Posts Tagged ‘East Java’

Statue of Chinese god stokes tension in Muslim-majority Indonesia

August 11, 2017


TUBAN, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesia has urged officials to stand up to mob pressure after Muslim and nationalist protesters called for a 30-metre-tall (100-ft-) statue of a Chinese deity erected in a temple complex in an East Java town to be torn down.

The brightly-painted statue of Guan Yu, a former general who is worshipped by some Chinese, was inaugurated in July in a temple complex in the fishing town of Tuban and is claimed to be Southeast Asia’s tallest such representation of the deity.

The statue in Tuban, about 100 km (60 miles) west of the city of Surabaya, has been partially covered up after the protests, provoking both praise and ridicule on social media in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

“If they ask for the statue to be torn down, authorities cannot bow to such pressure,” Teten Masduki, chief of staff to President Joko Widodo, told reporters.

Protesters demonstrated this week outside Surabaya’s parliament against the statue, some wearing paramilitary-style outfits and waving placards that read “Demolish It” and “We are not worshippers of idols”.

Allowing a depiction of a foreign general was “a symbol of treason to this nation,” an unnamed protester said in a video of the rally on news portal

Officials of the Kwan Sing Bio Temple in Tuban declined to comment, but media have quoted residents as saying the statue was good for tourism.

Indonesia is a secular state whose constitution enshrines religious freedom and diversity, but there are concerns that rising intolerance threatens its reputation for moderate Islam.

Muslims form about 85 percent of the population, but there are also substantial Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and other minorities.

Religious tension has soared this year after Islamist-led rallies saw Jakarta’s incumbent governor, a member of a so-called double minority who is ethnic Chinese and Christian, put on trial during city elections over Koran insult allegations.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was later jailed for two years for blasphemy, a sentence rights groups and international bodies condemned as unfair and politicized.

The protests against the statue were primarily about nationalism, said Suli Da’im, a lawmaker in East Java.

“What they were protesting about is that the statue did not represent their general or commander,” he said, adding that a permit for the statue had also not yet been approved.

The fate of the statue, reported to have cost 2.5 billion rupiah ($190,000) to build, has sparked sparring on social media.

“Praise be to God, the noisy fighting in social media succeeded in ensuring the idolatrous statue has been covered. I hope it will soon be taken down,” Muhammad Syahrir, using the handle @Muhamma37029013, said on social network Twitter.

Another Twitter user ridiculed the protesters.

“Like they have nothing else to do but to protest against a statue,” said Paring Waluyo, under the handle @paringwaluyo. “Instead they should be protesting about Tuban being among the poor regencies of East Java.”

($1=13,368.0000 rupiah)

Additional reporting by Stefanno Reinard and Gayatri Suroyo in Jakarta; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

See also:

In Indonesia, Chinese Deity Is Covered in Sheet After Muslims Protest


3 Dead, 12 Missing as Vietnamese Ship Hits Indonesian Boat

November 20, 2016

The Associated Press

 A boat sails past the wreckage of a ferry some 50km off the coast of Tuban in East Java, after the two vessels collided. Photo: FP

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A collision between a Vietnamese freighter and an Indonesian sailboat off Indonesia’s East Java province left three people dead and 12 others missing, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said Sunday.

The cargo ship MV Thaison 4 and the KM Mulya Sejati, which was carrying 27 people, collided before dawn Saturday off Tuban district, said the head of the local Disaster Mitigation Agency, Joko Loediyono.

 The crew of a Vietnamese vessel and passengers on a ferry are rescued some 50km off the coast of Tuban in East Java. Photo: AFP

Media reports cited witnesses as saying the Indonesian boat capsized after being hit from behind by the freighter, which is now being moored in Lamongan town for investigation. The freighter, loaded with tapioca flour, was reportedly heading to Tanjung Perak seaport in East Java’s capital, Surabaya.

All of the victims were from the Indonesian boat, and 12 were rescued and rushed to a hospital for examination.

On Sunday afternoon, rescuers discovered three bodies by the stern of the ship, said the National Search and Rescue Agency, known as BASARNAS.

A search for the missing was underway with the help of the navy, which deployed two warships to join a helicopter from BASARNAS, Loediyono said.

Sea accidents are common in Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, where boats are a popular and relatively cheap form of transportation.



Where have all the pangolin gone? One Way Ticket to China … But Pangolins are “Endangered”

August 29, 2016

Pangolin are greatly prized in Chinese traditional medicine and Chinese restaurants…

Pangolins are endangered: In November 2010, pangolins were added to the Zoological Society of London’s list of genetically distinct and endangered mammals. All eight species of pangolin are classified by the IUCN as threatened to extinction, while two are classified as critically endangered.

Pangolin is a frequently traded item in the black market because it is used in traditional Chinese medicine

Pangolin’s flesh and scales among the most prized items on wildlife black market

NEIL KEENE, The Sunday Telegraph

FOR a creature at the top of the global hit-list for black market trafficking, the humble pangolin sure knows how to keep a low profile.

As Taronga zookeeper Simon Brown pointed out, most people have never even heard of the scaly little mammals, and fewer still know much about their plight in the wild.

It’s a quiet tragedy, given the dire straits the four Asian species now find themselves in, with the pangolin’s flesh and scales among the most prized items on the wildlife black market.

Many have never heard of the scaly little mammal.

The pangolin’s flesh and scales among the most prized items on the wildlife black market.
Mr Brown, who won a fellowship last year to study pangolin conservation, said poachers typically trapped pangolins in their home habitat in the rainforests of South East Asia, transporting them illegally across borders for use in “traditional” Chinese medicine.

“Their scales are made of keratin, much like our fingernails, but they’re used for all sorts of things from curing the common cold to ­improving a mother’s yield when she is breastfeeding,” he said.

There is not a shred of scientific evidence to support claims of any such benefits.

Pangolin meat is also considered a delicacy in some parts of Asia, putting them at further risk of being hunted.

The animals are used regularly in Chinese medicine.

The meat of the pangolin is a delicacy in some parts of Asia.

The animals are used regularly in Chinese medicine.

The meat of the pangolin is a delicacy in some parts of Asia.

Mr Brown said a recent anti-poaching operation had uncovered a haul of more than seven tonnes of scales ready to be sold in China and Vietnam.

“It’s really hard to get a grasp on how many are left in the wild due to their elusive nature and because they are nocturnal,” Mr Brown said.

“But it is believed that over the last 15 years more than 50 per cent have been wiped out.”

Currently, no zoos in Australia keep ­pangolins but Taronga is involved in their conservation in South East Asia and has selected the Sunda pangolin as one of its ­“legacy species” in 2016, locking in support for the next 10 years.

Taronga Zoo’s Simon Brown won a fellowship last year to study pangolin conservation.

Taronga Zoo’s Simon Brown won a fellowship last year to study pangolin conservation.

The Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph are celebrating Taronga Zoo’s 100 year birthday by giving readers the chance to collect and build each of Zoo’s 10 legacy species. Starting Sunday September 11 to Tuesday September 20 collect the Wild Bunch 2 paper animals proudly presented by ANZ free when you buy the paper.


Hundreds of frozen pangolins seized from Indonesian’s house

Indonesian police display 657 dead and frozen pangolins in Surabaya, East Java, on Thursday after thwarting the smuggling operations of these threatened with extinction mammals. (AFP)

SURABAYA: Indonesian authorities have seized more than 650 critically endangered pangolins found hidden in freezers and arrested a man for allegedly breaking wildlife protection laws, police said Friday.

Police discovered the pangolins, known as “scaly anteaters,” when they raided a house in Jombang district on the main island of Java after local residents became suspicious about the large number of freezers in the property.

A total of 657 pangolins, which are consumed as a luxury dish in China and used in traditional medicine, were found wrapped in plastic and stored in five large freezers, East Java province police spokesman Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono told AFP.

The house owner, a 55-year-old man, was arrested.

He could face five years in prison and a fine of 100 million rupiah ($7,500) for breaking wildlife protection laws.

In this April 13, 2013 photo released by the Philippine Coast Guard, an officer of the Philippine Coast Guard holds a frozen pangolin or scaly anteater on board a Chinese vessel that ran into the Tubbataha coral reef, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, in the southwestern Philippines. Authorities discovered more than 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of meat from the protected species inside the Chinese vessel F/N Min Long Yu. (AP Photo/ Philippine Coast Guard)


Endangered green turtles crawl toward Honda Bay in the Philippines, after being tagged and released into the wild.  Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese nationals are routinely arrested for harvesting rare species and animals that will bring a big pay off in China….