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 13, 2010

Playing Hooky in Ambon

Jakarta Globe, Ade Mardiyati | August 12, 2010

Heading east to the Maluku Islands, formerly known as the Moluccas, had always been on my things-to-do-before-I-die list, thanks to the alluring descriptions in travel guidebooks and images friends had posted on Facebook. So when my editor assigned me to cover Sail Banda 2010 on an invitation from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, I believed I was the luckiest writer in the office.

A stunning Ambonese sunset. (JG Globe)
I woke up early for a sleepy-eyed cab ride to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to catch my flight for Ambon, the capital of Maluku province.

The rushed and panicked crowd milling around the check-in counter of the low-cost airline I was flying with made it feel more like a hectic marketplace than an airport.

The flight to Ambon took about four hours, with a 20-minute transfer at Makassar Airport in South Sulawesi.

I took the opportunity to look around the new terminal, built in 2008, and its bright, modern interior put gloomy, dull Soekarno-Hatta to shame.

Stepping off the plane at Ambon’s Pattimura Airport, I was immediately aware that I was quite far away from home, both physically and psychologically.

The way people looked, talked and called to each other was different, and that’s what I’m after when traveling. Ambonese people tend to be tall, dark-skinned and speak in fast, high-pitched voices that get even faster near the end of their sentences.

The first thing that excited me was when I heard people use the word “beta,” which means “I” in its land of origin.

Whisked away from the airport in a car with some other journalists, I witnessed the magnificent beauty of Ambon Island.

Houses lined the hills while the waters of Ambon Bay stretched all the way to the city, which could be seen far below.

The streets were clean and a long line of shady trees added to the charm.

Wherever I looked, written on gigantic signs and banners, was a call to all citizens to help make the Sail Banda event a great success.

I began drawing up plans of all the islands I wanted to sail to during my six-day visit.

However, they were only plans.

It turned out that we were scheduled to cover the ministry’s programs, which didn’t include any sailing.

I felt that I had to be able to manage — if not steal — time to see what this eastern paradise offered.

One thing I liked about Maluku was that it never ran out of fish.

In fact, during the peak of Sail Banda, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono declared the province the “National Fish Belt,” with the potential to produce more than 1.6 million tons of fish a year, up from about 1.3 million tons at present.

My favorite place in Ambon to see the fish was Batu Merah market where the fresh catch of the day was displayed and sold cheaply, especially compared to Jakarta.

Seeing the abundant supply, I regretted not having the chance to watch the local fisherman ply their trade.

And so no day passed by without eating fish, something that only a voracious fish-eater like myself could be happy about.

My enthusiasm was not shared by most of the other journalists, who were not very happy about having to eat fish each and every day.

One early morning I escaped from the hotel with Raymond, another journalist.

On our way to Liang Beach, about an hour out of the city, we stopped to try some nasi kelapa, or coconut rice, which is said to be the most popular breakfast in Ambon.

Nasi kelapa is plain rice cooked with coconut milk, and is eaten with steamed shredded coconut, fish curry and salted fish.

Among the many nasi kelapa enthusiasts in Ambon, Ibu Ama’s is at the top of the list.

Every day, Ama said, she prepared at least 15 kilograms of rice for the dish.

She started her business “when Ambon was safe” in 2002, shortly after the religious conflict between the Christian and Muslim communities that erupted in late 1999 came to an end.

“You have not been in Ambon if you have not tasted nasi kelapa,” said Iwan, one of Ama’s customers.

On the way to catch an angkot, or public minivan, to the beach, we made another stop in Batu Merah, which is the center of Maluku’s most iconic product: pearls.

Most shops open around 9 a.m., but the Andika store was already half-open when we arrived there at 7:30.

Although the pearls were amazingly beautiful, I found it hard to find elegant-looking designs, not only in Andika but in other shops and in an exhibition I later went to.

Most of the designs were not very appealing, and often looked either too simple or too extravagant.

Fortunately, I found a simply beautiful silvery-white freshwater pearl necklace and purchased it for only Rp 80,000 ($9).

The same design made using saltwater pearls might cost nearly Rp 2 million.

From the pearl area, we took a stroll through a market.

It made for five minutes of nice sightseeing, and as we walked through the dimly lit stalls, I got a sense of the spirit of the Spice Islands, Maluku’s nickname.

Tiny mountains of fresh red chilies, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, pepper and many more spices that were foreign to me were an eye-catching sight.

Another iconic item in Maluku, sago, a starch extracted from sago palms, could also be easily found at the market.

Sago was once the staple food in Maluku, but now that people eat more rice, it has become a food served mostly during special occasions, a local told me.

Angkot rides in Ambon were always hilarious.

The drivers needed to make sure they kept themselves entertained by playing very loud music, be it Maluku pop songs or raunchy dangdut.

At least one elderly passenger sitting in front of me during one ride also enjoyed the music, flicking his fingers, closing his eyes, shaking his head gently and singing along.

We finally made it to Liang Beach, a breathtaking white-sand spot with crystal-clear water stretching out as far as the eye could see.

Having spent most of our time in boring venues the past few days, Raymond and I jumped in excitement like young children in lollipop land.

I quickly ran to the pier, enjoying every step, knowing that running would be out of the question once I returned home to Jakarta.

The beach was still quiet when we got there at 10 a.m., and I took advantage by doing some yoga on the pier while Raymond walked around taking pictures and engaging the locals in conversation.

Liang Beach is among the most popular beaches on Ambon Island, but it hasn’t suffered from overcommercialization.

Unlike Natsepa, which looked like the backyard of one luxury hotel, Liang was serene and seemingly untouched.

I was so fond of this beach that I returned the following day alone in the afternoon to watch the sunset.

I decided to take a bus to have a different experience, which cost me Rp 10,000 and a 30-minute wait for the bus to fill with passengers.

On the way, the bus, along with every other vehicle on the street, had to pull over and wait 20 minutes as Yudhoyono’s convoy passed by on the way to the Sail Banda event.

I sat and listened to the passengers’ complaints.

“Hey driver, tell SBY that beta need to catch the ferry!” yelled one old woman in the middle of the bus. Her high-pitched voice was followed by a chorus of other passengers calling out “Me too!”

“Can’t do, mama, just be patient!” the driver said.

The word “mama” was used to address older women in general, just like the much-used “ibu” in the Indonesian language.

As my time in Ambon was drawing near, I could not help feeling sad about having to fly back to Jakarta.

This might have just been the travel-blues I always get upon spending time away from the concrete jungle, but I also knew I had fallen for the island and its beaches.

There was yet so much to explore in and beyond Ambon, and I would have happily hopped on more ridiculous public transportation to do so.

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