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Archive for the ‘Islamic Emirate of Indonesia’ Category

Indonesian authorities battle floods in capital

January 18, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Authorities were working Friday to repair a dike that collapsed amid floods that swamped the Indonesian capital as the waters gradually receded from the main streets of the teeming city.

But more monsoon rains were expected over Jakarta later Friday into Saturday, raising the prospect of fresh flooding, said Fadli, an official at the country’s meteorology agency who goes by a single name.

Jakarta, a low-lying city on the sea, has long been prone to floods, but their scale has become worse over the last 10 years as infrastructure development has not kept pace with the city’s growth. Other Southeast Asian cities, Bangkok and Manila especially, have also proved vulnerable to widespread floods in recent years.

Authorities said the death toll had risen to 11, most electrocuted or drowned. Police were searching for at least three other people reported missing in the flooded basement of a building in central Jakarta.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, from the city’s disaster mitigation agency, said electricity supplies had been cut to several areas to prevent electrocutions. “Our focus now is to save more lives,” he said. While life slowly got back to normal downtown, tens of thousands remained affected by the waters elsewhere in the city of 14 million people. The police and army deployed rubber boats to help evacuate or bring supplies to people, said Jakarta Police Spokesman Col. Rikwanto.

Elsewhere, hundreds of soldiers used backhoes to attempt to repair a collapsed canal dike that let floodwater pour into parts of downtown Jakarta on Thursday after hours of rains caused rivers and canals to burst their banks.

At their peak, almost 250,000 people were affected by the floods, which covered about 30 percent of the city. They were the most widespread to hit the city since 2007, when almost 80 died and more than half of the city as affected.

Unlike in 2007, Jakarta’s downturn area was swamped this time around. Successive governments have done little to mitigate the threat of flooding, the latest made worse by heavy downpours Wednesday and Thursday that added pressure to rivers already swollen by a long monsoon season.

Deforestation in the hills to the south of the city, chaotic planning and the rubbish that clogs the hundreds of waterways that crisscross the city are some of the factors behind the floods. Corrupt city officials turn an eye to building violations and lack the skills and ability to build flood defenses.

Indrado, a resident in Central Jakarta, said the floods should cause a rethink. “We cannot only blame the government,” he said. “We the people also have to support it by not littering rivers.”


Protesters greet Indonesian president in London

October 31, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Indonesia’s president met Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday during a visit to Britain that was marred by protesters accusing him of human rights abuses.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Indonesian first lady Ani Bambang Yudhoyono were welcomed by the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, in a ceremony at London’s Horse Guards Parade. The two couples then took part in a state carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, where the visiting couple will stay during their three-day visit.

About 50 demonstrators holding placards that read “Stop killing Papuans” protested the Indonesian leader’s visit outside Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence at 10 Downing Street. They claim Yudhoyono has committed crimes of humanity against tribal people in West Papua.

Rights groups including the New York-based Human Rights Watch have said that Indonesia’s military is responsible for some of the violence in the southeast Asian country’s restive Papua province, home to a decades-long low-level guerrilla war. Yudhoyono has conceded that Indonesian security forces had overreacted at times, but said the attacks were “on a small scale with limited victims.”

Later Wednesday, two human rights activists tried to reach Yudhoyono’s car, but were stopped by police. Scotland Yard confirmed that they arrested one man for attempting to disrupt the leader’s visit. The man, activist Peter Tatchell, was released without charge.

The queen, who along with her husband visited Indonesia 33 years ago, praised Yudhoyono for leading democratic change in Indonesia during a lavish state banquet she hosted in honor of her guests at a ballroom in Buckingham Palace.

The president is the first foreign leader to be welcomed in a state visit during the queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

Jailed Indonesia cleric threatens Myanmar over Rohingya

WARNING: Article contains propaganda!

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August 4th 2012, Saturday / AFP

Jailed Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir threatened to wage war if Myanmar continues to harm Muslim Rohingyas, in a letter to the country’s president Thein Sein seen on a website Friday.

The 74-year-old is widely regarded as a spiritual leader of radical Islam in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim country — and is currently serving a 15-year-jail term for funding terror.

“We’ve heard Muslims screaming in your country because of your acts of evil…you have taken them out from their homes and are killing them,” he wrote in the letter dated July 22, which was passed on to followers and published on the website

“If you neglect these calls, by Allah our Lord, you have witnessed the fall of proud and conceited countries in the hands of our mujahideen soldiers,” he added.

The letter was confirmed as authentic by Son Hadi, the spokesman for Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), a group founded by Bashir in 2008 and labeled a terrorist organization by the United States.

An outspoken supporter of violent jihad, Bashir was convicted in 2010 of financing a terror cell in Aceh province. Earlier this year, the country’s top court overturned a lower court’s decision to cut his 15-year term.

“You must know that we are brothers as Muslims. Their pains is our pain, their sorrows are our sorrows, and their blood that you shed is our blood too,” Bashir wrote. “By the will of Allah, we can destroy you and your people.”

Son Hadi said Friday that the letter was submitted on Monday to the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta. The embassy was not reachable for comment.

About 100 Muslim extremists from the Indonesian branch of pro-Caliphate organization Hizb ut-Tahrir protested Friday outside the Myanmar embassy and vow a Jihad to stop the “Muslim cleansing”.

“We are ready to die to help our fellow Muslims in Myanmar. A Jihad is the only way to stop this massacre,” one of the protesters on loudspeaker told the crowd, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest).

Violence erupted in June in Rakhine state, in western Myanmar, between Buddhists and Rohingya, leaving about 80 people dead from both sides, according to official estimates deemed low by rights groups.

Myanmar security forces opened fire on Rohingya Muslims, committed rape and stood by as rival mobs attacked each other during the recent wave of sectarian violence, New York-based Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

The authorities failed to protect both Muslims and Buddhists and then “unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya”, the group said in a report.

Indonesia gov’t to monitor Dutch compensation for 1947 massacre

JAKARTA (BNO NEWS) — The Indonesian government will monitor developments around a Dutch court ruling on the 1947 Rawagede massacre, a presidential spokesman said on Thursday.

A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday that the Netherlands was responsible for the massacre carried out by its colonial troops in the town of Rawagede, east of Jakarta, on December 9, 1947. It said the victims’ families should be compensated, although it is not known how much they will be paid.

Teuku Faizasyah, the president’s special aide on international affairs, declined to comment on what the government would do next to follow up on the ruling, the Jakarta Globe reported. He only said the government hoped the ruling could meet the people’s sense of justice.

In 2008, the widows of eight victims and one survivor from Rawagede filed a lawsuit against the Dutch state to demand compensation for the massacre. The Netherlands has admitted the executions in the past but had insisted that no claim could be lodged due to the expiry of the statute of limitations of five years in Dutch law.

Dutch authorities say that 150 were killed, while a victims’ association claims that 431 people lost their lives.

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.

Indonesian ethnic clashes leave six dead

Sept. 13, 2011

JAKARTA, Sept. 13 (UPI) — Police in Ambon, Indonesia, will pursue anyone they suspect of involvement in violence between Christian and Muslim groups that left six people dead and around 80 injured.

Inter-ethnic violence erupted in Ambon, capital of Indonesia’s Maluku province — also known as the Moluccan Islands — during the funeral of Muslim man killed in a road accident.

Rioting broke out Sunday after rumors surfaced that the motorcycle taxi driver had been tortured to death by Christians.

“We will enforce the law,” National Police spokesman Inspector General Anton Bachrul Alam said. “We are currently focusing on pacifying the situation. The investigation is still under way.”

Police were helped by several hundred troops to quell street fighting after cellphone text messages circulated to Muslims that the driver had been set upon by Christians, the BBC said.

Police said the man died on the way to hospital after losing control of his motorbike and crashing.

Ethnic relations are uneasy in Maluku, formerly known as the Spice Islands and which is culturally and geographically associated with the more Christian Melanesia. Maluku is around 55 percent Muslim and 45 percent Christian.

Tensions periodically erupt into deadly street fighting, especially since the 1980 after the federal government in Jakarta relocated many Muslim migrants from the more densely populated Java Island.

The main city and capital of Maluku province is Ambon on the small Ambon Island and with a population of around 330,000, 2010 census data indicate.

Ambon also is home to the state-owned Pattimura University and the Indonesian Christian University of Maluku, a private Protestant university. Both were seriously damaged during ethnic violence in 1999-2002.

The Arabs first brought Islam to the Spice Islands in the 13th century; the Spanish and Portuguese arrived in the 16th century bringing Christianity followed in the 17th century by the Dutch.

Ambon Island was the site of a major Dutch naval base, captured by the Japanese in 1942. In 1950, after Indonesian independence in 1945, Ambon was the center of an uprising against Indonesian rule.

Rebel groups proclaimed the Republic of the South Moluccas but Indonesia reasserted control within weeks, although a low-key armed struggle existed until 1963, especially on the island of Seram.

A self-declared Republic of South Moluccas government-in-exile has existed since the 1950 defeat, based in the Netherlands.

In April last year, Radio Netherlands Worldwide said that John Wattilete, a Dutch lawyer and son of Moluccan immigrants, had been appointed the new president of the South Moluccan government in exile. His appointment took place in the village of Bemmel in the Netherlands province of Gelderland.

Conflicts between Christians and Muslims from 1999-2002 left more than 5,000 dead and half a million people displaced — the worst ethnic violence since Indonesia’s independence from its colonial ruler, the Netherlands, in 1945.

Source: United Press International (UPI).

Three dead as 6.6-magnitude quake hits Indonesia

Subulussalam, Indonesia (AFP)
Sept 6, 2011

Three people were killed Tuesday when a 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia’s Sumatra island, officials said.

The quake struck deep underground shortly after midnight around 400 kilometers (250 miles) southeast of Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra, the US Geological Survey said.

Falling debris killed a 10-year-old boy as he slept in his home in Subulussalam, Aceh province, a doctor said.

“The boy was sleeping next to his mother when a wall collapsed and bricks fell onto his stomach, crushing him. His mother brought him to us but we couldn’t save him in time,” the doctor, named Hasbi, said.

Two other people were killed in separate incidents, the National Disaster Management Agency said.

Panicked residents rushed out of their homes, many crying and screaming for help, as the quake shook the area for around two minutes, according to an AFP correspondent.

“That was the strongest quake I’d ever felt. I thought the end of the world was here,” 42-year-old farmer Abdul Kader Angkat said.

The jolt was also felt by residents in the cities of Banda Aceh and Medan, officials said.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was too far inland to generate a tsunami.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where the collision of continental plates causes high seismic activity.

Aceh was devastated when a 9.1-magnitude quake off Sumatra in December 2004 triggered a huge tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean.

Source: Terra Daily.

Indonesia’s Mount Lokon erupts three more times

MANADO, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) — Indonesia’s Mount Lokon, which is located on the northern tip of the island of Sulawesi, erupted three more times on Wednesday, local authorities said.

Farid Ruskanda Bina, Mount Lokon’s monitoring post chief in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, said Mount Lokon spewed out ash as high as 250 meters (820 feet) which was heading north, the Antara news agency reported, adding that the eruptions also triggered several tremors, three of them shallow.

Over the past few days, Mount Lokon has been showing increasing activity and constant tremors. Initial tremors had an amplitude of 2 to 10 millimeters (0.07 to 0.39 inches), but on Tuesday seismic records documented tremors with an amplitude of up to 18 millimeters (0.70 inches).

The Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center has not raised Mount Lokon’s alert status to level IV despite the ongoing eruptions, instead keeping it at level III.

Farid underlined the importance of local residents staying alert, as a minimum distance of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 mile) from Mount Lokon’s crater must be kept at all times.

On August 17, Mount Lokon began to spew volcanic ash which fell as far away as the Kinilow I village and the Tinoor areas in North Tomohon sub district, which is a short distance from Lokon’s crater.

Since June, Mount Lokon has shown constant volcanic activity, prompting authorities to raise its status to alert on June 27 and watch on July 10. A series of eruptions in mid July forced at least 5,269 locals from the villages of Kinilow, Kelurahan Kinilow I and Kakaskasen 1 to evacuate the area.

While most residents returned to their homes later that month, some 222 people remain at temporary refugee camps because their homes are in Mound Lokon’s red zone – 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from its crater. After July’s activity, Mount Lokon’s alert level was lowered from watch to alert, and has remained at this level since.

Dozens of active volcanoes in Indonesia are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Next to Mount Lokon is its volcanic twin, Mount Empung, just 2.2 kilometers (1.3 miles) away.

One of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes is Mount Merapi, which is located on the island of Java near Jogjakarta, the country’s second-most visited area after Bali. Last year, more than 300 people were killed in a series of eruptions between October and November which also displaced over 300,000 people.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.

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