Tomorrow, February 13, 2021 will be commemorated as the 10th World Radio Day. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -UNESCO designated this date as World Radio Day because of the role of this media in all walks of life.
The history of the commemoration of International Radio Day began in 1946. February 13, 1946 is the day when the UN for the first time operated UN radio to disseminate information about its activities to the entire world community.
What is interesting to note is how radio still exists, especially amid the existence of many new media platforms nowadays. Whether realized or not, the advancement of new media, such as the internet does affects the existence of radio. Even so, in fact, it turns out that not all regions of a country can be reached by the internet, whether it is for technological reasons or geographic location. This makes radio still the media of choice for access to news and entertainment, especially in remote areas. The frequency of the short waves is proven to be able to deliver information to various places that may not even be penetrated by the internet.
Based on data released by UNESCO in 2019, there are around 44,000 radio stations around the world. In some places, the number of radio stations is even higher than other media. Take for example, there are more radio stations in Africa than newspapers and television channels.
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, radio is a very reliable medium. When people are expected not to leave the house, radio is a very effective medium to be used to obtain various information or as study facilities at home, not to mention its very important function in times of disaster. In addition, with the advancement of digital technology, the role and function of radio can increasingly be improved following the times. Radio with its uniqueness and technological advancement that continues to develop, is able to penetrate boundaries and spaces to disseminate news, information and entertainment to listeners.
It is hoped that in the future, the uniqueness of radio can be used more for things that are needed by the community, across time and space.
Myanmar has become the center of international attention again. The rejection of the Myanmar people towards the coup of civilian rule by the military has attracted the attention in various countries. Although television and news coverage at home is limited, news of the coup and demonstrations of thousands of Myanmar people across the country, has spread throughout the world. To reduce the spread of calls for demonstrations and news about it, the military has taken steps to close access to social media.
Concern over a military coup against civilian rule will be discussed at the United Nations. It was reported that on Friday, February 12, 2021, the UN Human Rights Council will meet specifically. As reported by Reuters news agency, the UN Security Council has stated that the agenda to be discussed is the crisis in Myanmar. On Monday, February 8, 2021, Britain and the European Union had requested a special session on this matter. The Asian countries that have supported the Movement at the United Nations are South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile, until the beginning of the second week of February 2021, not a single ASEAN member country has commented on this issue. Understandably, the ASEAN Joint Commitment affirms that ASEAN members may not interfere in their respective domestic affairs. The political crisis in Myanmar also seems to be seen as a domestic problem in that country.
The United States will support the proposals of the UK and the European Union, because since Joe Biden became President, the United States has regained its membership in the UN Human Rights Council. Washington has also reacted to the military coup in Myanmar and stressed the possibility of sanctions.
Facing the international community reactions, the Myanmar Military Junta has so far not responded. Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has said he will hold elections soon. It is very likely that this election will not be followed by Suu Kyi, who has been detained by the police, on charges of unsubstantiated matters.
Whether international pressure, minus ASEAN, will destabilize the military junta is still uncertain. The Military coup and forced elections will certainly have implications for the life of democracy and the people of Myanmar. The country, which has just recently entered the democratic era after ended the military dictatorial regime, is now in a decisive moment. Going back to a totalitarian or democratic era.
The Covid-19 transmission rate in Indonesia has yet to show signs of slowing down. Daily positive cases of the Covid-19 pandemic confirmed that the recent figures still show above 10,000 thousand people. Large-Scale Social Restrictions that were enforced in several areas and the Public Activity Restrictions which are currently still in effect seem unable to curb the spread of the Covid-19. To make it effective, the government will impose micro-scale restrictions starting on Tuesday (9/2).
President Joko Widodo when meeting Governors of Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta and Bali last Wednesday (3/2) emphasized two things that were still lacking during the Public Activity Restrictions. First, it’s the implementation of health protocols in the community, namely the lack of discipline in wearing masks, maintaining distance and avoiding crowds and the second point is the testing, tracing, and treatment efforts by the government. President Joko Widodo emphasized that the contact tracing process must be carried out for at least 30 people who are suspected of having close contact with Covid-19 patients. Thereby, he has instructed to limit community activities at the micro level, namely at the village and neighborhood community levels.
This micro-based approach will involve the Covid-19 Task Force from the central to the smallest levels. To ensure community discipline, of course, it is necessary to enforce the law that involves security elements at the micro level, including the Village Guidance Officer.
Throughout the implementation of the Public Activity Restrictions on a micro scale, the government will pay attention to the needs of the community through micro-operations in 98 regions that implement Community Activity Restrictions. Each village will be encouraged to establish a Covid-19 response post which acts as a companion to the Community Health Center and a team to track the spread of the Covid-19. One of the post's duties is to supervise and deliver food to local residents who undergo self-isolation for 14 days.
The success of implementing the Micro-scale Restrictions Community Activities will certainly depend on community discipline and compliance. Unless, hopes to reduce the rate of spread of the Covid-19 will be in vain.
The move by the Russian government to arrest thousands of protesters demanding the release of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, drew reactions from the European Community and the United States.
To stop and anticipate wider protests, the Russian government has taken firm steps to arrest and detain at least 5 thousand protesters on Sunday, January 31, 2021. The cold weather and heavy snow did not dampen the morale of the citizens of Moscow and other cities in Russia. They took to the streets asking the government to release Alexei Navalny, an opposition figure who is not afraid to criticize President Vladimir Putin's policies. Alexei Navalny, just returned to Moscow after recuperating in Berlin. Last summer, the critic of Putin's policies traveled to Berlin, Germany for treatment due to suspected poisoning by the nerve agent Novichok. Russian authorities have denied the allegations. But when Navalny returned to Moscow after nearly half a year of recovering, the police arrested and jailed him. Thousands of supporters and sympathizers immediately protested against Navalny's arrest by taking to the streets across Russia, until the police dispersed and arrested them. It was reported that the prison was full because of the mass arrests and detentions that were carried out.
The chaos in Russia has drawn reactions from both the United States and the European Community. Antony Blinken, Biden's new US Foreign Minister, has expressed deep concern. Blinken is concerned about the arrest of the Russian opposition figure which has been followed by the detention and arrest of protesters. As Minister of the Democratic Party Government, Blinken views the detention of Alexei Navalny and the arrest of thousands of protesters as concerning from a human rights perspective.
Like the United States, the European Union has also raised concerns over the actions of Russian police. The European Union Foreign Ministers, on Monday 24 January 2021, met and discussed Novolny's and thousands of Russian citizens arrest. European Union officials have stressed that they are not only paying attention, but also worrying about the incident, partly because Russia is Europe's close neighbor. Vladimir Putin's repressive actions could have an impact like the arrival of refugees from Russia to European countries which will cause new problems and difficulties.
The United States criticism towards the arrest of Russian opposition figures and the detention of thousands of supporters could be the beginning of a possible change in policy in bilateral relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, the European Union's reaction to what happened last weekend in Russia might trigger tensions in diplomatic relations between the two.
Whether Vladimir Putin will stick with his moves and policies towards Navalny remains to be seen in the near future.
February 2021 turns out to be the month for a planned coup in Myanmar. The country's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was detained by the Myanmar military. The detention was based on allegations that Aung San Suu Kyi had illegally purchased radio communications which was discovered by the military during a search of Aung San Suu Kyi's house. Some democracy activists in Myanmar argue that the military coup that took place on Monday (1/2) is one of the strategies of the top military leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, so that he can remain in power after retiring from military service in July 2021.
Khin Ohmar, a veteran democracy and human rights activist in Myanmar, at a press conference with the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Tuesday (2/2) perceived that the military coup was carried out not because of general election fraud in the November 8, 2020. According to Khin Ohmar, General Min Aung Hlaing's reason for a coup against a democratically elected government in Myanmar is that he wants to maintain his position in the military. This is to secure business networks within the military that involve the families of high-ranking officers and their business partners. Interestingly, although the majority of the community disagrees with this coup, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar see it as something grateful. Suu Kyi is considered to have ignored the torture experienced by the Rohingya Muslim community. She is considered to have tolerated and taken side with what they call genocide against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Meanwhile, the US and a number of Western countries reacted by pressing the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) to release a number of government officials, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. White House spokesman, Jen Psaki, said that the US urged the military and all other parties to comply with democratic norms and rule of law, and release those detained.
The international community, including Indonesia and Singapore, have criticized what happened in Myanmar and hoped that all parties would exercise restraint. So far, the location whereabout Suu Kyi is detained has not been officially published by the Myanmar military. But in fact, after Suu Kyi's detention, there was a massive cabinet reshuffle by the new ruler, and 24 ministerial seats were replaced.
Seeing what Suu Kyi experienced and the pace of democratization efforts in Myanmar is like seeing a thick fog that is difficult to predict. In 2015, Suu Kyi became the de facto leader, a position that made her unable to touch and control the Myanmar Military which eventually became her rivals in her leadership. In 2015, there was a shift in global perceptions of Suu Kyi, who had previously become an icon of democracy and human rights. The military's crackdown and brutality against the Rohingya minority in Rakhine State has been criticized by many countries. About one million Rohingyas have been forced to flee from the military by taking refuge in Bangladesh or other countries, including in Indonesia, without adequate provisions. Unfortunately, Suu Kyi defended the military action as part of a counter-terrorism operation and asked the court to drop the case.
Although there are many international parties that condemn the coup action in Myanmar at this time, it seems that support for Suu Kyi is not the same as before. Still, of course all parties hope that democracy in Myanmar can continue to develop and Suu Kyi will receive protection and justice.
The United States and China, may improve relations in the future. The authorities in Beijing have hinted at this, albeit with a few caveats. Not long after Joe Biden took his oath as the 46th President of the United States, the Chinese government expressed hope for better relations with the United States.
As reported by the CNBC network, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying expressed the hope of a new day in relations between the two countries.
Beijing's relations with Washington have deteriorated in the last year of Donald Trump's administration. The trade war between the two major countries has even affected the global economy. No wonder the Chinese government hopes for an improvement in relations in the near future.
Tensions between the US and China were still strong at the end of the Domald Trump administration. Shortly before Trump left the White House, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticized the Chinese government and declared it was committing genocide against Muslims in Uygur. The remarks that angered the government in Beijing were met with Chinese sanctions against a number of Americans, one of whom was Mike Pompeo. The Chinese government will sanction US companies associated with names that are mostly elements of Donald Trump's administration.
So far, the Joe Biden administration has not provided a concrete response in the form of policies regarding future relations with China. However, it is interesting to note that at the time of the inauguration of the president, the Biden administration had invited representatives of Taiwan. Joe Biden and his government certainly have certain intentions by inviting Taiwanese representatives to the event, given Beijing's policy regarding One China Policy. The fact of Taiwan's presence in the Capitol Hill Building becomes interesting when it is related to Beijing's statement that it will improve relations with the note that the United States must pay attention to China's sovereignty.
From the recent facts, it can be seen there are intentions of the two major countries to improve relations, under certain conditions.
What can be said is, there will be a change in the White House's policy in looking at relations with China. At least under Joe Biden's administration, the United States government's policy towards China could become more lenient, according to the character of every President who comes from the Democratic Party.
The Indonesian government is considering allowing private companies to carry out Covid-19 vaccinations independently. Previously, the government had decided to provide free vaccinations to all citizens. President Joko Widodo said that independent or paid vaccination can be applied to accelerate the vaccination program for all people in Indonesia. According to President Joko Widodo, this will help the government speed up the formation of herd immunity in the community in order to prevent wider spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The President also said that independent vaccinations could be carried out with different vaccine brands and carried out in different places. Indonesian private companies will be allowed to buy their own vaccines from the Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer. The condition is that the vaccine must be in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) standard. Vaccine recipient data must also be reported to the government so that there is no overlapping vaccination.
Commission IX of the House of Representatives –DPR dealing with Health and Manpower has also given a green light for the possibility of implementing independent vaccination, especially for the companies. Chairman of the Commission, Felly Estelita Runtuwene, stated that she is considering supporting the plan for the Covid-19 independent vaccine program.
Indonesia has around 30 thousand vaccinators, 10 thousand Community Health Centers, and three thousand hospitals that can be mobilized to speed up the vaccination program. Based on calculations, if each vaccinator can vaccinate 30 people a day, the vaccination is targeted to be done to nearly 1 million people a day. This means that the vaccination program in all regions in Indonesia will be completed in fewer than one year. Meanwhile, the number of positive infections in Indonesia is still high; it has even exceeded 14,000 positive cases in one day.
The option to implement the independent vaccination is being discussed by the government. If this is actually implemented, the vaccination program in Indonesia will return to the government's original plan, namely free-of-charge and paid vaccinations.
Finally, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. or Joe Biden was officially appointed as the 46th President of the United States on January 21, 2021, replacing Donald Trump. At the age of 78, Joe Biden is also the oldest president of the United States in history and the only one who was sworn in wearing a mask because of the still unsettling Covid-19 pandemic. Shortly after being sworn in, Biden immediately cleared the White House of Trump loyalists. In his speech as president, Biden spoke about unity, environment, Covid-19, and white supremacy. He praised Kamala Harris as a minority figure who becomes the vice president of the US and is considered a symbol of change. Regarding environmental issues, Biden said that America was in need of help. He also criticized divisive people, including extremist groups.
The American people and the international world as well have been waiting for Joe Biden's stance and leadership, even from his first days as President. The role that Donald Trump played in international relations has positioned America in several difficult conditions in terms of international trade, foreign policy and international defense and security.
Of course, it takes time and process to handle all of that. In addition, Joe Biden must find people with the same vision in running his government. On his first day as President of the United States, Joe Biden seemed to want to convey a specific message that in the next five years, American policies will be completely different from the ones before. Of course, what everyone hopes is for a better condition, especially with regard to policies, both at home and abroad.
Joe Biden officially assumes the duties of President after his inauguration today, January 20 in Washington. The beginning of his duties was marked by a process of transferring power that was unlike the previous tradition. The replaced president, Donald Trump, did not attend Joe Bidden's inauguration, and did not welcome the 46th President of the United States at the White House. Over the centuries, the process of transition has been marked by the tea banquet at the White House that the old President held for the New President. The 46th inauguration of the President and Vice President of the United States at the Capitol Hill building was also marked by a very tight security by United States National Guard troops. They were deployed to anticipate the possibility of violence following the riots on Capitol Hill by Trump supporters. Joe Bidden's departure to Washington for the Inauguration ceremony also did not use military aircraft provided by the Government. Joe Bidden and his wife took a private plane from Delaware to Washington and landed at Andrew Military Airfield.
Starting his adminitration, Joe Bidden did face a tough task. He must fulfill his commitment and promise to reunite the people who were divided by the election. In addition, Bidden must also move quickly to overcome the Covid 19 pandemic which is increasingly widespread and has caused more than 400 thousand deaths of Americans. Economic recovery is also waiting to be realized in the first 100 days of his reign with Kamala Harris. Concentration in the country, of course, must be balanced with attention to foreign problems. Foreign policy carried out during the Trump Donad era requires a change. The deterioration of relations with Iran and China will certainly be Joe Bidden's policy priority. In a statement, Bidden acknowledged that both US multilateral and bilateral relations went awry during the Trump administration. On the occasion of his campaign Joe Bidden had promised to fix it as soon as possible. Regarding relations with Iran, Joe Bidden said that he would re-join the nuclear agreement initiated by President Barack Obama. The deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), fell apart because in 2018 Donald Trump declared leaving it. Since then, relations between Iran and the United States have continued to deteriorate. Tensions escalated.
Therefore, Iran and the international community are certainly waiting for Joe Bidden's breakthrough in foreign policy to start. Apart from Iran, there are still problems and territorial disputes in the South China Sea involving several ASEAN countries as well as China.
BLOOD PLASMA TO TREAT COVID 19 PATIENT - JPNN
Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ma'ruf Amin inaugurated the National Movement for the Convalescent Plasma Donor in Jakarta on Monday (18/1). Convalescent plasma transfusion is one way of treating patients with Covid-19 with severe and critical symptoms. On the occasion, Vice President Ma'ruf expressed his hope that this joint movement is intended to inspire empathy and motivate Covid-19 survivors to be able to voluntarily donate their convalescent plasma to help Covid-19 patients who are currently being treated in some hospitals.
Convalescent plasma is blood plasma taken from a former Covid-19 sufferer, because it contains SARS-Cov-2 antibodies. Then, the plasma is processed so that it can be donated. It is hoped that the antibodies in the blood plasma of recovered patients will help fight the Corona virus in the body of Covid-19 patients.
In fact, the donor movement of the convalescent blood plasma is not new to being implemented in Indonesia. Since April last year, partially, several regions in Indonesia have implemented it. Those who were exposed and recovered have also donated their blood. It's just that, the amount is not enough. From the testimonies of those who have been running, this area plasma transfusion accelerates the recovery process.
Indeed, not all Covid-19 survivors can become convalescent blood donors. Requirements to be able to donate their blood are people who are at the age 18 until 60 years, and they have been infected with Covid-19 (positive PCR)with moderate-severe symptoms; have been declared recovered; have no symptoms at least 14 days after recovering, male or femalewho are preferably never pregnant.
Based on data on covid19.go.id, until January 18, 2021, the number of patients who have recovered is 745,935 people. If five percent of that number meets the requirements, of course it can help the recovery process of those with severe and critical symptoms. As a result, this will reduce the number of deaths. In addition, it is likely that the recovery period will be shorter. This will certainly help save a lot not only the lives of Covid-19 patients, medical personnel, and health workers but also the Indonesian government. If the patient recovers faster, this will reduce the cost of treatment.
Hopefully, there will be many survivors who are willing to donate their blood plasma. The socialization of the National Movement for Convalescent Plasma Donor must also be intensified. The real action of public figures who are Covid-19 survivors of donating blood plasma also needs to be published. Thus, it can encourage other survivors to donate their blood plasma. Because 400 milliliters of their blood plasma means a lot to the Covid-19 patients. It is hoped that the survivors of Covid-19 in Indonesia will also donate their blood plasma. Of course, the point that needs to be considered and implemented is that all Indonesians must obey the set health protocols and make the vaccination program successful so that the Indonesian nation wins against Covid-19.