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Today, 3 May 2023 is celebrated as the 30th World Press Freedom Day. "Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for all other human rights", is the theme set by UNESCO for this year. World Press Freedom Day is a reminder to respect the efforts of the media in guarding democracy.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres in his message for this year's World Press Freedom Day said, freedom of the press is the cornerstone of democracy and justice. The press presents existing facts to form opinions and tell the truth to power. Like this year's theme, press freedom represents the lifeblood of human rights.

In Indonesia, this year press freedom is prioritized. This can be seen from the theme that was carried out at the commemoration of National Press Day last February, namely "Press Freedom, Democracy with Dignity". It is very important to continue to promote press freedom in Indonesia. Especially when you look at the results of the 2022 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders, Indonesia is in 117th position out of 180 countries. More importantly, currently Indonesia has started to face preparations for holding the 2024 General Election.

As it became commonplace, as the general election approached, news about political party activities, presidential and vice presidential candidates as well as council member candidates became the main content of the mass media. It cannot be denied either, that several mass media in Indonesia are owned by several party figures. So that the freedom of members of the press to present the truth is highly expected because it really needs to be questioned regarding the owner's ideology.

Even though more and more information is conveyed through social media, which is sometimes believed to be true information, it cannot be denied that the mass media, especially the mainstream, are still a trusted source for the public. For the successful implementation of elections, the public must receive accurate and balanced information. Thus, when the time comes, they don't make wrong choice. Therefore, press freedom must be maintained and strengthened ahead of the 2024 elections.

It is hoped that the freedom possessed by members of the press will be used responsibly. Support for members of the press to work without threats and attacks, to stop lies and disinformation and not participate in spreading it, must be further strengthened. Thus, a dignified democracy in Indonesia can be realized. To quote Antonio Guterres, “when journalists stand up for the truth, the world supports them”.

Happy World Press Freedom Day 2023.



China has made a 12-point proposal to end the on-going Russo-Ukrainian war. The peace proposal plan released by China last week callsfor continuing peace talks and respecting the sovereignty of all countries as well as condemning the unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia.

China's peace proposal received various responses from several world leaders. There are those who respond positively by supporting it, and some are pessimistic.

One of the country's leaders who supportsChina's peace proposal is Hungarian Prime Minister,Viktor Orban. Before the Hungarian parliament,PMOrban said that China's peace planis important and needsto be supported. In his half-hour speech,PMOrban emphasized that the on-going conflict is not only bad for Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and Europe, butalsobad for the whole world.

BesidesPMViktor Orban, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko also supports China's peace proposal plan. During a meeting withPresidentXi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday (1/3), PresidentLukashenko urged a ceasefire and negotiations to bring about a political settlement to the Ukraine conflict.

Unlike Hungary and Belarus,Western countries and the United States responded with pessimism and scepticism to China's peace proposal plan. NATO Secretary,Jens Stoltenberg saidthatBeijing did not have much credibility as a mediator.

U.S.Secretary State,Antony Blinken, Wednesday (1/3) as quoted by voaindonesia (01/03) expressed doubts about the seriousness of Russia and China in achieving peace in Ukraine. He saidthat bothcountries had yet to take substantive steps to support their statements.

The peace proposal from China is actually interesting and could be one of the solutions to end this protracted war. There is nothing wrongbybeing responded positively and optimistically. This proposal could be a very good starttoend the Russo-Ukrainian war.

It is hoped that China is serious about its proposal and follows up on this "good start" by implementing concrete steps. Only then,the worldwillbelieve in China's efforts to defuse the current flames of the Russo-Ukrainian war.



Dance performances from Indonesia, such as Bajidor Kahot, Pendet,and Kinang Kilaras enlivened Malay Day 2023; one of the biggest cultural festivals in southern Thailand. The festival held in Yala Province from 24 until 26 of February 2023 has been initiated by the Yala City government since 2014 to introduce Malay culture through collaboration with the Indonesian Consulate in Songkhla and the Malaysian Consulate General in Songkhla.

The Indonesian Consulate in Songkhla in a written statement on Saturday (25/2) stated that Melayu Day 2023 featured culture, fashion and dance performances, as well as cultural seminars, educational exhibitions, culinary promotions, and typical products from the participating countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Indonesia's participation is a good momentum to keep promoting Indonesia, especially in the fields of culture, education, and the creative economy in southern Thailand.

Dancers from Galuh University, West Java are said to have performed the Jaipong and Sekar Putri dances, while Dharma Wanita Persatuan of the Indonesian Consulate in Songkhla performed by contributing the songs,TobeloandGemu Fa Mi Re.

In addition to dance performances, the batik activity guided by the Yogyakarta Madani Batik Studio also received a warm welcome from visitors who wanted to try their own batik.

Kadin DKI Jakarta in the field of fashion industry did not miss taking part in introducing Indonesian clothing in the fashion show event.

The festival was also attended by a number of Indonesian educational institutions, including Yogyakarta State University, Jakarta National University, and North Sumatra Muhammadiyah University. They introduced their respective study programs to the visitors at educational exhibitions.

The visitors also had the opportunity to sample a variety of Indonesian culinary and UMKM products from Bandung Indonesian Muslim Entrepreneurs Association and Dharma Wanita of the Indonesian Consulate in Songkhla.

Secretary-General of Thailand's Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center, Rear Admiral Somkiat Polprayoon officially opened the Melayu Day 2023 event. The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Governor Yala, Mayor Yala, Indonesian Consul Songkhla, and representatives from the Malaysian Consulate General Songkhla.



The National Disaster Management Agency noted that in the last week of February 2023, the incidence of wet hydrometeorological disasters had increased compared to the previous week. The Agency Acting Head of Center for Data, Information and Disaster Communication, Abdul Muhari conveyed this during a Disaster Briefing in Jakarta on Monday (27/2).

According to Abdul Muhari, from its spatial distribution, especially on the island of Java in the last two days, wet hydrometeorological disasters consist of floods, tornadoes and landslides.

Abdul Muhari also said that the weather trend had begun to shift into a tornado, or extreme weather. Strong winds have started to predominate even though it is raining. Floods in several places are also influenced by regional conditions.

Responding to this natural phenomenon, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture invites all stakeholders to strengthen flood and landslide disaster mitigation following an increase in rainfall intensity. Mitigation is an important effort that needs to be done to reduce the disaster risk. Deputy for Coordinating Equitable Regional Development and Disaster Management at the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, Sudirman, emphasized that last Tuesday, Mitigation was an important effort that needed to be carried out to reduce the risk of this disaster.

It can be said that every year Indonesia experiences hydrometeorological disasters. Communities, including local governments whose territories frequently experience natural disasters, more or less already know what to do when they occur. But people whose areas have never experienced floods or landslides and are now experiencing them, will certainly be surprised and seem slow to deal with it.

Therefore, community preparedness, including local governments throughout Indonesia, must be developed. Mitigation efforts are carried out not only at the regional level, but also at the Neighborhood Association and Neighborhood Units level. Preparing disaster preparedness bags by each resident, for example, must be continuously disseminated. Natural disasters may be unavoidable, but the risk of impact can be reduced if each individual is in alert.



Another prestigious international sports event was just held in Indonesia. After hosting the 2022 Mandalika MotoGP in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) on March 18-20 2022, this year the prestigious F1 Powerboat (F1H2O) World Championship 2023 race was held at Lake Toba, North Sumatra on February 24-26 2023.

The 2023 F1 Powerboat World Championship is the leading international series of single-seat racing boats held by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). F1H2O is attended by 10 teams with 20 drivers. In one championship, there are eight racing series with the first series in 2023 held in Lake Toba, Indonesia. After Indonesia, the next series will be held in China.

The F1 Powerboat World Championship 2023, which was attended by President Joko Widodo and several high-ranking officials of the country, is not only a prestigious racing event, but also Indonesia's effort to restore economic and tourism conditions after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The public enthusiasm to watch the F1 Powerboat race was enormous. They did various ways to be able to watch the racers in action. One proof of the community's enthusiasm was that all accommodations in Balige City were fully occupied, from hotels to homestays, even people's homes.

The increasing flow of domestic tourists visiting the tourism area of Lake Toba to witness the F1 Powerboat helped revive the local economy. Not only hotels and inns, but also restaurants got a positive impact from the F1 Powerboat. The increase was very high during the three-day F1 Powerboat event. Based on data obtained by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the economic impact of the F1 Powerboat is estimated to reach Rp300 billion with a target of visiting tourists of up to 25,000 people.

Indonesia should be proud to have successfully held the World Powerboat Championship on Lake Toba. This cannot be separated from the role of the government, especially the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and of course, the local community and tourists who have participated in the success of this prestigious event.

Rise up Indonesia's economy and tourism!



A devastating earthquake shook Turkiye and Syria in early February, followed by international relief that shows Turkiye is an important nation. Many countries such as the US, Japan, Pakistan, China, and Indonesia lent their hands for Turkiye.

Even Russia and Ukraine, two warring countries, still gave their support. Turkiye is an influential NATO member country, which supports Ukraine. But at the same time, Turkiye also opens communication with Moscow.

Ankara's autonomous policy kept causing political friction. NATO, for example, did mind when Turkiye ordered some Russian weapons. However, thanks to good relations with the two conflicting nations, Turkiye can play an important role in realizing a "wheat deal" in 2022. This agreement allowed Ukrainian export through the Black Sea, which was blocked by Russia.

The earthquake relief operation came not only from friends of Turkiye. Despite disputes over maritime territory and Cyprus, the President of Greece still sent their thoughts and prayers via Twitter and The Greek Prime Minister phoned the Turkish President. And yes, Greece sent their aid to Turkiye.

Truly, the so-called "Earthquake Diplomacy'', during the 1999 earthquake in Turkiye that killed 17 thousand, relieved the tension between Athena and Ankara. At that time, Greece sent their rescue team and dogs, as well as two firefighting aircrafts.

Turkiye in return sent support when Athena was hit by a quake.

At the other time, it was proven that post-disaster joint relief operations can bring positive impact for international relations. A Turkish consultant at Atlantic Council predicted that bilateral relations between Turkiye and friends of Ankara will improve.



Israel launched another attack on the Nablus area in the West Bank, Palestine last Wednesday (22/2). The Israeli army attack killed more than ten Palestinians,including a teenager and a 72-year-old man. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the attack also injured more than 100 Palestinians.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered the old city of Nablus in the morning, sparking clashes with Palestinian armed groups. According to the IDF, it stepped up operations after its troops came under fire from Palestinian armed groups. Then, theIDF fired missiles at the wanted militia's hideout, causing part of the building to collapse. Several sources on the Palestinian side said two Islamic Jihad commanders were killed in the attack. Hamas, a Palestinian militia group that has occasionally joined forces with the Islamic Jihad group, has threatened reprisals from the Gaza Strip, the territory it controls.

Abu Ubaida, a Spokesperson for the Hamas armed forces, confirmed on the Telegram application that his party's patience was running out to retaliate against the Israeli side.

The deadly attack, which Israel claims is a "counterterrorism" operation, immediately received a strong response from both Palestine and the international community.

Top Palestinian official,Hussein Al Sheikh denounced the attack as a "massacre" and called for international protection for the Palestinian people. Palestine has also asked the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session on the Israeli forces' operations in Nablus. Palestinian Foreign Minister,Riyad Malki has also asked the Arab League Council to convene at the permanent representative level to discuss the incident in Nablus. A request for a meeting was also submitted to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to condemn Israel's actions.

Meanwhile, U.S.State DepartmentSpokesperson,Ned Price expressed Washington's concern over the incident.

The European Union's Head of Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, said that the European Union is very worried about the increasing violence in the West Bank. He called on all parties to work to restore peace and avoid further loss of life.

France also made strong comments. It condemns acts of violence committed against civilians and reaffirms Israel's obligation to respect international humanitarian law by using force proportionately.

In addition, United Nations Secretary,General Antonio Guterres said the situation in the Palestinian territories had been very precarious for many years.He perceived thattensions have escalated because the peace process has stalled.

Both parties should have continued the peace process while respecting and appreciating the achievements so far, including what has been agreed upon in the points of the historic agreement, which was signed at the White House, in the United States of AmericaonSeptember 13, 1993.



Without mastering new skills, the workforce in Indonesia will surely be left behind. New job opportunities will be taken up by workers from other countries or replaced by machines and robots. President Joko Widodo reminded this while giving directions online at the launch of Presidential Regulation Number 68 of 2022, concerning Revitalization of Vocational Education and Training, in Jakarta on Tuesday (21/2).

President Joko Widodo also reminded that Indonesia's human resources must maximize the opportunities that arise amid the presence of a demographic bonus. Indonesia is predicted to experience the peak of the demographic bonus in 2030. At that time, the number of productive ages will be greater, reaching 64 percent of the total population projected to reach 297 million. The Head of State emphasized that the demographic bonus must be utilized to make Indonesia a developed country.


Since 2019, Joko Widodo's government has focused on improving human resources. One of them is through vocational education and training, which is certainly oriented towards competent vocational human resources, to meet market needs and be able to do entrepreneurship. This mandate is set forth in Presidential Regulation Number 68 of 2022 concerning Revitalization of Vocational Education and Training.

Based on this regulation, education and training are held in educational institutions, such as vocational schools, polytechnics, vocational education colleges, course and training institutes, and vocational training centers. Revitalization of Vocational Education and Vocational Training is carried out through comprehensive, sustainable, integrated and coordinated improvement efforts.

The regulations have been launched, the next step is to implement concrete actions. The success of vocational education and training must not only be achieved by the central government. Regional Governments, Education and Training Institutions also have a big task to create superior Indonesian human resources. Do not miss the world of business and industry which also has a big role.

No less important is of course preparing the curriculum, teaching staff and trainers who are one step ahead, have an orientation to answer the required human resource qualifications. Vocational education and training graduates must be able to meet national, regional and international competency standards, so they are ready to compete.

With the involvement of all parties, the goal of revitalizing vocational education and training to accelerate the preparation of superior human resources towards the golden Indonesia of 2045 will be realized.



The beginning of International Mother Language Day was when the Bangladesh diaspora, Rafiqul Islam wrote a letter to the UN Secretary General to save the world's languages from extinction. Then at the UN session on November 17, 1999 at the UNESCO General Conference session, it was declared that February 21 was designated as International Mother Language Day. The date was chosen because at that time, there was a murder incident in fighting for the Bangli language in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1952.

Regarding mother language or the first language used by speakers in communicating, there are currently many setbacks. The United Nations has indicated that several languages are in the brink of extinction. In 2023 with the theme Multilingual Education - a Necessity to Change Education, it is hoped that Mother Language lessons can exist and be accepted by users or native speakers of Mother Language. With this theme, it is hoped that every country will innovate so that the extinction of mother tongues can be slowed down.

In a special interview with Voice of Indonesia, Head of the National Agency for Language Development and Cultivation at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Research and Technology, Prof. Endang Aminudin Aziz said that what is meant by multilingual education is the role of other languages so that students can better understand their mother language. This means that the use of a second language in explaining mother tongue is a necessity in the learning process in class, especially among the current generation Z and Alpha. In addition, he also does not deny that the existence of technology has also caused the decline in the use of the mother tongue in everyday life.

Prof. Endang Aminudin Azin further stated that according to the latest data he had in 2020, speakers of the mother languages or regional languages in Indonesia only reached 76 percent and 73 of the 76 percent are out of home. And of that 76 percent, 61 percent are speakers of generation Z and Alpha or generations born between 1996 and 2010 on which this generation is very dependent on technological sophistication. One of the efforts made by the National Agency for Language Development and Cultivation to handle the decline in native language speakers is to mobilize all the Task Implementation Unit offices in 30 provinces to carry out multi-platform innovations in teaching local languages in each province.

The existence of this language agency is very large in the implementation of Indonesian language learning as a national identity as well as regional languages in supporting the existence of daily speakers. As a form of introducing and maintaining the Indonesian language as a national identity, currently there are centers for learning Indonesian with Indonesian language for foreign speakers - BIPA in 53 countries. In the continuity of Indonesian as the national language, the presence of mother language plays a major role in enriching Indonesian variety and vocabulary. Thus, it's not surprising that at this time, Indonesia at UNESCO is fighting for Indonesian language to be part of the 6 other languages spoken at the official UNESCO meeting in Paris. If accepted, it will possibly become the official language at the United Nations assembly in New York. Moreover, with a population of more than 250 million people and it can be spoken regionally in ASEAN member countries, it is the key to the presence of Indonesian language in the international world.



A new web page launched by Indonesian Immigration Directorate-General, can make it easier for foreigners in China to extend their visa in Indonesia.TheImmigration Attache at the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing on Friday (3/2) said that thevisa extension can be done on the website.

Through the Foreigners Traffic Module (Molina), the visa extension can be done online so that applicants don’t need to visit immigration office in Indonesia. Before the service, the Visa on Arrival (VOA) or e-VOA holder must extend the visa at immigration office. Indonesia still implements visa on arrival to the Chinese citizens and from other countries, both offline and online (e-VOA).

The VOA expires in 30 days and can be extended once for 30 days. The new Molina website is connected with an electronic payment service that applies globally. This year, Indonesia aims for 253 thousand tourist visits from China. Since January 8, 2023, the Chinese government have allowed their people to go abroad for various purposes, such as tourism.

Indonesia is in the list of exemplary countries for group tourist sources from China that begins on Monday (6/2) according to the agenda set by the Chinese Cultural and Tourism Ministry.

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