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. …

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Indonesians Seek Words to Attract China’s Favor

High school students in Lamongan, Indonesia follow their teacher, Achmad Tontowi, as they learn Mandarin Chinese, which is taught at all schools in the region. (Ed Wray for The New York Times)

LAMONGAN, Indonesia — When the regent of this coastal rice-growing region on the island of Java first toured China as part of an official delegation, his eyes went wide. Here was the future, he thought: skyscrapers and humming factories and grand highways.

Now, the regent, Masfuk, has begun trying to move his Indonesian region toward that future: he has mandated that all the schools in Lamongan, population 1.5 million, teach Mandarin Chinese to prepare the youth for doing business with China.

In classrooms here, girls in white head scarves and boys in button-down shirts are haltingly reciting from Chinese textbooks and scrawling characters on blackboards. The local government has held Mandarin speech contests the past two years.

“It’s like watching kung-fu movies,” Mr. Masfuk said of the wonder of hearing students speaking Mandarin during the contests. Like many Indonesians, he uses just one name.

The policy goes against decades of anti-Chinese hostility in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. But things are changing, and the Chinese government is now sending hundreds of teachers to Indonesia, including one who has taught in Lamongan.

As China’s economic power grows, the study of Mandarin is surging around the world. Its rise in Indonesia may be one of the most telling examples of how China’s influence is overflowing even the steepest of barriers.

Leaders here accused China of supporting a failed Communist coup in 1965, and President Suharto banned the teaching of Chinese and all expressions of Chinese culture during his authoritarian rule, from 1967 to 1998. One Javanese man who now teaches Chinese in Lamongan had to study the language secretly in a church group in 1997.

Mr. Suharto’s policies contributed to tensions between various Indonesian ethnic groups and Chinese Indonesians, who make up less than 4 percent of the population but are a powerful presence in the economy. In 1998, populist rioting over economic grievances led to the killings of about 1,000 Chinese.

The riots resulted in Mr. Suharto’s resignation, and the ban on Chinese culture was lifted. The teaching of the language has gained momentum in recent years. One example: the State University of Surabaya, in Indonesia’s second largest city, will start offering Mandarin this year.

Many Indonesian students of Mandarin are ethnic Chinese eager to reconnect with their culture. But there are also students of other ethnicities, like those in Lamongan, who want to capitalize on growing economic ties between Indonesia and China. The two countries did $28.4 billion of trade in 2009, and a free trade zone that took effect this year between China and Southeast Asian countries has already led to a huge trade surge, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

“I think Chinese is important for me to learn because I’ve heard of the free trade between China and Indonesia,” said a student in Lamongan, Andresya Bargiyyatul, 16. “So I think there must be Chinese businesspeople coming to Indonesia, and I want to communicate with them.”

That attitude is exactly what China has been seeking to cultivate by aggressively supporting the expansion of Mandarin programs here and in many other countries. President Hu Jintao has publicly called for China to exercise greater global influence through the spread of culture and diplomacy, or “soft power.” The Ministry of Education is one instrument in that campaign — last year, it sent 4,800 teachers to about 110 countries.

Last December, the Chinese Ministry of Education opened a Confucius Institute to teach Chinese in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. The ministry operates 554 Confucius programs — what it calls institutes and classrooms — in 90 countries and regions. The United States has the most, with 68.

The ministry sent about 380 teachers to Indonesia between 2004 and 2009, most on three-year contracts. But perhaps because of the recent anti-Chinese history, China prefers to play down any soft-power influence. In Jakarta, the Confucius Institute has done little to advertise itself, and it refused to grant this reporter an interview.

Among Indonesian officials, attitudes toward China’s growth are complicated. Indonesia has had a trade deficit with China in recent years, and some officials fear China’s colossal economic might. Then there are optimists like Mr. Masfuk.

“I’m looking at trade and investment between Lamongan and China, which has fantastic prospects for the future,” said Mr. Masfuk, grinning broadly in his office.

Mr. Masfuk began mandating the teaching of Chinese in 2007, two years after his trip to China. The policy has become much more entrenched this school year, which began in July. Education officials here say about half of the hundreds of elementary, junior high and senior high schools in Lamongan now offer at least an extracurricular Chinese class. Many of the 148 junior and senior high schools, both public and private, have mandatory classes. The main limitation on the policy is a lack of qualified teachers and Chinese textbooks, school officials say.

The policy has won Mr. Masfuk some national fame — he was interviewed by a popular Indonesian news network and has spoken to the minister of education.

“It’s a brave policy,” said Mu’ad, a local education department official. “No other regency has this policy. It’s a first for Indonesia.”

“We hope 5 to 10 years from now, there will be working-age students who will be able to speak Chinese,” he added. “If Chinese businesspeople or investors come to Lamongan, we hope our students will be able to explain Lamongan to them.”

Lamongan’s economy grew 5.8 percent last year. Lamongan is one of the top sources of rice, fish, corn, tobacco and soybeans in East Java. Some of those products could be exported to China, officials here say, and Lamongan could build factories for Chinese companies.

“Ever since we put in place this policy, there are more investors from China coming here to talk to me,” Mr. Masfuk said. He declined to give more details.

At Negeri 2, a senior high school with more than 1,000 students, Chinese became mandatory for all three grades starting this school year. On a recent morning, 30 students dressed in uniforms repeated after a teacher as he recited a phrase in Mandarin: “Every day, Monday through Friday, I attend school.”

The teacher, Achmad Tontowi, has a good command of grammar and written Chinese but struggles with pronunciation. He moved here three years ago, when Mr. Masfuk first put out a call for Chinese teachers. Mr. Tontowi began studying Chinese in 1997 after learning Japanese in college. The teaching of Chinese was still banned then, and Mr. Tontowi took part in secret classes at a church in Surabaya whose congregation was mostly ethnic Chinese.

“There were about 30 to 40 students,” he said. “Only four were ethnic Javanese; the rest were second- or third-generation Chinese.”

One sign of how far the Indonesian government has come is its willingness to post mainland Chinese teachers across Indonesia. Officials in Lamongan asked the central government in Jakarta to send native speakers, and in November 2008 Wang Kairui arrived from China. He stayed for eight months before moving on to Aceh Province, and he has a continuing three-year contract with the Chinese Ministry of Education to teach in Indonesia.

“I think this is a really great decree,” Mr. Wang, 29, said of Mr. Masfuk’s policy in a telephone interview. “But they definitely have some difficulties ahead of them. They just don’t have enough teachers. They don’t have enough textbooks. These are all problems. It really depends on how serious they are.”

Sarah Sayekti contributed reporting from Lamongan, and Xiyun Yang from Beijing.

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