The wRap Indonesia: March 17, 2015
JAKARTA, Indonesia — In today's wrap, Indonesia grants visa-free privileges to 30 countries but Australia, and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reaffirms his stance on the death penalty.
1. Indonesia invites more foreigners to visit without a visa – but not Australians
Soon, tourists from an additional 30 countries will be able to visit Indonesia without a visa, but Australians were left off the list amid the ongoing row over the looming executions of the Bali Nine drug smugglers. The move comes as Jakarta seeks to boost a faltering economy, which is growing at 5-year lows, and to attract more foreign income as the rupiah rapidly weakens. The policy could bring in an extra $1 billion a year and would come into effect next month. Read the full story on Rappler.
2. Jokowi reaffirms stance on death penalty: No forgiveness
In an interview with Radio Elshinta on Tuesday, March 17, Jokowi reiterated that his decision to execute convicted drug dealers would not change. He asked people to not only look at the execution and the inmates, but also the victims of the drugs to see how bad the effects of the crime were. “So, for me, there’s no forgiveness for the dealers,” he said. Read the full story in Bahasa Indonesia on Rappler.
3. Judge frees 75-year-old man in another case of log theft
A Yogyakarta court on Tuesday declared as not guilty 67-year-old Harso Taruno in yet another case of alleged log theft. The case began when Harso found a log back in September 2014 blocking the road to his land. As he didn't have the capacity to move the entire log, Harso decided to cut the block into three pieces and store them near his land. The very next day, police came and detained him. He was only released a month later on bail.
4. Miss Indonesia 2006 joins the US Army
This is an unusual career choice for a beauty queen: Miss Indonesia 2006 winner Kristania Virginia Besouw has joined the US Army. Born in Manado, North Sulawesi, she represented the province in 2006 and won the coveted Miss Indonesia title. She had been living in the US for several years on a student visa, and in order to continue staying there, she decided to join the US army through the MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) program because its graduates become US citizens, she told Tribun Manado in an interview.
5. Jakarta councilor Haji Lulung issues legal warning against Slank's Kaka
Jakarta City Council deputy speaker Abraham “Haji Lulung” Lunggana was not pleased with Slank vocalist Kaka calling him a dangerous person after the lawmaker criticized Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama over the budget row. In turn, Lulung issued a legal warning against Kaka, which basically means he'll file a lawsuit if Kaka continues criticizing him. Slank drummer Bimbim said Kaka wasn't bothered about Lulung's threat, adding that it was Slank’s culture to criticize everyone, including politicians, according to CNN Indonesia. —Rappler.com