Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

US Death Penalty

US Death Penalty
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / 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, April 25, 2015

Peace In Korean Peninsula Requires Asian African Support

Jakarta Globe,, Apr 23, 2015

AACC2015, Jakarta – Peace in the Korean peninsula was the main focus of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during AAC plenary sessions at the Jakarta Convention Centre, Wednesday (22/4). To realise such peace, support from Asian and African countries is necessary.

So said the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, Kim Yong-nam, in the first Plenary Session of the 60-year Commemoration of the Asian African Conference (AAC) at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), on Wednesday (22/4). “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has a strong commitment to achieving world peace, including in the Korean peninsula region,” Kim said.

As such, a concrete effort to realise peace must be made through strengthening South-South Cooperation. “Entering the 3rd millennium, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will play an active role in the realisation of economic prosperity and peace,” he said.

Kim went on to say that the spirit of the Ten Principles of Bandung in 1955 would strengthen the unity of the peoples of Asia and Africa. “The birth of the Ten Principles of Bandung cannot be separated from the tremendous spirit of Asian African leaders to escape from imperialism,” he added.

The principle of state sovereignty, Kim further explained, resulted in the liberation of Asian African peoples from the shackles of colonialism. “Now, with the new Asian African strategic partnership, progress in the social, political, and economic sectors can be truly realised,” he said.

At the same time, Kim expressed his belief in a need for mutual respect towards the domestic affairs of any country. “Other countries have no right to criticise our country, including the issues of human rights and nuclear weapons,” he said.

He reaffirmed that the mobilisation of foreign troops in the Korean peninsula will definitely affect the peace process. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea are still at war, and the two countries have signed no peace treaty since the 1953 ceasefire. The Republic of Korea gained military support from the United States during the conflict with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. (Translator: Muhardi)

The Spirit Of Bandung Helped Japan To Gain International’s Acceptance

Jakarta Globe,, Apr 23, 2015

AACC2015, Jakarta – The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that the Bandung Spirit had helped his country to gain international community’s acceptance after the World War II.

“Live and let live. That’s the President Sukarno’s quotation which is better known as the Spirit of Bandung. The spirit allows us to re-enter the international community after the World War II,” said Prime Minister Abe at the Asian-African Summit in the Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Asian-African Conference in Jakarta Convention Centre (JCC), Wednesday (4/22).

According to him, the value of the Spirit of Bandung, which prohibited colonialism, helped his country to recover from the World War’s impact. “To those friends of ours who had formulated the Bandung Spirit, let me take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude,” he stated.

The Spirit of Bandung, he added, is enhancing the relation between the two continents. “It is time for us to show strong unity, which was built between the two continents, to the rest of the world. Let’s show them,” he concluded. (Photo: Host)

Iran President : Islam, Christianity And Judaism No Different

Jakarta Globe,, Apr 23, 2015

AACC2015, Jakarta – President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani said, respect for different religions, ethnicities and races is the foundation for overcoming terrorism. Concrete action must be taken by religious leaders to prevent terrorism and achieve tolerance.

“In preventing terrorism, there is no difference between Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism nor Africa, Asia and Europe. Religion must not become a political instrument, especially Islam, which brings a message of peace for the world,” said Hassan firmly in the first plenary of the 60th Anniversary AAC at Jakarta Convention Centre (JCC), Wednesday (22/4).

He asserted the need for prompt identification of the causes of youths to join terrorist groups. “The problems of culture and economy that may lead to radical views must be identified,” he said.

He added, the problem of social justice should be a main consideration in order that terrorist groups not be allowed to expand their influence. “Financial, political and intelligence support for terrorist groups must be stopped,” he said.
Hassan labelled armed conflict in Syria and Yemen a common consideration. History shows that military intervention has not been an effective solution to crises experienced by these countries. Conflict resolution or settlement should be conducted through dialogue.

Besides this, Hassan affirmed that the Ten Principles of Bandung, which were first declared 60 years ago, had been an inspiration for Iran in fighting against arrogance. “Economic sanctions toward Iran for its nuclear programme has been a demonstration of hostility and an example of dangerous steps,” he said.

The Iranian people were inspired by the first AAC in Bandung in 1955 and by the values of Islam to keep promoting cooperation towards peace. The Ten Principles of Bandung, said Hassan, should be translated into concrete action, thus it will manifest success for the New Asian African Strategic Partnership. “All Asian and African nations should strengthen the spirit of association in facing the rapidly changing world,” he said.

(Photo: Antara, Editor: Gusti Andry, Translator: Donum Theo)

Related Articles:

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / CreatorReligions/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)

“.   New Tolerance

Look for a softening of finger pointing and an awakening of new tolerance. There will remain many systems for different cultures, as traditions and history are important to sustaining the integrity of culture. So there are many in the Middle East who would follow the prophet and they will continue, but with an increase of awareness. It will be the increase of awareness of what the prophet really wanted all along - unity and tolerance. The angel in the cave instructed him to "unify the tribes and give them the God of Israel." You're going to start seeing a softening of intolerance and the beginning of a new way of being.

Eventually, this will create an acknowledgement that says, "You may not believe the way we believe, but we honor you and your God. We honor our prophet and we will love you according to his teachings. We don't have to agree in order to love." How would you like that? The earth is not going to turn into one belief system. It never will, for Humans don't do that. There must be variety, and there must be the beauty of cultural differences. But the systems will slowly update themselves with increased awareness of the truth of a new kind of balance. So that's the first thing. Watch for these changes, dear ones. ...."

Indonesia Improves on Happiness Scale

Women in traditional West Java dress parade down the street during ceremonies
 marking the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung,
West Java, Indonesia, April 24, 2015. (AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)
Jakarta. Indonesia improved in its ranking in happiness, making it the 74th happiest country in the world, but the nation trailed  regional neighbors, according to a recent global ranking in a report on happiness.

Singapore and Malaysia ranked 24th and 61st place, respectively, in the 2015 World Happiness Report, which was released on Thursday by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network — a global initiative for sustainable economic development under the United Nations.

Indonesia — which has the biggest economy in Southeast Asia — moved up two notches from 76th in the 2013 World Happiness Report.

Switzerland topped the list, followed by Iceland and Denmark, as Scandinavian nations continued to dominate the top ten positions in the happiness ranking. Among other Asian giants, China came in at 84th place, while the second most populous country, India, placed 117th.

First launched in 2012, the World Happiness Report is the third annual report that attempts to measure happiness in 158 countries across the world. The report captures average subjective well-being, aiming to provide a global social progress measurement on a dimension broader than just economic growth.

The report uses six variables to quantify happiness include gross domestic product per capita, perception of corruption, healthy life expectancy and perceived freedom to make life choices. The report also measured social support variable by asking whether respondents have someone to count on in times of trouble. The generosity variable, on the other hand, is measured by recent donations.

The report found that “differences in social support, incomes and healthy life expectancy are the three most important factors,” in separating countries’ level of happiness.

“The challenge is to ensure that policies are designed and delivered in ways that enrich the social fabric, and teach the pleasure and power of empathy to current and future generations,” according to the report, which was compiled by economists John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sach. “When these social factors are well-rooted and readily available, communities and nations are more resilient.”

Still, Indonesia’s government has yet to factor in happiness in its policy-making initiatives, as the nation lags in producing jobs to help  narrow the gap between rich and poor.

“In terms of GDP per capita, there is still a big disparity in income among Indonesians. This is one of the government’s tasks, which means initiating more labor-intensive programs in order to create jobs in the country,” said Aviliani, an economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef).

“Corruption is also a culture that the government must continue to eradicate in the country.”

Friday, April 24, 2015

Jokowi Pleased With Asian-African Conference Results

Jakarta Globe, Basten Gokkon,  Apr 23, 2015

An estimated 20,000 students played the angklung, a bamboo instrument,
setting a world record to celebrate the Asian-African Conference, at Bandung’s
Siliwangi Stadium on Thursday. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo on Thursday closed the Jakarta leg of meetings of the Asian-African Conference as delegates head to Bandung for the closing ceremony on Friday.

At least 90 countries from the two continents have worked together to formulate three important documents: the Bandung Message; the Declaration on Reinvigorating the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership; and the Declaration on Palestine.

On Thursday, Joko officially authorized the documents as the outcome of the 60th commemoration of the high-level conference.

“I believe that the concepts that have been produced will reflect the Bandung Spirit and the interests of every country,” he said.

“I, therefore, would like to express my appreciation for the enthusiasm and the commitment of your majesties and excellencies, and of all parties involved in the formulation of the outcome documents and in the convening of this summit,” Joko said before the delegates at the Jakarta Convention Center.

He urged the world to listen to the voices and decisions made during the conference, saying the summit was one of the largest intergovernmental forums outside the framework of the United Nations, in which Asian and African countries, as well as a number of international observers, take part.

“The voices in the summit represent the voices of Asia and Africa,” Joko said.

He added that participating countries had also agreed to reinvigorate the core ideas of the South-South movement, namely prosperity, solidarity and stability of Asian and African nations.

“We have agreed to establish a network of peace-keeping centers in the two regions, to facilitate capacity-building cooperation,” Joko said.

The conference condemned acts of extremism and terrorism in the name of religion and resolved to promote dialogue between cultures and faiths, he said. The summit also agreed to foster trade and investment as the engine of growth.

“In this regard, we will pursue a fair, multilateral trading system, which is pro-growth and inclusive; which would contribute to growth, investment and job opportunities; and which promotes sustainable development,” Joko said.

He highlighted the Asian and African countries’ recognition of the centrality of the maritime sector as well as the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean in bridging the economic development of the two continents.

“In this regard, maritime cooperation will become one of the pillars of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership,” the president said.

“I will work hard with all of you to ensure the materialization of the strategic partnership. I will also strive, with your support, for the prosperity, equality and stability of all Asian and African countries,” he said, ending his remarks.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, co-chair of the day’s forum, said the three documents captured the ideas and visions of where Asian and African nations would lead in the future through the Bandung Spirit.

“This was a very successful meeting … There is no doubt therefore that this summit will be historic,” he said.

Joko also announced several other outcomes from the conference.

“I’m very glad to announce that we’ve established April 24 as Asia-Africa Day; reinforced Bandung as the city of Asian-African solidarity; and more importantly, the opening of the Asia Africa Center in Indonesia,” Joko told reporters.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said her office, which organized the conference, had not yet decided where the center would be  located.

She said the countries would have another meeting to plan the venture.

“What we have prepared are the programs that will be run under the Asia Africa Center and also the modalities,” Retno said.

The United States, which attended the conference as an observer, praised Indonesia, saying it had long been a champion for peace and cooperation on the international stage.

“Very notably, however, over the past 17 years Indonesia also has become a model of democratic transformation, religious pluralism and tolerance, and economic development,” said Robert O. Blake, Jr., the US ambassador to Indonesia, who led his country’s delegation at the conference.

“It is now home to the world’s largest democracy after India and the United States,” he added.

He said that as a fellow democracy, the United States shared Indonesia’s respect for fundamental human rights — the first of 10 principles extolled by the original Bandung Conference in 1955.

“It is our hope that the countries attending this conference in 2015 will leave Bandung inspired by Indonesia’s commitment to a political system based on the consent of the governed, rule of law, and respect for human rights,” Blake said. “Countries whose policies respect and reflect these rights are far more likely to be more peaceful and more prosperous.”

The United States, the ambassador said, was fully committed to partnering with countries in Asia and Africa to advance cooperation and address shared challenges together.

The United States has been increasingly involved in Asia and the Pacific.

US President Barack Obama’s strategic decision to rebalance US efforts and resources toward the Asia-Pacific region is an example of how vital the region is to Washington’s interests.

Many, however, see the renewed US engagement in Asia as an attempt to counterbalance  China’s growing clout in the region.

“Our expanding engagement with Asia is about sustaining progress and stability in a region relatively free of conflict — a region where democracy increasingly has taken hold,” Blake said.

“Our rebalance provides for a win-win scenario in which every country in the region, including China, contributes to the continuation of decades of peace and stability.”

He added that beyond Bandung, challenges remained, including combating climate change, stopping the spread of infectious diseases, strengthening good governance, and countering violent ideologies and terrorism.

“The United States looks forward to cooperating with Indonesia and other countries represented at this conference to overcome these challenges,” Blake said.

In Mataram Declaration, Belated Recognition of Indigenous Rights

Jakarta Globe, Kennial Caroline Laia,  Apr 23, 2015

The government is finally getting serious about recognizing Indigenous
groups’ forest rights. (Antara Photo/Ahmad Subaidi)

Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara. Proponents of the rights of indigenous groups have hailed a pledge by the Indonesian government to do more to recognize their stewardship of forests, seen as crucial in efforts to stave off deforestation.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar made the so-called Mataram Declaration last weekend in a belated response to a May 2013 Constitutional Court ruling relinquishing the state’s default claims to forested areas settled and used by indigenous groups.

“Long before this, civil society organizations and local communities were struggling for the recognition and protection of customary land,” said Abetnego Tarigan, the executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, or Walhi. “Now the government has shown good faith, and we really appreciate it.”

He said the central and local governments often violated indigenous people’s land rights because the latter lacked title deeds to their land. In many cases, he noted, the people were disenfranchised of their rights, and their land given over to logging, plantation or mining operators.

“There are a few policies that regulate the rights of local communities to the land, such as the 2012 law on customary forests, but they don’t cover the recognition of people’s customary territory, so we need another framework to guarantee it,” Abetnego said. “This declaration should really be a form of political will for all stakeholders to push the recognition and protection of customary forests managed by the people.”

Civic-centered development

At the signing of the declaration on Saturday in Mataram, in West Nusa Tenggara province, Siti said the government and other stakeholders were committed to expediting the process to craft policies that improved the welfare and protection of local communities and conserved the environment.

“These policies are really important,” she said. “President Joko Widodo’s government has indicated that the citizenship concept is a democratic one, in which we seek to bring welfare to the people.”

She said the government was making efforts to involve people, especially indigenous groups, in environmental protection.

“Here, our development must be civic-centered,” Siti said. “This issue has been echoed by the people and environmental organizations, and now the government is listening.”

Under Joko’s 2015-2019 National Mid-Term Development Plan, the administration plans to designate 12.5 million hectares of land for “social forestry,” in which indigenous groups and local communities will commit to sustainable forestry practices, and nine million hectares for agriculture.

“These [social] forests can be developed as community forests, village forests and customary forests,” Siti said, adding that the agricultural land, to be staked out from former logging concessions, would go primarily to subsistence farmers.

Collaborative effort

Siti said it was important for all stakeholders — the central government, regional administrations, civil society organizations and local communities — to work closely together.

“The policy is ready to go, but we can’t do it alone. We need help from other stakeholders to cooperate. For example, I hope the Home Affairs Ministry will help us identify indigenous communities and their problems to ensure that all land is distributed rightly and fairly,” she said.

“We also need civil society organizations to work with the people on mediation, community building and others. Access to welfare for all Indonesians is our responsibility.”

Zudan Arif Fakrulloh, an adviser to the Home Affairs Ministry, said the institution was open to cooperating with the other stakeholders.

“But the identification process isn’t easy. There are a few requirements to meet before we can definitively say that a given community is an indigenous one,” he said. “The process must be really selective. And this is the task of regional leaders.”

Zudan said that for a forest community to qualify, it would have to show some kind of environmentally sustainable practice in its interactions with the forest.

“Here we need experts and help from civil society organizations,” he said.

People first

Siti said the new policy, unlike previous ones, prioritized the role of people in economic development through the exploitation of forests and other natural resources.

“I believe the system will be no longer like the past, when government didn’t put the people at the front of its development plans. Now, we must use dialogue in our approach to developing the economy of this country,” Siti said.

West East Nusa’s Deputy Governor Muhammad Amin welcomed the declaration, but said further talks on the issue were still needed between the central government and regional administrations.

“We realize there hasn’t been a regional policy that recognizes the territorial rights of indigenous people. However, with this declaration, we hope that the people will receive greater consideration in the policy-making process,” he said. “Should the synergy run smoothly, we may be able to achieve an environment-oriented development framework.”

Yansen T.P., the head of Malinau district in North Kalimantan, who was among the more than 30 regional heads attending the Mataram Declaration, said an increasing number of regions across the country were beginning to prioritize land rights protections when crafting new policies.

“We’ve been done a lot for several years now to show our support for our environment,” he said. “We have vast areas of natural resources and considerable local wisdom. The forest we have is the forest we must hold on to. We understand that people depend on the forest and they will try to maintain it. But to do that, we in the regional government have to provide them with legal certainty.”

Yansen said he hoped that future investments would “take the side of the people.”

“We don’t need to exploit all of our natural resources right away. We have to think about our children, grandchildren and our future generations,” he said. “Hopefully the central government’s policy will accelerate the recognition of indigenous people’s right to the forest.”

Test cases

Adi Rozal, the head of Kerinci district in Sumatra’s Jambi province, said his administration had designated 12 swaths of forest as customary forests.

“Now we’re waiting for coordination from the central government to issue a policy that fully mandates the forests for use by the local community,” he said.

Mathius Awoitauw, the head of Jayapura district in Papua province, agreed that while the central government had a key role to play, it was local governments that would serve as the test cases for various frameworks on the issue.

“All we need to do to establish nationwide synergy is to hold regular dialogues to test how capable regional governments and people are in managing their forests. In addition, there should be a regulation that truly guarantees the rights of each region to map its own customary forests,” he said.

In prioritizing the rights of forest-dwelling communities, the government has switched from an earlier paradigm that served large corporations, said Chalil Muhammad, the chairman of the Association for Community and Ecology-Based Law Reform, or Perkumpulan HuMa.

“There’s a need to create a scheme to build rights coordination between the central government, regional governments and the people in an effort to prevent forests from rampant exploitation,” he said. “These stakeholders need to change their mind-set. We need to increase human resource capacity and fix existing forestry policies.”

Edited by Hayat Indriyatno

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jokowi Calls for Reform of UN at Asian-African Conference

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite, Apr 22, 2015

President Joko Widodo, center, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, as
 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, looks on at the opening of the
60th Asian-African Conference in Jakarta on Wednesday. (AACC2015/Prasetyo Utomo)

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has criticized the United Nations and the world’s financial institutions for leading an imbalance of economic and political power.

Joko’s speech in Jakarta opened a meeting of Asian and African nations to mark the 60th anniversary of a conference that was seen as a united stand by the developing world against colonialism and led to the Cold War era’s non-aligned movement.

The Indonesian president said that 60 years on, many countries in the two continents have gotten rid of their colonial masters and become independent nations.

“However our fight is far from over. A new world order based on justice, equality and prosperity is still out of reach,” the president said, referring to the aims of the inaugural 1955 Bali Conference.
Joko said 20 percent of countries lived in a world of abundance while the rest, especially countries in Asia and Africa, struggled to cross the poverty line.

“We, Asian and African countries, demand that the United Nations reform to function optimally as the world body that puts justice for all nations first,” Joko said. “For me, the global imbalance is getting more and more suffocating.”

Joko said the new global order should also be opened to emerging economic powers and leave the “obsolete ideas” of post-World War II Bretton Woods institutions in the past.

“There is a shifting world reality … Those who say the global economic problems shall only be solved through the World Bank, the IMF and the ADB, these are obsolete ideas,” Joko said. “There needs to be change. It’s imperative that we build a new international economic order that is open to new emerging economic powers.”

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are at the center of the Bretton Woods global financial order created by the United States and Europe.

Joko made no mention of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is seen as a threat to the Western-dominated World Bank and Asian Development Bank, but Indonesia is one of nearly 60 countries that have offered to be founding members of the AIIB.

The United States and Japan have not thrown their support behind the bank, which is seen as a threat to US efforts to extend its influence in the Asia-Pacific region and balance China’s growing financial clout.

Indonesia invited heads of state and government from 109 Asian and African countries, but there have been dozens of no-shows and officials said only 34 leaders turned up.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, speaking at the conference, said countries in Asia and Africa “should no longer be consigned to the role of exporters of primary goods and importers of finished goods.”

The long-serving ruler called it a “role that has historically been assigned to us by the colonial powers and starting from the days of colonialism.”

The world order has changed dramatically since nearly 30 heads of state gathered in 1955 to discuss security and economic development away from global powers embroiled in the Cold War.

Many of those countries, such as China, India and Indonesia, are now themselves at top tables like the Group of 20 and wield significant economic power.

Joko said the group was meeting again in a changed world but still needed to stand together against the domination of an unspecified “certain group of countries” to avoid unfairness and global imbalances.

Abe & Xi

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the summit on Wednesday, a Japanese government official said, the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the Asian rivals.

However, speaking at the summit ahead of the expected meeting, Abe warned powerful nations against imposing on the weak, an implicit reference to China. He also made an allusion to Tokyo’s remorse in the past over World War II, but stopped short of issuing a fresh apology.

Abe’s comments made it an awkward diplomatic backdrop for the expected meeting with Xi. But a Japanese official said ahead of Abe’s address that the two leaders would meet later in the day. China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tensions between Asia’s two biggest economies have flared in recent years due to feuds over wartime history as well as territorial rows and regional rivalry.

Memories of Japan’s past military aggression run deep in China, and Beijing has repeatedly urged Japan to face up to history. But the meeting on Wednesday between the two leaders was expected to promote a cautious rapprochement that began when Abe and Xi met at a summit in Beijing late last year.

“We should never allow to go unchecked the use of force by the mightier to twist the weaker around,” Abe said at the summit in Jakarta. “The wisdom of our forefathers in Bandung was that the rule of law should protect the dignity of sovereign nations, be they large or small,” Abe said, speaking after Xi had addressed the conference.

China is locked in territorial rows with several smaller countries in the South China Sea, while Japan has a separate feud over islets in the East China Sea.

Abe said in his Jakarta speech that Japan had, “with feelings of deep remorse over the past war,” pledged to adhere to principles affirmed at the first Bandung Conference, including refraining from the use of force and settling international disputes by peaceful means.

As the Jakarta conference got underway, President Joko was flanked by Xi and Abe for a group leaders’ photo. The two remained on either side of Joko when they sat and watched an Indonesian traditional dance troupe perform.

JG & Reuters

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, shakes hands with China's President Xi 
Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asian-African 
Conference in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Reuters Photo/Kyodo)

Related Articles:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Asian-African ministerial meeting opens, with Indonesian FM highlighting Bandung Spirit   2015-04-20

JAKARTA, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Asian-African ministerial meeting opened here Monday and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the Bandung Message, better known as the Bandung Spirit, remains a commitment to the political solidarity in the world.

Ministers of Asian and African countries held a meeting here in preparation for the Asian-African Summit 2015, which runs from April 22 to April 23 and the Commemoration of the 60th Asian- African Conference scheduled for April 24.

Marsudi, in her opening remarks at the ministerial meeting, said the Bandung Spirit discusses both political and moral messages to the world. "However, is a mere political message enough to address today' s challenges?"said the minister, calling for boost for stronger political and economic cooperation.

She told the opening ceremony that senior officials in their meeting on Sunday discussed the implementation of the Bandung Message and other documents relating to the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP)

The NAASP was launched at the previous event of the Asian- African Summit, which was held in Indonesia in 2005.

This year's event is featuring the theme of Reinvigorating of the NAASP.

The upcoming summit and the commemoration are to "herald a new chapter" for the Asian-African cooperation, said the Indonesian foreign minister.

She said the event will enable Asia and Africa to enhance the structural and systematic cooperation.

The first Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, was held in Indonesia in 1955, hosting delegations from 29 countries discussing major international issues.

The 1955 conference signaled the emergence of the developing countries as a rising force in the world arena, resulted in the nonaligned movement and the formation of the Third World.

A declaration was issued at the conference, containing 10 principles for handling international relations which was termed as the Bandung Spirit.

The Indonesian foreign ministry said 33 heads of state and government as well as representatives from 77 countries have confirmed their participation at the summit and the commemoration activities.

Interview: Ex-Singapore official: Zhou Enlai was center of Bandung Conference, Ma Yujie, 2015-04-21

"Zhou Enlai was center of Bandung Conference," Singapore ex-diplomat
recalls the grand event

SINGAPORE, April 21 (Xinhua) -- "Zhou Enlai was the center of the Bandung Conference," said 91-year-old Lee Khoon Choy, who met Zhou in 1955 during the first Asian-African Conference (also known as Bandung Conference), in an exclusive interview with Xinhua here.

Lee, born in 1924 in Penang, Malaysia, joined the People's Action Party in 1959 in Singapore and was elected into the Legislative Assembly at the same year. By the time he retired from public service in 1988, he had held various positions in the government, including as a Member of Parliament and senior minister of state, and served as Singapore's ambassador and high commissioner to eight countries.

However, back in 1955, when Lee first met Zhou, the then premier of the People's Republic of China, he was a reporter at the Chinese newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau. He was in Indonesia to cover the Bandung Conference, a gathering of leaders and representatives from 29 Asian and African countries, most of them newly independent, to promote economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism.

The conference adopted a final communique containing ten principles, which underlined respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations and recognition of the equality of all races and the equality of all nations.

Even though more than half a century has passed, Lee can still remember many details. He recalled that Zhou and his "strong" Chinese delegation including Chen Yi, the then foreign minister, were the center of attraction as soon as they arrived.

"They received a warm welcome from overseas Chinese. They gave the delegation a very warm applause and some even set off firecrackers to celebrate."

Every time Lee talks about Zhou, he made a thumbs-up gesture to show his respect.

"Zhou Enlai came to the conference with a prepared speech. After listening to the speeches against China, I saw him leading the Chinese delegation in a walk back to their hotel room. There was a big crowd clapping hands when the delegation walked out of and back into the Merdeka Building in Bandung," Lee said. "When Zhou returned to the conference table, he threw away his prepared speech and spoke off the cuff."

"That came to be the historical moment of China's diplomacy," Lee said.

Zhou said he had come to the conference to seek peace and not enemies. He said China was willing to negotiate with America for peace.

"Zhou's speech totally changed the atmosphere of the whole conference. He became the very center of the stage, with everyone' s attention on him."

For then 31-year-old Lee, this was not the only impressive moment with Zhou.

"I have always remembered one sentence from Zhou - overseas Chinese like you should take part in politics," Lee recalled.

"Many people at that time were hesitant to step into politics, but after the Bandung Conference, a lot changed their minds," Lee said.

For Lee himself, Zhou's words had also more or less changed his life. Lee didn't make up his mind to join politics after the Bandung Conference, but was finally persuaded by then Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1959, an old friend who Lee Khoon Choy met when he went to London to attend a class for advanced study in journalism ten years prior (1949).

Lee has since then served in government for almost three decades before he retired in 1988. In 2005, he was invited by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to attend the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. But to him, there's "no second Bandung Conference" like the one in 1955.

"China brought up the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence at the Bandung Conference, which was very good," he said.

"During the conference, Zhou got the opportunity to explain to other countries that China was not trying to subvert their political power, and it was the first time China established connectivity with countries in the world. Zhou made a great contribution to this."

It was not until 20 years later when Lee and Zhou met again. In 1975, Lee, the then minister of state for foreign affairs, visited China with Singapore's foreign minister S. Rajaratnam.

Zhou, who was suffering from cancer at that time, met them in Beijing where he was hospitalized. To his surprise, Zhou "had a really remarkable memory."

"He said, 'Oh, we met in Bandung and you had interviewed me," Lee said and smiled.

That trip later kicked off bilateral communications between Singapore and China.

Since the first trip to China in 1975, Lee has visited China more than 100 times, either as a politician, diplomat, tourist, businessman or antique collector. He has witnessed the dramatic changes of China.

"I admire Xi Jinping's axe on corruption, it will do great good to China," Lee said.

Editor: Mengjie

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Asian-African ministerial meeting opens, with Indonesian FM highlighting Bandung Spirit

"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“… Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader. Remember where you heard it... in a strange, esoteric meeting with a guy in a chair pretending to channel. [Kryon being factious... Kryon humor] Then when you hear it, you'll know better, won't you? "Maybe there was something really there," you'll say. "Maybe it was real," you'll say. Perhaps you can skip all the drama of the years to come and consider that now? [Kryon humor again]

These leaders are going to fall over. You'll have a slow developing leadership coming to you all over the earth where there is a new energy of caring about the public. "That's just too much to ask for in politics, Kryon." Watch for it. That's just the beginning of this last phase. So many things are coming. The next one is related to this, for a country in survival with sickness cannot sustain a leadership of high consciousness. There is just too much opportunity for power and greed. But when a continent is healed, everything changes. .."

".. Many years ago, the prevailing thought was that nobody should consider China as a viable player on the economic stage. They were backward, filled with a system that would never be westernized, and had no wish to become joined with the rest of the world's economic systems. Look what has happened in only 30 years. Now, look at Africa differently …”

" .... Africa

Let me tell you where else it's happening that you are unaware - that which is the beginning of the unity of the African states. Soon the continent will have what they never had before, and when that continent is healed and there is no AIDS and no major disease, they're going to want what you have. They're going to want houses and schools and an economy that works without corruption. They will be done with small-minded leaders who kill their populations for power in what has been called for generations "The History of Africa." Soon it will be the end of history in Africa, and a new continent will emerge.

Be aware that the strength may not come from the expected areas, for new leadership is brewing. There is so much land there and the population is so ready there, it will be one of the strongest economies on the planet within two generations plus 20 years. And it's going to happen because of a unifying idea put together by a few. These are the potentials of the planet, and the end of history as you know it.

In approximately 70 years, there will be a black man who leads this African continent into affluence and peace. He won't be a president, but rather a planner and a revolutionary economic thinker. He, and a strong woman with him, will implement the plan continent-wide. They will unite. This is the potential and this is the plan. Africa will arise out the ashes of centuries of disease and despair and create a viable economic force with workers who can create good products for the day. You think China is economically strong? China must do what it does, hobbled by the secrecy and bias of the old ways of its own history. As large as it is, it will have to eventually compete with Africa, a land of free thinkers and fast change. China will have a major competitor, one that doesn't have any cultural barriers to the advancement of the free Human spirit.. ...."

Indonesia, PNG Agree To Strengthen Cooperation In Various Fields

Jakarta Globe,, Apr 21, 2015

AACC2015, Jakarta – Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) have agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in the economic fields.

The two countries are also committed to addressing trans-national crime, as stated by Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Sunday (19/4).

“The Governments of Indonesia and PNG have discussed cooperation in various fields, such as economic field and cultural field ,” Ms. Marsudi said after a bilateral meeting between the two countries.

According to Ms. Marsudi, following up of the talks, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries has been signed.

She also said that the Indonesian government has also invited the PNG government to be present in a meeting in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), in October 2015, as a follow-up to their cooperation in the cultural field.

“We also agreed to establish a joint commission in various fields, such as in economic field, to boost investment,” she added.

Meanwhile, PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato said that during the talk, they did not discuss issues on both countries’ border in specific.

According to him, the issues have been discussed in their previous meeting.

The Minister also stated the two countries have had close cooperation ties in various fields such as in economc field.

“We have discussed a number of issues, including measures on addressing international crime and connectivity in the Pacific region,” he said.

Mr. Pato added that the PNG government also put their focus on cooperation in the field of institutional strengthening.

“We hope President Joko Widodo could pay a visit in PNG in October 2015,” he concluded. 

(Editor: Gusti Andry, M. Ersan Pamungkas Translator: Penny Patmawati)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

109 Asian African Countries Flags Hoisted In Bandung

Jakarta Globe,, Apr 21, 2015

AACC2015, Bandung – 109 flags from Asian and African countries and the
 flag of the United Nations (UN) were hoisted on Wednesday (4/15) at the
 Asian-African Conference Museum—Merdeka building at Jalan Asia Afrika
No. 65, Bandung.

The raising of the flags marked the beginning of the series of events of the Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Asian-African Conference (AACC) in Bandung. The flags will fly for two weeks on April 15-30, 2015.

The 109 participating countries flags and the UN flag were hoisted by around 350 Bandung boy and girl scouts in a flag raising ceremony for the AACC at Merdeka Building or also known as Asian-African Museum in Bandung.

The flags raising ceremony was attended by the representatives from the Asian-African Conference Museum and a number of Bandung community figures, and led by the Leader of Bandung Scouts Deddy Darmawan.

In his brief remarks, Mr. Darmawan hoped that the young generation, especially the scout members, could take the positive lesson from the flag hoisting ceremony. “When a flag is unfolded, it means that a state’s sovereignty is raised. As scout members hoisting the flags, you shall take positive values from this historic event; that is freedom and human rights. Therefore, cultivate AAC values ​​in your attitudes and behavior in your everyday lives,” he said.

Head of the Asian-African Museum Thomas Siregar explained that in 2005—at the Golden Jubilee of the Asian-African Conference—107 flags were raised at Gedung Merdeka. “It consisted of 106 Asian and African countries flags and one UN flag. But now, there are 110 flags. Therefore, there are three additional flags of Asian and African countries, in addition to the UN flag,” he explained.

The flag raising ceremony was enliven by a marching band performance from the students of SMKN 6 Bandung vocational high school and speech musicalization performance that featured President Sukarno speech footage at the inauguration of 1955 Asian-African Conference entitled “Let a New Asia and a New Africa be Born” by Adew Habsta and his company. The speech was considered relevant to the current state because it contained inspiring messages. (Source: Asian-African Conference Museum, Translator: Penni Patmawati, Editor: Gusti Andry, Filmon Warouw)

Dutch agree new tax deal with Malawi, aim to stop tax avoidance, April 20, 2015

Photo: Dutch foreign ministry
The Netherlands is hoping to stop multinationals using agreements with the Dutch tax office to avoid paying tax in developing countries by signing 23 new treaties with African states, the Volkskrant says on Monday.

The treaties will allow African countries to make claims against companies which try to shift profits via the Netherlands for tax purposes or which only have a letterbox company in the country. 

The first treaty was signed with Malawi on Sunday. ‘It is extremely important that the initiative remains with the developing country,’ aid minister Lilianne Ploumen is quoted as saying. 

Malawi tore up a tax treaty with the Netherlands in 2013 because it was being used to avoid taxation, the Volkskrant says. 

Ploumen said the Dutch government does not recognise claims that the Netherlands is a tax haven but said the country was well-placed to take concrete steps in the absence of a global approach.

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