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

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
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, March 14, 2009

Here be dragons and dives

Discover rare flora and fauna, dramatic views and untouched waters, all within easy reach of Bali, says Ben Mondy

From The Times, UK, March 14, 2009

 In the clear: a fisherman in a dugout boat in the waters off Alor island, which also provide a world-class destination for deep-sea diving. (Wolfgang Poelzer/Axiom)

My first experience of the bounties of the rather obscure Nusa Tenggara came about ten years ago when I dragged myself away from the world-famous waves of Bali and travelled to the lesser-known island of Lombok. Ditching the surfboard, I headed to Indonesia’s third-highest peak, Mount Rinjani, an active volcano located about three hours’ drive from the island’s capital, Mataram. 

On offer was a fairly rigorous, three-day/two-night guided trek, leaving from the village of Senaru, gateway to the huge Mount Rinjani National Park. A 3am start on the second morning brought me tired and elated to the summit for a dramatic sunrise. It was at this point, 3,762 metres (12,340 ft) above the newly lit Indian Ocean, with the whole Nusa Tenggara stretched and dotted below me as far as the eye could see, that I had the first inkling of what this part of the world could offer. 

Following that revelation, there was a two-hour descent to Segara Anak, the crater lake of Mount Rinjani. At 2,500 metres above sea level, the breathtakingly beautiful lake is is an important ceremonial site, utilised for various rituals by both the local Wetu Telu Islamic people and by nearby Hindu communities. 

And all this within reach — heck, within sight — of Bali, a favourite tourist paradise since the early 1970s. Nusa Tengarra refers to an area containing the 550 or so islands that lie to the east of Bali, stretching from the lush, mountainous Lombok all the way to the desert-like Timor. Smack bang in the middle and bisecting the island chain is what is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, the 19th century naturalist. 

His studies in this area in the 1850s led him to devise a dividing line that marked the transition between the flora and fauna of western and eastern Indonesia. We could go into the huge significance of this imaginary evolutionary halfway line, but for the visitor it is sufficient to know that this huge range of unique flora and fauna is what makes Nusa Tenggara such a fascinating place to visit. 

Elsewhere in Lombok, in the far south, Kuta’s great waves, stunning bays and hotels attract a steady stream of visitors, many coming for the annual ritual of the Bau Nyale, held on the second full moon of the year. And if you cannot celebrate a sea worm’s annual reproduction cycle, what can you celebrate? For more standard tourist fare, the coral reefs, white sandy beaches and beach bars of the Gili Islands, just off Lombok’s northwest coast, offer a variety of accommodation and excellent diving. 

Moving east from Lombok, Nusa Tenggara is dominated by its largest island of Sumbawa. This is drier than Lombok and its southern coastal flank, with dramatic cliffs and wild oceans, and is a favourite for thrill-seeking surfers. Sumbawa’s biggest tourist attractions, however, lie with its offshore islands on the northern, more sheltered side. 

Perhaps the most well known of these is Komodo, made famous by its Komodo dragons. While not known to breathe fire, the dragons are in fact giant monitor lizards that can grew up to four metres long. These reptilian throwbacks are considered to be the only examples of their kind left in the world and have been gorging on Komodo’s rare bird species, deer and wild pigs, not to mention each other, for half a million years. 

The whole island is a designated national park and offers only rudimentary accommodation, meaning most visitors are day trippers from nearby Sumbawa or Flores. While you will often see the dragons close to the accommodation huts (mostly dozing under a tree if my experience is anything to go by), a guided tour to see them in the wild is the key to a) seeing their primitive table manners and b) not getting devoured by an animal who can date his family tree back to the Triassic age. 

From Komodo it is a short boat trip to Flores, an untouched, volcano-strewn island that straddles the Wallace Line and provides one of the world’s most dynamic marine environments, in addition to being a famous “biodiversity hotspot”. 

With infrastructure pretty crude on most of the island, the best bet is to stay in the town of Maumere. Using this as a base, you can take advantage of the great diving and snorkelling nearby. (It was in Maumere harbour that the marine photographer Rudie Kuiter catalogued more than 1,200 species of fish, including some new to science, in 2005.) In addition there are the picturesque, coloured, cratered lakes of Keli Mutu, about half a day’s drive away. 

Crossing Wallace’s marker and into East Nusa Tenggara, the island of Sumba does not offer much for anyone except the most intrepid of explorers or those willing to make a little effort to see an authentic, ancient culture with none of the layers of Hinduism or Islam found elsewhere in Indonesia. 

“I stumbled upon this place in 1979 and have been here ever since,” Claude Graves, the American owner of the Nihiwatu Resort on the south of the island, told me on my last visit over a plate of just-caught swordfish, a cold beer and a sun setting over the surf. “I recognised a true paradise and have done everything in my power to protect the natural beauty and cultural heritage.” 

Sumba, which was once known as Sandalwood Island after its most valuable commodity, can be reached by sea, including ferries from nearby islands, and air (the only airport is situated at Waingapu on the northeast of the island). Among its offerings there is access to mind-boggling fishing and diving, some world-class surf breaks, and a glimpse into the past through tours of ancient tribal villages. 

In fact, this place may just sum up the experience of travelling through Nusa Tenggara. It is a unique mix of natural beauty and incredible culture which, for the most part, is untouched by the ravages of tourism. I’ve been there many times and only scratched the surface, but as old Wallace discovered, this is a unique part of the world that demands close inspection. 

Deep-sea dream 

  • Located between the Flores and Savu Seas, in East Nusa Tenggara, Alor island sits in the Pantar Strait, a world-class destination for deep-sea diving. 

  • Unlike many other parts of Indonesia, the Pantar Strait has avoided the ravages of cyanide and blast fishing. Instead the locals still practise traditional fishing methods, so the unique and incredibly diverse species of fish and coral remain both virgin and accessible. 

  • Perhaps the best-known site is “Kal's Dream”, an underwater mountain named after Kal Muller, a famous Hungarian-born ethnologist who studied the tribes in West Papua, Indonesia. Muller was an experienced diver who called the area his dream site. 

  • The marine life here includes two-metre long dogtooth tuna, eagle rays, silvertip sharks, grey reef sharks, barracudas and Napoleon wrasse. 

  • While this site may be for expert divers, beginner sites exist that offer perfectly vertical coral walls dropping to 50 or 60 metres with more than 30 metres of visibility (most common during the best months of May till November) and the area is an ideal place for snorkelling.

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