Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jakarta to Yogyakarta: A tale with lots of twists

Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo, The Jakarta Post, Central Java and Yogyakarta | Sun, 04/20/2008 10:57 AM

After viewing the cult road-trip film Easy Rider for a second time, I had this harebrained idea of driving to Yogyakarta during the long weekend in March. 



 The Tugu in Yogya. (JP/Alvin D. Soedarjo)


I enjoy driving long distances, particularly when the destination city offers attractions like food, sight-seeing and shopping. 

This was my third time in Yogyakarta. The second time had been on a school trip, traveling by bus, when I was still a teenager. 

Like many other travelers, we planned this trip only two days before we departed. But unlike other travelers, my pregnant wife and I did manage to book a room in the city of gudeg for a few nights, through sheer luck and networking.

Read whole story ....

RI hosting Southeast Asia Poetry Festival

The Jakarta Post, Antara, Jakarta | Sat, 04/26/2008 4:28 PM

The Southeast Asia Poetry Festival is now underway at the Ismail Marzuki Park, Jakarta.

The festival, jointly held by the Panggung Melayu Foundation and the Tanjungpinang Administration, is running from Friday through Tuesday.

Participants are from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, the head of the organizing committee Asrizal Nur said Friday night. 

The festival, with the theme "With Poetry We Uphold the Nation`s Dignity", is not merely a cultural event but also a historical gathering, he said. 

Many activities would be held during the festival, including a poetry exhibition, a workshop on making fast poetry, a photo exhibition of Tanjugpinang City, cultural performances from

Pontianak, Samarinda, and poetry and songs from Brunei Darussalamong of Jakarta.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bali to hold Balinese Art Festival from June 14 to July 12

Denpasar, Bali, April 18 (ANTARA) - Bali will hold the 30th Balinese Art Festival from June 14 to July 12, 2008, according to a local official.

The festival would be highlighted with a number of national and international events, Head of the Bali provincial tourism service Nyoman Nikanaya said here on Friday.

The international events would include a world `wayang` (puppet shadow) festival, an ASEAN ethnic music festival, a congress of Balinese culture and an arts performance show to be participated in by 12 teams from eight countries, he said.

At least 20 provinces from Indonesia would also join the festival by presenting their cultural arts and handicrafts, he said.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bandung students learn from farmers in nature, cultural tour

Slamet Susanto & Tarko Sudiarno, The Jakarta Post, Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta, Wed, 04/13/2005 12:35 PM

Bandung International School students get hands-on experience at planting rice in a paddy

Plowing, growing rice and cooking with wood stoves are part of the daily routine for rural people. For students of Bandung International School (BIS), however, thesetasks are a rare, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This not surprising, because most of the 45 BIS students following the nature and cultural tourism program in Sendangsari village of Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta, are foreign nationals with accustomed to a modern lifestyle not the life of hardship and toil in rural Indonesia.

Bandung International School students get hands-on experience at planting rice in a paddy (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

"Enough, enough!" yelled Sabina, who had been driving a cattle-pulled plow for less than five minutes. The student from Denmark was shouting for help as she tried to get down from the plow. She was apparently disgusted at the sight of the cow peeing and emptying its bowels right in front of her.

"It's all right, miss,natural manure, beneficial to plants," said the plow driver while helping Sabina to descend.

But Sabina expressed her pleasure at taking a leisurely walk around the village and observing the cultivation process while familiarizing herself with local farmers' traditions.

Forgetting the cow dung, Sabina joined her classmates to try her hand at planting rice. "It's quite interesting. I once saw this in Sukabumi (West Java)," she said. 

Tyler, a BIS student from Canada, looked at the muddy field intently, then plunged into the mire and gestured as though he was swimming.

"It feels like snow. The difference is that mud is warm and makes the body dirty," he remarked.

"Help me, help me.!" still another student cried as his legs slid down into the mud to his knees. Some of his friends came near but instead of helping, they jostled each other before finally falling together into the sludge, laughing.

Apart from learning local crop planting methods, the students were also introduced to rural community traditions, such as the use of the bedug, a big drum, as a means of communication to signal the start of a village meeting.

"In the city, residents keep their money at banks and can withdraw it any time through an ATM. Villagers save their money by raising cows," the students' guide explained. "Cattle constitute a form of savings for rural people and will be sold when they have urgent needs, just like in a bank transaction."

Greening and replanting various plants, as well as an introduction to different wildlife species of Indonesia in the Yogyakarta Wildlife Rescue Center (PPSJ), were also part of the BIS students' village tour program.

They were taught how to feed animals, take care of them and release them back into their natural habitat. The animals were originally confiscated by authorized government agencies and placed under the PPSJ's care.

Jonas, a BIS history teacher, said the stroll around the village was very conducive to building a close relationship between teachers and students. He said this helped teachers to better understand the students' needs to create the best method of teaching.

"Such close association and awareness of what students want contribute to their learning process," stressed Jonas, who has been in Bandung since 1998 and has two children with his wife, who is from the area.

Observing traditional activities, he added, made students conscious of what it really meant to struggle for life.

"So far, (the students) have lived in big cities and most of them come from established families, enjoying pleasant living conditions and never before knowing the toils of life," he pointed out.

The village experience will increase their knowledge in addition to the science subjects they learned in class.

"After graduation, I hope they will have a broader perspective," Jonas said.

The educational benefits of the village tour were deemed extremely valuable to the students' education that it has been made into a regular activity.

"This program is part of the school curriculum and is regularly carried out to broaden students' horizons," Jonas said.

Meanwhile, PPSJ director Sugi Hartono revealed that the wildlife center, in cooperation with relevant agencies and local communities, was promoting cultural tourism in rural areas.

As we are in the hilly region of Menoreh, we call our cultural and nature tourism zone Menoreh Green Land," he said.

A BIS students rides a traditional plow as a farmer assists the team. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

According to Hartono, Menoreh Green Land offers genuine rural tourism covering crop planting methods and local traditions. Visitors are also served typical foods that are unique to the area. The land's extensive hills and rapidly flowing rivers for rafting are also open to exploration in their natural conditions.

Since its founding in 2003, the PPSJ has accommodated 4,194 animals representing 54 species, of which 2,873 have been rehabilitated and released back to the wild. Among these animals are sea hawks (Haliatus leocogaster), pig-snout tortoises (Carettoscelis insculpta), bondol hawks (Haliastur Indus) and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus).

Four hectares of the PPSJ's 14-ha area are reserved for wildlife conservation and the remainder for a variety of outbound games.

"We also aim to nurture a love of wildlife among students at an early age so that they will become a succeeding generation that cares for the ecosystem, rather than one that only exploits nature as is the case today," Hartono said.

He also hoped an increase in tourists to the area would help improve the community's welfare.

"Local people can make extra income from their food stalls, homestays and the sale of handicrafts as souvenirs," continued Hartono.

"Although not all villagers are aware of the importance of tourism, through dialogs on its direct economic benefits, we are sure they will come to fully support the effort," he said.


Friday, April 11, 2008

RI Consulate in Sydney, Garuda to organize `Discover Indonesia`

Brisbane (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian consulate general in Sydney and national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will jointly organize a tourism promotion event called "Discover Indonesia" for Australian tourism operators and mass media.

Intended to support the Visit Indonesia 2008 program, the promotional event would be held for two weeks starting late July 2008, Pratito Soeharyo, minister counselor at the consulate, said here Friday.

Representatives of 20 Australian travel bureaus and a number of newspaper and television reporters would be invited to take part in the program, he said.

They would be given the opportunity to visit and see some of Indonesia`s eco-tourism potentials outside Bali, especially on Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua islands.

Garuda would among other things fly them to the Bunaken marine park in North Sulawesi, the center for orangutan protection in Kalimantan, and Toba Lake in North Sumatra.

Most Australian tourists visiting Indonesia so far stay mainly in Bali.

For 2008, Indonesia had set a target of attracting seven million foreign tourists and earning around US$6.7 billion in foreign exchange from them.

A total of 5.5 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia last year. Topping the list of countries where the tourists came from were Singapore with 1.46 million tourists, Malaysia (941,202), Japan (593,784), Australia (313,881), South Korea (423,098), China (335,172), Europe (528,171), and the United States (154,846).

Dubai`s Emaar intensifies tourist zone invesment in Indonesia

Mataram (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - The biggest state-owned company in Dubai, Emaar Properties LLC Dubai, has been speeding up the realization of its investment in a US$600-700 million integrated tourist zone in the Indonesian province of Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

"Emaar is speeding up the drawing up of a master plan of the project," said M. Abdul, a member of the Vice Presidential expert staff, when presiding over a meeting on preparations of infrastructure facilities for investment by Emaar Properties LLC Dubai, in Mataram on Thursday.

"All the relevant agencies and institutions need to act quickly, and all the work supporting the investment need to be carried out in parallel," he said.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

News Focus: Jambi ready to make Visit Indonesia Year success

By Bambang Purwanto

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Jambi province has been preparing local tourist sites and attractions as well as setting up support facilities and infrastructures in its effort to make the Indonesia Visit Year (VIY) 2008 program a success.

Jambi Governor H Zulkifli Nurdin has brought all businesspeople dealing with the tourism sector in the province together calling on them to make concerted efforts to make the Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) and Visit Jambi Year (VJY) programs a success.

The local chapter of the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (Asita) and the local chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (Ihra) had expressed readiness to promote tourist objects both at home and abroad, Zulkifli said.

The governor had also called on relevant state-owned companies including plantation and construction enterprises as well as airlines to take active parts in making the national and local tourism programs a success.

This year, Jambi will hold various tourist events including the Muorojambi Temple Festival(May 28-June 2), the Batang Merangin Rafting Championship (May 25-30), the Lake Kerinci Festival (July 17-20) and the Jambi Cultural Week (December 10-15), besides organizing a meeting for all Indonesian men of letters.

The local administration has made the Muorojambi Temple as an integrated cultural, historical, scientific, religious, culinary and agro tourism site.

Head of the Jambi Provincial Culture and Tourism Office, Hj Mualimah Radhiana said the two-kilometer square tourist site has 86 small and big temples.

The temple which is the historical heritage of the Sriwijaya Kingdom and the Islam Malay Kingdom in Jambi becomes an icon in the Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) program.

For the Muarojambi Temple Festival, the Jambi provincial administration was focusing on developing rivulets leading to the temple complex.

"We are offering passage on the Batanghari River to the Muarojambi Temple Festival to guests who can enjoy the views along the river," Muallimah said.

In addition to the four events, Jambi was also offering the `Mandi Syafar` event (a traditional bathing ritual usually held in the second Islamic month of Syafar) in March, the Jambi Discount Event in February and the Procession of Sahur (eating before daybreak for fasting) in the Ramadhan fasting month.

Jambi is optimistic that the number of tourists it would attract during the VIY 2008 would increase compared to the previous year when the figure was recorded at 616,000, including 5,000 foreign tourists, she said.

The local administration had also cooperated with the association of representatives for the Indonesian Buddhists (Walubi) to hold the Muorojambi Temple Festival in May or in coinciding with the celebration of Buddha`s birth on May 20.

In 2007, the Buddha`s birth was celebrated by thousands of Buddhists from different countries at the Muorojambi Temple some 30 kilometers east of Jambi city.

Besides historical and cultural tourist objects, Jambi will also attract tourists with natural tourist sites like the Kerinci Seblat National Park in Kerinci district.

Kerinci district is one of Jambi`s potential tourist destination as it has interesting natural tourist sites including Lake Kerinci, Lake Gunung Tujuh, Mt. Kerinci, Telun Berasap Waterfalls and hot water bathing places.

In addition, the province also makes Batanghari river a potential tourist destination in support of the Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) program. The river will be made as a water way for tourists to the Muorojambi Temple.

Tour packages

In the meantime, tour operators and travel agents grouped in Asita`s Jambi chapter have been preparing tour packages in support of the Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) program.

Chairman of Asita`s Jambi chapter M Ali Rahman Siwoon said the association in cooperation with businesspeople in other provinces in Indonesia and abroad has been promoting Jambi`s tourism potentials through different activities like the Jambi Travel Mart.

Asita`s Jambi chapter is offering ecotourism objects like the Berbak National Park in Tanjung Jabung Timur district and the Muorojambi Temple which are always visited by a lot of domestic and foreign tourists.

Jambi is also offering other tourist events like the Slank Lovers Parade, the Jambi Adventure City, the Lake Sipin Festival, Fun Tour, Rain Forest Off Road, the International Batik Festival and the Jambi Expo 2008.

Head of the Jambi Provincial Culture and Tourism Office, Hj Mualimah, said Jambi has been ready to make the VIY 2008 a success as it already has 11 star hotels, 107 non-star hotels and seven homestays, 33 reastaurants and 342 food stalls.

She said Jambi has 269 tourist objects, 46 travel agents, five convention facilities and 117 arts groups which can be found in 10 districts and cities in the province.

The government, represented by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, launched the Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) 2008 program on December 26, 2007.

Gearing up to make the Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) 2008 program a success, the Indonesian government is calling on all its regional administrations and embassies abroad to intensively promote the country`s tourism potentials.

On efforts to promote the VIY 2008 abroad, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said the government had made them among others through websites, road shows in several countries and participation in annual tourism mart exhibitions, including those held in Berlin (Germany), London (Britain) and China.

Indonesia`s traditional tourism markets are Japan, Australia, Korea, Taiwan and a number of European countries besides new markets such as China, India, Russia and countries in the Middle East.

In support of the VIY 2008 program, Minister Jero Wacik had also provided Visa On Arrival (VOA) facilities to 63 countries, an increase from 29 countries before his appointment as minister.

Indonesia is promoting its tourist potentials through a Visit Indonesia Year program for a second time. The first time it did so was in 1991.

From the VIY program, the Culture and Tourism Ministry had set a target of earning 6.7 billion US dollars from seven million foreign tourists expected to visit Indonesia.