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, December 31, 2010

For the dead

The Jakarta Post, Fri, 12/31/2010

Local villagers in Saddang, North Toraja, South Sulawesi, take part in a traditional burial procession called Mabadong, which involves animal sacrifice. (Antara/Sahrul Manda Tikupadang

RI to launch ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ to lure tourists

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 12/31/2010

Indonesia will launch the new branding “Wonderful Indonesia” as part of its tourism campaign to attract up to 7.7 million foreign tourists next year.

Speaking at a yearend briefing in Jakarta Thursday, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said that with the new campaign brand, which would replace the previous “Visit Indonesia Year”, the target could be achieved.

The new catchphrase, he said, was much stronger than the previous one as it reflected the country’s beautiful nature, unique culture, varied food, hospitable people and price competitiveness in various kinds of services.

About 7 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia last year, an increase from 6.4 million in 2009.

“We expect each tourist will spend around US$1,100 and with an optimistic target of 7.7 million arrivals, we will get $8.3 billion,” he said, adding that 50 percent of the revenue would be generated from about 600 meetings, conventions and exhibitions that were expected to take place in various places throughout the country next year.

Wacik further explained that his ministry would also promote the country’s attractions under the eco-cultural banner.

“We picked this theme to cope with the trend that foreign tourists will choose eco-friendly tourist sites, hotels and services. All
tourism stakeholders, then, are expected to upkeep their environment,” he said.

Wacik pointed out that the Komodo National Park in West Nusa Tenggara, one of 28 finalists of the New Seven Wonders of Nature competition, as one of 15 prime tourist destinations to be promoted by the ministry next year.

“We’ll also continue our Visit Museum Year campaign. We’ll build a number of museums and revitalize existing museums,” he said without explaining further.

The director general for tourism destination development, Firmansyah Rahim, said his ministry planned to improve infrastructure facilities, mainly airports.

“We will widen runways at a number of airports to accommodate large aircraft,” he said.

Among the airports are Selangit in North Sumatra, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi and Toraja in South Sulawesi.

He also said his ministry would develop about 560 tourism villages across the archipelago, adding to the current 200 sites and contributing to the 2,000 targeted by 2014.

The director of marketing development, Syamsul Lussa, said that to reach the targeted number of foreign tourists, his ministry still had to solve problems, such as aircraft capacity and immigration services.

Currently, airlines have 14.7 million aircraft seats for domestic as well as international tourists.

“Seventy percent of foreign tourists use air services to travel. We need an additional 1.7 million seats to carry 7.7 million tourists,” he said.

“We also lack counters for visa-on-arrival services because the planning of airports is not in line with the development of needs,” he added. (lnd)

Related Article:

Sahid Resort brings oasis of luxury into heart of Kuta

Wasti Atmodjo, The Jakarta Post, Kuta | Thu, 12/30/2010 

An “oasis” will soon emerge in Bali’s most crowded tourist area offering holidaymakers a luxury hotel and lavish shopping paradise overlooking the pristine Kuta Beach.

World famous: Bali’s Kuta Beach, pictured here,
 is a favorite spot for holidaymakers around the world
Courtesy PT Indonesia Paradise Island /
Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort
“This will be a perfect blend of contemporary and traditional, translated into a world-class hotel and shopping mall,” explained Hariyadi B. Sukamdani, president of PT Indonesian Paradise Island (IPI).

The planned project is expected to be completed mid 2011. IPI invested Rp 600 billion (US$70 million) into the Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort. Haryadi, however, was quick to add the amount of capital invested might change depending on the project design.

“We are still altering some of the designs here and there and these could affect the amount of capital invested,” he said.

Some might wonder whether the already crowded and often traffic congested Kuta really needs another multi-billion project. People will certainly be curious about the project’s structure and design especially when it comes to ecological issues brought about by the rapid growth of tourist-related development projects and the increasing number of visitors besieging Kuta.

Sukamdani Sahid Gitosardjono, the patriarch of the Sahid family, said his old property, the Sahid Hotel, was one of the pioneer hotels in the area.

“In the past, Kuta was quiet and beautiful. Only a few small guesthouses and hotels were operating, catering for local and foreign tourists,” Sukamdani said.

“In the past, the development of any five-star hotel was allowed provided developers applied designs in line with the island’s nature,” he said.

His son Hariyadi decided to follow this philosophy by developing an eco-friendly resort on the 5.2 hectares of land on the former site of the old Sahid Hotel.

“My plan is to revitalize the Kuta area into a green and people-friendly area by constructing an-integrated luxury resort, office complex and high-end shopping complex using an eco-friendly architectural concept.”
The buildings have been designed with world-class architectural standard using as much local materials as possible.

Spacious and lust gardens, water ponds and hanging gardens will surround the buildings, which will be lined with wide sidewalks to enable visitors to enjoy their promenade. Nowadays, it is still difficult for people to walk along the narrow streets of Kuta because of the limited pedestrian facilities.

The planned hotel will consist of 200 lavish rooms facing the great waves of Kuta Beach and will be operated under the brand Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort.

A new oasis: PT Indonesian Paradise Island is planning to build a multi-billion
 rupiah hotel project, currently designed to look like this picture, called the Sahid
 Kuta Lifestyle Resort. The resort will be completed mid 2011. Courtesy PT Indonesia
 Paradise Island/Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort

The shopping arcades, called the Beach Walk, will be designed in the Balinese traditional architectural style, adding a few touches to remind visitors of the daily lives of the Balinese agricultural society.

The project has been designed by architectural firm PT Enviro Tec Indonesia, according to Indonesia Design.

The Beach Walk will resemble the island’s rural landscape with its beautiful terraced contours and open-air walkways. It will house 200 top-notch boutiques and stores, restaurants, children playgrounds, music and dance stages.

“We will not cut any existing trees on this site and will use recycled wood and materials for the project,” said Hariyadi.

The company’s director of development, Patrick Rendradjaja, added that the company was also concerned about the existing traffic problems in Kuta.

“We have already incorporated a comprehensive parking site to ease traffic congestion,” Rendradjaja said.

Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort will have a two-level parking basement which can accommodate up to 1,000 vehicles at a time. The Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort will be next to the Harris Hotel, which also belongs to the Sahid family.

“They will complement each other. The Sheraton will cater to the high-end market, while the four-star Harris will continue to retain its own clientele,” Hariyadi said.

“I really expect the project will benefit hotels and businesses in this area as it will rejuvenate the area into a green and beautiful one,” he added.

Those eager to stay at this luxury and tranquil hotel in the hustle-bustle Kuta will have to wait until its completion, sometime in 2011.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Indonesian Jews fondly remember tropical home

Scholars, ex-members meet in Haifa to discuss a now-extinct Southeast Asian community.

In 1938, as Nazi Germany absorbed Austria and anti- Semitic violence worsened, the situation of Jews in Europe became desperate. Lines of would-be émigrés formed outside embassies hoping to get permits that would allow them to escape.

Most were turned away.
Once upon a time in the Dutch East Indies (Photo by: Dr. Ely Dwek)

The Lehrers of Vienna were among the lucky ones. They boarded a boat that took them halfway across the world to Indonesia, where a relative who had been working as a physician had helped obtain permits for them.

Shoshana Lehrer, who was then four years old, recalled arriving in the Dutch East Indies and her encounter with the small but vibrant Jewish community.

“It was very hard, we were like olim,” Lehrer, who lives in Haifa’s bayside suburbs, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. “I never wanted to speak German so I had to speak Dutch with the other kids, which wasn’t easy. We were very poor, living together with other refugees in houses rented out for us by the Jewish community. It was a hard life,” Lehrer said.

“In Vienna I had a room and in Indonesia I had nothing but my bear. But although we had a very hard time there I loved it, it’s a beautiful place. It really felt like it was my country.”

The history of the Jews in Indonesia was the subject of a two-day symposium at the University of Haifa that ended on Monday. The gathering included many firsthand accounts by former community members like Lehrer, who spoke about what it was like being part of a tiny Jewish minority in what is now the most populous Muslim country in the world.

Prof. Rotem Kowner of the university’s Department of Asian Studies, who organized the event, said there was an unusual revival of interest in the remote and largely forgotten Jewish community.

“This is an interesting story of a community which was reformed in Israel after it had fallen apart,” Kowner said. “Seven years ago, the community members here decided to officially form an organization and sought funding but were largely ignored. The Dutch weren’t interested and the Indonesians certainly weren’t. Up until then not a word had been written about them.”

Lehrer is the head of Tempo Dulu, the association of Indonesian Jews in Israel, whose name means “former times” in Indonesian. She said the idea for members of the community to meet regularly emerged in 1995, when a Dutch film crew interviewed several of its members for a documentary.

“We meet in kibbutzim once or twice a year and at least 50 people come,” Lehrer said of the get-togethers, where participants often share spicy homecooked Indonesian food. “It’s not just members of the community but their children and grandchildren sometimes come, although they’re not as interested.”

Jews first arrived in the islands of Southeast Asia from the Netherlands when they were being colonized by the Dutch East India Company in the 19th century. These Jewish merchants and plantation owners were later joined by Jewish Iraqi businessmen, who had created a network of trading posts covering most of Asia from Mumbai to Shanghai.

Finally, the community was bolstered by refugees like the Lehrers fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe.

The Indonesian Jewish community was never big. At its peak shortly before outbreak of World War II, it numbered 3,000 people, based mostly in Surabaya, the island of Java’s second largest city; Batavia, later renamed Jakarta; and a few other smaller cities and towns.

With the exception of the refugees, life for members of the community during those years was one of privilege. Old photos reveal festive banquets held in large mansions, sports competitions and many religious ceremonies.

“We had a sports car which my father would drive around the island,” said Dr. Ely Dwek, who was born in Indonesia to Iraqi Jews but has lived in Israel most his life.

The Jews of Indonesia did not, however, escape the horrors of WWII. When Japan invaded the Dutch colony in 1942, most Jews were put together with other non-Asians in internment camps where conditions were extremely harsh. Many died of malnutrition, disease and violence inflicted by the Japanese and their allies.

Shoshana Lehrer was separated from her father and put in an internment camp with her mother for three years before the allies liberated them.

“My mother always said it was bad, but it was still better than what would have happened had we stayed in Europe,” she said.

After the war the community found itself in a precarious position, caught between the nationalists, who demanded independence, and the Dutch, who sought a return to the status quo before the war.

When the nationalists finally gained the upper hand in the fighting in 1949 it became increasingly difficult for Jews as well as for other non-Asians to remain. The Lehrers left for the Netherlands in 1952, never to return. Others moved to the UK, US, Israel and Australia. By 1965 there were only a few dozen Jews in Indonesia.

Nowadays an estimated 20 Jews live there. Judaism is not a recognized religion in the country and in 2009 the old synagogue in Surabaya, which seats 200 people, was forced to close under pressure from Islamists because of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Asked if she would like visit her childhood home, Lehrer, who has fond memories of the country, said she had mixed feelings.

“I would like to go back, but it has changed quite a lot so I’m not sure what I’ll see,” Lehrer said. “It is a place of 18,000 islands, a really beautiful place.”

But despite the community’s exodus the story of Jews in Indonesia may not be over yet.

Dr. Giora Eliraz of the Hebrew University referred on Monday to a recent New York Times article on a newly formed Jewish community in Manado, a city in a largely Christian part of the island of Sulawesi.

According to the article, pro- Jewish sentiment is widespread in the region. A giant menorah was recently erected on a mountain top and several families who claim Jewish ancestry are reconnecting with Judaism and even opened a small synagogue.

“The Jewish origin of these individuals is ambiguous,” Eliraz said. “There seems to be some Christian evangelical influence at work. Nonetheless, this may mean the curtain might not have set on Jews in Indonesia yet.”

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“Those who love and care for Israel,” writes contributor Starhawk, “need to stand with her true interests now, by demanding an end to the occupation, an end to the siege of Gaza, the dismantling of the settlements, restitution, and real justice. These are the preconditions that will lead to true security and peace.”

The ultra-Orthodox make up 10 percent of Israel’s population of 7.5 million, but are increasing rapidly amid a growing backlash to the privileges and subsidies long granted to the ultra-religious. (Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times)

Court convicts Israel ex-president Katsav of rape

Press Council: 25 violence against journalist cases in 2010

Antara News, Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Press Council (Dewan Pers) has recorded 25 cases of violence against journalists during 2010, a spokesman said.

The violence occurred in the form of acts of intimidation, destruction of reporting equipment, vandalization of media offices, acts of sabotage , confinement, physical maltreatment and murder, Agus Sudibyo, head of the Press Council`s unit for complaints and ethics enforcement, said here Wednesday.

"The number of cases of violence against journalists has increased and according to the Legal Aid Institute for Media it is even the worst on record," he said.

Agus, who was accompanied by Press Council Chief Bagir Manan and Vice Chief Bambang Harymurty said data obtained by the Council showed the perpetrators were people of different backgrounds and included public figures like artists, government office staff, ordinary citizens and hoodlums.

But the Council had also noted that in some cases, the violence occurred after provocation by press workers who had violated professional principles and the journalistic code of ethics.

According to Agus, the causes of the violence varied but in general it had happened because press freedom and journalists` safety were not yet being protected optimally.

Bagir Manan said the violence against media workers had happened because of the arbitrariness of people in power and because of people`s resentment at having their affairs exposed to the public.

"From the journalistic viewpoint, it is all a consequence of the practice of press freedom. On the one hand, the freedom enables journalists to publish information with a minimum of restrictions but on the other there are people who can`t accept such freedom," Bagir said.

The Council opined that the risks to journalists` safety were still a serious problem in Indonesia and the government should pay greater attention to the increasing phenomenon of violence and criminal acts against the media and its workers.

The Council called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to show more serious concern about abuse against journalists.

"It`s the government`s duty to make sure that the principles of press freedom are truly enforced and the safety of media workers is ensured," Agus said.

Agus said the law enforcing agencies should prove their commitment to respect for press freedom by investigating the crimes that had been committed against Indonesian journalists because the agencies` firmness could inform society that violence against media workers was unlawful.

Nevertheless, Agus added, the cases of violence should also motivate media companies to show their responsibility by providing their journalists with comprehensive understanding about journalistic professionalism and ethics.

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Wakatobi district head wins Tourism Award 2010

Antara News, Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Wakatobi district head Hugua has received a Tourism Award 2010 from the Culture and Tourism Ministry in Jakarta.

"I received the highest award for tourism from Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik during a Visit Indonesia Year 2010 Appreciation Night at Sahid Jaya Hotel on Monday night," Hugua said over his cellular phone from Jakarta on Wednesday.

Hugua said he got the award because he was considered to have achieved outstanding results in developing Wakatobi as a tourist destination and in promoting it internationally.

"Based on an evaluation from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Wakatobi tourism has made outstanding progress during the year 2010 and attracted foreign tourists from many countries," Hugua said.

According to him, he also got a similar award in 2009 along with 12 district heads and mayors.

"The award is an appreciation from the central government through the Culture and Tourism Ministry to the district heads and mayors who have successfully developed and promoted the tourism sector in their respective regions to attract both domestic and foreign tourists," Hugua said.

He said that in 2009 only around 5,000 tourists visited Wakatobi but in 2010 the number sharply increased to around 20,000, especially from European countries such as England, France, and Switzerland.

Besides Hugua, Lombok Barat district head Zaini Arony also got a similar award from the Culture and Tourism Ministry because his district was a favorite tourist destination in 2010.

"The West Nusa Tenggara governor and I got the award from the Culture and Tourism Ministry two weeks ago in Jakarta," Lombok Barat district head Zaini Arony said in Giri Menang on Monday.

Zaini Arnoy said he also received the same award in 2009.

He said Lombok Barat district received a similar award in 2009 in the category of best tourism destination in Indonesia.

The award, according to him, was not only of national but also of international significance because it was given based on assessments made by domestic and foreign tourists who had visited various tourist objects in Lombok Barat district.

With those two awards, Zaini said, the Lombok Barat district government would continue to improve the tourism sector in the area to attract even more tourists.

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Highest Number of Tourists in Yogyakarta are Dutch

Tempo Interactive, Tuesday, 28 December, 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Yogyakarta:The highest number of tourists visiting Yogyakarta are from the Netherlands, Setiawan K.E., chief of Yogyakarta Tourism Board announced Monday.

From January to September this year the number of Dutch tourists visiting the area totaled 23,766 people. “Last year, that number increased to 20,366. That means so far the number has increased by 3,400 people or by 16.7 percent,” he said.

The second-highest number of visitors were from Japan (14,650) and France (13,411). The number of Malaysian tourists has dropped to 12,550, from 12,673 people last year. According to Setiawan, more tourists are visiting Yogyakarta to see disaster-affected areas.


Related Article:

RI attracted seven million plus foreign tourists in 2010

Antara News, Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia was in 2010 visited by a total of about seven million foreign tourists who spent more than US$ 7 billion in the country, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said.

"The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) has recorded seven million foreign tourist arrivals or more than the target figure for 2010. More detailed information on this matter will be given in early 2011," the minister said when attending a Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) 2010 appraisal night here Monday (Dec 27).

Jero said the seven million foreign tourist arrivals constituted a new record because in 2009 the target figure was about 6.45 million.

"In my contract with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, I promised to attract 6.75 million tourists. But it turned out to be more than 7 million," Jero said.

Jero also stated tourism in Indonesia during 2010 was hampered by several natural disasters like the Mt. Merapi eruptions in October to November.

"I was worried when 14 airlines canceled their flights to Jakarta and Yogyakarta last November. But it did not last long because I met the managements of the airlines," Jero said.

The normalization of airline flights had a salutary effect on the target`s achievement which was 9.3 percent up from 6.45 million in 2009 , said the minister.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Indonesia to submit three cultural assets to UNESCO

Antara News, Monday, December 27, 2010

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will submit three of its national cultural assets to UNESCO in 2011 to be appraised for inclusion in its list of World Cultural Heritages, a culture ministry official said.

"The three cultural assets to be submitted to UNESCO are a number of Balinese dances, the indigenous Papua household article called Noken, and the Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park (TMII)," said Harry Waluyo, director of the Cultural and Tourism Resources Agency (BSDKP) at the Culture and Tourism Ministry said here on Monday.

Waluyo said the three cultural assets will be submitted to UNESCO because they represent geographical parts of Indonesia outside Java. So far, the cultural assets for which Indonesia had proposed recognition as World Heritages by UNESCO were those of Java such as the Angklung (bamboo musical instrument) from West Java, batik cloth, wayang puppets from Central Java.

After the selection of cultural assets from Java, our next choice of Indonesian cultural assets to be submitted to UNESCO are articles or things from Bali and Papua," Waluyo said.

He said nine kinds of Balinese dances each representing a particular region in Bali would be proposed to UNESCO.

From Papua, the cultural asset to be nominated is the Noken, a Papuan people`s icon. The Noken, or Agiya, is a multi-purpose household device made of strong forest fibres in which Papuan women put their babies to lull them to sleep, or hogs, food items or clothes.

Nowadays, the Noken is decorated with certain colorful ornaments to make it look mroe attractive. A Noken can be bought at traditional markets in Papua for Rp 15,000- Rp100,000.

The TMII in East Jakarta, constructed in 1971, is a park reflecting the cultural richness of each Indonesian province, It was selected for submission to UNESCO on the consideration that the concept could serve as a model of non-material cultural management to other countries.

The process for the submission of the three cultural assets to UNESCO had already started and would end on March 31, 2011.

Apart from the three cultural assets, UNESCO in 2011 would announce the unique Saman dancing from Aceh province as a World Cultural Heritage.

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Lombok Barat gets tourism award as favorite destination

Antara News, Monday, December 27, 2010

Lombok Barat, NTB (ANTARA News) - Lombok Barat district in West Nusa Teggara (NTB) province received a tourism award from the Culture and Tourism Ministry for having been a favorite destination in Indonesia in 2010.

"West Nusa Tenggara governor and I got the award from Culture and Tourism Ministry two weeks ago in Jakarta," Lombok Barat district head Zaini Arony said in Giri Menang on Monday.

After receiving the participants of a comparative study from West Sumatra`s Pariaman city who wanted to study about tourism in Lombok Barat, Zaini Arnoy said the award was the second of its kind when it got the first one in 2009.

He said Lombok Barat district received the similar award in 2009 for the category of the best tourism destination in Indonesia.

But he admitted that the two awards became a magnificent challenge and motivation for the district to keep improving its tourism sector in the years to come.

The award, according to him, was not only a national scale but international as well because the assessment was gathered from all domestic and foreign tourists who have visited various tourism objects in Lombok Barat district.

With those two awards, Zaini said Lombok Barat district government would continue to improve the tourism sectors in the area to attract even more tourists.

"It is for that reason that the local government at present is revitalizing Senggigi resort at Batu Layar village to make it a tourism icon in West Nusa Tenggara province," he said.

Disappointment face

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Kuala Lumpur | Mon, 12/27/2010

Disappointment face: Indonesian supporters react during the final first leg soccer match of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 between Malaysian and Indonesia at Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday. Malaysia beat Indonesia 3-0. (AP/Lai Seng Sin)

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Go Indonesia!: An Indonesian supporter cheers the national soccer team at a training session in Bukit Jalil Stadium in Selangor, Malaysia, on Saturday. Some 15,000 tickets were sold for Indonesian soccer supporters for the first leg of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup final between Indonesia and Malaysia on Sunday. Antara/Prasetyo Utomo

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tsunami boat house becomes god`s warning in Aceh`s tourism

Antara News, Sunday, December 26, 2010

A fishing boat moved by the tsunami remains in place, a makeshift
memorial to the victims. (Tarmizy Harva / Reuters)

Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA News) - The Boat House, an Aceh tsunami monument located in Lampulo Village, Banda Aceh, had become a God`s Warning site for Visit Banda Aceh 2011.

The monument which sits on a house serves proof of the devastating tsunami which struck Aceh on December 26, 2004.

"The tsunami site serves as God`s Warning in tourism as by looking at it people will become aware of God`s unlimited power," Banda Aceh Deputy Mayor Illiza Saaduddin Jamal said here during inaugural ceremony of the tourism icon and at the same time commemorating the tsunami disaster here on Sunday.

At the monument, there is an inscription in three different languages, Indonesian, Acehnese, and English, which described how the boat saved 59 peoples during the tsunami.

There is also a banner which shows 59 tsunami survivors who climbed on the boat after the tsunami hit the Aceh coast.

The owner of the house, Abasiah ,said he survived after climbing on the boat when it floating toward him.

"I climbed on the boat in which 59 people were already in it," he said.

"When the boat stopped drifting, I noticed that it was perched on top of my house," he said.

The Lampulo Village chief Alta Zaini said residents of Lampulo would ready to make a success of the tourist program by serving and guiding visiting tourists.

Alta also asked every member of the tsunami victim to learn a lesson from the disaster, and free themselves from their grief.

The God`s warning tourism object is also expected to become a place for contemplation and economic improvement of the the local residents.

Related Articles:

Banda Aceh's triumph over war and disaster

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in paradise

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 12/24/2010

Indonesian Christians hold candles as they pray during a Christmas eve mass
at a cathedral in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia on Friday.
(AP/Firdia Lisnawati)

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Children wearing colorful farmers’ garb stroll around their village to give away gifts to neighbors at Gledek village, Magelang regency, Central Java, on Friday. The children activity is held as part of Christmas celebration in their village. (Antara/Anis Efizudin)

Candle Lights: Thousands of Christians lit up candles during a Christmas mass at Bethany Church, Surabaya, on Friday night. (Antara/M Risyal Hidayat)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mount Bromo's eruption in Indonesia paralyzes tourism   2010-12-24

JAKARTA, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Mount Bromo's eruption in Indonesia's East Java province on Friday paralyzed tourism industry as hotels were closed due to thick ashes, detikcom online news reported on Friday.

Hotels of Lava View, Cemara and Bukit Cemara have not received any guest in the past couple of days as ash on the streets was as thick as 15-40 centimeters.

Besides, blackout since Tuesday has been posing difficulties for the hotels to operate. The condition was worsened by disturbed water supply, leaving no choice for the hotels but to cancel reservation.

"We have to shut power down since Tuesday. Increasing eruption is feared to trigger power shorting," said head of local police of Probolinggo regency Adj. Comm Zulfikar.

The volcanic center also warned air operators against volcanic ashes which could disrupt flight.

"There is a warning from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) that said the volcanic ashes does not just spread around the mountain but also to Sidoarjo and Surabaya cities, Madura Island, Pasuruan regency and to Java Sea. Flight sector must be aware of the condition," Setiawan, a forecaster at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics of Juanda Airport in the provincial capital city of Surabaya, told

Editor: Xiong Tong

Muslim youths guard Christmas celebration in Kupang

Antara News, Friday, December 24, 2010

Kupang, E. Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - Muslim youths in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, joined security personnel to secure Christmas and New Year`s eve celebrations, a police spokesman said.

A total of 530 security personnel consisting of policemen, servicemen and members of the society, including Muslim youths, had been deployed to guard the celebrations, Kupang police chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Bambang Sugiarto said here Friday.

Those involved in this joined security scheme had agreed to set up security checks in 14 security-prone locations with each secured by four guards, he said.

Besides this, 116 churches in the East Nusa Tenggar province`s capital of Kupang would also be secured by policemen and servicemen to ensure that they were free from security disturbance, he said.

The security personnel would effectively work from Friday to December 31, he said.
"This security measure has been taken in response to the national police chief`s order," he said.

The security threats and situation that need to be anticipated included acts of terrorism, conventional crimes, traffic jams, use of fire crackers, and natural disasters, he said.

The same security procedures were also taken by policemen in the West Java town of Cirebon.

Each church in the town would be guarded by ten policemen to secure Christmas eve and celebrations, Cirebon police chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Herukoco said.
At least 600 security personnel had been deployed to secure Christmas and New Year holidays in the city, he said.

In Tasikmalaya, West Java, 17 churches were also secured by 481 security personnel ahead of Christmas eve.

The presence of policemen and servicemen was expected to create a secure and peaceful condition for church goers, Tasikmalaya district police`s spokesman Commissioner Yono Kusyono said.

Indonesia has been fighting terrorist cells since 2000. On December 24, 2000, a string of attacks on churches were carried out by terrorists on Christmas eve in several Indonesian cities.

The attackers targeted a number of churches in the Indonesian cities of Batam, Pekanbaru, Jakarta, Sukabumi, Pangandaran, Bandung, Kudus, Mojokerto, and Mataram.

Two years after the Christmas eve bombings, terrorists attacked Bali Island in 2002, claiming 202 lives, including 88 Australian holiday makers.

The latest deadly incident happened on July 17, 2009 when two suicide bombers attacked JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton hotels in South Jakarta.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Jakarta Globe's Ten Most Popular Stories in 2010

Jakarta Globe | December 23, 2010

West Java teenagers Sinta and Jojo gained online
popularity after their lip-sync video became a hit.
As the year 2010 comes to an end, here are the 10 most popular stories from the last 12 months on the Jakarta Globe's Web site.

Many bizarre, shocking and absurd things happened throughout the year, from former Peterpan frontman Ariel's sex videos to Indonesia's own Youtube sensations Sinta and Jojo with their virally popular rendition of the dangdut song “Keong Racun” (“Poisonous Snail”).

Here is the list:

  1. Celebrities Luna Maya, Ariel Implicated in Latest Sex Tape Scandal

  2. Teenager Passes Out Marrying Cow He Had Sex With

  3. Indoleaks Touts Revealing WikiLeaks Documents, But Technical Problems Persist

  4. Luna Maya, Ariel Get Indecent Proposal; Cut Tari Denies Nude Woman is Her

  5. Luna Maya Fails to Front Dahsyat After Sex Video Emerges

  6. Sinta and Jojo's 'Keong Racun' a Certified YouTube Hit

  7. The Rise of Indonesian Atheism

  8. Latest Sex Video Purports to Feature Cut Tari

  9. Journalists Disappointed With Limited Obama Media Conference

  10. If US Could Create 'Avatar,' It Could Fake 9/11 Attacks: Mahathir

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