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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

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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)

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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. …

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

America Honors Indonesian Filmmaker

Jakarta Globe, Sylviana Hamdani | September 15, 2010

From left: Juan Pablo Patinoo Arevalo of Colombia, Yared Shumete of Ethiopia, Adhyatmika of Indonesia, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Farbod Khoshtinat of Iran, Anup Poudel of Nepal, Joel Marsden of Spain and US official Judith McHale. (Photo courtesy of the US Embassy Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs)

Last week, Hillary Rodham Clinton, US secretary of state, met with the winners of the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge at the Treaty Room of the White House in Washington.

“The videos we are honoring today capture essential truths about democracy across the world and respond to the deepest yearning of human beings to have a right to their own lives and their own dreams,” she told them.

“Democracy is about fair play. Democracy equalizes the voices of people. And democracy is a learning process.”

Adhyatmika, also known as Mika, was among those being honored. The 21-year-old independent filmmaker from Indonesia was one among six winners of the competition, which were announced early this month.

His film, “Democracy Is Yet to Learn,” edged out more than 700 submissions from 86 countries and earned him an all-expenses trip to the United States, where he is promoting his film.

“I made this video in January, when the House’s special committee investigating the Bank Century bailout scandal was in full swing,” Mika told the Jakarta Globe before leaving for the United States last week.

“This video represents the mixed feelings I had while watching Indonesia’s democracy process at work on TV.”

The Democracy Video Challenge is global short-film competition held by the US State Department. Criteria for submission include that the films be under three minutes and that they somehow complete the phrase “Democracy is …”

Participants were asked to upload their submissions on YouTube.

Three videos from each country were then nominated to the semifinal pool, and an independent panel of judges comprised of film experts and various leaders from democracy and youth organizations settled on three finalists each from the world’s six geographic regions.

These regions, as defined by the State Department, are the Western Hemisphere, East Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Near East and South and Central Asia.

The videos of these 18 finalists were posted on the contest Web site for general voting. In the last round, Mika garnered 7,000 online votes. Linus Chung from Malaysia got 2,000 votes and Lam Nu Lien Minh from Singapore took 1,000.

Mika and other winners from Iran, Spain, Colombia, Nepal and Ethiopia were invited to attend a series of screenings in Washington, New York and Los Angeles.

Their films will also be screened at the Motion Picture Association of America headquarters in Washington and the Director’s Guild of America in Los Angeles at the end of this month.

The finalists will also be making an appearance on the popular “The Today Show” on NBC.

“I’m a bit anxious,” Mika said. “But I think it’s an opportunity for me to promote our country. Indonesia should not be known as a terrorist haven or a corrupt country, but as a country that produces internationally renowned movies and arts.”

Mika’s submission strived to portray his idea of democracy in Indonesia using humor to deliver its message across.

The film starts with a teacher standing in front of the classroom writing “Democracy is …” on the whiteboard. People in outfits corresponding to their professions are introduced using subtitles.

The activist is busy thinking yet is doing nothing to answer the question. The lawmaker launches into a speech. The businessman silences him by covering his mouth with a rupiah note.

The farmer gets up to answer the question, but is wrestled down by the policeman next to him. The others seem to be lost in their own thoughts and activities.

The short film then shows a student standing up to answer the question. The student labeled buyung — literally translated as youngster — purposefully walks to the whiteboard as the others look on.

His hands start shaking while he holds up the marker up to fill in the blank.

Before he is able to do so, the bell suddenly rings and the screen goes black. Then, the words “Democracy is yet to learn,” appear on screen.

The question about the nature of democracy remains intentionally unanswered as the buyong drops the marker and the film credits roll while the song “Lagu Sedih” (“Sad Song”) by Balinese band Dialog Dini Hari plays in the background.

“The kid portrays what I think of our government today,” Mika said.

“He appears to be big in size, yet inside, he’s pretty much a child and fails to answer the question posed to him. In a similar way, Indonesia has been independent for 65 years, yet in many ways, our government is pretty much an infant in terms of democracy.”

Mika, the eldest son of book publisher Pandu Ganesa and Kusuma Ernayani, has aspired to be a filmmaker since he was in high school.

“At the time, I was sickly and missed school very often,” Mika said.

“I had nothing to do but to watch films. That was when I learned that movies, aside from being entertaining, can also be a means of sharing dreams and ideas irregardless of age, race or nationality.”

It was then that Mika decided to study filmmaking as an extracurricular activity at his high school, SMA Pembangunan Jaya in Tangerang.

One of his earliest projects was a short film he shot at the pre-departure lounge of the Soekarno-Hatta Airport. “At that time, I was only 16,” he said. “It took a lot of effort to get all the permits needed to shoot the film. But I did it.”

As Mika’s confidence grew, so did his conviction to become a professional filmmaker.

After high school, he took an undergraduate course at the LASALLE College of the Arts’ Puttnam School of Film in Singapore.

When he returned to Jakarta last year after completing his studies, Mika learned about the movie competition from the US Embassy’s Facebook page.

“I thought it was quite a challenge,” he said. “The theme of the competition being ‘Democracy is …’ Personally, democracy can never be described in words. That’s why in my movie, I portray it as a process that has yet to be fully learned in Indonesia.

“It only took me two or three days to write the story,” he said. “The most difficult part was casting all the stereotypes of each profession depicted in the movie.”

According to Mika, this stereotypical casting was necessary to effectively deliver his message.

“Most Indonesians are obstinate and will choose to remain ignorant if they believe that we’re trying to teach them something,” Mika said. “Therefore, if we go about it too seriously, the learning process will never happen.”

For this reason, Mika chose comedic caricatures for his film. The teacher is portrayed as a middle-aged woman with oversized glasses and limp bangs matted on her forehead, the policeman is a mean-looking stout man and the farmer is a skinny man with an innocent face.

“They’re all friends of friends who agreed to act in the film free of charge,” he said.

With his limited budget, Mika had to pull his resources together to get the film made. A junior high school near his house agreed to lend him one of their classrooms for the one-day shoot.

“Luckily, everything went well,” he said. “It was quite a sunny day so I didn’t need to use any special lighting to shoot the movie.”

Mika used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, a digital single-lens reflex camera, to shoot the video. “Many people thought I had used a lot of special equipment to make the film,” he said.

“It’s actually quite low tech. I just used some old tricks and played with my lenses to create different effects.”

It was Mika’s playfulness, resourcefulness and creativity that helped him get his strong message across to the audience.

“I’ve watched the video hundreds of times, yet I still laugh every time I see it,” said Arend Zwartjes, an assistant US cultural attache in Indonesia.

“I like this film the most because it’s funny and it’s what we call dark humor in English. Mika was able to deal with the serious nature of the assignment in a way that makes us laugh.”

“One of the reasons this competition was created was to create a dialogue,” Zwartjes said. “We do not want to control what people say about democracy, we just want to hear it. We’re trying to support democracy without forcing it on anyone.”

According to Mika, the young generation holds the key to the success of democracy in Indonesia.

“Buyung, the youngster portrayed in the film, has dual symbolism,” he said. “On one side, he symbolizes the government that appears to be grown up, and yet fails to answer the question.

On the other hand, the kid also symbolizes the youth of this country rising to the challenge.

“I don’t believe in a utopia, the idea that everything will become perfect in this world,” he added. “But, the government is more open and relaxed now. It’s up to us to steer and direct the process of democracy in our country.”

The 2011 Democracy Video Challenge Competition begins in October.

For more information about the competition, log on to

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