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. …

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Solo Islamic youth chief sends members to protect churches

The Jakarta Post, Sun, 09/25/2011

The local leader of prominent Muslim youth group says he will send members to protect houses of worship following the suicide bombing that killed one and injured eight in a church in Surakarta, Central Java, on Sunday.

"Don't let it happen for the umpteenth time," Nusron Wahid, head of GP Ansor, the youth wing of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, Nadhlatul Ulama, said on Sunday as quoted by

Wahid said that he had previously warned the government to be alert for such attacks and would deploy NU's "counterterrorism team", Banser Detachment 99 - a riff on the National Police's Detachment 88 counterterrorist unit - to the crime scene.

The bombing was likely related to previous religiously motivated radical attacks, according to Wahid. "This is indeed savage and cannot be tolerated. It is uncivilized and hurts the dignity, integrity and meaning of diversity."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dutch compensation for Rawagede victims stuck at embassy: Govt

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Fri, 09/23/2011

A compensation payment amounting to some Rp 8.75 billion, which was sent by the Dutch government to residents of Rawagede village in West Java, will take a some time before reaching its intended recipients as the funds are currently stuck in limbo at the Dutch Embassy, the Home Ministry says.

“The money is still at the embassy. The ministry is not yet able to distribute it because the grant must be accepted and recorded in the national state budget,” Home Ministry Information Center chief Reydonny Zarmoenek said Friday as quoted by

He explained that the embassy had wanted to send the grant straight to the regional administration. However, the administration declined, as the law clearly states that grants between countries must first go through the central government.

According to Reydonny, the embassy initially targeted to disburse the funds by December 31. “But since the dialogue, the disbursement schedule was extended to May 31 next year,” Reydonny said.

He added that the funds were intended for the development of facilities and infrastructure in Rawagede village.

In 2005, 11 widows of Rawagede victims filed a lawsuit against the Dutch government at the Dutch Civil Court, in regards to its role in a massacre in their village in 1947.

The legal process continued until Sept. 14 this year when the court found the Dutch government guilty and ordered it to pay compensation to the victims’ families.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Batik for the world

The JakartaPost, Antara, Jakarta, Tue, 09/20/2011

Batik for the world: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) receives
 a visit from Indonesia Batik Foundation chairman (YBI) Jultin Ginandjar
 Kartasasmita (second right) and YBI advisory board member Doddy Soepardi at
 the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Tuesday. The visit was part of the plan to
organize the World Batik Summit, slated to be held in Jakarta on Sept. 28. 
(Antara/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Farmers Celebrate at Plantation Law Court Victory

Jakarta Globe, Ulma Haryanto, September 20, 2011

Related articles

The Constitutional Court approved on Monday a request to drop two articles in the 2004 Law on Plantations deemed potentially discriminatory against indigenous farmers in land disputes.

The request was originally filed by four farmers from West Kalimantan, East Java and North Sumatra.

Each farmer had received jail terms of between six months and a year under Article 21 of the 2004 law for protest actions they took to reclaim ancestral lands.

The article prohibits any efforts to damage plantations or other assets, any use of plantation land without permission and any other action that disturbs plantation businesses.

The punishment for violating the law is a maximum jail term of five years and a fine of up to Rp 5 billion ($565,000).

The plaintiffs were Sakri, a 41-year-old farmer from Blitar, East Java; Japin, 39, and Vitalis Andi, 30, from Ketapang, West Kalimantan; and Ngatimin, 49, from Serdang Bedagai, North Sumatra.

Chief Justice Mahfud M.D. ruled that the two articles were unconstitutional and no longer binding. He said land conflicts between indigenous farmers and non-indigenous populations should be settled through the civil court system or by mediation.

Wahyu Wagiman from the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam), who represented the plaintiffs, welcomed the ruling as a relief to more than 600 traditional communities in the country that were threatened by the law.

“Our next step is to spread the word as wide as possible and to find a way to release farmers currently charged under Articles 21 and 47, including Japin, Vitalis and Ngatimin,” Wahyu said.

Japin and Vitalis each served 10 months in jail for “displacing” an excavator that was about to be used to clear land they were contesting in 2009.

The pair filed an appeal in March. Ngatimin was sentenced to one year in jail for planting trees in a disputed area in an effort to reclaim it in 2007.

“The ruling can be presented as new evidence at the Supreme Court, which is now reviewing their cases,” Wahyu said.

Sakri already served six months of probation in 2008 for forcefully trying to reclaim land.

The judges agreed the law had ignored the historical context of land ownership in Indonesia.

“The wide variety of land disputes should be solved thoroughly by involving NGOs and academics, and this is not reflected by Article 21,” Judge Achmad Sodiki told the court.

The law was widely criticized when it was passed for failing to protect the interests of small-scale farmers and indigenous communities and for giving big business too much power.

Related Article:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Indonesian women stage skirt protest over rape remarks

BBC News, 18 September 2011

Related Stories 

Dozens of Indonesian women wearing miniskirts have protested in Jakarta after the city governor blamed rapes on provocative clothing.

The city governor had said women should not wear
short skirts when using public transport
The activists carried signs reading "My miniskirt, my right" and "Don't tell us how to dress; tell them not to rape."

On Friday, Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo warned females not to wear short skirts on public transport in order to avoid being raped.

He quickly apologised, but his comments were widely publicised.

Earlier this month a woman was gang-raped in a minivan in Jakarta late at night.

"We are here to express our anger. Instead of giving heavy punishment to the rapists, the governor blamed it on women's dress. This is discrimination," protest co-ordinator Chika Noya told AFP news agency.

There have been more than 100,000 cases of violence against women so far this year in Indonesia, 4% of which were rape cases, according to the country's National Commission for Women's Affairs.

Two titles for Indonesia in folkdance festival in Turkey

The JakartaPost, Jakarta | Sun, 09/18/2011

Labschool Kebayoran junior high school students who represented Indonesia in the international art and culture folkdance festival held in Bodrum, Turkey, brought home “best performance” and “best participant” titles.

The titles were received by the Indonesian contingent in the closing ceremony on Saturday evening local time, early Sunday morning Jakarta time.

“The Indonesian contingent received awards in two categories, ‘best performance’ and ‘best participant’ said parent Afrizal Akmal, as quoted by Antara news wire.

Afrizal said that the Indonesian team of 22 students performed several Indonesian traditional dances, including Lenggang Nyai, Giring-Giring, Saman and Piring dances, to impress the audience during the week-long festival.

“All dances turned the heads of the audience, especially energetic Saman dance, which received great applause," he said.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rawagede: still waiting for Dutch aid money

RNW, 13 September 2011, by Michel Maas



They weren't allowed to call it reparation money or a compensation payment and it had nothing to do with the 1947 massacre in Rawagede, but at the beginning of 2009, the then Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders earmarked €850,000 for Balongsari, a small county in Java, Indonesia. It was development aid money and ostensibly had nothing to do with the fact that the village of Rawagede is also in Balongsari County.

On 9 December 1947, Dutch troops rounded up and killed an estimated 431 men in the Javanese village of Rawagede. It was one of the worst massacres during the ‘Dutch police action’ in the Dutch East Indies just after the Second World War.

It’s almost 64 years later and the Dutch government still shies away from any acknowledgement of guilt or hint of responsibility. It’s purely development aid money and not a reparations payment or compensation and it’s not for Rawagede, it’s for the entire county. The €850,000 was supposed to fund a school, a market and expand the hospital in the village.


Some 30 months have elapsed since the money was allocated but almost nothing has been accomplished. On the outskirts of the village, a rice paddy measuring around one hectare has been cleared but the school still hasn’t been built. The local authorities say the building plans are ready and they’re just waiting for the money. Sukarman say construction will begin as soon as they get the money. He’s the chairman of foundation that has already built one school in Rawagede; it stands across the road from the cleared rice paddy and has some 800 students already. Sukarman: “We built that school in just 3 months. The World Bank gave the money to our local foundation and we could arrange everything directly”.

The Dutch development aid money is taking a different route: it’s not going to Rawagede, it’s not going to Balongsari, and it’s not even going to the district of Karawang; it’s going to the interior ministry in Jakarta. The ministry is responsible for deciding who can build a school and when. The Hague has signed an agreement with the Ministry and a portion of the money was transferred last December. The local authorities have still not received any notification from Jakarta and they still have no idea when, or if, the project will be started.

The Dutch embassy in Jakarta has defended the bureaucratic maze, calling it ‘due care and attention’. Ambassador Annemieke Ruigrok: “All of the projects must have a sustainable character and everything has to be carefully calibrated and the individual projects need to be coordinated with each other. Due care and attention take time.” She added that the ministry is currently “working out the final details.”


It’s not clear what "working out the details" means, nor is there any sign of ‘coordination’. Even though the local authorities have had their plans ready and waiting for the past 2 years, the ministry still hasn’t made any contact with them.

Not all of the money that was allocated in 2009 is in Jakarta; €254,500 went to the Dutch Hivos foundation. The organisation has used some of the money to fund micro-credit loans in Rawagede. Hundreds of people in the village – and hundreds of others in neighbouring villages – have taken advantage of the HIV OS microcredit loans. A total of €106,533 has been lent so far, while the rest of the €850,000 is doing nothing for the people of Rawagede.

Hivos has set a cooperative up and it now has 1247 members. It is supposed to be running an organic shop and the Dutch foundation has so far funded it to the tune of €50,000. The head of the cooperative, Riyadi, acknowledges that the shop hasn’t yet been set up although a small gas canister business has gotten off the ground. According to Riyadi, the €50,000 has been sent spent on operational costs and salaries.


Several attempts to get compensation for the victims’ relatives were dismissed on the grounds that the events took place so long ago that the charges had lapsed. On Wednesday, judges will issue a ruling on a case brought by four relatives of Rawagede victims; they are demanding an apology and compensation.

Their lawyer, Liesbeth Zegveld, does not believe that the case has expired, saying that the Netherlands still handles cases dating from World War Two. If the judges rule in favour of the plaintiffs, it could have huge consequences for the victims - and their relatives - of other Dutch ‘police actions’ as they could also claim compensation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dutch documentary on poverty in RI gets Oscar nomination

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 09/13/2011

A documentary film made by Dutch filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich on poverty in Indonesia has secured a 2011 Academy Award nomination in the long documentary category.

The movie, titled Stand van de Sterren (among the stars), documents the life of Sjamsuddin and depicts various issues including poverty, prostitution and the gap between rich and poor, reported on Tuesday.

The nomination is an achievement for the Dutch film industry as this is the first time a Dutch documentary film has gained a nomination in this category.

The film is part of a trilogy, with Stand van de Zon (the shape of the sun) and Stand van de Maan (the shape of the Moon) which Leonard finished filming in Indonesia in 2001 and 2004.

Both of his other films also garnered worldwide acclaim.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Green Surabaya Has Cleaned Up Its Act

Jakarta Globe, Wahyuni Kamah, September 06, 2011

Street sweepers have helped transform the once-dirty Surabaya into
 a largely trash-free haven with clean sidewalks and conscientious citizens.
(JG Photo)  
Related articles

It’s not hard to see why Surabaya, the formerly filthy capital of East Java, was chosen as a winner of the 6th Adipura awards for cleanliness this year.

When I visited the city recently, I found it to be much greener and cleaner than it was on my last visit, 12 years ago. I remember Surabaya being like other big cities in Java — crowded, polluted and littered with trash.

But on my recent visit, from the alleys of small neighborhoods in the city center to the grand buildings of the Old Town in the north, the streets of Surabaya were tidy, litter-free and open to pedestrians.

For a bustling metropolis of around 3.2 million people of various ethnic backgrounds packed into 375 square kilometers, such a turnaround in the city’s cleanliness has been no small feat.

Surabaya’s current mayor, Tri Rismaharini, deserves some of the credit. Voted into office last year, Ibu Risma, as she is affectionately known, previously served as head of the Surabaya Parks Agency from 2005 to 2008. During her term there, she established 13 public parks on lots formerly occupied by gas stations. She also improved the city’s existing parks for public use.

As mayor, Ibu Risma has worked to spread awareness among the general population about the importance of keeping the city clean.

Along a main street in Wonokromo, a crowded area in the city center, I spotted banners by the roadside that read “Refrain From Littering” and “Collecting Trash Is Like Giving Alms, God Willing.”

I heard similar messages broadcast on the city’s radio stations and promoted through its different neighborhood watch organizations.

From the look of the city’s main streets, these messages are being heard. Despite the presence of many small kiosks along the roads, the sidewalks are clean and free of trash.

It seems that there is a growing awareness among the citizens of Surabaya of the importance of a clean environment, and the community effort required to keep the city free of garbage.

As I drove into the city by taxi from Juanda International Airport, I noticed that the green belt dividing the two-way highway had been planted with various shrubs and flowers, arranged in way that turned the strip into an aesthetically pleasing green area.

In the early morning sunshine, I spotted a group of uniformed workers sweeping the city streets. My taxi driver told me the sweepers worked in shifts around the clock to clear the streets of any organic and inorganic waste. But even without their efforts, he said, many people in Surabaya no longer tossed their garbage on the sidewalk or the street.

“There is a greater awareness now about waste disposal and people want to keep the city clean,” he said.

The number of green spaces in the city has also increased. Ibu Risma, who studied architecture at the Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS), has applied green planning principles to the reforms she has brought to the city.

The mayor has ordered pedestrian bridges to be built across the city’s main streets and sidewalks to be widened, making it possible for people to walk instead of drive. To ensure the safety of pedestrians, CCTV cameras have been installed along the bridges. Potted plants have been hung beneath bridges and in alleyways to help beautify the city and provide a cooler climate.

The city’s main public parks, such as Taman Bungkul, Taman Bagong and Taman Kalimantan, have also been transformed into open and welcoming spaces for citizens. People from all walks of life now gather at the parks to relax with family and friends. Taman Kalimantan is equipped with rows of stones that people can walk on as a form of reflexology, the foot massage therapy. Taman Bungkul is a popular meeting place after dark, especially on weekends.

Trees, shrubs and flowers have been planted in marvelous arrangements in the parks, which now serve as an oasis from the city streets.

There are playgrounds for children, kiosks offering various kinds of food, public toilets and even free hot spots for Internet users. Police officers and public order officials can often be seen patrolling the parks, adding to the feeling of safety for visitors.

Surabaya’s green turnaround shows that cleaning up a major city is not impossible. It is thanks to the efforts of Ibu Risma’s administration and the commitment of the people of Surabaya that the 718-year-old city is a delight to visit today.

Other cities across Java should follow in the footsteps of Surabaya and other cities around the world. They should provide green spaces and encourage citizens to think twice about polluting the streets they use every day.

After seven years, no progress seen in pursuit of justice for slain rights activist Munir

Mariel Grazella, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 09/05/2011

The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) said that it condemned the government for erasing resolution of the murder case of human rights activist Munir Saib Thalib from its list of priorities.

Munir Saib Thalib
Munir died of arsenic poisoning on board a Garuda Indonesia flight to Amsterdam in 2004.

The condemnation came during the approach of the seventh anniversary of Munir’s murder, which falls on September 1.

“There have been so many dynamics within the Munir case over these seven years. However, over the last three years, the justice agenda has ended in weakening the law on” Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said on Monday in a press statement to The Jakarta Post.

“The Supreme Court has freed Muchdi Purwoprandjono and gave Pollycarpus a number of prison sentence reductions that have been challenged based on accusations of obscure and vague reasoning,” he added.

Pollycarpus Budihari Prijanto, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in 2008 for the pre-meditated murder of Munir, has been granted remissions every Independence Day and Christmas Day since his imprisonment. He recently received a 9 months and 5 days remission on Independence Day.

Muchdi, who was the former deputy chairman of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), was put on trial for Munir’s murder but has been declared innocent.

He further said that it was befitting that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office and the Law and Human Rights Ministry “sit together and evaluate progress made in this case and ensure that justice is fulfilled”.

“We are concerned that if President Susilo Bambag Yudhoyono remains quite and law enforcers mum, the Munir case would be erased from notes on legal processes. Those responsible will be free, physically and politically, meaning that there would not be any correction on that crime for Indonesia’s law and justice in the future,” he added.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Indonesian mayor resists building of church

Christian worshipers have been forced to pray in the open air in a town in Indonesia's West Java province after the town's majority Muslim population opposed the building of a church.

After losing all legal battles, including a verdict from country's highest court, the mayor says he cannot allow a church to be built on a street with an Islamic name.

The national ombudsman has given the mayor two more weeks to implement the supreme court's decision and let the congregation build its church.

The standoff is being seen as a national test case of religious tolerance, with recent research showing a growing number of Muslims are against the presence of a church in their neighbourhood.

Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen reports from Bogor, in West Java.

Friday, September 2, 2011

UI rector apologizes to the public over honorary doctorate award for Saudi king

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 09/02/2011

University of Indonesia rector Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri apologized to the public for any inconveniences caused by the university’s honorary doctorate degree awarded to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The university’s gesture sparked widespread protests across Indonesia.

“We apologize if this was regarded as improper and offensive to many parties,” Gumilar said on Friday as quoted by

Gumilar admitted that he was aware that the timing of the award was not appropriate.

“I am fully aware that the timing for the award was not right. We did it not long after the beheading of Ruyati,” said Gumilar, referring to Indonesian maid Ruyati binti Satubi, who was convicted two months ago of murdering her employer — a crime she allegedly committed in response to being subjected to repeated acts of torture.

Several NGOs said the Saudi king did not deserve such an award because the country “never appreciated the principles of human rights, especially for migrant workers.”

International human rights organizations have for years criticized Saudi Arabia for its treatment of migrant workers. A 2011 Human Rights Watch report notes that domestic workers from Indonesia “frequently endure forced confinement, food deprivation and severe psychological, physical and sexual abuse”.

There are an estimated 1.5 million Indonesian maids currently in the kingdom, with 23 on death row.

Gumilar, however, did not say what actions his management would take next amid mounting pressure from many organizations affiliated with the university, including professors, student associations and alumni who have demanded that the rector tender his resignation.

“We understand the [protest as a] mere difference of opinion. And, in the realm of democracy, as in the campus world, such difference is an asset and is simply normal,” he said.

He said that the university management had studied the selection process for more than three years before deciding to award the degree to the King Abdullah.

“It [the award] has taken long process. But we had not yet presented it due to the king’s health concerns,” he said.

According to Gumilar, the date as well as the venue for the award presentation was decided upon by the king himself.

The award ceremony, which took place last week, drew public fury, partially because it was conducted at the King’s Al-Safa Palace, which was not consistent with the traditional practice of honorary degrees being presented by the awarding university within their own country.

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