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. …

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama to Draw More Tourists to Overburdened Bali

Jakarta Globe, June 29, 2011

Related articles

US President Barack Obama is this year expected to be one of millions of visitors to the resort island of Bali, raising hopes of a tourism windfall by reassuring potential travelers.

Bali tourism officials are hoping that US President Barack
Obama's visit in November for the East Asia Summit will
demonstrate to American and Australian tourists that the
resort island is a safe destination. (AFP Photo)
But despite its image of azure seas and tropical tranquillity, recent visitors could be forgiven for thinking Bali’s biggest problem is not too few tourists, but too many. Polluted beaches, traffic jams and over-development beg the question: Does Bali need more tourists?

Yes, say officials who are planning a second airport and opening more direct flights from Hong Kong to cash in on China’s expanding middle class, as more and more holiday accommodation is developed.

“Having all these world leaders here for the East Asia Summit will be a great promotion for Bali,” Bali Tourism Board chairman Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya said, referring to the gathering of 20 Asia-Pacific leaders in November.

Tourism industry chiefs say Obama’s visit — which the White House has yet to confirm — will help relieve US anxieties about security on Bali, which was hit by deadly terror bombings in 2002 and 2005 targeting Western tourists.

In response to the attacks which killed more than 200 people, the United States, Australia and other countries slapped travel warnings on Indonesia and tourist numbers to Bali have only recently risen back above 2002 levels.

“Having world leaders meet here will show that Bali is safe. And that has an impact because some countries still have a travel warning, like Australia and America,” Indonesian Travel Association chairman Aloysius Purwa said. “If Obama comes to Bali, it will change Americans’ perceptions.”

Preparations are already under way to make sure the “island of the gods” looks at its best for the summit, which is also expected to be attended by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Last year the coral-fringed, mainly Hindu island received 2.5 million foreign tourist visitors, 25 percent more than two years earlier. US arrivals were boosted by the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts. Partially set in Bali, it played on the island’s reputation as an idyllic, even spiritual respite from the modern world.

But it is catching up, and fast. Bali’s image is facing new challenges largely of its own making, in the form of water shortages, crime, pollution and outbreaks of rabies and legionnaires’ disease.

The traffic is so bad the government is warning that in just five years Bali could be gridlocked. Vehicle sales are growing by 12.3 percent a year while road construction grows by only 2.5 percent.

Even without tourists, the island has too many people: four million now call Bali home, while officials say it can realistically hold only 1.5 million.

When Time magazine recently ran an article titled “Holidays in Hell: Bali’s Ongoing Woes”, Governor Made Mangku Pastika was forced to concede it was right.

“What are we supposed to do if the facts are undeniably like that?” he told reporters. “We’re judged by other people, not by ourselves, and clearly there has been a failure on the part of the Bali provincial government in maintaining the image of tourism and providing comfortable facilities.”

Bali Hotels Association chairman Jean-Charles Le Coz, who has worked on the island for more than 13 years, said the tourism industry was driven only by “growing the number of arrivals” and not by quality.

“If you get more people but you don’t have enough roads and the airport is too small to handle them, they will leave with bad memories and we will start getting people who don’t spend much money on the island,” he said.

To slow development, Governor Pastika has imposed a moratorium on new hotels in parts of the south where most of the island’s 50,000 rooms are concentrated. Half of Bali’s rooms go unoccupied.

Le Coz said the ban had been ineffective as developers had long-term licenses and were still building.

Officials are now looking to open up the north by building a second airport there, as well as a highway linking the area to the south, a 90-kilometer trip that currently takes more than three hours.

But despite Bali’s challenges, most believe the island will remain Indonesia’s premier tourist destination for a long time to come. “As long as all sectors work together, it’s not too late for Bali, contrary to what many people think,” Le Coz said.

Agence France-Presse

SBY receives visit from Saudi Ambassador in RI

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 06/28/2011

Saudi envoy: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) accepts
Saudi Arabian envoy Ambassador Abdulrahman Mohammed Amen Al
Khayyat (left) at the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.
(Antara/Widodo S. Jusuf)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received a visit by Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Abdulrahman Mohamed Amen Al-Khayyat at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

The agenda of the meeting, which comes amid mounting protests following the execution by beheading of Indonesian maid Ruyati binti Satubi in Saudi Arabia, remained unclear prior to its commencement.

Presidential special staff on international affairs Teuku Faizasyah confirmed the meeting between Yudhoyono and Al-Khayyat.

"Yes, the meeting was scheduled for 3 p.m.," he told The Jakarta Post.

The Saudi Embassy in Jakarta in its press release earlier accused Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa of lying when he said the former had apologized for and regretted the beheading of Ruyati.

Ruyati was executed after being found guilty of killing the wife of her Saudi employer, Khairiya binti Hamid Mijlid.

Clerics called to lead followers to create harmonious life

Antara News, Tue, June 28 2011

Related News

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on clerics, religious figures and Islamic organization leaders in the country to lead their followers to create a harmonious social life.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (ANTARA)
"Let us show a tolerant, friendly and peaceful behavior. Let us prepare the nation`s future which is in line with the just and high universal values to build an advanced nation with a progressive vision," he said at the presidential palace at a meeting with participants of the Asia-Pacific and ASEAN Quran and Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Hadith Memorizing Contest here on Tuesday.

President Yudhoyono on the occasion also urged the participants from Indonesia to play an active role in enlightening, leading and the straightening out of deviating religious interpretation.

"Prevent and protect the Muslims from wrong and deviating interpretation which could boost radicalism and hurt certain groups and lead to violences," he said.

President Yudhoyono called on all Muslims to use the Quran as a reference as teachings that spread love, peace, brotherhood, good approaches which are full of high civilization values.

"Let us make the Quran as a reference for building great character, clear minds, positive thinking and optimism to meet the challenges in civilization," he said.

Muslims are obliged to improve their quality of understanding, reflection and knowledge of the Quran, he said.

He said they must also continuously revive the spirit to learn examplary values put in the Prophet`s hadith and actualize them in the daily life.

"Various principles and philosphies of life are put in the Quran and Hadith which we have to continuously spread and develop to be the main reference for family, community, state and national life," he said.

The implementation of Islamic values and Quran spirit must be expanded to an international level especially now in the midst of shifts in the global values and civilization.

He said Muslims who live in the global era with all its dynamics are obliged to command full understanding of universal noble values sourced from the Koran and Hadith.

"We must also be able to actualize them constructively to build the world to become more secure, just, peaceful and prosperous," he said.

The contest from June 26 to 28 is attended by 83 participants from Indonesia (22), Thailand (13), Malaysia (12), Brunei Darussalam (7), Cambodia (five), the Philippines (4), Singapore (4), New Zealand (3), Uzbekistan (3), Kirgystan (3), Australia (2), Tajikistan (2) and Timor Leste (2).

The activity which has been held since 2008 is the idea of President Yudhoyono and is sponsored by Saudi Arabia.

Editor: Priyambodo RH

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lombok Sumbawa Pearl Festival to begin July 8

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 06/28/2011

The Culture and Tourism Ministry and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB)'s culture and tourism agency will hold the Lombok Sumbawa Pearl Festival 2011 from July 8 to 10 in Mataram.

"This festival is aimed to increase the number of tourists to NTB,”  Sapta Nirwandar, a ministry directorate general, told a press conference on Tuesday.

“It is also part of the Visit Lombok Sumbawa 2012 program, launched by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2009.”
NTB Governor Zainul Madji said the festival, which will be held in Hotel Legi Mataram, would build an image of NTB as a pearl producer.

The annual fiesta, the second after last year’s event, will present pearls-related events such as a pearl auction, exhibition and harvesting, and NTB arts and culture performances.

Zainul said he was sure that tourists would be enthusiastic to watch the festival.
"15 international companies have proposed to join and buy the pearls," said Zainul, adding last year's festival was attended by 11 companies.

Zainul said that a million tourists were expected to come in the festival, 60 percent of them would be locals.

The total number of foreign tourists in NTB between January and March in 2011 was 56,706, up from 54,145 in the same period of last year.  Domestic tourists visit to the province also grew to 108,786 in the first three months of this year from 84,169 last year.(aaa)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dutch Star Urges More Youth Power in Football

Jakarta Globe, Wimbo Satwiko, June 26, 2011

Former Dutch team captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst, center, coaching young
athletes during a football lesson on Saturday in Jakarta, where he had played
a friendly. (Antara Photo)

Related articles

Former Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst says Indonesia must improve training programs for young talent if it wants to produce a top-flight football team, particularly improving Merah Putih.

“You need to build a good youth system in the association [PSSI], not the club,” he said during a recent visit to Jakarta for a friendly. “That’s how we started in Holland.

“You need to have a good training program from around 6 or 7 years old until they reach 17 to 18 years old,” he added.

It’s no surprise, then, that Van Bronckhorst, who claims Indonesian ancestry through his Maluku-born mother, has plans to establish a second headquarters in Indonesia for his youth-centered organization.

The Giovanni van Bronckhorst Foundation, based in Rotterdam, has been spearheading projects geared toward helping children and teenagers, including Birth Center Sophia and Van Bronckhorst Academy.

In particular, the football academy — based at his former team Feyenoord’s home ground, De Kuip Stadium — not only schools children on the fine art of field play, but also teaches basic language and math.

It also focuses on helping children with learning disabilities.

“Some kids may want to be footballers, but a majority of them won’t become one,” Van Bronckhorst said. “So providing them with good education and emphasizing health and fitness become more important.

“Those are the things we want to do — build a perfect environment where children can develop properly.

“While helping them with their education, we want to make sure every kid is disciplined. We also want to help them identify their goals in life,” Van Bronckhorst said.

The birth center, meanwhile, was established for mothers who could not afford hospital care.

Van Bronckhorst, who guided the Netherlands to a runner-up finish in last year’s World Cup, also said the development of the sport in Indonesia was severely hampered by the existence of rival leagues, the FIFA-sanctioned Super League and the breakaway Indonesian Premier League.

“You also need a strong league,” he said. “With the current situation where you have two leagues, that will block the development of Indonesian football. In the future, let’s hope there will only be one strong league.”

Such problems came to his attention, Van Bronckhorst said, when he visited Jakarta last week to play an exhibition at Gelora Bung Karno called “Starbol — Unite for Football Indonesia.”

Though the 36-year-old retired from professional football last year, he said he would not stop assisting sports officials both in the Netherlands and his “second home” in giving aspiring athletes a chance to learn.

“That’s why we made this trip and talked to lots of people,” he said. “We want to form partnerships with the local government, companies and hospitals, and find out what people need.

“It’s important to get good partners who want to help out because we can’t do it alone.”

Van Bronckhorst, a defensive midfielder, started his professional career at RKC Waalwijk in 1993. He later moved to Feyenoord, Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona before ending his career at Feyenoord last year. He earned 106 caps and scored six goals for the Netherlands.

Related Article:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Erwin’s release a victory for the press: Lawyer

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 06/24/2011

Todung Mulya Lubis, the head of former Playboy Indonesia editor Erwin Arnada’s legal team, said that the Supreme Court’s acquittal is a victory for the freedom of the press.

Todung said that, with Erwin’s release, the court decided that all legal cases concerning press publication should refer to the Press Law, not the Criminal Code.

"In Erwin's case, he was sued on a moral charge, which is not the area of the press board," he said. "This case is good jurisprudence for other Press Law cases."

He added that the court had shown its commitment to the Press Law. (rpt)

Related Article:

Bogor Mayor Takes Teenager as His Fourth Wife

Jakarta Globe, June 24, 2011

Related articles

Indonesia’s most controversial mayor, Diani Budiarto, 56, has found himself at the center of a new scandal — taking a teenager as his fourth wife.

Indonesia’s most controversial mayor,
Diani Budiarto, 56, has found himself at the
center of a new scandal — taking a teenager
as his fourth wife. (Photo courtesy of
The Bogor mayor, who continues to thumb his nose at Indonesian law by refusing to allow the GKI Yasmin church to reopen, remains married to three other woman, including his first wife, Fauziah, who is in hospital.

Even though Law No 10/1983 strictly forbids civil servants from practicing polygamy, Bogor municipal spokesman Asep Firdaus said Diani had not broken any rules by marrying the 19-year-old.

“Even though he is a mayor, he retired as a civil servant four months ago,” Asep was quoted as saying by news portal “Hence, he did not violate Law No 10/1083. Nothing is wrong, the woman is an adult and they got married legally,” he claimed.

That was news to Irianto, head of Bogor-based nongovernmental organization the Law Monitoring Front (BMH).

He alleged that Diani had had breached the law because he got married “without the permission of his [other] wives.”

Diani is serving his second term as the mayor of Bogor. He was reelected in 2009 and received support from a number of parties, including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Golkar and the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Tribe on Papua New Guinea meets white man for the first time. Filmed in 1976.


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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Indonesian royalty to gather in Bandung this weekend

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Thu, 06/23/2011

Royalty from across the nation will gather in Bandung this weekend to attend the second national gathering of kings and sultans across the archipelago.

“The kings and sultans will not engage in political talks,” the head of the gathering’s working committee, Sultan Sepuh IV PRA Arief Natadiningrat from the royal house of Cirebon, said Thursday in Bandung.

Arief said some of the royals had arrived in Bandung to attend a dinner hosted by West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan scheduled for Friday at Bandung's Gedung Sate.

Hundreds of kings, sultans, crown princes and princesses from local kingdoms across Indonesia are expected to attend the gathering dressed in traditional royal attire.

The gathering first took place in August 2009 and was opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

This second gathering is scheduled to be opened by Vice President Boediono, news portal reported.

Chinese-Indonesians: Is a Once Forbidden Identity Fading?

Jakarta Globe, Brigitta Kinadi, June 23, 2011

Just as China is ascending the world stage as an economic superpower,
so too, is Chinese culture becoming increasingly visible in Indonesia.
So why is it that, while this boom in Chinese culture is going on, so many
young Chinese-Indonesians are slowly losing touch with their cultural heritage?
(JG Illustration)

Related articles

Just as China is ascending the world stage as an economic superpower, so too, is Chinese culture becoming increasingly visible in Indonesia.

Chinese New Year, banned during the repressive New Order period, is now a national holiday that sees almost every mall in the city festooned in red and gold lanterns in hopes of boosting sales. Students all over the country are learning Chinese language to get a leg up in an international job market where Mandarin is fast becoming as big an asset as English.

So why is it that, while this boom in Chinese culture is going on, so many young Chinese-Indonesians are slowly losing touch with their cultural heritage?

Prisca Muljadi, 18, is Chinese by blood, but, when asked how much she knows about her Chinese culture, she was taken aback. It was as if she was being asked about something completely foreign.

After a thoughtful silence, she said, “To be honest, when I think about it, I don’t really know much about Chinese culture.

“I’ve always wondered how Chinese people ended up living in Indonesia, but I accepted it as a fact and don’t feel curious or question it at all,” she continued.

She confessed that she had never really thought about Chinese culture until the topic was brought up.

Muljadi neither speaks a Chinese language nor does she know which generation Chinese she is. She said that, if anything, she identifies more with Western culture. “I went to an international school, speak English, and go to college in the US,” she explained.

Natasha Silfanus, a 19-year-old Chinese-Indonesian, said, “I cannot speak for anybody except for myself and my circle of friends. But I believe we lack an understanding and, more importantly, an interest in Chinese culture.”

Silfanus’s parents urged her to study the Chinese language, but she said she was “just not interested.” She said she did not know her family history and thought that, although her parents practiced some Chinese traditions, they were not important to her personally.

She put part of the blame on her lack of knowledge about Chinese culture on her family. “My family isn’t that Chinese culturally — we are very much adapted to the Indonesian way of life, with some Western influences,” she said.

More bluntly, Jason Utomo, another 19-year-old student, said of Chinese culture, “Yeah, I’m definitely ignorant.”

Although Utomo is fluent in Mandarin, he said it would be just “too much effort” to preserve his family’s Chinese traditions when he raises his own family.

The sentiments of these three Chinese-Indonesians are echoed again and again by young members of the minority group, forming a trend that experts say has clear historical causes.

Aimee Dawis, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia and the author of “The Chinese of Indonesia and Their Search for Identity,” said Chinese-Indonesians born after 1980 are prone to apathy when it comes to their culture. She believes that this particular generation is in a unique position because their parents grew up in a period where any displays of Chineseness were systematically erased by the state.

“Their ignorance may have to do with their parents,” Aimee said. “But you can’t really blame those parents, because they grew up in the Suharto era, when everything Chinese was discouraged and banned.” She added that many people hid the fact that they were Chinese due to the stigma once attached to it.

Chinese culture was banned in the Suharto era due to the alleged role of the Chinese in supporting the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). For 33 years, any expression of Chinese culture was banned, including celebrations, schools and Chinese languages.

After a substantial period of cultural repression, the prohibition of Chinese culture was lifted by former President Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid in the early 2000s. In what Aimee calls a “renaissance of Chinese culture,” Chinese language is now being taught in many national-plus schools, Chinese New Year became a national holiday, and there is no longer a significant sense of fear associated with being Chinese.

The Chinese in Indonesia currently make up about 2 percent of Indonesia’s 240 million people. Chinese culture is now legally allowed to thrive in Indonesian society. The question is, with so many Chinese-Indonesian families not being used to practicing their culture openly, is it too late for it to be revived?

Angeline Ang, a mother of three young children, said that she considered Chinese culture important and was doing her best to keep it alive in her family. She said she wanted to teach her children to value and cherish Chinese ideals and traditions. Additionally, she said that she wanted her children to learn a Chinese language for cultural reasons.

“Even without the business and vocational advantages of speaking Chinese, I’d still encourage my children to learn the language,” Ang said.

She said, however, that she hoped her children would still identify as Indonesian because they were born and raised here.

“But we can’t forget our Chinese heritage as well,” she added. “I’m proud to be Indonesian and I think Indonesian culture is valuable. At the same time, I will never forget my heritage, no matter what my citizenship is. You can’t throw away your heritage.”

Likewise, Aimee believes Chinese-Indonesians should identify themselves primarily as Indonesians, without completely losing their connection to Chinese culture.

“Being a Chinese-Indonesian simply means being an Indonesian of Chinese descent,” Aimee said. “I think it’s very important to identify as an Indonesian first and foremost.”

As a Chinese-Indonesian mother herself, she wants her children to feel truly Indonesian — which means sending her children to a school where they have flag-raising ceremonies and giving her first daughter a distinctly Indonesian name, Putri, a practice that was enforced under the New Order.

Aimee agreed that many Chinese-Indonesian young people are increasingly ignorant about Chinese culture, but also emphasized that the Chinese community is extremely diverse.

“There is a big Chinese organization called the Chinese-Indonesian Social Association (PSMTI) which has a very active youth division,” she said. “They’re very aware of their identity and discuss issues of identity openly. So we can’t generalize this trend at all. Family backgrounds and history matter significantly.”

The youth division of PSMTI, the Association of Chinese-Indonesian Youth (IPTI), is led by Andrew Susanto. It was created in 2007 and now spans the archipelago’s 33 provinces, with thousands of members from ages 16 to 35.

According to Susanto, the main goal of the association is to instill a strong sense of identity in young Chinese-Indonesians.

“There are a lot of young Chinese-Indonesians that have grown indifferent [to their heritage], and that’s why the association was formed,” he said. “We want to give them lessons on Indonesian nationality that are specifically tailored to Chinese-Indonesians.”

He also believes that Chinese-Indonesians should see themselves as fully Indonesian. “I don’t even think it’s necessary for Chinese-Indonesians to speak a Chinese language fluently,” he said. “If they can, that’s great. But there is no obligation for them to learn a Chinese language when they need to see themselves as Indonesian first and foremost.”

Susanto said a lack education had played a major role in creating a generation that was unconcerned about their cultural heritage and identity. He argued that because the history of Chinese-Indonesians was rarely touched on in schools, Chinese-Indonesians did not see themselves as vital parts of Indonesia.

“[IPTI] is trying to open up that history,” he said. “In every pivotal moment of Indonesian history, there were Chinese figures that fought for the good of this country. They played a role in the building of Indonesia.

“We need to teach young Chinese-Indonesians that we are not simply temporarily staying in Indonesia. If they can see themselves as playing a role in Indonesian history, they will eventually realize that this is our country and our home.”

For those like Muljadi, Silfanus or Utomo, who have not given much thought to their Chinese heritage, Susanto said it was only a matter of time before they started to question their identity.

“Sure, they might not ponder their identities now. But there will come a point, whether it’s when they settle down or have their own children, where they will ask pertinent questions about identity to ultimately decide what cultural legacy they will pass on for their children,” Susanto said.

Until then, Susanto said the subject of Chinese identity in Indonesia should be more openly discussed in schools, daily conversations, and the media. He said he hoped his association could offer support to young adults who were starting to think about the deeper questions of their identity as Chinese-Indonesians.

“I usually tell people I’m Indonesian because that’s what it says on my passport,” Muljadi said. “But when I really think about it, I don’t fully identify with Indonesian culture. Yet when I say I’m Chinese, I don’t truly identify with Chinese culture either.

“Then I think that, perhaps due to my upbringing and experience studying in the United States, I may be more of a Westerner. But Western culture is not something I completely belong to either. So I guess, I really don’t know.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Van Bronckhorst: 10-20 years before RI reaches World Cup finals

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Wed, 06/22/2011

On the ball: Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, the former captain of the Dutch soccer
team in the 2010 World Cup, speaks to reporters after arriving in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Giovanni, who is half-Dutch, half-Indonesian, is in Indonesia to officially launch his new
charity, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst @all Children of Indonesia, which aims to assist
impoverished children. (
Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

Former Dutch soccer player Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Tuesday said that Indonesia would need 10 to 20 years before its national team could reached the World Cup finals.

Indonesia needs to build a systematic soccer development program to win a place in the World Cup finals, he said.

“Indonesia is a big country with abundant talent. Should they be trained well, Indonesian soccer will be big,” van Bronckhorst said in Jakarta as quoted by

Van Bronckhorst was in Jakarta to launch a charity program dedicated to character-building and improving education and health for children.

Van Bronckhorst served as the captain of the Dutch national soccer team in the 2010 World Cup finals, where the team finished second.

On Wednesday, he is scheduled to take part in a friendly game in Jakarta.

Related Article:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Festival exposes Papuan tourism charms

Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Tue, 06/21/2011

The fourth Sentani Lake Festival, which commenced in Jayapura, Papua, on Monday, is expected to encourage the participation of local people and more foreign tourists.

“The festival aims to preserve cultural value, as well as promote wonderful Indonesia,” said Cultural and Tourism Ministry official M. Faried.

The festival will be highlighted with a performance of 1,040 daro dancers from 26 ethnic villages around Sentani Lake. Traditional boats, called Iso solo will be prepared as the performance stage.

A troop of 600 dancers will also present warring dances on the boats.

The opening ceremony on Monday drew up the curtain for 1,000 people who beat tifas, (traditional drums) from East Indonesia. The performance carried the message of the festival, which is themed “Sound of Tifa, Sound of Life.”

First held in 2008, the festival is reported to have been able to increase the number of visitors from home and abroad to experience the tourism appeal around Sentani.

“In 2008, foreign tourists accounted for only 85 people. It became 94 in 2009 and 104 in 2010. We are expecting more visitors this year,” Jayapura Regent Habel Melkias Suwae said.

Tourism observer Azril Azhari from Trisakti University Jakarta said Sentani had good prospects to be developed further into an interesting tourism site. The accessible transportation and hotels should be able to support the enrichment of Sentani’s tourism promotion and cultural attractions, he said.

Head of the organizing committee Ana Saway expected an increase in transaction value from the festival, which will run until Thursday.

“In 2010, the five-day festival could reach transactions worth Rp 6 billion [US$700,000]. Hopefully, that will increase this year,” he said.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Richard Gere to visit Borobudur this month

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 06/18/2011

US actor Richard Gere waving to reporters as he visits Borobudur temple
in Magelang, Central Java on Monday. Gere, who is on a two-day visit to
Indonesia, took part in a meditation with monks from various temples
throughout Indonesia.

Hollywood star Richard Gere will visit one of the world’s most renowned and largest Buddhist temples, Borobudur, in Magelang, Central Java, on June 26, a Culture and Tourism Ministry official says.

Gere, who is also a human rights activist, was invited by the ministry to spend time at the temple, exploring and enjoying its beauty.

Apparently it took a year to bring Gere to Indonesia, Ministry of Culture and Tourism director general of marketing Sapta Nirwandar said, as quoted by

“We did not pay him to come here. He came here as a personal guest of the ministry, not as a celebrity,” he added.

During his visit in Indonesia, Gere is scheduled to watch the sunrise at the temple and spend time with monks. He will also visit Yogyakarta and meet with Sultan Hamengku Buwono X.

“His presence will present a positive image for our country. We hope his visit will encourage other stars to visit the temple and other tourism cites nearby,” he said.

Sapta also hoped that Richard Gere’s visit would attract other visitors.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

25 top writers take part in Makassar Int’l Writers Festival

Andi Hajramurni, The Jakarta Post, Makassar | Tue, 06/14/2011

Twenty-five local and international writers are taking part in the five-day Makassar International Writers Festival that began on Monday.

Eight of them are foreign writers such as Iraqi writer Rodaan Al Gallidi, Ethiopian writer Maaza Mengister, Egyptian Abeer Soliman, Turkish Gunduz Vassaf, and Australian Janet de Neefe.

Local writers include Sapardi Djoko Damono, Trinity, Ryana Mustamin, Erni Aladjai, Shinta Febriany Sjahrir, Hendra Gunawan and Hamran Sunu.

Festival director Lily Yulianti Farid said Monday evening that the festival would combine literature reading, workshops on literature and film, discussions and a tour.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

President receives open letter from UNTWO

Antara News, Sat, June 11 2011

Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received an Open Letter from the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), Taleb Rifai, that acknowledges Indonesia`s commitment to progress in the tourism sector.

Indonesia was the first Asian country to receive the letter, Tourism and Culture Minister Jero Wacik told the press following a meeting between President Yudhoyono and UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai at Laguna Hotel here Saturday.

"UNWTO considers Indonesia a country that has a very high commitment to promoting tourism. And according to the UNWTO secretary general, Indonesia is the first Asian nation the UNWTO has presented with the `Commitment Letter`," the minister said.

Indonesia views the tourism sector as an industry which can create jobs, boost economic growth, reduce poverty and is friendly to the environment.

UNWTO also recognized that Indonesia`s tourism sector has developed significantly over the past ten years, he added.

"He (Rifai) said there is a golden opportunity for Indonesia because many investors want to come to Indonesia to do business or engage in productive activities," Jero Wacik said.

Rifai is in Bali to speak at a three-day Seminar on "Tourism Ethics For Asia And The Pacific" participated in by around 160 delegates from Asia and Pacific countries.

UNWTO and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) are jointly presenting the Open Letter to heads of state and government around the world, calling on political leaders to acknowledge tourism`s role in facing global challenges and prioritize the sector high in national policies in order to maximize its potential to deliver on sustained and balanced growth.

Travel and Tourism is today one of the world`s biggest generators of employment and export earnings, and a key driver for economic growth and development.

Travel and Tourism currently accounts directly and indirectly for about 3% to 5% of global GDP, as well as 30% of the world?s export of services.

The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment - including jobs indirectly supported by the sector - is estimated at 7% to 8%.

Editor: Suryanto

Friday, June 10, 2011

Foreign envoys invited to Lake Kerinci Festival

Antara News, Fri, June 10 2011

This year, the festival will not only feature arts and culture of Kerinci District but also several other districts in Jambi Province.

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Jambi, Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The ambassadors of Singapore and Malaysia to Indonesia have been invited to attend the Lake Kerinci Festival which is to be held on July 6-11, 2011.

Danau Kerinci (
"The Lake Kerinci Festival is held annually," Arlis Harun, the head of Kerinci district`s youth and sport office, said here Friday.

"The festival is aimed at attracting domestic as well as foreign tourists to the westernmost district of Jambi which has beautiful nature panorama and is rich in culture," he said.

The two neighboring countries` ambassadors and several cabinet ministers are expected to attend the opening of the festival.

This year, the festival will not only feature arts and culture of Kerinci District but also several other districts in Jambi Province.

Various handicrafts and household industrial products will also be displayed in the event.

The festival will be centered near Lake Kerinci at Pulau Tengah island.

Among tourist attractions in Jambi are Telun Berasap waterfall, hot spring, and Aroma Peko Kayu Aro park.

A culinary competition among others offering lake fish dishes is expected to highlight the Lake Kerinci festival.

The festival will be more attractively held by the community of Lake Kerinci (FMPDK) compared with that of the last year, Arlis Harun earlier.

In addition, the festival`s organizing committee will also conduct three unique events different from the previous year`s, namely blowing straw stem whistles, floating party in the middle of the lake, and a buffalo-parade of pulling the non-wheel carts, he said.

The three unique events will be held for the first time this year, he noted. The festival which will take place along with the long school holidays is expected to lure many domestic and foreign visitors. Other competitions will include fishing and fish grilling, the festival organizing committee said.

Editor: Ella Syafputri

SBY heads to Bali for 3 cultural events

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 06/10/2011

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono left for Bali on Friday morning to officiate three cultural events, including the 33rd Bali Arts Festival and the Bali World Culture Forum.

The President is also slated to open the Utsawa Dharma Gita national Hindu singing competition in Bali, presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said Friday in Jakarta, as quoted by

Julian said Yudhoyono was to leave Jakarta from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport at 10 a.m. on Friday morning, before opening the three events at the Denpasar Cultural Park on Saturday.

The Bali Arts Festival, which will take place from June 11 to July 9, will feature 334 art groups and 15,000 artists, including from the US, Japan, Australia, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Dancers with hearing disabilities perform the intricate Pendet welcoming
dance at the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar on Friday. Since the artists
cannot hear the accompanying gamelan orchestra, they must time their
steps perfectly. 
(JG Photo/J.P. Christo)