Thu, 27 May 2004

JAKARTA: Saying that the General Elections Commission (KPU) had successfully organized a democratic and transparent election, the United States invited the commission on Wednesday to provide technical assistance for the polls in Iraq, expected to take place in January 2005.

KPU deputy chairman Ramlan Surbakti said after a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Ralph L. Boyce and Congressman James Leach of the Republic Party that both had asked the commission to share its experience in organizing what they called a complex electoral process.

"The visit was to gauge possibilities for KPU to help with administrative arrangements for the general election in Iraq," he said. -- JP

;JP;DEWI; ANPAa..r.. National-scene-labor Govt launch books on labor JP/4/SCENEW

Govt launches books on labor

JAKARTA: The Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO), launched on Wednesday a publication titled Major Labor Laws of Indonesia.

The publication is a compilation of three major labor laws: Law No. 21/2000 on labor unions, Law No. 13/2003 on manpower and Law No. 2/2004 on industrial relations disputes.

The Ministry also launched ILO's global report titled Organizing for Social Justice, which is the first report of the second cycle of global reports on freedom of association.

The report said Indonesia had shown positive developments in labor reform. -- JP

;JP;IWA; ANPAa..r.. Ambassador-fit-proper Fit and proper to ambassador aspirants starts JP/4/scene

Screening starts for ambassador candidates

JAKARTA: The House of Representatives (DPR) began on Wednesday the screening of 16 candidates for ambassadorships, including in South Korea, Canada, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Permadi, a legislator from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) of the House Commission I overseeing foreign affairs, said the screening would be completed by Friday.

"We can't tell the public the candidates' names for ethical reasons. None of the candidates has a military background, all are civilians," Permadi said.

According to him, the House would recommend six names for the posts to President Megawati Soekarnoputri, who has the final say in appointing Indonesia's overseas diplomats. --JP

;JP;DEWI; ANPAa..r.. National-scene-Brimob 240 mobile brigades return home from Aceh JP/4/SCENE

240 Brimob officers return home from Aceh

BANDUNG: After six months of serving in conflict-torn Aceh, 240 officers of the police's Mobile Brigade returned to their hometown of Bandung, West Java, on Wednesday, where they were greeted by family and friends.

West Java Police deputy chief Sr. Comr. Ras'jif Sofian greeted the 240 officers, saying he welcomed the change of status in Aceh.

A state of civil emergency was declared in Aceh last Wednesday after one year of martial law, which was imposed to quell the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) that has been fighting for independence since 1976,

Ras'jif, however, told the Mobile Brigade officers they should be ready anytime duty called. --Antara

;JP;RMS; ANPAa..r.. Focus-Ambon


Laskar Jihad leader meets home minister

JAKARTA: Home minister Hari Sabarno received on Wednesday Ambon Mayor Yopie Papilaya and the former leader of disbanded hard-line Muslim group Laskar Jihad, Ja'far Umar Thalib, following renewed violence in Ambon, Maluku. Details of the meeting at the ministry was not released.

Last month, Ambon again flared up, resulting in the deaths of 41 people and hundreds of others were injured. The violence erupted after a celebration to mark the 54th anniversary of the self-proclaimed South Maluku Republic turned ugly and sparked a riot.

The Laskar Jihad was blamed for the 1999-2001 bloody sectarian fighting in Maluku, as the group had deployed hundreds of members from its Java headquarters. -- JP