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. …

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WWF declares Mt. Lumut forest as special conservation area

Muara Teweh, C Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Indonesia has declared a protected forest in Mount Lumut in Barito Utara (Barut) district in Central Kalimantan a conservation area for Heart of Borneo (HoB) program, a local official has said.

The protected forest in Mt. Lumut which covered 25,802 ha-land was considered a sacred place by native Dayak Hindu Kaharingan community. Thus, the WWF-Indonesia regarded that it should be turned into a conservation area, local environmental management and spatial arrangement office head Akhmad Yani said here Wednesday.

Dayak Hindu Kaharingan people are native inhabitants in Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.

The Barut district administration supported the program and thus set up a working group that had been tasked to give a description before WWF-Indonesia officials in Jakarta on November 15.

The administration has suggested a national park status for the protected forest which is really rich in flora and fauna. The Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) launched a study on the forest and planned to recommend a world natural heritage for the forest as well.

Akhmad said the Barut district administration had already asked a forest minister to revoke concessionary permit of PT Indexim Utama Corporation that operate on the slope of Mt. Lumut.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cultural protection 'must engage public'

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Noted traditional artists said the government should further involve the public in preserving Indonesia's vast cultural heritage because its existence very much depends on the nation's people.

A traditional trans-gender dancer, Didik Hadiprayitno, or Didik Nini Thowok, said besides action taken by the government, public involvement was one of the most important measures to protect Indonesia's heritage.

"The next step the government should take after (making an inventory of) traditional culture is to hold an effective (public) campaign (with) artists and cultural experts," Didik said.

The government could compile cultural traditions and products found during the stock-take process so the public would better recognize and understand their own traditional heritage, he said.

"Through this, the government doesn't only promote the county's heritage but also holds a cultural campaign and preserves it at the same time.

"So it won't only be an act of cultural trace, whose products are later kept on an office shelf," Didik said.

The Cultural and Tourism Ministry and the Justice and Human Rights Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding last week covering the protection and development of the country's cultural heritage, as well as the protection of intellectual property rights on cultural heritage.

The memorandum was a response from the government because of further recent challenges to Indonesia's claims to its heritage and folklore.

Malaysia has made claims to the Rasa Sayange traditional folk song and several batik designs, as well as the angklung (bamboo musical instrument).

Traditional music composer Djaduk Ferianto said implementing the memorandum was crucial.

"As the art and culture were the results of people's movement and activities, their protection must involve those who are actively engaged in the sector," Djaduk said.

"We must also go through persuasive efforts to protect the cultural heritage.

"Holding a two-way communication between the public and the government can be a good start," Djaduk said.

Indonesian's well-known filmmaker Garin Nugroho said the government should first list regions prone to the cultural claim from other parties, especially those related to intellectual property rights.

"The government lacks an understanding of this new global trend," Garin said.

"Before involving the public in preserving the heritage, the government must first be skilled with issues around intellectual property rights.

"Then they can invite artists, cultural experts and the general people to act," he said.

Moroccan globe-trotters heading for Indonesia

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA (Antara): Two Moroccans - Abdelkrim Rachek and Youssef Abdennaim, are on a tour around the Muslim world on foot since February 2007 and will be completing their globe-trotter trip in Indonesia, a Moroccan Embassy press release said Monday.

According to the release, the Moroccan globe-totters would be heading for Indonesia from Malaysia on Oct. 31.

Their tour, as indicated by the title of their program, is to follow the steps of the famous Moroccan traveler Ibnu Batouta around the Arab and Islamic world on foot.

Under the slogan "Love, Peace, Religious Tolerance and Cultural Heritage Sharing," the two Moroccan globe-totters are touring Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, India, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Indonesian festival to be held in Melbourne

The Jakarta Post

BRISBANE (Antara): A three-day Indonesian festival will be held in Melbourne, Australia, from Nov. 9 to 12, the Indonesian Consulate General spokesman in Melbourne, Jaha Gultom, told Antara by phone on Monday.

He said an investment forum, trade show, cultural performance and food bazaar would feature in the festival, which was being organized by the Indonesian Consulate General in Melbourne.

"The theme of the Indonesian festival this year is Sulawesi. Delegations from at least 15 provincial administrations have confirmed they would take part in the event," Gultom said, adding more than a hundred Australian business groups would attend.

He said the annual festival, which was held for the first time in Melbourne in 2005, was an event conducted to promote investment and trade between the two countries.

At the festival, Australian businesspeople will have the opportunity to talk with Indonesian business officials from central and regional governments.

31 people abandon Islam to become bahaists in Donggala

Palu (ANTARA News) - At least 31 residents of Banpers village in Palolo sub-district, Donggala district, Central Sulawesi, have converted their belief in Islam into that in Bahai.

Head of the Religious Affairs Office in Palolo sub-district, Nuyyun Nur said here on Sunday that the Bahai faith led by Mulahi, a former marriage counsellor for the first time entered Banpers village in the 1990s, and had persuaded 31 local residents to convert into the new belief.

Those who have embraced the Bahai faith were former moslems, so that the community in Banpers Village, 50 km east of Palu City, became worried about the apostasy.

"The homes of the Bahai faith`s followers in Banpers are often pelted by protesters," he said.

According to Hayyun, Bahai adherents believed that their teachings are right and universal and propogated by a self-styled prophet Baha`ullah. They have collected holy Bah`ullah verses as their main guidance.

The propagators of the Bahai faith to Donggala was still unidentified, as the adherents of the new faith rejected to disclose their identity. The Baha`i followers normally perform their rituals in secrecy.

Together with Palolo subdistrict administration and local authority, Hayyun had facilitated a meeting between the community and Bahaists in September, 2007.

In the meeting, it was agreed that Bahai adherents were called on to review the teachings they believed in, and to return their previous belief recognized by the government.

In the near future, there will be a meeting to hear the stance of the Bahaists, he said.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Golden Tulip opens office in Asia.
, Tuesday, 23rd October 2007

Source : Golden Tulip Hospitality Group

Golden Tulip South East Asia will focus on developing and servicing hotels in the region including, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar.

The Regional Office aims to establish Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns & Resorts as a leading hotel chain in the region, while introducing the four brands of the chain: 5 stars Royal Tulip, 4 stars Golden Tulip and Golden Tulip Resort and the economy business 3 stars brand Tulip Inn. The office will furthermore develop the necessary infrastructure to provide maximum support to investors and owners.

Golden Tulip South East Asia aims to achieve a portfolio of 40 hotels in a four years period by both converting existing hotels into Royal Tulips, Golden Tulips and Tulip Inns as well as developing new hotels.

The main focus will be to develop economy business hotels in the main capital cities and the four and five star brands, Royal Tulip and Golden Tulip Resorts in the various resorts in S.E. Asia.

Golden Tulip South East Asia Ltd., will be led by Mr. Mark A.M. van Ogtrop, who joined Golden Tulip as the Managing Director and Senior Vice President of Golden Tulip South East Asia. Mr. van Ogtrop brings along more than twenty five years of experience in the hotel business, having started already in the 80’s with Golden Tulip in Europe. He has worked in 3 continents and has over 10 years experience in Asia, having worked with The Peninsula Group in Hong Kong and Dusit Hotels & Resorts in Thailand. Mr. van Ogtrop was Area Manager for Dorint Hotels in Europe prior to joining Golden Tulip.

Hans Kennedie, President & CEO of Golden Tulip Hospitality Group states: “I am very pleased with the opening of Golden Tulip South East Asia office. Our aim is to establish a strong position in the region through the development of management agreements for existing and new hotels. I am confident that together with our new office and the full roll out of our management and marketing formulas we will achieve the targets set.”

Mark van Ogtrop, Senior Vice President & Managing Director for South East Asia adds: “We enter with great enthusiasm into this business adventure. Golden Tulip’s brand recognition and its proven success track record gives us the necessary tools to develop new projects in this region. We have received a lot of positive feedback and both in the economy business sector for main cities as well as for resort hotels there is still a lot of potential and opportunities for growth in various countries in the region.”

Indonesian Embassy Wants To Foster Closer Relations With Malaysian Media

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 (Bernama) -- The Indonesian embassy will take proactive action to get closer to the Malaysian media which would lead to closer relations between Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Indonesian acting ambassador to Malaysia, Tatang B. Razak, said the embassy planned to meet with media practitioners in Malaysia as soon as possible.

"We will contact the Malaysian media next week to set appointments for the meetings," he told the media after the launch of the new service by Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd and Bank Muamalat Indonesia, here today.

"InsyAllah, I will visit the newspaper offices in Malaysia in the near future. We will have `heart to heart' discussions," he said.

Tatang said the Indonesian embassy also planned to organise a dialogue between the Malaysian and Indonesian media next year.

The acting ambassador also planned to meet with the Malaysian authorities such as the Immigration Department and the police.

The move by the Indonesian embassy was perceived as an effort by Indonesia to improve ties between the two countries following the misunderstanding arising from several issues such as the song "Rasa Sayange" raised by the Indonesian media and the issue over Indonesian illegal immigrants raised by the Malaysian media.

He said it was time to look at the Malaysia-Indonesia relations realistically and sincerely so that greater benefits could be derived by both countries.

Blogging party gets official stamp of approval

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Bloggers and internet publishing in Indonesia gained new legitimacy Saturday when Communications and Information Minister Muhammad Nuh declared Oct. 27 National Bloggers Day.

The announcement was made at Pesta Blogger (blogger party) 2007, Indonesia's first large meeting of bloggers, which around 500 people attended.

"I can see today the Indonesian blogger community is developing the use of IT facilities and filling information gaps in the country with blogging," the former rector of East Java's November 10 Institute of Technology said.

He said the gathering and blogging were both "revolutionary" and deserved support.

"Blogs can be educational, empowering and enlightening. That's why I can guarantee you curbing blogs will never happen in this country," said Nuh.

"I also notice most of the bloggers are young, which is good. As the proverb says, 'The future of a country is in hands of the young generation'. Wimar (Witoelar) is the only old one here," he kiddingly said, to laughter from the audience.

Having handled many talk shows, Wimar Witoelar was the moderator at a discussion at the gathering, which was initiated by public relations agency Maverick and driven by a team of bloggers.

Speaking at the discussion were Nuh, committee chairman Enda Nasution, Asia Blogging Network chief executive Budi Putra and Adrianto Gani of

Budi, a former Tempo journalist and now full-time blogger, highlighted the importance of blog contents.

"No one will visit and revisit your blog no matter how cool your blog design is unless you have something substantial to offer," he said.

Well-developed content, Budi said, would automatically attract more visitors and might create business opportunities with advertisers as media for advertisement "is getting narrow".

The gathering drew not only Jakartan bloggers, but also an Indonesian living in neighboring Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur and many others from West Sumatra's Padang, West Java's Bandung, Central Java's Semarang, Yogyakarta, South Sulawesi's Makassar and Central Sulawesi's Poso.

There are 150,000 bloggers in the country.

A blogger and correspondent for The Jakarta Post in Poso, Ruslan Sangadji, said he had traveled to Jakarta with the help of friends.

"I spent Rp 1.28 million (US$140) using the money I collected from my friends. And now I don't have more money to go home," he said, to laughter.

"I eagerly came to learn how to build blogs for the Palu (Central Sulawesi) community."

Violinist Maylaffayza, who writes for 11 blogs, was also among the participants.

"Please do blog because blogging is all about reaching out to people, making friends from all around the world, creating personal relationships and can be very educational," she said.

Jakarta Art Teachers & I

The Jakarta Post

Picasso famously said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

Each day, art teacher Neil Bunting works at solving this problem with his dedication in his international school's classrooms and through the organization he founded, Jakarta Art Teachers & I.

Formed two years ago this November, JATI was -- like much in the art world -- crafted out of a sense of anxiety and loneliness.

Bunting, who has lived in Jakarta since 2002, recalled in a writte

n interview, "I first thought of an arts organization in 2004. I felt as an art teacher, and an artist, I was living in a state of cultural disconnectedness and desperately needed to forge links with other schools, teachers and people connected with the arts."

JATI's inaugural meeting in 2005 was attended by five international school art teachers. These initial members were enthused by JATI's dream and spread its message and now around 20 members from 13 schools take part in each meeting.

In addition to the monthly meetings the members are in near daily contact with one another in order to bounce ideas around and share practical information about such things as exhibitions of interest and where to buy art equipment.

"The organization has made significant progress during the last two years," says Bunting.

Open to all Indonesian schools, JATI promotes the values of expression, individuality and creativity.

Bunting explains that the organization "encourages collaboration and sharing of expertise between art educators, facilitators and anybody who cares passionately about the visual arts" by developing and promoting art through exhibitions, workshops and all kinds of artistic relationships between students and teachers.

Bunting says that it is key to JATI's vision that local, national and international schools are involved. "This is imperative. The organization is not simply an international school organization. Many of our schools use the International Baccalaureate curriculum. To apply the philosophies of IB we must involve Indonesian schools. This is not just about paying lip service to a school curriculum. This about doing what is right --walking the walk."

"We," Bunting continues, "are still striving to involve Indonesian schools and the local community more. We want Indonesian art teachers to take a more active role and we are seeking to not make them feel alienated in any way by producing our minutes and agendas and statements in Bahasa and English."

Past workshops have featured stations teaching a variety of techniques from book-binding to chocolate molds and transcriptions in mixed media to printmaking and watercolor painting.

Both students and teachers are encouraged to stretch and grow at JATI workshops. The students experience new techniques and ideas while the teachers are able to practice team-teaching methods and observe their peers at work.

JATI continually strives to create and maintain mutually supportive working environments. Bunting believes its members understand that in order to be creative, the fear of mistakes must be abolished.

Bunting says, "Workshops are particularly beneficial for students from less well resourced schools, who, for example, have never had the opportunity to use a printing press or be involved in photographic processes."

The new year should be fruitful for the club. Bunting and JATI colleague Dave White are hard at work securing a location for JATI's next exhibition.

Showcasing the work of students of all ages from the organization's 13 schools, Bunting promises the show will be "huge".

This next exhibition is just a step. Bunting says, "JATI will go from strength to strength. There will be more exhibitions, workshops and opportunities for the art community."

For further information about JATI, visit its website at, email the organization at or
telephone Neil Bunting at +62 813 10921265.

Andrew Greene's personal blog can be found at

Develop culture of maintaining health, Yudhoyono says

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Coinciding with the 79th Youth Pledge Day, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on the people, especially the youth, to develop the culture of maintaining health and the habit of doing physical exercises in order to be able to win the global competition.

The president in the company of First Lady Ani Yudhoyono made the call at a function launching the Movement of Indonesian Healthy Youth here Sunday.

"The youth and teenagers should keep doing physical exercises, maintaining health, being creative, maintaining harmony among them, avoiding narcotics and violent acts as well as averting free intercourse to safe the future, make them leading young generation and develop the nation, the president said.

The president said the government would continue to carry out programs to make the Indonesian people remain healthy by providing funds needed for the purpose.

On the commemoration of the Youth Pledge Day, the head of state called on the younger generation to maintain the spirit of the Youth Pledge in order that they and the Indonesian people in general would be leading in the globalization era towards the prosperous future.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Adhyaksa Dault said the launching of the movement was a strategic momentum to improve the condition of the Indonesian young people.

He said the effort to invite young people to have the pattern of living healthily still faced some problems including the fact that many plots of land which should be made as public facilities and sports activities were converted into shopping centres among other things.

The minister expresed hope the Indonesian young people should have physical strength and good performance so that they would be able to win the global competition towards better future.

The function was also attended by Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari and Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hundreds of tourists enjoy a little taste of Central Java

The Jakarta Post

Hundreds of foreign tourists, mostly from the U.S., arrived in Central Java capital Semarang's Tanjung Emas port on board a Holland America Line Amsterdam cruise Friday.

According to Bobby from Merapi Tours and Travel agency, which guided the 687 tourists on their one-day tour in Central Java, the cruise stopped in Singapore on Thursday and will continue on to Bali. From the resort island, the cruise, which left from Seattle in the U.S., will depart to Australia.

"I'm so happy that I can visit Indonesia and enjoy a ride on board a steam-powered train in Ambarawa, especially since many souvenir traders offered their handicrafts. This is really interesting," German tourist Bunde Reinhard told The Jakarta Post.

The man, who is on a 62-day vacation on board the cruise with his wife, was one 120 tourists who decided to take a trip on the 1902 train. After the train trip, the tourists visited Borobudur Temple.

Other tourists decided to visit Semarang's sights, such as Sam Poo Kong temple, Blenduk church in Semarang's old town as well as learning about jamu (herbal medicine) and the making of batik.

"We will visit countries in Asia, Australia and Polynesia. This is a long trip," Bunde said, while smoking a cigar during a break at Jambu train station.

The nine-kilometer train trip, which traveled from Ambarawa to Bedono, was popular with the tourists, some of which got a close-up look at the train and its driver, Pujiono.

Along the way, tour guide Nurudin was busy handling their questions, explaining everything, from the town, the train to the region's coffee specialty.

"This is my first time taking an old train. I love antiques and this is so much fun," said tourist Wderanfarel of Washington.

"He's right, taking this train is really fun," said Belle, Wderanfarel's wife. (JP/Suherdjoko)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fun run for youth day in Tanah Lot

TABANAN (The Jakarta Post): The Tanah Lot 10 K, in commeoration of Youth Pledge Day, will be held on Sunday with the theme "Run Towards Peace".

Atheletes from around the country as well as Balinese students will take part in the run.  Head of the organizing committee I Made Sujana said Wednesday that the number of registered participants had reached 8,460, exceeding the target of 7,000 participants.

"The number of participants is likely to increase since the end of the registration period is still a few days away," Sujana said.

Tabanan Deputy Regent Putra Wirasana said Wednesday that the biannual event aimed to promote Bali as a tourism destination, especially Tanah Lot temple in Kediri.

Located on the west coast of Bali, Tanah Lot is famous for its picturesque view.

Sujana says Kediri residents should use alternative streets from 6.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and to keep their dogs in their backyard so as to not bother the runners.

Tabanan Regent Adi Wiryatama will start the race at Banjar Jagasatru in Kediri .

The organizers have provided a cash prize of Rp 12,000,000 for the male and female winners.

Beach Games monument unveiled

The Jakarta Post

The Asian Beach Games committee unveiled a monument at Lumintang park in Denpasar on Wednesday.

Rita Subowo, chairwoman of the National Sports Council (KONI), said the unveiling of the monument marked the beginning of the country's preparations to host the first Asian Beach Games, which will take place in October 2008.

"This event will be the biggest beach and water sports competition in the world," Subowo said.

Designed to resemble the ocean waves, the colorful monument is a bit awkward in the city center, at the former site of the Badung administration office on Jl. Gatot Subroto.

The office was burned down during the 1998 riots.

The park will be re-named after Indonesia's first president Sukarno.

"Ideally, the monument should be built in a beach area like Sanur, Kuta, Nusa Dua. But we could not find the right place," said the head of KONI's Bali branch.

The seven-meter tall monument, which cost around Rp 800 million, was designed by local architects and artists using bold colors and traditional Balinese designs.

Indonesia to host ACSIC's annual meeting

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

JAKARTA: For the third time in 20 years, Indonesia will host the annual conference of the Asian Credit Supplementation Institution Confederation (ACSIC), an association of Asia-Pacific credit guarantee agencies, to be held Nov. 5-8 in Nusa Dua, Bali.

"The conference will seek input regarding the role of ACSIC members in fostering development of small and medium enterprises in their countries," ACSIC committee secretary general Nanang Waskito said Thursday in a press statement.

Nanang said the conference, to be opened by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, would feature a number of noted speakers including senior officials from USAID, the World Bank and European securities companies.

The conference, he said, would be attended by 99 delegates, including those from two future ACSIC members, CGTSME of India and KOREG of South Korea.

Nanang said: "There will be a signing of the ACSIC Bali Declaration to commemorate ACSIC's 20th anniversary."

Established in 1987, ACSIC comprises 14 credit guarantee agencies from 10 Asia-Pacific countries, three of which are from Indonesia: Askrindo, Perum Sarana Pengembangan Usaha and Penjaminan Kredit Pengusaha Indonesia.

Nanang said since joining the organization, the Indonesian companies had benefited from ACSIC discussions and training.

"We use input from ACSIC events to revise company policies and give suggestions to government so that they can extend credit to non-bankable SMEs," he said. (14)

He also said, after a months-long delay pending discussion of cost recovery arrangements in the country's oil and gas industry, the government would offer investors 26 oil and gas blocks for tender.

Australia-RI share giant puppets

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer has announced that the giant puppet theater company, the Snuff Puppets, was hosting a residency by Indonesian artist and stage manager Johan Didik Handianto from October to December 2007.

"This is an exciting opportunity for the Snuff Puppets to continue their creative collaboration with the artistic community of Indonesia," the Ambassador was quoted as saying by an Australian Embassy media release on Wednesday.

It said Farmer and his wife were among the thousands who gathered at Yogyakarta`s Alun-Alun Utara in June to enjoy a spectacular and highly amusing blend of Australian and Indonesian creative excellence.

"These people put on a great show together," Farmer said.

The Snuff Puppets are a giant puppet company based in Melbourne, Australia, which combines puppetry, live music, and visual and physical theater to create a unique and comic performance language.

In May and June this year, the Snuff Puppets collaborated with the Bagong Kussudiardjo Arts Centre on the People`s Puppet Project to entertain the people of Yogyakarta during the Yogyakarta Arts Festival 2007 with a performance of giant puppets at the Alun-Alun Utara.

Johan -- a lighting and stage designer -- was a key participant in the creative process leading up to the performance.

Through his eight-week visit to Melbourne, Johan will gain an understanding of the Snuff Puppets theatrical model and its productions.

The Gajah Mada University graduate will also be able to contribute to the existing network of creative cooperation between artists and arts organizations in Melbourne and Yogyakarta.

The longstanding bilateral residency program is supported by the Australia Indonesia Institute, an Australian Government Initiative, in cooperation with the Ford Foundation.

The residency program is managed by University of Melbourne`s Asialink and the Kelola Foundation.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sulawesi traditional figures pay homage to late king of Banawa

Ruslan Sangadji, The Jakarta Post, Palu

Bearing gifts, a group of Tobaku and Sarudu traditional leaders approached the house of Datu Wajar Lamarauna, son and heir of the late king, Adam Ardjad Lamarauna.

As per custom, the gifts included betel nut, a sack of rice, 14 eggs, four black and white chickens and a white cow.

Dressed in bright-colored clothing and traditional rimless caps, the men from Tobaku (Donggala regency, Central Sulawesi) and Sarudu (North Mamuju regency, West Sulawesi) had come to convey the condolences of the Tobaku and Sarudu peoples over the death of the Banawa king.

The melodious tunes of a traditional bamboo ensemble accompanied the ceremony.

"We call this tradition of paying homage to the king and his family melae tobaku sarudu," said JH Tarro, chief of Tobaku's traditional council.

King of Banawa (centered in Donggala regency, Central Sulawesi), Adam Ardjad Lamarauna, passed away on November 16, 2006, in Jakarta.

"At that time, we weren't able to attend the funeral ceremony. So we are visiting his now family to show our sympathy," said Tarro.

He said the melae tradition was important in maintaining a good relationship with Banawa. The relationship between the three Sulawesi entities is unique: a large majority of the Tobaku and Sarudu are Christian while the royal families of Banawa are Muslim.

"The traditional leaders, who are here today to pay their homage to the late king, are all Christians," said Tarro.

He pointed out that social and cultural differences between his people and the Banawa lineage -- including religion -- had never been considered important.

"That's one of the main reasons we've never experienced religious conflict."

In retrospect, he said, the religion-linked bloodshed in Poso could also have been avoided if the people of Poso hadn't forgotten their common traditions and customary institutions.

Meanwhile, Banawa heir Datu Wajar remembered his father, "the people's king". "When he was a regent, my father initiated an infrastructure development project that ended the Tobaku's geographical isolation."

Tarro said everyone in Tobaku and Sarudu valued traditions such as the melae and hoped they would help them maintain good relationships with other groups.

The kingdom of Banawa was founded in 1667 and originally known as Pujananti. The kings of Banawa include La Bugia Mpue Uva, Lasabanawa I Sangga Lea Dg Paloera, Lamarauna Mpue Totua, La Gaga, Laruhana Lamarauna, Laparenrengi Lamarauna and Adam Ardjad Malarauna.

At an intimate meal at the conclusion of the melae, the Tobaku and Sarudu leaders and Banawa royals shared traditional delicacies.

Tarro explained the significance of the special food items. "We don't want to put an unnecessary burden on the mourning family, that's why we bring our own meals."

Chocolate Expo coming to town

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post): An international chocolate expo is coming to town and will be held at the Semanggi Expo center, South Jakarta, from Nov. 1 to 3, organizers said Tuesday.

The Jakarta Chocolate Expo has been held biannually since 2001, with chocolate producer Tulip claiming to be the "Embassy of Chocolate" for the event.

Some 31,000 people visited the last exhibition, which was held in 2005, said Elvira Koto, the company's marketing manager.

Elvira said 50 companies that produced chocolate-related products would participate in the expo.

A giant chocolate house loaded with various chocolate candies, a fountain, biscuits and ice cream will be located in a playground at the expo for child visitors under 16.

The house will be made from more than 1.5 tons of dark, milk and white chocolate, Elvira said.

"Only children will be allowed play inside the house. Adults can enjoy looking at the exterior of the house from a viewing area."

Sunda Kelapa: The no-frills favorite

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

It was not yet noon, but the Friday morning heat was such that a group of men had tied shirts around their heads in addition to their caps to protect them from sunburn.

Covered in white dust, the men loaded sacks of cement from a cargo truck into a traditional schooner.

This activity -- a daily routine at the port -- attracted Yannick and Mona, a French couple, strolling along the dock which has a capacity to accommodate 70 schooners.

Photographing and discussing the work, they were also impressed with the long line of vessels with uniquely pointed prows and colorful decorations mooring at Sunda Kelapa Port in North Jakarta.

Sunda Kelapa is the city's most historical port, renowned for phinisi schooners, the traditional vessels of the Bugis people of Sulawesi, still used to deliver goods around the archipelago.

An Australian couple, Pat and Jenny, who had been in the country for one week, were also fascinated by the boats.

"We have wooden boats back in Australia, but they're not like these ones," Pat said.

The phinisi ships at Sunda Kelapa are wooden vessels around 40 meters long and 15 meters wide, with two main masts with seven sails each. The boats have diesel engines they can use alternately with the sails. They can carry up to 950 tons of cargo, which varies from cement and timber, to electronic devices and appliances.

The schooners transport goods across the archipelago, but mainly to Batam island or Pontianak in Kalimantan.

The journey takes up to three full days. Some may return laden with timber from Kalimantan but most return empty to Sunda Kelapa to reload.

John (not his real name), a British man, who for 13 years has been coming to Jakarta for business, said he finds the harbor unique.

"This place offers something very traditional and very Indonesian. The boats are remarkable. You can't find them anywhere else in the world," he said.

Sunda Kelapa's history dates back to the 12th century, when it was the most important harbor of the Pajajaran Kingdom (the area now known as West Java), with trading ships from China, southern India, Japan and the Middle East.

In the 15th century it became the source of a conflict. The port was conquered by Fatahillah on June 22, 1527, marking the birth of Jakarta.

Tanjung Priok, a far more modern harbor not far from Sunda Kelapa, was constructed by the Dutch in 1873 and became one of the most prominent seaports in the country, but Sunda Kelapa maintains activity.

For something different, tourists can take a boat ride across the Dutch-made canal.

Despite being popular among foreign visitors, Sunda Kelapa is not a favorite tourist destination for locals, who prefer modern entertainment centers and shopping malls.

While the area does not see many local tourists, Basri, a 50-year-old Buginese man who takes people across the harbor in his small boat every day, said over the Idul Fitri holidays more visitors had come.

"During the holidays I made more money," he said.

Basri, usually charges locals between Rp 6,000 and Rp 10,000 (US$1), and foreigners Rp 25,000 to Rp 30,000 a trip.

As part of Jakarta's old city, the harbor attracts both locals and foreigners with its schooners, but lacks tourism infrastructure.

Attended parking is available for cars but not for motorcycles.

Tourists are permitted onto schooners to get a look at the old sturdy wooden decks or a feel for the seafaring atmosphere, but first must climb a one-meter high concrete dock curb before reaching the ship.

Sunda Kelapa may serve as a loading and storage facility, but it is not tourist friendly.

Except for warehouses and a stock piling area there's not much more for tourists to see on the dock, which is poorly maintained and partly flooded with seawater.

There are no proper restaurants at Sunda Kelapa either, only street vendors selling cigarettes, peanuts and drinks.

Toilets, another vital facility, are nowhere to be found.

The poor condition of the harbor is a concern for some tourists, like John, even though he enjoys Sunda Kelapa's uniqueness.

"It's just too bad. It has so much potential. There is so much that could be done to the place."

Copperfield's cargo remains unclaimed

Ikram Putra, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Tanjung Priok Customs says the two 40-foot containers belonging to magician David Copperfield will become "no-man's" property unless claimed within 30 days.

"We will wait only 30 days. If nobody picks them up then we'll declare them no-man's property," head of prevention and investigation at Tanjung Priok Customs, Heru Sulastyono, said.

The containers arrived last week from Los Angeles.

Copperfield, whose real name is David Seth Kotskin, has canceled a string of performances in Southeast Asia including in Jakarta, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand following investigations into his alleged sexual misconduct in the U.S.

Peter Basuki, whose company was organizing the Jakarta shows, lost more than US$1 million in advertising and other preparations as a result of the cancellation.

Official Sulastyono said if the equipment was unclaimed it would become "property of the state".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

International salsa orchestra and dancers to sway Jakarta

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post): Salsa music and dance aficionados, prepare yourselves for Thursday night's evening of entertainment, featuring an international orchestra and international salsa champions Billy Fajardo and Katie Marlow.

The first Indonesian Salsa Festival, which opened on Oct. 20, will be closed with a Dinner and Dance Night, presenting the 2004 Grammy Award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra from the U.S.

The 13-strong "Hottest Classic Latin Dance Orchestra" will be performing for the first time in Indonesia.

Americans Fajardo and Marlow, and an Indonesian salsa dancer, Venna Melinda, are just a few of the names who will appear at the event at the Ballroom at the Hotel Mulia, Jakarta.

"It's the first salsa festival in Indonesia; it's here to indulge the growing number of salsa fans in this country," said one of the event organizers, PT Julambi Citra Karunia's Nuke Mayasaphira, on Wednesday. (Agnes Winarti)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

'I never knew Kemang would be like this'

The Jakarta Post

Talking about South Jakarta, particularly Kemang, one cannot forget Bob Sadino, the founder and owner of Kem Chicks market, one of the first businesses in Jakarta to cater to the needs of expatriates. To complete the story of South Jakarta, The Jakarta Post's Evi Mariani interviewed Bob, who shared some stories about the place he knows better than anyone else.

One day in the 1960s, Bob Sadino took shelter in front of a house in Kemang, then covered mostly by paddy fields and jungle. It was a nice area, still green, the air clean and it already had access to the city.

"I spotted a plot of land. I was interested in buying it. Next, the owner of the house came out and we talked," Bob said.

The owner of the house also owned the plot of land, and the two came to an agreement: Bob got the 1,000-square-meter plot of land and the owner got Bob's 1963 Mercedes-Benz, valued at US$1,000.

At almost the same time, Kemang began to become popular among a small circle of expatriates. They liked the tranquility and the greenery and they could travel in their cars to the city.

In the 1970s began the process that saw Kemang transform into what it is today: a chic and fashionable area.

"It was a coincidence that I chose Kemang and that Kemang was the choice of expats at that time," Bob said.

Bob, born in 1933, has witnessed Kemang's development into a bustling commercial area. "Kem Chicks was the only business there in the 1970s. Besides me, there were only a few small kiosks serving the locals."

"There's a perfect Betawi expression for what I was: biang kerok (pioneer). I was also the first to introduce eggs and chickens from modern farming. I brought them from the Netherlands. Indonesians were not familiar with those eggs and chickens; they ate homegrown chickens and eggs.

"It's now wild and chaotic. The traffic is wild. People open every kind of business from upmarket restaurants as well as McDonald's, antiques, bookstores, hotels," he said. "I never had a hunch that it would be like this."

He said all the development grew from the people and had little to do with the city administration's planning or help.

Bob said he had mixed feelings about Kemang's development. "I'm happy but also worried."

He said he worries mainly about the traffic, but he was happy the area was bustling. He has plans to turn his homey Kem Chicks into a large building containing 24 levels of residential units and two levels of commercial units.

"After that, I will just leave it to the next generation."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Germany puts nearly $2.6 mln towards Vietnam eco-tourism

The German government has announced it would put €$1.8-million (US$2.6 million) towards building an environment-friendly tourism site at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

The German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) will support the Quang Binh Province project with the non-refundable aid through 2010, according to the plan signed by GTZ and provincial authorities in Hanoi on Friday.

GTZ has provided technical assistance to Vietnam since 1993. It is supporting some 20 projects and programs focusing on sustainable economic growth, environmental protection and healthcare in Vietnam.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

The park is home to one of the world's two largest limestone karsts and includes several hundred caves.

Bali must be ready for global tourism competition: Expert

The Jakarta Post

An economist said Bali will increasingly have to compete globally for tourists as countries promote their top destinations for a larger share of the lucrative industry.

Speaking Friday at a national seminar on tourism trends and investment prospects at Nusa Dua, economist Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti said tourism will increasingly play a bigger role in the global economy. "Tourism will be grown as a 'clean industry,'" said Kuntjoro-Jakti, a former chief economics minister.

"Indonesian tourism, if managed properly, will have a good chance to replace the oil and gas industry as the country's top foreign exchange earner," he said. He said Bali was known as Indonesia's top tourist destination, but in the future that would not be enough to ensure a steady stream of tourists.

He said more countries were competing in the world tourism market, offering travelers more attractive and dynamic tourism packages. "We should not take it for granted that visitors will come to Bali and other destinations in Indonesia. Indonesiamust make a comprehensive analysis and integrated efforts to attract world travelers to the country." Compared to other Asian countries, Indonesia has a number of negative growth factors.

According to Euromonitor, a prestigious tourism think thank in Europe, there are several factors hampering tourism growth in Indonesia, including terrorism, lack of infrastructure, bird flu and the quality of service. "Indonesia must be active in promoting its tourism services, and provide an in-depth analysis of its future prospects to major tourism agencies and prospective investors," Kuntjoro-Jakti said. Ida Bagus Lolec, one of Bali's most successful tourism entrepreneurs, said the island had a lot of work to do if it hoped to maintain its position as a world-class tourist destination.

"We must be very creative in creating attractive tourism packages to lure back tourists and businesspeople to the island," he said. Tourist arrivals fell drastically after the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2005 attacks. However, arrivals have begun to rebound.

The island annually hosts one to 1.5 million domestic and foreign tourists. Indonesia as a whole attracts about 6 million foreign tourists every year, as compared to Malaysia and Singapore which see at least 11 million foreign visitors annually. Lolec said Bali had the potential to be further developed as a business and leisure tourist destination.

"International meetings and conferences are one potential tourism market for Bali as we have adequate facilities and skilled human resources," he said. Bali is already hosting some national and international conferences. Next December, the island will host a major UN conference on climate change.

Agung Prana, another tourist businessman, views Balitourism in a positive light.

"We still have a large portion of the global marketshare," Prana said. Environmental and spiritual tourism packages could be developed in Bali, he said.

"These are the current global trends in the tourism industry. Bali has abundant natural and spiritual richness. It really depends on us to make it attractive to the international tourism industry," Prana said.

Tour de Indonesia to kick off in Bali

The Jakarta Post

DENPASAR: The international Tour de Indonesia cycling race will start in Bali in November, with cyclists set to pedal through Denpasar, Buleleng and Gilimanuk on their way to Jakarta.

Freddie Tutuarima from the event's organizing committee said hundreds of athletes from 14 countries were expected to take part in this year's event. "The race usually starts in Java, but this year we will start it here to rejuvenate Bali's tourism sector," Tutuarima said.

Bali will hold three out of nine stages. The other three stages will be held in Java, with the race to finish in Jakarta.

The Indonesian team will consist of national athletes Dwi Ratsongko, Ketut Panca Jaya, Wayan Ogik Juniada, Putu Subrata and Jovani Lukman.

Bali urged to register cultural assets

The Jakarta Post

DENPASAR: Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik has asked the Balinese to protect their cultural assets by registering them as intellectual property.

Indonesia recently became embroiled in a spat with Malaysia over that country's use of the folk song Rasa Sayange, which Indonesia claims as its own.

Malaysia was also reported to have registered batik products as its own cultural assets.

The minister urged each province in Indonesia to register all of their intellectual property.

Bali is famous for its art and culture, including textiles, statues, paintings, architectural pieces, songs and dances.

I Nyoman Nikanaya, head of Bali's cultural agency, said a Japanese agency was attempting to register penjor as its own.

Penjor is a long bamboo pole elaborately ornamented with young coconut leaves and fruits. It is erected in front of a house to mark the commencement of a religious festival.

I Gde Parimarta, a professor of culture at the Udayana University in Denpasar, said Indonesia had to be more proactive in registering its cultural heritage.

"We have to learn the international mechanisms for registering our intellectual property, otherwise it will be easy for other countries to claim them," he said.

Bali is now going through the process of registering penjor dand Gringsing traditional textile patterns. (JP)

Travellers leave island en masse after break

Ary Hermawan, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

Cesilia, 25, flew into Bali on a one-way ticket for a relaxing vacation over the long Idul Fitri holiday. She assumed it wouldn't be too difficult to get a ticket back to Jakarta so she could be back at work Monday. She was wrong.

After some serious scrambling and numerous phone calls, Cesilia was finally able to book a seat on a Lion Air flight on Saturday for Rp 1,149,000, or almost three times as much as she paid to fly to Bali with the same airline.

Still, she was glad for the ticket. Cesilia, who works as a journalist for a daily newspaper, had already been told by several airlines that there were no seats available on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the last three days of the Idul Fitri holiday.

"I have had my holiday, which was quite long, so I have no excuse whatsoever to prolong it. I have no choice," she said.

With the end of the national holiday, probably the longest "joint-leave" in the country's history, people who left Bali to celebrate Idul Fitri in Java have begun to return.

And all the holidaymakers who packed Kuta Beach and filled the island's hotels are now crowding Ngurah Rai airport to fly home.

An official at the airport's Idul Fitri post, I Ketut Gusti Arsana, said the number of passengers leaving Bali on Friday -- the fifth day after Idul Fitri -- was 9,625 on 73 flights.

The number of arriving passengers was 6,341 on 67 flights.

"Last year, the number of departing flights on the fifth day after Idul Fitri was only 59 with 5,903 passengers," he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

He said he was pleased by the situation.

"This is a clear sign that Bali is now considered safe, while more domestic tourists now have the money to spend on a holiday in Bali," he said.

On Friday, he said, the airport served 5,438 passengers on international flights arriving on the island.

Arsana predicted Saturday would be the peak day for holidaymakers flying out of Bali.

An official at the Ubung bus station, Agus Juliantara, said Thursday was the peak day for people returning to Bali after celebrating Idul Fitri in their hometowns, mostly on Java.

"On Thursday, the number of buses entering Bali was 100 with 3,752 passengers. The figures declined to 90 buses and 3,099 passengers on Friday," he said.

Gede Putrawan, head of Gilimanuk Port in Jembrana regency, said he expected the number of people returning to and leaving Bali to peach its peak Saturday.

"Domestic tourists will check out of their hotels on Saturday afternoon and they will crowd the port on Saturday evening," he said.

"Motorcycles are already lining up at Ketapang Port, waiting for their turn to board the ferry to Bali," he said

Ketapang Port is in East Java.

Authorities have said the number of people, particularly jobseekers from Java and Lombok, entering Bali after Idul Fitri is expected to go up this year from past years.

In 2006, the busiest post-Idul Fitri day for Ubung bus station saw 99 buses carrying 3,605 passengers enter the island.

Those figures have already been surpassed this year.

Authorities have begun to take measure to prevent jobseekers from entering the province.

Security officials at Gilimanuk seaport, which links Bali to Ketapang Port in Banyuwangi, East Java, have turned away 600 people who were unable to show valid identity cards.

A sociologist from Udayana University in Denpasar, Gde Made Suarjana, said he supported administration efforts to tighten controls on arriving jobseekers, but warned the policy could be interpreted as discriminatory.

"The policy has to be seen as an effort to maintain social order as the issue of rising population has long been a problem for any city. It is not aimed at preventing the movement of people," he said.

However, he said if people saw the issue as one of ethnicity, it could aggravate social problems.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Women writers challenging the status quo

Michele Cempaka, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Ubud

Meita Kasim, an up-and-coming Indonesian writer and Dorothea Rosa Herliany, a well known contemporary Indonesian poet stood out from the rest of the writers at last month's UWRF festival in Ubud: They are prime examples of women writers who dare to challenge the status quo.

At the discussion "Alternative Modernities" Cyril Wong, a renowned gay poet from Singapore, talked about what it was like to be a gay writer in a country that is not very supportive of homosexuality.

Meita Kasim boldly asked him about how he dealt with censorship? He replied, "Actually my publisher told me to cut some risque lines out of my poems and I did it because I wanted my book to be published. You have to take small steps and eventually your writing will be totally accepted, but it takes time."

After the discussion, Meita sat down with the Jakarta Post to discuss her life as a struggling writer.

"I'm a bit of a rebel," said Meita who is now 32 years old. She took a leap of faith and moved to Bali seven years ago from Jakarta against her parents' wishes. Previously she worked as both a magazine editor and radio scriptwriter, but her true passion is fiction.

She is currently working on a new project which has sparked some controversy, because it deals with homosexuality; one of the main characters is a gay and hasn't come out yet, but at the end of the story reveals his true self.

She had asked Cyril Wong about censorship, because she was confronting this issue in her own work.

"I showed the story to a friend of mine who is a publisher; he told me that Indonesia just isn't ready to deal with such a controversial topic with the political climate being what it is."

"If I really want this project to be accepted, I may have to tone down this character quite a bit."

When asked whether she felt it was more difficult for Indonesian women writers Meita said, "Yes, because women are in the spotlight so we really have to prove ourselves, while it's not that way for men, because men have more freedom in this society to say and do what they want."

"People keep telling me that I should try to earn money writing non-fiction or find something else, but I don't want to. I got sidetracked for so many years doing other things that I didn't really want to do, because I didn't believe that I could support myself in writing only fiction, but now that's what I'm committed to -- I just want to write fiction."

In contrast, Dorothea Rosa Herliany is typical of the second generation of Indonesian writers which emerged after the 1980s. She was educated in the Indonesian language and was raised primarily on Indonesian literature. She grew up in Magelang just outside of Yogyakarta in Central Java, where she is currently the publisher of Indonesia Tera.

Rosa is perhaps one of the most important contemporary poets in Indonesia. Her achievement as a poet was recognized when she was awarded the Khatulista Literary Award for poetry in 2006.

When the Jakarta Post asked her what it means for Indonesian writers to have a platform at the festival Rosa replied, "I don't have any special feeling. I was the Indonesian coordinator of the first writer's festival, so I have a historical background. I have a close connection with this festival not just because I'm a writer."

Rosa feels that there needs to be more Indonesians on the Festival Steering Committee which consisted of ten members who were mostly westerners with the exception of two Indonesians: Panji Tisna, writer, arts manager and cultural commentator and Bundhi Marcello, translator and language trainer.

"Indonesian writers should not be marginalized," said Rosa. "The festival should work more towards joining Indonesian writers with western writers."

Rosa also says that in Java, most people feel that the festival is concerned more with foreign writers.

"The focus of the festival is not on the Indonesian writers. We want the festival to be arranged so that there's a special program for Indonesian writers -- maybe a certain space or event that is allocated only for Indonesian writers.

"Because this festival happens in Indonesia, this is a great opportunity for more people to know about Indonesia. Many people don't even know where Indonesia is. This festival should be something special for Indonesia," said Rosa.

As an Indonesian woman writer, Rosa has felt lucky because things have been easier for her than for other women. "I'm not a typical case, because I have my own publishing house and know many publishers."

"But for other women who live in remote areas in Indonesia, it's very, very hard. They don't have any access to information or even have a computer."

"Another example is that as women, they may have many problems at home. They would be lucky if they have a husband who understands about literature. But,I'm not sure; maybe some men don't want their wife to be a writer?"

According to Rosa it's much easier for writers to get published today because there are many Indonesian publishers looking for writers. That was not the case for Rosa and her generation. During her youth, it was rare to have a book published because there were so few publishers available.

"Right now is really the women writer's generation." "It's very easy now for writers to get published. Writers just need to send their work and most likely they will get published."

Rosa's poetry is edgy and intense, giving the reader a glimpse of the troubles many women face in her culture.

When asked why she writes about such disturbing topics she said, "I think women's problems should be made public. I think I should write something powerful so it has an effect on people. If someone reads my work they will get an insight into the problems which exist in our society."