A short poem, addressed to the Taliban, from Lima Niazi, a 15-year-old Afghan girl. Today is the International Day of the Girl. Read about Lima and other girl poets in Afghanistan in Pulitzer Center grantee Eliza Griswold and Seamus Murphy’s project on Afghanistan, women and poetry and leave your own landai in the comments.
Lima Niazi. Image by Seamus Murphy. Afghanistan, 2012.
The Internet Service Providers Association (Ispak), in an email, has confirmed its support for the National URL Filtering and Blocking System – this will enable the en masse blocking of websites that contain ‘blasphemous’ and ‘pornographic’ content, as well as those that ‘pose a threat’ to ‘national security’.
Designed as an African-wide research initiative, Africa’s Voices is aimed at analysing citizens’ opinions on a wide range of issues as radio stations all over the continent ask a monthly question and audiences are invited to reply via SMS.
This program aims to capitalize on the media that are most widely used in Africa: radio and SMS (text messages).
Every year, dozens (maybe hundreds?) of domestic workers die in countries that are foreign to them. Many of these maids and caregivers come from Indonesia and Cambodia. They are “exported” by their countries (which of course PROFIT from exporting them) to work for people who often treat them like animals.
Mey Sichan was found dead by paramedics called by her employers on March 31. When found, she weighed 26 kilogrammes (57 pounds). She also had bruises on her body.
Police said she died from acute gastritis and ulcers likely due to lack of food over a long period. The maid had been working for the family for eight months.
Why do Indonesia and Cambodia encourage their young women to go abroad and risk this kind of abuse?
Source: Agence France Presse, in The Jakarta Globe (April 13, 2012)
The 20th ASEAN Summit, with the theme of “ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny,” was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on April 3 and 4, 2012. This is a summary of the results of the two-day meeting, based on social media during and after the event.
With a video report and text, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald newspaper shows why Jakarta is not welcoming to development, progress, or foreign investors: Its own people can hardly move from one place to another.
As an addendum to the last post, Aceh is the only province in Indonesia with a ‘sharia police force.’ Aceh is much more conservative than the rest of the country (and this is part of the motivation behind the province’s decades-long separatist movement) and they’ve been given permission by the…
What happened to the 64 punks in Indonesia was inhuman. It is also reminder of what of part of what the scene is about. These kids went to a show looking to belong to something real and express what is inside of them. Just because they are born in an oppressive environment they were assaulted…
A second journalist has reported threats and intimidation in in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), a province in Indonesia.
Endang Sidin of Erende Pos daily newspaper said on Friday that she had received threats similar to those received by Dance Henukh, a reporter for Rote Ndao News whose house was stoned and burned down in a mob attack on Sunday. (Jakarta Globe 16 DEC 2011)
A third journalist, Ishak Doris, was also said to have received death threats for reporting on alleged corruption in the local area.
Dance, Endang and Ishak had written about corruption allegations in the construction of 100 houses for transmigrant workers in Kuli village.
They reported that local officials could have misappropriated some of the Rp 3.1 billion ($344,000) earmarked for the project. Local law enforcers have not acted on the allegation. (Jakarta Globe 16 DEC 2011)
I admire the bravery of journalists such as these who take risks to expose the officials who steal the public’s money and become fat and rich from illegal practices.
All too often in Indonesia, public funds are not used for the intended purpose, for the good of the people. Instead, people with power put the money into their own pockets. The police are part of the money chain — if they are paid, they will keep quiet.
If you’re a journalist who tries to expose wrong-doing in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), a province in Indonesia, someone might come and burn down your house.
It happened to journalist Dance Henukh, who works for the Jakarta-based El Shinta radio station. According to the Jakarta Post, Dance was reporting about graft and corruption in the local area. He says police came to his house and “asked him not to go to the media with information that would incriminate the police.”
Then his house burned down, and a 1-month-old baby died.
The police say they will investigate, but they have named no suspects. What a surprise!
After six decades of waiting, relatives of men killed in a notorious massacre during Indonesia’s bitter struggle for independence finally got what they wanted: an official apology from the Dutch state. (Associated Press, 9 DEC 2011)
Dutch soldiers murdered more than 400 unarmed men and boys in Rawagede, West Java, in December 1947.
The soldiers were looking for resistance leader Lukas Kustario, known for ambushing Dutch bases. When villagers said they didn’t know where he was, nearly all the men were rounded up and taken to the fields.
Squatting in rows, with both hands placed on the backs of their heads, they were shot one by one. (Associated Press, 9 DEC 2011)
“Things are also awry if 60 percent of the benefits from national development is being enjoyed by less than 16 percent of the population, which indicates unjust and unfair development.”—Jakarta Post 25 November 2011 page 6
Jakarta desperately needs modern, safe public transportation.
A subway train system, light rail, and elevated trains would all help a lot. Why doesn’t the government make it so?
There are more than 12,000 of these vehicles, which together with 10,000 buses make up Jakarta’s public transportation. Run by a mix of small and large private operators, they are all supposed to be regulated, but enforcement is lax and some drivers get away with sub-contracting to unlicensed drivers.
This is a piece in the development puzzle. People can be much more productive if they have a safe, efficient way to get to their jobs. And then the economy can grow.
"Southeast Asians are bone weary of authoritarianism, and increasingly unafraid to say so. There is a growing demand for accountability and good governance that the region’s elites and demidespots ignore at their peril."
In particular, the Bersih 2.0 movement in Malaysia shows promise for finally dislodging a paternalistic and racist political party that has been holding back a vibrant, creative population for at least 10 years.
"Stability requires functioning institutions, free media and an unfettered civil society, as well as economic growth."
Religious Violence in Indonesia: Murderous Rampage
The violence was not ignored, but it was downplayed:
Jawa Pos, Kompas, Pikiran Rakyat, Republika, and Suara Merdeka, five of the largest newspapers in Java, as well as TV One and MetroTV, Indonesia’s most important news channels, used the word bentrokan or “clashing” in describing what happened, leaving the impression that it was a fair fight.
But in fact a mob of Indonesian people became crazed and killed other Indonesians brutally — with rocks and sticks.
I think it is wrong to call this “Islamist violence,” as the article does. There is an element of religious belief — the victims claim to be Muslims, but other, mainstream Muslims claim they are heretics.
Maybe the Ahmadiyah are heretics — I don’t know. But it cannot be right to kill them.
Moreover, the inability of the police to stop this murderous rampage — inability or refusal? — means Indonesia is not very safe. If you can’t depend on the police to protect you from an angry mob, then the police are useless.
According to the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, there have been attacks on more than 430 churches since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took office in 2004. According to Jemaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia, the national Ahmadiyah association, mobs have attacked Ahmadiyah properties more than 180 times since President Yudhoyono issued a decree in June 2008 restricting the Ahmadiyah’s religious activities. More than 80 percent of these attacks took place on Java, the main island of Indonesia.
Al Jazeera posted a video that discusses the growing population — and poverty — in the world’s fourth-largest nation.
This is a 25-minute segment in English from the weekly program 101 East. It includes scenes of luxury as well as scenes of simple homes in the poorest slums. It also shows the traffic jams! The lack of public transportation (a metro or intra-city train) in the cities is mentioned. Also:
Poor urban planning (how about — NO urban planning?).
Over-concentration of economic centers on Java.
The problems caused by the transmigration policies.
Pancasila rumah kita / Pancasila our home Rumah untuk kita semua / Home for all of us
Nilai dasar Indonesia / Core values of Indonesia Rumah kita selamanya / Our home forever
Untuk semua puji namanya / For all praise its name Untuk semua cinta sesama / For all love each other Untuk semua keluarga menyatu / For all one family together Untuk semua bersambung rasa / For all a continuous feeling Untuk semua saling membagi / For all sharing equally
Pada setiap insan / In every human being Sama dapat … sama rasa / Can do the same … feel the same Ooo … Indonesiaku / Ooo … my Indonesia