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, August 6, 2010

Our Houses of History

Jakarta Globe, Report Sylviana Hamdani | August 05, 2010

Asti Kleinsteuber knows how it feels to walk the halls of power. As a young dancer, she often performed for guests at Istana Merdeka, or the Presidential Palace.

Istana Merdeka in Central Jakarta, which is
open to the public at weekends.
(Photo courtesy of Asti Kleinsteuber)
“I was very impressed with the palace,” Asti said.

“The palace is an important historical witness. Every time I entered the palace, I looked around and wondered, ‘What was this room used for? Where’s Sukarno’s bedroom? Where did Sutan Sjahrir [Indonesia’s first prime minister] sign the agreements?’

But there were no answers, so I just used my imagination.”

Forty years later, Asti has written a book about the six state palaces in Indonesia to fill this very evident information gap. “It’s almost as though [the information about the residences] was hidden,” she said.

It took Asti three years to finish the project, with most of her time spent lobbying the authorities for permits to enter and take pictures of the state palaces. “Getting those permits was a miracle for me,” she said.

But her persistence has paid off. The coffee-table book, “Istana-Istana Kepresidenan di Indonesia” (“State Palaces in Indonesia”), was launched at the National Museum in Jakarta in July.

The book, both in Indonesian and English, contains pictures and colorful illustrations that bring these silent witnesses to history to life.

It had a limited print run of 2,000 copies and retails for Rp 940,000 ($105) at major bookstores.

The book opens with a picture of the white pillars of the Presidential Palace on Jalan Merdeka Utara in Central Jakarta.

The 6.8-hectare presidential compound actually consists of two palaces that sit back-to-back: Istana Negara (State Palace), which faces the Ciliwung River on Jalan Veteran, and Istana Merdeka, which faces Monas, or the National Monument.

Istana Negara was originally built in 1796 as the private residence of a Dutch merchant, J.A. van Braam.

In 1821, it was sold to the Dutch East Indies government to house its governors-general and renamed Hotel van den Gouverneur-Generaal (Hotel of the Governor-General).

“[By facing the Ciliwung River], the Dutch wanted to retain their romantic memories of the little creek that passes through the city of Amsterdam,” Asti said.

Istana Merdeka was built in 1873 by Dutch East Indies Governor-General Louden to address the problem of overcrowding at Istana Negara.

On Dec. 28, 1949, President Sukarno — Indonesia’s first president — and his family moved to Jakarta from Yogyakarta to live at Istana Merdeka.

“We lived at Istana Merdeka then. For me, it’s always been a grand building with beautiful colonial-style [architecture],” said Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, one of Sukarno’s children.

Even if the other first families did not live at the palace, each brought its own personal tastes to the halls of the palace.

Tien Suharto, the wife of the country’s second president, Suharto, made the interior more Javanese by hanging large teak etchings from Jepara, Central Java, on the palace’s walls and pillars.

However, the etchings were taken down when Megawati Sukarnoputri, the eldest daughter of Sukarno, became president in 2001 and replaced them with old paintings that graced the palace’s walls during her father’s reign.

The current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, lives at his private residence in Cikeas, Bogor, but his wife, Ani, opened Istana Merdeka and Istana Negara to the public on weekends under her Palace for the People program, which began in May 2008.

Today, Istana Merdeka is used for national flag ceremonies, meetings with foreign ambassadors and the swearing-in of high-ranking police and military officers.

Istana Negara, meanwhile, has become the venue of choice for the inauguration of state officials, high-level meetings and discussions, national and international congresses as well as state receptions.

Istana Bogor (Bogor Palace), built by Governor-General G.W. Baron van Imhoff in the image of Blenheim Palace in England between 1745 and 1750, was originally a resort for Dutch officials.

Sukmawati often spent weekends at Istana Bogor with her family. “It’s very pretty, especially because it’s located next to the Botanical Garden. Great for strolling or running around,” she said.

With 37 buildings on 28 hectares, Istana Bogor is the largest among the state palaces in Indonesia.

The palace also played a prominent role in the country’s history, as it was where Sukarno ended his reign by signing the March 11th Mandate, which handed power over to Suharto in 1966.

Istana Bogor holds a special place in the heart of Annisa Pohan, who married Yudhoyono’s oldest son, Agus Harimurti, there. “The palace has become a part of unforgettable memories for my husband and me,” she said.

Like Istana Bogor, Istana Cipanas, located at the foot of Mount Gede in West Java, has also been a favorite hideaway for presidents and vice presidents. “Just like Camp David in the United States,” Asti said.

Situated 1,100 meters above sea level, the palace used to be the private residence of wealthy Dutch landlord Van Heots.

It was later converted to a resort for the governor-general of the Dutch East Indies under Van Imhoff, who renovated the residence in the style of European summer houses of the time.

The interiors are adorned with pieces from Sukarno’s art collection, including paintings by Lee Man Fong, Basuki Abdullah and Johan Rudolf Bonnet, while Suharto furnished the rooms with handcrafted teak furniture from Jepara.

Today, the palace also boasts modern leisure facilities such as tennis courts, children’s playgrounds, swimming pools, fish ponds and hot water plunge pools with water from the nearby hot springs.

Istana Gedung Agung (Grand Building Palace) in Yogyakarta played a crucial role in the country’s independence.

It was built in 1824 by Dutch regent Anthony Hendriks Smissaerat. With a total land area of 43,585 square meters, the palace consists of four main buildings.

Located on Jalan Ahmad Yani, the president, vice president and their families sought refuge in Istana Gedung Agung during an attack by the Dutch Army in January 1946.

As a result of the aggression, Yogyakarta was established as the capital of Indonesia and Istana Gedung Agung became the government’s office.

It was at the palace that Sudirman was inaugurated as the first high commander of the Indonesian National Army, in June 1947.

He often held meetings in a room on the right-hand side of the main building, which is now known as Sudirman’s room.

“Rumor has it that Sudirman’s spirit still haunts the room,” said Syafri Munardi, who was one of the photographers for Asti’s book.

“The servants refuse to enter the room after dark. When we took the picture of the room, we had to let ourselves in.”

All of the state palaces of Indonesia were built by the Dutch except for Istana Tampaksiring (Tampaksiring Palace) in Bali, which was initiated by Sukarno.

The palace feels more homey, as it is not characterized by the tall pillars that have come to signify power and authority in the country.

Its Balinese-style architecture emphasizes nature and the palace is enhanced with warm natural colors of orange and stony gray.

Located 700 meters above sea level, both Mount Batur to the north and Mount Agung to the east are visible from the palace.

“Bung Karno often [found inspiration] in the beauty and stillness of the palace when he wrote his speeches,” Sukmawati said.

“I hope that more people will get to know more about Indonesia’s state palaces and learn about their important role in Indonesian history.”

With “Istana-Istana Kepresidenan di Indonesia,” there is finally a concise source of information that makes this possible.

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