Monday, January 23, 2017


3) Raja Ampat to Organize Various Festivals to Lure Tourists

    Jakarta | Mon, January 23, 2017 | 06:35 am
    Activists are furious, vowing to bring the case to the Constitutional Court, while PT Freeport Indonesia has sent a letter listing some “circumstances” around the implementation of the latest mineral-ore export rules amid the inauguration of the new US protectionist president.
    However, these things have yet to change the government’s stance on its rules on mineral exports and share divestment. No door is going to be opened for negotiation, not until time proves the opposite, an executive at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has said.
    Within a month, complaints and challenges have surfaced against the new four rules that allow miners to export semiprocessed minerals while requiring them to convert their contract of work (CoW) permits into special mining licenses (IUPKs) and divest their shares within five years.
    The latest challenge comes from gold and copper miner Freeport Indonesia, which has sent a letter informing the government of its “commitment” to obey the rules while specifying several “circumstances” that should be taken into consideration.
    “It’s not a commitment letter but just a letter informing us of its intention to obey the rules while specifying ‘these’ and ‘those’ circumstances,” Energy and Mineral Resources deputy minister Arcandra Tahar told editors during a gathering on Saturday, adding that there was no obligation for the government to reply to the letter. “The President and the minister have signed the regulations. Freeport should just follow them,” he said.
    Freeport has operated in Indonesia for the past 50 years. The company sent the letter just a week before the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who is known for his protectionist views and his “America First” rhetoric.
    “Freeport Indonesia has presented to the government its willingness to convert [its CoW] into an IUPK, that will happen if there is an agreement over investment stability and also fiscal and legal certainty,” Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama told The Jakarta Post recently, explaining about the company’s letter.
    US media reported earlier that Trump, the real estate tycoon, had enlisted Carl Icahn, a top shareholder in Freeport-McMoRan, to be his special adviser on business regulations in December last year. Freeport’s shipments of copper concentrate from Indonesia have been halted since Jan. 12 in accordance with rules on domestic mineral processing.
    Trump is also a close friend of Setya Novanto, the House of Representatives speaker who sparked public uproar when he showed up at a Trump campaign rally in September 2015. Trump introduced him as a special guest during the event.
    However, the ministry insisted that the government merely stipulated rules that could be adopted by companies while preventing any flagrant violation of the 2009 Mining Law.
    “The miners should have built the smelters as the law required them to do. But in reality, they failed to do so due to many factors. The latest rules are actually pushing them to finish the smelters, with tighter and more measurable supervision. So it’s not a relaxation,” the ministry’s minerals and coal director general Bambang Gatot Ariyono said.
    Indonesia, he further underlined, would not negotiate with any miner, including Freeport, on new rules requiring its local subsidiary to convert its permit in order to resume its copper concentrate exports. The government will also refuse to negotiate the stipulation requiring Freeport to divest 51 percent of its shares, he added.
    Meanwhile, a group of experts and environmentalists calling themselves the Civil Society Coalition has announced a plan to submit its request to the Constitutional Court this week. The coalition consists of at least 20 institutions, including the Legal Aid Institute (LBH), Energy World Indonesia, the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) and the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).
    Amid these new challenges, Arcandra acknowledged that the current administration would try to defend its firm stance on the impossibility of further negotiations.
    “How successful will the government be in guarding the implementation of these rules? Well, I can only say this: time will tell,” he said, declining to elaborate on the potential judicial review lawsuit and other challenges that the ministry is now facing.

    MINGGU, 22 JANUARI 2017 19:13 WIB
    Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said he is optimistic that Indonesia-United States relations will remain good after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the United States president on Friday.

    "I am optimistic that relations between Indonesia and the United States will be better but it should be based on mutual benefit," the President said.

    The president made the remarks after attending the Bogor Open Archery Championships 2017 in the Square of the Armys Engineer Education Center in Bogor on Sunday.

    President Jokowi congratulated Trump for his inauguration as the new US president. Jokowi also underlined Trumps speech with regard to the point of cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit with other countries.

    "I underline the (speech on the) mutual benefit cooperation. We are optimistic that Indonesia and the United States will maintain good cooperations," he said.

    He said he had called Trump on the telephone. Trump, according to Jokowi, said that he had a lot of friends in Indonesia.

    "Donald Trump said he has many friends in Indonesia and has business in the country, " Jokowi asserted.(*)


    SUNDAY, 22 JANUARY, 2017 | 08:18 WIB
    3) Raja Ampat to Organize Various Festivals to Lure Tourists

    TEMPO.COJakarta - The district administration of Raja Ampat in West Papua Province will organize various festivals to lure tourists to the island.
    The planned festivals will be part of the tourism campaign for the region, according to the Head of Raja Ampat tourism office, Yusdi Lamatenggo, on Saturday (Jan. 21).
    This years list of festivals include a maritime festival, a flute and drum festival, the Wonderful Misol festival, the Wonderful Salawati festival, the Wonderful Waigeo festival, a fish cooking festival and a Red and White festival.
    There will also be a spiritual festival, a blue sea festival, the Raja Ampat Fair and the Raja Ampat childrens reading festival.
    The events are also intended to preserve and promote the regions local culture and arts, he added.
    In an effort to improve transportion access to Raja Ampat, the government has also launched several key infrastructure projects on the islands.
    Regular transportation will be made available from the regional capital of Waisai to other islands, including Misol Island.
    "Foreign and local tourists will now be able to visit the islands without having to hire expensive speedboats," explained Lamatenggo.
    The Wing Air Lion Group will also operate direct return flights from Jakarta to Manado and Waisai to improve the access to West Papua from outside the region, he said.
    "At the moment, tourists wishing to visit Raja Ampat have to take a long flight from Jakarta to Sorong," he added.
    The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat, fondly called the Living Eden or Paradise on Earth, was a lesser-known tourist destination and was familiar only to intrepid travelers and avid divers.
    Considered to be a crown jewel in Indonesia, Raja Ampat has crystal clear turquoise waters and islands covered by dense green forests and mangrove swamps.
    Located in an area called the "Coral Triangle" between the Pacific and Indian oceans in eastern Indonesias West Papua province, the world is now taking notice of Raja Ampat after the Indonesian government intensified its tourism campaign to promote the region.

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