Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nuclear NGO's

NGO's serve a real need but unfortunately a large number of NGO's seem to think the principles of accountability and transparency they demand from others does not apply to them. An abject failure to realise that one bad act can ruin years of good work has compromised a number of NGO's to the stage where they a little more than fronts for political and corperate thugs.

Unspun has a number of posts and articles (search for WALHI) on this and other issues. Perhaps aptly should be titled "Where's WALHI as they seem to have little to say about their own internal practices.

The relative ease of which allegations are made, careers ruined and the selective nature of environmental and other protests are made should be a concern for any reasonable person (Newmont vs Lapindo anyone).

More importantly (I am not singling out any particular sleazy mob here) it is common practice to engage "rent a mob" under an environmental, nationalist or whatever umbrella to force more favourable company take-overs. Of course, once the share price has been driven down, the environmental or other issues just fade away.

There is an interesting article here about the control regulation of various NGO's (both environmental and religious). Something has to be done in Indonesia to restrict the damage they do with their secret and unaccountable agendas.

Some excerpts of the article below for your enjoyment..

"The Trade Practices Act has long recognised that there is a clear line between a business or a union criticising a corporation and organising with others to harm that corporation or prevent it from competing. It’s similar to religious vilification laws. I can say I think Christianity is wrong, even evil. But I can’t organise with others to hurt Christians. So in future, NGOs can speak out all they want but if they cross the line by using business blackmail, they like other extortionists, will be zapped by the new laws. (WALHI would find this kind of law worth a lot of study)

For some time, the Australian Taxation Office has been pursuing a related path. It has been cracking down on politicians dressed up as charities. An ATO probe has been cross-checking Australian Electoral Commission records on political donations against the names of tax-deductible bodies. The rule is simple. If a charity spends most of its time politicking, then it’s not a charity. (Gee wouldn't that sit MUI on their arse in Indonesia)

Some NGOs have long operated in a nether world of tax scamming and lack of accountability. Whilst always the first to proclaim their virtues and the vices of others, applying the blow torch (even on very low heat) to them produces screams of indignation."

All of the above...TOO BLOODY TRUE!

Of course, these is any number of real environmental issues in Indonesia that need pursuing, for instance:

INDONESIA – Agreement on nuclear plans dated 28 Aug 07

Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co (KHNP) have signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia's PT Medco Energi Internasional (Why does this name ring a bell..clear as mud?) to start implementing the country's nuclear plans.

This will involve construction of two standard 1000 MWe OPR-1000 units from KHNP at a cost of US$3 billion.

The agreement was part of a wider energy collaboration. Earlier plans were to call for tenders for these Muria units in 2008.

- News sourced from Australian Uranium Association Weekly News Digest"

Three Billion USD!!!!!!!!!.. What kind of drugs are these idiots on and where's WALHI??

Three Billion from a nation where you cannot throw a stick in the ground without hitting oil/gas or coal!!..

Here's a bizarre idea for discussion:

Instead of syphoning off billions in royalties and taxes to build yet another obscene palace in Jakarta or Singapore. How about a contract with a provision for the building and running of a non-nuclear power station? Ok, just kidding..We know why, its easier to steal cash, power stations are hard to fit into a brown paper bag.

That said, its a disgrace that a nation who exports millions of tonnes of coal and and gas every single year cannot provide a semblance of reliable domestic power to its own people.

They say these nuke poisoning plants will be up and running by 2014, so the stump still has a couple of years before its time to move upwind of Indonesia. Fortunately the nuke stations will have little impact on the native jungles in 2014 as it is unlikely there will any left by then, just "glow in the dark" people

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Justice Indonesian Style

TEN Islamic militants jailed over the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings in which hundreds died or were maimed have been handed sentence cuts.

The reductions, of between two and five months, were made today to mark Indonesia's Independence Day, when prisoners are traditionally granted dispensations for good behaviour.

I would like to say surprised...but no..

Friday, August 10, 2007

As time goes by

Busy with studies at the moment, lots of work and bugger all time, so much to relief of some not much to say. Speaking of time:

Some time sensitive Bahasa Indonesian Words:

Nanti = Later On

Sebentar = Later On but before “Nanti”

Belum = Not Yet and before Sebentar

Besok = Tomorrow or mean tomorrow’s tomorrow or tomorrow's tomorrow's tomorrow..

Any more???

If you really want to get confused try Sabtu Malam or Malam Sabtu....Sabtu means Saturday, Malam means night but the same time??..Sorry you miss out by a day.

Ok off to make myself smarter?..Enjoy the picture of sunny Sumatera..

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dafur and Idiots

For the majority of Expats, tourists (are there really any outside of Bali anymore?) and other English speakers the daily paper of "no choice" is the aptly named Jakarta Post.

More than a tad Jakarta/Javacentric, the post seems to consist of mostly "op-ed pieces" from very dubious sources and a whole swag of cut n paste. One notable Post achievement is that it does seem to evade that old truism (?) Today's News, Tomorrow's Fish and Chip Wrapper...Mainly for three reasons:

1. The post carries no News:

2. There are no Fish and Chip Shops in Indonesia;

3. Even if there were Fish and Chip Shops, the ink used by the post has a bad habit of running whilst you are reading the paper, let alone with battered fish adding to the mystery.

Speaking of the more moronic op-ed pieces, a few days ago the JP had some moron praising the benefits of safe (???????) nuclear power in Indonesia (Don't these knuckle heads even notice what is happening outside of Java?). Then, in a masterpiece of sanctimonious claptrap, some forgettable idiot dropped an op-ed on the deployment of 100 (woo---hoo a hundred…wow!!!, the international community stands stunned at the gesture) Indonesian Police into Dafur.

Titled “Stop Crying For Dafur” and reproduced at the end of this post, the writer uses the great deployment of Indonesia police to slash all the major western countries and the UN in a sludge of straw-man rubbish. Of course, the writer carefully ignored such obvious issues such as

The Indonesian Government is being paid for those Police by the UN, which in turn is funded by the very nations he slashes …Mmmm What was Indonesia’s financial contribution to the UN last year??? Takes the gloss off when you are being paid for it huh?

100 police is a bit like the monkey pissing into the sea at the same time declaring for all the world to hear “every little bit helps” and wondering why people are laughing at him.

The writer then launches into his anti-west tirade, starting with

“Not least our neighbor down under, which is eager to dispatch its military might to war in Iraq and Afghanistan but hesitant to spare military personnel for a humanitarian mission in Sudan”

This idiot does not really what to get into who provides what in world aid or even regional aid does he?

“There must be no question as to the goals, rules of engagement and contingencies available before anyone is deployed.
More importantly it is imperative that preset time lines are in place, along with an exit strategy. “

Ah its that easy!!!…As long as the combatants in Dafur understand and agree to the rules. Didn’t someone once say “No plan survives contact with the enemy”

His understanding of the conflict and the rules is infantile best, but hey if he can do I so can I. How about the conflict is based on the old “Animal Farm” theory that "All Muslims are equal but some Muslims are more equal than others". As a general rule of thumb..Arab..Asian..Africian (with plenty of room for regional xenophobia and racism)

Or this .. “Perhaps the situation would change if oil and gas was found in Darfur.” It is moron, that is what it is all about.

Tiresome twit..Anyway for reading pleasure and laughter here is the article as published in our beleaguered Jakarta Post.

Stop crying for Darfur
Stop anyone on the street and ask them about Darfur. With a shrug of the shoulders most would claim complete ignorance. One or two might identify it as a French hypermarket chain.
If the majority of Indonesians know nothing about Darfur why then is Indonesia sending more than 100 of its police officers to the Sudanese region whose inhabitants are seemingly intent on killing each other?
The answer is simple: Because it is our moral duty.
The world has shed too many tears for a place that has bled too much, but has yet to take any action to stop the killing.
Some 200,000 corpses, three million refugees and four years too late the world community, under the aegis of the United Nations, has agreed to send a stronger peacekeeping force, with a supposedly comprehensive peace plan, into Darfur.
Despite the best efforts of the African Union, its peacekeeping mission to Darfur has been a failure, overwhelmed by the scope of the crisis.
We fully back the government's decision to dispatch a civilian police force to take part in the UN mission.
While world leaders such as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have called Darfur "the greatest humanitarian disaster the world faces today", we regret -- but are not surprised -- that major powers have been reluctant to contribute to the UN mission.
Not least our neighbor down under, which is eager to dispatch its military might to war in Iraq and Afghanistan but hesitant to spare military personnel for a humanitarian mission in Sudan.
Perhaps the situation would change if oil and gas was found in Darfur.
Though the world applauds the UN initiative few have committed to it. Only France, Denmark and Indonesia have so far committed peacekeepers, while other countries are still considering deployments.
However, more countries need to step up and soon if the UN mission is to hit the ground before the end of the year.
For Indonesia it is imperative for the UN to define and clearly specify the mission objectives for our officers.
There must be no question as to the goals, rules of engagement and contingencies available before anyone is deployed.
More importantly it is imperative that preset time lines are in place, along with an exit strategy.
The debacle of American forces in Somalia and other prolonged UN missions cannot be repeated.
The UN has had a presence in the country since 2005 with the United Nations Mission in the Sudan. We must be careful that this latest mission does not become another "permanent" UN peace mission.
The necessity of setting mission objectives and an exit strategy is particularly important in a region like Africa, which is known for protracted and expansive conflicts.
Darfur has a long history of resource-based tribal conflicts involving as many as four ethnic groups. This was exacerbated when two political groups entered the fray -- the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement -- sparking a full-scale rebellion against the failing government in Khartoum.
Indonesia should be ready to commit itself to peacekeeping and peacemaking, but remain cautious so its soldiers and police officers do not find themselves trapped in intractable circumstances.
As for the countries who could help but do not wish to, please stop crying your false tears for Darfur.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sumatra Holiday

Had a wonderful time in Sumatra, trying a lot of the traditional “Pandang” style food where they bring everything out at once and you just pick what you want from the plates. Watch out for the little hidden green chillies tho! They bite!

Spent a bit of time Medan, Padang and Bukit Tinggi (High Hill or Tall Hill), passed on the Banda Aceh S&M festivals but generally tried to see as much as possible in 10 days. Temperature range was hot and muggy (Padang) to jumper and coat weather (BT) so made a nice change from the normal (for us at the stump anyway). The other surprising thing was the condition of the roads, which ranged from good to excellent. Drivers however remained as nutty as ever but with more fatal results. On two occasions we arrived just after two “bemo” buses had plunged down a ravine spreading bodies everywhere. The actual yearly road toll must be truly horrific.

A little way out of Padang we came across this rock which (I have no idea if this true and/or the translation is right as my Bahasa Padang is not so flash). Apparently the man fought with his love and she flung herself into the sea and drowned. Upon realising what he had lost, he fell to the ground, weeping and was turned to stone. To this day the “rock cries” even when the tide is out.

Sumatra: One of the Greater Sunda Islands and the second largest island after Borneo (Kalimantan) in Indonesia. It is separated in the northeast from the Malay Peninsula by the Strait of Malacca and in the south from Java by the Sunda Strait.