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. …

Friday, October 30, 2009

Jakarta Temple Honors the Old Ways of Buddhist Monks

The Jakarta Globe, Sylviana Hamdani

A four-meter-tall statue of the Buddha adorned with flowers and Indonesian and Buddhist flags. (Photo: Sylviana Hamdani, JG)

According to one legend, about 2,500 years ago, during Vassa, the monsoon season in Nepal, 30 monks journeyed along roadsides and rain-soaked rice fields to spend the season with Siddharta Gautama —­ later known as the Buddha.

Due to the treacherously wet conditions, they were forced to shelter at a monastery, where they spent their time studying, praying and meditating until the weather cleared and it was time for them to move on.

The rainy season retreat became a tradition for monks that has persevered until today.

The Kathina festival celebrating the end of Vassa is held at different monasteries in Jakarta on different days between mid-October and mid-November.

“For Buddhists, Kathina is the second-largest celebration after Vesak [the birthday of Buddha Siddharta Gautama],” said Ruby Santamoko, a representative of the Indonesian Buddhist Council (Walubi).

At Buddha Metta Arama, the oldest Theravada (the ancient teaching) Buddhist monastery in the capital, Kathina was celebrated on Sunday.

“That morning over 1,300 people gathered at the monastery,” said Paba Karo, a monk who has lived at Buddha Metta Arama for 10 years.

The celebration began at 9 a.m. with prayers. Then, one by one, children dressed in colorful traditional clothes stepped forward to make offering of fruits, flowers, candles and incense sticks.

Forty-seven senior monks from Indonesia, Nepal, India, South Korea and Thailand presided over the event.

“I’m very surprised to see the number of people who attended today’s celebration,” said Prat Suprim, a monk from Nepal.

At noon, the Thai Embassy held a ceremony at the monastery, attended by representatives of Asian embassies, including Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, South Korea and Singapore.

“Today’s ceremony is a tradition for Buddhists after the rainy season. The monks stay in the temples during the rainy season, because we, as Buddhists, do not want to step on the living things that come out during that time,” said Thailand’s ambassador to Indonesia, Akrasid Amatayakul.

A four-meter-tall statue of the Buddha, flanked by statues of two of his faithful students, Ananda and Mogalana, and adorned with flowers and Indonesian and Buddhist flags, was the centerpiece of the ceremony. Incense filled the air as 47 monks recited prayers in the ancient Pali language.

“They pray the gifts will bring blessings — both for the monks who will use them and for the congregation that offered them,” said monk Karo.

Piyawat Niyomrerks, deputy permanent secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, acting as a representative of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, offered the gift of royal robes to the monks sitting in the front row.

“In Thailand, Kathina is one of the main religious events in the Buddhist calendar,” Piyawat said. “Thai Theravada Buddhists traditionally offer monks robes after the Buddhist Lent. As a devout Buddhist, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej adheres to this tradition and annually bestows the Royal Kathina Robe upon several Buddhist temples within Thailand and in other countries where Buddhist communities and temples exist, including Indonesia.”

After the prayers, guests gave the monks gifts of basic necessities, such as towels, cakes of soap, tea, coffee and cookies. Some of the congregation also offered money in small red envelopes to the monks.

“The funds collected from today’s ceremony will be used to build temples in remote areas throughout the country,” Paba Karo said.

“We believe that the alms given during the Kathina month will bring special blessings,” said Fanny Chua, who attended the ceremony.

“It’s like planting seeds in the rainy season. It will bear many fruits.”

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The master has gone

The Jakarta Post, Thu, 10/29/2009 6:21 PM

Top puppet master Ki Sigit Sukasman passed away on Thursday, aged 73, in Yogyakarta. Dance and puppet show rituals were held in his honor. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

Bandung to host anti-discrimination conference

Febriyan, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Wed, 10/28/2009 11:12 PM

Delegations of 138 cities from 23 countries have arrived in Bandung for a world conference to be held by the Coalition of Cities against Discrimination on Thursday and Friday.

Organizer Herdiwan Iing Suranta said participants of the UNESCO-sponsored event would discuss the rights of city residents in the face of discrimination, the role of the city as a unifying place for new and underdeveloped communities, and cooperation between urban and rural regions to combat discrimination.

“We originally expected 200 cities from 70 countries to join the conference,” Herdiwan, head of the West Java Tourism and Culture Agency, said Wednesday.

A traditional game and a cultural festival around Gasibu Square will follow the two-day conference Saturday.

“All the participants will then take part in a cart parade around Bandung,” he said.

Bandung was appointed the host of the anti-discrimination meeting as the coalition expected to emulate the spirit of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference, which was held in the West Java capital.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Learning from history

Anissa S. Febrina, The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 10/28/2009 10:03 AM

A preventive shot: After the pandemic subsided in 1920, the dutch colonial government pledged to no longer take risks with infectious diseases. Mass vaccination campaigns were launched, with the government sending out new breeds of doctors, graduates of a colonial government-sponsored medical school, to big cities across Java. Courtesy of UI Flu Pandemic History Research Team

The H1N1 virus has swept the world before, with millions succumbing to it. But that means it has provided lessons we can learn from — if we choose to learn, that is.

The nearly forgotten pandemic, Western scholars call it, when they refer to the 1918 flu pandemic — also known as Spanish flu — which claimed somewhere between 50 million and 100 million lives around the world.

It was barely recognized in Indonesia until a group of historians revealed just how devastating the 1918 flu pandemic was in the archipelago.

In Tana Toraja in Sulawesi, where 10 percent of the population reportedly died from the flu, the then-mysterious outbreak was called Raa’ba Biang or fallen trees.

“Three of my aunts died at the same time. They all died after days of fever,” said Toraja community head Kun Masora, as quoted by University of Indonesia History of Flu Pandemic Team.

Masora’s relatives are only a few of the “trees that fell” during the outbreak. In November 1918 alone, 400,000 deaths due to influenza were recorded.

According to one historical record, on July 1, 1918, residents of Tanjong Pandan in the eastern part of Sumatra were infected by passengers of a ship arriving from Singapore. It didn’t take long for the disease to spread to Batavia, Medan and several areas in Kalimantan.

In that same month, West Java’s Bandung, Central Java’s Purworejo and Kudus and three other cities in East Java were affected. By the end of that month, major outbreaks of the disease had been recorded in most parts of Java and Kalimantan.

And that was just the beginning. It went on to propel the “fallen trees” in Tana Toraja. However, despite a high rate of infection, between July and August the mortality rate was generally low. For a few weeks afterward, the Dutch colonial government recorded a decline in cases and fatalities.

Then, a month later, things turned nasty: It peaked in November 1918, with mortality rates far surpassing the year’s cumulative outbreaks of other infectious diseases.

“The November epidemic covered a much larger territory; there were few areas in Netherlands East Indies that were not infected by the influenza,” historians write. Records showed that most of those who died were young adults.

Fast forward to the present, just months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the “swine flu” a pandemic. Nearly 5,000 people have reportedly died from swine flu since it emerged this year and developed into a global epidemic, WHO said last week.

Indonesia’s own count from August reveals that six people have died from the H1N1 virus, and 1,033 had been seriously infected, the Health Ministry said.

Will we see a similar cycle to the 1918 pandemic?

Alternative cure: The absence of medicine to cure the deadly flu forced people to use alternative treatments, such as jamu (traditional herbal drink). During the 1918 pandemic, temulawak (a wild-ginger based drink) was often promoted as a healthy alternative to increase people’s stamina and help them survive the flu. Courtesy of UI Flu Pandemic History Research Team

“Currently, there haven’t been any new cases reported,” the Health Ministry’s director general for disease control and environmental health Tjandra Yoga Aditama said.

“We’ll never know for sure whether there will be a second wave to the declared pandemic. All we can do is maintain a high level of alertness.”

He added that the government is still conducting airport surveillance as part of its efforts to contain any further possible spread of the virus.

The whole world is on alert, as Bayu Krisnamurthi, head of the National Commission for Avian Flu, noted.

“In the northern hemisphere, the fear of a second wave comes from the fact that they are facing winter, which is when the regular flu usually spreads,” he said.

In Indonesia, the coming rainy season is a reason to be alert, as that is when cases of infection usually peak, as with avian flu, he added.

Surely, no one is expecting a return of the virus as malignant as that seen in 1918, but getting too complacent is certainly not an option.

And the possible disastrous effects of the pandemic are not all we can learn from history: Learning from the experience of handling the situation is far more valuable.

In early 1920, the Dutch colonial government issued an “Influenza Ordinance” to ensure that response and mitigation measures were carried out promptly and correctly and that any future outbreaks in the archipelago could be rapidly detected and contained, the history research team reveals.

In addition to issuing the law containing information about influenza symptoms, response and prevention measures for people and administrations across the nation, they also took into account risk communication measures by instructing the information office to spread information on pandemic influenza.

Cultural approach: In its bid to contain the 1918 flu epidemic, the Dutch authorities issued health campaigns in Javanese featuring wayang figures more familiar to locals. Courtesy of UI Flu Pandemic History Research Team

A brochure was printed to promote awareness about habits to prevent influenza infection among the public. In Java, the campaign brochure was printed in a way to suit the locals. Written in Javanese, the messages were spoken through wayang figures familiar to locals.

While experts believe that the keystone of influenza prevention is vaccination, behavioral change is no less important.

Indeed, in times of troubles like pandemics, it’s not only the response from the authority that counts. A high level of awareness among the community could potentially prevent further outbreaks.

“There should be a cultural approach to solve problems that could not be solved through medical efforts,” said Purwanta Iskandar, an anthropologist involved in the campaign for the prevention of the spread of the flu.

Currently, his team is focusing their efforts on educating children, in addition to the more general campaign aimed at the community at large.

“An educational campaign on this issue must be carried out in a creative and fun way. Children learn faster and they become the agents of change,” he explained. “For the general public, every possible means should be explored, from the traditional and religious to modern ones.”

Most recently, the Indonesian Ulema Council in Makassar published a book on the flu pandemic and its prevention, quoting related Islamic teachings.

“Changing behavior cannot be done in an instant. That’s why we believe that targeting children means investing in the future,” he added.

And perhaps, along the way, the efforts made could help prevent not only a flu pandemic, but also the long list of infectious diseases that have persisted in Indonesia for decades.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Muslims in Indonesia's West Aceh Banned From Wearing 'Tight' Trousers or Shorts

Muslims offer Idul Fitri prayers at the Baiturrahman mosque in Banda Aceh. (Photo: Fanny Octavianus, Antara)

Muslim women in Indonesia’s West Aceh district will be banned from wearing “tight” trousers or jeans under new regulations, an official said Tuesday.

From the start of next year any woman wearing trousers or jeans deemed to be too tight will have to immediately change into a government-issue skirt and their offending garment will be chopped into pieces.

“If a woman flouts (the rule), her trousers will be cut up on the spot and replaced with a skirt that will be provided free of charge by the West Aceh government,” district chief Ramli Mansur told AFP.

“This rule applies not only to women but also to men, who are prohibited from wearing shorts,” he added.

The regulations only applied to the majority Muslim population and was based on the recommendation of local clerics.

“We’ll still respect the rights of non-Muslims so they shouldn’t worry,” Mansur said.

He said loose-fitting trousers could be worn under a skirt, as long as no part of the ankle was visible.

“We’re not stopping women from wearing trousers. What’s prohibited are tight trousers and jeans. If they have to wear trousers, the trousers must

cover their ankles and be worn under loose, long skirts,” he said.

“If there are parties who disagree, don’t be angry with me. Be angry with God as I’m only carrying out a religious obligation.”


Related Articles:

Pants ban for women draws condemnation

Stoning Law in Indonesia's Aceh May Be Cut Before Introduction

Monday, October 26, 2009

Palembang to host Musi Festival

Khairul Saleh, The Jakarta Post, Palembang | Mon, 10/26/2009 3:30 PM

Palembang is scheduled to host the Musi Festival from Dec. 3 to Dec. 9 as part of efforts to lure tourists to the city.

The local administration will present various attactions, such as the International Dragon Boat Festival, the Archipelago Culinary Festival and Education Exhibition during the event.

Baharuddin Ali, head of the city tourism agency, said on Monday that the event would be held in parallel with the fourth celebration of the River Days.

“For the International Dragon Boat Festival, there have been four countries that have confirmed their participation,” Baharuddin said, referring to the Phillipines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

He added that the administration would also conduct a similar boat competition for local participants on a national scale.

“We will present the best local foods to attract visitors during the culinary event and will invite some schools for the education fair,” he said.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Huib Akihary: The Best of Both Worlds

Sara Veal, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/23/2009 12:10 PM

Huib Akihary: JP/J. Adiguna

In 1983, following a five-day voyage from Jakarta, Huib Akihary stood at the boat's bow at sunrise, watching the two points of the Bay of Ambon grow and gradually encircle him, welcoming him to his father's homeland.

When the boat finally arrived in Ambon, the then 29-year-old waited for the other passengers to disembark, as he had told his aunt he would be the last one off the boat.

"Then four police officers came to the boat and they were asking for me. I said, *I haven't done anything, just visiting my family'," Akihary says.

"*No, no problem,' they said. *Just your aunt has asked us to get you off the boat.' So I was escorted by them and met my aunt for the first time . then she told me that my uncles, cousins and nephews were also there . There were more than 40 people standing there, some of whom had traveled two days to Ambon."

This auspicious reception signaled an important step in Akihary's lifelong journey to understand his Moluccan heritage, leading him to become an expert on Indonesia and Holland's mutual architectural history, and culminating in his appointment as director of Museum Maluku, in the Netherlands, in March this year.

Akihary was born and raised in Holland by a Dutch mother and a Moluccan father. Although he grew up outside the Moluccan diasporic community, he was always interested in his father's culture and roots.

"My thinking and reasoning are Dutch, yet my feelings and emotions are Moluccan. Adat *tradition*, family matters, music, food and helping each other as much as possible are basic Moluccan cultural values and are very much part of my personal life. I try to incorporate that in my Western way of thinking and find a balance in both," he says.

Akihary has two teenage sons, with whom he says he shares Moluccan culture via literature, film, music and cuisine.

"I present it to them and they can choose by themselves if they want to absorb it or not," he says.

"In my case, if I have the name Akihary, I have to know where it comes from."

The name Akihary is well-known in Ambon and increasingly representative of Moluccans overseas. Akihary says many of his relatives in both Indonesia and the Netherlands are highly involved in their immediate community and the wider Moluccan diaspora, as businesspeople, teachers, solicitors and ministers. His cousin Monica Akihary is the lead singer of Boi Akih, a world jazz ensemble that performs Moluccan songs.

"We all share a mutual interest in our Moluccan culture and traditions wherever we live," he says. "As Monica and I play an important role in spreading and conserving Moluccan culture, our family supports us in every way."

Since his first visit to Indonesia in 1983, he has returned several times: in 1984 to research his thesis on the history of architecture of the city of Batavia between 1870 and 1942; in 1988 for a seminar on Indonesia and Holland's mutual architectural heritage; and in 1990 to conduct a five-year inventory of all the Portuguese and Dutch fortifications in the Moluccas, a project cancelled in 1991 for political reasons.

Last month, the Moluccan governor and diplomatic community invited Akihary, in his capacity as Museum Maluku director, to Ambon to organize a musical theater project, Paku Coklat, performed by the Moluccan Music Theatre Ensemble, and reportedly a sell-out success.

His position as director of Museum Maluku is one he has strived for since graduating as an art historian from the University of Amsterdam in 1986, the same year the museum was founded.

"I was involved with the museum since the start, as an adviser, as a member of committees and as chairman of the foundation of Friends of the Museum. In the 90s I was asked to organize a few exhibitions," he says.

"Under my direction and in close cooperation with the newly appointed curator Dr. Jet Bakels, a very experienced museum worker, the Museum Maluku will focus on a broader audience, broader than simply the Moluccan community in the Netherlands."

He says partners will include institutes and individuals worldwide that study Moluccan culture, such as the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, government departments in Moluccan province and Moluccan cultural societies in Jakarta.

"It's important to join hands and strengthen the cultural identity of Moluccans wherever they live," he says, adding there are significant communities in California and Jakarta.

"I have a very active role now in preserving, discovering, documenting, registering and describing Moluccan culture... In short, safeguarding it for those who live abroad."

Although his focus is on Moluccan heritage, his doctoral research on Batavia means he is knowledgeable about Jakarta's architectural treasures, citing the city as a modern marvel, as well as a major example of Indonesian and Dutch mutual heritage.

"When you drive through Jakarta at night it's beautiful, with all the lights and all the high-rise buildings," he says.

"At present, these buildings, as well as shopping malls and complexes, have an international style. The interesting question is if modern Indonesian architecture and urban planning will find ways and means to develop its own Indonesian identity."

A unique Indonesian identity, he says, remains evident in the architectural remnants of Jakarta's past.

"The layout of Jakarta still shows the history of its growth since 1600, such as the town near Pasar Ikan with its Dutch layout of streets and canals *Kali Besar*," he says.

"This is why it makes me sad when I see that they are destroying a building without knowing its meaning or historical value."

So far, Akihary feels his greatest professional achievements have been his publications on Dutch colonial architecture in Indonesia, which he says have helped Indonesian architects in their urban planning, as well as architectural exhibitions he has participated in, such as at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

"But by far I am most proud of and feel very privileged to have the chance to work on and to promote the Moluccan culture as the new director of Museum Maluku in close cooperation with Moluccans worldwide. It's very rewarding in many ways."

Related Article:

SBY pledges ‘strategic, prestigious’ post for Maluku figure

Bloggers' day out: hundreds attend blogger community get-together

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 10/24/2009 3:18 PM

Around 1,200 bloggers from across the archipelago came together for Pesta Blogger 2009, the third annual national blogger gathering, held in Jakarta on Saturday.

This year's Pesta Blogger theme, "One Spirit One Nation", reflects the nation's credo, Unity in Diversity.

“We put up the theme to remind us all to remain united as a nation, in spite of differences. Blog and other social media are able to break through physical, religious and cultural boundaries to keep us united as one nation with one spirit,” said Iman Brotoseno, chairman of the event, said as quoted by

Hundreds of participants have flocked the event venue at SMESCO building in Jl. Gatot Soebroto since morning. They came from across the country, including Jakarta, Yogyakart, Banjarmasin and Makassar; even from abroad.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Indonesia Pumps More Money into Tourism

The Jakarta Globe, Nurfika Osman, October 23, 2009

A jet skier plies the waters under a setting sun in the Bunaken area of North Sulawesi, one of the destinations that could benefit from a boost in tourism marketing.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been given a significant financial boost to attract more tourists, the minister said on Thursday.

Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said the ministry’s budget for this year has been increased by 36 percent from its 2009 level to Rp 1.366 trillion, plus Rp 426.3 billion for marketing.

In a press conference short on details, Jero, who often evaded direct questions, said the ministry now answered to the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, not the Coordinating Ministry for People’s Welfare.

He said the increased budget was the reason for the shift.

Jero said the budget was still insufficient but added that he was optimistic that the tourism sector would continue to grow.

“The next five years will be harder because we have a working [performance] contract with the president, but I am sure we will continue to be as successful as we have been over the past five years,” he said.

“Visit Indonesia Year” in 2008 saw a record number of tourists arriving in the country: 6.4 million compared to 5.5 million visitors in 2007.

Tourism generated $7.3 billion in 2008, according to the ministry, up from $5.75 billion the previous year.

Tourist arrivals are expected to suffer in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, but in March the ministry was still forecasting a slight increase.

Jero said challenges still facing the tourism industry included immigration issues and the number of flights into the country.

But he said he was optimistic that flagship carrier Garuda would be able to increase the number of direct flights it operated, including to European countries after its ban was revoked.

Its ban on flying to the EU was lifted in August.

Jero said he would collaborate directly with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights on immigration issues, specifically visas for tourist arrivals.

“We cannot let the bureaucratic system in immigration offices create difficulties for foreign tourists,” he said.

Asked about his strategy to boost tourism, including during the first 100 days of his new term, Jero said it was too early to comment.

“We are still thinking about the best strategy to boost this sector. I will collaborate with my staff and announce it soon,” he said.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Increase on European Tourist Flow to Bali

Kompas, THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2009 | 6:20 AM
Upacara Hari Raya Galungan di Bali tahun ini jatuh pada Rabu, 14 Oktober 2009.

DENPASAR, - In the June-August period of 2009, Bali was visited by a total of 383,863 European tourists accounting for 26 percent of the overall number of foreign tourist arrivals in the period which was recorded at 1,464,739.

According to data from Bali’s Tourism Office in Denpasar on Wednesday, the number of European tourist arrivals in June was 46,124 , in July 68,782, and in August 67,815 , so that the total figure for the three-month period was 383,863.

The number of foreign tourists spending their holidays in Bali had increased thanks to the Bali provincial government’s efforts to improve tourist services and protection, said Made Kawiana, a local tourism observer.

Three European countries were listed among the top ten contributors to Bali’s foreign tourist inflow, and among the three France was number one, followed by Britain and Germany.

A contributing factor to the increase in European tourist arrivals was the adequate air links between Europe and Indonesia, Kawiana said.

Kawiana, who is a former tourist guide, said, tourists from Europe usually stayed relatively longer in Bali than most foreign tourists. They could stay up to a month, compared to other Asian tourists such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan, who on average stayed less than a week.

"European tourists generally enjoyed the artistic forms of Balinese culture, especially the cremation ceremony of "Ngaben", and liked to observe the unique customs of the Balinese people."

Holland Education Fair Held in Indonesia

Kompas, THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2009 | 6:16 AM


"Seluruh universitas yang hadir adalah universitas yang telah menandatangani kode etik pendidikan tinggi Belanda, sehingga mereka diperbolehkan merekrut mahasiswa internasional dan program studinya yang kebanyakan program berbahasa Inggris," ujar Marrik Bellen, Direktur Nuffic Neso Indonesia, Selasa (20/10)

JAKARTA, - A Holland Education Fair 2009 will be held in four Indonesian cities, namely Yogyakarta, Bandung, Jakarta and Makassar, as part of a campaign of Dutch higher education institutions to "go international.""According to Neso (Netherlands Education Support Office)

Indonesia data, the number of foreigners studying in the Netherlands increased by 7.5 percent to 76.000 in the 2008-2009 period," said Ariono Hadipuro of the Neso Indonesia Education Promotion in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The main characteristic of higher education in the Netherlands was the ethnic diversity of students, programs of study or research, and openness to foreign students and teachers who enter the Netherlands as well as knowledge of the international world, he said.

Most foreign students in the Netherlands still came from the European continent. However, the Asian continent provides a significant contribution in the number of foreign students in the Netherlands, accounting for up to 20 percent of the total.

Therefore, in following the previous years, Neso Indonesia will hold a Holland Education Fair 2009 in Yogyakarta on November 10, 2009, Bandung (November 12), Jakarta (November 14-15), and Makassar (November 17). The exhibition venues are the Hotel Novotel in Yogyakarta, the Hilton Hotel in Bandung, Hotel Mulia in Jakarta, and the Clarion Hotel in Makassar.

A total of 23 universities from the Netherlands will participate and send representative to the Holland Education Fair 2009. According to Director of Neso Indonesia Marrik Bellen, all universities participating in the event had signed a Dutch higher education code of ethics that allows to recruit international students and most of the courses offered by these various universities were in English.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Visit Indonesia Year to go on, higher target set

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 10/20/2009 6:30 PM

Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said Tuesday the government would continue the Visit Indonesia Year tourism promotional program in order to attain a new target of 7 million foreign tourist arrivals.

“The tourist arrivals target will be increased from 6.5 million this year to 7 million in 2010. The VIY program will be extended to next year,” Jero, who is tipped to retain the tourism portfolio in the second five-year term of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government, was quoted as saying by Antara state news agency.

Yudhoyono had asked Jero during an interview Saturday to boost Indonesia’s image in the international community.

Indonesia Hopes ‘Tourism Villages’ Will Empower Communities

The Jakarta Globe, Nurfika Osman, October 20, 2009

In an attempt to boost the tourism sector about 200 villages across the country are to be developed into “tourism villages” next year, with funding coming principally from the National Program for Community Empowerment, an official said on Monday.

“Each would-be village will be given funds ranging from Rp 80 million to Rp 100 million [$8,480 to $10,600],” said Winarno Sudjas, secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s Destinations Development Division.

The announcement came a day after an industry operator blamed the government for the nation’s poor showing in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009, which ranked Indonesia 81 out of 133 countries surveyed, suggesting that the country must do more to boost tourism.

According to the survey, which was conducted by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum, Indonesia trailed far behind Singapore, which was 10th, Malaysia at 32nd, Thailand 39th and Brunei 69th.

Indonesia fared slightly better than the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia, which finished 86th, 89th, and 108th, respectively.

The top three were Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

According to Sudjas, all villages in the archipelago may submit proposals to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to take part in the plan.

The proposals will be examined by a special team, which has the final say on which village receive funding.

Sudjas said the money would be used by villagers to construct tourist accommodations, train local youths to become guides, preserve and produce local dishes and fund other leisure activities.

“We want to empower the villages by helping them increase their potential and fix their shortcomings,” Sudjas said.

He said this program gave the villages more power to develop as they wished because the central government would provide funds for renovations, while also monitoring how the money was spent.

“We will not dictate to them. We’ll let them decide what they need and award funds based on their proposals,” he said. “We will just monitor them and watch their progress.”

He said the program had been in operation for two years. In 2008, 50 villages participated, with each receiving Rp 50 million. In 2009, the number of villages receiving the funds rose to 100.

“In Yogyakarta and Bantul, many villages have been developed into tourism villages and it has also helped villagers to earn bigger incomes,” he said.

“It means that we are empowering them. This is an effective way to boost tourism.”

The National Program for Community Empowerment is a government program to curb poverty in the country.

Based on the United Nations Development Program, about 37 million Indonesians live below the poverty line.

Yudhoyono envisions Indonesia's global leadership

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 10/20/2009 11:20 AM

In the spotlight: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, center, deliver a speech after he was sworn in for a second term, Tuesday, in Jakarta. Yudhoyono, the nation's sixth president, is expected to make greater progress against crippling poverty and corruption in his second five-year term. AP/Achmad Ibrahim

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday that Indonesia would play a more active role in the international arena, both at the regional and global levels.

Speaking during his inauguration at the People's Consultative Assembly building, President Yudhoyono said that Indonesia would continue its leadership in the current negotiation for a climate deal that would be completed in Copenhagen in December.

Yudhoyono also said that Indonesia would also be more active in pursuing global economic reforms through various international organizations that Indonesia is a part of, especially through the prestigious Group-20.

Indonesia, Yudhoyono said, would also continue to play its leadership role in Southeast Asia through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to create an "ASEAN community."

"We want to create an ASEAN community to make this Southeast Asian region a peaceful, prosperous and dynamic region," he told the plenary session, which was also attended by leaders of neighboring countries.

Australian Prime Minister Minister Kevin Rudd, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and East Timor Prime President Jose Ramos Horta attended Yudhoyono's inauguration.

Yudhoyono also said that Indonesia would continue to play its role in the United Nations, especially to help the world achieve Millennium Development Goals and create "harmony among civilization."

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