Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Widodo wins Indonesian presidency as rival withdraws

Indonesia's election commission has announced Joko Widodo as winner of this month's presidential polls. Hours before the finalized results, rival runner Prabowo Subianto withdrew from the race, claiming electoral fraud.

Deutsche Welle, 22 July 2014

Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, popularly nicknamed "Widodo," claimed just over 53 percent of the votes, according to the final count on Tuesday. Voter turnout was over 70 percent, with almost 133 million valid ballots cast in total across the giant archipelago.

Police were out in force in
Jakarta after a heated election
The results largely corroborated the unofficial "quick counts" released after the July 9 election, most of which gave Jokowi a slim lead of up to 5 percent.

After a tense election campaign, Jokowi had called on his supporters to stay home in the case of a victory on Tuesday - to avoid potential clashes with supporters of his main rival, former general Prabowo Subianto. Jakarta police mobilized in force on Tuesday anticipating possible clashes.

Rival quits at last second

Subianto withdrew from Indonesia's presidential election process hours before the final results, citing widespread fraud.

Prabowo Subianto said he did not accept,
 but would not appeal, the results
"We reject the 2014 presidential election that was legally flawed, and therefore we withdraw from the ongoing process," he said in the capital Jakarta. Prabowo said complaints from his camp about "massive, structural and systematic cheating" were ignored by officials.

"We have found instances of electoral fraud involving organizers that make this election unfair," he said, before urging his supporters to remain calm. "We will base our struggle on the constitution and laws."

Prabowo had previously called on the election commission to stop the counting process until all allegations of electoral fraud were investigated.

Prabowo's withdrawal could open him up to prosecution: candidates agree not to withdraw once they have signed up to run for the presidency. Under Indonesian election laws, pulling out of the race can theoretically be punished by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 50 billion rupiah (3.18 million euros, $4.31 million).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jokowi-Kalla Win Presidential Election as KPU Completes Tally

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo has just more than 53 percent of the vote nationally, over rival Prabowo Subianto who garnered just less than 47 percent — according to the official results from 34 provinces

Jakarta Globe, Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Robertus Wardhi & Yeremia Sukoyo, Jul 20, 2014

A KPU official, right, shows the official report documents with the election
 results to witnesses of both presidential candidates in Jakarta on July 20,
2014. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo has won  the presidential election with just more than 53 percent of the vote, over rival Prabowo Subianto who garnered just less than 47 percent — according to the official results from 34 provinces compiled on Sunday.

A total of 33 provincial offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) have completed their individual tallies by early Sunday morning, with Jakarta finishing last — declaring Joko the winner with 53.08 percent of the vote over Prabowo’s 46.92 percent.

Indonesia’s newest and 34th province, North Kalimantan, had its votes counted by the KPU’s East Kalimantan branch.

The final individual tallies of the provinces have been made public in various media reports, and the Jakarta Globe has compiled the data to produce its own recap of the national tally — with the KPU only scheduled to finish and announce its final national tally by Tuesday night.

On Sunday, the KPU headquarters in Jakarta only began recapitulating data from 12 provinces.

The Jakarta Globe’s national recap of the 33 provincial tallies lands Joko — who is also known as Jokowi — and his running mate Jusuf Kalla the winners of the July 9 presidential election, collecting a total of 70.67 million votes (53.17 percent) compared with Prabowo’s 62.25 million votes (46.83 percent). There are a total of 132.92 million valid votes — representing 70.6 percent of Indonesia’s total eligible voters.

Consistent with quick counts

The result recap is consistent with the  quick counts by eight pollsters announced immediately after Indonesians cast their votes on July 9 — which had put Joko in the lead with between 51 percent and 53 percent vote over the 47 percent to 49 percent in favor of Prabowo.

Four other pollsters, citing their own quick counts, had declared Prabowo the winner with lower margins.

The recap also shows that Joko and his running mate, former vice president Jusuf Kalla, win in 23 provinces, while Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa lead in 10 provinces. Joko-Kalla thus lead by 8.4 million votes, or around 6.3 percent.

“Three biggest contributors to Jokowi-JK’s votes are Central Java, East Java and West Java,” Tjahjo Kumolo, the secretary general of Joko’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the head of his campaign team, said in Jakarta on Sunday, citing the party’s own recap of the KPU provincial data — similar to that of the Jakarta Globe.

Joko-Kalla did record an overwhelming 66.65 percent vote in Central Java, which is a traditional PDI-P stronghold, securing nearly 13 million votes, double that of Prabowo.

Although West Java was the third-largest contributor to Joko’s votes, he actually suffered a big loss in Indonesia’s most populous province, securing 9.5 million votes (40.22 percent) over Prabowo’s 14 million (59.78 percent).

Bali (another PDI-P stronghold), Bangka-Belitung, South Sulawesi (Kalla’s hometown), West Sulawesi, Papua and West Papua are among other provinces where Joko-Kalla won by an overwhelming majority.

Prabowo-Hatta, meanwhile, enjoyed an overwhelming majority in West Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara and Gorontalo.

Joko-Kalla dominate votes in central and eastern Indonesia, and share wins with Prabowo-Hatta on Sumatra island.

Overseas, Joko-Kalla also lead with a total of 364,283 votes (53.74 percent) over Prabowo-Hatta with 313,600 votes, or 46.26 percent.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Prabowo, Jokowi Break Fast With Yudhoyono in a Gesture of Peace

Jakarta Globe, Jul 20, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, center, brings the two candidates
 together prior to a prayer at the State Palace in Jakarta on July 20, 2014.
 Prabowo Subianto, left, looks on, and Joko Widodo, right, stands. (EPA
Photo/Adi Weda)

Jakarta. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono invited presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo with their respective running mates to a fast-breaking gathering at the State Palace, in a move to cool down the heated situation as the national polling commission prepares to announce the vote count results on Tuesday.

The president told both pairs of candidates to ensure a peaceful and democratic election process, avoiding violence and conflicts that could divide the nation.

He said that were the nation to be divided, it would be very difficult to rebridge the rift and heal wounds from the conflict.

“The price would be very costly to the nation,” he said. “That’s why maintaining a peaceful and democratic election is the responsibility of us all. All of us should work together to make sure the final process of our election ends in peace.”

He cited Palestine and Ukraine as illustrations of the suffering wrought by ruptured nations.

“We see what happens to our brothers in Gaza. It’s a tragedy of humanity that we condemn and want to avoid,” Yudhoyono said, adding that division among Palestinians themselves, as well as Arab nations and the wider Muslim community, had enabled “outsiders” to wreak havoc within.

In Ukraine, Yudhoyono said, division between the people had caused a bloody civil war with countless victims.

He added that the deaths of innocent people aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday showed the ripple effect of conflict.

“I have called Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to express my condolences,” Yudhoyono said.

Indonesian legislative and presidential elections have been largely peaceful, with almost two-thirds of Indonesian voters turned out at polling stations.

The camps of both candidates have praised Yudhoyono’s administration for overseeing a calm and civil election.

“We thank President SBY, the military chief and the National Police chief, and the KPU [General Elections Commission] for this democratic and peaceful election,” said Maruarar Sirait, a member of Joko’s campaign team.

Meanwhile, the military and police announced that they had prepared a joint force of 22,000 personnel around the KPU headquarters in Central Jakarta to secure Tuesday’s final announcement of the results from the July 9 ballot. Throughout Indonesia, the military is deploying 33,000 personnel to secure conflict-prone areas.

National Police Chief Gen. Sutarman said police officers were set to handle any fallout from Tuesday’s announcement.

He called on supporters from both sides not to come to the KPU office because it would increase the potential for a clash.

“We can guarantee to the public that there will be no clashes during the announcement, and we ask them to go about their activities as usual,” he said.

Joko also instructed his supporters not to take to the streets or go to the KPU.

“Just stay home and pray,” he said, adding he would be in his hometown of Solo, Central Java, for the announcement.

While Prabowo said he would respect the official vote count by the KPU, dismissing talk that there would be riots should he lose the election, he nevertheless claimed the election was unfair and not credible — signaling he might take the matter to the Constitutional Court. “It’s tainted,” he said. “We question its legitimacy.”

Chinese Tourists Abandon Vietnam After Oil Rig Row

Jakarta Globe, Cat Barton, Jul 20, 2014

Tourists touring downtown Hanoi. (AFP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam)

For years Nguyen Huu Son has guided Chinese tourists around Vietnam’s popular coastal city Danang, but a bitter maritime dispute between Hanoi and Beijing means he is now out of work.

Relations between the communist neighbors plunged to their lowest point in decades when Beijing moved a deep-sea oil rig into disputed waters in the South China Sea in early May, triggering deadly riots in Vietnam.

The rig has since been withdrawn. But the Chinese tourists have not returned.

“It’s never been this bad before … My company has almost no customers, no work,” Son told AFP.

Son’s salary has been cut by two-thirds, but he feels “embarrassed” to take even this reduced pay package as he knows his company is not making any money at all.

“We focus on individual travelers, not tour groups, and 100 percent of them cancelled … I have nothing to do with my time,” he said, adding that he was mulling a change of career.

After the mid-May riots, in which China says four of its nationals were killed, Beijing evacuated thousands of citizens and issued a “yellow” travel warning for Vietnam.

While this was reasonable in the immediate aftermath of the riots — which mostly affected Taiwanese and South Korean businesses — maintaining the travel warning when any danger to tourists has passed smacks of politics, said Professor Jonathan London at City University of Hong Kong.

“It reminds one of Beijing’s campaign to reduce mainland tourism to the Philippines,” London said, referring the economic fallout from the 2012 standoff over the Scarborough Shoal.

After a dispute over the uninhabited shoal, Beijing warned its citizens about travel safety in the Philippines, prompting mass cancellations.

Economic impact

Chinese tourist arrivals to Vietnam were down 29.5 percent in June from the previous month, according to official figures.

In June, 136,726 Chinese visited Vietnam, down from 194,018 in May and 216,659 in April this year, the figures show.

Vietnam will continue tourism promotion efforts in China, aiming to show “Vietnam is a safe destination,” said Nguyen Manh Cuong, an official at the tourism department.

Tourism is an important source of revenue for communist Vietnam, contributing nearly six percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2013, official statistics show.

Chinese visitors make up the largest single group of arrivals — more than 1.1 million in 2014 overall, despite the sharp fall off after May.

The next largest group, South Korea, saw 405,634 arrivals.

The average Chinese visitor stays five days and spends $300 if they travel by land, or $700 if they have arrived by airplane, Cuong said.

This compares to an average stay of about 10 days by European or American tourists, who spend up to $3,000 during that period, official figures show.

Tourism politics

The fall in Chinese arrivals after the maritime dispute erupted is understandable as Beijing uses outbound tourism as a “negative sanction,” according to Tony Tse, a professor at the school of hotel and tourism management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

“Outbound tourism can be used by the Chinese government to show its aggression,” he said in a 2013 paper, citing the examples of the Philippines and Japan — where tourism was hard hit after a 2012 dispute with the latter over the Senkaku islands, known as the Diaoyu in China.

“The hostility in withholding tourism acts like a punishment and China is powerful enough to exercise this kind of sanction,” Tse wrote in the paper on how China uses outbound tourism as a form of diplomacy.

Vietnamese tourists have also been cancelling trips to China in droves, although the government has not issued any travel warning, said one travel agent who declined to be named.

“It’s a way to express patriotism. Vietnamese like travelling in China… but now they cancel to show their patriotism,” he said.

Tran Thi Lan, 54, a primary school teacher from central Nghe An province, had booked a trip to China for this summer which she was “very excited” about.

“We decided to cancel, not the tour operator. The Chinese government’s behaviour was unacceptable,” she told AFP.

“We decided not to go to show our attitude… We don’t want to go on holiday to a country that is invading our waters,” she said.

Agence France-Presse
Related Articles:

Putin 'must take responsibility' for crash site access: Dutch PM

Yahoo – AFP, 20 July 2014

Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte gives a press conference in The Hague, on
July 20, 2014, about the situation of the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
in eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday promised Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte he will help retrieve bodies and black boxes from the Ukrainian rebel-held crash site of flight MH17.

Putin, who is believed to exert influence on the pro-Russia rebels, made the promise in his third conversation with Rutte since Thursday's crash, the Dutch government press service RVD said, amid growing international anger over the stranded bodies.

"Besides allowing unrestricted access to the crash site, the conversation focused on practical matters, namely the departure of the train that has many bodies and the handing over of the black boxes," a spokeswoman for the government press service RVD told AFP, asking not to be named.

"On both points Putin promised his full cooperation," the spokesman said.

Most of the 298 people on the Malaysia Airways flight, likely brought down by a pro-Russian rebel missile, were Dutch.

Around 200 bodies taken from the site in eastern Ukraine are being held in refrigerated trains nearby, pending the arrival of international investigators.

Ukrainian rebels have said that they have the black boxes, crucial in the crash investigation.

OSCE inspectors, part of the monitoring mission to Ukraine, document bodybags
 from MH17 in a refrigerated wagon at Torez train station, near the crash site,
on Sunday. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Members of the security council vote on a resolution concerning access to the crash
site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during a security council meeting at United
Nations headquarters, Monday, July 21, 2014. The resolution was adopted by a
unanimous vote. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP
'We have one aim, to get our people back,' Dutch prime minister says

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy,Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) -(Text version)

“… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …”

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bill Clinton Lands in Aceh to See Post-Tsunami Development

Jakarta Globe, Nurdin Hasan, Jul 19, 2014

Former President Bill Clinton with Kuntoro (left), the former head of the
 Agency for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (BRR) of Aceh and Nias, and Malik
 Mahmud (second from right) and Zaini Abdullah (right) in Lambung, Banda Aceh
on July 19. (JG Photo/Nurdin Hasan)

Banda Aceh. Former US president Bill Clinton made an informal visit to Aceh on Saturday to see progress in the development of the autonomous region almost a decade after it was devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami.

Clinton visited three locations — Lhokseudu and Lampuuk, two villages in Aceh Besar district, as well as Lambung village in Banda Aceh district.

He brought along several college students in addition to members of the Clinton Foundation, the former president’s philanthropic vehicle.

He visited the remains of a house in Lumbung village, which has been left unrepaired as a reminder of the 2004 tragedy. Clinton was also scheduled to visit Lampuuk, a village 30 minutes outside Banda Aceh that was rebuilt after the tsunami.

Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Aceh-Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR), Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah and Malik Mahmud Al-Haytar, Aceh’s cultural leader, accompanied the former president.

Clinton did not give any statement to reporters.

This is Clinton’s fourth visit to Indonesia’s westernmost province. He visited Aceh twice in 2005, once with former US president George W. Bush on Feb 20, 2005. His third visit was in 2006.

A small number of protesters gathered at Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Aceh Besar. Dozens of college students protested against the former president on account of the US alliance with Israel.

The proptesters were dispersed by police because they had not applied for a permit.

“Bill Clinton is not visiting Aceh for a humanitarian mission,” protest coordinator Reza Fahlevi said. “He should have gone to Palestine to see the brutality of Israel troops.

“We reject his arrival and if the Aceh administration welcomes him then they are hypocrites.”

Related Article:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Google Gives Ramadan A Digital Make-Over

Jakarta Globe, Sylviana Hamdani, Jul 15, 2014

Google’s new hub looks to make Ramadan easier. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

It’s common to hear the phrase “just Google it,” in everyday conversation these days. Sometimes even just to mock people who are too lazy to do a little research of their own.

But the fact that Google has become a preferred term for the verb “search” is a testament to its status as an Internet search engine giant. It is possible that the company will eventually replace more verbs as it takes on a bigger role in everyday life.

After creating an election hub during Indonesia’s legislative election earlier this year, Google now aims to be more useful during the Islamic holy month.

It recently launched a Ramadan hub at www.google.co.id/ramadan, which offers a one-stop platform with information and features to support activities during the fasting month.

Krishna Zulkarnain, marketing manager for Google Indonesia, said Google aims to facilitate family get-togethers and school reunions that usually take place at dusk as they break fast.

“Google, as a technology company, wants to give practical solutions for us to plan and organize all the activities in the fasting month effectively,” he said.

The hub contains a number of web-based and mobile-friendly features that make people’s lives easier during Ramadan. Some of these features have existed before, but the hub creates a seamless experience. For example, the web page displays the current date and time, and the remaining days in the month and hours until the breaking of the fast.

The four main tabs of the Google Ramadan hub offer you a place to plan, eat, get together and enjoy the holy month.

Plan the holiday

With Google Calendar, the company makes it easy to arrange meet-ups and send out reminders. All you have to do is enter the date, time and venue of events you are planning on your Google Calendar. In the “guest” column of the calendar, you can add e-mail addresses of guests that you are inviting to the event. The app allows you to set up notes to remind yourself and your guests of the upcoming event.

Drawing up a list of errands and shopping can also be done by using the app. Google Keep is another feature to save your thoughts wherever you are. Krisna called it the electronic version of Post-It notes, as you can also take photos of the things you have to do or make voice notes. The app also allows you to set up reminders, which will send notifications to your smartphone along with e-mails to help you remember errands and special events.

Going home

Mudik, or the annual exodus from the city to return home and gather with extended families, is one of the highlights of Idul Fitri. With millions of Indonesians traveling at the same time, visiting family requires careful planning and organizing. You can organize your trip by using the “Plan Your Trip Home” feature in the hub. Once you type in the city of origin and destination, it will bring up the Google Maps feature, where you can see the distance of the cities in kilometers and the estimated traveling time by plane and car.

You can also see a list of airlines traveling to your hometown. If you choose to drive, Google Maps can also list a number of routes to reach your hometown. The route options usually put the fastest on top, but it also offers alternatives just in case you want to avoid ferries and tolls along your journey.

Google Maps is also capable of finding nearby mosques or halal restaurants to break your fast. In the list of restaurants on the website, you can find their distances to your current location, opening hours and reviews, if available.

All the searches on Google Maps can also be done by voice.

Kokiku TV, a channel on the video sharing website, is an Indonesian online
 culinary program that offers dozens of innovative recipes for Ramadan.
(JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Fascinating feasts

Those who are passionate about preparing meals will enjoy exploring the many cooking videos that can be found on Youtube. Kokiku TV, a channel on the video sharing website, is an Indonesian online culinary program that offers dozens of innovative recipes for Ramadan.

Chef Yuda Bustara, one of the regular chefs on Kokiku TV, loves the potential for interactivity with his viewers on Youtube. He is able to read comments and speak directly to his viewers, Yuda says he often gets new ideas from his YouTube fans.

“Two-way communication can help people to cook better,” the 27-year old chef said.

You can also share your favorite YouTube recipes with your friends and family. On the top right-hand corner of YouTube, there is a branch-like button that you can use to share the current cooking show you are watching. There is also a plus sign on the top right-hand corner of video sharing website that you can use to compile a playlist of your favorite videos to watch again later.

Enjoy together

If you cannot go home for Idul Fitri, you can always see your loved ones with Google Hangouts. The company has been working to get more people to use its social network. Hangouts allows photo and video sharing as well as voice chat and video conference, free of charge, but it also has a rare feature of letting users to set up a video conference with up to ten people at the same time.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Kenya Dayak’s ‘Journey Home’ to Their Tribal Roots

Jakarta Globe, Tunggul Wirajuda, Jul 14, 2014

Filmmaker David Metcalf will host a fundraiser exhibition in August to fund his
 film ‘The Journey Home’, which aims to raise awareness about the importance
 and wisdom of indigenous culture in Indonesia and around the world. (Photo
courtesy of David Metcalf)

To foreign observers the 800 inhabitants of the village of Setulang live in a rustic idyll at the edge of a pristine forest. But these members of the Kenya Dayak that live in the North Kalimantan district of Malinau yearn for a paradise steeped in the traditions of their tribe.

“I left our original homelands when I was a small boy. But I have happy memories of my time growing up in the forests and playing in the rivers,” says Pilius, a village elder, who last saw his ancestral lands in 1969.

The land that Pilius remembers is an area of forests which they call Tala Olen , or “the forbidden forest.”

The tribesmen, particularly the elders, feel a spiritual connection to Tala Olen’s forests, rivers and land, located in an area called Long Saan, which is an eight-day journey by canoe up the Kayan River.

There are strict cultural rules about cutting down the trees in the forest or damaging it in any way, a reverence that has not changed despite their move to Setulang for economic reasons. The draw of Tala Olen is also felt by their descendants who are charmed by the elders’ stories of paradise.

“My grandfather told me many stories of growing up [in Tala Olen ] and how they lived back then. His description of it made it look like paradise,” says Herman, a young villager. “I would love to visit and pay my respects to him.”

But the Kenya Dayak’s ancient way of life and their culture of preserving the forest is under threat. Here in Kalimantan, logging and dam projects are destroying huge swathes of the forest.

Environmentalists estimate that over 52 percent of Kalimantan’s forests has already been lost.

“We don’t exactly know what will happen in the future. Will the next generation keep our agreement [to conserve the land], or will they damage it, and open new land to loggers to serve their self interest?” Kenya Dayak elder Kole Adjang asks.

“ We hope that by example [sic], our great grandchildren will also take care of our land and Tala Olen.”

Taking the Dayak’s home

In the face of these threats to Borneo’s cultural history, photographer David “Dayak Dave” Metcalf is seeking to help reunite the Dayak with their ancestral homelands.

As with many indigenous peoples throughout Indonesia, such as the Asmat and Kamoro tribes of Papua or the Badui in Java, the Kenya are hampered by poverty. As such, they can’t afford the cost of the journey to Tala Olen .

Metcalf seeks to provide the means for the villagers to revisit their homelands, a journey that he intends to chronicle in a film he will title “ The Journey Home .”

“I came up with the idea of granting the tribe their dream of visiting their ancestors’ burial grounds deep in the heart of the forest,” says the Bali-based New Zealander, adding that the journey entails more than the just the nostalgia of homecoming.

“We need to raise funds to make the film. As things currently stand, the logistics are only sufficient to take six elders to Long Saan,” says Metcalf, who is also the author of “ Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage: Cultural Journeys of Discovery ,” a chronicle of his travels through Indonesia.

Metcalf is putting on a fundraiser at the opening of an exhibition on indigenous photography in Jakarta’s Kunstkring Paleis cultural exhibition hall on Aug. 12.

The evening, which will feature eminent Indonesian designer Harry Darsono and New Zealand Ambassador David Taylor, will include performances of traditional Dayak dances.

“We hope that through raising funds to bring the elders back to their ancestral village and making a multimedia documentary about the journey, we can raise awareness of the threats to their unique way of life,” Metcalf says.

He adds that similar events will also be held at the American Club. To date, Metcalf has raised about $2,000 of the estimated $25,000 that he needs for project.

Filmmaker David Metcalf will host a fundraiser exhibition in August to fund his
 film ‘The Journey Home’, which aims to raise awareness about the importance
 and wisdom of indigenous culture in Indonesia and around the world. (Photo
courtesy of David Metcalf)

Collective effort

“The Journey Home” will be shot by a film crew from seven nations; among them New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. They include American documentary filmmaker Jason Houston, who was known for his work with the Dayak in the Malaysian side of Borneo, Robby, a member of the Indonesian world music group Navicula, and Bali-based artist Wolfgang Widmoser, whose work inspired much of the look for the Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar.”

Native American Kevin Locke, an elder from the Lakota Sioux tribe, will also be taking part. While the cultural connection between the Dayak and native Americans is very strong, Locke’s participation marks the first time that a connection between these two cultures has been undertaken.

“One of the primary purposes of [“The Journey Home”] is to raise awareness in Indonesia and other countries about the importance and wisdom of indigenous cultures around the world. This journey is about connecting cultures through art, dance, song and ancient wisdom,” Metcalf says.

“By creating a wider expression and voice for indigenous cultures globally, we can find common ground through music and dance and ancestral prayers.”

Most of all, the film will showcase Kalimantan and its place in the world.

“Kalimantan is Asia’s Amazon, representing 1 percent of the earth’s surface but 5 percent of its flora and fauna, including untold numbers of trees and plants still undiscovered by mankind. As one of the most ecologically diverse landscapes on the planet, we want to raise awareness about the Dayak people that live in Kalimantan’s forests and rivers,” Metcalf says.

“This is all the more imperative, as Kalimantan is also facing the fallout from coal and gold mining, the latter which is poisoning its streams, aside from better known problems like illegal logging and deforestation.”

Metcalf and his team of filmmakers plan to release “The Journey Home” in Indonesia and abroad by the end of this year. He also plans to pitch the film to Discovery Channel and National Geographic.

To help Metcalf and the Kenya Dayaks in their quest, contact him at www.fundrazr.com.

"... Some of you will walk into the forest and you'll feel it. It surrounds you with its love and beauty. Gaia speaks to you. The trees are pushing out oxygen with a benevolent system of photosynthesis. The plants give you oxygen and you give them carbon dioxide. What a system! Look around. Science will say that system happened by accident - a random occurrence. Do you believe that? What a beautiful system! The trees themselves know who you are. You walk into the forest and you feel it hug you, but perhaps another is next to you who came with a chainsaw. They don't care and they don't feel it. To them, the forest is only a resource. What's the difference between the two of you? There's no judgment here, I'm just asking you. What do you think the difference is? The answer: You're letting multidimensional awareness in and they are not. You see, you are becoming more aware of multidimensional soul communication. In this case, it's your enormous soul energy communicating with the other parts of the planet who are also multidimensional.

When you make the decision that it's OK to feel this energy, it will be there. Most of humanity so far has not made that decision. They block it. The law is this - this communication will come to you only with your allowance. The moment you open the door of allowance, you may begin to feel it. Those are our rules.

It's not just allowance for communication from the creative source, but also from an amazing number of what we would call other benevolent energies. These others are represented by groups with names that you have given them. They also cannot get through to you unless you allow it. That's their rule as well. Your names for them are Pleiadians, Arcturians, Sirians, Hathors or those from Orion. There are many more, but unless you open to the possibility of them, they can't communicate either.

Most of humanity will stand next to you as you communicate and think you're not well. That's the way it looks to them. Listen, dear ones, the benevolent groups who represent your DNA essence [your seed biology] and who know who you are are many. The amount of help you have on this planet is staggering, yet the majority of humanity will not allow awareness of it or let the possibility into their reality.. ..."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

SBY Speaks Out Against Israeli Air Strikes

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite & Vita A.D. Busyra, Jul 12, 2014

A boy holds a toy gun — as he poses during a rally against Israeli attacks on
the Palestinian territories — in Jakarta on July 11, 2014. (EPA Photo/Mast Irham)

Jakarta. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday strongly condemned the air strikes launched by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip that have killed nearly 100 people since Tuesday.

Yudhoyono said at a cabinet meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta that he would call Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later on Friday to discuss what move the countries under the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) planned to take in response to the ongoing violence that has claimed mostly civilian lives.

“I will be communicating with the Iranian president in his capacity as the chairman of the NAM to discuss what the NAM countries can do to stop the violence,” Yudhoyono said.

He called the Israeli military’s action “too much,” and said that Indonesia would also call on the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to stop the air strikes.

“Besides condemning the overwhelmingly excessive military action, Indonesia has already made a diplomatic approach with the UN, the OIC and the NAM countries. The goal is to halt Israeli’s military actions,” he said.

A cease-fire is strongly urged and must be enforced under the UN’s supervision, the president said. He gave assurances that there would not be any retaliation by the Palestinian side if the Israelis ended the air strikes, which were launched in response to the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas militants.

Yudhoyono said he and Rouhani would also discuss the provision of aid and other relief supplies for the Palestinians.

Din Syamsuddin, the Indonesian chairman of the Palestine Friendship Initiative (PPIP) and head of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second-biggest Islamic organization, also condemned the Israeli Defense Forces for what he called “attacks on innocent Palestinian people” in Gaza.

He encouraged people to donate money for aid for the Palestinians.

The Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C), an Indonesian humanitarian group, previously built a hospital in Gaza, but Din said it lacked equipment and facilities to help treat the injured.

“The MUI [Indonesian Council of Ulema] and the PPIP are also calling on people during this holy month of Ramadan to give alms to help resolve the problem of the Palestinians so that the hospital can start running,” he said on Thursday in Jakarta.

Din previously said he hoped to raise up to Rp 6 billion ($516,000) to be sent to the Palestinian people.

He said the PPIP had initially planned a charity concert for Aug. 15, to feature Indonesian and Palestinian musicians, but had to put the plan on hold for now.

Din urged international organizations, such as the UN and the OIC to take concrete steps to stop the air strikes.

“There have been many resolutions from the UN, but they were either not enforced or ignored. So we will keep urging the UN to take immediate action,” he said.

“The OIC has to undertake concrete measures, including providing humanitarian help to the people of Gaza and Palestine who have been suffering from the attacks,” Din said.

Teuku Rezasyah, the executive director of the Indonesian Center for Democracy, a Jakarta-based think tank, noted that many past attempts to sanction Israel at the UN had been vetoed by its close ally, the United States, and called for a fundamental change in the structure of the UN Security Council to better reflect the contemporary global balance of power.

“The structure needs to be revised so that a more democratic decision can be produced to force Israel to halt its attacks,” Rezasyah said on Friday.

“So far it’s always been under the US’s command. Russia always tries to defend itself. It’s a complicated story in there,” he said, emphasizing that Israel always managed to come away untouched by sanctions over its actions because of the way the UNSC veto power worked.

Rezasyah said the UN should be restructured to enable other countries, such as Indonesia, Japan, Germany and Brazil, to as much of a say as the five permanent members of the UNSC, especially on matters of humanitarian urgency.

He added that another factor that rendered Indonesia unable to do more to help Palestine was its refusal to recognize the state of Israel, saying its decision not to have diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv had put it in a dilemma and would leave it incapable of being a fair mediator unless it could make its voice heard by Israel.

“Ideally we should establish a diplomatic approach with Israel in order to discuss this sensitive issue. But if Indonesia wants to be heard by Israel, it needs to be a prominent voice of Asean, the OIC and the NAM,” Rezasyah said.

Andreas Harsono, an Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said that despite the high number of victims from the Israeli military actions, Palestine deserved as much of the blame as Israel for the escalating violence.

“Under the international law, both countries attacked civilians, their homes, hospitals and schools. Innocent people risked being attacked and that violates the law already,” he said of Hamas’s rocket strikes into Israeli settlements.

He was quick to add, however, that this did not justify the Israeli’s own strikes in residential areas of Gaza.

He also said that major Middle Eastern powers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey were in alignment with the US, making it difficult to reach any kind of satisfactory outcome at the UN.

Reuters cited Palestinian officials as saying that 11 civilians were killed n Friday in the fourth day of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, raising the death toll in the coastal enclave to at least 96, most of them civilians.