Fri, 25 Apr 2003

NGOs start education campaign

JAKARTA: Nine non-governmental organizations belonging to the Plural Community Group (KUMPUL), and hailing from Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bogor, have joined forces to organize a one-month education campaign from April 21 through May 20.

The campaign is intended to raise awareness among the people that a lot of marginalized people like women, street children, people from the lower income bracket, tribal communities throughout the archipelago, and the disabled are all entitled to be respected as human beings.

The campaign has taken Meeting marginalized people's rights to education as its theme.

KUMPUL urged the government to prudently develop alternative education mechanisms for such people, and to eradicate widespread corruption and nepotism in the national education system.

Minister takes over Lampung govt

JAKARTA: Home minister Hari Sabarno has temporarily taken control of public administration in Lampung province following the arrest of governor-elect Alzier Dianis Thabranie on criminal charges.

The ministry's director general for regional autonomy, Oentarto Sindung Mawardi, made a statement to that effect here on Tuesday while explaining the government's stance over Thabranie's arrest.

According to Oentarto, the appointment of the minister to temporarily take charge of the Lampung administration was contained in a presidential decree.

He disclosed that the minister in turn had assigned the ministry's head of research and development, Tuswandi, as acting governor to deal with the day-to-day running of the province.

The director general pointed out that Sabarno also expected the acting governor, in cooperation with Lampung's provincial legislative assembly, to furnish the public with accurate information regarding the Alzier affair.

The minister, Oentarto said, had also asked the provincial legislative assembly to evaluate the mechanisms for gubernatorial elections and to improve them so that a candidate facing prosecution would not be elected in the future.

"This issue will be referred back to the provincial legislative assembly so that its members can ensure the election of a governor who is free of legal problems," he said. According to Oentarto, his ministry had actually warned the provincial legislative assembly that Alzier was facing legal problems, but the legislators had decided to ignore the warning.

"When the issue had become a legal case, the provincial legislators referred it to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The ministry, however, can do nothing to interfere with the legal process," Oentarto pointed out.

;JP;KHS; ANPA..r..


RI to host meeting on children

JAKARTA: Indonesia will host the sixth East Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation on Children in Nusa Dua on the resort island of Bali from May 5 through May 7.

The ministerial consultation is being jointly organized by the Indonesian government and UNICEF.

Some interesting events will be organized in conjunction with the ministerial consultation, including a children's delegation forum, where children will talk about issues of concern to children themselves; child journalists, where four child journalists will cover the conference, including conducting interviews with important figures attending the consultation meeting, and the UNICEF Child Awards.

Indonesia will send five children to the event.

UNICEF is also facilitating the participation of four child journalists from Kupang (East Nusa Tenggara), Makassar (South Sulawesi), Yogyakarta and Jakarta.

The consultation meeting will also present awards to children who have contributed to improving the quality of life of children in Indonesia. JP

Legal pact required to maintain coalitions

JAKARTA: Minister of Home Affairs Hari Sabarno on Tuesday defended his proposal requiring any political parties entering into coalitions to enter into legally binding agreements.

Hari said a legal agreement would help the political parties in a coalition to maintain unity during the president's five-year term.

Speaking during a meeting with legislators, the minister added that strong ties between the parties in a coalition would minimize the chances of desertion.

Several factions questioned the new requirement. Rodjil Ghufron of the National Awakening Party (PKB) said that a coalition should merely be based on agreement.

The minister added that coalitions of parties were designed to help the parties win the presidential elections. - Antara

5,000 workers for M'sia per month

BENGKULU: The Malaysian consulate general in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, has approved the sending of 5,000 Indonesians per month to work in Malaysia as plantation workers, medical staff and domestic helpers.

"Malaysia needs hundreds of thousands of workers in many fields following the forceful repatriation of illegal workers to their home countries last year," Consul General Muhammad Yusof bin Abu Bakar said here on Tuesday.

Before being sent to Malaysia, he said, the workers would be informed of their rights and obligations, and how to seek police assistance in an emergency.

He expressed the hope that Indonesians wishing to work in Malaysia would follow the legal procedures when seeking employment in the neighboring country.