Indonesian military Chief Gatot Nurmantyo talks to reporters in the Indonesian capitals Jakarta on January 5. Beawiharta/Reuters Yohanes Sulaiman, Universitas Jendral Achmad Yani The Indonesian government has confirmed that it will not suspend military cooperation with Australia after a top general said earlier in the week that ties between the two nations would be cut. The incident is just the latest episode in a rocky relationship between the neighbours. On January 4, Indonesian Military Chief Gatot Nurmantyo declared the suspension of Indonesia-Australia military cooperation, apparently because an Indonesian special forces commander trainer found materials at an Australian teaching facility that were insulting to both the Indonesian military and the state's ideology of Pancasila. Pancasila, from the Sanskrit word for for "five", panca, and the Javanese for "principles", sila, is the name given to the official founding principles of the Indonesian state. The principles are: "The one God system (monotheism), just and civilised humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy and social justice for all." The incident is part of the ups and downs of the Indonesia-Australia diplomatic and military relationship that dates back to 1945 when Indonesia first declared independence from both Japan, which had occupied the country in 1942 and the Dutch, who had colonised it in the 18th century. Neighbourhood blues In September 1945, Australian waterside workers imposed "a black ban" on all Dutch ships destined for Indonesia in Australian ports. Later, Australian government showed sympathy for its northern neighbour in the Dutch-Indonesia conflict, even while officially maintaining impartiality. Since then, however, the relationship between Australia and Indonesia has been rocky at times, depending on what Australia has perceived to be in its national interest. Australian public opinion opposed Indonesia's desire to incorporate West Papua into the nation in the 1950s, for instance, and a low-level separatist conflict continues in the province. Australia initially supported Indonesia's invasion of East Timor, but after the fall of president Suharto in 1998, then-Australian prime minister John Howard proposed a referendum on the issue of independence for East Timor. This led to the secession of East Timor from Indonesia. And the violence that ensued led Australia to send troops to East Timor under the auspices of the United Nations' INTERFET (International Force East Timor). Defence cooperation between Australia and Indonesia has improved drastically since then: both countries need each other. For Australia, Indonesia is an important nation for its security and economic objectives as the country is its gateway to Asia. President Joko Widodo and the rest of the cabinet could have simply reaffirmed what General Nuryantyo had proclaimed. Darren Whiteside/Reuters Indonesia, on the other hand, needs Australia as a strategic partner to modernise and further professionalise its military forces. Every year, Indonesia sends more than a hundred officers to Australia for training and education. Yet the distrust engendered by Australia's intervention in East Timor lingers, and remains the root of current problems in the nations' relationship. It still hovers in the background despite improvements in economic, military, and diplomatic relationship. Hidden agendas? General Gatot Nurmantyo is the perfect embodiment of this lack of trust. In March 2015, for instance, he suggested that Australia's meddling in East Timor's secession from Indonesia was part of a proxy war to secure oil. In December 2016, he ominously warned of Australia's desire to take over the Masela Oil Block, which is close to Timor-Leste (as East Timor has been called since gaining independence) and Darwin. He also noted that Indonesia is currently surrounded by Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia, which all of which used to have problems with Indonesia. Many Indonesians share similar discomfort, though it might not as extreme as General Nurmantyo's. Despite assurances from both US President Obama and Australia's then-prime minister Julia Gillard that the goal of stationing 2,500 US troops in Darwin from 2017 was to counter China - and not to threaten Indonesia or the Southeast Asian region generally - many Indonesians still believe there's a hidden agenda concerning both US and Australian interest in Indonesia's abundant natural resources and Papua. Given this background, it should be no surprise that a homework assignment for an Indonesian Special Forces language student to write an essay supporting the argument "Papua should have independence because it was part of Melanesia" would touch a raw nerve. It confirmed General Nurmantyo's worst expectations about Australia's intentions, including that Indonesian officers training in Australia would be indoctrinated and recruited as spies. Contradictory messages At the same time, General Nurmantyo's reaction caught other Indonesians completely off guard. Indonesian military's spokesman, Major General Wuryanto, for instance, stated that the reason for the temporary freeze was technical matters (masalah teknis) and not due to insulting Pancasila. Even the normally nationalistic Indonesian Defence Minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, played down the incident, saying that it was an isolated personal act that the Australian government had regretted. And he noted that Australia had apologised for the incident, which actually happened in mid-December 2016. To add to the confusion, a tweet from the presidential staff office suggested that the temporary halting of the military cooperation between Australia and Indonesia was only on joint training, education, officer exchange, and official visits. Later, however, in a letter that was followed by a press conference by Wiranto, the Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Law, and Security, stressed that the relationship freeze was limited only to language courses. Letter from the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security. Work to do It seems from the different responses of several government ministers that General Nurmantyo's decision to halt the military cooperation was abrupt, and that it came without any warning or coordination with other ministers - or even the military's own spokesman. The relationship between Australia and Indonesia is clearly very important for the Indonesian government, given the response to General Nurmantyo's announcement. It would have been simple for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the rest of the cabinet to simply reaffirm what General Nuryantyo had proclaimed. But they value Indonesian-Australian military ties, and so Jokowi and the rest of the cabinet went into damage control mode to limit the fallout. Finally, the incident shows that trust between Australia and Indonesia remains fragile, since a language class writing assignment could cause such an outrage. Indonesia's wounds from East Timor's secession are clearly still very raw. Coupled with the uproar over revelations in 2013 that Australia wiretapped then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2009, which led to suspension of cooperation between the two countries, it shouldn't be surprising that Indonesia remains wary of Australia's intentions. Clearly, both the Australian and Indonesian governments still have a lot of homework to do to build trust between their nations. Yohanes Sulaiman, Visting Lecturer in International Relations and Political Science at Indonesian Defense University & Lecturer, Universitas Jendral Achmad Yani This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Indonesia’s military acted alone when it suspended cooperation with Australia’s armed forces last week, Indonesian officials said yesterday, after what media described as insulting teaching materials
AT least 200,000 conservative Muslims rallied peacefully in the Indonesian capital yesterday in the second major protest against its minority Christian governor, who is being prosecuted for alleged blasphemy. President
Five years ago Australia banned live exports of farm animals to Indonesia over suspicion of cruel treatment, setting back trade ties. Just two years after that Jakarta vented over allegations that Australian intelligence agents tried to tap Indonesian ex-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's mobile phone. Australiareacted by reviewing relations, including a [...]
Indonesia is preparing to execute at least 14 people Thursday on drug trafficking charges in one of the largest mass drug executions in the nation’s history, according to multiple human rights groups and media reports. Executions are by firing squad and typically take place at night in Indonesia. Authorities are supposed to give those on death row 72-hour notice of the date. These 14 inmates were told earlier this week to expect their executions by the end of the week. But according to Amnesty International, the families of the 13 men and one woman were only notified Thursday morning that the executions would take place the same day, 24 hours earlier than initially expected. That late notice is “contrary to Indonesian law and international standards,” the human rights group said. Several human rights organizations have condemned the state-sanctioned killings and have called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, to commute the sentences of the four Indonesians and 10 foreign nationals. “Jokowi should not become the most prolific executioner in recent Indonesian history,” Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s director for South East Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement Thursday. “He still has time to pull back from these unlawful executions, before inviting global notoriety.” If the latest executions proceed as planned, Widodo, who has been in office since October 2014, will have carried out the death penalty more times this century than any other Southeast Asian country and any other Indonesian leader, Amnesty International said. Four of the individuals expected to be put to death on Thursday have clemency appeals that have yet to be heard, according to Djamin. He said there are “serious fair trial concerns” with several other prisoners’ cases. “At a time when a majority of the world’s countries have turned their back on this cruel and irreversible punishment, President Jokowi is recklessly hurtling in the wrong direction,” said Djamin. Human Rights Watch also condemned the planned executions. “President Jokowi should acknowledge the death penalty’s barbarity and avoid a potential diplomatic firestorm by sparing the lives of the 14 or more people facing imminent execution,” Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Jokowi should also ban the death penalty for drug crimes, which international law prohibits, rather than giving the go-ahead for more multiple executions.” According to Cornell Law School’s death penalty database, there are about 134 people currently on death row in Indonesia and about half of them were convicted of drug crimes. With Thursday’s planned deaths, Widodo will have executed 28 individuals during his tenure. By comparison, under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his predecessor from 2004 to 2014, there were 21 executions in total. Plans for Thursday’s executions reportedly began after the United Nations convened in April for a special meeting aimed at shaping global drug policy. The gap between nations that want to embrace more progressive harm reduction policies and those who want to maintain focus on criminalization of drugs became clear at that gathering. A delegate from Indonesia was reportedly booed when he defended his country’s use of the death penalty for drug offenses, calling it an “important component” of the nation’s drug policy. Indonesia authorities maintain that the country is under siege by the illicit drug trade and that the use of the death penalty is part of their war against a “narcotics emergency.” But the notion that the death penalty has a useful deterrent effect has been debunked. Just last year, the U.N.’s Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović noted that while several countries continue to use capital punishment for drug-related offenses, “there is no evidence that the death penalty deters any crime.” Even when it comes to murder, a recent study concluded that the death penalty does not deter the crime “to a marginally greater extent than does the threat and application of the supposedly lesser punishment of life imprisonment.” “There is no credible evidence that the presence or absence of the death penalty has any effect on drug use or drug availability in a country,” Rick Lines, executive director for Harm Reduction International who wrote an extensive report on the use of the death penalty for drug crimes, said in a statement. “Capital punishment has always had much more to do with flexing state power than it does with crime control or prevention.” Earlier this week the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, urged Indonesia to end the practice. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Indonesia has ratified, countries that continue to use the death penalty must apply it to only “the most serious crimes,” Zeid said. Drug-related offenses do not meet that threshold, the high commissioner said. His office has also expressed “deep concern” about what it described as a lack of transparency and uncertainty around whether death row inmates receive fair trials in Indonesia. The executions are expected to be carried out at a high security prison on Nusa Kambangan island in central Java. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
John McBeth Security, Asia-Pacific The recent incident near the Natuna Islands is a worrying sign. Last Sunday’s incident north of Indonesia’s Natuna Islands, in which two armed Chinese coastguard ships forced an Indonesian patrol craft to release an intruding Chinese trawler, shows once again that Jakarta must confront the reality of an overlap between its 200-mile economic zone and China’s "historic" nine-dash line of maritime sovereignty that penetrates deep into the South China Sea. Indonesia may not be a claimant to the disputed Spratly Islands, but the incident is the first real test of President Joko Widodo’s ambition of turning the country into a maritime power, a policy that necessarily means asserting sovereignty over its vast sea boundaries. Although it has strongly supported efforts to create a Code of Conduct to head off the danger of open conflict, Indonesia’s approach up to now has seemed strangely adrift at a time when superpower rivalry in the region is heating up. Former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono turned a blind eye to three incidents, two in 2010 and one in 2013, in which Chinese gunboats forced Indonesian fisheries protection craft to release Chinese poachers caught fishing in Natuna waters. Not only has the nine-dash line become an annoying ambiguity Beijing refuses to explain, but those incidents, largely unpublicized at the time, showed China was willing to use threats of violence to enforce its version of the maritime boundary. Widodo has been equally tentative in his approach to Beijing, particularly with Chinese companies financing and building some of his treasured infrastructure ventures, including the Jakarta-Bandung rapid rail project and several major coal-fired power plants. Read full article
Президент Индонезии Джоко Видодо подтвердил перспективные планы по удвоению оборонного бюджета страны для поддержки программы модернизации Вооруженных сил. Как сообщает «Джейнс дифенз уикли» со ссылкой на интервью президента агентству «Антара» 23 февраля, в случае, если страна сможет поддержать темп роста экономики на уровне 6% в год, оборонные расходы могут быть увеличены до 1,5% ВВП к 2020 году. Таким образом, расходы на оборону возросли бы до 250 трлн. индон. рупий (18,6 млрд. долл.), что более чем вдвое выше затрат на эти цели в 2016 году. Оборонный бюджет Индонезии в 2016 году достиг 99,5 трлн. индон. рупий, что на 2% больше по сравнению с 2015 годом. По итогам заседания правительства, посвященного обсуждению модернизации ВС Индонезии, Д.Видодо заявил, что увеличение оборонного бюджета должно сопровождаться созданием системы планирования закупок, что позволит гарантировать эффективное использование выделяемых фондов. Как ранее сообщал ЦАМТО, в мае 2010 года бывший президент Индонезии Сусило Бамбанг Юдхойоно объявил о намерении постепенно увеличить оборонный бюджет до 1,5% валового внутреннего продукта. Джоко Видодо, который занял пост главы государства в октябре 2014 года, заявил о намерении сохранить данный курс. Тем не менее, по оценке западных экспертов, поставленная цель остается «сверхчестолюбивой». По существующим прогнозам, несмотря ускорение, темп роста экономики Индонезии, вероятно, останется ниже 6% в течение следующих нескольких лет. Это объясняется падением мировых цен на нефть, снижением экспорта и экономическим спадом в соседнем Китае, который является крупным рынком сбыта для Индонезии. Кроме того, страна должна реализовать ряд приоритетных проектов развития инфраструктуры, которые потребуют существенного финансирования и приведут к тому, что достижение показателя в 1,5% ВВП станет маловероятным. Несмотря на это, «IHS Джейн» по-прежнему прогнозирует существенный рост расходов на оборону Индонезии, которые в ближайшие 5 лет могут возрасти до 0,9% ВВП по сравнению с показателем 0,79% в текущем году. Соответственно, к концу десятилетия оборонный бюджет Индонезии может составить 132 трлн. рупий, увеличившись на 33% по сравнению с 2016 годом. Источник: ЦАМТО 26.02.2016 Tweet февраль 2016
Retno Maruti Trade, Asia Pacific President Joko Widodo has sought to make a virtue of free trade. When Indonesian president Joko Widodo expressed an interest in joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to Barack Obama in November, he triggered a heated debate in Indonesia. Former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono even stepped in via Twitter to advise Widodo that he should not be too ambitious when it comes to opening up the country’s trade. Widodo has sought to make a virtue of free trade. His government believes free trade agreements can stimulate the business sector in two ways. Firstly, they encourage—at least in theory—the process of market selection; eliminating weak enterprises, bolstering strong ones and encouraging efficiency and innovation. Secondly, the government believes such agreements provide an opportunity to work across the business sector to prepare it for international competition. The latter strategy seems likely to inflict fewer casualties, but it will be slow going. Recently, however, it is Indonesia’s increasing closeness to China that has attracted attention. Indonesia is, for example, actively engaged in the China-led negotiations over the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership, and it is also a member of the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank. When it comes to direct trade, China recently defeated Japan to secure the contract to build Indonesia’s first bullet train, valued at US$5 billion. One school of thought holds that Widodo's interest in the TPP reflects, at least in part, a desire to show Indonesia has its own, independent position in the world economic order and no wish to be grouped with either China or the United States. Read full article
Southeast Asia represents one of the fastest-growing regions in the world today, and is one that we are excited about as investors. The Templeton Emerging Markets Group held our semiannual analyst conference in Jakarta in September, and one of the key reasons for choosing that location was to observe and discuss the changes and challenges on the ground with the new regime of President Joko Widodo. I’ve invited my colleague Tek Khoan Ong to pen some thoughts on the outlook and investment opportunities in Indonesia today. Tek Khoan Ong, CFA® Senior Executive Vice President, Managing Director Templeton Emerging Markets Group As investors in Indonesia, we think there is much to be excited about. Indonesia has a large and young population that is fast-urbanizing and, hence, fueling growth in income and consumption. It has the world’s 4th largest population of more than 240 million (5th largest considering the European Union as a whole, as of 2013), more than 40% of which are younger than 25 years old.1 Indonesia’s resource-rich economy is the 16th largest in the world, and it could become the 7th largest by 2030, if the economy’s GDP growth trend of 5-6% per annum continues.2 Indonesia’s urban population of 110 million alone is expected to increase to over 200 million by 20303 and consumer spending is increasing rapidly among the estimated 45 million middle-income Indonesians.4 It means by 2030, Indonesia’s economic strength could even overtake the economies of all EU countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom. As the largest nation in Southeast Asia by population, we believe Indonesia’s growing prosperity will benefit the region as a whole. High Hopes for The People’s President Voted in as the “people’s president” based on his humble background and his strong track record as mayor of Solo and governor of Jakarta, there are high expectations that President Joko Widodo (or “Jokowi” as he is popularly known) will be able to replicate his successes in those cities nationwide. We believe he has his heart and intentions in the right place and has a good core team to help him, but there will likely be speed bumps along the way. Regarded as a political outsider, Jokowi faces a number of challenges, which include dealing with his own party, the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P), and a fragmented Parliament. A case in point is the selection of his Cabinet; a practical combination and one of the stronger governance teams in years—but with some members not his first choice. Then there are issues of corruption and a slowing economy with a twin (fiscal and current account) deficit. But Jokowi’s biggest challenge is probably meeting the expectations of the Indonesian people. Fuel subsidies, one legacy of former President Suharto, have been a subject of hot debate within the new regime. Fuel subsidies total about US$20-25 billion a year, or roughly 20% of Indonesia’s budget, compared with just about 10% for infrastructure and 5% for health care.5 The fuel subsidy, when introduced, was meant to benefit the poor, but it has also benefited the rich so it is a blunt tool. In our view, reducing fuel subsidies should help Indonesia reduce its fiscal deficit and better allocate funds for much-needed reforms in infrastructure, health care and education. There had been previous fuel price hikes in fiscal years, 2005/2006 and 2008/2009, as well as most recently in 2013. Such price hikes have been accompanied by monthly cash subsidies to the poorest households for 2-9 months. In our view, any political fallout from such a reduction or removal should be temporary, especially given the president’s popularity and his ability to engage the masses. Corruption and Bureaucratic Inefficiency: More Work to Be Done Indonesia has made inroads in addressing corruption with the establishment of the anti-corruption commission, officially named Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK). Established by law in 2002, the KPK is modeled after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). KPK has prosecuted hundreds of cases with an excellent success rate, including successful cases against the chief justice of an Indonesian constitutional court, and the police inspector-general. Prominent businessmen, ministers and even former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s son have not been immune to investigation. We think much still needs to be done, as law enforcement is weak and coupled with regional autonomy, widespread corruption continues. We believe President Jokowi will need to continue to support and strengthen the efforts of the KPK. Recognizing that reducing corruption will require a change in mindset, President Jokowi is introducing a mental revolution in the education system, whereby the emphasis from a young age and in primary school will be on character building. Addressing bureaucratic inefficiencies will need to take several forms, in our view. These include hiring capable people and putting in place a merit-based performance appraisal system, including better accountability and key performance indicators, as well as impromptu visits from senior officials, more online systems to improve transparency and fairness, and budget allocation based on targeted priorities. The Investment Outlook The Indonesian stock market has been performing quite well this year on the heels of strong performance in 2013, some of which has been tied to reform optimism with the new regime. President Jokowi is a change from all past presidents since Indonesia gained independence in 1945. Hence, we think some degree of optimism is justified, although as mentioned earlier, it will not be without hurdles. Given the performance of the market, it is indeed more expensive today than a year or two ago. However, we do not believe Indonesia’s market is overvalued yet, provided the macroeconomic environment remains stable. We are finding potential investment opportunities in many sectors that benefit from existing demographics and expected reforms. These includes banks, which lend to both fast-growing corporates and provide mortgages, credit cards and other retail banking products to consumers, and companies in the consumer, resources and infrastructure-related sectors. We also think there is room for equity investing to grow its domestic base. Indonesia historically has had high interest rates and inflation rates. As such, many Indonesians prefer to leave their...Investment Adventures in Emerging Markets - Notes from Mark Mobius Mark Mobius, Ph.D., executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, joined Templeton in 1987. Currently, he directs the Templeton research team based in 15 global emerging markets offices and manages emerging markets portfolios. As he spans the globe in search of investment opportunities, his “Investment Adventures in Emerging Markets” blog gives readers a taste for what he does, when, where, why and how. Dr. Mobius has written several books, including “Trading with China,” “The Investor’s Guide to Emerging Markets,” “Mobius on Emerging Markets,” “Passport to Profits,” “Equities—An Introduction to the Core Concepts,” “Mutual Funds—An Introduction to the Core Concepts,” ”The Little Book of Emerging Markets,” and “Mark Mobius: An Illustrated Biography."
Новый президент Индонезии Джоко Видодо сегодня принёс присягу и официально вступил в должность. В ходе инаугурации Сусило Бамбанг Юдхойоно, первый в истории Индонезии президент, избранный прямым голосованием десять лет назад, передал своему преемнику бразды правления четвёртой по численности населения страной и десятой по объёму ВВП экономикой мира. Читать далее
Recently, I flew to Washington, D.C. to be part of a group that met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The purpose of the visit was to engage in a discussion about some of the factors that have allowed Indonesia to thrive in a time when so many Muslim countries are torn by internal conflict. Indonesia is the largest Muslim majority country in the world. It has a democratic system of government and a thriving economy. As well, Indonesia has been able to control religious extremism within their borders. What I learned verified my thoughts about ways in which the American-Muslim community can contribute to the greater good of our society. The recent crisis in Iraq and Syria has escalated. It has become increasingly clear that the United States is deeply entrenched in the Middle East. This situation is extremely complicated. Religious, cultural, tribal and economic factors contribute to instability, civil unrest and warfare. The United States has a vested and humanitarian interest in maintaining stability in the region. Over the past decade, many of our policies have resulted in unintended consequences. Perhaps, some of these could have been predicted if analysts had consulted more American-Muslims. There are nuances of culture, politics, and the region that are rarely understood by those who have not lived in the country. As we engage in Iraq for the a third time, it is important that we learn from our past experience to avoid making the same errors. Therefore, a greater effort by the government to involve the American-Muslim community in Middle East strategy can be beneficial to our ultimate goal. At the same time, American Muslims have remained reserved when it comes to a taking an active role in the process. What seems to be missing from most plans for containing or neutralizing terrorists is the American-Muslim perspective. An example of this can be found in the nuances of the Syrian conflict. The Middle East is a convoluted mixture of contrary forces. Governments and terrorists engage in fierce fighting, yet certain elements still do business - such as purchasing oil - with one another. It is almost impossible to comprehend all of the historical, cultural, political, tribal and religious tones without having experienced the unique mindset of each region. The rise of the Baathists to power as ISIS was predictable if understood in the context of the unequal distribution of power that was created in the region. I firmly believe it is in the best interests of the United States to involve members of the American-Muslim community in the process of understanding and planning for the most effective use of America's resources. Engagement of the American-Muslim community in Middle East strategy building has been minimal; this due - in part - to a reluctance on the part of American-Muslims to allow their 'voices to be heard', as well as the elements of mainstream media to allow those conversations to reach the larger society. At the same time, the government has been relatively hesitant to include American-Muslims as resources when exploring various strategies. Muslims are the group most targeted by extremists throughout the world. Therefore, it behooves all American-Muslims to overtly speak-out against the atrocities being perpetrated in the name of Islam. Terrorist activities are a total misrepresentation of the religion, culture and history of the Muslim people. Muslims who have lived in the United States for many decades may be the only Muslims in the world to have lived under a true democracy in a pluralistic society for that length of time. American-Muslims have the capacity to influence Muslims in other countries to act in accordance with democratic ideals in a way that bombs and troops can never accomplish. I have spoken at many colleges in Pakistan. As one of the few Muslims who is also an elected official in the country, I share the advantages of pluralism with the students. They are often surprised to hear that a Muslim can be elected to office in America. There is a great deal of misinformation about America that is being dispersed throughout Muslim countries. American Muslims might be the best way to counteract the propaganda that misrepresents America and Americans. Similarly there is a great deal of propaganda against Islam that is being promulgated, which too needs to be corrected by the American Muslims. When people in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and other Muslim countries hear how Fox news reports that America is "at war with Islam," they feel betrayed. American-Muslims can send messages to Middle Eastern and all other Muslim majority Country families and friends about true democracy and America's pursuit of peace. Finally, where possible, American-Muslims can join the armed forces and take an active role in defending our country. American-Muslims are in a unique position to contribute their knowledge and experience to U.S. policy-makers and disseminate the truth about democracy and America to other countries. As Americans, we are concerned with protecting our people and resources, as well as providing humanitarian assistance whenever possible. It is not always that the 'mightiest of sword' that wins the wars; it is the 'truest of heart.' So I call on American-Muslims and the United States government to become partners to helping all of us reach our true goal of world peace.
Sitting in the towering United Nation's building on New York's east side, it might be hard for world leaders to picture a destroyed forest, but I know just how depressing the site is. In Indonesia, and elsewhere, we've seen vast tracks of land where only the dried-up stumps remain of a vibrant rainforest, which once provided shelter to indigenous people, as well as animals like tiger and orangutan. Globally, the destruction of such forests is also accelerating the very climate change that threatens Manhattan, which is why I spoke at the Multilateral and Multi-stakeholder Action Announcement Session on 'Forests' as part of the UN Climate Summit in New York on Tuesday, My message to politicians and business leaders was clear: Greenpeace welcomes the renewed commitment to halting the loss of natural forests globally, however voluntary commitments cannot replace government action. We need strong laws to protect forests and people. We also need better enforcement of existing laws. While we are celebrating new announcements on paper this week, forests and forest peoples are facing imminent threats that must be averted if we want to live up to the New York Declaration. Here are five things that governments and my fellow panelists can do to secure the future of the forests and its peoples: 1. Indonesia has taken important steps forward in the past years, and we hope that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will leave a strong environmental legacy by seizing the opportunity to pass a strong regulation for the protection of carbon-rich peatlands before the end of his presidential mandate. Peatlands in Indonesia store an estimated 60 billion tonnes of carbon, so their protection is absolutely necessary to reduce the release of climate-changing greenhouse gases and prevent future disastrous forest fires. Like the moratorium that the President initiated, the current regulation needs to be strengthened and its many loopholes eliminated. 2. Brazil showed us the way to reduce deforestation by governance, improving law enforcement and designating indigenous reserves and protected areas. But these hard-won victories are under fierce attacks by some of Brazil's industrial agriculturalists. Will the government resist the pressure to reduce Indigenous Peoples' land and forests, and commit instead to strengthening governance in the Amazon and to increasing the amount of protected areas? 3. Greenpeace welcomes Unilever's high-level engagement, but we question Unilever's role with the so-called "Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto". There is a danger that this group, dominated by Malaysian growers, does not drive genuine change in the palm oil industry and undermines the good work being done to implement "No Deforestation" commitments by some major palm oil producers. 4. Cargill has been instrumental to the success of the Soya Moratorium in Brazil, which has helped to dramatically reduce deforestation in the Amazon. But this success will prove temporary if the moratorium expires prematurely at the end of this year. We urge Cargill to take this opportunity to firmly state its support for extending the moratorium while permanent solutions to Amazon deforestation are agreed. 5. Developed nations governments who contribute with funds towards forest protection should take note of the agreement announced this week by Norway and Liberia, which, if implemented, will be an example for other nations to follow. For the first time, we could see a country adopt meaningful environmental and social standards as part of its legal framework to prevent deforestation and protect the rights of its citizens. Governments in consumer markets also need to help cut the demand for products and commodities linked to deforestation. We must develop public policies and measures that ensure deforestation-free products for consumers and help level the playing field for companies that have committed to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuses from their supply chain. Let's send a strong signal that deforestation doesn't sell. Forest protection needs to come in addition to drastic cuts in fossil fuel emissions. We cannot accept so-called 'forest offsets' that allow the fossil fuel industry to continue polluting. So when we all go back home in a couple of days, please stop procrastinating and take measures to protect forests and secure the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. All these declarations are sending the right signals, but there is no excuse for government not to take immediate action. Whether these leaders are in New York's or back home, they can't run away from their responsibility.
With strong commitment and political will, the impossible could become possible, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, said today, telling political leaders gathered for the United Nations General Assembly that it is to stop playing the game of "us" against "them”, and begin the hard d work be about of creating a new, equitable world order.
A former leader of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's political party was convicted of graft Wednesday, the latest blow to a political vehicle whose power has faded.
Действующий президент Индонезии Сусило Бамбанг Юдхойоно и избранный президент Индонезии Джоко Видодо 15 и 16 сентября, соответственно, провели встречи с заместителем председателя ВК НПКСК, заведующим Отделом международных связей ЦК КПК Ван Цзяжуем.
Outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono praised the strides of his country's young democracy and said it has shown that "democracy, Islam, and modernity" can coexist.
Fresh blow for Australian relations with Indonesia after Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expresses shock and hurt at naming of his countrys politicians in injunction Continue reading...
With Joko Widodo's 53% majority as the elected president of Indonesia, the country can take a bow but not much of a breather. By most accounts, the vote was fair and a validation of the democracy that has grown more rooted under 10 years of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY)'s presidency. [...]