdT) on western part of Timor Island. Both TdT and TdF follow the concept of Tour de Singkarak.
        Organized for the first time in 2009, the world-class Tour de Singkarak event takes renowned international cyclists on an exciting tour across the picturesque West Sumatra countryside's scenic landscapes, comprising of beaches, blue lakes, and numerous hairpin bends, as they climb up to the foot of the volcanoes.
        Since 2013, the Amauri Sport Organization (ASO) has recommended the TdS as a major cycling event in Asia, because it has managed to attract more than 1 million spectators.  
    After successfully organizing the first TdF last year, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) held the second TdF from July 14 to 19, 2017, by throwing more challenges, due to an increase in the number of regions covered during the tour. 
    While, the second TdT will be organized from Dec 9 to 12, 2017, according to Welly Rame Rohimone, an official of the East Nusa Tenggara tourism and creative economic office.  

Rabu, 22 November 2017

INVESTORS INTERESTED TO DEVELOP LAKE TOBA by Fardah

   Jakarta, Nov 22, 2017 - The North Sumatran provincial government has set an ambitious target of attracting at least one million foreign tourists to visit Lake Toba by 2019.
         The figure is nearly four folds higher that the number of tourists visiting Lake Toba in 2016, which was only 240 thousand. Until September this year, some 197 thousand tourists had visited the area.
         The target of tourist arrivals this year is set at 300 thousand, and next year it is 500 thousand.
         The target might be achievable, as Lake Toba is not just an ordinary water body but is the largest volcanic lake on Earth.
          Lake Toba and Samosir Island, which is located in the middle of the huge lake, offer a complete tourism package encompassing beautiful scenery, unique Batak culture and traditions, and intriguing history.
         The ancient lake was formed by a steep-walled caldera produced during the Toba volcano's eruption, the largest known volcanic eruption on the planet in the past two million years. The powerful eruption, an extremely rare event, is called a supervolcanic eruption.   
     When viewed from space, the Toba caldera is one of the most striking volcanic craters on Earth, measuring 100 kilometers (km) in length and 30 km in width.
         The local government hopes that the Toba Caldera Geopark would be inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2017.
         Moreover, Lake Toba has been designated by the central government as a priority tourist destination, along with nine other tourist attractions, or popularly called as "10 New Bali."

Selasa, 21 November 2017

RELEASED PAPUANS IN DIRE NEED OF EDUCATION AND MEDICAL FACILITIES by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 21, 2017 (Antara) - Sarce Rumaropen Beanal, 28, is hopeful that she and her son would have a better life while temporarily staying in Timika sub-district, Mimika District, Papua Province.
         She recalled the ordeals that her family and other fellow villagers had faced over the last several months, including during the hostage-taking incident that occurring for about three weeks in her kampong and several other neighboring villages.
         Beanal said her eight-year-old son Jeferson Beanal was unable to go to school for several months.
         "My son has stopped going to school since a landslide occurred in Utikini last August. Moreover, when the situation in our kampong becomes unsafe due to the shooting incidents, children never go to school again. Hence, we have decided to go to Timika," Beanal noted in Timika on Nov 20, 2017.
          The young mother and son are among 804 of residents of the villages of Banti and Kimbeli, Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika District, who are currently taking refuge in Timika, because they were in dire need of education and medical facilities, as well as food.
         They joined the evacuation process, organized by the Indonesian security authorities on Nov 19, after they, along with hundreds of others, were released by the officers.
        Some 1,300 people, comprising of over 850 indigenous Papuans and 346 migrant workers, had been held hostages by an armed criminal group (KKB) in several villages in Tembagapura for about three weeks.
            The integrated military and police task force of Indonesia managed to release them and drive away the hostage takers on Nov 17.

Kamis, 16 November 2017

W SUMATRA SET FOR NINTH TOUR DE SINGKARAK by Fardah

 Jakarta, Nov 16, 2017 (Antara) - West Sumatra Province is ready for the implementation of the Ninth Tour de Singkarak (TdS) cycling race, which will take place from Nov 18 to 26, 2017. 
    Some 230 cyclists, grouped in 20 domestic and foreign cycling teams from 30 countries, will participate in the sports tourism event.       
    Part of the Union Cycliste Internationale race series, the TdS will involve 18 of the total 19 districts and cities of the province.  
    The TdS, themed "The Biggest Sport Tourism" and part of a tourism promotion initiative, will be divided into nine stages, covering a total distance of 1,150 kilometers.
         The grand start will be from Tanah Datar District and the grand final in Bukittinggi.
             The  first stage is Istano Basa Pagaruyung-Padang covering 109.3 kilometers on Nov 18; the second stage, South Pesisir-Sawahlunto measuring 155.9 kilometers on Nov 19; the third stage, Sijunjung-Dharmasraya spanning 161.3 kilometers on Nov 20; the fourth stage, Solok-Payakumbuh District  reaching 106.4 kilometers on Nov 21; the fifth stage, Solok City-South Solok covering 153.2 kilometers on Nov 22; the sixth stage, Pariaman-West Pasaman measuring 145.7 kilometers on Nov 23; the seventh stage, Limapuluh Kota-Padang Panjang spanning 112 kilometers on Nov 24; the eighth stage, Padangpariaman-Agam reaching 135.2 kilometers on Nov 25; and the ninth stage, Pasaman-Bukittinggi covering 117.2 kilometers on Nov 26.

Selasa, 14 November 2017

ROHINGYA CRISIS BECOMES SPOTLIGHT ON SIDELINES OF 31ST ASEAN SUMMIT by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 14, 2017 (Antara)- The international media have reported that a draft of the statement to be issued at the end of the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila on Nov 13-14, would not mention the ongoing prolonged humanitarian crisis happening in Myanmar's Rakhine State, home to over one million Rohingya ethnic minority.
         This is not a surprise for ASEAN which follows principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of one another. But, individually and in bilateral meetings held on the sidelines of the Manila Summit, Rohingya plight is not totally forgotten.
         During a bilateral meeting held in Manila on Nov 13, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres agreed to the need to immediately address the humanitarian crisis being faced by the Rohingya minority in Rakhine State.
         "If it is not solved (immediately), the crisis could affect regional stability and security. A prolonged crisis could trigger radicalism and even terrorism," President Jokowi said.
         Jokowi and Guterres shared a common concern regarding the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, where Rohingya people were prosecuted and discriminated.       
    They called for a speedy solution to the problem and for the signing of a memorandum of understanding on repatriation between Myanmar and Bangladesh, the neighboring country that has some 600 thousand Rohingya refugees.
         In September, Guterres said the situation in Rakhine was best described as ethnic cleansing.  
    During the bilateral meeting, Guterres lauded the Indonesian government and people for helping the prosecuted Rohingya people.
         The Indonesian Government has approached the Myanmar Government to return peace in Rakhine, and sent humanitarian aid for the affected communities both in Rakhine and in the border of Bangladesh.
         The Indonesian government will again send humanitarian aid comprising 30 tons of rice, one ton of sugar, 2,004 packages of instant food, 14 thousand blankets, 20 emergency tents, 10 water tanks, 600 packages of family kits, and 900 packages of clothing to Bangladesh.

Sabtu, 11 November 2017

INVESTMENT CONTRIBUTES SIGNIFICANTLY TO INDONESIA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH by Fardah

  Jakarta, Nov 11, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian government is optimistic of its economic growth, as the nation has managed to record a seven percent growth in investment this year, the highest over in the past several years.
         The country's economy grew 5.06 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, driven mainly by the consumption sector, and partly owing to the growing investment rate, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.
         "The growth rate of 5.06 percent, perhaps, was not up to expectations, but some areas, in terms of the data, were very interesting. Investment grew seven percent, the highest in the past several years. This is what we want," Head of the National Development Planning Board and Minister for National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro noted while opening the Indonesia Infrastructure Week 2017 in Jakarta on November 8, 2017.
         Moreover, the construction sector grew seven percent, and positive performance was also recorded in the manufacturing sector, which grew more than four percent, though not up to expectations.
         "The investment sector grew seven percent, the manufacturing sector grew four percent, and the construction sector also grew seven percent. This means there has been a lot of investment in the construction sector, either in property or infrastructure. We begin to see that investment in infrastructure is not only from the government but also from the private sector," he noted.

PARTNERSHIP CRUCIAL TO ACHIEVE INDONESIA'S PEATLAND RESTORATION TARGET by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 11 , 2017 (Antara) - Peatland restoration is one of the priorities of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)'s environmental agenda, which is aimed at partly preventing forest fires and addressing climate change impacts.
        In January last year, Jokowi established a Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), through Presidential Regulation No. 1/2016, in order to coordinate and accelerate the recovery of peatlands.
       Indonesia's peatlands are estimated to cover an area of 20.6 million hectares, or about 10.8 percent of Indonesia's total land area.
        Peatlands help to preserve water resources, mitigate flooding, prevent seawater intrusion, support biodiversity, and control the climate through carbon absorption and storage.   
   According to BRG's target, a total of 2,492,527 hectares of peatlands would be restored within a five-year period, with the completion target set at 30 percent in 2016; 20 percent each in 2017, 2018, and 2019; and 10 percent in 2020.  
     This year, the BRG plans to build some 5,600 canal dams that could wet 400 thousand hectares of peatlands, thereby preventing forest fires.
         The restoration program in that area is carried out in cooperation with the local people trained to build water canals in line with the concept of the BRG to wet the dried peatlands.
         Forests and peatland fires in 2015 affected the health of millions in Sumatra and Kalimantan, in particular, as well as in several neighboring countries. The forest fire disaster has cost Indonesian economy an estimated US$16.1 billion.
        The agency has allocated some Rp152 billion, or some 36 percent of its total budget this year.
        "Some Rp117 billion (of the Rp152 billion) will be channeled to build infrastructure and revitalize the economy, while Rp35 billion will be allocated to strengthen the agency, as well as to boost its capacity and empower the agency," Myrna Safitri, BRG's deputy of education, socialization, participation, and partnership, noted in Jakarta on Nov 1, 2017.
        According to Safitri, the BRG has maintained partnership with some civil groups and the local governments to restore peatlands in several targeted provinces, such as Riau, Jambi, South Sulawesi, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and Papua.
       Safitri revealed that the peatland office, along with the civil groups, have built some supporting infrastructure, such as canal partitions and wells in dozens of villages.
        She remarked that the office has launched a pilot project to manage land without setting fire to trees and initiated the development of the local commodity, maritime and livestock businesses, and honey culture.

Rabu, 08 November 2017

SAFETY PRIORITIZED IN DECIDING VENUE FOR 2018 IMF-WB ANNUAL MEETING by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 8, 2017 (Antara) - The increased activity of Mount Agung located in Karangasem District, Bali Island, has raised Indonesia's concerns, as preparations for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) are underway.
          The next IMF-WB annual meeting is scheduled to be held in Bali in October 2018.
          Some 15 thousand to 17 thousand people from 189 countries, including country officials, international observers, academics, journalists, and representatives of non-governmental organizations, are expected to participate in the annual event.
         Mount Agung has been active since August 2017, but the volcano has not yet erupted, and most parts of the island remain safe.
          The Indonesian government, as the host of the important meeting, however, has prepared an optional venue, as part of the precautionary measures in case the volcano erupts.
          "Everyone's safety is our main priority while taking any decision regarding the venue," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indarwati had noted on the sidelines of the 2017 IMF-WB annual meeting in Washington D.C., the US, last October.
          Any change concerning the next meeting's schedule or venue will be discussed with the IMF and WB, she revealed.
     Moreover, the IMF and WB have been monitoring the developments of Mount Agung that has been active since last August.
          "They are also monitoring the developments of Mount Agung, and at certain points, if the risks could be controlled, we will be able to host the 2018 meeting of (IMF and WB)," the minister had noted on the sidelines of the 2017 IMF-WB annual meeting held in Washington D.C., the US, last October.

Selasa, 07 November 2017

NOVEL BASWEDAN CASE REMAINS MYSTERY by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 7, 2017 (Antara) - More than 200 days have passed since Novel Baswedan, senior investigator of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), was attacked with acid that has caused him to lose vision in his left eye, but the perpetrators are still at large and unidentified.
         Until now, both the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police and the National Police's Crime Investigation Department are incessantly investigating the case.
         The National Police does not intend to either slow down the investigation into the case or lose focus in dealing with it, according to Brigadier General Rikwanto, a spokesman of the National Police (Polri)
    He, however, admitted that the investigation has failed to trace the attackers.
         "It remains uncertain as to who the perpetrators are. We do not have strong evidence to name someone as a suspect," Rikwanto told the press on Oct 6, 2017.
         He urged anyone with information on the attackers to report it to the police or the KPK.
         He confirmed that the National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian will, in the near future, report to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) about the ongoing investigation into the unsolved case.
         Earlier, President Jokowi said he will discuss Baswedan's case with Karnavian.
         "Later, I will invite the Police chief. I will call him," President Jokowi stated recently in response to questions posed by the press regarding a suggestion to establish a joint fact finding team (TPGF) to probe the case.
         He said every case has to be dealt with in a clear and transparent manner. "For sure, every case must be open and clear," Jokowi noted.

Senin, 06 November 2017

MOUNT AGUNG STILL ACTIVE, BUT LESS THREATENING by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 6, 2017 (Antara) - Thousands of Balinese evacuees returned home after living more than a month in evacuation centers on the Island, following the decision of the Indonesian authorities to lower the alert status of Mount Agung from Level 4 (dangerous) to Level 3 (high alert) on Oct 29, 2017.   
     "According to the images observed by the drone, the magma activity has dropped for the last nine days, and the volume of ashes ejected from the crater has decreased," Kasbani, head of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG), said in Karangasem District, recently.    
     Located in Karangasem, Bali Island, the 3,142-meter-high Mount Agung has been rumbling since August, but the volcano has not yet erupted.
        In the last two months, the officials had recorded the activity of the volcano to be high. "(However), for the last three days, the tremors were stable from 100 to 200 shocks per day," he remarked. 
   Apart from the tremors, the GPS-based observer and tiltmeter have pictured that the deformations at the crater were slowing down.   
   "There is no pressure (in dropping the volcano's alert status). Our decision is based on some observations on the crater's deformation and other indicators," he explained.
        Since PVMBG declared the highest alert level of Mount Agung, about 144,389 people living in the affected zones in Karangasem, had been evacuated to several regions, including the neighboring districts of Klungkung, Buleleng, Bangli, Gianyar, and Denpasar.  

Kamis, 02 November 2017

TECHNOLOGY PLAYS CRUCIAL ROLE IN ATTAINING FOOD SUSTAINABILITY by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 2, 2017 (Antara) - The world faces a fundamental challenge to sustainably provide a healthy diet to a population of over nine billion by 2050.
          As the most populous region in the world, Asia and the Pacific plays a decisive role in combating several interlinked issues at hand, such as malnutrition, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and rising greenhouse gas emissions.
          Long-term discussions, however, are needed to tackle the issue of feeding a population of some four billion in the Asian and Pacific region, Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla stated while opening the First EAT Asia-Pacific Food Forum organized jointly by the EAT Foundation and the Indonesian Ministry of Health on Oct 30-31.
          "When we speak at the Asia-Pacific forum, it means we highlight the interests of four billion people. If everyone eats thrice a day, then we are speaking about 12 billion plates a day," the vice president remarked.
          Several challenges lie in the path towards boosting food productivity, including those related to land and the huge population that has put pressure on the agriculture sector.
          However, all these challenges can be addressed by using technology that enables the nation to cater to the food demand, although it is not perfect, according to Kalla.
          The government is finding a way to improve the food quality and productivity by utilizing technology in Indonesia, Kalla remarked.
         Technology could help increase food production. For Indonesia, the increase in food production should be above 3 percent to achieve food security and self-sufficiency.

TAKABONERATE, HIDDEN MARINE PARADISE IN S SULAWESI by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 2, 2017 (Antara) - Besides Raja Ampat, which has been known worldwide as a hidden marine paradise on Earth, there is another hidden marine paradise, which is less known, notably the Takabonerate, which is located in Selayar District, South Sulawesi Province.
         Stretching south of the main island of Sulawesi into the Flores Sea, the Takabonerate National Park is a predominantly rich marine park and is also habitat to several bird species.
         Takabonerate is the third-largest atoll region in the world after Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands and Suvadiva in the Maldives.
      Apart from atolls, this national park comprises of 21 islands and has 242 species of corals, 526 species of colorful and strange reef fish, as well as 112 species of macro algae.
        The Island of Selayar is a gateway to this extensive 530,765-hectare-national park, of which 220 thousand hectares form an expanse of atolls and lagoons.
        The administration of Selayar Islands had organized the Wonderful Takabonerate Festival, or the Ninth edition of the Takabonerate Island Expedition (TIE), themed "Showcasing the Marine Potentials of Selayar towards a Golden Marine Tourist Destination 2019," from Oct 23 to 27, 2017. 
   Benteng and Takabonerate diving spots are the two locations where the festival was held.
        Among events held in Benteng were a canoe race, a decorated pedicab parade, a duck-catching swimming race, and traditional art and cultural performances, particularly those of the Bajo sea nomad tribe.  

Rabu, 01 November 2017

PREPARATIONS FOR WEDDING OF JOKOWI'S ONLY DAUGHTER COMPLETED by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 1, 2017  (Antara) - Kahiyang Ayu, the only daughter of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), will get married to her university sweetheart Bobby Affif Nasution in her hometown Solo, Central Java, on Nov 8 this year.        
    Ayu and Bobby Nasution are both aged 26 and students of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB). The duo had dated for a year and got engaged in June 2017.
         "My sister will get married on Nov 8," Gibran Rakambuming Raka, Jokowi's eldest son, had informed the press at the president's private residence in Solo or Surakarta last September.
         Speaking as the spokesman of his family, Raka was accompanied by Ayu and First Lady Iriana during the press conference.
         The wedding ceremony will follow Javanese traditions, and preparations for the wedding have been completed.
         The Graha Sabha Buana Hall, owned by the Jokowi family and located near his private home in Solo, will serve as the venue for the wedding ceremony, and the food will be provided by catering company Chili Pari owned by Raka.
         "One of the dishes to be served is martabak," Raka said as quoted by tempo.co.
         The 30-year-old entrepreneur is no stranger to the popular Indonesian pancake, as he also owns cafe Martabak Kota Barat, or Markobar, having outlets in several cities across Indonesia.
         Both martabak manis, or sweet pancake, and martabak telur, or stuffed fried pancake, will be served at the wedding. The pancake delights will be prepared at the venue.
         "Guests will be able to witness the cooking process," Raka added.
         Ayu's elder brother said the media will be given access to cover the ceremony, adding that he will set up a media center for the event.
         "Do not worry. We will set up a media center for the journalists. It will be operational in the run-up to the wedding," Raka told reporters.
         Ayu, or Ayang, was born in 1991. She has completed an undergraduate degree in food technology at the state-run Sebelas Maret University in Solo. She has attended a postgraduate degree course at IPB since 2015.
         Bobby Nasution is the third or youngest son of Erwin Nasution, former executive director of state-owned plantation holding company PT Perkebunan Nusantara II, who passed away in January this year.
         He has two elder sisters: Mayang Sari Nasution and Inge Amelia Nasution.
         Bobby Nasution had received his undergraduate degree in agribusiness from the Faculty of Agribusiness and Management at the IPB in 2014.
    Nasution is now a postgraduate student in Business Management Magister of the IPB.  
    Jokowi said he is looking forward to his daughter's wedding and is excited to be a member of a big Batak family, as his future son-in-law is an ethnic Batak from Medan, North Sumatra.
         President Jokowi led the final meeting on the wedding preparations in Solo on Oct 29. Following the meeting, he confirmed that all preparations were completed.
         The meeting was attended by Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Solo Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo, and Commander of the Diponegoro Military Command Major General Tatang Sulaiman, among others.
         "Everything is set, and we just need to distribute the invitations," Jokowi informed the media.
         He revealed that there will be some eight thousand invitees, more than double the number of people invited to his eldest son's wedding held at the same venue in 2015.