Search and rescue workers will continue to conduct their search and evacuation operations on Wednesday morning, as death toll in the Sriwijaya Bus accident rose, from 24 to 28, Tuesday, at 8 p.m. local time.

"The death toll possibly goes up since the evacuation process will be continued on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. local time," Head of the Palembang Search and Rescue Agency's Operational and Preparedness Division Benteng Telau stated.

The ill-fated passenger bus plying on the Bengkulu-Palembang route plunged into an 80-meter-deep ravine and crashed in the Lematang River, Pagaralam City, South Sumatra, on Monday evening.

Consequently, no less than 28 people lost their lives, while 13 others survived the accident. The survivors were largely residents of the provinces of Bengkulu and South Sumatra, Telau remarked.

Among the dead passengers were children named Rayhan Ghani (3), Ayu Intan (9), and Fadhil (10), as well as the bus driver, Fery, and his assistant, Yuda Sanjaya. So far, 25 of the 28 bodies could have been identified, he stated.

As reported earlier, the Sriwijaya Bus that crashed into the ravine carried onboard 37 passengers. However, the actual passenger count was yet to be precisely known in the absence of an official manifest.

According to Telau, those surviving this accident generally suffered injuries. The survivors included Basarudin, Hepriadi, Hasanah, Sukiyem, Aisyah Awaliah Putri, Ariri, Lukman, Aldi, Riduan, Darusalam, Riki, Haris Krisyanto, and Khadijah.

The real causes of this fatal accident have yet to be publicly disclosed since the local police's investigation is still underway.

In the past fortnight, Indonesia has borne witness to several fatal traffic accidents.

On Saturday evening (Dec 21), for instance, the Agro Parahyangan passenger train hit a van that was making its way at a railway crossing on Bosih Road in Wanasari Village, Cibitung Sub-district, Bekasi District, West Java Province, killing seven passengers in the car.

"All of them died at the site of the accident," Bekasi Metropolitan Police spokesman Adjunct Commissioner Sunardi stated.

According to eye witnesses, the ill-fated van's driver, Bahrudin, crossed the railway line despite being warned by local residents of the shortly arriving Agro Parahyangan train heading to Jakarta, he remarked.

The traffic accident resulted in the deaths of the 51-year-old driver and six other people in the van: Watinah (50), Santi (30), Didit (12), Yanto, Syarufudin (49), and Yanda (32).

They were residents of the Utan Kayu Selatan Village, Matraman Sub-district, East Jakarta


Voice of Vietnam (VOV) in collaboration with the Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia and the Indonesian Embassy in Vietnam organized two writing contests with the theme "Finding out about President Ho Chi Minh's visit in Indonesia and President Soekarno in Vietnam". The release of Voice of Vietnam received by Voice of Indonesia in Jakarta on Tuesday (12/24) said that this activity was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's visit to Indonesia and President Soekarno's visit to Vietnam and to welcome the 65 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Indonesia in 2020.

In his remarks during the presentation of prizes to the winners which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, Tuesday (12/24), the Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, Ibnu Hadi said the contest was very relevant and should be known by the young generation of Indonesia and Vietnam.


"This event is very good because it has been exactly 60 years, this historical visit I think needs to be commemorated because by holding this, all generations can know, not only the older generation who experienced the visit but also the younger generation. So it is very relevant to remind the younger generation that the basis of the close relations between Indonesia and Vietnam and also to encourage cooperation in ASEAN was already carried out in 1959. So it's very relevant and very good, said Ibnu Hadi.


The writing contest themed "Finding out about President Ho Chi Minh's visit in Indonesia and President Soekarno’s visit in Vietnam" has been held in Indonesia and Vietnam. The organizing committee received a lot of writings from the people of Indonesia and Vietnam about this historic event. The prizes for the Indonesian winners were handed over by the Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pamp Vinh Quang in Jakarta on November 8, 2019. While the prize for the winners in Vietnam were handed over by VOV President Nguyen The Ky and the Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, Ibnu Hadi. Special winners from Vietnam received prizes in the form of a free visit to Indonesia for 5 days for 2 people. (VOV Release / AHM)



Indonesia's government will launch two special economic zones in Batam Island, Riau, in 2020, the Coordinating Economy Ministry stated in Jakarta, Monday, while it awaits the free trade and port zone (KPBPB) regulation’s revised version.

"The draft revision has been completed, and we await the president (Joko Widodo) to ink the document. Once it is signed, the two special trade zones will be operational," the ministry's infrastructure acceleration and region development deputy, Wahyu Utomo, stated in Jakarta, Monday.
While awaiting the revised version of the government's regulation (PP), the chairman of the special trade development/the Coordinating Minister of Economy Airlangga Hartarto had contacted officials and stakeholders to prepare for the launch of two special trade zones in Batam Island.

In 2019, the authority approved the construction of two special trade zones, including a maintenance and repair facility for aircraft at the Hang Nadim International Airport and a digital hub in Nongsa.

"At the Nongsa digital park, we will collaborate with the US smartphone manufacturer Apple," the deputy remarked.

Once a thriving free port and bonded industrial zone, Batam Island had attracted investment reaching billion dollars regulated by an independent Batam Development Authority. Under the authority's rule, investors enjoy tariff cuts as well as a facility to acquire lands and licenses for business.

However, since the regional election was launched in 2001, Batam was ruled by a local government that stripped parts of the authority's power over the island. The dualistic administrative authorities in the island has led to years of confusion and uncertainty among investors.

Since President Joko Widodo took office for a second term in 2019, his administration had planned to merge the two authorities and change the status of the island, from a free trade zone to a special economic zone. (ANTARA)


RRI’s National Integrated News Room was officially inaugurated by the Minister of Communication and Informatics, Monday (12/23/2019). In addition to cutting the ribbon marking the inauguration of the newsroom, the Minister of Communication and Informatics, Johnny G Plate also signed an inscription. In his remarks, RRI President Director M Rohanudin said, currently 90 percent of the territory in Indonesia has been reached by RRI. Rohanudin said that RRI must always take sides with the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. RRI is here to create tranquility.

"So until now, since the birth of Radio Republik Indonesia, it has always been constantly airing things to create tranquility, not to make noises. What has been created by RRI broadcasts is tranquility among Indonesian society and it is mandatory for Radio Republik Indonesia, the state broadcaster that really takes side towards the Unitary State of Republic of Indonesia," said Rohanudin.

Rohanudin continued not only in the urban center, RRI is also broadcast by 37 border stations. Rohanudin said, RRI always has to take sides with the Unitary State of Republic of Indonesia. According to him, RRI can be accessed from Sabang to Merauke from Miangas to Rote, represented by RRI’s 151 stations and 224 relay stations throughout Indonesia. //(rri.co.id.23.12'19/AHM)