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. …

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dutch Players to Suit Up for Merah Putih

Jakarta Globe, Wimbo Satwiko | September 30, 2010

Jakarta. Indonesia will see first hand what could possibly be its future national football team, after officials confirmed on Thursday that three Dutch players would join the squad in next week’s friendly against Uruguay.

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said forward Jhon Van Beukering, and midfielders Rafael Guillermo Maitimu and Jeffrey de Visher would join Merah Putih for the match against the South Americans in Jakarta on Oct. 8.

Van Beukering and de Visher play for Dutch second-division clubs Go Ahead Eagles and FC Emmen, respectively.

Maitimu is currently with Chinese second-tier team FC Beijing Institute of Technology.

The three are scheduled to arrive in Indonesia on Oct. 3, and are expected to immediately join the national training camp. The friendly will be played at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

The PSSI has been working with the National Team Body (BTN) on a program aimed at naturalizing Dutch football players with Indonesian heritage and including them on the Indonesia national team.

PSSI secretary general Nugraha Besoes said the three foreigners would take on the status as “guest players.”

He added that FIFA had already “verbally agreed” to the Dutch players’ participation in the Jakarta friendly.

“[National team coach] Alfred Riedl recently called a FIFA official to ask about the possibility of using ‘guest players’ in a friendly, and coach Riedl has been told that it will be allowed,” Nugraha said on Thusday.

“We will still send an official letter to FIFA for confirmation, as well as to the Dutch national football federation [KNVB].”

The friendly against Uruguay is part of Indonesia’s preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup in December, which the country will co-host with Vietnam.

BTN head Iman Arif said a team like Uruguay was the “perfect test” for Indonesia.

After Uruguay, Indonesia will play friendlies against Maldives on Oct. 12, China on Nov. 21 and East Timor on Nov. 24.

A fourth Dutch player, Sergio Van Dijk, will join Indonesia for the Maldives match.

Van Dijk is currently playing for Adelaide United in the Australian A-League.

Anticipating a huge crowd at Gelora Bung Karno for the Uruguay friendly, organizers plan to distribute 62,200 tickets, with prices ranging from Rp 75,000 to Rp 2 million ($8 to $224)

Tickets will be sold online at starting today, while tickets can be purchased at Gelora Bung Karno only on match day.

Joko Driyono, head organizer of Indonesia’s friendlies this year, said the match against Maldives would be played at Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung.

Maldives will play a selection of under-21 players from the Super League on Oct. 9, before playing the national team on Oct. 12.

Ticket prices for the Indonesia-Uruguay friendly
  • Regular Rp 75,000 (20,000 seats)
  • Category II Rp 150,000 (15,000 seats)
  • Category I Rp 300,000 (23,000 seats)
  • West VIP Rp 500,000 (4,000 seats)
  • VVIP Rp 2,000,000 (200 seats)

Related Article:

Literary award, tribute to highlight Ubud festival

I Wayan Juniartha, The Jakarta Post, Ubud | Thu, 09/30/2010 9:26 AM

The annual Ubud literary festival is just around the corner and the commotion in the festival’s office on Monday was not unlike an army platoon on high alert.

Symbol of attainment: This year, the Citibank-Ubud
Writers and Readers Festival is to bestow the
MasterCard-Saraswati Literary Award for Lifetime
Achievement — created by Wayan Bener of Sebatu
using Cempaka wood, Chinese coins and Prada Gede
gold lacquer — to a senior Indonesian author.
JP/Kadek Purnami
A group of volunteers was busy sorting invitations and placing information sheets in the writers’ goody bags, while in a nearby room the festival’s co-director, Sarah Tooth, stared intensely at the computer monitor as emails flooded in.

“Things get so hectic that everybody is now juggling with priorities and deadlines,” she said as she lit another cigarette.

Despite the frenzied atmosphere, the festival team was clearly upbeat about the upcoming gathering.

After all, things weren’t as bleak as last year’s festival, when the team had to fight an uphill battle to stay afloat following the 60 percent decrease in sponsorship due to the global economic crisis.

“Now, we have Citibank as our main sponsor and its generous contribution has eased a lot of the burden financially,” the festival’s sponsorship manager, Roberto Aria Putra, said.

The sponsorship deal has given the festival its new official name Citibank-Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2010 (

Citibank will help promote the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in 12 countries, attracting international audiences to a global-minded festival.

“It is a pleasure to support this unique festival that embraces passion, art and expression on our beautiful island. Bali has always been a place where people from all nationalities come to enjoy life to the full, and we believe it is time that Bali became an international meeting point,” said the card business head for Citibank N.A. Indonesia, Irfan Ahmed.

Citibank’s support wasn’t the only reason behind the festival team’s upbeat spirit. Festival community development manager Kadek Purnami, who oversees the Indonesia Program, offered another reason.

“For the first time in the festival’s history, and we are entering our seventh year now, we have the resources to show our respect to those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of Indonesian literature. This year, we will present a literary award to Pak Sitor Situmorang,” she said.

Sponsored by MasterCard, the award is named after Saraswati, the Hindu’s goddess of knowledge and the arts.

The Saraswati Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement will be presented to Sitor Situmorang during the festival’s gala opening on Oct. 6 in Ubud Palace.

“We are very proud that Sitor Situmorang is the recipient of the inaugural lifetime achievement award.

Situmorang’s contribution to Indonesian literature has been both prolific and significant and we honor his belief that literature is a movement for liberation and that freedom of expression is a basic human right,” festival’s founder and director Janet de Neefe said.

Born in 1924 in Harianboho, North Sumatra, Sitor Situmorang is one of the most important writers and poets of the “Angkatan 45”, the literary generation who came of age during the struggle for Indonesian independence.

A critical journalist and prolific writer, he passionately believed that literary works must play an active role in the struggle for social justice and human rights.

His Sastra Revolusioner (Revolutionary Literature) essay, his past involvement in a cultural institution affiliated with a fading political party, and his general resentment toward the New Order regime’s strongman Soeharto resulted in his eight-year-long imprisonment without trial in Salemba Prison.

He wasn’t allowed to bring pens and paper into his cell, but that measure failed to kill “the wandering bard” inside Sitor.

During the ensuing two-year house arrest, Sitor published two works he composed in Salemba.

In the following decades, Sitor spent most of his time in Paris and in Holland, where he lectured at Leiden.

He penned numerous poems, short stories and essays during that period. For him, writing is a sport that keeps his body fit.

Now, in his mid-eighties, Sitor is still writing poems. In 2006, a two-volume anthology of his works
was published.

The anthology contains more than 600 poems written between 1948 and 2005.

“Pak Sitor is very grateful for this honor and I am very pleased with this initiative, which comes at a good time. Hopefully, Pak Sitor will be strong enough to attend the whole program of the festival,” Sitor’s wife Barbara Brouwer said.

Sitor will not be the only Indonesian literary “titan” who will appear in the festival.

The eccentric Sutardji Calzoum Bachri, who has single-handedly liberated words from their meaning and transformed modern Indonesia poetry in the process, has confirmed his participation.

Another “titan” will appear posthumously in the festival. Abdurrahman Wahid, affectionately known as Gus Dur, will be remembered in the festival’s Tribute Night.

“He was the country’s former president, former leader of the moderate Nahdlatul Ulama, and an influential thinker, but, above all, he was the staunch defender of the country’s multiculturalism and an outspoken advocate for religious tolerance and minority rights,” Purnami said, adding that Gus Dur was the perfect icon of the festival’s major theme of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity).

Gus Dur’s youngest daughter Inayah Wulandari and his biographer Prof. Greg Barton will speak on his legacy. Bali’s famed poet and dramatist Cok Sawitri has prepared a dance drama to show her respect of the great man.

Titled Conversation between Sunya and Nirwana, the dance drama is inspired by the classical dance drama Gambuh and the ancient Javanese text Sutasoma, from which the nation’s slogan Bhinneka Tungga Ika was derived.

“Now you know why we are so excited and upbeat, there will be so many great events and great writers in the festival,” Purnami said, before rushing to her room to answer another wave of emails.

From Oct. 6 to Oct. 10, the festival team will be responsible for organizing around 150 events in 40 venues across Ubud, Denpasar and Singaraja. They certainly have a valid reason to be in a rush.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Conflict in Tarakan displaces 32,000 people

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 09/29/2010 8:53 PM | Archipelago

About 32,000 have been displaced by days of ethnic conflict in the Eask Kalimantan city of Tarakan.

The refugees are being sheltered at police and military facilities as well as school buildings across the city, a security officer said on Wednesday.

One of the displaced people, Rini, said she and her family sought shelter at the Tarakan police headquarters for safety reasons. “We feel secure here rather than staying at home,” she said as quoted by

Earlier in the day, Mayor Udin Hianggio visited the displaced people in a number of refugee centers to appease them.

“Please be patient. I, the police chief, security authorities and the governor will solve the problem as soon as possible so that peace and order can be restored,” he told the refugees.

At least three people have been killed in the clashes between indigenous Dayak ethnic group and Bugis migrants, which erupted on Sunday night.

Related Articles:

Surabaya installs first woman mayor

Agnes S. Jayakarna and Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Surabaya | Wed, 09/29/2010 9:13 AM

Tri Rismaharini was installed as Surabaya’s Mayor by East Java Governor Soekarwo on Tuesday and became the first woman to lead the country’s second largest city.

New mayor Tri Rismaharini (L) and
vice mayor Bambang Dwi (Photo: Surabaya Post)
Tri Rismaharini and Bambang Dwi won Surabaya’s mayoral race in August, after the Constitutional Court ordered a repeat of June’s election, citing massive and systemic voting offenses.

Risma’s ticket, which was backed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), won 40.8 percent of the vote in the repeat election, ahead of Arif Afandi and Adies Kadir, who secured 36.5 percent. Risma’s campaign also won the June polls.

Outside the installation ceremony at the Surabaya Legislative Council building, students staged a rally demanding Risma uphold her promises, such as increasing the city’s green space.

The ceremony was attended by Arif, city councilors, community leaders and representatives from the Japanese and French consulates.

Speaking at the ceremony, Soekarwo told the new administration to fulfill their campaign promises and said they must maintain harmony with all parties and support each other for a successful five-year leadership.

“Otherwise, programs will be left unfinished and development not implemented as well as it can be,” he said.

The governor told Risma to base her policies on the public interest. Slightly misleading policies could turn families deemed “almost poor” into “poor” families, he added.

City Legislative Council Speaker Wishnu Wardhana said he hoped the new administration would make Surabaya a better city through humane and planned development programs.

“There is much work awaiting the new mayor and deputy mayor, such as in the fields of education, health and infrastructure,” he said.

Wishnu said development of the city’s eastern ring road, which connected Suramadu Bridge and Juanda International Airport, should be finished quickly to accelerate the city’s economy.

During the campaign, Risma promised to develop Surabaya through clean water distribution, controlling flooding through open space management, subsidizing housing for the poor and developing mass transportation.

Risma, who previously led the city’s Cleanliness Agency and its Development Planning Agency, has been praised for making Surabaya a greener city through reforestation programs and building several new parks in the city. She also vowed to involve Surabayans in the creation of a clean and healthy environment.

The most daunting task for the mayor is eradicating poverty for the city’s 110,117 economically poor families, which include 12,558 extremely poor, 47,065 poor and 50,494 almost poor families.

Obama answers the question: why are you a Christian?

Reuters, ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico | Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:15pm EDT

President Barack Obama walks into the East Room of the White House with Father Vien Nguyen in Washington, May 24, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing)

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama spoke openly about his faith on Tuesday, describing himself as a "Christian by choice" while reiterating his belief in the importance of religious tolerance.

Obama, who polls show many Americans think is a Muslim, was asked by a participant at a campaign-style New Mexico event why he was a Christian.

"It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead -- being my brother's and sister's keeper, treating others as they would treat me," he said.

"And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings -- that we're sinful and we're flawed and we make mistakes, and that we ... achieve salvation through the grace of God."

Obama rarely speaks about his faith, though many Americans use religious convictions as a criteria when choosing who to support for political office.

Obama said religion took on a stronger meaning for him as an adult.

"My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn't raise me in the church. So I came to my Christian faith later in life," he said.

The president, who has voiced strong support for the right of Muslims to build a community center near the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York, said he tried to express his religious beliefs through his job.

"I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith," he said.

"As president of the United States, I'm also somebody who deeply believes that ... part of the bedrock strength of this country is that it embraces people of many faiths and of no faith."

(Writing by Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Indonesian History Professor Honored by British Queen

Jakarta Globe, Nurfika Osman | September 28, 2010

History professor Azyumardi Azra, pictured here on the right in this file photo, is the first Indonesian to receive the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, one of the highest honors granted by the Queen of the United Kingdom, for services to interfaith understanding.

Jakarta. British Ambassador to Indonesia Martin Hatfull presented Azyumardi Azra with an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to interfaith understanding on Tuesday.

Azyumardi, a professor of history at State Islamic University (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta, is the first Indonesian to receive the CBE, one of the highest honors granted by the Queen of the United Kingdom.

“Every year Her Majesty the Queen graciously grants honorary awards to people from all walks of life around the world who have made significant differences to their community,” Hatfull said.

“Today I have had the honor of presenting Professor Azyumardi Azra with this award and I wish to pass on my sincerest congratulations to him.”

As one of Indonesia’s leading Islamic scholars, and a former co-chair of the United Kingdom-Indonesia Islamic Advisory Group, Azyumardi has demonstrated his dedication to promoting interfaith understanding over many years.

The British government recognizes that such work is essential to promoting stronger links between the major faiths of the world, he said.

Related Article:

Islam forbids robbery for whatever reason: Hasyim

Antara News, Tuesday, September 28, 2010 11:26 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Muslim leader Hasyim Muzadi has denied that in Islam it is alright to commit robberies as long as the victims are kafir or infidels.

Such a a belief is allegedly held by terror suspects who recently committed the crime in West and North Sumatra.

"Whatever the reason or motive, robbing people is haram (forbidden in Islam). What Islam does allow is dividing the spoils of war but a war can only be declared by the state, not by groups of people or individuals," Hasyim Muzadi, former chairman of Mahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia`s largest Muslim organization, said here Monday.

"So, no robbery may be committed in the name of religion," he said.

Hasyim was commenting on National Police Chief Gen Bambang Hendarso Danuri`s recent expose of recent robberies committed by terror suspects, including on the CIMB Niaga Bank in Medan, North Sumatra. Bambang said captured terror suspects had justified their actions by citing an alleged Islamic teaching that allows robberies of people who were kafir (infidels), They also did it because they did not recognize the state that adhered to a concept different from their own.

"If these people (terror suspects) have declared a war on their own, they must be crushed," Hasyim said.

On the other hand, Hasyim criticized the way in which the police were conducting their anti-terror campaign because it tended to emulate the tactics used by the United States during the George W Bush administration , namely attacking those suspected as being terrorists or conducting preemptive strikes.

Those tactics , according Hasyim, had proven ineffective and had even put the US in a difficult position so that since President Barack Obama took over they were abandoned and replaced with West-Islam reconciliation.

"Strangely, in Indonesia where the other day terrorists were put on trial and sentenced to death, this outdated preemptive strike method has won international acclaim," he said.

If these tactics continued to be implemented without coordination with other armed force branches, and without the support of Indonesia`s Muslim community, the Indonesian police will in the end exhaust themselves while the terror groups will increase in militancy, he said.

The more so, Hasyim said, the police`s image was at present such that it was not enjoying the public`s optimal trust and charges of terrorism always still needed to be proven through the transparency of the courts.

"The police chief`s references to Al Qaidah, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan in his expose also needs to be proven because these countries are actually not quite in accord with one another," he said.

Related Article:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yudhoyono names Julia Roberts in speech

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 09/27/2010 11:30 AM

I love Bali: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono welcomes participants of the Alliance Financial Inclusion (API) Global Policy Forum in Bali on Monday.He cited Julia Roberts' new movie titled 'Eat, Pray, and Love ' to encourage them to return to Bali.(JP/Stanny Angga)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono named actress Julia Roberts in his speech at the 2010 Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum in Jimbaran, Bali, attended by a number of central bank officials throughout the world.

Yudhoyono said Bali was part of Julia Roberts' new movie titled Eat, Pray, and Love, a film that tells a story of a woman who travels around the world before finding peace and love in Bali.

He hoped the forum participants would have similar experiences in Bali although they would only stay on the island for several days.

"I hope you will return here with your families and friends to get 'Eat, Pray, and Love'," the president said.

Participants laughed and nodded as they responded to the speech.

Ancient texts hold Bali’s past

Alit Kertaraharja, The Jakarta Post, Singaraja | Mon, 09/27/2010

Staff members at Gedong Kirtya, the Bali’s largest repository of lontar manuscripts, held a special religious ritual Saturday to celebrate the knowledge stored in the ancient scrolls.

Kirtya is the only government-run museum devoted to the lontar manuscripts — ancient religious texts engraved on the fronds of the lontar palm. 

A similar institution exists in Leiden, Holland, housing a collection of around 1,700 sets of the

In Kirtya, the ceremony was officiated by IGB Suduasta, who is also an accomplished lontar writer and painter.

“[The ceremony] was organized in conjunction with the celebration of Saraswati day that falls today,” Gedong Kirtya head I Ketut Suharsana told.

On Saraswati day, Balinese Hindus across the island present offerings of books, which are considered the throne of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and the arts. School students wear traditional costumes and join in mass prayer at their school’s shrines.

Assisted by the Kirtya’s staff members, Suduasta placed offerings on the wooden boxes containing the lontar manuscripts as well as on old books on Balinese culture.

“The manuscripts and books contain important information on various aspects of Balinese culture and spirituality, from literary verses of kekawin, genealogical treatises of many clans, theological discourses to traditional medicines. We have also had in our collection lontar manuscripts from Java and Lombok,” Suharsana said.

He estimated that around 2,000 sets of lontar manuscripts are still in the possession of individuals, temples and Brahmin families in Bali.

Built by a lontar lover and former resident of Bali and Lombok, L.J.J Caron, Kirtya was officially opened on September 14, 1928. It was named Kirtya Lefrink-Van der Tuuk after Dr. H.N. Van der Tuuk, a Dutch historian who donated his land and house for the museum. The name Kirtya, which was derived from the Sanskrits’ word for effort, was bestowed by the then King of Buleleng, I Gusti Putu Djelantik.

The lontar manuscripts in Kirtya played a critical role in Professor P.J. Zoetmulder’s decade-long research to compile the seminal Dictionary of Ancient Javanese Language.

Annisa promotes batik in the US

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 09/25/2010 10:35 AM

JAKARTA: Having lived in the US for almost a year, model Annisa Larasati Pohan said that she always made time to promote batik.

Model Annisa Larasati Pohan JP/Arief Suhardiman
“I often wear batik to formal events,” said Annisa as quoted by recently in Jakarta.

The daughter in-law of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is living in the US as her husband Capt. Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono is taking his masters degree at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Annisa said that she always tried to introduce batik to people and to explain to them that batik came from Indonesia. In Boston, Annisa also took part in a photo shoot for a batik brand.

“Batik is Indonesia’s heritage that needs to be preserved,” she said. — JP

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jakarta to host int`l arts festival

Antara News, Sunday, September 26, 2010 19:13 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Jakarta is to host the Arts Summit International festival next October 4-24, Minister of Culture and Tourism Affairs Jero Wacik said here on Sunday.

The festival which was held once every three years would present several world`s art products coming from the combination of arts, science and technology.

The arts festival would present dance performance from Hyun Ok Park (South Korea), theater show by Milan Sladek (Germany), dance performance by Leina Roebana (Holland), music performance by Tale Ensemble (the United States) and Pierrot Lunaire (Austria).

Indonesia as a host would present Suket Puppet show by Slamet Gundono, theater performance by Satu Lampung, Gamelan Pendro and Cundami from Bali, music performance by Blacius Subono and dance performance by Nan Jombang Dance Company and Sekar Kliwon Nanu Munajar.

This year`s festival would also have an international seminar discussing a recent research titled "Contemporary Arts and the Demand of Cultural Industries".

Central Aceh once inhabited by prehistoric humans, archeologist

Antara News, Sunday, September 26, 2010 15:48 WIB

Takengon, Aceh Province (ANTARA News) - Two senior archeologists from Medan said Kampung Mendale area, Central Aceh district, had once inhabited by prehistoric humans.

The two archeologists Ketut Wiradnyana and Lucas Partanda Koestoro made the statement after they found some prehistoric remains such as a niche (Rock Shelter/Abris Shous Roches), a square stone axe, pottery pieces and a human skeleton in a cave near Danau Laut Tawar lake in Kampung Mendale.

"One of our latest discovery is a human skeleton which we found in Ujung Karang Kebayakan area, another excavation site near Kampung Mendale area," Ketut said here on Sunday.

However he could not yet confirm the skeleton`s exact age since excavation was still ongoing.

"In order to determine the age of these objects more accurately, they will go through a carbon dating process at the National Atomic Energy Agency (BATAN)," Ketut said.

Last May, local residents of Jayapura district, Papua province, found some prehistoric relics at two different locations.

The leader of an Archeological Institute research team, Hari Suroto, said locals who were digging in the ground at Kalkote hamlet in East Sentani district on Tuesday (April 27) came across pottery pieces now believed to date back to 1500 BC (before Christ) or the Neolithic era.

The archeological team had also established that the same type of pottery was found in Vanimo, Papua New Guinea, in 1996. In fact, `Lapita` pottery was previously discovered in many places in the Pacific region and the Bismark islands, he said.

At Kwadare village in Waibu district, locals had also found a bronze axe which the archeological team believed was made in 300 BC and originally came from Dong Son, North Vietnam.

Hari said the skill of bronze axe making was brought to the northern coastal regions of Papua by people of the Austronesian race.

But the bronze axe found at Kwadare village was not handed over to the Archeological Institute but kept by the Kwadeware community`s chieftain.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Naturalized Dutch players to join national soccer team

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 09/24/2010

The Football Association of Indonesia announced on Friday two Indonesian-born Dutch players had agreed to undergo a naturalization process to be able to don national colors in international matches.

Sergio van Dijk
Head of the National Team Body, Iman Arif, said Sergio van Dijk and John van Breukeling would join a training camp in Jakarta on Oct. 3 for an international friendly against World Cup semifinalist Uruguay on Oct. 8 at the Bung Karno Stadium.

Sergio van Dijk and John van Breukeling have agreed. They will turn up for the second phase of training center and play in the match against Uruguay,” Iman told

Iman and national team coach Alfred Riedl are in the Netherlands to scout Dutch players who are willing to be naturalized.

Iman said he had selected 46 footballers who play in the premier league or second division league in the Netherlands.

“We hope we can bring four or five naturalized players back to Indonesia. Now we are selecting quality footballers,” Iman said.

Van Dijk now plays for Adelaide United in Australia, while van Beukering is with Dutch second division side Go Ahead Eagles.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Gay Film Festival Opens in Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Arlina Arshad | September 24, 2010

Jakarta. A gay film festival hailed as the biggest in Asia and the only one in the Muslim world kicks off in Indonesia on Friday, hoping to draw 15,000 viewers to screenings and fringe events.

In its ninth annual edition, the Q! Film Festival ( will showcase 150 films from more than 20 countries, including France, Japan and the Philippines, highlighting such issues as gay rights and HIV/AIDS.

Festival director John Badalu said organizers did not expect public opposition but prefer to keep the event low-key due to the “stigma against gays” among conservative sections of the mainly Muslim population.

“We don’t want to publicise the event in the mainstream local media as they’re still very conservative,” Badalu said.

Social networking sites such as Twitter ( are abuzz with chat about the event, however, signalling it has already achieved one of its chief aims — to “let people know that the queer community exists in Indonesia”, he added.

Indonesian Muslims are often categorized as “moderate” but such generalizations, favoured by Western diplomats, upset religious and other minorities who have to endure the daily opprobrium of Islamic conservatives.

In March, a regional gay and lesbian conference was forced to cancel when scores of Islamic radicals stormed the venue and reportedly went from room to room hunting participants.

A month later, Islamic vigilantes burst into a civil rights awareness session for transsexuals held by the National Commission for Human Rights and sent the participants fleeing in panic.

Homosexuality is technically legal in the country of 240 million people but it remains a taboo, especially among the 80 percent of the population who are Muslims.

Lawmakers in deeply Islamic Aceh province last year voted to make homosexuality punishable by up to 100 lashes under local religious by-laws which the provincial government has refused to approve.

Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring, chief of an Islamic party, in June implied a link between pornography and HIV-AIDS, and questioned whether state funds used to fight the disease could not be better spent.

“The country has dispersed 180 billion rupiah ($20 million) to curb HIV-AIDS. The budget should actually be reduced so the money can be allocated for other things that are beneficial for the country,” he told reporters.

Despite these attitudes, Communications Ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto said the central government had given its assurances that the Q! festival could go ahead.

“We have no objections. As long as the content is not too sexually explicit, not too vulgar, we’re OK, we can tolerate it,” he said.

“This festival has been taking place for many years already. I’m sure the organizers know the do’s and the don’ts and consider the ethical and normative nuances in Indonesia,” he added.

Organizers are not taking any chances and have taken steps to ensure the festival takes place without incident.

Screenings, which are free, will be held in private clubs and foreign cultural centres in six cities, including Jakarta and Yogyakarta.

International backing also provides a protective umbrella and cosmopolitan legitimacy that radical fringe elements would be reluctant to challenge, Badalu said.

“Funding for the festival comes from foreign groups. We hold screenings at foreign centres. The radicals won’t dare to attack us. If they do, it’s like attacking several countries at one go,” he said.

He said Indonesia’s “double standards” on issues of sexuality, morality and privacy left space for events like Q! and what organizers jokingly refer to as the “Q-munity.”

“Indonesians are generally tolerant towards gays because you see, people have double standards. Some claim to be religious but surf porn Web sites at home, some say no to piracy but still use pirated goods,” Badalu said.

“Anyway, whatever happens, we’ll still be around. We can’t disappear just like that.”

Agence France-Presse

Members of committee of the Q! Film Festival install banners during pre-festival preparations in Jakarta on September 24, 2010. A gay film festival hailed as the biggest in Asia and the only one in the Muslim world kicks off in Indonesia on September 24, hoping to draw 15,000 viewers to screenings and fringe events. In its ninth annual edition, the Q! Film Festival will showcase 150 films from more than 20 countries including France, Japan and the Philippines, highlighting such issues as gay rights and HIV/AIDS. (AFP)

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Obama to give Australia a miss

ABC News, 24 Sep 2010

No visit: US president Barack Obama
(Reuters: Lucas Jackson)
United States president Barack Obama has announced he will make a long-awaited trip to Indonesia in November, but Australia is again off the itinerary.

Mr Obama has called off two previous plans to visit Indonesia and Australia, first to concentrate on passing his health care reform bill, and then over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The president will now go to Indonesia as part of a trip that will also take him to South Korea for a G20 meeting and to Tokyo for the APEC summit.

The American ambassador in Australia has given assurances that Mr Obama will eventually visit Australia.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Understanding one`s own religion helps maintain inter-religious harmony

Antara News, Thursday, September 23, 2010 19:44 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A senior people`s welfare official said understanding the theological basis of one`s own religion could help maintain inter-religious harmony in society.

"Basically every religion teaches peace and solidarity to its followers. Even in Islam, people are urged to respect and do good to others," Dyihabuddin, deputy for education, religious and state administrative affairs to the Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare, said here Thursday.

Speaking at a discussion on how to maintain inter-religious harmony, Syihabuddin said interfaith tolerance in society would come naturally when people really understand and implemented the basis of their own religion.

Apart from a good grasp of the theological basis of one`s own religion. people should also have a multicultural understanding to keep inter-religious harmony. Multicultural understanding would allow people to respect the uniqueness of their fellow human beings and not negatively differentiate them based on race, culture, sex or status in the society.

"A multicultural understanding will allow people to participate in activities outside their own ethnic or cultural backgrounds," he added.

On the same occasion, Abdurahman Mas`ud , head of Religious Affairs Ministry`s Religious Life Research and Development Center, said empowering people and religious organizations could be a strategy to keep inter-religious harmony.

He said since 2009, the government had established an organization named Forum for Inter-Religious Harmony (FKUB) made up of people from different religious organizations.

The forum was set up in all of Indonesia`s 33 provinces and tasked with holding dialogue with prominent figures and religious leaders, listen to the aspirations of members of religious organizations and recommend them to the government.

FKUB was also authorized to familiarize the public with government regulations on inter-religious relations and give recommendations for the establishment of new houses of worship in any given district or city.

"FKUB is expected to assist the government to maintain inter-religious relations in Indonesia," Abdurrahman said.

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