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, September 28, 2009

Kuta Karnival promotes traditional and modern art forms

Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Mon, 09/28/2009 9:50 AM

Taking a stand: Local artists perform the Sekar Jagat dance during a cultural parade to mark the closing of the 7th Kuta Karnival on Sunday. The first Kuta Karnival was held as a show of defiance toward terrorists, a loud proclamation that Balinese tourism would survive. JP/Ni Komang Erviani

Wiwin, 22, a university student from Malang, East Java, struggled to take a photo amid the sea of people on Kuta Beach on Sunday.

She tried her best to squeeze through the crowd with her camera to take pictures of the passing cultural parade, which drew many observers and created prolonged traffic jams at streets leading to the renowned tourist destination.

It seemed that Wiwit and other spectators didn’t mind the scorching heat of the afternoon.

“I am very lucky to spend my holiday in Bali and to have the chance to watch a great cultural festival,” she said.

The street parade was part of the closing of the 7th Kuta Karnival, an annual celebration that has became a signature event of the tourism haven.

The first Kuta Karnival was organized in October 2003, just one year after terrorists bombed two popular night spots in the area.

The bombings killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, and almost put an end to Kuta’s reputation as a world-class tourist attraction. The first Kuta Karnival was a show of defiance against the terrorists, a loud proclamation that Kuta would survive.

This year’s festival was a rich presentation of the island’s traditional and modern art forms.

“Unlike previous festivals, which focused more on modern art, the 7th Kuta Karnival deliberately featured a balanced mix of the traditional and the modern,” said the head of the organizing committee, Ketut Nugra.

The decision to promote both traditional and modern art forms, he said, was in tune with the festival’s theme “Celebration of Life”.

“Kuta is a vibrant place where traditional arts and modern lifestyles exist side-by-side and this harmony is the concept we wanted to celebrate in this year’s Kuta Karnival,” Nugra stressed.

Throughout the festival, which ran from Sept. 19 to 27, spectators were spoiled with performances of traditional art forms, such as the iconic Kecak and the classical Legong dance.

“The festival also featured Mepantigan, a traditional Balinese martial art, and Gandrung, a joyful folk dance from Banyuwangi in East Java,” he added.

For spectators that wanted a taste of the modern side of Kuta, the festival featured graffiti art, body painting sessions and music concerts.

Two eco-friendly activities, a beach cleanup and the release of turtle hatchlings, were also part of the festival

In conjunction with the Kuta Karnival, local tourism establishments organized the Bali Food Festival from Sept. 25-27.

Food stalls were erected on the sandy beach of Legian and visitors were treated to a huge selection of Balinese traditional delicacies and western foods sold at bargain prices.

A meal, which would cost more than Rp 100,000 in a restaurant, was sold for Rp 35,000 at the food festival.

“We sold the products cheaply because the food festival was a promotional event,” said Bali Niksoma’s manager Nyoman Astama.

Jakarta to have a new batik museum

Hasyim Widhiarto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 09/28/2009 8:36 PM

Seeking to house its growing batik collection and attract more visitors, the management of the Textile Museum in Central Jakarta is preparing to open a separate batik museum within the existing complex.

“We’re looking to complete the planning [for the new museum by the end of this year,” museum head Indra Riawan said Monday.

Built in the 19th century as a private French residence, the museum, on Jl. K.S. Tubun, showcases 1,800 items from around the archipelago, most of them batik.

Indra said the museum’s management had planned to renovate the 300-square-meter contemporary-textile gallery to make room for the new batik museum.

He declined to say when the new museum would open, with funding still being sought from the city administration before the start of renovation.

“We have so far secured a commitment from the Indonesian Batik Foundation to put some of their collections in the new museum,” Indra said.

Tensions are rising between Indonesia and Malaysia over cultural icons such as batik.
(JG, Tasa Nugraza Barley)

Boediono`s Maluku visit Expected to promote Sail Banda 2010

Antara, Saturday, September 26, 2009 15:03 WIB

Banda Neira (ANTARA News) - Vice President-elect Boediono`s visit to Maluku is of strategic significance for the promotion of Sail Banda 2010, Maluku Culture and Tourism Office head Florance Sahusilawane said here on Saturday.

"Boediono`s visit to the spice islands in Maluku is a sign that the gong for the promotion of Sail Banda 2010 has been sounded, because it is the vice president-elect who will spearheaded the campaign to promote the international sail event," Sahusilawane said.

She said Boediono`s presence in Banda Neira from Saturday to Monday (Sept 26-28) was an indication security conditions in Maluku were conducive for the international event which will follow the Sail Bunaken 2009 which took place in Agust this year in Manado, North Sulawesi.

"The preparedness of the people of Banda to receive Boediono indicates that they are also ready to host Sail Banda 2010," Sahusilawane said, adding that the event was to be organized as an international marine expedition.

She said the idea to hold the international event was being designed by adopting the past period of "hongitochten", punitive expeditions conducted by the Dutch to suppress uprisings in Seram, particularly in the clove-rich peninsula of Hoamoal and nearby islands with traditional boats.

Therefore, Sahusilawane called on villages across Maluku which have typical traditional boats to take part in and liven up Sail Banda 2010.

She said the promotion of Sail Banda 2010 would not be very difficult because the Banda islands were already known worldwide as the "spice islands", while UNESCO had named the islands one of the world`s heritages.

Maluku Governor Karel Albert Ralahalu said recently that some 150 sail boats from a number of countries had been registered to take part in Sail Banda 2010.

"I met Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik in Jakarta recently and he said about 150 sail boats have signed up for the international maritime event in Maluku next year," the governor said.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This old train

The Jakarta Post, Sun, 09/27/2009 8:32 PM

A steam locomotive from 1896 passes down Jl. Slamet Riyadi in Surakarta on Sunday. Transportation Minister Jusman Sjafei Djamal launched the train to carry tourists from the Purwosari to Solo Kota stations. (Antara/Andika Betha)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Obama to visit Jakarta en route to APEC: Source

Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | Fri, 09/25/2009 4:26 PM

Millions of people in Indonesia will end their long wait as US President Barack Obama will visit Jakarta on Nov. 12, albeit only for a stopover before flying to Singapore to attend the APEC meeting a day after.

“The US Embassy in Jakarta has officially submitted a formal proposal for the visit,” an official, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to talk with the media, said just before Obama hosted a dinner with G20 leaders, including Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, during the summit here Thursday.

Another official said Obama would be in his childhood town Jakarta and would spend the night before attending the annual Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC), which will be held on Nov. 14-15 in the city state, Singapore.

“The tentative schedule will be a two-day visit in the capital. But it depends on the security situation as it can also be just on the Nov. 12. One thing for sure is that President Obama will meet with President Yudhoyono for a bilateral talk and visit his old school in Menteng, Central Jakarta,” the source said.

Obama spent a few years as a child living in Jakarta from 1967 to 1971 after his mother married an Indonesian man.

Related Article:

President Obama delays Indonesian visit

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Influx of Travelers Ignites Bali to Open Extra Flights


DENPASAR, - Bali’s Ngurah Rai international airport during the week prior to Idul Fitri (Sept 14-20) served a total of 50 extra flights carrying holiday travelers to domestic destinations. "Around 6,503 passengers made use of the extra flights to a number of airports in Indonesia," a security officer at Ngurah Rai airport, Ngurah Jaya, said on Monday.

He said the extra flights were intended to carry Idul Fitri holiday travelers and other holiday makers who failed to get seats on scheduled flights. Ngurah Jaya said the number of domestic tourists arriving in Bali from various cities in Indonesia in the past one week exceeded that of Idul Fitri holiday travelers leaving the resort island for their home villages.

He said that since seven days before Idul Fitri until Sunday, Sept 20, 2009, 51,653 passengers arrived on 422 flights at Ngurah Rai airport, while 41,767 others depart from the airport on 424 flights to various destinatins.

Ngurah Jaya said the launch of extra flights from Ngurah Rai airport was started with the increase of passengers going to their home villages for Idul Fitri holidays.

"The extra flights will also be held until the holiday makers are returning from their hometowns," Ngurah Jaya said. He said that in the 24 hours on Tuesday (5 days ahead of Idul Fitri), 57 planes carrying 5,960 passengers landed at Ngurah Rai.

Last Wednesday, a total of 56 planes carrying 5,559 passengers, and another extra flight with 50 passengers left the airport. He also said that the number of international flights, both arrivals and departures, did not change much.

In the meantime, Idul Fitri transportation coordinator for Bali Sugeng Sugianto said at least 24 wide-bodied aircraft were ready for extra flights from Ngurah Rai to various destinations in Indonesia and back. The planes with unscheduled flights belonged to a number of airline companies in Indonesia.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Maldives named as second best Asian holiday destination


A global vote by readers of has placed Maldives and Phuket in Thailand as second best Asian holiday destination.

Bali in Indonesia stands first and Kerala as the third best. Kerala is followed by Hong Kong (4th), Bangkok and Hoi An (5th), Boracay, Goa and Langkawi (6th), Chiang Mai and Palawan (7th), Angkor, Shanghai and Tokyo (8th), Dubai and Koh Samui (9th) and Penang and Rajasthan (10th).

This was revealed in the 2009 best in Travel Poll by Smart Travel Asia – the region’s only dedicated online travel magazine which puts the spotlight on ‘inspirational’ brands and travel trends.

Voters polled in 12 categories including Asia’s best business hotels, luxury resorts, spas, destinations, business cities, shopping spots, and the world’s best airlines and airports. The poll was conducted through May-July this year.

Despite poor tourist arrival rates throughout 2009, statistics by the Department of Immigration and Emigration shows that August 2009 shows an increase. The statistics shows that 52,388 tourists visited Maldives in August 2009, while 51,824 tourists arrived in August 2008, registering a 1.1% increase. However, for the period from January to August 2009, a reduction of tourist arrivals by 8.8% was registered compared to the same period last year. During January and August 2009, 415,433 tourists arrived while 455,423 tourists arrived during the same period last year.

From the Asian region 12,085 tourists visited Maldives during August 2009. Chinese arrivals have shown the biggest increase from the region. During August 2009, 6197 Chinese tourists visited Maldives, registering an 80.1% increase.

In addition to the China, tourist arrivals from American region had also increased during August 2009, registering an 11.5% increase.

During the August 2009, tourists had spent 426,063 nights in the Maldives marking a 5.9% reduction. At the end of August 2009 of the 96 resort’s registered 20,614 beds, 85 resorts had operated 19,428 beds. Occupancy rates for August 2009 were at 66.9% and tourists had spent 8.8 nights in the Maldives.

Related Article:

Best Asian Travel Brands 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Early celebration

The Jakarta Post | Sat, 09/19/2009 12:51 PM

Early celebration: Followers of An Nadzir Islamic group hug each other after performing Idul Fitri prayer in Somba Opu district in the South Sulawesi regency of Gowa. The group celebrated Idul Fitri on Saturday, earlier than the rest of Muslims nationwide. - JP/Andi Haramur

Related Article:

Muslims celebrate Idul Fitri on same date

Friday, September 18, 2009

Foreign tourists can apply for tax refund

Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 09/16/2009 2:42 PM

Foreign tourists visiting Indonesia can apply for a tax refund when buying goods here next year, according to the newly endorsed law on value added tax and luxury tax.

Under the law that is set to be effective starting on Apr. 1, 2010, foreign tourists can apply for a refund if the goods purchased have a minimum value added tax of Rp 500,000 (US$50).

Assuming that an average of 10 percent value added tax is imposed on all goods, foreigners must purchase goods of at least Rp 5 million to be able to get a tax refund.

The refund, while may be late, puts Indonesia equal to neighboring countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, which have offered a similar refund.

Hotels and villas fully booked for Idul Fitri holidays

Wasti Atmodjo, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali |Thu, 09/17/2009 10:59 PM

Star hotels and luxury villas are likely to gain profits from the Idul Fitri long weekend as occupancy rates reach more than 90 percent, a hotel executive confirmed.

Djinaldi Gosana, executive director of the Bali Hotel Association (BHA), which overviews 100 members of four and five-star hotels in Bali, said that most clientele would check in this weekend (Sept.18) and spend the rest of the long holidays on the island.

“Most hotels especially those located in Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran resorts are already fully booked,” Gosana said.

Bali had just finished a robust holiday season, including national school holidays and summer holidays, which started ran from June to August.

Despite terrorist attacks in Jakarta’s J.W. Marriot and Ritz-Carlton hotels last July, Bali’s tourism industry has remained strong. From January to June this year, more than 1 million foreign tourists spent their holidays on the island.

Aloysius Purwa, chairman of the Association of Travel Agencies (ASITA), said that Bali would again host visitors, mostly domestic guests, during the Idul Fitri holidays.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Score One for Indonesia in the War Over Batik

The New York Times, by PETER GELLING, Published: September 14, 2009

A worker hung freshly died batik in Solo, Indonesia. (Ed Wray for The International Herald Tribune)

JAKARTA — For Indonesians, it is a point scored in a long-running rivalry with their neighbor Malaysia: The United Nations has decided to recognize Indonesian batik as one of the world’s important cultural traditions.

After a run of what Indonesian nationalists view as Malaysia’s poaching of its culture, the announcement last week that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization would add batik to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list at a ceremony at the end of this month was especially welcome. To celebrate, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked all Indonesians to wear batik on Oct. 2.

“It is so important that the world finally recognize and acknowledge batik as an Indonesian heritage,” said Obin, one of the country’s leading fashion designers. “It is a part of our soul.”

But bragging rights to batik, the process of creating intricate patterns on textiles with wax-resistant dyes, is only one of a slew of issues — cultural, social and political — that have bedeviled relations between Malaysia and Indonesia of late. In June, things had reached the point where Malaysia’s defense minister felt it necessary to declare that, contrary to appearances, the two countries were not on the brink of war.

Indonesia and Malaysia’s numerous commonalities have often sparked disputes. Their historically fluid borders gave rise to populations that share both the Islamic religion and very similar languages. The two countries fought a real war over territory on the island of Borneo in the 1960s, and several conflicts over small, but resource-rich, islands and coastal territories continue today.

The most recent cultural squabble, however, is mostly one-sided. Malaysians, responding to a torrent of letters in Indonesian newspapers, say they are mostly perplexed by Indonesians’ strong reactions to suspicions that they are being encroached upon by Malaysia. Some young Indonesians, who refer to their neighbor as “Maling-sia” — “maling” means “thief” in Indonesian — have pledged their readiness to fight should war become necessary.

The most recent flare-up began with a song.

In early 2007, the Malaysian government began using a folk tune titled “Rasa Sayange,” or “Feeling of Love,” in its “Malaysia: Truly Asia” overseas tourism campaign. Indonesians, claiming the song as their own, began staging protests outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.

Indonesian lawmakers entered the fray, and by December 2007, Indonesians were whipped into such a fury that Malaysia was forced to remove the song, as well as clips of dances that Indonesians also insist are theirs, from its advertising and apologize.

Relations were further complicated last May when a Malaysian naval vessel veered into the disputed, and oil-rich, waters of Ambalat, setting off another diplomatic scuffle and renewed claims of Malaysian theft.

Then there was the headline-grabbing escape from Malaysia that same month of an Indonesian starlet, Manohara Odelia Pinot, who claimed she had been tortured by her husband, a Malaysian prince.

The following month, reports that Indonesian maids in Malaysia were being abused prompted the Indonesian government to temporarily stop sending domestic workers there.

Anger toward Malaysia grew so intense here that the Malaysian defense minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, felt compelled to offer a guarantee that there would be no war between the two countries. At the same meeting, his Indonesian counterpart, Juwono Sudarsono, warned the public not to inflate small problems into major ones.

Tensions dropped to a low boil until a few weeks ago, when the Malaysian government was again put on the defensive over a promotion for a documentary series on the Discovery Channel about Malaysia that featured a dance thought to have originated on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Apologies all around did not stop the ever-present throngs of Indonesians outside the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta from pelting it with eggs and rocks.

It was in this context that Unesco was considering Indonesia’s claim that batik is part of its distinct cultural heritage and worth preserving.

Protecting batik, whether from cheaper printed imitations from China or efforts in Malaysia to copyright designs, became a national obsession.

The Indonesian government stepped up its promotion of the fabric significantly in 2007, calling on civil servants and the public to wear it more often and enlisting fashion designers to find more appealing uses for it. Batik is now a staple in upscale malls and galleries in Jakarta.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has become known for her elegant batik dresses. Many offices in Indonesia now observe “Batik Fridays.” Applications to copyright batik motifs have intensified; currently about 300 designs have been copyrighted in Indonesia. Most of those claims were made since 2007, according to industry figures.

“There is no question, really,” said Ari Safitri, 22, gesturing to the centuries-old batik patterns inside the Danar Hadi Museum in Solo, a Central Javanese city famed for its batik, where she is a guide.

“Everyone always asks about Malaysia,” she said. “But I tell them that we are sure batik comes from Indonesia.”

Historians and non-Indonesian analysts question Indonesia’s claims.

“For Indonesians to claim that batik is solely Indonesian is to stretch the point,” Farish Noor, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, wrote in a recent editorial in The Straits Times.

“The post-colonial histories of almost all Southeast Asian states tend to over-emphasize the nation-state and its borders,” Noor continued. “This ignores the fact that the people of the region have long moved across the archipelago with ease, bringing — and leaving — their languages, beliefs and cultures.”

Malaysians, for their part, appear mostly perplexed by the Indonesian batik campaign. Jamal Ibrahim, a Malaysian, wrote in a letter to The Jakarta Post, “We heard about the controversy, but hardly any Malaysian has given it serious attention.”

Gunawan Setiawan, who sells batik made in a centuries-old workshop in Solo, brushed aside the controversy as nonsense, though he admitted he was happy that the squabble had at least sparked a popular resurgence of the fabric at home.

“Since the 1970s, the biggest demand for batik has come in the last few years because of this situation with Malaysia,” he said in the workshop, where women were applying melted wax in swirling motifs on lengths of cloth. “I’m not sure anyone can claim batik, but it’s been good for business.”

Related Article:

Yudhoyono calls for batik day

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Muslim model

What Indonesia can teach the world

Globe Correspondent, by Joshua Kurlantzick, September 13, 2009

Youngsters study the Koran at a pesantren, or Islamic boarding school, in Indonesia. (Dimas Ardian/Getty Images)

At times this summer, much of the Muslim world seemed at war with itself. In Iran, protesters furious over what they viewed as a stolen election spilled into the streets and were met with a brutal security crackdown. In Pakistan, powerful Taliban-type militant groups battled the army. In neighboring Afghanistan, opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah and local tribal leaders accused President Hamid Karzai of stealing the national election.

Farther south, the world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia, received far less attention. Yet what happened there in July ultimately could prove far more important than the meltdowns in Afghanistan or Pakistan or Iran. Some 100 million Indonesians, spread across a vast archipelago, went to the polls, and in a free and fair vote, they reelected president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, leader of the secular Democrat Party. Hard-line Islamic parties fielded candidates as well, but they barely registered at the polls, gaining less of the vote than they had in the previous national election five years ago.

Yudhoyono’s reelection was only the capstone of a triumphant decade for Indonesia. Despite its vast size and remote terrain - it is the world’s fourth-largest nation by population, its 240 million people spread across thousands of islands between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific - Indonesia has become a rock of political stability in a turbulent region. After decades of military dictatorship, and the threat of Islamism in the late 1990s, Indonesia is today ruled by a coalition that mixes secular and moderate Islamic parties and protects minority rights. And at a time when countries from Japan to Singapore are struggling, Indonesia posted some of the strongest growth in Asia this year. The nation’s occasional terrorist attacks haven’t succeeded in destabilizing the government, which has steadily built a reputation for good governance and an effective battle against militant groups.

“If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women’s rights can coexist, go to Indonesia,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on a trip to Southeast Asia earlier this year.

Though Indonesian leaders themselves are hesitant to lecture other countries, their model could offer lessons for nations from Pakistan to Morocco. It has managed to create a stable political system without using its military to guarantee secular rule, as does Turkey. The militant Islamic groups that once seemed to threaten the country’s future have been crushed or co-opted. And it has adopted modern anti-terrorism techniques that appear to be working. In its success, Indonesia also offers the United States, constantly seeking ways to help build stable societies in the Arab-Muslim world, a model for cooperation and moderation.

Read whole story ....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gliding by numbers

Antara | Wed, 09/09/2009 4:06 PM

Spectators watch as paragliders fly above Timbis Beach in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Wednesday, in an attempt to break a national record. Ninety-nine gliders took to the air for 9 hours and 9 minutes during the event, held on ninth day of the ninth month of 2009. Antara/Nyoman Budhiana

I got a goat

The Jakarta Post, Tue, 09/08/2009 9:49 PM

A member of the Tengger tribe, Lasmi Buwono, looks at a goat she received during Sunday’s Kasada ceremony at Bromo crater, Probolinggo, East Java. (JP/Indra Harsaputra)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Indonesia expected to produce 200 movies by 2014

China Daily, 2009-09-07 16:43

JAKARTA: The vibrant Indonesian movie industry is highly expected to improve production up to 200 movies by the year of 2014 following significant movie production increase in the industry in the past few years, Indonesian Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said here on Monday.

"At least 87 movies were produced last year. This year, the movie production would reach 95. Hopefully, the movie production in the country would reach 200 by 2014," Jero was quoted as saying by the during his hearing with legislators in the parliament.

The minister said that Indonesia has saw significant film making business growth with extraordinary growing number of filmmaker firms in the last few years.

"My ministry learned that there were only 704 filmmaker firms in 2007. In 2008 they have increased up to 1,072 firms. As of July this year, national firm makers have reached 1,163," he said on the sidelines of the hearing that discussed film making draft law in the parliament.

He guaranteed that after being enacted into law, the filmmaking law will not restrain national filmmaker from creating movies.

After paralyzed for more than a decade, Indonesian movie industry started to improve. Many of Indonesian movies are now played along with western and Hong Kong-made movies in lavish cinemas in the capital city of Jakarta.

Queues of people who wanted to watch Indonesian movies in front of tickets booths were commonly seen in many theaters here in the last few years, a view that can hardly found three or five years ago.

Related Article:

Directors, actors protest film bill

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yudhoyono calls for batik day

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Bogor | Mon, 09/07/2009 7:08 PM

Indonesians have been asked to wear batik on Oct. 2 once UNESCO has classified the traditional textile dying technique as an intangible element of global cultural heritage.

The listing, which will give the age-old tradition of batik technology some degree of protection under a UNESCO charter, will be made official at an event in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, between Sep. 28 and Oct. 2.

To acknowledge the listing, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked all Indonesians to wear batik.

“Batik is regarded as a cultural icon with its own uniqueness. It contains symbols and is deep philosophy, including humans' life cycle — and it was submitted by Indonesia as a non-material element of cultural heritage," chief welfare minister Aburizal Bakrie told a press conference at Bogor State Palace on Monday.

“We've been told batik has been recognized as an element of global cultural heritage produced by Indonesians. The President has called on all Indonesians to wear batik on Oct. 2, to celebrate batik,” Aburizal said.

Related Article


The Jakarta Post | Mon, 12/22/2008 7:38 PM

Batik wear during celebration to mark Mothers' Day. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono confers the Parahita Ekapraya award to Banten governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah at the Jakarta Convention Center on Monday for her contribution to women's empowerment. Fourteen heads of local governments received the award for their efforts to further women's empowerment. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama

Score One for Indonesia in the War Over Batik

Batik selected for UNESCO cultural heritage list

Indonesia's batik a winner for international diplomacy

More Articles

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rebuilding Indonesia's Image in Australia and New Zealand

Bali Discovery Tours

Bali Post Interview with Gede Pitana, Director of International Promotions, Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism, Outlines Steps to Rebuild Indonesia's Image Following July Bombings in Jakarta.

(9/5/2009) The September 3, 2009, edition of The Bali Post carried an interview with I Gede Pitana, the former Head of the Bali Tourism Authority and currently serving as the Director of International Promotions at the Department of Culture and Tourism. That interview focused on efforts now underway to restore the image of Indonesian tourism in Australian and New Zealand following the July bombing of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Marriott.

Bali Post: What is the impact of the bombing of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton?

Pitana: The effect of the recent bombing of the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott were not as great as similar events of 2002 and 2005, but the image of Indonesia was damaged in those two countries (Australia and New Zealand). It's a given that the effect of the explosions will impact those countries in which several or a single of its citizens were victims, such a New Zealand. Countries which had victims of the latest bombing, in this instance New Zealand, we must try to approach on a human level.

Bali Post: How about Australia?

Pitana: Australia is another country (we must address), chosen because of its role as a key target of Indonesian tourism and its rapid rate of stabile tourism growth. In Australia we will undertake a number of activities based in Sydney, given that city's role as the main gateway for Australians traveling to Indonesia.

Bali Post: Who will lead these promotional activities?

Pitana: The delegations to these two countries to restore Indonesia's image will be led by the Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik. The visit of the Minister will hopefully portray the condition of Indonesia following the most recent bombings and the serious intent of the Indonesian government to restore its tourism sector. We want to demonstrate that Indonesia very much honors and values these two countries (Australia and New Zealand).

Bali Post: What's the Australian market look like?

Pitana: Australia is one of the ten major countries that forms the major tourism market for Indonesia. Through July, the number of tourist visitors from that country to Indonesia increased 25% over the previous year's total to 267,227. We are targeting 550,000 tourist visitors from Australia to Indonesia (for 2009).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

$9.3m initiative launched in Indonesia

TTN Worldwide, by Brian Salter

INDONESIA has launched an initiative to bring back the tourism in the country in the aftermath of the two hotel bombings in Jakarta. The two hotels, the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott, have long since resumed normal operations and the industry is looking to make up lost ground in a year which had seen an increase in international tourism arrivals.

The Borobudur Stupa in Java, Indonesia

Tourism Minister Jero Wacik announced that the government will be injecting $9.3 million into the ministry’s tourism recovery programme, and that all major hotels had also tightened up security measures for visitors, including stricter control at airports.

One tourist attraction in the country that has not seen any economic downturn is Borobudur – the world’s largest and many would argue most beautiful Buddhist temple, which is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. It lies in Yogyakarta – Indonesia’s third largest city, whose fortunes are largely dependent on tourism.

Borobudur, constructed on a hill and consisting of eight layers, is the single most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. In 1974, 260,000 tourists - of whom 36,000 were foreigners - visited the monument. Within 20 years, this figure rose to 2.5 million visitors annually (of whom 80 per cent were domestic tourists).

In the first four months of 2009, visitor numbers were up by 10 per cent on the previous year to 614,000, with January showing a 30 per cent hike in visitors. Foreign visitors make up only six per cent of that mix albeit that their numbers have been increasing at the same rate, although it is too early to ascertain what effect the recent bombings in Jakarta will have on these figures.

Similar numbers are recorded at the Prambanan Hindu temples compound which is the biggest temple complex in Java. There are 224 temples altogether, with three on the central terrace at up to 47 metres high dominating the complex. Following the May 2006 earthquake, however, many parts of Prambanan are roped off to visitors until they are eventually made safe.

While visitor numbers are increasing, what is noticeable is their change of origin. Yogyakarta’s Hyatt Regency hotel caters predominantly for Japanese tourists, and bookings from Japan have fallen sharply, perhaps by as much as 30 per cent. The more downmarket ibis, however, which caters mainly for domestic visitors, is almost permanently full; and the Amanjiwo – one of the five top end luxury boutique Aman resorts in the country, where rates start at $700 per night rising to $2,600 for its top suite – continues to attract visitors from all corners of the globe, especially the Middle East.

Amanjiwo is almost a destination in its own right, lying within a natural amphitheatre at the foot of the Menoreh Hills overlooking Borobudur.

By any measure, Yogyakarta must surely rank as one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the country – a veritable jewel in the crown of Indonesia.

Pendet dance to be performed at Malaysia's tourism event

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 09/02/2009 1:02 PM

Indonesian dancers will perform the controversial Balinese Pendet dance at one of the biggest tourism events in Malaysia later this week, an official said Wednesday.

"We will present an Indonesian cultural performance, that is, the Pendet dance at the Matta Fair 2009," Chrismiastutie, an official at the Indonesian Cultural and Tourism Ministry, told Antara news agency.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Fair 2009 will run from Sept. 4 to Sept. 6.

The Pendet dance has drawn controversy following Malaysia's use of the dance in its tourism promotion ads. Indonesia has protested this use of the Pendet dance by Malaysia.

"We can use this forum [Matta Fair] to clarify [the ownership of] our Pendet dance," Chrismiastutie added.

In addition to Pendet, Indonesia will present other traditional dances, including Legong (also from Bali) and a Betawi dance.

Through tourism promotion in Malaysia, Chrismiastutie said that Indonesia should attract more tourists from Malaysia.

Last year, a total of 818,000 Malaysians visited Indonesia. As of July this year, 450,134 Malaysian tourists had visited Indonesia. This year, the number of Malaysian tourists visiting Indonesia is expected to reach 930,000.

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Koreans publish book of experiences of living in Indonesia

Lilian Budianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 09/01/2009 10:03 PM

Shon In Shik, founder of the Indonesian Calligraphy Research Foundation, launched Tuesday a compilation of stories detailing the experience of South Korean experiences living in Indonesia.

The 311-page book, Everywhere We Live Is Our Home, chronicles the experiences of 53 South Koreans who lived in Indonesia for between 2 and 34 years.

“The book tells stories about adapting to the new ways of living here, about the ways we rear children in a completely new situation to us and the way we befriend to Indonesians,” Shon said through an interpreter.

He said the book was also aimed at introducing Koreans who are new to Indonesia to the local culture.

“There are going to be lots of misunderstandings if people don't really understand the culture, including the working habits of Indonesians. Many Koreans said Indonesians work slowly, but the fact is that Korean themselves work too fast...” he said.

There are around 30,000 Koreans living in Indonesia. Korean people are the second largest foreign community in Indonesia, after the Chinese.

The book, written in Korean, is available in South Korea only.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Businessman to develop Islamic resorts

Indra Harsaputra and Achmad Faisal, The Jakarta Post, Surabaya | Tue, 09/01/2009 5:45 PM

A Sumenep legislative council member confirmed reports that two islands off Madura had been sold to a businessman who intends to develop them into resorts.

Councilor Badrul Aini said Tuesday that businessman Zainal Seniya bought the islands and had leased them to Canadian and Singaporean investors.

“Both Sitabok and Seradeng islands will be developed into maritime resorts equaling Bunaken [North Sulawesi],” Badrul said.

Local cleric Dailami Abu Hurairah, who is close to the businessman, said the two islands would be Islamic resorts and target Middle East tourists.

“We have been involved in the project and will help operate the maritime resorts, which will follow an Islamic concept,” Dailami said.

He said many Middle East tourists felt uncomfortable with major tourist destinations like Bali, which do not promote Islamic values.

Deputy Sumenep Regent Mochammad Dahlan said the two islands belonged to the state and had not been sold to anyone.

Indonesia, India to boost tourism cooperation

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 08/31/2009 12:13 PM

Indonesian and Indian tourism officials and private stakeholders met in Yogyakarta last week to discuss how to boost tourism cooperation between the two countries, known for their exotic cultural and natural attractions.

"India has become one of the main targets of Indonesian tourism in the past few years," the Indonesian Culture and Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

Jakarta and New Delhi signed a memorandum of understanding on the matter in the Indian capital in 2000.

The ministry has set up a tourism representative office in New Delhi, held exhibitions and invited Indian journalists to promote Indonesian tourism sites.

It noted the number of Indian tourists rose to 112,267 last year, an increase of 23.73 percent from 90,720 in 2007.

The government is seeking to attract between 150,000 and 160,000 Indian tourists this year, a tough challenge due to the economic downturn and the absence of direct flights between Jakarta and New Delhi.

At the two-day 1st Joint Working Group Meeting on Tourism between Indonesia and India in Yogyakarta from Aug. 27 to 28, 2009, both governments agreed to hold media and tour operator junkets for each country and also exchange information on tourism development.

Indonesia also offered its tourism sites to be used as film sets for Bollywood movies, the ministry said.

The Indonesian delegation was headed by Wardiyatmo, the ministry's secretary-general, while the Indian delegation was headed by Sujit Banerjee, secretary of the Indian Ministry of Tourism.

Bogor’s Silk House works with farmers

Theresia Sufa , The Jakarta Post , Bogor | Tue, 09/01/2009 11:48 AM

Natural spinner: Rumah Sutera Alam is currently the only cottage industry in West Java’s Bogor to work on silk yarn spinning. JP/Theresia Sufa

Rumah Sutra Alam or the Natural Silk House in Ciapus district, Bogor regency, is the cottage industry most frequently visited by students, lecturers and retirees across Indonesia.

In addition to its mulberry plantations, the natural silk center also has a silkworm nursery and undertakes silk yarn spinning and silk cloth weaving.

Visitors to the house mostly wish to learn how to breed silkworms and at the same time observe the process of spinning and weaving.

Owner Tatang Gozali Gandasasmita started his silk yarn spinning business in 2001, with the cottage industry set up on a 2.5-hectare block of land, as something to do during retirement.

“As a retiree I love keeping busy in a way that benefits a lot of people, and this spinning work provides jobs for youths in the Bogor vicinity and helps raise the income of mulberry growers,” he said.

“I call it a silk house because the entire process of making silk takes place here.”

The former employee of Bandung’s PTP-15 state estate company explained that it all begins with the hatching of silkworm eggs that he buys from Candi Roto, Central Java, and Soppeng, South Sulawesi.

“We buy 15 to 20 boxes of silkworm eggs each month, each containing 25,000 eggs,” Tatang said.

“Two weeks later, after they hatch into larvae, we deliver them to mulberry growers, who nurse the young worms to develop into cocoons.”

In running the silk industry, Tatang works with farmers from Bogor, Sukabumi and Cianjur, all in West Java.

“We have 80 farmers as partners but only 40 of them focus on mulberry planting, while the rest grow vegetables as their main crops, handling mulberries as their side business,” he said.

So far, Tatang added, his cocoon production has reached only about half a ton per month, compared with his industry’s monthly capacity of around 2 tons.

“We’re still short of cocoons as we need 2 tons a month for spinning into silk yarn. So we’re trying to approach more farmers, particularly in Bogor, in order to raise silkworms that we supply on the condition that they first have their own mulberry plantations to feed the worms,” he said, adding that he pays Rp 25,000 per kg of cocoons produced, based on national standards.

Downstream process: Workers at Rumah Sutra Alam further weave the spun yarn into silk cloth. JP/Theresia Sufa

The hatching of worms and their growth into cocoons takes 30 days. The cocoons are then spun into silk yarn for further sale, mostly to weavers in Garut, Tasikmalaya and Cirebon, all in West Java, at a price of Rp 350,000 per kg. A cocoon produces around 800 to 1,000 meters of yarn on average; the remaining yarn is woven for sale to any visitors to the silk house.

The woven fabric in the silk house is sold at prices ranging from Rp 50,000 to Rp 3 million depending on the thickness of the material — the thicker the material, the more expensive, because it consumes a lot more yarn.

Besides plain silk cloth, there are also pieces with batik motifs. The silk batik is processed in Cirebon and Pekalongan in Central Java, which usually takes four months to complete.

“I’m very eager to help mulberry growers to develop their business by also cultivating silkworms, so that every time the Bogor regency administration and the Makassar Natural Silk Center offer aid to boost our silk house, I always recommend that the aid be given to mulberry farmers,” Tatang said.

A gift from nature: The cottage industry required monthly some two tons of silk cocoons to be processed into silk yarn. JP/Theresia Sufa

“I’ve made a proposal for aid to develop silkworm nurseries for all mulberry farmers in Bogor, in response to the Makassar silk center’s offer. When they join the silkworm raising effort, we won’t face cocoon shortages anymore.”

Ilyas, a mulberry farmer who lives in Pasir Eurih village in Bogor’s Tamansari district, said he started growing mulberries in 2001, after receiving training in the method of mulberry planting from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB). He owns a 3,500-meter-square block of land for his mulberry trees; his main focus is rice paddy.

“I’m growing mulberries only as a side job because I earn very little from the trees. Mulberry leaves are harvested every two months and I sell them to the silk house for Rp 300,000 per ton,” he said.

“I can increase my income if I join silkworm breeding, but I have no proper place to do it. The nursery for silkworm raising has to be sterile and protected from predators.”

According to the secretary of Bogor regency’s Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Office, Siti Nurianty, the silk house is the only silk processing place in Bogor.

“We hope this silk house can truly serve as a silk center and at the same time a tourist destination for silk cloth shopping,” she said. “We therefore always offer our assistance for its development and invite Pak Tatang to various exhibitions. But the most important thing is to support mulberry farmers’ silkworm breeding by providing proper facilities.”

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