Mon, 05 May 2003

JP/ /Across

Grave robber flies the coop

PALU, Central Sulawesi: A grave robber whom villagers have dubbed a copycat of corpse-eating Sumanto escaped from a psychiatric hospital in the provincial capital Palu.

The alleged grave robber, 23-year-old Yunus, escaped from the hospital in Palu early on Friday, said Rahardjo a staff member at the hospital. "Yunus escaped through one of the air ducts in the hospital."

Villagers caught him late last month, as he was digging up the body of a two-month old baby from the village graveyard in Palu.

The villagers turned him over to the police, dubbing him the copycat of cannibal Sumanto who, in January shocked Indonesians with his confession of eating at least three corpses.

Yunus told the police that he had heard a voice telling him to dig up corpses, and said that "something was moving my feet."

Police handed him over to the asylum. His escaped has prompted a local manhunt. -- Antara

;JP;bkm; ANPAa..r..

JP/ /Across

Flashflood kills brothers

JAMBI, Jambi: A seven-year-old child drowned here last week in a flashflood while his younger brother died trying to save him.

The two brothers died in a river near their house on Friday evening, said Sarolangun regency police chief Sr. Comr. Alamsyah on Saturday.

"The two were swept away and then drowned after trying to wash their feet in the flooded river," Alamsyah said.

He said that Yudi fell into the river first. When his five- year-old brother Bayu tried to save him, both were swept away.

Floods hit the Sarolangun regency on Thursday and Friday.

In many other parts of the country, heavy rainfall surprised locals as the rainy season was supposed to be nearly over. -- Antara

;JP;bkm; ANPAa..r..

JP/ /Across

Three suicides in one week

YOGYAKARTA: Three people apparently hanged themselves within one week in the Gunungkidul regency, in what police believed were separate cases of suicides.

Villagers found the body of Sarinem, 70, in the Sawahan village in the Ponjong district on Wednesday morning. She hanged herself with a plastic cord tied over a beam at her neighbor's cow stall. Police suspected she killed herself because she had no family and felt lonely.

On Saturday April 26, the body of 32-year-old Suratmi was found by villagers of Sidoharjo in the Tepus district.

She suffered from an incurable illness and hanged herself, according to the police.

A day later, 73-year-old Partoikromo from the Girimulyo village in the Panggang district also hanged himself.

Police believed Partoikromo had trouble with his neighbor, and could not bear the shame. No other explanation was given for his alleged suicide. -- Antara

;JP;bkm; ANPAa..r..

JP/ /Across

Bali eyes world heritage status

DENPASAR, Bali: Bali is proposing four areas on the island to be included as a UNESCO world cultural heritage sites, including the West National Park which is home to the nearly extinct bird "Jalak Bali".

Bali Governor Dewa Baratha made the proposal to the government which will pass it over on to UNESCO, I Gde Parimartha, a lecturer from Udayana University's faculty of letters who heads the world heritage proposal team, said on Saturday.

The four areas are the Taman Ayun temple in Badung district, the area around the Pekerisan River in Ginyar district, a paddy field in the village of Jatiluwih in the Tabanan district and the West Bali National Park located in the Jembrana and Buleleng districts.

Parimartha said the four areas matched the UNESCO criteria for acquiring a world cultural heritage status. He added UNESCO would respond to the proposal likely within the next two months.

"If UNESCO accepts the 19,454-hectare (West Bali) national park as one of the world's cultural heritage sites, it will have a positive impact on the protection and conservation of the flora and fauna in the park," said the director general for natural conservation and forest protection, Made Subadia. -- Antara