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Postby Hindia Belanda » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:29 pm

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Chinezenmoord now an annual national remembrance holiday

And why this will change practically everything


Alexandros Rex | Editor-in-Chief
12 July 2016 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda



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The massacre of Chinese prisoners under Governor-General Valckenier in Batavia (now Jakarta)

Everyone who didn’t skip history class, or managed to remain awake during the class should be familiar with the harrowing story — told countless of times by our favourite history teachers — of the Chinezenmoord. Commonly known in the Indonesian language as the Pembunuhan Pacinan, the incident was too pivotal and damaging to the fabrics of Hindia Belandan society that its impact can still be felt to this day, some 260 years after.

Of course, the term ‘Chinezenmoord’ not only refers to a single incident in 1740 but rather, a series of repeating incidents thereafter, with the 1933 Fifteen Days Revolt being the bloodiest and most notorious. Sources differ on how many ethnic Chinese were massacred in the series of Chinese Killings that defined an era of terror in the archipelago. In total, there were estimated 83,932 victims who died during the era of terror — at least half of the killings was sponsored by the colonial government with help from native rulers.

Some Hindia Belandans say that the 1740 pogrom was the flashpoint from which the racial rift between native Malays and ethnic Chinese, whose intensity had only began to diminish in the 1970s, sprung up. But everyone would agree that the incidents left a seemingly enduring scar among the populace, tirelessly concealed by the myriad of Anti-Discrimination legislation and a dangerous inclination of the general public to ‘forget and let go’.

Letting go is another story for the thousands of ethnic Chinese, whose families and those who came before them had to wear a ‘mark of shame’ akin to the Star of David, given mandatorily to Jews under Nazi Germany. The Proof of Hindia Belandan Citizenship, as the document was called, was an abominable and oppressive instrument with which ethnic Chinese must be issued — the document must be shown on a daily basis to whoever demands to see their proof of citizenship. Anyone who had this document was guaranteed total exclusion from the upward mobility enjoyed by the rest of the population.

Sure, if you asked any Hindia Belandan, be they ethnic Chinese, Malay or European, whether the impact of the Chinezenmoord can still be felt today, they would be quick to dismiss the notion and say “No, we are united and one. We are all Hindia Belandan”. That same rhetoric is repeated every day by almost everyone across the archipelago, but does it hold any meaning? We never really addressed the issue, we never bothered to ask our fellow Hindia Belandan whether they are secretly still hurting beneath their façade. We never asked if their parents or grandparents had suffered during the killings. Instead, we act as if nothing happened and that the Killings were but a blank period in our history.

Even today, not even the Netherlands or our own government has ever issued a formal apology for the killings. And when they are forced to answer the question, their trademark responses range from "but the 1740 killings were perpetrated by the Dutch East India Company, not our government!" to "there is a statute of limitation on which cases can be brought forward for a hearing in the courts". So one shouldn't wonder as to why racial tension has never really made its departure, after all these years.

A royal commission in 2002 found that discrimination against ethnic Chinese still prevailed albeit at a very smaller scale and often covert manner, in the workplace and in public life. But a plea to initiate a national discourse on the subject the very next day fell on deaf ears. We were so quick to forget that we also forgot how repressed sentiment, however successfully we repress it, will eventually resurface as a new monster.

So when Prime Minister Susilo, accompanied by cross-party leaders, announced in the Dewan Deputi this morning that 22 October is to be designated as an annual national remembrance holiday to commemorate the Chinezenmoord, Hindia Belanda suddenly became alive as if waking up from a long, noxious slumber. It was a scene too alien and foreign for any Hindia Belandan to witness; it successfully prevented the monster from resurfacing. By acknowledging publicly and honestly that the Chinezenmoord did happen and how it became a catalyst in our downward spiral to a relatively racist and discriminative society, we can begin to rise together from the ruins of our past.

Does this magically end the hinted rift that is still present between the races in Hindia Belanda overnight? Maybe no. But it surely would provide a stepping stone for the nation, so torn and divided by decades of harmful colonial policies and lingering remnants of a scorned past, to heal and unite. A nation cannot reconcile if the horrors of the past — however far apart they are to the present day — have not yet been acknowledged, lest history repeats itself.

Correction: the article originally said that the PM and cross-party leaders made the announcement in the Dewan Bangsawan, when in fact it was made in the Dewan Deputi.


Alexandros Malik is the editor-in-chief of the Jakarta Tribune. The author spends his day covering news as they unfold and writing about them for the public to consume. He lives in Jakarta but sometimes take a month or two away in Europe.




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Postby Hindia Belanda » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:02 am

retconned
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:19 am

retconned: Southeastern Malaya Becomes Autonomous
Last edited by Hindia Belanda on Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Nortainland » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:42 am

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THE JAKARTA TRIBUNE,
Par Avion

Jakarta, Hindia Belanda





25th of July, 2016

The Editor,

It is a pity that people dissatisfied with a democratic vote contrary to their own opinions choose to express them in such violent ways. Democracy means accepting the will of the majority of the people—not complaining when democracy happens and the results don't match your own feelings.

Yours faithfully,

A. J. Farmer

Last edited by Nortainland on Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:58 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Postby Hindia Belanda » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:27 am

Nortainland wrote:


THE JAKARTA TRIBUNE,
Par Avion

Jakarta, Hindia Belanda





25th of July, 2016

The Editor,

It is a pity that people dissatisfied with a democratic vote contrary to their own opinions choose to express them in such violent ways. Democracy means accepting the will of the majority of the people—not complaining when democracy happens and the results don't match your own feelings.

Yours faithfully,

A. J. Farmer




Dear A. J. Farmer,

Thank you for sending your opinion to us.

I wholeheartedly agree with your view. As disappointing as it may be, it is, unfortunately, the reality in Southeastern Malaya. We all hope that the rest of the dissenters will soon accept the will of the people and get on with their lives.


Yours,

Alexandros Malik
Editor-in-Chief, The Jakarta Tribune
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Postby Devernia » Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:10 am

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Future banknotes will be RFID-chipped, says BHB governor

Anonymous | moments ago
try us m8, we use devernite bytecoins

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Postby The Intergalactic Universe Corporation » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:28 am

Hindia Belanda wrote:(Image)

Government launches LOCATE program to protect citizens abroad

Program is bundled in the newest update of Negaraku app, designed to transmit distress signal made by Hindia Belandan citizens


Adrian Tanujaya | Tech correspondent
18 January 2016 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda



(Image)
LOCATE program in action on an Apple Watch during an incident. A button allows Hindia Belandans to tell embassy
that they are safe

JAKARTA — In an effort to protect its travelling citizens overseas, the Hindia Belandan government launched a program which will allow Hindia Belandans to send distress signal to the nearest Hindia Belandan embassies during emergencies. The program is designed for wearable devices and bundled with the newest version of Negaraku app, available on the app store.

Speaking to a number of reporters following his weekly audience with the Governor-General, Foreign Minister Brega Wardana said the government will continue its efforts to make sure Hindia Belandans are always safe and protected, wherever they may be. "It is my hope that this program will reduce the risks of citizens being lost or trapped during emergencies overseas"

Hindia Belandans may set the time interval between automated transmission of their last known location to the nearest embassy, or disable it completely. There is an option to manually send distress signal but during emergencies such as a terrorist attack in a city in which the person is currently present, the program will automatically send distress signal to the embassy every 15 seconds.

Citizens may also tell the embassy that they are safe and sound, an option available during an ongoing incident.

This program is a response to the increase of security threats made against Hindia Belandans overseas. Although some civil liberties analysts say that the program violates the law, with some even concluding that the app provides the government with unrestricted access to track its citizens 24/7. A bill is already sponsored by an MP to make sure the app contains no clandestine material that allows the government to conduct a continuous tracking.

At the time of launch, it supports Apple Watch running WatchOS 2 with more support coming for other devices in the following weeks. The government is also looking into the option of manufacturing a wearable device designed solely to operate LOCATE, which will be sold for a very affordable price to its citizens.

The LOCATE program is bundled with Negaraku app, available on the app store now.




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@calistahadiwijaya | 3 hours ago
Another useless app that will clutter my device. Thanks PM Susilo!

+8961 -1231
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@Anggun | 1 hour ago
Does it have force field capability? If not, i wont even bother downloading this

+12835 -498
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Alexander Libertas | moments ago
My god... Hindia Belanda is going overboard with this new device... Suspect that this is secretly a tracking and surveillance device to spy on civilians... What a shame for a country that preaches liberty and freedom.

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Postby Hindia Belanda » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:15 am

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Church of Hindia Belanda to Ordain Gay, Lesbian Priests

The General Synod has approved the ordination of homosexual priests into the clergy




Zaynab Hashim | Religion correspondent
3 November 2016 | Buitenzorg, Hindia Belanda


In a letter circulated to its 36 million members, the Church of Hindia Belanda has finally announced that it will allow the ordination of gay and lesbian priests, ending the nearly two centuries policy of 'don't ask, don't tell'. Bishops, priests and laities of the Church voted 1532-134 Wednesday morning to adopt a proposal allowing for the ordination of gay priests into the clergy.

Compared to other Lutheran churches, especially those with whom the Church of Hindia Belanda is in eucharistic communion, the Church was quite slow to join the growing movement of LGBT-affirming churches across the world.

The Church is expected to ordain its first gay bishops this Saturday in a consistory led by the primate of the Church, Archbishop Kusuma of Buitenzorg. Archbishop Kusuma has stated in his homily yesterday that the Church will continue to pursue increased cooperation with other Churches and denominations, especially following this historic move. The Primate of the Church believes that ecumenism will soon be reached as the Church of Hindia Belanda aligns itself with the policies of other churches, allowing for full communion with them.

But, apparently, not all of its members agree with the move. Some 500 protesters have decided to take it to the streets in a protest against the decision of the General Synod, as confirmed by the Capital Territory Police. The demonstration will reportedly take place outside the Episcopal Palace in Buitenzorg, the headquarters of the Church of Hindia Belanda, where the Archbishop is scheduled to meet with the protesters and hear their complaints. While the church's policy is now set in stone, there is a growing concern that a minority of parishes under the Church, particularly those in traditionally conservative regions, will separate and form a new church as a direct consequence.

The Church of Hindia Belanda, which was previously known as the Protestant Church in the Netherlands Indies, is the largest Christian denomination in the Commonwealth and the second largest religious denomination after Twelver Shia Islam, making up 30% of the country's total population. In recent years, however, it has suffered a significant yearly loss of members.


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Postby Devernia » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:41 am

Anonymous | moments ago
Wow, good for the Church of Hindia Belanda to legalize gay people serving under the church. Religious people should tolerate gays more.

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Postby Hindia Belanda » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:37 pm

retconned
Last edited by Hindia Belanda on Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Scandinavian Kingdom Of Sweden » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:17 am

Hindia Belanda wrote:

Radical Muslims Who Pledged Allegiance to Daesh Arrested En Masse

Government begins its nationwide crackdown of radical Wahhabi Islam




Zaynab Hashim | Religion correspondent
17 February 2017 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda


JAKARTA — Governor-General Mohammed Salim has today exercised his newly-granted prerogative at the behest of His Majesty's Government to arrest over 283 radical Wahhabi Muslims across the Commonwealth. It has reportedly been confirmed by the Hindia Belandan National Security Service (Nationale Veiligheidsdienst) that these detainees have pledged allegiance to Daesh through social media in the last six months. This nationwide effort to stamp out Daesh influence in Hindia Belanda began six months ago, culminating in today's mass arrests. The lengthy investigation effort was attributed to the fact that Hindia Belandan law enforcement did not have sufficient legal authority to proceed further with the arrests.




The newly revised Terrorism Act came into force last month and gave the Governor-General new prerogative to order the arrest of people suspected of committing high treason by harbouring pro-terrorism sentiments, without the need for prior parliamentary approval. Governor-General Mohammed Salim exercised this prerogative earlier this morning.

Previously, it would require a joint approval of the Council of State and the National Security Committee of the Hindia Belandan parliament to carry out mass arrests in the interests of national security. It was a lengthy process that would give terrorist suspects enough time to escape prosecution by fleeing abroad.

The detainees will be transported to Jakarta, where they will undergo stringent interrogation by the National Security Service. Interior Minister Henri Willem has also published the list of charges brought against these detainees – a majority of them are facing high treason charges for pledging allegiance to an enemy entity.

A number of human rights activist have condemned these mass arrests, alleging the government had violated Hindia Belandan human rights obligation. Sutjiwati Kasiraya, a notable Hindia Belandan human rights activist, has publicly rebuked the government stating that the mere act of pledging allegiance to Daesh, however distasteful it may be, does not equate becoming a terrorist. "It is an expression of free speech" she said at a small protest held in front of Buitenzorg Palace. She came under fire almost immediately, earning herself criticism from Hindia Belandans online. Kasiraya is leading an effort to challenge the constitutionality of the new Terrorism Act in the Hoge Raad.


Markus | moments ago
Well while in my opinion it is a violation of human rights, but it's justifiable because Daesh is something that has to be wiped out of the Earth.

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Postby Hindia Belanda » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:51 pm

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Foreign Minister Wardana Condemns Anti-LGBT Attack in Jeevenaadu

Brega Wardana has condemned the brutal attack on two lesbian women in Jeevenaadu




Saira Wong | Correspondent
13 June 2017 | Canberra, Australia


Image
CANBERRA — Foreign Minister Brega Wardana has condemned the homophobia-driven attack on two lesbian women in Vishnumahan, an exceptionally religious city in Jeevenaadu, at a joint press conference with his Australian counterpart. Wardana called on the Jeevenian government to investigate the startling incident and urged Jeevenian lawmakers to afford minorities with more protection.

"The ill-treatment of the two lesbian women was very concerning and the Commonwealth Government calls on the Jeevenian Government to investigate the horrific incident in a timely manner," Wardana said at the press conference. "We urge Jeevenian lawmakers to provide sexual minorities with a proper legal protection, so that similar incidents in the future may be prevented."

Wardana is in Canberra to attend the centennial anniversary of Hindia Belandan-Australian diplomatic relations, which date back to the colonial times when both countries were still under the control of their respective parent countries. He is on an Asia-Pacific diplomatic tour in a bid to ‘explain’ and give grounds for the recent nationwide Wahhabi crackdown to several foreign governments, many of which have spoken out against the Commonwealth government’s actions in recent months.“

The Hindia Belandan Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Emile Larousse, also confirmed to the Jakarta Tribune that the Hindia Belandan Foreign Ministry has indeed conveyed an official statement of His Majesty's Government regarding the upsetting incident to the Jeevenian Foreign Minister, Preeta Chandra.

Jeevenaadu is a relatively religious country where a majority of its citizens hold a negative view of the LGBT community. Gay people in Jeevenaadu face intense discrimination in public life and a growing difficulty in landing a job. Yet despite some differences on social issues, Hindia Belanda and Jeevenaadu are close regional partners with a history of friendship that stretches back to the 14th century.
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:17 pm

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Hindia Belanda Normalises Relations with Nortainland

The Commonwealth has resumed diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Nortainland




Johan Lamar | Politics correspondent
13 June 2017 | Buitenzorg, Hindia Belanda


BUITENZORG — In a move that is both shocking and unexpected, the Commonwealth Government has formally asked the Governor-General to normalise relations with Nortainland, after having suspended Hindia Belandan diplomatic missions in the ultra-conservative country for over a year. Governor-General Salim sent a letter to the Nortan King last week, expressing the Commonwealth's willingness to resume diplomatic relations, which the King agreed.

At the request of the Commonwealth government, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander raised the rank of the Hindia Belandan diplomatic mission in Lendert from a Legation to an Embassy, with a proper Ambassador as its head. The incoming Ambassador is set to leave for Nortainland in two weeks’ time.

Former Hindia Belandan envoy to Nortainland, Elisa van Dijk, praised the Commonwealth Government in an interview with TV 5 Indo for taking a step to mend the impaired relations, but also urged the same to make more efforts to lobby the Kingdom for greater religious freedom. Van Dijk headed the Hindia Belandan mission in Lendert during last year’s diplomatic crisis surrounding the alleged discrimination of Hindia Belandan Muslims in Great Nortend and personally oversaw the repatriation of over 30 Indesvolkers, culminating in her recall by His Majesty the King.

Van Dijk stressed the importance of starting a dialogue with the Nortan Government to bridge the deep ideological gulf between the two countries and find a common ground. “I think it’s a considerate move on our part to restart [diplomatic relations] with the Nortans, but Weltevreden (metonym for the Commonwealth government) must understand that it is an absolute must to do more to improve the situation for the tiny few Hindia Belandans who live there, lest we face the same setback that severed our relations with them last year,” Van Dijk warned. She also remarked that it is crucial for the Commonwealth Government to explain to the Nortan Government their shared concerns about Islamic radicalism and try to build a comprehensive partnership based on that commonality.

The suspension of diplomatic relations effectively ceased any exchange of communication between Jakarta and Lendert. During this period, communications between the two governments were conveyed through the Islamic Republic of Aceh (Samudera Darussalam) which agreed to take on the role of protecting power of Hindia Belandan interests in the Kingdom. Aceh and Hindia Belanda are close regional partners, owing to their shared history and culture.

Being a Nortan and Muslim (or Mohammadan, as Nortans like to call it) in the conservative Kingdom carries the penalty of imprisonment. It is illegal to practice Islam, of any sect, within Nortainland and Muslims do not have the right to testify in court.

Political analysts have speculated that any demand for Hindia Belandan expatriates’ right to practice their religions freely in Nortainland may possibly be met with a refusal.
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:24 pm

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Hindia Belandan Government Gets A Brand New A350-1000

The Commonwealth Government has taken delivery of an Airbus Corporate Jet 350-1000XWB



Image


Janice Rosiana | National correspondent
27 July 2017 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda


JAKARTA — Hindia Belanda’s new Airbus Corporate Jet 350-1000 XWB arrived in Jakarta today, amidst controversy surrounding the Commonwealth Government’s heavy use of private aircraft which many environmental organisations in the archipelagic country have strongly criticised.

After a lengthy journey from Toulouse, France, the sleek eurowhite aeroplane entered Hindia Belandan airspace at 7:32 a.m and proceeded its way with a fighter jet escort to the Jakarta Aerodrome, where it was greeted by a water cannon salute and a performance of the Hindia Belandan national anthem.

The Governor-General christened the aeroplane by showering its cockpit windshield with champagne and took a tour of the cabin alongside journalists, guests and Hindia Belandan dignitaries who were invited by the Commonwealth Government to the small ceremony.

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The interior of the plane is set up in a semi-VIP configuration to accommodate both travelling officials and palace correspondents who follow the former on their trips. The forward half of the plane is entirely occupied by an executive cabin containing two small bedrooms, two bathrooms, a relatively spacious living area with a dining room, a small lounge, a compact gym and a meeting room. The rear half contains 75 premium reclining seats, several lavatories and a conference room complete with a raised platform for mid-flight pressers.

The warm and homey cabin was immaculately designed by the Jakarta-based aviation consultant Anneke et al., whose owner Mme Anneke is the incumbent Hindia Belandan Ambassador to the Federal Kingdom of Samudera Darussalam. Ambassador Anneke was present at the arrival ceremony and delivered a short speech thanking the Commonwealth Government for giving her firm an unprecedented access to the State Arts Collection, from which her team took inspiration for their cabin design.

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Powering the aircraft are two customised Rolls-Royce XWBs that provide remarkably higher thrust, allowing the aircraft to fly 0.04 Mach faster than the standard, commercial version at cruise level. Six additional fuel tanks, at the expense of a quarter of its cargo hold, allow the aircraft to fly significantly farther without refuelling.

Today’s delivery is the first of four A350 orders, two of which are the -900 variant, made by the Hindia Belandan government to gradually replace the three ageing A330s in its massive air fleet, which now numbers 19 aeroplanes and includes Boeing 787s, a 777-200LR, Airbus CJ319s, A310s and a Gulfstream IV.

At US$ 380 million, it is by far the most expensive aircraft ever purchased by the Hindia Belandan government, topping the three 787-9s that the government acquired in 2009 which cost US$ 230 million each.

Journalists and invited aviation enthusiasts were given the chance to fly aboard the new A350-1000 for a 3-hour photo-op flight over Java, during which the aircraft was professionally photographed from another plane. Sumptuous canapés and refreshing glasses of Hindia Belandan rosé were generously served during the flight, as journalists and aviation enthusiasts, amongst them Hindia Belandan YouTubers, explored every nook and cranny of the eco-friendly jet.

Alan Kamal, the State Despatch and Transport Agency’s Executive, said during the flight that the government intends to phase out all of its older aircraft by 2022, in favour of newer and greener aircraft. The two Hindia Belandan government-owned A310s will retire as soon as the first quarter of 2019, pending a scheduled delivery of two brand-new Airbus ACJ320neo later this year. The three A319s in the government’s employ will see another five years of service before being replaced by a future, undisclosed aircraft that aviation executives predict to be the same A319 of the latest eco-friendly ‘neo’ variant.

The new jet will spread its wings tomorrow for its first official flight to fly the Foreign Minister and the Defence Secretary to Srikunti in the Hindia Belandan Autonomous Territory of Southeastern Malaya. From there, the two ministers will fly to Pulau Pahat, Sekangkang Kera, aboard a Southeastern Malayan Gulfstream IV which was recently transferred by the Commonwealth Government to the devolved government.
Last edited by Hindia Belanda on Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:14 pm

retconned
Last edited by Hindia Belanda on Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:17 pm

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REVIEW: Conference of the Birds at the Westley Theatre, Elykyellek



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Anne Karali | Arts correspondent
6 August 2017 | Kelley City, Elykyellek


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KELLEY CITY — After a successful international debut at the same historic Westley Theatre last year, the Conference of the Birds returned to Elykyellek once again for a captivating and energetically charged three-day rerun which the Jakarta Tribune had the pleasure of attending.

Originally a 12th-century poem written by the famous Persian Sufi and poet Farid ud-Din Attar, the Conference of the Birds was adapted to a profoundly moving and melancholic musical performance by the award-winning Hindia Belandan artist Maya Utami. The poem expresses the principal concept of Sufism, a mystical strain of Islam, centring on the idea that nothing but God exists in the universe and everything else is but a shadow of His lone Existence.

The Conference of the Birds is a vast conceptual production in every sense and it was impressive to see how Utami managed to fit every element of the original show, which she initially performed at Wilhelmina Park in the middle of Jakarta a decade ago, into a proper theatrical setting with limited space.

Beginning the performance is Ahmad Jonkheer playing as the Hoopoe, an allegory of a mystical Islamic grandmaster or a solemnly intent cult leader, who shouts with energy his call for all the birds of the world to join him in his quest to look for their ideal leader, the Simorgh bird (an allegory of Allah). The birds are themselves a representation of human flaws which, according to Sufi doctrines, hamper oneself from attaining divine enlightenment and becoming one with God in His cosmic unity.

The star-studded cast also lend the show an energetic performance full of emotions and graceful movements. Playing as the audacious sparrow is Dewi Tirta, a veteran of Hindia Belandan performance arts. The infatuated Nightingale is James Romano, who croons for his lover in one of the show’s musical number, whilst Karina Andreg, the haughty Peacock, aloofly struts herself through the flock of birds.

“I know our King – but how can I alone endure the journey to His distant Throne?” Jonkheer asks the birds with a tinge of sadness on his face. With the help of the Westley Theatre’s intricate fly system, he then ascends and shouts enthusiastically: “So join me, and when at last we end our quest, our King will greet you as His honoured guests.”

The journey to the Lord’s Pond did not lack obstacles, however. The birds had to pass through seven valleys, each complete with a hundred or so challenges that they must first overcome before finally meeting God, the Simorgh bird. They traversed through complex sets designed by Leonora Dali, the Jakarta-based set and costume designer whose gorgeous works we’ve seen before in last December’s performance of Puccini’s Turandot at the Jakarta Operahuis.

In the Valley of the Quest, the first of the seven, the nightingale (James Romano) falls victim to human desire. “Nightingales are not robust nor strong; the path to find the Simorgh is withal too long!” Romano sings. “My love is here. The journey you propose cannot beguile me from her – my lover. What greater bliss could life provide me than her?”

Accompanying the birds on their journey is the Jakarta Symphony Orchestra, whose strings and percussions harmoniously complement the mystical evening. If at the beginning the poets chant the lines in a manner befitting monks at a cloister, they burst into indie ballads, the likes of which would better fit a summer music festival somewhere deep in the Californian desert, as they near the end of the show.

Heavy use of scent, a relatively new innovation in Hindia Belandan theatre, also helped evoke an enigmatic aura, incorporating exotic aromas ranging from jasmine at the beginning of the show to vanilla and lavender which pervade as the show comes to its finale.

Culminating the performance, a calligraphic rendition of the Arabic word ‘Allah’ in the shape of a Simorgh Bird is projected onto the stage in all its glory, emphasised by a cleverly-choreographed light show which creates a realistic illusion of a still lake across the stage. The remaining thirty birds who survived the journey kneel down in veneration and look upon a reflection of their faces on the lake, as they slowly come to the realisation that God, the Simorgh bird, is none other than themselves.

The cast then chant in unison, before bright theatrical fog swallows them into oblivion: “I am a mirror set before your eyes, and all who come before My Splendour see themselves in their own unique reality; you came as thirty birds and therefore saw these selfsame Thirty Birds, not less nor more. I am you, and you, I. You and I are now alone in our lonely Unity. Alone are We now, and Alone shall We be forevermore.”

Much like the birds, Maya Utami has had to face challenges in her journey through the theatre scene. Returning to Jakarta to direct several musicals two years ago, after having been a resident playwright in the prestigious Amsterdam Garalin Company for more than five years, was a full circle decision for Utami, but one that also boosted her reputation in the industry almost overnight. Her adaptation of Attar’s poem is without a doubt her best work in recent years, able to lead the audience to a world away from the familiar. Yet, there is still room for improvement.

Compared to last year’s run in Jakarta, it is evident that she really took her time to hone her choreographic repertoire for this year’s run. Movements are now more coordinated and apt, matching the evocative thumps of drums and whirling melody of the strings. The introduction of scents also adds a layer of immersion into the mythical landscape of the show.

We have now witnessed Utami’s masterful ability to transform a 12th-century poem into an engrossing play for today, complete with witty turns and clever wordplays that are unmistakably modern in every sense. In the Conference, Utami successfully led her audience on a sonically, visually and olfactorily mesmerising journey, where divine wisdom meets 21st-century conventions and the profane interlaces with the sacred. There is a lingering sense of enigma and bewilderment long after the show has ended and it seems that it was the whole point all along.

VERDICT: 4/5 ★★★★☆
A massive thank you to the Yellekan Theater Society in Kelley City, Elykyellek for giving us a front-row seat at this most anticipated show in Hindia Belandan theatre.

Last edited by Hindia Belanda on Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:47 pm

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Hindia Belandans Take To The Streets To Celebrate The ’Night Of The Great Kunti’




Saira Wong | Senior correspondent
1 November 2017 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda


JAKARTA — Hindia Belandans across the Commonwealth have taken to the streets to celebrate Malam Kuntiraya or the Night of the Great Kunti, a night of great festivities in honour of Hindia Belandan mythical figure Ratukunti, who is said to be the leader of all 'Boentianaks' in existence.

In Malay mythology, Boentianaks are female vampiric creatures believed to be the spirits of women who died whilst giving birth, whereas the Ratukunti is demonic – not human – and has her origins in Austronesian folklore.

Hundreds of thousands wearing face paint and white robes with torches in their hands took part in the night march along the streets of the capital, chanting the Indonesian phrase “djangan hantoeï kami, tapi hantoeïla moesoeh kami!” or “do not haunt us, but rather haunt our enemies!”.

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Centuries ago, Malam Kuntiraya had an entirely different meaning altogether; it was observed by the inhabitants of the Malay Archipelago as a way to seek safety in numbers, during what they believed to be the most supernaturally dangerous night of the year when the feared Ratukunti would ascend from the underworld and harm any lone person unlucky enough to encounter the vampiric figure. People would light up torches and candelabras, leaving no areas unlit, and hold an all-night candle vigil at the residence of the local ruler where families gather together until morning comes.

The Handbook of Malay Folklore in the Netherlands East Indies, an extensive work detailing Malay superstitions, mythology and folklore authored by British orientalist Sir David Swettenham, provides a talismanic formula which you can use to ward off the Ratukunti and Boentianaks (just in case you have the misfortune of encountering them):

O Boentianak,
May you be struck dead by the soil from the grave-mound.
Thus we cut the bamboo-joints, the long and the short,
To cook therein this spectral liver of yours.

O you unclean spirit Ratukunti,
You filthy inhabitant of hell,
Begone and be damned!
Witness the power of our Lord:
Beefadlee wa beehaqqee la ilaha illa llah! (By the grace and by the truth of ‘there is no God but God’)


If hundreds of years ago the Ratukunti was feared by the populace as a legitimate threat, she now enjoys considerable popularity amongst the Hindia Belandan people as a fictional cultural icon. Accordingly, the ancient night festival survives to the present day and continues to play an important part in Hindia Belandan culture, although it has largely lost its superstitious significance.

Malam Kuntiraya is now a nationwide cultural bash celebrating the Hindia Belandan art scene and promoting national unity, as well as raising awareness of important issues facing Hindia Belandan society. Many also like to use the occasion to raise donations for humanitarian crises across the world, usually by organising parties whose proceeds go directly to humanitarian organisations.

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In Jakarta, museums, art galleries and cultural institutions open their doors free of charge on Malam Kuntiraya, in an effort to highlight the cultural splendour of this archipelagic country, whilst restaurants, bars and cafés stay open until 5 a.m. the next day. Authorities have also made certain areas where there are hospitals off-limits to revellers, as the annual festival tend to get noisier as the night wears on.

Noise has always been central to Malam Kuntiraya, since it is believed that Boentianaks and the Ratukunti are deterred by loud sounds, preferring instead to haunt quiet and desolate areas. This superstition no longer holds sway, yet Hindia Belandans still use it as an excuse to blare music, drink and dance on the streets until the next morning.

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PICTURE: A sketch depicting the feared vampiric figure Ratukunti


“This year’s Malam Kuntiraya is especially dedicated to the memory of all departed Hindia Belandans,” said Governor-General Mohammed Salim at Daendels Palace, which held its very own candlelit gala dinner for an estimated of 800 guests, all dressed to the occasion by wearing white formalwear and face paint.

“But the main message of this festivity is, of course, national unity; no matter your ethnicity, beliefs or political views, we are all united in fearing the Ratukunti,” the Governor-General, who wore his full-ceremonial uniform with a chivalric star and decorations, said jokingly to guests on the palace grounds.

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It is estimated that at least 1 million people took part in the all-night celebrations across the Commonwealth, with at least 600,000 of which celebrating on the lively streets of Jakarta. So, how did you spend your Malam Kuntiraya? Feel free to tell us all about it down below!

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Postby Hiram Land » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:17 pm

awesomeguy1003PMoHL | moments ago
nice event. However 31 October-2 November would be Halloween in HL.

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Postby Hindia Belanda » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:07 pm

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Around Town: E C O L O G I A




Piet Karali | Lifestyle correspondent
6 November 2017 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda


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(Price range: ƒƒƒƒ | 28 Jalan Anna Paulowna, Lower Menteng, +88 8746-87367)

At the corner of Jalan Anna Paulowna stands an inconspicuous colonial shophouse, engulfed by a blanket of green creeping vines and flowering hibiscus, where people, some alone and mostly in groups of fours and fives, can be seen entering and exiting its quaint door throughout the day.

In Damar Mangoenkarso's The Garden City, the authoritative guide to 19th century living in colonial Jakarta (then Batavia), he recounts a typical order in a Batavian café: a cup of Koffie Susu Sumatra, a serving of poffertjes or patatje oorlog and a glass of chilled Maradara. The people of 19th century Hindia Belanda would have liked Ecologia, where the iconic coffee culture of our rich past is interlaced with minimalistic ultramodernism without compromising its commitment to preserving tradition.

From morning until early evening, Ecologia is alive with sounds of grinding coffee beans and twentysomethings deep in conversations, of clinking cups and cutlery and jovial laughter, together creating a vivacious orchestra which reflects the very essence of Jakarta social life. On sunlit days, bright hues coming from the massive stained window à la Mondrian colour the airy inner seating area. Outside, street-facing tables canopied by parasols are set against a backdrop of creeping flora on white plaster wall.

The place is renowned for its unconventional take on the classic Javanese Midnight, involving muddled peppermint leaves and a few drops of absinthe that more traditional mixologists would find sacrilegious but dare not criticise. A marriage of Sumatran coffee beans and Maradara gives birth to Ecologia's very own Somatra Strait – a sublime cocktail with a jolt of caffeine energy. Atop the wooden bar is an intricate cold-brew contraption, through which an aromatic infusion of coffee, lavender and brandy slowly seeps to produce the Paulowna Coffee that is taking Jakarta by storm.

By nightfall, the place transforms into a dimly-lit watering hole and eatery, and a towering glass cabinet with endless rows of shelves reveals an extensive collection of drinks from Hindia Belanda and around the world. Every now and then, a cart carrying cocktail glasses and bottles of liquors is paraded around the place by Ecologia's masterful mixologists/baristas, who are more than happy to prepare a drink, of nearly any sort, by your table.

Entering the place past 10 p.m. is as though you walked into a Kandinsky painting; a mixture of colourful crowd fills Ecologia to the brim, and a playlist ranging from Indie ballads to oriental lounge music add to the leisurely atmosphere of this newest hotspot at the heart of Jakarta's entertainment district.

Despite its convivial ambiance, there is a certain pathos in simply visiting Ecologia, with its preserved colonial facade, exterior fittings and an ultramodern interior, when recent constructions of glitzy venues along Jalan Anna Paulowna meant razing down architectural relics of our colonial past. Ecologia’s owners refused to follow the trend, instead choosing to restore and repurpose a derelict shophouse into a trendy urban hideout; and this is where they did it right.
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:28 pm

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OOC: This news story is non-canon to the main narrative of Hindia Belanda, and applies only to the Astyrian canon. Nations outside Astyria are not allowed to IC-ly react to or acknowledge this news story in any way.

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Alexandros Malik | Editor-in-Chief
26 November 2017 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda


It was the Monday after Ashura last month, the Shia day of remembrance in honour of the Passion of Imam Husayn, when Maryam Rahmadisoerja formally received her commission, written not by the Queen herself (although the parchment does say otherwise), but most definitely by some government clerk somewhere in Weltevreden, the seat of the Hindia Belandan government.

The commission, handwritten on a brown vellum, began with a formulaic phrase asserting the authority of the Crown over the Commonwealth: "We, Anne Charlotte the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Hindia Belanda". The parliamentary clerk, with an assertive voice and an elocution that would have impressed the general public of the 19th century, read out the rest of the commission to a sea of visibly unexcited MPs (some of them did fall asleep, and, unsurprisingly, became immortalised as an internet meme that very same day).

A chicly-dressed Rahmadisoerja then took her oath of office, and swore her faith and allegiance to Her Majesty and the heirs of her body being Protestant. Rahmadisoerja, who only a few years ago was a staunch supporter of a future without the Crown—herself the former mouthpiece of the neo-republican movement Hindia Belanda Mardijka—is now, ironically, the loyal representative in Hindia Belanda of that very same ancient institution whose head resides thousands of miles away across the ocean, and towards whom she once felt "virtually no sympathy".
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Governor-General Maryam Rahmadisoerja


It is both remarkable and, for some of her Republican colleagues, completely baffling that she managed not only to moderate her political views but to rise so swiftly to the very top of Hindia Belandan politics, achieving nothing less than the esteemed office of Vicereine, and all within the span of just three years. Her climb to political prominence is the kind of story that not even the most seasoned Weltevreden politician could ever dream of. And yet she is there, against all odds, as the sole tenant of Waterlooplein Palace, now ranking second in the Commonwealth Order of Precedence.

Yet, whilst Rahmadisoerja has seemingly reconciled with what was once her arch-enemy, she never at any point disavowed her republican beliefs. And it appears that a sizeable majority of the Hindia Belandan population shares her animus towards the Noordenstaatian monarchy: the numbers appear to only have gone up by 2 percent, from 51 percent to 53 percent, according to the findings of a nationwide poll ran by the non-governmental think tank Salemba Council.

The poll suggests a majority of Hindia Belandans support the outright abolition of the monarchy, in its stead an elected non-partisan head of state who must be Hindia Belandan. It is an idea now universally espoused by opposition frontbenchers in Parliament and some of their allies in the Aliansi Sekular, with the Leader of the Opposition even going as far as promising that he would take the question to a plebiscite if his party, the Social Democrats, were to win the next General Elections and form a government in Her Majesty’s name.

The ruling party, the Partai Liberal Demokrat, whose majority back the monarchy, know their days are numbered. And with each passing day, Hindia Belandans are getting closer to having a fellow national as their head of state.

So what exactly is behind the recent surge of republicanism in Hindia Belanda? The eminent professor and Chancellor of the Royal University of Jakarta, Antje Mirasoelarsi who is also a moderate republican, thinks that a new emerging strain of national identity, one tinged with a certain distaste towards inherited privilege, more so when that privilege falls to a foreigner, is ultimately responsible.

She observed that more Hindia Belandans are rediscovering their national pride, on top of a new affinity with egalitarian ideas. Those ideas were ignited in the collective mind of Hindia Belandans when, in 2007, all five native royal families were forcibly bereft of their traditional right to rule.

“We rid of our native royal houses a decade ago, their privileges and birthright stripped off of their persons overnight. So why should the Noordenstaatian royals, who are foreign, be treated any different than those native royals in this Commonwealth?”

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GG Maryam Rahmadisoerja meeting her 'employer'


Antje is asking the question that so many Hindia Belandans had been hesitant to ask, but has now become part of the national conversation thanks to that momentous day ten years ago. Already people are talking about possible scenarios for the abolition of the monarchy and the installation of its elected substitute.

The most popular scenario, and arguably the most considerate one, comes from the moderate Republican camp whereby no plebiscite on the future of the monarchy should be held for as long as the Queen’s mother, the former Queen Sophie I, is alive. But once she passes, this scenario calls for the installation of an elected presidential office with nothing but ceremonial powers—in other words, a rebranded office of the Governor-General zonder any reference to Anne Charlotte and the monarchy.

Another scenario, now promoted by 8 frontbenchers and 16 backbenchers in the opposition side, calls for the same series of actions except that they should preferably take place within the next 8 months. This particular scenario, however, lacks the needed momentum and support base in parliament.

“The Queen is only good for signing laws into effect, but we’ve got the Governor-General—who is an actual Hindia Belandan—to cover for her already, considering she’s… you know, never around!” says Antje at the twelfth annual republican conference to a resounding applause. "I can't see why we shouldn't nationalise the viceregal office".

If the appointment of Maryam Rahmadisoerja as our Governor-General, a high profile republican, is indicative of what is to come, then we are likely witnessing the waning days of the monarchy itself. It is now a matter of when, not if, and it all depends on Princess Sophie’s life expectancy (long may she live, as a monarchist would say).
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Postby Hindia Belanda » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:21 pm

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Dewan Deputi Votes to Ban Foreign Funding of Hindia Belandan Mosques



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Emilio Marsali | Politics correspondent
21 March 2018 | Jakarta, Hindia Belanda


JAKARTA — Members of the Dewan Deputi, the Hindia Belandan lower house of Parliament (Staten-Generaal), this noon voted by 736 to 54 to prohibit mosques within the Commonwealth from receiving foreign funding in a renewed bid to minimise, if not put an end to, foreign extremist influence over the island country’s faithful. The bill will be sent to and laid before the unelected upper house—the Dewan Bangsawan—on the 23rd of March for further considerations, before it is voted on by the native royals and life peers who make up the chamber.

The bill came after a February report of the anti-radicalisation institute Sadarlah Kalian found that one in sixteen mosques in the Commonwealth has received a donation or funding that can be traced back to Islamist organisations abroad. The report sparked a renewed debate on the radicalisation of mosques and external factors that helped accelerate the rise of radical Islam in the Commonwealth.

Under the proposed legislation, Hindia Belandan mosques would have to declare any donation or funding that they receive to the Nationale Veiligheidsdienst (the domestic intelligence agency of Hindia Belanda) and, from time to time, file a detailed summary of their expenditures to the Hindia Belandan authorities. In addition, mosques would no longer be able to hire foreign preachers and deliver sermons in any language except English, Dutch or Indonesian.

The bill was drafted by the Rt. Hon. Zahra Djaja Koesoemadihardja, the Lib Dem MP and member of the Raad van State, whose constituency Pulu Hantu North suffered terribly from Islamic radicalisation and terrorism in the last few years. The recent stabbing sprees on the streets of Pulu Hantu, which claimed four innocent lives last January alone, galvanised her and a score of other MPs from across the political divide to action.

Co-sponsors who helped Koesoemadihardja draft the bill include Thomas Dijkstra, leader of the right-wing Orange Banner League and MP for Pulu Hantu Cove who is a staunch critic of Wahhabi Islam, and Raden Mas Poernama, the Social Democratic MP for Duizendeilanden XVI.


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STAUNCH SUPPORTERS OF THE BILL, from left to right: The Rt. Hon. Zahra Djaja Koesoemadihardja MP (Lib Dem), Thomas Dijkstra MP (Orange Banner League), Raden Mas Poernama MP (SDP) and Imam Ismael Hakim (head of the Commonwealth Shia Convocation).



During the bill’s committee stage, the lower house took evidence from a variety of experts and public personalities, including Imam Ismael Hakim, the newly-appointed head of the Commonwealth Shia Convocation and one of the most vocal supporters of the bill. Imam Hakim argued before the committee that the bill would pave the way for a “Commonwealth free from radical Islam”.

The Imam went on further to propose to the Select Committee on Counter-Terrorism that additional provisions be added to the bill to ban the distribution of the Ahadith, a collection of narrations of the supposed actions and statements of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, in all its forms. His proposal was later rejected by the committee for fear of creating further division in Hindia Belandan society, although some Orange Banner League MPs promised Imam Hakim to revisit his proposal after the passage of this bill.

Scheduled public protests
Already, the controversial Islamist activist Hamida Sarsour has denounced the bill and delivered a fierce critique of MPs who voted in favour of it, calling them a group of “puerile, islamophobe bigots”. Sarsour, now generally reviled by the greater part of the Hindia Belandan populace for siding with the Islamists in the wake of the 2016 Burqa and Niqab ban, is affiliated with the South Senjani Muslim Association which was founded as an off-shoot organisation of the now-proscribed Islamist group Jamah As-Salafiya.

Sarsour plans to stage a protest outside the Parliamentary estates in Groot Rijstveld, Jakarta, this Friday when the bill is scheduled to be laid before the upper house of the Staten-Generaal. Her protest will be met with a counter-protest from the Orange Banner League, according to the Capital Police spokesman.

The Orange Banner League (OBL), a right-wing political party which promises to protect the “unique creole society of Hindia Belanda”, is known for its large street marches to defend native and Indisch cultures from what they deem as “Islamic cultural supremacy”.

Both the OBL and Sarsour’s supporters routinely interrupt one another’s public events and such encounters frequently end in violent clashes between the two groups. Capital Police has taken precautions to prevent such clashes by erecting police steel cordon outside the Parliamentary estates to separate them when their supporters are set to hold demonstrations this Friday.

Dissenting nobles
In the lower house—the Dewan Deputi—the bill enjoyed overwhelming support from cross-party MPs in the wake of rising influence of radical Islam within the archipelagic country. It remains unclear, however, whether the bill would perform well in the upper house—the Dewan Bangsawan—where a small number of life peers and native royals hold a more sympathetic stance towards Islamist organisations, some of which, they believe, were unjustly placed under public suspicion following the passage of Terrorism (supplementary) Act 2017.

His Princely Highness the Kandjeng Ratu Mas of Keagungan, who currently holds a hereditary seat in the upper house as head of one of the Commonwealth’s native princely families, is one of the few hereditary peers who object to the passage of the bill. He has urged a number of fellow peers to form a voting bloc against other hereditary and life peers who support the bill. His Princely Highness has managed to garner the support of 29 peers but he still has to convince at least 39 more fellow peers to join his voting bloc in order to defeat the bill.

If defeated in the Dewan Bangsawan, the bill will return to the lower house to be reconsidered by MPs. Should the bill pass, it would become the most successful Private Member’s Bill to date, with regard to its immense approval in the Dewan Deputi and, possibly, the Dewan Bangsawan as well.




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Postby Hindia Belanda » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:55 pm

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Saira Wong | Palace Correspondent
12 September 2018 | Buitenzorg, Hindia Belanda


As the sighting of the new moon over Hindia Belanda marks the arrival of the Islamic New Year, Shia and Sunni Muslims across the Commonwealth celebrate the first day of Muharram, but for starkly different reasons. The majority of Muslims in Hindia Belanda who are Batini Shias belong to two different branches: the Twelvers, who believe in a line of twelve successive Imams, the twelfth of which is believed to have disappeared in 941, and the Ismailis, whose current and living Imam is the Aga Khan IV. Shias don the robe of mourning at sunset and continue to honour the first ten days of the new year in solemn remembrance. It was on this month in 680 that Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and the third Shia Imam, was killed along with his family by order of the Caliph Yazid at the Battle of Karbala, for which Shia Muslims mourn every year.

On the contrary, for the minority Sunni Muslims, the Islamic New Year is a cultural holiday with some religious significance, marking the story of the Exodus, the liberation of the Israelites from the land of Egypt. Hosting a dinner during such period has always been a challenge for Buitenzorg Palace, one which necessitates sensitivity to both Shia and Sunni Muslims and a poised balance between mourning and celebration. This is reflected in the palace's choice of muted decors and subdued entertainment in lieu of the pomp and pageantry usually seen at the Governor-General's official residence. The Queen's representative has decided on a theme for this year's dinner: "Reconciliation with Nature."

On the fifth of September, I accompanied Buitenzorg Palace's Head Florist Bagus Kartasoetardjo and his team to the highlands of Eastern Java, in search of green gladioluses and red honeysuckles, both fragrant flowers which represent, according to a Shia tradition, the favourite colours of Hasan and Husayn, the second and third Shia Imams respectively. After driving for nearly two hours along the narrow, meandering road that runs from the city of Matalima to the Puncak Hyang Highlands, we pulled up to the side and continued the rest of the journey by foot. There were eleven of us, including Emma de Vries, the Chief Botanist of the Buitenzorg Palace Botanical Gardens, and a local ranger. Equipped with gardening tools and a mandate to bring those plants back to the palace, we walked for a few kilometres, scouring the wilderness, before arriving in a forest clearing where a specimen of red honeysuckle was found gloriously blooming.

At the sight of the scarlet flower, Kartasoetardjo reminded me that I could not help him uproot the plant. "As much as I'd like an extra hand, you legally can't," he told me, laughing. He explained that he and his team are, in fact, the only persons in Hindia Belanda, apart from authorised researchers and gardeners working for a public body, "who can legally uproot any plants growing wild in public land". I sat on a nearby tree stump, as the team carefully dug a circle around the plant, lifted it off the ground and put it into a special container with relative ease.

As Head Florist of Buitenzorg Palace, Kartasoetardjo is responsible for making sure virtually every spot throughout the palace complex, all one hundred eighty three rooms of it, has a floral arrangement. His flower shop, a small neoclassical cottage on the palace grounds, is supplied year-round with flowers from the adjacent botanical gardens and manned by twenty two assistants. For this year's Muharram Memorial Dinner, he wanted something different, something that the botanical gardens did not yet have in its sprawling, eighty seven hectares of lush manicured expanse. "I want to revive the memory of the two Imams through the red honeysuckle and the green gladiolus," Kartasoetardjo told me one afternoon as we stood by the Little Mermaid statue near the palace pond. "They're quite rare in these parts, but I've been told they're out there, somewhere." Emma de Vries, the Chief Botanist at the botanical gardens, quickly lit up with excitement when Kartasoetardjo told her of his plans late last August. Bringing a rare specimen to the gardens is something that any Chief Botanist dreams of accomplishing whilst in office and so she agreed, with permission from Governor-General Rahmadisoerja, to start the expedition.

Indeed, de Vries seemed to have intimate knowledge of the region, where more than a century ago the likes of naturalist Russel Wallace first began their surveys of the verdant land. She pointed the way to another forest clearing, where we found yet another red honeysuckle, and again to the next. Already there were six freshly uprooted honeysuckle plants in our containers by the time the sun reached its zenith. As we moved through the forest, de Vries spied, through the leaves, the fragrant green gladiolus. "For Imam Hasan!" De Vries shouted, jubilant, and immediately the team started their labour. After walking for another hour, we finally laid our eyes on our sixth and final green gladiolus. This time, it was a very young specimen and the team looked satisfied with what they had found. We retraced our path back to our wranglers on the side of the road, put the containers in the backseat to take to the nearest airstrip where a cargo plane was waiting to fly us back to Buitenzorg.


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The Red Javan Honeysuckle, blooming in the wilderness of Eastern Java

On arriving at the palace in the evening, the team hauled the plants to an area of the botanical gardens beside the tomb of Olivia Mariamne Raffles, wife of Lieutenant-Governor Raffles, and planted them carefully with the help of gardeners on the palace's payroll. From the distance, we could see Governor-General Rahmadisoerja walking with a guest, followed by what seemed to be their entourages. "Must be someone important," one gardener commented, as she covered the roots of the flowers with soil, their emerald bulbs and scarlet basking in the orange sunset of Jakarta's satellite city.

The morning of the Muharram Memorial Dinner, yesterday, Kartasoetardjo stood in the middle of his busy flower shop, cutting the green and red flowers, mixing them with jasmine and tuberoses. Around him was a ballet of activity, all twenty two of his assistants and his daughter Nadia, who volunteered for the occasion, occupied with the same repetitive task. It was hypnotising to see the way these flowers were cut, trimmed, sprayed and then arranged ever so carefully in large black porcelain vases carrying the Hindia Belandan coat of arms in gold. At one point, the Governor-General even dropped by, offering words of encouragement to Kartasoetardjo's team. "Just take your time," the Queen's representative said to her Head Florist.

Two hours before the first guests would arrive, Kartasoetardjo carried the final arrangement and placed it in front of a wooden podium, where dignitaries would take turn speaking later that night. He smiled, looking jubilant, as servers around him rushed back and forth with silverwares in their hands. "When I started working here, this was an entirely different place," the Head Florist, now forty, recalled his first day on the job in 2003, when his position was created by then-Governor-General Salim. "This palace paid no attention to detail. Before, they just bought whatever flowers were available in the market as long as they fit the budget. This palace was soulless." A few months into his job as Head Florist, in 2006, one of his floral arrangements made the headlines. It was a centrepiece for Koninginnedag, a towering floral bouquet at the top of which were chrysanthemum flowers in the shape of a sun. From then on, Kartasoetardjo became a household name in the florist world.

Finally at eight o'clock, amongst a sea of Kartasoetardjo's green and red flowers, the Governor-General in her black dress opened the dinner with a recital of what Esoteric Shias believe to be God's own monologue to humankind, as captured in the poetry of a Sufi Saint: "I have made Myself fragrance so often, but still you have not smelt Me," Governor-General Rahmadisoerja said from the podium to a multitude of guests in similarly dark attire. "Others love you for their own sakes, but I love you for yourself," she continued. "So love Me. Love Me alone."

Prime Minister Antje Moeljani was teary and so was Marcus Overstraten, now Leader of the Opposition, who I caught looking up at the foliage-covered ceiling - also courtesy of the Head Florist. The guests, like me, were visibly lost in the moment as if pondering, perhaps, over the question of existence itself. Or was it something else? It was hard to tell, but everyone, surrounded by flora of green and red, seemed prayerful in their contemplation, and Kartasoetardjo took that as a success. Outside, the palace is lit in the two Imams' favourite colours; everything was well thought out.

What came out of his work over the past week, from the wilderness of Eastern Java to the State Dining Room at Buitenzorg Palace, was a series of meticulous floral arrangements of different strains, fragrant yet unpretentious, mashed up together into an assemblage worthy of honouring the two Shia Imams. Their omnipresence at the sedate, candlelit dinner reminded all who attended of the passion of Hasan, the sorrowful fate that awaited Husayn and his family in the plains of Karbala and the hope for a world born anew, at peace with our many differences. "We're all different, just as the flowers in my arrangements are different," Kartasoetardjo told me. "But they do complement each other in their own, equally beautiful ways. And that's enough for me."




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Last edited by Hindia Belanda on Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
Nederlands-Indië - Hindia Belanda
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Notre vie est un voyage, dans l'hiver et dans la nuit.
Nous cherchons notre passage, dans le ciel où rien ne luit.
Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Senator (independent)

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New York Times Democracy

Postby Hindia Belanda » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:13 am

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Briefings for Friday, 14 December 2018

Antje Moeljani, the Prime Minister, and her cabinet are on their way to Koninstad to meet their Noordenstaatian counterparts at the biannual Royal Union conference of ministers. By tradition, the Prime Minister carries the Governor-General's Christmas Greetings for Her Majesty the Queen and will return to Hindia Belanda with the monarch's reciprocal Christmas Message for the Queen's representative. 72-year old Antara Soeparta, former CEO of Halvestör Group, was arrested in Bandar Kunti on charges of financial fraud. He served as the financial adviser to Marcus Overstraten, the former Prime Minister and current Leader of the Opposition. Mr Overstraten refused to comment on the matter when asked by journalists outside his Upper Menteng townhouse, as he left for Parliament this morning. In Southeastern Malaya, tensions rise as anti-government protesters swarmed the streets demanding a second independence referendum. Antje Moeljani, the Prime Minister, has ruled out any possibility of a future independence referendum for the autonomous province. Southeastern Malayan Police has so far arrested 84 protesters on charges of vandalism and arson. Moehammad Hoemajoen Soedjadi, the Undersecretary of State for Interior and Kingdom Affairs, wrote in the Weltevreden Review that he would give total support for another round of raids on Islamists and terrorist sympathisers across the Commonwealth. Mr Soedjadi argued that it is in the national interest for Prime Minister Antje Moeljani to continue this controversial practice, which was started by the ousted Liberal Democratic government of Marcus Overstraten.

Although still in the red, Air Nederlands Indië shows a twenty-eight percent improvement in revenue (Q4) since its restructuring early February this year. The Hindia Belandan flag carrier has been cutting down expenses and discontinuing unprofitable routes, after losing hundreds of millions in profit in Q3 last year. Over twenty-six million customers of OranjeHB across Hindia Belanda are still without internet access after the service stopped working on Wednesday night, leaving them unable to access the essential Negaraku App on the go. OranjeHB CEO has apologised to customers and promised to get the service back up and running by tomorrow morning. Halvestör is to cut eight hundred jobs, mostly from its management positions. Finance Minister Louis Wouters announced yesterday evening that television licence in the Commonwealth will be abolished starting next fiscal year. This morning, Mr Wouters told the Dewan Deputi, the lower house of Parliament, that the Treasury would no longer levy the licence fee to fund the NI4, the Hindia Belandan public service broadcaster. The NI4 will start receiving direct grant from the Commonwealth Government starting April next year.


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Covert, the hip beach club in Tanau known to host some of Astyria’s most lively nightlife scenes, was closed yesterday evening after patrons reported being sick. Tanau Police Commissioner said this morning that the venue will remain closed as investigation is underway. Governor-General Maryam Rahmadisoerja and husband Darius Rahmadisoerja received the Buitenzorg Palace Christmas trees, of the Dacrydium kind which grow abundantly in the highlands of Java, early this morning. The Viceregal Couple invited local residents to the small photo-op on the palace grounds, as the trees are hauled by a team led by Emma de Vries and Bagus Kartasoetardjo, respectively the palace’s Chief Botanist and Head Florist. Two men and three women were arrested in the resort town of Bandar Kunti for spraying graffiti next to the private residence of the Queen’s Commissioner for Bali. In Ohellno, Papoua, thirty-two Melanesians were arrested for raising the secessionist Papouan flag.


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The Museum of Astyrian Art in Princetown, Hifax celebrates one hundred and thirty four years of Hifaxian artist Pedro Garré with an exhibition of his canvas works, some of which are being revealed for the first time before the public’s eyes. The exhibition runs until 7 January next year, after which it will travel to a number of Astyrian countries, including Hindia Belanda, in a bid to promote Hifaxian culture region-wide.

The Conference of the Birds will once again return to the Hindia Belandan stage, artist Maya Utami announced on Wednesday. The musical performance, which received numerous accolades for its excellent rendition of the twelfth century poem and novel use of theatrical techniques, will open for its nineteenth run on New Year’s Day at the Jakarta Opera House.
Last edited by Hindia Belanda on Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
Nederlands-Indië - Hindia Belanda
IIIIIIIIIIIIII
IIIIIIIIIIIIII
IIIIIIIIIIIIII

Notre vie est un voyage, dans l'hiver et dans la nuit.
Nous cherchons notre passage, dans le ciel où rien ne luit.
Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Senator (independent)

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