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

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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)

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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. …

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jakarta Musicians Marching to the Drumbeat

Jakarta Globe, Lisa Siregar

Top, Pele, left, and Mumu, right, of Payon Percussion. The band members play a combination of djembe, timbales and dun-dun drums. (JG Photos/Lisa Siregar)

Nine men gathered on a Monday night in a circular amphitheater in the middle of Payon, a fine-dining Indonesian restaurant in Kemang, South Jakarta.

While customers were busy ordering and enjoying their meals, the eight drummers and their teacher went about their weekly drum practice.The pounding of the percussion instruments became the background music to the guests’ meals. As the drums rolled and eased into a rhythm, diners seemed to fall into line and their conversations picked up the same pace.

The drummers then broke into a playful traditional Indonesian children’s song, “Hom-pim-pa” — often used to determine who goes first in playground games — singing in a fast rap style.

The nonsensical, humorous lyrics — “a horse runs and bumps into an ox, he walks in a totter and then gets caught at Menteng park” — rhyme perfectly in Indonesian.

The song was recited rapidly and rhythmically in between drum rolls and slamming beats.

It’s hard to imagine, but just over three years ago, many of the band’s eight members had never even picked up an instrument. Most of them came from disadvantaged backgrounds and had no previous musical training.

The band was conceived by Payon’s owners, Salima Hakim, 31, and her mother. They wanted to use the restaurant space for some sort of socially useful activity, so they gathered young men, between the ages of 18 and 26, and gave them the opportunity to learn music.

The band’s performance these days is smooth and assured — they know their instruments and have bonded as a musical team. The group is also beginning to be recognized and has been invited to play in local music festivals.

But every Monday, the group still gathers at the restaurant to practice, providing an informal show for diners. On other occasions, the members put on full performances at the establishment, from which they take their name, Payon Percussion.

The group plays a mixture of djembe , timbales , dun-dun and other drums. Timbales are paired drums, commonly used in Latin America; djembe are goblet-shaped hand drums, originating from West Africa; and dun-dun are large bass drums, also from West Africa.

When the owners first decided to use the space at the restaurant for a social cause, they discussed the idea with a family friend, Innisisri, a legendary percussionist and the drummer for a local pop group, Kantata Takwa.

With his help, they decided to invite young people from community centers around Jakarta to come to Payon for a lesson with Innisisri once a week. Innisisri died a year ago and the teaching has been taken over by Zinner, a musician from Bandung.

Salima heard about Sanggar Ciliwung, a community center for street children in East Jakarta, and invited young people from there to take part in the sessions. As the practices went on, they added members from other communities for street children and Payon Percussion was born.

“In the beginning, they were very, very shy,” Salima said. She acts as the group’s manager, or as she says, their “babysitter,” as she recalls the difficulty of handling the group whenever they practice or travel. “It took them a year until they could finally relax around me and tease me a little bit.”

Payon Percussion performs ethnic music using traditional instruments, adding a few modern elements like the rap-style of singing.

“Seventy percent of the arrangements are done by our teacher, and he usually leaves it to us to create the lyrics,” said Pele, 22, one of the djembe players.

They usually sing their own versions of children’s songs, such as “Hom-pim-pa” or “Ular Naga Panjangnya” (“The Dragon Snake Is so Long”), a song used in a traditional children’s game similar to London Bridge. They also sing some traditional Indonesian songs, such as Sumatra’s “Sinanggar Tulo” or the Sundanese “Cing Cakeling.”

“Basically, anything that will be familiar to most Indonesians,” Salima said.

Even though they only meet for practice once a week, they also get together on another day of the week for a bonding and discussion session, to talk about their music and what’s going on in their lives.

In their performances, they bring to mind the lively spirit of a tribal musical act through their rhythm, the exchange of howling shouts and dancing.

The band at one point had 13 members, but some had to quit because of school or jobs. For those who have chosen to stay, the group represents their hope for a better future.

Mumu, 26, another of the group’s djembe players, said he used to be a street musician. He said he had never been able to afford music lessons before joining Payon Percussion, and taught himself how to play drums while volunteering at the Jakarta Center for Street Children. Since that organization closed, he has volunteered with a youth organization in Taruna village, Cibubur, South Jakarta.

“Payon Percussion gave me the chance to learn from the best musicians,” Mumu said. Since joining the band, Mumu has had opportunities to perform as a guest musician at a number of cafes in the city. Now, he also teaches music after-hours at Labschool Jakarta.

“Before I joined Payon Percussion, I never thought I could earn money from music,” he said.

Beyond music, band members are also taught discipline. “We are taught a lot of important values, like being humble, not doing drugs, staying sober before performing and not to litter,” said Sabar, 25, a freelance graphic designer and videographer, with an interest in music, particularly blues and folk/country.

Salima said she was shocked by the men’s behavior at their first practice session at the restaurant.

“There were cigarette butts everywhere,” Salima said. “In the end, I told them that I would charge them Rp 500 [5 cents] for every butt I found, because I know who smokes what.”

Sabar said the discipline has paid off. “I think we are prepared to be good musicians — it is not only about skills, but also about attitude.”

Pele said he liked the opportunity to travel and see new places with the band. He has been invited to perform with the band at the water festival in Salatiga, Central Java, and at another festival in Bali. “I dream that the group will perform overseas someday,” Pele said.

He added that he was happy about the chance to study with Zinner who is known for his skills on the Sundanese drum.

The group is in the process of recording a demo to send to record companies. Salima said she thought “her boys” had mastered the basic skills, shown their style in performing together and were ready for the next level.

“People have told us that we can be a music group at any level,” Pele said. “This is why all of us have the same dream to perform overseas.”

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