Wednesday, May 31, 2006

blogger problems

stupid blogger is not publishing again today

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Every so often in life you see something that nature in all her majesty has created that takes your breath away! Be it Tiara Lestari or something on a slightly larger scale the effect is the same, sweaty palms, shortness of breath and a rush of blood to various parts of the body.

Recently I took a long trip into the Indonesian (?) heartland and after a journey by plane followed by smaller plane followed by and then foot, I ended up standing on top of a mountain looking at what could only be described as Eden. It was truly hard to imagine that man had even set foot on the planet.

Looking down over the valleys, one could almost see the Pterodactyls soaring about the craggy knolls. You could build all the mosques and churches in the world but nothing can compare to the cathedrals that nature provides when she is not being raped and pillaged to keep some corrupt little official in a way he does not deserve.

Several hours down the track, we had the chance to meet some of the locals, Although not altogether by plan! Rather unexpectedly, a group of people surrounded the car (yep back in the car now) with a Bows and Arrows! and that introductory tool of choice the 1 Kg rock.

A few tense moments followed until it was confirmed that we were not Illegal loggers coming to plunder their home on behalf of the latest imperialist power to occupy their land. Once our identity as bone fide, but perhaps naive travelers was established, things got positively friendly.

Interestingly, language was a real issue with Indonesian and English not being the language of choice. Still it is amazing what a "swap meet" of smokes and betel nut can achieve in short time (besides a tightening buzz in the head)

As it turned out, they wanted a lift up the track. So with more arms and legs than one would thing possible in one vehicle we progressed up the track (and I use the term loosely) until suddenly it was time to stop. Our passengers got off wandered in to the forest and it was back to Eden time again.

It was nice view of a beautiful planet! It made a pleasant change meeting people who did not really care what God, I or anyone else believed in. However, all good things must end but I hope for those traditional people its a long time coming....

Monday, May 22, 2006


Tangerang continues to suffer and embarrass itself with the over zealous prosecution of other peoples morals. Now you would think with children forced to endure conditions like these, it may time for a re-assessment of priorities more in line with the real world, but you would be fooling yourself!!

Still you can feel re-assured that Mayor and driving force behind the regulations is a sibling of Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Hasan Wirayuda…

Feel better now…Time for a bex and good lay down.

Perhaps someone should write a book?

Scum of the Earth

I was going to write a quick post on my trip around Indonesia over the past few weeks but that can wait. Religious biases aside, the reproduced article below makes you despair at the human race. I can only hope someone can prove the article is not true! if you want to see it for yourself it for yourself go here and look under "scum of the earth"

Osama group in boy slave racket
Marie Colvin, Muridke, Pakistan
May 22, 2006
THE slave traders came for 10-year-old Akash Aziz as he played cops and robbers in his dusty village in eastern Punjab.
Akash, still in the maroon jumper and tie he had worn to school that day, was pretending to be a "robber".

But as he crouched behind a wall, waiting for the school friend designated as the "cop" to find him, a large man with a turban and a beard grabbed him from behind and clamped a cloth over his nose and mouth before he could cry for help.

He recalls a strange smell and a choking sensation. "Then I fainted," said Akash, a delicate little boy from a loving family who takes pride in his enthusiasm for English lessons.

Akash woke up in a dark room with a bare brick floor and no windows. The heat was suffocating. As he languished there over the next month, 19 other panic-stricken boys were thrown into the room with him.

The children, all Christians, had fallen into the hands of Gul Khan, a wealthy Islamic militant and leading member of Jamaat-ud Daawa, a group linked to the al-Qa'ida terrorist network.

Khan lives near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, but when in the Punjab he stays at the JUD's headquarters in Muridke, near Lahore, where young men can be seen practising martial arts with batons on rolling green lawns patrolled by guards with Kalashnikovs.

Osama bin Laden funded the centre in the late 1990s.

The JUD, which claims to help the poor, says it has created a "pure Islamic environment" at Muridke that is superior to Western "depravity".

Khan's activities explode that myth. He planned to sell his young captives to the highest bidder, whether into domestic servitude or the sex trade. The boys knew only that they were for sale.

This is the story of the misery that Akash and his friends, aged six to 12, endured in captivity; of their rescue by Christian missionaries who bought their freedom and tried to expose the kidnappers; and of the children's reunions with their families, who had thought them dead.

Last week I had the privilege of taking six of the boys home to their parents, including Akash. The astonishment of mothers and fathers who had given up hope, and the fervent, tearful embraces made these some of the most emotional scenes I have witnessed.

That joy was a long time coming. In captivity, the boys were ordered not to talk, pray or play. Five of them were playing a Pakistani equivalent of "paper, scissors, rock" one day when the guards burst in and beat them savagely on their backs and heads. On another occasion, Akash was repeatedly struck by guards yelling: "What is in your house?"

"I kept telling them, 'We have nothing'," he said. "I was so afraid they would go back and rob my father and mother." It is painful to imagine blows raining down on the ribs of so slight a figure.

The guards mostly sat outside playing cards. The boys were allowed out of their room only to use a filthy hole-in-the-ground lavatory. All they could see were the high walls around the two-room building that was their prison. The other room was always kept locked.

The children were fed once a day on chapatis and dhal, but never enough.

I first saw Akash in a photograph among those of 20 boys who were being touted for sale in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan on the Afghanistan border, notorious as a smugglers' paradise and home to fugitives of the Taliban and al-Qa'ida. He was just another black market commodity along with guns, grenades and hashish.

Unbeknown to Akash, a Pakistani Christian missionary and an American evangelist who runs a tiny charity called Help Pakistani Children, had seen the boys' photographs and taken up their cause. Neither man is willing to be identified today for fear of the consequences.

An elaborate sting was set up. The Pakistani missionary would pose as a Lahore businessman named Amir seeking boys to use as beggars who would give their cash to him.

The two men would collect evidence that could be used in any police action against the kidnappers. "We knew if we just purchased the boys, the slavers would just restock. We would be fuelling the slave trade," said the US evangelist, who asked to be referred to as "Brother David".

The two men had no idea how hazardous their enterprise was until Amir used some black market contacts to engineer a meeting with Khan and discovered his links to the JUD.

"We realised we were out of our depth," Brother David said ruefully. But they persevered.

Amir played his part well. Within a week he had bought three of the boys for $US5000 ($6600) and put down a $US2500 deposit on the 17 others, including Akash.

The first three were handed over on a Quetta street in April and returned to their families. But Khan wanted $US28,500 for the lot. He gave Amir two months to come up with the money, saying he did not mind if the deadline was missed - he could earn more if he sold them for their organs, he said.

Brother David went home to the US to raise funds. Amir travelled again and again to Quetta, taking Khan to lunch. He enlisted police officers who insisted the eventual transaction be recorded with a secret camera so the evidence against Khan would be irrefutable.

Twelve days ago, Amir received a call from Khan summoning him to a meeting at a crossroads on a dirt road near the JUD's Muridke camp.

Amir finally found his quarry under a large shady tree, where he was sitting on a rope bed while an acolyte massaged his shoulders. "You have the money?" Khan asked.

When Amir handed him the cash in a black knapsack, he examined it briskly. But he broke his promise to hand over the boys there and then.

"I will check the dollars are real first," Khan said. "If your dollars are good, you will get the children." Another anxious wait ensued. Finally, a call came through from Amir's assistant in the dead of night.

Akash had just been dropped off by the side of a road 15 minutes' drive from JUD headquarters with the remaining 17 boys.

I drove there immediately and found Akash asleep on a plastic mat surrounded by his 16 friends.

As the children awoke, the bewilderment showed in their eyes. The first task of the missionaries was to reassure them, but few seemed to believe Brother David when he said: "We will protect you. We will take you home to your mothers and fathers. The bad men who took you are gone."

Not one boy smiled. It had been too long since they had dared to hope.

Akash shook as we approached his village. I thought he would collapse. Then came a quiet, uplifting moment that brought tears to my eyes.

He had not even reached the door of his house before his grandmother, wrapped in a colourful shawl, engulfed him in an embrace in the dirt alley outside, her face lit up with delight.

Akash's mother was so strangely impassive it made me angry until I realised she was too shocked to take in the fact the son she had thought was dead was snuggling up to her. Finally, she hugged him, kissing him over and over again on the top of his head. "We were hopeless," she said. "His father searched and searched. We prayed. But we thought he was gone."

Brother David and Amir are ready to present their dossier of evidence, including the secret tape of Khan taking the money for the boys.

In almost any other country, an investigation into Khan and his work for the JUD would be automatic. It is not so simple in Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf has announced numerous crackdowns on religious militants, but the extremists continue to gather strength.

The Sunday Times

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

TRAVEL INDONESIA (before its too late)

To all of my loyal readers (both of you) sorry but that primal call of the wild has come again or to use a more "OZ" term I am off walkabout.

I am sorry, I cannot tell you where as I am not sure myself but should be back in about 2-3..ok maybe 4 weeks...Anyway, its time I got out and saw some more of Indonesia before its gone forever and ever

Then again maybe I am over reacting................BOOM..introducing the Indonesian Nuclear Planning Committee...


oh...T/S Don't forget to feed the Troll's while I am gone except for that one that Indcoup has picked up..that one's from from the shallow end of the gene pool!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Nuclear Indonesia and a blog trip

This a bit of a parasite post because I just don’t have the time this week to do my own research. So a quick trip around the Indonesian Blogsphere might be in order.

Firstly over at Jakartass;
The subject of Nuclear Energy has come up again. Indonesia still intends to push ahead with the INSANE plan to pursue nuclear power. This is despite Indonesia being right in the guts of the infamous Ring of Fire.

Sheer Utter Insanity!!!!

Forgetting about the Ring of Fire for a second, why should anyone thing that such a plan is feasible here anyway? Perhaps based on the technological successes of the “National Car", Garuda, PLN, and Pertamina?

Ok, it’s about “face”? Alright if we must have it, may I suggest Tangerang.

A quick click and we are over at Indcoup and the May Day protests. I noticed he is also campaigning for higher wages for the masses, which is cool. However, sometime back I was working in a country under UN supervision (guidance..whatever and No not Tim Tim) they also advocated higher wages for all and paid 5 to 20 times to market rate. Trouble is how do the 80% of those who don’t have a job then pay for their food at the market (prices always rise to what the market will bear), so we had daily riots. Paying 100 times the market wage will not improve the life of the 60% to 80% those who do not have job in the first place.

Personally, I believe the key is government investment in education and lots of it. It is the only way out of the poverty cycle.

On a side note Indcoup has also uncovered (can I say that?) the ring leaders of the FPI in Jakarta.

Treespotter has taken an interesting approach to the application of mmm... elements of Sharia Law in some provinces. I must admit he has confused me a bit, as his points seem to lead to one conclusion but he arrives at another!

I shall leave it to you to decide. Me?..I will have to read the posts a few times before venturing back into the fray.

Speaking of FPI and Sharia Indonesia-Anonymus has transcript of one of those conversations that could only happen in Indonesia at the moment.

Well that’s it, hope you enjoyed a quick fling around the Indonesian Blogsphere, there are lots more out there… Enjoy!!