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

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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

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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. …

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Face of Local Tourism Speaks Out

Jakarta Globe, Armando Siahaan, January 29, 2010

Andara Rainy, Indonesia's newest tourism ambassador. (JG Photos/ Afriadi Hikmal)

It’s as if Andara Rainy was destined to be Putri Pariwisata, or Miss Tourism. The 22-year-old was exposed to travel at a young age, frequently flying between Yogyakarta and Padang, which her parents call home. She makes sure she regularly reads articles and stories about tourism. And in October, she earned her degree in urban and regional planning, specializing in tourism, at Bandung Institute of Technology.

In 2007, Andara was crowned Miss Jakarta at the Abang None beauty pageant, a Miss Tourism competition on the provincial level.

But her big break came last November when she took part in the Miss Tourism pageant, jointly held by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and tourism company El John. There, Andara beat out 37 contestants from 33 provinces.

She went on to represent the country at the Miss Tourism International 2009 event in December, in Malaysia, where she was up against 47 other participants. She finished in the top 10, bagged the Miss Friendship award and placed runner-up in the Miss Popularity category.

The Jakarta Globe got a chance to talk to Andara at her apartment in Pertama Hijau, South Jakarta, where she spoke about the responsibilities of being an ambassador of tourism and the perks that go with the job.

What is a Putri Pariwisata?

Being Putri Pariwisata is being the ambassador for Indonesian tourism. It’s a competition where the participants are not just pretty, but they also need to promote Indonesian tourism.

There are three main criteria: We have to have be smart, charming and hospitable. What makes this competition different from others is we have to know the different tourism sites in Indonesia.

Indonesians are known for their hospitality, so we have to be hospitable toward each other and society, not just focusing on our ambition.

Now that you’ve won, what are your responsibilities as Miss Tourism?

I have to participate in most of the events held by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. I was already sent abroad twice, to Kunming, China, for the China International Travel Mart, and to Utrecht, the Netherlands, for the Vakantiebeurs Tourism Fair. I served at the information center for those who wanted to know all about Indonesia.

A lot of cities, districts and provinces in Indonesia are competing to promote their culture. Many local government heads ask me to help them promote their areas, so when I travel abroad, I can mention them.

Why did you decide to take part in a beauty pageant?

Before I was named Miss Tourism, I went to college and earned a degree in urban and regional planning, specializing in tourism. In 2007, I won Miss Jakarta.

I feel like I fit in the tourism industry. I like to travel, I like to visit museums and I enjoy cultural activities. Maybe it’s in my Padang blood. I like to sell, talk and tell about the places that I’ve been.

What are some of the perks of being Putri Pariwisata?

I have an official apartment for a year, an official car, a scholarship at the London School of Public Relations and free makeup, among other privileges.

But being Putri Pariwisata is more than enjoying these perks. I like to travel, and I love Indonesian tourism. Before, I used to only read about some of these places in books or hear about them in the news. But now I can actually go to these places — and for free. I gain knowledge and I get a chance to see new places, and at the same time I’m able to carry out my duties.

What do you think are some of the main problems concerning Indonesian tourism?

The main problems lie in accommodation, inadequate infrastructure and human resources. If we fail to address them, the tourism industry will not improve.

Another thing is a lot of foreigners, based on my recent overseas trips, are worried about natural disasters regularly occurring in our country. Initially, I thought to myself, it was understandable to feel that way.

That’s where my role as an ambassador of Indonesian tourism comes in. We need to explain to people that natural disasters are geographical conditions that naturally occur in our country, and that we have sufficient natural disaster mitigation procedures. Or specifically, that we have efficient steps for evacuation when disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis happen.

We tell them how government agencies respond quickly to these disasters, and that the public is ready to extend a helping hand in the aftermath of such events.

If, for example, a businessman or a company wanted to invest money in the tourism industry, what would you recommend?

I might encourage them to invest in places like Bangka and Belitung, areas that are currently being promoted, like in the movie “Laskar Pelangi.” There are other islands in Indonesia, like Sumba or Maluku, which are as beautiful as Bali and have a very high tourism potential. I would tell them to consider investing their money in these places. And I wouldn’t recommend investing in Bali anymore, because that’s already been done.

From what I’ve learned, the need for accommodation in Indonesia never drops. It stagnates, maybe. But when there’s a disaster, the only segment of tourists that declines are the number of foreigners. The locals stay. So I’d ask these businessmen to build hotels or resorts.

What are your thoughts on Aceh’s Shariah law and its impact on the province’s tourism and the country in general?

Indonesia recognizes more than five religions. We need to respect each one of them. Aceh implemented that law, and the government cannot prohibit them from doing so. But in terms of tourism, we can say that not all of Indonesia follows Shariah law. My suggestion to the people of Aceh is they shouldn’t force other provinces to follow in their footsteps. We should respect local laws, as we do in other provinces.

In terms of Aceh tourism, maybe the Shariah law will affect the province. But then again, foreigners might want to know what this law is all about. So on one side, Shariah law might discourage tourists from seeing Aceh, but there will also be tourists who want to learn about the local society.

Australian tourists Katrina (L) and Natasha (C) have their photograph taken with local people in the front Grand Mosque as the fifth anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day earthquake and subsequent tsunami approaches on December 26, 2009 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Banda Aceh, the northwestern tip of Sumatra island ravaged by the Indian Ocean Tsunami five years ago, has bounced back, and is increasingly becoming a tourist destination. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

The image of Indonesia was tainted by the series of bombings that have taken place in the country. How do you convince prospective foreign tourists that Indonesia is a safe country?

When I went to Australia as Miss Jakarta, one person who was crying came up to me. He was angry because one of his relatives was killed during the Jakarta bombing [last year]. I told the person that terrorists in Indonesia make up only 0.0001 percent of the whole population. The rest of us, we hate terrorists. We’re at war against terrorists, because we believe that terrorists shouldn’t exist in Indonesia at all. A majority of Indonesians will still welcome [visiting foreigners] warmly, so they don’t have to be scared to come here.

If one day Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik called you and asked, ‘What is the single most important thing we need to do to improve our tourism?’ how would you respond?

I would say that it should start from the people, human resources. The problems we’ve had in the past, it’s all because the people are not united when it comes to promoting culture and tourism in Indonesia. Some Indonesians don’t even want foreigners to come to our country. If we can engage all Indonesians to agree that we want to promote tourism, I’m sure our country will be better.

Related Article:

Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

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