Tunggul Kumoro  30 May 2017 10:00

On May 27, 2006, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, centered in Bantul hit Yogyakarta, causing the death of thousands of people.

Although relatively short, the 57 seconds quake that occurred just after 5.53 a.m. damaged and leveled hundreds of buildings.

Bantul Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) recorded 4,143 people were killed in Bantul, with a total of 71,763 collapsed houses, while 71,372 and 66,359 others were severely and lightly damaged, respectively. A total death toll from Yogyakarta and Southern part of Central Java, as in Klaten reached 5,782 where 26,299 people suffered injuries and 390,077 houses destroyed.

To commemorate the disaster, several netizens took to twitter to post photos and videos under the #11thGempaJogja. Here are some of them.

1. Then and now photos

2. The evacuation

3. A writting on the wall

4. A sad reminder

5. 'Teletubbies Dome Houses' for the homeless

6. Earthquake memorial

7. Damaged road and houses

8. Collapsed school

9. Never alone

 

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Retno Wulandari  19 April 2017 22:52

People of Jakarta have voted in the second round for a new governor, and the result is, although not officially, conclusive. With Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno leading the quick count results, for their supporters it's a time for celebration.

And it’s all over. FINALLY.

The long, tiring political disputes involving the majority of politicians and civilians in Jakarta is finally over. And I think, it’s really worth celebrating that. I go out today, and I can see Jakarta is trying to heal itself.

The tension that haunted the city has gone.

Gone are the days our smartphones getting attacked with endless WhatsApp broadcasts, spreading “news” or “facts” harrassing and praising one candidate, answered by the other side, back and forth like bickering siblings.

Gone are the days of debate and arguing, which sometimes cost us a friendship, family ties or a relationship.

All the heat, all the fighting... I kept thinking to myself, is this worth it?

The Jakarta gubernatorial election cost me one family member. Not literally, of course, but due to different political views, someone I once respected so much has walked away from his own family, and it continued to hurt every single day - until today.

My point is, should we take politics and election very personally? Is the world giving us a choice? Must we lose our friends and family members just by defending some strangers we never met?

Politics, as usual, is sickening.

Thanks to political machinations, Jakarta may never be the same again.  We’re now living in anxiety. I don't know if the wounds from this election.

As for me, I know what I should do, and what I shouldn’t. I have to keep my mind and heart clean, do the right things, and carry on.

But, at least today is over.

 

 

The views in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect Brilio's.

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Angga Roni Priambodo  13 April 2017 13:47

Brilio.net - Indonesian Marvel comic writer Ardian Syaf has triggered a commotion among Indonesian netizens related his work, the first issue of 'X-Men Gold'. Ardian involves symbols related to current religious and political issues in Indonesia.

The symbols in the comic are referred to several elements related to Jakarta Governor Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok's blasphemy allegation case.

In one panel, "QS 5:51" appears on a shirt worn by Colossus character. Many believe it stands for Al Maidah verse 51 of the Quran.

Panel from “X-Men Gold #1”, Marvel Comics

Another symbol "212" also appears on a scene where Kitty Pryde, a Jewish character talks in front of people as one of them also wear a shirt with "51" on it.

Panel from “X-Men Gold #1”, Marvel Comics

From our investigation on Ardian's social media account, it is found that the artist himself was impressed with the march. He did it intentionally, admitting to draw and add the message on the comic right after coming home after joining the rally himself.

 

Marvel itself was unaware to the Ardian's intention and has issued a statement regarding to the incident.

“The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings. These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation. This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken,” wrote Marvel on their official statement as quoted from ComicBook.com.

Last year, thousands of Muslim took to the street to march against Ahok, a Christian and a Chinese-Indonesian Jakarta Governor over blasphemy allegations regarding the use of the Quran during his visit to Thousand Islands regency on Sept. 27, 2016.

The 212 is the number used to denote the mass protest held on December 2, 2016 with several rallies have taken place after that.

 

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Retno Wulandari  09 March 2017 17:00

Last month, we read and heard about a man in Aceh who fainted during his caning execution. The incident has again put Sharia law applied in Aceh into the spotlight. Among those protesters are activists who consider corporal punishment a human rights violation.

Okay, that makes sense. But let’s take a look.

Aceh Province officially enforced Sharia Criminal Law or qanun jinayat, which criminalize adultery, homosexuality, and expressions of extramarital affection in public, and caning as a punishment is part of the law, based on a Quranic verse of An-Nur: 2.

Muslims believe that all the commandments and prohibitions, including punishment, aren’t man-made rules. They believe that it’s something that comes directly from God, and thus must not be questioned.

From a general perspective, punishments like caning may seem harsh, but in fact, the goal is clear: to bring deterrent effect as well as warnings for others to not commit such offense.

Such harsh law enforcement aims to keep the public from losses and harms caused by various violations. For example, punishment for adultery aims to keep the citizens safe from sexually-transmitted diseases, prevent children being born outside marriage and as preserve the honor of women. And for me, it makes sense.

And if you say that Aceh's bylaws violate human rights, don't common penalties such as imprisonment also bear the risks of human rights violations?

I understand that there are rumors saying that the application of sharia law in Aceh isn't applied equally.

For example, last year in Banda Aceh, there were two officials arrested for committing adultery. According to Aceh People's Advocacy Foundation (YARA) activist Safaruddin, the case had been widely reported by the media, but the punishment was never carried out.

“The punishment needs to be implemented indiscriminately. (So far) only poor and powerless people were executed, while those who are influential were not,” he told BBC.

Aceh government has dismissed the allegations, stressing that all parties committing violations will be penalized in accordance with applicable regulations.

But, doesn't such thing also happen in other legal system?

To wrap it up, for me, every punishment is enacted to provide a deterrent effect. What really matter is how the law is enforced and implemented as it should be.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect Brilio's. 

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Retno Wulandari  28 February 2017 13:00

Indonesia has a tremendous amount of beautiful places, but I think they’ll be gone soon.

I found out in a discussion held by the Mining Advocacy Networks (Jatam), the biggest environmental threat comes from limestone mining industry and cement factories.

Limestone is one of cement materials and produced by digging karst areas.

Karst area itself is the best groundwater depository that can store as much as 87.2 to 192 liters of water per meter cubic, making it indispensable to people’s lives.  In Maros area of South Sulawesi, for example, 25 percent of residents’ water supply comes from the karst area.

So it’s not surprising when Maros and many regions —including Rembang of Central Java, Trenggalek of East Java, and Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara— refuse the development of cement factories in their region.

The Industry Ministry estimated Indonesia’s excessive supply of cement will reach 38 percent by 2018, so why do District Heads keep issuing licenses to build new cement factories and to mine karst?

Don’t they know that those two damage the environment and cause social problems?

Karst mine in Karanglo Village, Tuban (Photo: doc. Wahyu Eka Setiawan)

Activist Wahyu Eka Setiawan from The Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi) said that cement industry has created social and environmental damage in his hometown, Tuban.

“Not so long ago, our village was surrounded by lush rainforests, and now they’re gone. Water supply is increasingly depleted, bringing hardships to remaining local farmers,” he said.

There are also health problems as the mining activity induces acute respiratory infections.

“In 2013, there were 1,775 people who suffered from acute respiratory infections (ISPA). 2014 showed a decrease with 1,656 patients but the number increased in 2015 with a total 2,058 patients,” he said.

Advocates of the industry came to the local residents, promising prosperity but the promise never comes through. What they called as benefit is not worth the damage.

And all of these don’t only happen in Tuban.

In Kendeng, Rembang of Central Java, people have been protesting the development of cement factories to no positive response from the company and the government.

In Berau, East Kalimantan, a cement company is planning to open a new factory. The environmental analysis is ongoing, and trust me when the permit is released, Berau is on its way to suffering from social and environmental damage like Tuban.

A representative of Alliance of Karst-Concerning Society Sarlina said her hometown in Biduk Biduk on the east end of Berau, is facing the same threat. The area is known to have a staggering 1,2-hectare karst area, which is now being 'approached' by a cement company. The AMDAL process is ongoing, and once the permit released, almost certainly the same damage will also occur in the so called the Paradise of Borneo.

As you may have already known, Biduk Biduk is a rising star in Indonesia’s tourism. It boasts natural paradises which beauty equivalent to what we see in Derawan, or even in Raja Ampat, with signature places such as Labuan Cermin Lake, which water is fresh at the surface but salty at the bottom, and  Sigending Island, a brackish island famous with its beautiful mangrove and coral reef.

It’s really, really sad, to think what will happen to this beautiful country in the future.

 

 

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  15 February 2017 11:58

Jakarta's Christian governor who is standing trial for blasphemy fought to cling on to his job Wednesday in a high-stakes election seen as a test of religious tolerance in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama faces two prominent Muslim challengers in the race to lead the teeming capital of 10 million, as local elections take place around the country. 

But the stakes in the Jakarta vote have been raised by allegations that Purnama -- the city's first non-Muslim governor for half a century and its first ethnic Chinese leader -- insulted the Koran.

The claims drew hundreds of thousands of conservative Muslims onto the streets of Jakarta in major protests last year, and Purnama has been put on trial in a case criticised as unfair and politically motivated.

He has not been barred from running but his lead in opinion polls was dented for a period, and the vote is now seen as a test of whether pluralism and a tolerant brand of Islam in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country are being eroded.

President Joko Widodo, whose party supports Purnama, appealed for unity after a dirty election campaign that has been dominated by religious and ethnic tensions and a flood of "fake news" stories.

"Don't let our different political choices divide us -- let's maintain our unity," he said after voting.

Casting his ballot, Purnama, who has won popularity among the middle-class with his determination to clean up the capital, hinted at the importance of the election: "Your vote decides the future of Jakarta."

Polls opened at 7:00 am (0000 GMT) for Jakarta's 7.1 million registered voters and were due to close at 1:00 pm (0600 GMT). 

An early vote tally released in the afternoon should give an indication of how the candidates have performed although official results will not be announced until mid-March. 

None of the three candidates, who also include a former education minister and the scion of a political dynasty, are likely to win outright in the first round, meaning the race will likely go to a run-off in April. 

If Purnama does win the vote and is convicted of blasphemy, which could see him sentenced to up to five years in prison, he would not automatically be barred from holding office and could avoid jail for a long time by filing successive appeals.

He has been leading in recent polls but analysts believe he would lose in a second round.

- 'Fake news' flood -

Authorities were not taking any chances after the tense campaign, with thousands of security forces deployed around the capital on election day.

The "fake news" has mainly targeted Purnama, and included claims that a free vaccination programme he backed was a bid to make girls infertile and reduce the population.

Renno Krisna, a 34-year-old music teacher who is a Muslim, said he had voted for Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, as life had got better in Jakarta during his time in office, but lamented the tensions around the vote. 

"Dirty politics has left our society divided -- it's such a shame," he told AFP.

The governor's opponents are ex-education minister Anies Baswedan, who has jumped into second place in recent weeks by courting disillusioned Muslim voters, and Agus Yudhoyono, the son of a former president.

About 100 other local elections will take place on Wednesday but the race in the capital is the most hotly contested, with the top job in Jakarta seen as a stepping stone to victory in the 2019 presidential polls.

Purnama's troubles began in September when he said in a speech that his rivals were tricking people into voting against him using a Koranic verse, which some interpret as meaning Muslims should only choose Muslim leaders.

The controversy is a high-profile example of the religious intolerance that has become more common in Indonesia, where 90 percent of its 255 million inhabitants are Muslim, with a surge of attacks on minorities in recent years.

Purnama won popularity for trying to improve traffic-choked, chaotic Jakarta by cleaning up rivers and demolishing red-light districts, although his combative style and controversial slum clearances sparked some opposition.

© Agence France-Presse

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  14 February 2017 18:50

President Donald Trump has said he might move America's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Washington Wednesday, here is why the issue is so controversial.

Why do both sides see Jerusalem as their capital?

Jews argue that Jerusalem has been their capital for 3,000 years, citing religious and historical connections.

The Holy City was the ancient capital of the Jewish King David in the 10th century BC and later of the Hasmonean Jewish dynasty from the 2nd century BC.

Since the destruction of the two Jewish temples, the latter in 70 AD, and the scattering of the Jewish people, religious leaders have longed for a return to Jerusalem.

The Palestinians also see Jerusalem as the capital of the state to which they aspire, again citing religious and historical importance.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City is where Muslims believe Mohammed ascended to heaven. It is the third holiest place in Islam after Mecca and Medina.

Why is its status so controversial?

Following mass Jewish immigration during and after World War II, the United Nations proposed dividing up British-mandate Palestine.

The partition plan, approved by the UN General Assembly on Nov. 29 1947, proposed a Jewish State, an Arab State and Jerusalem under international supervision. It was accepted by the Jewish leaders but rejected by their Arab counterparts.

Following the departure of the British and the first Israeli-Arab war, the State of Israel was created in 1948 with west Jerusalem as its self-declared capital. The city's eastern part remained under Jordanian control.

After the occupation and later annexation of east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel declared "reunited" Jerusalem its capital.

A key Israeli law adopted in 1980 called Jerusalem the "complete and united" capital of Israel.

This decision was not recognised by the international community, which considers east Jerusalem to be occupied.

When a Palestinian state was proclaimed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 1988, Jerusalem was designated as its future capital.

Are other embassies in Jerusalem?

In short, no. Before the Israeli parliament passed the bill annexing east Jerusalem in 1980, 13 countries had embassies in west Jerusalem: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Netherlands, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Following the annexation and international anger, these countries moved their missions to Tel Aviv.

Costa Rica and El Salvador re-established their embassies in Jerusalem from 1984 to 2006.

Currently no country has an embassy there, and it is not internationally recognised as Israel's capital.

The Palestinians argue that to do so would destroy hopes of a two-state solution.

What is the US position?

In 1995, Congress passed a law that "Jerusalem should be recognised as the capital of the State of Israel" and the embassy moved no later than May 31 1999.

Since then, the relocation has been postponed every six months by different presidents under pressure from the Palestinians and their allies.

However, the 1995 law does mean that US official documents refer to Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

While campaigning, Trump promised to move the embassy and a statement in September said his administration would abide by the "long-standing Congressional mandate to recognise Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel".

But on Friday, he cut a more cautious tone in an interview with an Israeli newspaper, saying he was "studying" what was not an "easy decision".

© Agence France-Presse

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