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. …

Monday, April 30, 2007

Archeological Building Structure Found in Blitar

Monday, 30 April, 2007 | 16:21 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Blitar: Archeologists from the Ancient Heritage Conservation Section (BP3) of Trowulan, Mojokerto, found the structure of an archeological building in Ngemplak Hamlet, Bagelenan Village, Srengat District, Blitar Regency, East Java, today (30/4).

They said they presumed that the structure was a part of batur, a square structure in which statues of Hindu gods were placed.

The seven archeologists have been digging on a piece of land 64 square meters in size since April 25.

After four days, they found fragments of the roof of a building made out of clay.

In a square that they dug up, they also found a wall structure made of brick.

What makes this discovery unique is that the size of the bricks is bigger compared to the bricks used in other archeological buildings in Blitar.

The archeologists who were still digging have not yet confirmed the date of the structure.

However, comparing its similarities with Jobong Baru, another site in Ngemplak, it is estimated that the structure is from 1100 AD.

The digging took place in backyard of a hamlet resident named Kasiyan.

Danang Wahyu Utomo, an archeologist who is digging there, said that in 2006, the 60 year old man found three sculpture fragments--one from a head and two from feet--in his backyard.

Kasiyan found the fragments a depth of five meters.

After digging deeper, he found many flat fragments such as roof tiles and hundreds of bricks.

Kasiyan then reported this to state officials who informed BP3 office which is now carrying out the digging.

“The findings were preliminary data on which we based our archeological digging. The fact is that after digging for four days, we also found roof ornament fragments and roof fragments,” said Danang.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Foreign tourist arrivals in first quarter 2007 up 12 pct

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia during the first quarter in 2007 reached 989,492 or up by 12.65 percent compared to that in the same period last year, an official said.

Of the overall first-quarter figure, 363,686 were tourist arrivals in Bali which thereby recorded the highest figure of foreign tourist arrivals for the past 10 years, Thamrin B Bahri, marketing affairs director general at the Culture and Tourism Ministry, said here Friday.

Giving a month-by-month breakdown of the overaall quarterly figure, Thamrin said the figure in January alone reached 317,648 or up by 6.94 percent from last year, in February 322,289 or up by 21.00 percent and in March 349,555 or up by 10.98 percent.

"Considering the increases in the number of tourist arrivals in the first quarter, we are confident the target of six million tourist arrivals in 2007 will be achieved," Thamrin said.

Thamrin said his ministry had recently opened five tourism promotion offices abroad in the form of "branded offices", meaning that promotion activities are handled by professional, private foreign marketing agents.

Thereby it was no longer necessary for the ministry to set up National Tourism Offices manned by its own officers abroad due to the limited amount of the available budget funds. The ministry could now suffice by hiring foreign private marketing agents to do the promotions.

"It is expected that Indonesia this year will have 12 overseas tourist promotion offices," the official said, adding that previously the ministry had established seven overseas tourist promotion offices, namely in Japan, China, Australia, Germany and India, all in the form of "branded offices".

The ministry was also exploring the possibility of opening tourist promotion branded offices in Malaysia and Singapore.

Thamrin said the amount of funds that used to be needed to maintain national tourism offices abroad was Rp27 billion per year among others for renting office buildings, salaries and promotion materials.

But maintaining the overseas tourism branded offices now only required Rp4-5 billion per year, he said.

Spring-fed Owabong offers unique water tourism

Agus Maryono, The Jakarta Post, Purbalingga, C. Java

Owabong, an acronymic name for "Bojongsari water tourism object" in Bahasa Indonesia, is indeed a unique tourist site. True to its name, Owabong offers entertainment all connected with water, and is a suitable place for water lovers.

The recreation center located in Bojongsari village of Purbalingga regency, Central Java, offers a variety of aquatic games and entertainment, including a swimming pool, a water slide and a miniature river.

The tourism destination, which cost as much as Rp 13 billion in its construction, is special because it is the only one of its kind to be found in the province.

Further, Owabong is popular among tourists because it makes use of the pristine natural water that gushes from local springs.

Visitors can swim to their hearts' content at various depths. They can also go boating or simply sit idly while splashing water with their kids.

Opened in 2003 by then regent Triyono Budi Sasongko, Owabong is always full of tourists, especially domestic ones. About 90 percent of these tourists are from outside Purbalingga.

At Rp 12,000 per person over 5 years of age, the entrance tickets are beyond the reach of many local residents, and Owabong generally caters to well-heeled families. But the facility has its own attraction because despite its modern structure and design, it is located in a cool and airy rural area with boundless amounts of water.

On holidays and weekends, as well as over extended holidays such as school holidays and Idul Fitri, visitors form a queue to enter Owabong. During such periods, Owabong welcomes as many as 15,000 visitors daily.

"I often visit (Owabong) because it is a suitable tourist destination for the family. The facilities here are not located far from one another so it isn't be tiring for visitors... Besides, children like it here because it has all kinds of water games," said Suparmi, 45, from Purwokerto, who added that she had visited Owabong with her family about five times.

As for the ticket price, Suparmi said it was natural that this was expensive, because Owabong offered complete and excellent facilities.

Purbalingga resident Toto, 37, commented: "Well, the people around Owabong are poor. Although Owabong is an imposing water tourism site located in a village, most of the villagers can only watch from outside, as the ticket is too expensive for them."

Before it was turned into the tourist site it is today, Owabong used to be a public swimming pool that drew its water supply from a nearby spring. Local residents, particularly children, used to enjoy swimming in the clear and fresh water for a mere Rp 1,000.

"Today, they can no longer do so. Locals are now like children who cry when their toys are taken away. The tourist site is now monopolized by the well-off, and the poor locals are powerless to take it back," Toto said.

Tourism head Sugeng Priyanto of the Purbalingga culture and tourism office told The Jakarta Post that local residents had long known of the existence of the springs in Bojongsari.

"The springs were discovered during the Dutch colonial times. It used to be a bathing place for those Dutch who had happened to take local women as their wives," Sugeng said.

The bathing area, which occupied about 8 hectares of land, was later purchased by a foundation in Purbalingga and turned into a public swimming pool. The pool was unique, Sugeng said, because the water came from seven local springs and did not require any chemical treatment.

In 2003, the swimming pool was bought by the regental administration and turned into a tourism destination.

"The establishment of Owabong was prompted by a desire to increase local earnings in the present era of regional autonomy," Sugeng said.

He agreed that the entrance ticket was expensive, but added that the management of Owabong had been delegated to a third party. The tourism service, he said, could no longer interfere in its operation.

"We act only as a supervisor. At most, we can give the management some input and alert them when local residents give us unfavorable input," he said.

"We also do not know how much money Owabong generates. We get nothing from this income. The management deposits the money directly to the regional treasury," he added.

The Purbalingga administration, Sugeng said, had set a target of Rp 1 billion this year for Owabong.

"I'm sure this target can be reached," he said. "In 2006, the target of Rp 1.25 billion was reached and I believe the real income was far above this figure."

Meanwhile, Owabong manager Hartono told the Post that only a few Purbalingga residents visited the facility, perhaps because they had become bored of the place.

"I'm sure the ticket price is not the reason why so few of them come here. Perhaps locals are used to water so they don't see anything special about this site," Hartono said.

On Saturdays and Sundays, he said, Owabong saw an average of 3,500 tourists. "On other days, only about 500 to 700 people come here," he added.

There is usually a boom of between 10,000 and 13,000 tourists a day during extended holidays, and in just 10 months, Hartono said, Owabong was able to attain the revenue target set by the local administration.

"The remaining income is for the management and we will use it for renovation and for installing new facilities. We plan to add two new games or entertainment facilities every year," he said.

The management plans to introduce a new game this year, in which players must deal with the challenges of a tsunami.

Some of the recreational facilities that can be found at Owabong include a 13-meter-high water slide and an Olympic-size swimming pool, as well as water therapy and a wave pool, complete with kayaks and life vests. In addition, a go-cart circuit is provided for more earth-bound, automotive fans.

One facility to watch out for is a giant pail that dumps water on passersby every three minutes -- especially if they walk under it.

Owabong also offers fishing -- with bare hands -- as well as water see-saws, water-slide races, banana boats, water-cycles, a game pool and a sheltered rest area where visitors can sit or lie down to relax.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Forum launches book festival

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: In commemoration of World Book Day, non-profit organization Indonesia Reading Forum launched a three-day festival to celebrate the love of books on Thursday.

Organizers hope the event, supported by the Indonesian Literacy Institute and Library@Senayan, will be an opportunity for authors, publishers, distributors, community groups and the larger public to gather.

Held in building A of the National Education Ministry's headquarters in Jl. Sudirman, South Jakarta, the event will include a book fair, writing workshops and discussions.

"This year's theme is Books for Change. We hope that the event will encourage people, especially children, to explore the fun of reading and writing," festival organizer Elizabeth Swanti said Thursday.

Aside from introducing children to the joy of reading, festival organizers will also collect book donations from the public.

"Anyone who wants to donate their books can do so at the festival venue," Elizabeth said.

LIPI publishes book on Javanese biodiversity

JAKARTA (Antara): The National Institute of Sciences (LIPI) launched a book Thursday about bio-diversity on Java Island titled The Mountain Flora of Java.

Written by botanist CCGJ van Stennis, the original book was first published in 1972 in Leiden, the Netherlands. Stennis worked in Bogor Botanical Park between 1927 and 1949.

The biological head researcher at the institute, Dedy Darmaedi, said the book was very valuable for the development of botanical science in Indonesia.

"Stennis' interest in recording and reviewing Indonesia's flora, especially those found on Java mountains, had resulted in many valuable papers," Dedy was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

LIPI cooperates with the World Bank to publish the book after acquiring permission from the original publisher, E.J. Brill in Leiden. The book contains illustrations of 456 native Javanese flora species.

China offering scholarship worth Rp 4 trillion to Indonesian students

JAKARTA (Antara): Three state universities in China are offering scholarships and subsidies worth a total of Rp 4 trillion (US$430 million) to Indonesian students willing to pursue studies in that country, a local spokesman for the universities said.

The three universities are Jiangxi Normal University (JXNU), Anhui University (AHU) and Ningbo University (NBU). They will provide the scholarships through the Beijing Language and Culture Institute (BLCI) in Jakarta.

Chairman of BLCI's Mangga Dua branch, Samuel Wiyono, said Thursday the scholarships would reduce education costs for strata one (S1) students by up to 50 percent so that they could continue their studies abroad at costs within their financial capability.

"The total amount of the scholarships and subsidies reaches Rp 4 trillion," he said.

According to JXNU director Li Xing Liang, the scholarships and subsidies would be given in the form of free acccommodation in dormitories for five years for those studying Mandarin and pursuing S1 and S2 studies..

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hotel Sahid to build new hotel, offices and apartments

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Publicly listed star-rated hotel chain PT Hotel Sahid Jaya International Tbk. is set to expand its business by building a new hotel, and office and apartment buildings in Jakarta at a total cost of Rp 1.82 trillion (US$200 million) next year.

Finance director Muhammad Nurdin said Wednesday that the company would start the construction of the hotel and office towers, to be called the Sahid Perdana, early next year. The construction work was expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

To finance the hotel and office towers project, estimated to cost Rp 1.2 trillion, the company plans to launch a rights issue worth Rp 541 billion this year, he said.

"We will also list our company on the Singapore Stock Exchange due to the better prospects for property businesses there," Nurdin announced after the company's annual shareholders meeting.

He said the company was also likely to either issue bonds or seek loans to help finance the project.

"We haven't decided whether to raise the funds solely from the rights issue, or whether to issue bonds or take out loans," he said.

He added that the company would also use the proceeds from the sales of office and apartment units to fund the development.

He said that besides Sahid Perdana project, Sahid was also collaborating with property developer Pikko Group to build the Sahid Sudirman Residence complex with 675 apartments starting May.

As part of the Rp 560 billion development, Sahid would provide 6,700 square meters of land, while Pikko would be responsible for the physical construction of the building and infrastructure. Both companies have agreed to split their earnings, with Sahid getting 45 percent.

Muhammad said that Sahid would also renovate its flagship Sahid Jaya Hotel in Central Jakarta this year.

"We have applied for a Rp 150 billion loan from Bank Mega based on an annual interest rate of 15 percent and a maturity of six-and-a-half years," Nurdin said.

He explained that Rp 80 billion from the loan would be used for the renovation of the Sahid Jaya, and the remaining Rp 70 billion to repay its debts to Bank Mandiri.

The company expects a 9.1 percent increase in revenue this year to Rp 98.1 billion from Rp 89.9 billion last year, and a 17.03 percent decrease in operating costs to Rp 64.8 billion from Rp 78.2 billion previously.

Currently, it operates 17 hotels in Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi.

New park to bring major changes to Menteng

Anissa S. Febrina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

After having an almost defunct commercial building revamped into the shiny new Hotel Formule-1, Menteng's main thoroughfare Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto will soon welcome a new park.

Although it may not seem like much at first, a lot of changes are coming to the area.

A pair of glass monuments, which will also function as a greenhouse, stand tall behind the park's current construction fence, grabbing the attention of passers by.

Despite controversy surrounding its development, Menteng Park, which is being built on the former Persija football field, will be officially opened by Governor Sutiyoso this Saturday.

The Rp 32 billion park will offer a basketball court, a futsal field and a three-story parking building besides the elusive promise of real open green space.

A local neighborhood group had earlier objected to the plan to build the multi story parking facility on Jl. Sidoarjo, on 2,000 square meters of land where the old Persija clubhouse used to sit.

They feared the parking garage would lead to an increase in the number of cars and people in the area, with the facility sitting only six meters from the nearest house.

But the parking area has already been built.

This is only the start of the major changes the Jakarta administration has promised for the busy and congested strip.

Located just a block behind the businesses surrounding the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, the sidewalks near the park are a place for workers from the buildings to grab their lunch.

Street vendors line up their carts between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., serving made-to-order lunches, dinners and snacks for all comers.

The area has attracted vendors and customers since the 1980s. Cars line up along the strip, occupying almost half the width of the road.

Friday and Saturday nights are especially crowded, with parked cars forcing passing vehicles to line up bumper to bumper.

"Menteng's on-street parking will be relocated to the new parking building in time for the park's opening," Central Jakarta Mayor Muhayat said.

That will surely make the strip more orderly and ease congestion during peak hours.

And there is one more thing the administration wants to change.

An earlier decision would have allowed street side vendors to operate after office hours, with the area itself developed into one of the city's leading food destinations.

But during a Monday discussion with the vendors the municipality changed its mind and said that it would relocate the vendors to a hidden alley behind shopping center Keris Gallery.

"We hope the new regulations will create better conditions," Muhayat said.

The sidewalk would also be revamped in a bid to polish up the area as a rising modern commercial strip.

And food vendors carts and plastic stools do not fall into the category of modern.

"We've been told that we should move to that narrow alley behind us. I don't think all the vendors would fit in there, especially at night. There are more than a hundred of us," said Wati Setiyo, a vendor who has been in the area for 13 years.

The municipality has also proposed a plan B: moving only the carts into the narrow alley and reserving part of the sidewalk for outdoor eateries.

But this contingency plan is also not without its flaws.

If you understand the nature of street side food vending, you would know that their mobile open kitchens, which enable them to serve their customers quickly, are key to their survival.

That is apart from low prices, of course.

Neither of the plans have been carried out and vendors, as well as their customers, will have to let the municipality experiment on them first.

Architect and urban planning lecturer Danang Priatmodjo said the Jakarta administration as well as the municipality had only just realized the "potential" of the vendors along the strip.

Currently, day-time vendors pay Rp 2,000 per day to city cleaning officers and Rp 500,000 per month to local thugs or preman, Wati said.

"Those selling at night pay up to Rp 1,000,000 a month (in extortion money)," she added.

On the average figure of 100 vendors during each day and 200 vendors at night, local thugs would end up receiving around Rp 250 million a month. None of that enters the city's pocket.

That is a potential source of money for the city, which of course is complemented by fees from the new parking station.

Along with the opening of the park and the relocation of vendors, the administration also plans to hire private companies to manage the area.

It seems that revamping Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto is both an effort to clean up the area and turn black money into revenue for city coffers.

Thousands suffer in silence from domestic violence

ID Nugroho, The Jakarta Post, Surabaya

"Maryati" tried to hide her face behind a red headscarf. The 36-year-old from Surabaya, East Java, is a victim of domestic violence.

Sitting on a wooden chair at the back of the French Cultural Center in Surabaya, she recalled how she was beaten by her husband, even when she was seven months pregnant. Her second child died without ever having the chance to see the world.

The torment started when she and her husband moved into a rented home in south Surabaya in 1996, around the time when her husband got a new job as a construction worker.

The couple formed a good relationship with their neighbors, including Nana, not her real name.

"When I wasn't home, Nana would come to my house and ask my husband to take her out. Other neighbors gossiped about it," she told The Jakarta Post. "When I approached him about it, we ended up having a fight."

Her husband began to change and started beating her, even over small things. "I remember he first hit me when I asked for money to buy groceries."

The abuse continued, even when she was pregnant with her second child. When she was eight months pregnant, she suffered a miscarriage. "I went to have a routine ultrasound and they found that the baby had died," said Maryati, breaking into tears.

Following the miscarriage, the abuse continued. She was regularly beaten, kicked and raped, and she was soon pregnant again. She gave birth to a baby boy in mid-1997.

The next year, her husband left her for Nana, taking with him their valuables, including a television and jewelry.

Now a single mother with two children, Maryati has not given up hope. She does what she can to earn money, while receiving assistance from her neighbors and Savy Amira, a non-government organization that assists women.

"I once worked in a printing company but I was fired. Now I do other people's laundry," she said. She shared her story in a recent discussion at the French Cultural Center.

In the discussion, "Breaking the Chain of Violence", psychologist Pinky Saptandari blamed misperceptions about men and women for the abuse inflicted on women within the community.

She said that women are considered beautiful, weak creatures that should protect their dignity, while men are considered strong and brave. "Bravery sometimes mistakenly causes abuse toward women," said Pinky, an expert staff member at the State Ministry for Women's Empowerment.

In society, perceptions become much more misleading - men are considered to have more rights to education and employment, while women are expected to remain in the house, caring for children and obeying their husbands.

"This situation makes women vulnerable to abuse. The violence and abuse that women suffer mostly takes place inside the home," Pinky said.

The National Commission on Violence Against Women disclosed in a report in March this year that the number of cases of violence against women in 2006 reached 22,512, up from the 20,391 in 2005 and 14,020 cases in 2004. In 2003, only 7,787 cases were reported.

The commission's chief Kamala Chandrakirana said that as in previous years, domestic violence continues to be a huge problem.

Pinky said that often there are barriers that make solving cases of domestic violence difficult. These barriers include a social attitude that regularly blames women for domestic violence and customs which find it improper to discuss domestic affairs in public.

"In the end, women just accept what happens to them. This must change," Pinky said.

She said women were at particular risk in disadvantaged regions such as East Nusa Tenggara, Ambon, Papua and Poso in Central Sulawesi.

Pinky blamed this on inadequate education and ongoing social conflicts within the regions, as well as misleading local customs.

However, she found no systematic solution to cut the chains of abuse. The State Ministry for Women's Empowerment, for instance, does not have the technical support to implement its programs and needs the support of other ministries.

"But other ministries are busy with their own programs. Unfortunately, the program to support women's empowerment cannot proceed as expected," she said.

St. Regis to Debut in the Capital City of Indonesia

Opening in 2011, The St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Jakarta will Offer Guests Superior Design and Unparalleled Service in One of Asia’s Most Exciting Metropolises


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. & SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced an agreement with Duta Anggada Realty Tbk to manage the St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Jakarta. Located on Jalan Jendral Sudirman – also known as Jakarta’s Wall Street – the newly built property will be ideally positioned to serve the city’s bustling business community. The St. Regis Hotel & Residences will offer 176 guest rooms and 284 whole-ownership residential units when it opens in 2011.

As the economic and political capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is known for its cosmopolitan flair and diverse blend of cultures. One of Asia’s most exciting and most densely populated metropolises, Jakarta is also the principal gateway to the rest of Indonesia. Top tourist attractions include the National Museum, the extravagant Istiglal Mosque, and the city’s most famous landmark - the National Monument. Avid shoppers will delight in the vast selection of designer labels in Jakarta’s numerous mega-malls, while adventurous travelers can explore the city’s traditional markets, which offer everything from produce and poultry to handcrafts and gold trinkets.

Designed by the internationally recognized American architect, Richard Keating, the St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Jakarta offers convenient access to both the business district centered around Jalan MH Thamrin and the upscale residential district of Kebayoran Baru. With a highly coveted address on one of Jakarta’s most prestigious streets in the financial district, the St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Jakarta will be close to a variety of international banks, multinational companies and embassies. The development will comprise a mixed-use complex that consists of the hotel, residences and office space. The St. Regis Hotel & Residences, designed by Dimazo Kato Partnership, will be located in two towers next to the hotel.

“The strategic location of the project in the heart of Jakarta, combined with the uncompromising, bespoke service of the St. Regis brand, will make this property an extremely attractive choice for the world’s most discerning travelers,” said Ross Klein, President, Luxury Brand Group. “Offering premium hotel accommodations and luxurious residences, The St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Jakarta will be a welcome addition to the city’s booming financial district, helping meet the surge in demand from multinational corporations as well as Jakarta’s growing numbers of tourist arrivals.”

Facilities at the St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Jakarta will include more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space, an all day dining restaurant, a specialty restaurant, a health club, swimming pool, business center, and a Remède Spa occupying over 8,500 square feet. In addition, owners will enjoy access to all of the signature services and amenities offered at the hotel.

“We at PT Duta Anggada Realty are very proud to partner with Starwood on this project, as we feel the St. Regis brand’s elevated status and refined nature reflects where we are headed as an investment property owner and property developer,” said Hartadi Angkosubroto, Chairman of PT Duta Anggada Tbk. “The St Regis name is synonymous with grace, taste, style and elegance and its unparalleled service will be matched by a property that will set the new benchmark in luxury living.”

Following in the tradition of the legendary St. Regis New York, The St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Jakarta will feature the famed hallmarks of St. Regis hotels – butler service and luxury accommodations for worldly travelers. The renowned St. Regis Butler Service offers unparalleled round-the-clock personal attention to every guest. Trained in the English tradition, the butlers provide ever-present yet unobtrusive service while anticipating guest needs and customizing each guest's stay according to his or her specific tastes and preferences.

About St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts includes the most celebrated properties in the world. Founded by John Jacob Astor with landmark St. Regis Hotel, New York over a century ago, the company will unveil highly anticipated St. Regis properties in Fort Lauderdale (2007), Mexico City (2008), Punta Mita, Singapore (2007), Mexico (2008), Bali (2008), Anguilla (2008), Costa Rica (2008), Atlanta (2009), Bahía Beach, Puerto Rico (2009), Deer Valley (2009), Macau (2009), Bal Harbour, FL (2010), Lhasa, Tibet (2010), Baha Mar (2011) and that will further enhance the brand's legacy. Personalized service and amenities, enviable locations and luxuriously localized design are recognized worldwide as hallmarks of the St. Regis experience. For more information on St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, please visit

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points®, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit

About PT. Duta Anggada Realty Tbk

PT. Duta Anggada Realty Tbk has been renowned as a reputable developer for the past 30 years in the Indonesian Market. Prime locations, quality construction and innovative architecture have characterized each and every PT. Duta Anggada Realty Tbk property venture and have earned the company high standing in the property investment and development fields.

PT. Duta Anggada Realty Tbk’s strategy of prudent expansion for the sake of long-term value continues to fuel the company’s prosperity while contributing strength, to its foundation of established excellence.

KM Properties launches hotels division

KM Properties, the real estate development division of KM Holding, is to launch a dedicated hospitality and leisure management division, Tamani Hotels & Resorts, at Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

AME Info

The announcement follows in the wake of the group's launch last year of a US $2.3 billion Islamic-compliant real estate fund. The fund has been established to develop and own an international chain of hotels, and other real estate assets encompassing residential, commercial and retail components, that abide by Islamic principles. It also spread investment across various complementary commercial real estate assets worldwide.

'The Islamic-based business model and product proposition which has been created as a result of extensive studies carried out by KM Holding, and supported by retained industry respected professional showed that 'value could be added without necessarily opting to selling alcohol',' said Khulood Al Rostamani, Co-founder and Group Director of KM Holding. The business model addresses the issue of loss revenue from alcohol and replacing it with alternative revenue generating streams.

'We are offering the Tamani brand to owners and developers of exclusive and prime real estate assets, unique resorts, including palaces with our product offer called 'Tamani Exclusive' where we will manage exclusively premium properties located in prime locations.'

KM Properties has six hotel projects currently under development in Dubai, totaling more than 2,500 rooms, all of which will be operated by the Tamani Hotels & Resorts brand.

'Our vision is to develop a group of upmarket hotels. We will develop in high-class residential destinations. We will have a strong focus on quality, from bed sheets and towels to European-style furniture. There will be a great attention to detail,' said Alain Guernier, CEO, Tamani Hotels & Resorts.

'It is our aim to have 8-12 hotels in operation within the next three years. We want a limited number of properties and want to develop them well. We want to grow in a smart way,' he added.

The Tamani Hotels & Resorts portfolio will include 3, 4 and 5 star properties, located in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Malaysia and Indonesia have already been identified as potential destinations.

Adhering to Islamic principals, Tamani Hotels & Resorts will be alcohol free, serve halal food and will donate a percentage of profits to recognized charities.

'Tamani Hospitality & Leisure combines Islamic and wholesome values with passion for creativity, innovation and excellence to deliver globally recognised and respective hospitality and leisure brands,' Guernier said.

Tamani Hotels & Resorts will cater to both business and leisure travellers. Cutting-edge design, personalised service and state-of-the-art technology will define each property. The brand will also operate according to eco-friendly guidelines.

'We will offer the highest quality components and latest technology in all rooms to heighten the hotel experience for every guest in every property, regardless of the hotel tier or ranking,' explained Guernier.

KM Properties will unveil its new hospitality division, Tamani Hospitality & Leisure, at a press conference to be held on the first day of Arabian Travel Market. The press conference will take place at 3pm on May 1 at the KM Properties stand in Hall C of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).

Emaar plans Indonesia leisure project

by Reuters on Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Emaar Properties, the largest Arab property developer by market value, said on Wednesday it plans to develop a multi-billion dollar leisure and residential project in Indonesia.

The project on the island of Lombok will be Emaar's last in a new country for some time as the part Dubai-government owned company focuses on its existing $100 billion of projects in the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and 13 other countries, a spokesman for the company said.

Emaar, which bought US homebuilder John Laing Homes in June for $1.05 billion, also plans to expand in the US through acquisitions, Alabbar also told the newspaper.

The company is also expanding outside Dubai with projects in Egypt and India.

"The last country I want to do is Indonesia," Alabbar was quoted as saying.

Emaar and its joint venture partner, the Indonesian government, could agree on the Lombok project as early as next month, Alabbar said.

The company also wants to expand its US operations into Arizona, Florida and Washington, Alabbar said.

"The time is right for acquisitions in the US. With the market slowing we might find some value there," he was quoted saying.

Emaar reported its slowest rate of profit growth in the first-quarter in at least two years as the US housing market cooled.

The Egyptian government is talking with Emaar about a large leisure development project on the Mediterranean coast, Egypt's tourism minister told Reuters earlier this month.

Emaar will also expand in Dubai, the source of 90% of its revenues, when it receives fresh land from the Dubai government under a deal giving government-owned Dubai Holding $7.6 billion of stock in exchange for land.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Visitors to Singapore hit 835,000 in March for record high

Apr 25, 2007, 2:19 GMT, Monster and Critics

Singapore - Visitors to the city-state numbered 835,000 in March, 1.9 per cent more than the same month a year ago and a record high, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Wednesday.

Indonesia was the top visitor generating market with 151,000 travellers from the country. China followed with 78,000, Japan with 57,000, the United Kingdom with 55,000 and Malaysia with 52,000, rounding out the top five.

'These markets accounted for 47 per cent of total visitor arrivals for the month,' the STB said.

Tourists reached a record 9.7 million last year. Singapore is aiming for another record in 2007 as part of its drive to increase its share of the Asian tourism pie.

Hotels generated 162.1 million Singapore dollars (1.06 million US dollars) in room revenue in March, 28 per cent over the corresponding month in 2006.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Indonesian designer to hold fashion show in Aussie

Canberra (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s noted fashion designer Adji Notonegoro was expected to hold a batik fashion show at Canberra`s Playhouse, on May 4, 2007, spokesman for the Indonesian embasy in Canberra, Dino Kusnadi, said here Monday.

The show which would include a batik workshop and promotion of Indonesian tourism and furniture products would be organized jointly by the Indonesian embassy and the Indonesian community in Canberra, Dino said.

Batik is a traditional motif of Indonesian clothes usually worn at semi-official functions.

"The show to have the theme `batik as an Indonesian historical and cultural heritage` is expected to enhance the retail business contact of fashion products by the Indonesian designer. Adji can introduce the variety of the Indonesian fashion to the visitors of the show," he said.

Adji Notonegoro was only one of many Indonesian noted designers, Dino said, adding that Adji was chosen to hold the show due to his works and experience in taking part in fashion exhibitions abroad.

The show which would be supported by the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and Indo cafe was expected to be visited by hundreds of people including foreign diplomats and Australian businesspeople, Dino said.

Bali to host Asian Beach Games next year

DENPASAR (Antara): Bali will host the 1st Asian Beach Games on Oct. 18 - 26 next year, spokesman of the event said on Monday.

"Some 5,000 athletes from 45 countrie`s are expected to take part in the event which will compete 13 numbers," Indra Kartasasmita told the press when socializing the event.

All the numbers competed will be held in all beaches in the island, including in Sanur, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Kuta and Benoa, he added.

Among the 13 numbers are surfing, wind surfing, wood sport, diving, takraw, marathon swimming and traditional boat.

Library law needed in RI: Official

Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia needs a library law in order to promote the development of libraries in areas outside the capital and secure a budget to increase their book collections, an official said Monday.

"A library law should help the ministry in building more libraries across Indonesia with a large collection of books," Education Ministry spokesman Bambang Wasito Adi told a press conference, which was held in conjunction with World Book Day.

"Right now we are preparing for it," he added.

Although World Book Day, the creation of UNESCO, fell on Monday, the ministry has organized a series of events at the Education Ministry building, next to Ratu Plaza on Jl. Sudirman in Jakarta, from April 26 to 29.

"Reading", Bambang said, "is an essential activity if we want to progress in life."

Several issues that to be tackled by the library law are the cost of the books, including the translation and local publication of foreign books, and the availability of reading material.

Nasir Tamara, national coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals set by the UNDP, said that building libraries in regencies would be a good challenge for the education ministry.

"Many studies have shown that the love or habit of reading determines people's well being," he said, while adding that each of Indonesia's 450 regencies should have a library for its community.

Nasir said the most important goal for Indonesia was to provide education for its people at least until the elementary school level.

"Elementary school students need good reading skills. Libraries can boost that skill for students," said Nasir, who is also a writer and a committee member of the Ubud Writers' Festival in Bali.

A legislator from the House of Representatives' Commission X on education affairs, Angelina Sondakh, said the draft library bill should include a tax exemption for textbooks.

"Besides the book tax, an umbrella organization for librarians should be discussed. In Indonesia, it's still unclear which institution should take care of them," Angelina, a member of the Democratic Party faction, said.

She added that in an era where people obtained information through CDs, VCDs or the Internet, printed books and literature had a tough challenge.

"There is a tendency for people now to want 'instant' information, rather than going through the process of reading a book."

"Books are useful to kill the time while waiting, such as for bus at the station. Or, for me, while waiting for a House meeting, I read a book," Angelina said.

Bambang said the Education Ministry would soon distribute library management software to people or organizations.

"Right now we still use the software provided by the British Council," Bambang said, adding that the system used by the U.K. was far more advanced than Indonesia's.

"Compared with the system applied in Cambridge, which first built its library in the year 1130, perhaps Indonesians are still living in the stone age," he said.

The library inside the Education Ministry building, he said, should become a model for local libraries.

"Last year's and this year's World Book Day celebrations have been held in Jakarta. It's imperative to hold such events outside the capital in the following years," Bambang said.

Award-winning Canadian author Deborah Ellis is scheduled to appear at the opening of the World Book Day Indonesia celebrations.

Dutch involved in Kota renewal

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: The city administration will bring in experts from the Netherlands to run the Old Town revitalization program, since most of the buildings in the area are European designs, Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo said Monday.

"We've had a good relationship with the experts from the Netherlands so we can invite them to share what's best for the program," Fauzi told reporters after receiving guests from the Dutch Royal Institute of Civil Engineers in City Hall.

"We mostly talked about the Old Town revitalization program. The entourage visited the area yesterday and we have reached the common opinion that the revitalization program can first be initiated by removing all public transportation routes from the area. We'll make the Old Town area a tourist destination," Fauzi said, as quoted by the official city website BeritaJakarta.

The administration's development assistant Nurfakih Wirawan said he welcomed the initiative to involve experts from the Netherlands in the ongoing revitalization program, which began last year.

"I think it's a must to involve the Dutch experts because they can help us move toward the a new but original look for the Old Town," he said. --JP

Kid's libraries strive for recognition

Prodita Sabarini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Little fingers were dancing fast Sunday as groups of children folded origami birds. Faces excited but in full concentration, the children folded while friends cheered from the side.

"Come on! You can do it!" supporters cheered from the sides, their voices echoing inside the Mega Glodok Kemayoran shopping center in North Jakarta.

Sunday saw the mall transform into a big playground for more than 400 children from Jakarta and surrounding areas.

Children from 42 community libraries across Greater Jakarta joined the second Olympics for Community Libraries, held by volunteer-based non-profit organization 1001BUKU, in conjunction with World Book Day on April 23.

Community libraries are community-based alternative education centers, where children can play and learn outside the official schooling system.

Jakarta has seen significant growth recently in these kinds of community centers, most of which have been initiated by non-government organizations and concerned individuals.

They are usually volunteer-based with sizes varying from solid establishments with vast book and educational toy collections, to small scale libraries with tiny collections in volunteers' garages.

"We're holding this event to give exposure to community libraries. They are vital for children's access to quality reading," said Mochamad Ariyo Faridh Zidni, a 1001BUKU volunteer, who was in charge in organizing the Olympics.

"However, (community libraries) receive very little support from the public. We hope that through this event people will get a heightened awareness and help community libraries," he added.

1001BUKU works to increase children's access to reading material by providing books and empowering community libraries across Indonesia.

Ariyo said the were around 70 community libraries in their network in Greater Jakarta and around 120 across Indonesia.

"This event is also an opportunity for people managing community libraries to meet and share experiences with each other. Meanwhile the kids can have some fun," he said.

Children at the Olympics shouted and sung the local children's song "Bermain Layang-layang" ("Flying Kites") to support their friends.

After making their origami birds, then raced each other to make and hand-paint paper kites.

"This is the creativity marathon competition," Ariyo said of the game.

Girls from the Rumah Cahaya community library in Jatibening, East Jakarta decorated their kite by stamping their paint-smudged hands on it. They were the first to finish the race, taking around 10 minutes to finish.

"It was exciting. We really had to work fast," said Pipit Rosiana, 11.

"I didn't care if we won or not. I'm just having fun here," said Chairunnisa, 11, Pipit's team mate.

Besides the marathon, the Olympics also had children compete to design and color bulletin boards, as well as vie with each other in a storytelling competition.

"We prepared the leads of the stories and the children had to finish the stories as creatively as possible," Ariyo said.

Gunawan, 27, founder of the Kuartet Community Library in Cibubur, said the event was good for the children. Some 31 children from his library came to the event.

"There should be more events like this," he said.

Gunawan said he and his friends set up their community library to give a place for children in their neighborhood to hang out and read. "We also play games, such as Brain Gymnastics, for the children. Bored children are the ones prone to doing dangerous things, such as taking drugs," he said.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why now is the perfect time to visit Indonesia

Belfast TelegraphTravel

Monday, April 23, 2007

With its explosive political (and geological) past, tourism in Indonesia has plummeted. All the more reason to visit these magical lands. Jessica Morris goes west of Java

Two hands slam down on my shoulders from behind and Udin, our guide, yells " Run!" We are in the rainforest of northern Sumatra, supposedly on the hunt for orang-utans, but the tables have turned: the orang-utans are on the hunt for us, and our dinner. I am not what you might call the sporty type, but I scarcely pause when the ground rises vertically in front of me. I hoist myself up a cliff face with the aid of liana vines while nearby, just above the sound of my heartbeat, I can hear our pursuers swinging effortlessly from tree to tree.

In Sumatra, if you want to meet an orang-utan, you head to the village of Bukit Lawang. Many of the apes here are only semi-wild, although they live in the forest. It doesn't take long for Udin to find Edith and introduce us to her. No wildlife documentary can convey the charm of seeing her reach lazily with her left foot to take a piece of fruit from the ground and then, stretching her right foot around behind her head up to an overhanging branch, swing off to enjoy her snack upside down. It's only when the more aggressive Mina and two wild males appear that things go banana-shaped. But at camp that evening the adventure has bonded trekkers and guides.

Read More ....

Meutia launches pictorial book on national diversity

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

An emulation of foreign cultures is not necessary for Indonesia to promote tourism to the archipelago, said Women's Empowerment Minister Meutia Farida Hatta Swasono while discussing her new book which promotes the richness of Indonesian cultures.

"We have the living matrilineal culture of Minangkabau in West Sumatra, we have some living megalithic cultures in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, and the funeral traditions of Toraja in South Sulawesi. These are assets that we need to respect and watch over," Meutia said Saturday.

"I want to convey a message through this book that the young generation should love our motherland, which is very rich with good values such as a sense of togetherness, time valuation, respect for elders and a work ethic. However, these values rarely prevail now."

Meutia was speaking at the launch of her book, titled: Jejak Langkah di Negeriku, Perjalananku dan Mereka Yang Cemerlang Selama Enam Dasawarsa (Footsteps in My Motherland, My Journey and Those Who Shine in Six Decade).

She said Indonesia's cultural, religious and ecological richness should become a central feature of the country's nationalism, which she said was integral in the midst of rapid development.

"The most important thing is to make sure our generation maintains a territorial awareness."

Meutia's book addresses a variety of topics, such as her experiences visiting various parts of the country when her father Muhammad Hatta was the first Indonesian vice president, and her experience as an anthropologist and researcher.

Saturated with numerous photographs taken by Meutia during these visits, the book was written in the popular language so as to reach as many readers as possible.

Meutia said the book centered on her life experiences with her family and relatives and her experiences during her work.

"Some people might say my book is like candy because it is full of pictures and colors, but it is the portrait of our nation and culture, so diversified and rich," she said.

"Every ethnicity and culture has its own color preference and this is unique, because it tells so many things."

Meutia was born in Yogyakarta on March 21, 1947, and was the first daughter of Hatta, the co-proclamator of the Republic of Indonesia. She earned her undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in anthropology at the University of Indonesia in 1974, 1983 and 1991 respectively.

She is married to Sri Edi Swasono and has two children, the late Sri Juwita Hanum and Tan Sri Zulfikar Swasono.

Her book launching was attended by several public figures, including Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubowono X and artists Titiek Puspa and Deddy Mizwar.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Are opera and 'dangdut' the same?

The Jakarta Post

On the way home from an opera performance (a recital of popular operatic arias), I passed a dangdut show in a suburb.

Several people were seen dancing on the stage along with the singer; some were waving flagging banknotes for the singer to take in what is called sawer in return for which the donor's name will be mentioned in the lyrics.

That kind of performance is common, particularly in rural areas. Dangdut is often an integral part of circumcision or wedding ceremonies.

Dangdut is everywhere. Everyone is familiar with its beat, even if they are not necessarily dangdut lovers.

Local TV channels are full of dangdut programs. Often, groups of people can be seen enjoying dangdut songs on TV or radio while chatting over coffee.

Stars come and go. In the past, Rhoma Irama and Elvi Sukaesih were dubbed the "King and Queen of Dangdut." Today, even children are familiar with Inul Daratista, who is well-known for her "drilling" dance.

The list is long. The singers have their own typical performances -- Iis Dahlia is a melancholic singer who at times will break into tears mid-song.

Does Indonesian classical music have its icons?

Christopher Abimanyu and Linda Sitinjak are regarded as leading singers. But if you ask passersby about them, they will most likely shake their head.

Although on some occasions tickets are sold, as at performances put on in entertainment parks or discotheques, generally you don't need to pay to watch a live dangdut show.

At Hotel Mulia Senayan, where nine opera singers from Italy were on show, visitors had to pay from US$125 to $150 per person to get in.

In no way am I railing about injustice. What they paid might be worth what they got. They would have seen a group of talented performers plus their distinguished Indonesian counterparts, with top-quality food and beverages being served. And all in a five-star hotel.

Some may spend an amount of money that others will say is irrational.

"With a million rupiah, I'd rather go shopping," a friend said.

We may be forgiven for our skepticism -- not because the prices are beyond what we can afford but rather because we have yet to nurture such appreciation of the music.

Classical arias, which appear in opera, have yet to tune well to people's taste here.

"Classical music is still the privilege of a small group of people. We understand that because this is all about culture," Christopher said after the show.

Classical music performances are still relatively rare here. The few that there are tend to be organized by foreign embassy-funded culture centers.

So far I've experienced opera mainly through TV clips or Western films. I recall Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti singing his heart out, accompanied by a big orchestra ... on TV.

Not wanting to appear a total ignoramus during the show, I took a peek at the book Opera for Dummies by David Pogue and Scott Speck.

It was a good handbook. It contains -- among many other things -- a list of all operas ever composed.

The book touches on the 10 most common misconceptions about opera, one of which is that you have to dress up to see it.

In fact, you can dress however you like at the opera.

Most visitors that night at Mulia were dressed up. Some wore casual suits. "They are not defying the rules," I thought, recalling the book.

Inside the hall, I looked for the orchestra but couldn't find it.

Perhaps it might have been obstructed by some of the tables. I asked an attendant to help me count the musical crew and tell me what instruments they would be playing to accompany the singers.

In fact, there was only a piano. I'd already seen it when I entered the hall. It was on the stage.

"Did you think this would be like a concert? No, this is just a song recital," said the attendant.

Although it was only a recital, the performers presented it dramatically, even if it was just a solo performance. Elena Oliva portrayed the sentiments in O mio babbino caro by moving her entire body expressively.

The opera singers performed onstage as though acting in drama with the dialog communicated through song. For some in the audience, though, it seemed hard to fathom the meaning of it all.

"Is it about sadness and happiness?" said a voice from a nearby table that had been buzzing with chatter over the chink of champagne glasses throughout the performance.

-- Musthofid

High culture, low prices but empty houses

The Jakarta Post

The Sriwedari dance troupe in Surakarta, Central Java, probably enjoyed its glory days in the 1970s. At that time, people were keen to see its every performance.

These days, the classical dancers see fewer and fewer spectators. Although tickets are sold for as little as Rp 3,000 (30 cents), they still fail to attract large audiences.

As low-ranking civil servants, many of the performers earn only Rp 250,000 (US$27.50) per month. Of course, that is far below their monthly needs.

Consequently, they take on different activities to boost their income. Some are tukang ojek (motorbike taxi drivers) or pedicab drivers. Others teach students or become porters at railway stations.

Despite their economic hardship, the dancers remain committed to preserving an aspect of their traditional culture.

JP/R. Berto Wedhatama

Preserving our identity

The Jakarta Post

There are many interesting stories about the history and heritage of Indonesia and its people.

The National Museum, better known as Museum Gajah in Jakarta, is a place filled with history and heritage. It got its name from the bronze elephant statue placed in front of the museum.

This museum has over 100,000 historical artifacts and monuments that reveal a lot about Indonesia's past. These pieces come from various periods in Indonesian history. They vary from the prehistoric to 800,000 years ago.

Fine ethnographic and prehistoric objects found in the museum are very important treasures that must be preserved carefully. They are all unique and have their own distinctive origins.

The interesting thing is that these items come from different cultures, which proclaim strongly the diversity of this country.

Indonesian culture is reflected in the displays of stone sculptures and clothing. Replicas of the houses in different parts of the country can also be seen.

Now, why is it important to preserve our national heritage?

The past helps us to understand who we are today and what Indonesia is. Most of us have turned our backs against the past and ignored it.

Technology helps us move forward faster -- but if we don't preserve our past we may lose our own identity.

Irene Ler

Secondary 2