News in Brief – Week Ending 29/06/08

Ain’t it a bitch when you lose something and then suddenly find it. It appears an Indonesian military airplane with 18 people on board crashed Thursday in Mount Salak, West Java. But the fate of the people remained unknown. Let us all hope that the folk are found alive and there are no serious injuries. Losing your life for no reason is the pits, but, when you lose it for causing suffering to many others is that then justified?. Indonesia has executed two foreign heroin traffickers – the first drug offenders put to death in four years. They died as Indonesia vowed to expedite the execution of the other drug traffickers on death row, in a major blow for three Australians awaiting execution for heroin smuggling. This is a blow for the three Australians on death row over the failed Bali Nine plot to smuggle more than eight kg of heroin to Australia in 2005. Bali Nine drug mule Scott Rush and ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran failed in a legal challenge to Indonesia’s harsh drug laws last year. Let’s not procrastinate over death but look to the brighter side of life. Here’s a good-feel story. CEMEX and SOS Children’s Villages inaugurated a new children’s village in Meulaboh (Indonesia), which will provide new homes for 150 children who lost their parents in the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the coasts of South East Asia in December 2004. It is estimated that more than 150,000 children were orphaned by this natural disaster. CEMEX with the help of 67,000 employees worldwide made a commitment to build homes and hope for some of these orphans.

A new prophet has emerged in Indonesia. This new prophet is very smart, as he really knows the development of sophisticated technology like the Internet. Hence the propagation of his sect is focussed on domestic and international Internet users. Claiming himself as a new prophet to follow the foot steps of Prophet Muhammad, Chandra Adnan Rasyid propagated Islam of his own version with a certain `sahadat` (confessing Allah as the Greatest, and Muhammad as his messenger) which is quite different from the `sahadat` expressed by Moslems on earth.

I am a tad confused here. As far as I knew, a travel warning was just that…a warning. But, Australia on Friday downgraded the threat of a terror attack in two provinces of Indonesia, but continued to warn citizens against travelling to the country. Now that is confusing!. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory said the level of its overall advice had not changed, but that the risk of violence in Central Sulawesi and Maluku provinces had diminished. So, let’s get this straight. It’s no problem going to the Maluku’s or Sulawesi because the Oz government said it was okay, but there is still a travel warning out on the table. Aaahh, the politics of confusion.

Is the government on the right track with the new proposal of developing tourist spots in conservation areas. I’m not so sure. These areas should be protected unless the tourism is managed in a sustainable manner. But, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry, his intention will be to concentrate on the development of tourist sites in conservation areas which have not yet been developed to its maximum potential. He reckons that the conservation and the tourism (sectors) should be merged. Whilst on the subject of conservation areas, conservationists on Friday airlifted five man-eating tigers from Aceh to the South Bukit Barisan National Park in Lampung, ending an eight-month quarantine period for the animals. The Sumatran tigers were caught by residents in South Aceh regency after they had killed and mauled a number of humans, including farmers working in a forest clearing. Now that is good news!.

And Folks, that’s the news that is the news from around the archipelago this week, or at least, that what is worth mentioning!.