Editorial (124)



March 8 is celebrated worldwide as International Women's Day. This celebration is a form of appreciation of women’s achievement in various fields, ranging from politics to social spheres. At the same time, the celebration also shows that a lot of homework has to be done. One of them is the level of violence against women.

International Women's Day has a long history of protests or demonstrations by women in America and Europe to demand their rights in the early 20th century. March 8 was chosen to commemorate the massive demonstrations and strikes by women that took place in Russia on 8th of March, 2017.

In 1977, International Women's Day was inaugurated as an annual celebration by the United Nations –UN to fight for women's rights and to realize world peace.

According to UN Women Watch, this year's theme is "Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women's lives". This theme is inspired from the campaign #Metoo in the United States and other countries around the world such as France, Mexico, Italy, and even Arab countries. The campaign was conducted to show how widespread the incidence of violence and sexual harassment against women is, especially in the workplace which has happened so far. International Women's Day wants a movement to provide support to those who are victims of sexual harassment. In addition, this year's theme also wants the advocacy or legal assistance given to the survivors and punishment to the perpetrators.

One of the steps that can be taken to reduce violence against women is through empowerment. At the UN forum in New York in last September 2015, all member countries of the UN, including Indonesia along with UN Women launched ‘Planet 2030’. The target to be achieved in 2030 is gender equality 50:50 or conditions in which one country has created justice and equality between men and women in all aspects. This can be achieved by increasing the empowerment of women in various fields.

Empowerment is the key to eliminating violence and improving women's dignity. This empowerment can start from instilling values ​​that respect the existence of women in the family. In addition, women need to be empowered economically, because the family economy becomes one of the causes of violence and women have a major role in the family economy. 

Empowerment must be done since early, including in Indonesia. That is by instilling an even education and various skills for girls. This task is the responsibility of all parties to eliminate violence against women as a final result can be achieved.


In recent months, arrests of drug abusers and drug dealers in Indonesia have been reported more intensively. The circulation of narcotics in this country is increasingly troublesome. Indonesia is in a drug emergency.

Currently, there is law No. 35/2009 which regulates the narcotics and psychotropic. But the law is considered irrelevant to the current situation of emergency drug in Indonesia. Criminalizing drug users, as stipulated in the law, is less appropriate, as it reduces the success of healing users, and it also leading to overcrowding the penitentiaries.

Director of the Legal Aid Society, Ricky Gunawan argues that one solution is to de-criminalize drug users, as already practiced by Portugal and Slovakia. In both countries, the problem of drug crime can be drastically reduced based on the policy. The use of narcotics should be treated as a health issue, not a legal issue.

Former Director of BNN Enforcement, Benny Jozua Mamoto views that based on the survey of BNN, the success of law enforcers to reveal the smuggling of drugs is only about 10%. He also assessed that the handling of drug crimes should involve all related stakeholders, including those who carry out ongoing and massive prevention and rehabilitation efforts.

On November 2nd, 2017 in Jakarta, the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) and several civil institutions organized a media briefing on the launch of a legal review on 'Strengthening the Revision of Indonesian Narcotics Act'. This review is an input to the revision of the law narcotics and regulations of civil society organizations, such as ICJR, Rumah Cemara, Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association, and the network of civilian institution, Coalition 35/2009.

There are three main recommendations of the review of the revision of the narcotics law. The first point is the user's decriminalization; clear restrictions on identifying users and drug addicts; second one is strengthening rehabilitation centers to be opened for users and the addicted and the third point is resolving fair trial issues in criminal justice.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Daily Judicial Monitoring Society of Indonesia, Choky Riska Ramadhan said that his side and a number of non-governmental organizations, such as the Community Legal Aid Institute and the Indonesian Association of Victims of Violence, are making a draft academic revision of the narcotics law. One important point is that drug users need to be rehabilitated medically, not imprisoned. This proposal is supported by Head of Public Relations of the Directorate General of Corrections, Ade Kusnanto. It’s necessary to note that rehabilitation should be accompanied with medical, psychological, and social examination by the assessment team.

All parties really want drug cases in Indonesia to be overcome with coordination of various related agencies. The House of Representatives -DPR urged the government to finalize the academic script and draft revision of the narcotics law. Deputy Speaker of the DPR, Taufik Kurniawan even said that if the government does not immediately complete and submit it, the DPR is ready to take over the discussion of the revision of the narcotics law to suggest the initiative of the DPR.

The viewpoint of the Indonesian nation that declares that war on narcotics abuse is obvious. But there must be a stricter law. If the law No. 35/2009 is not relevant anymore, The DPR has to immediately revise it to accommodate various problems of narcotics faced by Indonesia.


Diplomatic relations between South Korea and its  neighbor North Korea is  entering  a new phase. Last Monday, South Korean government special envoy, visited Pyong Yang and was received directly by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two Koreas' encounter, which has never happened for more than a decade, is said to bring fresh air to the growing relationship of both neighbors. The official North Korean news agency, KCNA, reported that President Kim Jong-Un received the South Korean delegation warmly at a special banquet. According to South Korean top officials there were at least three important things expressed in the meeting. The first is good news, North Korea is keen to resume bilateral talks with South Korea over the suspension of nuclear testing. Second, North Korea agreed to hold a meeting between the two Korean leaders in Pamunjom next month. Pamunjom is a city on the border of the two Koreas. The third, according to a South Korean government delegate, North Korean  President is also open to talks with the United States. The results of initial meetings between the North and South Korean governments, at least give hope  to the peace efforts of the two neighbors, who have been at war since the end of the second world war. The people who more or less come from  the same origins, but are separated and live in two hostile states, certainly hope that the agreement can materialize. And the relations between the two neighboring countries continue to improve. Previously, there was already a sign of softening the relationship between the two governments. That is,  when North Korea sent its athletes to join the recent winter Olympics in South Korea. However, the occurrence of a historic moment is yet to be awaited. Experience shows that North Korea has previously broken its promise. For example, it  broke a collective agreement on the suspension of a nuclear test in 2005. The reason for the breach of the agreement at that time was,  North Korea felt insecure after stopping nuclear tests which were intended to protect the country. Indonesia, as friend of the two Koreas certainly hopes that peace can soon be materialized in  the Peninsula.



President Joko Widodo inaugurated Inspector General of Police, Heru Winarko as Chief of the National Narcotics Agency -BNN at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday (1/3/2018). Heru replaces Police Commissioner General Budi Waseso who is going to get retired. Seeing his track record, Heru Winarko, who was born in Jakarta on December 1st 1962, is  a prudent figure in his institution. He was graduated from Police Academy (Akpol) in 1985. His career man is quite brilliant in the police. Several positions which were held by Gen. Heru Winarko include Deputy of Corruption Eradication Commission -KPK and Expert Staff for Ideology and Constitution at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs -Menko Polhukam. But, there is also some doubt in some individuals about Gen. Heru Winarko's ability as the new chief of BNN. This may be because the previous positions are not directly related to drug problems. Is he able to  combat against drug trafficking in Indonesia and obtain achievement like Budi Waseso did or even, the achievement is better? President Joko Widodo once said that Gen. Heru was chosen for this position because of his background in KPK. He is believed to have high integrity for the post considering that the money circulating in this illegal business is very huge and tempting. The President also expects to have good standards brought from KPK to BNN so that BNN becomes a more professional institution than before. The research outcome conducted by BNN along with Depok Health Research Center at the University of Indonesia -UI shows that almost 6 million Indonesian citizens are trapped in various types of narcotics. The users can be found not only from the adult but also the school children from elementary level. If this is not dealt with immediately, Indonesia could lose a generation because of the influence of drugs. A lot of drug users, especially the addicted ones make drug dealers and drug agents increasingly supply the illegal drugs into Indonesia. The last case was that BNN successfully foiled the distribution of 1.6-ton methamphetamine –Shabu-shabu from a Taiwanese-flagged fishing boat in the waters of the Riau Islands. Last July 2017in a discussion, BNN's Deputy of Prevention, Inspector General Djohardi Wirogioto said that the use of narcotics in Indonesia is the largest in Asia. As long as Chief of BNN, Budi Waseso successfully revealed a lot of drug syndicates. During 2016 and 2017, BNN seized more than 100 tons of drugs with various types and handled 807 cases and arrested more than 1.200 suspects. BNN also managed to uncover 46 types of new narcotics. Even in 2016, BNN shot dead 79 drug dealers who resisted when arrested. In addition, cases of money laundering that came from drugs were also uncovered. The money amounted to almost Rp10 trillion. BNN has established a Task Force of anti-narcotics in all regions in Indonesia, consisting of students, students, private and government agencies, and the public. This achievement not only shows Budi Waseso’s achievement, but also shows that drugs have become the main enemy of the state, especially for younger generations. The data shows how terrible the onslaught of drug networks in Indonesia. Heavy duty awaits Inspector General of Police, Heru Winarko as  new Chief of National Narcotics Agency -BNN. Hopefully, he is able to continue the task to better fight against drugs. Indonesia must be free from drug trafficking. Mr. Heru Winarko, happy working!


The conflict in Afghanistan, which has been going on for about four decades, has to come an end. Recently, there has been  a good intention from the government of Afghanistan to end the conflict. The Afghan government is to open opportunity for Taliban, that has always opposed  Kabul government, to participate in the administration. The conflict in Afghanistan began in 1979 when the Soviet Union established a puppet government in Kabul. When the Soviet invaded Afghanistan, there was no resistance from the Afghan government forces. Rejection came from the people, mainly Mujahidin. At that time, the United States that did not want to see any communist forces in Afghanistan, immediately helped the resistance against the Soviet Union. Besides the Mujahidin, another group that also fought the Soviet Union was Taliban. The fight against the Soviet Union finally ended 10 years later. Unfortunately, after the departure of Soviet Union, these two resistance groups began  fighting for power. In 1996, the Pakistani-backed Taliban took office in Kabul. Later, under the pretext of chasing Osama bin Laden, who was accused of being the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 WTC twin-tower attack, the United States and its allies joined the  conflict. A new government under US control was formed. Outside Kabul, emerging resistance groups rejected the presence of the United States and Western allies. All of them use Taliban flags and they keep resisting until now. Efforts have been made to end the civil war in Afghanistan. Until todays, there is no solution. A breakthrough is made by Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani by opening opportunity, but the Taliban side is ambivalent. The elite are only willing to negotiate with the USA, while other groups want to negotiate with Kabul government. The Taliban needs to solve this internal problem first, before entering the peace process. Indonesia is seriously offering a peace solution to Afghanistan. This was conveyed when President Joko Widodo visited Kabul last January. Almost one month later, Vice President Jusuf Kalla was present at the Peace Process in Afghanistan. Indonesia is ready to mediate the conflicting parties to meet in Indonesia. Indeed, Afghanistan's long-standing problem will not be solved  within few days of talks. All conflicting parties must be patient, if Afghanistan wants peace again.


Managing Director of International Monetary Fund –IMF, Christine Lagarde arrived in Indonesia on February 26, 2018. Christine who the first woman is holding the highest position at the IMF became key speaker at the meeting held by Bank Indonesia and IMF on February 27, 2018. Twitter account @IMF informs that the focus of the event was the analysis of global trends, and how countries adapt to global change, while still prospering.

Another agenda was to discuss the latest economic developments and prospects of Indonesia, as well as the World Bank's Annual Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali in October 2018. These two issues were central to her meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the State Palace.

Interestingly, Cristine Lagarde was also invited by President Joko Widodo to Blusukan (to check on the spot) to two places, namely Pertamina Central Hospital and Tanah Abang Wholesale Center. At Pertamina Central Hospital, Chistine Lagarde witnessed services for Healthy Card Indonesia participants (KIS) as well as social security system for health. In particular, Christine expressed that she impressed with the free health service for the more than 90 million people, and offered a salute to President Joko Widodo.

The second place that became her blusukan destination is Tanah Abang Wholesale Center. In the place, there are approximately 19,000 stalls and it is the largest in Southeast Asia. Christine Lagarde directly witnessed the enthusiasm, energy, and service of small and medium-sized micro businesses. She views that all of this shows the dynamism of Indonesian society and economy.

By looking directly at health services and micro, small and medium enterprises in Jakarta, it is expected that many things can be promoted by the IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde about Indonesia to the world. These two things could be material in the implementation of the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF next October.

Indeed, Indonesia is carrying out a campaign called ‘Voyage to Indonesia 2018’, as a series of activities ahead of the upcoming IMF annual meeting. It is expected that the visit of the IMF Managing Director will have a positive impact to attract investors to invest in the health sector.

Christine Lagarde herself bought a Koko shirt at Tanah Abang. Of course, this will also be a direct promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises Indonesia. It’s hoped that not only to attract thousands of participants of IMF annual meetings to participate in buying UMKM products, but also to open the export gate of Indonesian Small and Medium Enterprises’ products.


The ceasefire in Syria remains a question mark. The Armistice declared by the United Nations Security Council two days ago requires a strong commitment of the disputants to carry it out. From the area of ​​Ghouta which is the  battleground of the two disputing parties, the were news of some  ceasefire violations. Information from humanitarian activists said there had been an air raid allegedly committed by the Syrian government.

The reported air strike took place 30 minutes after the start of the ceasefire, allegedly killing two civilians. Before the ceasefire was declared by the UN Security Council, Syrian fighter planes had bombarded Ghouta area which was the defense base of the rebels. The UN Security Council therefore unanimously approved a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria.

This is to provide opportunities for the delivery of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of civilians. Some circles have doubted  the implementation of the resolution set by all members of the Security Council because they do not feel included in the talks. It turned out less than half an hour after the ceasefire was set, air strikes once again took place. Therefore, it  is still can not be predicted when the war in Syria will end. The various interests and powers  of outsiders, tangled  with domestic feuds, have made the Syrian war so complicated and difficult to resolve.



President Joko Widodo again reminded the Indonesian people not to split because of different choices in the simultaneous Regional Head Election 2018 (Pilkada). In his speech at the opening ceremony of Sholawat Nusantara Festival Presidential Cup, held at Sentul International Convention Center, Bogor, West Java, Saturday (24 / 2), President Joko Widodo calls for thousands of students who were present to always think positively and respect each other. In his speech, President Joko Widodo reaffirmed his state visit to Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

In the countries, the President witnessed firsthand how the Muslims who should live peace in brotherhood suffered for 40 years because of conflict. Thus, President Joko Widodo calls for the people of Indonesia to keep fraternity among Muslims (Ukhuwah Islamiyah or the bonds of nationality (Ukhuwah wathaniyah), and fellow brotherhood among human beings (Ukhuwah basyariyah). The appeal to not split because of elections is not declared for the first time. On several occasions, President Joko Widodo has disclosed the same appeal to remind the Indonesian people of the importance of maintaining unity and togetherness, specially before the simultaneous Regional Head Election 2018 (Pilkada) on next 27 June 2018 in 17 provinces and 154 regencies and cities.

Currently, the atmosphere of election has begun to be felt, remembering the voting cast remains about 5 months ahead. It’s not without reason why President Joko Widodo repeatedly urges the people of Indonesia to keep unity. Indonesia, which has various ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, is vulnerable to splitting. Ahead of the Regional Head Election, there is often a friction in the community. The most common one is usually related to the issue of  tribe, religion, race, and interfaiths -SARA.

Indonesia is a country that emphasizes unity and togetherness. The unity is what makes Indonesia independent in 1945. Without being united, it is impossible for Indonesia to be able to become a great country. We do not want to see because the election is held every 5 years, Indonesia becomes split. The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and some other regions of the world should be a great lesson and reflection for the Indonesian people how important it is to maintain unity.


In 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO used to say that if a language is extinct, the world loses its precious legacy and  a lot of legends, poetry and knowledge gathered from generation to generation will go extinct.

The language is so important so that since February 21, 1999, UNESCO has determined the International Mother Tongue Day. The date was chosen based on the historic event of the Language Movement Day in Bangladesh.

On February 21, 1952, students and communities in eastern Bengal (now Bangladesh) took to the streets to protest the marginalization of Bengali by the Pakistani central government which only recognizes Urdu. A number of students were killed as victims of violence in the language movement. For this reason, UNESCO selected February 21 as International Mother Tongue Day. Through its commemoration, this year UNESCO reiterates its commitment to the diversity of languages and invites its member countries to commemorate it as much as possible. It is also a reminder that language diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development.

Then, how does Indonesia respond the International Mother  Tongue Day?  From 1992 to mid-2016, the Language Agency has documented 646 local languages throughout Indonesia. The number of languages that have been verified and mapped reaches as many as 617 local languages. Summer Institute of Linguistics, a non-profit scientific organization in the United States that studies, develops and documents lesser known languages, reports that the number of languages in Indonesia is 742 and 737 of which are still actively spoken. In the meantime, less than 10% or maybe only 5% of Indonesian languages have been researched by linguists to be concerned because there are no more their speakers.

One hundred and forty-five languages whose speakers are fewer than one million people continue to decline. It is estimated that 30 of the 58 local languages ​​in West Papua have been extinct over the past 20 years. In addition, around 15 local languages, such as Meyans, Mpur, Dunser, and Karondori ​​in West Papua are also confirmed to have been out of use by their speakers.

According to UNESCO, language is the center of social, economic and cultural life. It's not just the research of linguists. Language also determines social struggles in completing economic development in a global era by prioritizing knowledge and local wisdom.

In addition, the commemoration of International Mother Tongue Day in some regions is a venue for local language lovers with different backgrounds, professions and even ages to share. Mother tongue is about not only for artists, writers or local humanists, but also all the stakeholders of Indonesian nation to preserve the mother tongues.


A shooting spree by a Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school student to his friends happened in Parkland, Florida, right on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2018. It wasn’t the first incident that happened in the United States. The latest perpetrator was a teenager who fired his gun and caused 17 school students lost their lives in vain. Indeed, the laws governing arms ownership in the United States differ from state to state. Florida is one of the states that loosely imposes it. Students, who are concerned about this latest incident, held several rallies to encourage the United States government to regulate stricter ownership of weapons. Representatives of students and parents even met President Donald Trump directly, asking him to conduct stricter supervision. Instead of getting support, they had to  hear Trump's idea of  arming teachers with guns. Parents object to this idea because they think it makes the school a shooting arena in case of an attack. Although they disagree with President Trump, howver, some schools suspended students who held anti-weapons rallies. To commemorate this event, a rally will be held on March 14, 2018, exactly one month after the Florida shooting, and on April 20, 2018 to commemorate a similar incident  at Columbine High School in Colorado. A series of shootings that occurred in schools in the United States is very alarming. Educational institutions should be a source of positive learning place  for students. School is not an arena of indulging violence whether it is physical, verbal or  emotional. There is an English saying which  puts importance on the  Man Behind the Gun. It means that it’s the person behind the tool or device, especially in a job;  that is important.  In the case of shooting in America, this saying can be taken literally. A good person holding a weapon may be doing  good, otherwise if a bad one is behind the gun, terrible  things can happen.

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