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Will Religious Tolerance Continue In Indonesia?

Franz Magnis-Suseno S.J.. Common Ground News Service

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Jakarta - Violence against Christians in Indonesia frequently makes news headlines. However, acts of violence targeting Christians should not obscure the fact that the vast majority of Indonesia's Christian communities live and worship free from fear and interference in a... »

Major Political Parties Head For Showdown

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

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Golkar and PKS legislators have described Bank Century bailout in 2008 as a stark example of the SBY administration's corrupt practices. Vice President Boediono (then Central Bank Governor) and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani say that the bailout was necessary to prevent the financial system from collapsing. The indications are that Golkar and PKS have no inclination to relent and that SBY's Democratic Party intends to push back. »

Facebook Is Changing The World

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

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The online social media have changed the way many people obtain information. Let's take the case of Prita Mulyasari, a mother of two who was taken to court by Jakarta's upscale Omni Hospital on defamation charges for writing to friends about mistreatment by the hospital. She was jailed for three weeks awaiting trial. A Facebook page enlisted in a few weeks close to 150,000 members in support of her. »

American Conservatives Take Advantage of Jakarta's Obama Statue Controversy

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

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The motive behind the Indonesians' Facebook move is increasingly lost in the din, with conservative voices from America trying to co-opt the talking points on both a similar Facebook page (named in English after the original Indonesian page) and the traditional media. »

Three Indonesians Fight To Stem A Rise In Suicide

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

We should know that if the story comes from Japan, it is by no means news. But it has come from Jakarta, and it has to do with an increase in the number of suicides committed by residents of Indonesia's sprawling capital of Jakarta. Alarmed by a rising number of reported suicides in Jakarta--from 89 in 2008 to 102 last year--three Jakarta residents, all were psychology majors, met to discuss ways to help suicide-prone people. »

Indonesia Should Seriously Consider Delaying Free Trade With China

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

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Indonesian industries whose livelihood depends heavily on domestic markets point out that they already face insurmountable competition from cheap Chinese items. They have legitimate reasons for the call to delay free trade with China: (i) They have been hampered by infrastructure bottleneck; (ii) China has kept its currency's value low against the US dollar. »

Will Indonesia Work On Its Promise To Cut Carbon Emissions?

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

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Without much fanfare (partly because of last year's earthquake), Indonesia pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 26% from business-as-usual levels by 2020. This is to occur primarily by curtailing deforestation. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) made the pledge at climate change talks in Bangkok and U.S. last year. But doubt lingers. »

No Money For Healthcare: Money For War

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

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Any U.S. troop increase in Afghanistan is likely to be bad news for Indonesia. As repeatedly shown in the past, any U.S. military enforcement in a foreign land, especially in a Muslim region, raises anti-US sentiment in Muslim-majority Indonesia. In debating healthcare reform, many members of the U.S. Congress are eager to call themselves fiscally responsible legislators. However, when it comes to sending additional troops to Afghanistan, these very same politicians have stayed mum about excessive war spending. »

Gus Dur, Our Champion Of Religious Tolerance

Simon Sinaga. Daily Indonesia

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Gus Dur departure is a huge loss for the nation. No other person is as well-respected as Gus Dur politically or culturally for championing religious tolerance and democracy. Gus Dur had no reluctance to state publicly to his fellow Muslims - Indonesia's dominant majority - that tolerance and equal rights for minorities are prerequisite for progress. »

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