Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Thursday, February 28, 2008

State income from fishing drops

Rendi Akhmad Witular, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Despite higher fish catches last year, state income from fishing declined considerably due primarily to the introduction of new fishing regulations as well as to unrealized fishing projects.

According to a recent report from the Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Ministry, non-tax revenue in the form of fees from seawater catches dropped by 44.6 percent last year to Rp 112.5 billion (US$12.5 million), from Rp 203.4 billion a year earlier.

Last year's revenue also missed the government's target of Rp 200 billion.

The decline was not in line with last year's higher seawater fishing catches, which according to the report soared by 9.5 percent to 4.94 million tons, with huge fishing vessels above 30 gross tons (GT) accounting for more than 50 percent of the catches.

Analysts blamed the decline on the introduction of a 2006 ministerial decree on fishing businesses, which required all foreign fishing vessels to have Indonesian registration in order to be able to operate on Indonesian waters.

Due to the decree, foreign fishing vessels that used to pay their fees in U.S. dollars are now required to pay in rupiah because of their new status as Indonesian vessels.

The disparity in the currency exchange rate is the main cause of the decline in the fees.

Director general of fish catches and licenses Ali Supardan told The Jakarta Post recently the decline was also attributable to unrealized projects by companies which had already received licenses to operate.

"There are a lot of causes, but the most notable one is because some fishing companies are not realizing their operations. Some of the companies have not even purchased any vessels yet," said Ali.

Ali said the ministry had targeted non-tax revenue from seawater fishing this year to increase by more than Rp 200 billion from an expected fish catch of 5.34 million tons.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, has a potential seawater catch of 6.4 million tons annually.

Some 55 percent of the seawater catch is destined for export, especially to Thailand, the Philippines, China and Malaysia.

Indonesia's fish consumption per capita remains low at only 27.89 kilograms per year.

According to the ministry, there are currently 590,610 fishing vessels operating in Indonesian waters, with only 1 percent of the vessels above 30GT, while the remaining 99 percent are smaller vessels owned by traditional fishermen.

The ministry report also shows that last year, the average annual income for local fishermen reached only Rp 5.75 million, up by 4.08 percent from 2006.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, is estimated to suffer around US$3.2 billion in losses each year from poaching of its maritime resources by syndicates from Thailand, China and the Philippines, according to the ministry.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tomini Bay a new economic growth hub in East Indonesia

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

At a time when poverty remains prevalent in almost 200 out of over 450 regencies and municipalities in the country, Tomini Bay has been introduced as a future hub of economic growth in East Indonesia, following in the footsteps of Batam in the West.

Long before regional autonomy shifted into full gear on the heels of the fall of New Order regime in 1998, the government had named Batam in Riau Islands, Tomini Bay and Bone Bay in Sulawesi, and Sabang in Aceh as the engines of economic development for their respective neighboring areas.

Batam's rapid economic growth of over 8 percent per year has had an impact on nearby areas, including Bangka-Belitung province, and Karimun and Natuna islands.

State Minister for Development of Disadvantaged Regions Lukman Edy says the government is trying to revive the dormant plan to develop the growth hubs. Development of Tomini Bay will take place first because it already has supporting infrastructure and the government has done enough study on the area, says Lukman.

The development of Tomini Bay and later Bone Bay as growth hubs is expected to cut the number of disadvantaged regions in East Indonesia.

"This year we'll finalize our plan and next year, I hope physical development can commence," Lukman said after witnessing the signing of a joint agreement to develop the bay on Togean Islands in Tojo Una-Una regency, Central Sulawesi, last week.

The six regents signing the agreement were from Tojo Una-Una, Banggai, Banggai Islands, Poso, Parigi Moutong regencies in Central Sulawesi and Pohuwato regency in Gorontalo.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the Office of State Minister for the Environment will provide assistance to the regents, who had met to discuss development of fisheries and tourism as the prime sectors in Tomini Bay.

The bay is rich in fish and other marine resources, and stands a great opportunity of emerging as a popular tourist destination thanks to its biodiversity and beautiful nature. Dozens of enchanting small islands dot the bay.

However, nine of 10 regencies across Tomini Bay alone are among the country's disadvantaged regions, with most residents working as fishermen and living under the poverty line.

Central Sulawesi deputy governor Achmad Yahya said Tomini Bay has 587,670 tons of fish reserves. It is also home to a large number of coral reefs that form the bay's rich biodiversity.

The development of fishery and tourism, however, has been impeded by the region's lack of qualified human resources, supporting infrastructure, especially transportation, and investment, said Yahya.

The latest data issued by the Office of State Minister for Development of Disadvantaged Regions revealed that 68 percent of the disadvantaged regions are located in East Indonesia.

The government aims to remove 40 disadvantaged regencies and municipalities from poverty by 2009.

"We're using the hub-growth approach to develop these regions," Lukman said.

Lukman said the government was considering a special authority which would involve several ministerial offices and the private sector to facilitate Tomini Bay's development.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

JGM event reminds all to care for Jakarta's wetlands

Ani Suswantoro, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Wetlands are natural areas that occur between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in which water covers the soil or is present near the surface all year round or during certain periods of time.

Wetlands spread from montane to coastal areas, and possess a rich and unique ecosystem with vital functions, but sometimes their invisible values are not revered. Wetlands possess value as an alternative source of income for local people, as a recreational site and a natural laboratory, and as a source of water. They are also key areas for the prevention of floods.

The survival of wetlands in Indonesia is facing serious threats from uncontrolled logging, coastal reclamation, infrastructure development, pollution and the encroachment of non-indigenous species. Poor understanding among the public as well as government officials of the benefits wetlands provide have contributed to their rapid destruction.

Jakarta needs its wetlands to maintain a healthy, sustainable life in the capital. Jakarta Green Monster (JGM), a non-governmental organization focusing on wetlands conservation, commemorated World Wetlands Day on Feb. 2 to raise people's awareness on the unique ecosystem.

Themed "Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People", the event was held at the Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve in North Jakarta, and involved a photography competition for the public, as well as a feature writing contest for senior high schools, waste recycling contest for junior high school students and a drawing contest for elementary school students. The waste recycling category saw the largest number of entrants at about 40 students, while the others drew 35 entries together.

"The contest for waste recycling, which is crucial in environmental protection, is open to groups of three," explained a committee member at the event. "Writing is a very powerful way to convey our ideas on wetlands conservation campaign. Pictures are self-explanatory in presenting facts, and drawing is an interesting activity for children. These are why we chose these kinds of competitions."

"The Mangrove Forest is My Playground" was the theme of the drawing contest.

"I just know this reserve is a nice place to play," said Abdurrahman, the first-place winner from state elementary school SDN Kapuk Muara Pagi.

"But it's a pity that we must obtain a permit to visit," his mother added.

The second-place winner was Dwi Yuniarwati from SD Ragunan 10 Pagi, and Ea Syifa from SD Ragunan 7 Pagi placed third.

"I didn't win, but I still like playing here," said Aditya, a drawing contestant.

In feature writing, Ozora Kharunia from LabSchool Kebayoran placed first, Herdiman Harianto from Tarakanita 2 in Pluit, North Jakarta, came second, and Khusnul Khotimah from YMIK I Manggarai of South Jakarta placed third.

Meanwhile, the waste recycling contest, conducted under a shady pidada tree (Sonnieratia caseolaris) was the most hectic of the day. All students were busy making their recycled creations, such as a water purifier made of plastic jerry cans filled with gravel, sugar palm fibers and sand, bookcases of instant noodle cartons and even toy robots from water bottles and biscuit tins.

The eventual winners were Mitzy, Vania Chinka and Irwan Surya from Santa Maria junior high school in Juanda with their unique creation: a water wheel made from an old bicycle tire and discarded cans.

Chesa Razky, Shella Syahira and Achmad Bima from Global Islamic School, Condet, were in second place with recycled paper made from shredded newspapers. Nurul, Rubi and Rahmah from Bogor's Insan Kamil junior high school took third place with pencil cases and accessories made from water bottles and instant noodle wrappers.

Originality, usefulness and usage of only waste materials were the criteria for winning.

The XS Project and the Dipepi Free Food Gang, two environmental community service groups, also took part in the event. The XS Project exhibited and sold their popular shopping bags, pencil cases and handbags made of plastic waste from Rp 35,000-80,000 each. The items are created and assembled by orphans and scavengers.

Meanwhile, Dipepi shared their ideas and tips on publishing opinion pieces.

"We don't need to contact a publisher to express our views on the environment, social or political matters. We can issue our own (publication) by reproducing our writing. We just require a little money for photocopying expenses," said Ika of Dipepi.

The enthusiasm of youths involved in the event was an encouraging sign for the future of Jakarta's wetlands.

"Environmental issues are included in the curriculums of many senior high schools, such as Tarakanita 3 and Manggarai in Jakarta, Bogor's Pertiwi Elementary School and several schools in Ciawi," said JGM coordinator Enny Sudarmonowati.

"Jakarta Green Monster is also very active in promoting wetlands conservation in Jakarta, specifically in Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve through radio stations like Suara Metro, Delta FM and Utan Kayu. As for publications, we expose Angke in the inflight magazines of Garuda and Batavia (airlines)," she added.

Women in RI surfing tour

The Jakarta Post, Kuta, Bali

The organizers of Indonesian Surfing Championships (ISC) announced Saturday that they would include a women's division in its tour season this year.

Spokesman for the organizers, Tim Hain, said that three sponsors had already committed to including the women's division in their events this year.

"Incredibly, without any formal announcement being sent out, six women have already come to the ISC office and signed up to get their ISC membership cards this week," he said in a statement.

The first event will be the Roxy Open at Keramas Beach in April during the Quiksilver Open, the second will be at Legian Beach in mid-October at the Villa Mana Charity Surf event, and the season closer will be during the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival at Kuta Beach in late October.

"The point's leader at the end of the year will receive the women's championship trophy at the ISC awards presentation scheduled for early November," he added.

With the rapidly growing popularity of the sport of surfing in Indonesia, more and women are getting into it and finding that the thrill of riding waves is not only for the guys. The stigma of surfing being a purely man's sport in Indonesia is being blunted by the alluring images of women at the beach and in the water, from the young daughters of famous Australian, American, and Hawaiian surfers in magazine ads to movies like Blue Crush and the MTV series Boarding House-North Shore.

"Not to mention movie stars like Cameron Diaz seen taking surfing lessons from Rizal Tanjung at Dreamland Beach in Bali," Tim added.

According to him, some major international surfwear companies have created brands exclusively for the women's market, such as Quiksilver/Roxy, Rip Curl Girl, Billabong Girls and Rusty Chix.

Bali's own Surfer Girl is a company dedicated exclusively to providing surfing and beachwear products to women of all ages, recently adding a surfing school as well.

Rip Curl holds "Girls Go Surfing" days several times per year at their Rip Curl Surf School, inviting women and girl celebrities from Jakarta to give surfing a try alongside tourists and locals.

Lampung to help idle fishermen

The Jakarta Post

BANDARLAMPUNG: Lampung says it will pay fishermen unable to work because of bad weather and high tides.

Governor Sjachroedin Z.P. said the financial assistance for the fishermen would be taken from the province's 2008 budget and distributed through regency and municipal administrations.

"The fishermen are deserving of humanitarian aid because bad weather and high waves are categorized as disasters, and the law requires the government to handle it like disasters in other provinces," he said here recently.

He said regents and majors in the province should submit proposals for the aid after identifying all qualified recipients.

The governor did not say how much financial aid the fishermen would receive, but stressed the policy only would be effective during the rainy season, which is expected to end in March.

Fishermen in other provinces unable to leave port because of bad weather have not received financial aid from their local administrations.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pertamina orders two more vessels

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: State oil and gas firm PT Pertamina has ordered the construction of two vessels from state ship builder PT Dok dan Perkapalan Surabaya (DPS) for US$29.2 million.

"The order of these two vessels is an effort to rejuvenate and expand our network," Pertamina president director Ari H. Sumarno said after the signing of the agreement with PDS on Tuesday.

Pertamina currently owns 26 ships and leases 104 others.

M. Firmansyah Arifin, director of DPS, said the two vessels were the fifth and the sixth Pertamina had ordered from DPS.

The two 6,500 Long Ton Dead Weight (LTDW) vessels, which will be delivered in 2011, will be used to distribute fuel throughout the country. (JP/rff)

Red Cross plants mangrove trees

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post) : Members of the Indonesian Red Cross planted a thousand mangrove trees at the Angke eco-park in North Jakarta on Tuesday as part of a tidal wave prevention campaign.

"Tidal waves could cause the kind of damage the city has never seen before. The Red Cross felt it was necessary to conduct a campaign to prepare for a tidal wave disaster," said Aulia Arriani, a member of the organization's public relations staff.

She said tidal waves were a seasonal threat that could be predicted, making it possible to develop prevention and response strategies.

In the past, coastal mangrove thickets helped protect the city from sea erosion, but development and pollution has cleared away most of the thickets.

The Red Cross will hold a tidal wave disaster drill in Muara Baru, North Jakarta, on Sunday.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Eco-friendly fishermen face marketing challenges

Dicky Christanto, The Jakarta Post, Gerokgak

The recent decision by Gerokgak fishermen to catch ornamental fish using only eco-friendly methods has been put to the test as they struggle to get proper prices for their fish.

The fishermen had earlier organized a series of marketing promotions, in which they introduced higher prices for their fish than those that caught using potassium cyanide, a poisonous chemical known as potas to locals.

NATURE-FRIENDLY: Fishermen prepare to catch ornamental fish using eco-friendly methods in the offshore area of Gerokgak, Buleleng. (JP/Dicky Christanto)

Syaiful Anam, one of the fishermen, said the buyers kept telling them they could not differentiate between ornamental fish caught by a net and those using poisonous chemicals, so they could not see any justification for buying the eco-friendly fish at a higher price.

"Up to this date, our promotional efforts are failing even though we already tell them that there are differences between the fish that have been caught using only a net and those using chemicals. The eco-friendly fish are fresher and therefore can live longer than those caught by potas," he told The Jakarta Post recently.

Abu Kasim, another fisherman, said even though the problem remain unsettled, he would continue catching fish using a net because he believed this was the best way to preserve the environment.

Kasim has even devised an alternative way to catch more fish without creating a destructive impact on the coral reef and the water. He sets traps that are attached to a net in front of the coral reef, which is where the fish eat and live.

He said the trap was safe because it was made from woven dried coconut leaves. Both Kasim and Syaiful said they now earn less compared to when they fished with potas. In the past, they could earn up to Rp 100,000 (around US$11) a day, while now they take home maybe Rp 25,000 to Rp 30,000 daily.

The fishermen of Gerokgak beach, located in the northern coastal regency of Buleleng, some 100 kilometers north of Denpasar, used to catch ornamental fish using potassium cyanide up until around three years ago, when the Buleleng Marine and Fishery Agency and activists from a coalition of NGOs urged them to halt the practice because they were destroying the coral reef and the whole marine environment.

The coalition of NGOs included the Gerokgak-based Pilang Institute, Jakarta-based Lead Network and the Denpasar-based Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) and Reef Check Foundation.

Lead Network and Pilang Institute are known for their efforts to help improve living standards for marginalized communities, while Reef Check and MAC work to preserve coral reefs and the sea environment.

As many as 193 fishermen from four villages in Gerokgak have made the move to more environmentally sound fishing practices.

Ni Made Indrawati of Pilang Institute acknowledges the marketing support plans have not been totally successful, but she said there was a light at the end of the tunnel, as the NGO has succeeded in cooperating with C.V Blue Star, an ornamental fish exporter in Bali. The company had agreed to buy fish from the fishermen at higher prices.

The management of the export company, she said, has begun to understand that fish captured using eco-friendly methods are of a better quality than those caught using chemicals. Therefore, she said, higher prices are required as an appreciation and also as an incentive to fishermen.

However, she acknowledged the exporter was prepared to pay higher prices only for around 30 of the some 85 different types of ornamental fish caught by the fishermen.

"It takes time to convince the buyers to buy all eco-friendly fish at higher prices," she said.

She hopes the government, through the local maritime affairs and fisheries office, can help encourage exporters to buy only ornamental fish caught using eco-friendly methods.

Lead Network's executive director Darwina Sri Widjajanti said she planned to ask more NGOs to join the coalition to help the fishermen market their products.

"I have several names in mind right now, such as the Dian Desa and Cindelaras foundations, and we are ready to ask them to join the project," she said.

Both Yogyakarta-based Dian Desa and Cindelaras foundations are known for assisting and improving living standards in villages.

An official at the Buleleng Maritime Affairs and Fishery Agency, Eddy Sutrisno, said the office had held a series of discussions with fishermen and exporters on how to design and conduct better marketing strategies to boost fish prices in the market.

"We are still deliberating on how to encourage the buyers to buy eco-friendly fish, including punishing them if we find evidence that potas is involved in the catching process," he said.

Environmentalists campaign to conserve coastal areas

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Around two hundred children joined the fun during a day of conservation activities held by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) on Sunday at Marunda Kongsi village's coastal area in Cilincing, North Jakarta.

About one thousand mangrove seedlings were planted and photography enthusiasts took great delight capturing elementary children busy working in the mud as they fixed new seedlings with bamboo sticks for safety.

The day also took in a drawing competition for participating children and a photography competition.

The day was named Shoot to Save Our Coast for Human Dignity, and made up part of WALHI's Eco-Justice Initiative campaign that has been going since 2006.

WALHI Jakarta executive director Selamet Daroyni said his organization wanted to raise awareness about Jakarta's coastal areas where environmental degradation and unjust government policies had seen a decline in social welfare for coastal populations.

"We want to offer an initiative for ecological justice, where every citizen has access and control over their environment and their life resources," he said.

Marunda was chosen as a site for the campaign because residents had responded well to the campaign idea and were willing to contribute to the program.

WALHI said it would also provide environmental education for residents so they could independently take care of their surroundings.

Riza Damanik, manager of WALHI's coastal and marine campaigns, said Jakarta's coastal area had deteriorated rapidly in the last few years.

"Six out of nine of Jakarta's estuaries are heavily polluted and there are just 120 hectares of mangrove thickets left of the 1,300 hectares that existed in the 1960's," he said.

Riza said the government's profit-based policies for coastal areas would result in disaster for the city.

WALHI data says of all Jakarta's coastal area, which spans 32 kilometers, at least 1,700 hectares is privately owned.

Traditional fishermen have laid claim to approximately five hectares in Marunda and Cilincing.

For years, Jakarta has experienced a range of issues across its coastline including floods, tidal waves and pollution.

Earlier this month, the city's international airport was isolated for days after heavy rain left the main road to the airport flooded under meter-high waters.

Alim, 47, a fisherman from Kampung Kongsi village, said erosion and mangrove destruction had cost his village 400 meters of its coastline.

"Thirty years ago, we had to stride through a thick mangrove jungle to get into the sea," Alim said.

"But now the sea is right in front of our door step.

Alim is a father of four and said he hoped the new mangrove seedlings planted by children on Sunday would be a success.

Mangrove trees need two to four years to mature and can grow more than five meters tall.

Mangroves thickets provide protection for fish eggs and can help reduce natural erosion.

Japan interested in Yapen Waropen`s seaweed

Jayapura (ANTARA News) - Japanese investors are interested in seaweed from Yapen Waropen district, Papua province, and expected to import the commodity to that country in the near future, a local official has said.

Head of Yapen Waropen district, Daud Soleman Betawi, said here Monday he and the district administration officials had discussed the Japanese wish to import the commodity and would soon send the produce to Japan.

"However, the district administration still needs more warehouses to store seaweed," the district head said.

He expressed hope that the export of seaweed to Japan would be materialized in the near future so that the result of the export could increase the local people`s welfare.

Besides Japan, investors from other countries including China and Korea were also interested in seaweed from Yapen Waropen, he said, adding that representatives of those countries had directly observed the seaweed cultivation center in the district.

He pointed out that the district administration has since last year enforced the seaweed cultivation program which has now been developing well.

According to the district head, the number of seaweed cultivation groups in the district has reached about 1,000.

The high spirit of local people to cultivate seaweed was among others due to the great attention of the central government that had provided funds to 70 groups in the district for the development of the program in 2006, Daud Soleman said.

He further said Yapen Waropen district administration had also provided the growers with seaweed seedlings and helped them market their products both at home and abroad."

We hope that seaweed which has been demanded by foreign investors can be processed into good quality product so that its export would be realized soon," the district head said.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hobbyists have other fish to fry in contest

The Jakarta Post

A stone's throw away from Jakarta, Banten's Binuangeun waters are heaven for anglers.

In addition to being the natural habitat for jumbo-sized fish like Marlin and Sailfish, the clear blue waters are home to a clusters of islets.

Open Seas (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

Deli and Tinjil islands with their lush green trees providing breathtaking scenery.

Usually the Binuangeun waters is the venue for the annual President Cup national angler competition. Fishing hobbyists drawn from across the country competed for a prestigious trophy.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Big wave drowns two seafarers

JAKARTA (Jakata Post) : A fisherman was killed and another is missing after a small fishing boat capsized near Kali Baru Port in Cilincing, North Jakarta, on Thursday night.

Authorities identified the deceased as M. Suherman, 22, and the missing man as Cahyani, 45.

A survivor of the incident, Sabeni, 50, said the trio were heading back to port after a fishing trip, but about a mile offshore the boat was hit by a large wave and overturned, throwing the men into the sea.

The majority of Kali Baru's 500 fishermen have been forced to remain at port due to bad weather and high seas along the northern Java coast in recent weeks. A few fishermen have risked going to sea as they need to earn money.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eleven missing after Indonesian boat capsizes: official

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Rescue teams searched Friday for 11 missing people after a wooden fishing boat capsized in rough seas off Indonesia's Central Java province earlier this week, an official said.

Brebes district search and rescue team leader Ade Raharjo told AFP that more than 20 rescuers, including navy divers and police, were still searching for survivors after the accident on Wednesday.

"We hope that the weather will be more calm today (Friday) to enable us to keep searching for the missing," he said, adding that bad weather hindered rescue efforts on Thursday.

The fishing boat was found upside down early Wednesday off the northern coast of Java, Raharjo said.

Wild weather this week had stopped hundreds of fishermen from sailing off Indonesia's main island of Java, he said.

Earlier in the week, high waves struck coastlines across Indonesia's eastern islands, claiming two lives and forcing hundreds to flee their homes.

Social affairs ministry provides nine patrol boats for NTB

Mataram, West Nusa Tengara (NTB) (ANTARA News) - The social affairs ministry has provided district admiistrations in West Nusatenggara province with nine patrol boats for emergency rescue efforts in sea accidents. a local official said.

Distributed in 2007, the patrol boats were equipped with lifebuoys, navigation and other rescue equipment, head of the provincial social affairs and women`s empowerment service Lalu Junaidi said here on Friday.

The ministry was planning to present two more districts in Sumbawa Island with the same type of patrol boats in 2008, he said.

The ministry would also give two water tankers to Lombok Timur and Lombok Tengah districts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ferries continue to operate despite BMG weather warning

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Despite a Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) weather warning regarding the Sunda Strait, it was business as usual at Merak Port in Banten on Monday.

All ferries transporting passengers between Java and Sumatra were operational Monday, with the exception of smaller speed boats.

"We warned ferry operators of large waves at the port," said BMG official Edi Kelana.

BMG data indicates the height of waves increased from between one and 1.5 meters last week to between two and three meters Monday.

Edi said strong winds caused by tropical storm Hondo resulted in the higher waves.

"Bad weather and high waves will continue until at least next week," Edi said.

BMG weather analyst Abdul Muthalib said his office was not able to force transportation operators and fishermen to stay ashore.

"We can only deliver warnings about bad weather. Their decision on whether to sail or not is out of our hands," he said.

Endin Juhaendi, the operations manager of PT ASDP, which manages transportation at Merak Port, said his company would abide by the weather warning.

"We will not force speed boats and ferries to operate for the safety of passengers and we will continuously monitor BMG weather reports," he said.

However, Merak Port administrator Dalle Effendy said he was yet to receive advice regarding the operation of ferries from the BMG.

"We have not officially received a weather warning from the BMG and therefore ferries are still operating as usual and we have only halted the operation of speed boats for the time being," he said.

Meanwhile, high tides in Malimping, Banten, have kept fishermen out of work for several weeks.

Hundreds of fishermen living near the Talanca, Bagedur, Binuangeun and Malimping beaches said they had been unable to go fishing for two weeks.

"I have no idea how I am going to feed my wife and six children," fisherman Masna'im said.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kuta beach closed to visitors for 4 hours

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Kuta beach, the busiest tourist spot on Bali island, Indonesia was closed to visitors for four hours on Tuesday as strong winds were blowing in the area.

"We forbade all kinds of activity on the beach since mid-day," Kadek Suwanda of the Kuta Beach task force said.

Tourists were forbidden to carry out activities such as swimming and surfing in the waters off the beach at the time when strong winds and high tides affected the area, he said.

It was not until 04.00 pm that they were allowed again to carry out activities in certain places considered safe, he said.

He said coast guards were stationed at a number of monitoring posts to ensure visitors` safety.

The local meteorology and geophysics office said the winds had moved at a speed of 45 km per hour.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pertamina may develop gigantic reserve: BPPT

JAKARTA (JP): State oil and gas firm Pertamina will follow up on the recent preliminary finding by a state research agency of a large hydrocarbon reserve off the western shore of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, an official says.

Chairman of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), Said D. Jenie, said Pertamina would take part in the project after the company gained approval from the ministry of energy and mineral resources.

Such approval is necessary for Pertamina to be able to gauge the size of the potential reserve.

Said stated the agency would follow up on its preliminary findings by launching another series of surveys using its high-tech research vessel Barunajaya.

"To prove we are really serious about this, we plan to send another research ship to get three-dimensional data," he said, adding the agency would need between US$3 million and $5 million for the new survey.

BPPT and its German counterpart Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe recently said they found a massive store of underwater hydrocarbon, which may contain oil and gas, around Simeulue island in Aceh.

The agencies said the reserve might reach a minimum of 107 billion barrels and a maximum of 320 billion barrels of oil or gas.

By comparison, the proven reserve of Saudi Arabia is around 264 billion barrels, the largest in the world, while the Banyu Urip block in Cepu, Central Java, contains around 450 million barrels. (ika)

Bantul fishermen suspend fishing

The Jakarta Post

BANTUL: Fishermen in Bantul regency have suspended fishing following bad weather and high waves which destroyed four fishing vessels Saturday.

A spokesman for the fishing community in Bantul, Rudjito, said all fishermen have been asked to remain alert to the bad weather and rough seas before engaging in their daily activities.

He also complained of poor conditions in the local market following soaring prices of basic commodities. "Our catch is not selling in the local market because the people have no purchasing power amid the rising prices of basic commodities."

Local fisherman Mugari, whose fishing boat was damaged by high waves, said he could not repair the damage because it would cost him at least Rp 100,000. "I have no money to repair the boat because I have stopped fishing for a few days."

Samudra Indonesia orders two bulk carriers at $97.6 mln

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Publicly-listed sea transportation service company PT Samudra Indonesia Tbk has put an order with South Korea`s STX Shipbuilding for two bulk carriers at US$97.6 million.

The company placed the order for the two 57,700 dwt ships through its subsidiary, Foremost Maritime Pte Ltd, PT Samudra Indonesia`s corporate secretary, Diana P. Iskandar, said in a report to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (BEI) on Monday.

The two ships were scheduled for completion in the first half of 2011, she said adding the addition of the two ships was expected to increase the subsidiary`s capability to face a boom in the demand for bulk carrier services.

IDB funding procurement of patrol boats for RI customs

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Islamic Development Bank is funding the procurement of three new patrol boats for Indonesia`s Customs Office (DJBC) to enable the office to intensify its patrols in the country`s waters.

"With the small patrol boats it now has, DJBC often has difficulty chasing smugglers in eastern and western Indonesia waters where the waves often reach a height of five meters," the head of facilities and operations of the DJBC`s directorate for investigation, Achmad Budiyanto, said on the DJBC`s official website on Monday.

"It is now time for the Customs Office to have wide-bodied patrol boats with a length of 38 meters that can sail from island to island and brave high sea waves," he added.

State-owned ship-builder PT PAL had won the international tender held for the procurement of the patrol boats for DJBC, he said.

He said construction of the new boats would be completed in February next year.

DJBC now only had a total of 207 patrol boats of five types. he added.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

One foot on sea, one on shore

The Jakarta Post, P.J. Leo

Many writers have used references to the vital energy of ports, where workers scramble up masts as ships lie at anchor, taking on and discharging cargo.

Sunda Kelapa Port in northern Jakarta is part of the Old Town heritage site. It was built between 1634 and 1645 by the Dutch governor general J.P. Coen, whose ambition was to recreate Amsterdam in Batavia (Jakarta).

However, long before the Dutch administration reigned the East Indies (Indonesia then), the port had become the docking point for early European merchants, largely the Portuguese.

Now the port is home to inter-city trade, with ships departing and arriving from destinations in Java, as well as Kalimantan and Sulawesi islands, around the clock.

Traditional Bugis schooners or phinisi are a fixture at Sunda Kelapa, their silhouettes creating a distinctive image, from dawn until dusk.

Robot glider harvests ocean heat

By Jonathan Fildes, BBC News, Science and technology reporter

The yellow, torpedo-shaped machine has been combing the depths of seas around the Caribbean since December 2007.

The team which developed the autonomous vehicle say it has covered "thousands of kilometres" during the tests.

The team believe the glider - which needs no batteries - could undertake oceanographic surveys for up to six months at a time.

"We are tapping a virtually unlimited energy source for propulsion," said Dave Fratantoni of the Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOi).

But Steve McPhail, an expert in autonomous underwater vehicles at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Southampton, said the machine would not totally do away with batteries.

"You still need to provide power for the sensors, for the data-logging system and for the satellite communications system to get the data back," he said.

As a result, the vehicle would have to intermittently return to a ship or shore to recharge its batteries.

"It's always a trade-off between the power used for the propulsion system and the power used for the sensors," said Mr McPhail.

Ocean network

Oceanographers are increasingly looking at ways to study the oceans over long periods and in real time.

This is important for understanding natural variations in circulation, for example, and for looking for any changes.

Already scientists have deployed large networks of sensors across the oceans.

For example, in 2004, NOC researchers strung sets of instruments across the Atlantic to measure circulation patterns.

The Rapid project, as it was known, painted the first detailed picture of Atlantic Ocean currents and showed how they vary throughout the year.

Its successor - Rapid Watch - has just received £16m from the Natural Environment Research Council and will monitor the Gulf Stream until 2014.

Scientists are also in the process of wiring the Pacific. One project, the Argo network, will consist of an array of 3,000 floats strung out every 300km across the vast ocean.

Sensors on the floats will provide 100,000 temperature and salinity profiles every year.

Another network, the Monterey Accelerated Research System (Mars), will connect a research station in California with a sensor array deployed on the edge of Monterey Canyon, the deepest submarine canyon off the continental West Coast.

Lazy glide

The new vehicles could add to that knowledge by filling in the gaps between the sensors.

For example, it is proposed that Rapid Watch will use an armada of gliders alongside stationary sensors.

The machines are already used in oceanography and propel themselves through the ocean by changing their buoyancy to dive and surface. Wings generate lift and a vertical tail fin and rudder is used to steer.

The latest glider has been developed by Webb Research Corporation and WHOi.

It generates its energy for propulsion from the differences in temperature between warm surface waters and colder, deeper layers of the ocean.

Wax-filled tubes inside the craft expand when it is gliding through warmer water.

This heat is used to push oil from a bladder inside the hull to one outside, changing its buoyancy. Cooling of the wax at depth reverses the cycle.

Since December 2007, the prototype machine has been crisscrossing a 4,000m-deep basin in the Virgin Islands of the Caribbean.

The machine traces a saw-tooth profile through the water column as it lazily glides through the ocean, surfacing periodically to fix its positions via GPS and to relay data back to base.

According to WHOi researchers the vehicle crossed the basin between St Thomas and St Croix more than 20 times studying local currents.

The eventual aim of the project is to deploy a fleet of vehicles to study much larger flows in the North Atlantic.

"Gliders can be put to work on tasks that humans wouldn't want to do or cannot do because of time and cost concerns," said Dr Fratantoni. "They can work around the clock in all weather conditions."

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Hydrogen Production

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bali earns US$72 million from aquatic product exports

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Bali earned a total of US$71.8 million from aquatic product exports during 2007, an increase by 37 percent from US$52.4 million in 2006, according to a local official.

The increase was thank to good quality of the aquatic products which had satisfied foreign buyers, Ni Wayan Kusumawathi, head of the Bali provincial trade service, said here on Saturday.

The province`s marine products had met the international standards and gone through laboratory tests, she said.

Fresh and frozen tuna exports alone brought in US$59 million of foreign exchanges last year, up by 56 percent from US$37.6 million in 2006, she said.

The volume of the tuna exports last year reached 18,621 tons, compared with 9,941 tons in 2006.

Bali exported fresh tuna especially to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, and frozen tuna to European countries and the United States.

Nine missing after ship sinks

JAYAPURA (Jakarta Post) : Bad weather has hindered rescue workers from searching for nine people missing after a passenger ship capsized in the Arafuru waters of Merauke on Wednesday.

"Rescue workers continue working to find the nine but bad weather hinders them from resuming their work today," spokesman for the province police Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto said here Friday.

The KM Ratna Utama capsized on its trip from Merauke to Kimaan in Mappi regency when it was hit by big waves Wednesday night. Eight people, including crew members, were saved by a fishing boat.

The incident was the second-worst sinking in the past ten years after the KM Binar Raya capsized in 1999, killing hundreds.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Leatherback turtle swims from Indonesia to Oregon in epic journey

The Jakarta Post

BANGKOK (AP): Scientists tracked a leatherback turtle that swam from Indonesia to the U.S. in an epic 20,000-kilometer journey as it searched for food - research they hope will boost international efforts to save the endangered species.

Leatherbacks, which can grow up to 2.75 meters (9 feet) in length, have roamed the oceans for 100 million years. But researchers at the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service in California say commercial fishing makes the oceans too dangerous for the globe-trotting sea turtles, which face extinction if no action is taken.

"Migrations of this magnitude expose animals to a multitude of risks from fisheries on the high seas," Scott Benson and Peter Dutton, scientists with the service, co-wrote in a paper that appeared last month in the peer-reviewed Chelonian Conservation and Biology.

"Effective conservation requires a better understanding of migratory routes and destinations to understand and mitigate the risks at sea," they wrote.

The leatherback is the world's most endangered sea turtle. In a telephone interview Friday, Benson estimated that less than 5,000 adult females now live in the Pacific region. Males cannot be easily counted because they don't come ashore. Conservationists estimate the breed could become extinct within 30 years.

Turtles "face a myriad of risks from things like ingesting debris like plastic, to traveling through areas that are used by multinational fisheries - fisheries that would catch (the turtles) in the course of trying to catch fish," Benson said.

Benson and Dutton went to Indonesia in 2001 hoping to track some turtles using satellite transmitters, confirm their trans-Pacific route and prompt action to prevent their extinction. Their research showed the animals ranged from the South China Sea to the Sea of Japan to the North Pacific.

One adult female began her journey in 2003 on a nesting beach in Jamursbamedi in Papua province, Benson said. He and Dutton tracked the leatherback and her hunt for food for 647 days until the transmitter's battery ran out just off Hawaii. During her travels she swam as far north as the state of Oregon.

"It's the old adage of not putting all your eggs in one basket," Benson said. "If a foraging ground was bad one year,maybe another foraging ground would be good. Some portion of the population would always be able to find food."

Peter C. H. Pritchard, a turtle expert and director of the Chelonian Research Institute in Florida, said he wasn't surprised to learn how far the turtle traveled.

"It's possible and only limited by the geography of the world," Pritchard said Friday. "They are masters of the ocean. There is a tremendous amount of muscle in the front. This is a powerful fishing machine and remarkable diving machine."

Benson called for action to protect leatherback turtles as they roam the seas.

"It will be the responsibility of many countries to ensure the species survives in the Pacific Ocean for future generations," he said. "It's an animal that doesn't recognize international boundaries. You can protect the nesting beaches but if you can't protect the animal in the water, you haven't done anything."

Kwan Sing Bio: Tuban's crab shrine

ID Nugroho, The Jakarta Post, Tuban, East Java

Some two centuries ago, a boat owned by a Chinese explorer became stranded near Tuban on the north coast of Java, which was then a marshy area teeming with crabs.

In the face of this misfortune, so the story goes, the traveler pulled out his jiamsi sticks bearing verses that could foretell one's fortune.

He pleaded for the God of Wisdom, Kwan Sing Tie Koen, to give him guidance and strength to face his predicament.

"Would you like me to remain here?" he asked before shaking the sticks.

After asking the same question three times, an answer came forth: Yes.
"Finally, the adventurer decided to stay there and live on Tuban's coast and build a temple called Kwan Sing Bio, or the Shrine of the God of Wisdom," Hendra Susanto, Kwan Sing Bio's spiritual leader, told The Jakarta Post.

Tuban, located 90 kilometers west of the East Java capital of Surabaya, has long been an important city due to its strategic location and role as a main port since the pre-Islamic period of the Majapahit Kingdom.

As the Islamic era was ushered in, Tuban became a vital place in history after Sunan Bonang, or Maulana Makdum Ibrahim -- one of the nine Islamic propagators in Java, known as the Wali Songo -- was buried behind Jami' Mosque in the town square.

The legendary temple itself is located west of Tuban. It is a place of worship for Tri Dharma followers -- Confucianists, Taoists and Buddhists.

Hendra said the temple, also known as the crab shrine, was not easy to construct due to the swampy land it was built on.

After clearing and leveling the area, the shrine was erected with the crab as its signature feature.

"Tri Dharma teachings believe crabs are chosen by gods to protect people living in Tuban," Hendra said.

On the five-hectare plot, the temple is divided into several areas, with the front and oldest section serving as the place of worship and prayer.

A room for Mandarin language lessons, jiamsi fortune telling and a secretariat office is located at the side, while a hall has been set up in the center, adjacent to a garden that has adopted Chinese architecture, complete with a small lake and bridge.

The rear area, which is currently under construction, will serve as a multipurpose area and will include lodgings.

Reverence for sea creatures, like crabs, is evident in the fact that Tri Dharma followers avoid using crabs as offerings.

Hendra said another unique sign of the crab could also be seen in the geography of Tuban area itself, which resembles a crab with two pincers.

"The first pincer is situated in Tjoe Ling Kiong or the Sea Goddess Shrine in the town square and the second pincer in Kwan Sing Bio shrine."

Bali Police involve fishermen, residents to prevent terrorism

Dicky Christanto, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

Police in Bali are training residents to play an active role in preventing terrorist attacks.

The island has suffered two terrorist attacks. Deadly bombings in 2002 and 2005 killed hundreds of people, mostly foreign tourists. The bombings also had a crippling effect on the island's tourist industry.

"With a limited number of personnel, we (the police) can not handle (the security of) the whole island by ourselves," Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Purwoko said recently.

Police began the new initiative by approaching fishing communities, which are seen as vital in the effort because of the vulnerability of the island's 400 kilometers of coastline.

"We organized a meeting with representatives of the island's fishing communities, seeking ways to establish a close cooperation with them in securing the island's coastal and border areas," he said.

More than 300 groups of fishermen from across the island have participated in a series of meetings since the end of 2007. Officers from the Bali Police have used the meetings to teach the fishermen various aspects of intelligence gathering, early detection and how to handle critical situations.

Nyoman Sudi, a former fisherman who now uses his jukung, a traditional outrigger boat, to take tourists on guided sea tours near Sindu Beach in Denpasar, said he attended a meeting three months ago.

"The meeting took place at the South Denpasar Police office and lasted for about two-and-a-half hours," he said. At the meeting, Sudi said, police officers introduced participants to procedures and methods for dealing with suspicious objects, situations and individuals.

"For instance, what we should do if we come across an unattended bag or a group of suspicious people in our neighborhood," he said.

The officers also asked participants to alert the nearest police station if they saw an unidentified ship approach the beach.

"There is a probability that the people who want to destroy Bali will use the beach as their main entry point. So the police asked us to remain vigilant on this matter," Sudi told.

Police also taught participants how to use the element of distraction to gain the upper hand on suspected terrorists.

"For instance, some of us would engage the person(s) in a friendly chat while the rest of us would run to the nearest police station to report the presence of suspicious individual(s)," Sudi said.

The meetings have yielded concrete results. Ketut Sukarja, the head a group of fishermen based at Sunrise Beach in Sanur, Mina Sari Asih, said his group had already informed the police about the presence of several unidentified boats in Sanur.

"The police responded quickly to each and every report we made," he said.

"We made the report by cellular phone, or if the phone's signal was down we did it the hard way, some of us waiting at the scene while the others sailed to the nearest police station," Ketut said.

Most of the reported boats were later found to be engaged in illegal fishing.

The cooperation between the police and the fishermen has also resulted in several arrests of suspected criminals on Sunrise Beach.

"Most of them were crooks who targeted parked motorcycles or the engines on our speedboats. But none of them were terrorists, or at least that's what the police said," he said.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cargo vessel missing on Java waters

The Jakarta Post

SEMARANG, Central Java: A cargo vessel and its crew of seven has been missing in Java waters since last Saturday.

Captained by Umar, the Sumber Utama was on its way from the port of Tanjung Emas, Semarang, to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Semarang Search and Rescue Agency operations chief Marsono said Monday.

The boat is believed to have encountered a serious problem before it lost radio contact with seaports in Semarang and Jepara, Marsono said.

"We could not detect where the vessel developed a problem, but contact between the seaports and the vessel was cut off," he said.

Marsono explained that his side could not conduct a search operation because of the bad weather and high waves.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

China lifts ban on fishery imports from Indonesia

Beijing (ANTARA News) - China has lifted its ban on Indonesian fishery imports after its General Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) had ascertained that fish processing procedures in Indonesia meet its standards.

"The AQSIQ has notified the Indonesian embassy in Beijing that as of February 4, they have lifted their temporary ban on fishery imports from Indonesia," deputy chief of mission at the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing, Mohammad Oemar, said here Tuesday.

The notification means that effective February 4, all fishery products from Indonesia can enter the Chinese market, he said.

The decision to lift the ban was made after AQSIQ officials observed fish processing procedures in Indonesia in January 2008.

The decision to lift the import ban was the result of the AQSIQ officials` visit to Indonesia recently, in addition to negotiations that took place between Indonesia and China, Oemar said.

China, on August 3, 2007, imposed a temporary ban on fishery imports from Indonesia after AQSIQ found that some of the Indonesian products did not meet safety standards for consumption.

During the ninth meeting of the Indonesia-China Joint Commission in Shanghai in October 2007, the import ban was discussed by Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestu and her Chinese counterpart, Bo Xilai.

At the meeting, Bo Xilai said the Chinese Trade Ministry (MOFCOM) was committed to helping Indonesia overcome the quarantine problem faced by its fishery exports to China.

His ministry, Bo Xilai said, had conducted a series of intensive meetings with AQSIQ to discuss the ban, and sought a solution so that the ban could be lifted.

Oemar expressed hope that Indonesian fishery producers and exporters would take the opportunity to return to the Chinese market and improve the quality of their products.

President: Aging weaponry should be scrapped

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the Indonesia`s aging weaponry should be scrapped for security and safety reasons.
"The direction of the government is clear enough. Some time ago the government and the military issued a decision that outdated armament should no longer be used," the president said after a limited meeting at the defense ministry here on Monday afternoon.

He affirmed that a number of old armaments like Hercules C-130 and amphibious tanks would no longer be used.

The government, according to him, will impose a sanction, if a commander is caught red-handed in still using such aging ships, aircraft or other war equipment.

"We have decided and instructed the military (TNI) not to use aging armaments. Those failing to follow this instruction will be liable to a sanction," he said.

Hence, the head of state said the old weapons would be replaced by new ones at a cost derived from export credits in the rupiah denomination..

Furthermore, he disclosed that the decision on the replacement is based on the need to maintain safety and security.

On the occasion, Indonesian Defence Forces Commander Gen. Djoko Santoso said that he has studied and evaluated all the weaponry, including the aging ones.

Asked whether it will affect the readiness of the military in holding joint exercises in 2008, he said we will look into that.

6 marines killed after amphibious tank sinks

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA (AP/Antara): An aging amphibious tank sank in stormy seas during a military training exercise, killing at least six Indonesian marines and leaving one missing, a Navy spokesman said Sunday.

The accident occurred in the Java Sea on Saturday, the final day of a weeklong naval exercise involving dozens of Russian-made amphibious tanks, submarines and warships, Navy chief spokesman Cmdr. Iskandar Sitompul said.

The 45-year-old BTR-50P amphibious assault tank sank after encountering three-meter high waves off Situbondo in East Java.

"The crew could not control the tank because of the high waves and strong currents," Iskandar told reporters after the bodies of the six arrived at Halim Perdanakusumah Air Force Base on Sunday for a military ceremony.

"A marine was stuck in the exit door when escaping the tank, blocking six other marines."

One other marine was missing and eight survived.

Iskandar said the Navy would evaluate the tanks, made in Russia in 1962, to prevent such accidents in the future.