Indonesian News

Yellen stresses that Fed foresees gradual pace of rate hikes

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 16:29

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen addresses an Economic Club of New York luncheon, on March 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the Fed still envisions only a gradual pace of interest rate increases in light of global pressures that could affect the U.S. economy.

Her comments spurred a rally on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing at its highest level this year.

Yellen didn't specify a timetable for further hikes to follow the Fed's rate increase in December from record lows. She said risks to the United States appear limited but cautioned that that assessment is subject to "considerable uncertainty."

Speaking to the Economic Club of New York, Yellen said the central bank is monitoring a global economic slump, sharply lower oil prices and stock market turbulence, which she said have hurt some U.S. consumers and key sectors such as manufacturing.

Singling out China — the world's second-largest economy, after the United States — Yellen noted widespread uncertainty over how well Beijing will manage a delicate slowdown in coming years.

She said that because foreign economic growth seems to have further weakened this year, the Fed will "proceed cautiously" in raising rates.

In light of her comments, most economists expect no hike at the Fed's next policy meeting — April 26-27 — despite remarks last week from other Fed officials that had raised the possibility of a rate increase then.

Investors welcomed Yellen's message that the Fed would move slowly in raising rates. The Dow surged nearly 98 points, or 0.6 percent. And the yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank to 1.80 percent from 1.89 percent.

"Despite a growing chorus of calls from even centrist-leaning officials to resume raising policy rates, Chair Yellen stuck to the dovish script of the March meeting statement," when the Fed expressed concerns about the global economy and kept rates unchanged, said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Yellen noted that the U.S. job market and housing recovery have lifted the economy close to full health despite the risks that remain. She observed that the economy has benefited from low long-term U.S. borrowing rates.

Those rates have been held down by money flowing into U.S. bonds from investors, who have scaled back their expectations for the number of Fed rate hikes this year from four to two at most.

The Fed chair said that while stock prices have rebounded to roughly where they were when 2016 began, "in other respects economic and financial conditions remain less favorable than they did" in December, when the Fed raised its key rate modestly after keeping it near zero since 2008, when the financial crisis erupted.

Subject to revision

Yellen cautioned that the Fed's expectations for rates remain subject to revision to reflect any significant changes in the U.S. or international economic outlook.

"I anticipate that the overall fallout for the U.S. economy from global market developments since the start of the year will most likely be limited, although this assessment is subject to considerable uncertainty," she said.

She said she still thought inflation will rise gradually over the next two to three years to the Fed's target of 2 percent annual increases in prices. Inflation has been running below this level for nearly four years. But Yellen warned that if oil prices began falling again, it could have "adverse spillover effects to the rest of the global economy."

Such expressions of concern about risks, which were sprinkled throughout her speech, help explain why Yellen seems inclined to keep rates unchanged in the near future.

Responding to a question after her speech, Yellen said the Fed foresees U.S. worker productivity, which has been historically low in recent years, eventually rising but says that assessment is "a source of huge uncertainty." Productivity — the average output produced per hour of work — is needed to boost living standards.

When the Fed met two weeks ago, it signaled the likelihood of just two rate increases this year — half the number that Fed officials had envisioned in December. As a result, most economists concluded that no rate increase would likely occur before June.

But comments last week from several of the Fed's regional bank presidents had raised the possibility that the central bank would decide to raise rates in April.

One of them, Dennis Lockhart of the Fed's Atlanta regional bank, said in a speech that he thought the strength of the most recent U.S. economic data could justify a rate increase as early as April. The views expressed by Lockhart, who is regarded as a centrist in his approach to interest rates, was echoed by some other Fed regional bank presidents.

Whatever decision the Fed does make in April will hinge on its view of the economy's durability. In the past week, some reports have produced weaker-than-expected readings, including a sharp drop in orders for long-lasting manufactured goods and tepid consumer spending.

Those reports have led some economists to downgrade their forecasts for growth in the current January-March quarter from a 2 percent annual rate to a lackluster 1 percent.

The consumer spending report also showed that the Fed's preferred inflation gauge is still signaling that inflation remains well below its target level. For the 12 months that ended in February, inflation rose just 1 percent. "Core" inflation, which excludes the volatile items of food and energy, increased 1.7 percent. (ags)

Categories: Indonesian News

Activists call on wise men to solve historic human rights abuses

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 16:29

Activists from the Victims Solidarity Network for Justice (JSKK) and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) held their 436th Kamisan, a silent protest held every Thursday to push the government to settle historic human rights abuses, across the from the State Palace on March. 24. The families of the victims rejected the government's plan to focus on reconciliation in the settlement of the historic violations instead of taking the perpetrators to court. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

Activists are urging the government to form an independent commission made up of civilian "wise men" to push for a legal settlement of Indonesia's historic human rights abuses to bring justice to the victims and their families.

The commission's members must be representatives of the public and not public officials from institutions involved in the violations, the human rights advocacy group Setara Institute suggested.

Setara and family members of victims of past human rights abuses held a closed door meeting with the Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres) to convey to it the proposed formation of a Presidential Commission on the Disclosure of Truth and the Recuperation of Victims on Tuesday.

"It's impossible for governmental elements or officials to be part of this commission because in this case the state itself is subject to law that holds it responsible for historic human rights abuses, even though the current government is not the actual offender," Setara's deputy chairman, Bonar Tigor Naipospos said.

Together the activists met with Wantimpres chairwoman Sri Adiningsih and member Sidarto Dabusubroto to create a commission consisting of well-informed civilians, and not government officials, in the pursuit of a judicial resolution of seven main cases of violations.

The commission's duties would be to validate data that has been investigated by the National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to see what can be taken to court and handled judicially, or alternatively, for the government to issue a formal apology by way of reconciliation.

The ad-hoc committee would be under President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo with the authority to produce binding presidential decrees, Bonar said.

Jokowi has repeatedly reiterated his commitment to settling historic rights abuses that have been declared gross human rights violations by Komnas HAM.

The formation of the commission comes in response to a long-delayed bill on truth and reconciliation that is before the House of Representatives, which is apparently an alternative way in case government officials fail to find a better solution for all.

The selection of the committee members itself would be the prerogative of the President, Bonar said, adding that the backgrounds of the members would be important.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that the government aimed to settle all human rights violations cases by early May through reconciliation only and not through judicial processes because there was a lack of evidence. Such a deadline was "absurd", Bonar said.
Setara chairman Hendardi also derided Luhut's statement, calling it overly ambitious, hasty and unrealistic, as well as unacceptable to the families of the victims who sought for justice.

"There would be no reconciliation without the revelation of the truth," Hendardi said.
Human rights groups and families of the victims are pushing for the resolution of the cases judicially as stipulated in the 2000 law on human rights courts.

Hendardi admitted that with the case of the 1965 communist purge, a judicial settlement would be difficult because of a scarcity of proof and witnesses.

However, he underlined other newer cases must be resolved at court with transparent legal procedures.
Maria Katarina Sumarsih, member of the the Victims Solidarity Network for Justice (JSKK), said her community, along with the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), recently held its 436th Kamisan (a silent protest held every Thursday) across from the State Palace.

The protesters will continue to do so until the government takes concrete steps.

Maria, whose son Bernardus Realino Norma Irawan died in the First Semanggi tragedy in 1998, said the solving of the Semanggi cases could set a precedent as a step forward toward a positive future when the government would be proactive in addressing issues to clear the history.

The unresolved cases consist of a 1989 massacre in Talangsari, Lampung, the forced disappearance of anti-Soeharto activists in 1997 and 1998, the 1998 Trisakti University shootings, the Semanggi I and Semanggi II student shootings in 1998 and 1999, the mysterious killings of alleged criminals in the 1980s, the communist purges of 1965 and various abuses that took place in Wasior and Wamena in Papua in 2001 and 2003, respectively. (+)

Categories: Indonesian News

US orders diplomatic, military families out of south Turkey

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 16:29

In this July 28, 2015 file photo, a U.S. Navy plane maneuvers on the runway of the Incirlik Air Base, in Adana, in the outskirts of the city of Adana, southeastern Turkey. The State Department and Pentagon ordered the families of U.S. diplomats and military personnel on March 29 to leave posts in southern Turkey due to "increased threats from terrorist groups" in the country. The two agencies said dependents of American staffers at the U.S. consulate in Adana, the Incirlik air base and two other locations must leave. The so-called "ordered departure" notice means the relocation costs will be covered by the government. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The State Department and Pentagon ordered the families of U.S. diplomats and military personnel Tuesday to leave posts in southern Turkey due to "increased threats from terrorist groups" in the country.

The two agencies said dependents of American staffers at the U.S. consulate in Adana, the Incirlik air base and two other locations must leave. The so-called "ordered departure" notice means the relocation costs will be covered by the government.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said no specific threat triggered the order, but said it was done "out of an abundance of caution" for the safety of the families in that region. He said he was not aware of a deadline for the families to leave, but said "this will move very quickly."

In a statement, the military's European Command said the step "allows for the deliberate, safe return of family members from these areas due to continued security concerns in the region."

The orders cover the Adana consulate, U.S. military dependents in Incirlik, Ismir and Mugla as well as family of U.S. government civilians at Ismir and Mugla. The State Department also restricted official travel to that which it considers "mission critical." Cook said that the order does not affect about 100 family members who are based in Istanbul and Ankara.

The move comes amid heightened security concerns throughout Turkey due to the ongoing fight against Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria and Iraq and was accompanied by an updated travel warning advising U.S. citizens of an increased threat of attacks. It also comes as Turkey's president is set to arrive in Washington to attend President Barack Obama's nuclear security summit.

"We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism," the European Command statement said.

Incirlik is a critical base in the fight by the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group, and includes strike aircraft, drones and refueling planes.

Turkey's decision last year to allow the coalition to conduct airstrikes with aircraft based at Incirlik shortened the time and distance required to conduct airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, compared with strikes flown from bases in the Persian Gulf area. And it increased the number of U.S. personnel at the base.

NATO's Allied Land Command is based at Ismir and there is a Turkish base at Mugla where some U.S. military personnel go for training and other missions.

It was not immediately clear how many family members would be affected in total. The Pentagon said the order would affect about 680 military family members and roughly 270 pets. The State Department and Pentagon had begun a voluntary drawdown of staff at the two posts last September after Turkey announced it would take a greater role in the fight against Islamic State militants.

At the time, military officials said they had recommended the voluntary departure from Incirlik because of specific calls by militants for lone wolf attacks against the air base.

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Turkish Foreign Mevlut Cavusoglu. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the two discussed measures to secure the Turkey-Syria border and disrupt extremist networks.

According to a U.S. official, the decision to order families to leave stemmed from the ongoing assessment of security threats in Turkey. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, so spoke on condition of anonymity.

The decision comes a day after Israel issued a new travel advisory for Turkey, warning its citizens to leave the country as soon as possible and to avoid any traveling there. (ags)

Categories: Indonesian News

2 policemen killed, 4 injured in Venezuela street protest

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 16:29

Two women take part in an opposition protest in Caracas, Venezuela, March 12. Opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro marched Saturday demanding his resignation after the opposition coalition announced a new campaign of protests, and proposals for legislative reform to reduce his presidential term. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

People demonstrating against a bus fare hike killed two police officers Tuesday in the restive western Venezuelan town of San Cristobal as informal protests sweep the troubled country.

The officers, aged 21 and 25, were killed by a bus hijacked and later abandoned by protesters in Tachira state, according to the Tachira police. Four other officers were seriously injured when masked protesters drove the hijacked bus through a police line, according to posts from the Tachira police Twitter account.

Earlier this month, the government doubled bus fares.

At least 31 people were arrested during the protest, according to Tachira Secretary of Public Security Ramon Cabeza.

Gov. Jose Vielma Mora decried the killings on his Twitter account.

"We reject any act that threatens stability and the lives of citizens. Violence brings bad consequences," he wrote. "Honor and glory to the brave men and women of the police force, who risk their lives to protect the people."

Informal street protests have become more common in recent months, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, as Venezuelans struggle with raging inflation, worsening shortages of basics such as like medicine and water, and proliferating food lines.

The country has seen an average of 17 small-scale protests a day so far this year, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, with a majority seeking to bring attention to the lack of basic services and food.

An anti-government protest at one of the city's largest universities continued into the afternoon, apparently unrelated to the protest that turned deadly in the morning.

The city is known for its frequent student demonstrations Protests in San Cristobal against the country's socialist administration two years ago helped spark a nationwide street protest movement. The town's mayor was imprisoned for his involvement. (ags)

Categories: Indonesian News

Elton John sued by off-duty officer alleging sex harassment

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 16:29

In this March 2 file photo, Elton John appears during the "Hillary Victory Fund I'm with Her" benefit concert in New York. John was sued on March 28, for sexual harassment by an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who worked on his security detail, who claims he was repeatedly groped by the Grammy winner. John’s attorney calls the lawsuit baseless and says the officer is trying to "extract an undeserved payment." (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

A decorated Los Angeles police captain has sued Elton John, claiming he was repeatedly groped by the singer while he was working off-duty on the Grammy winner's security detail.

The lawsuit filed Monday by Capt. Jeffrey Wenninger alleges the groping and sexually suggestive comments by John occurred in early 2014. Orin Snyder, an attorney for John's Rocket Entertainment Group, denied the allegations.

"This baseless lawsuit is brought by a disgruntled former security officer seeking to extract an undeserved payment," Snyder said in a statement. "These claims are patently untrue and contradicted by numerous previous statements made by this plaintiff."

Wenninger was employed off-duty through a private company that he also is suing, alleging he was improperly removed from working with John in September 2014. That lawsuit states he found out about the change after he requested to work with the singer.

Wenninger's attorney Marla A. Brown refused to address why her client would be seeking work after the alleged incidents occurred.

Wenninger's lawsuit against John accuses the singer of groping him while riding to an airport in late March 2014. Roughly two weeks later, the suit alleges, John committed other acts.

"The unwelcome touching of plaintiff by (John) occurred on many other occasions over the span of several years since plaintiff began his employment in 2002, escalating in frequency and intensity after 2010," the lawsuit states. "At no time did plaintiff consent to defendant Elton John touching him in this offensive manner, or in any other manner."

The lawsuit against Wenninger's employer alleges he was effectively fired from John's security detail because he had reported a fellow officer for overtime theft.

That officer also works for the security firms J Bondi, Inc. and Hamitsu, which have denied Wenninger's claims of unfair retaliation.

Wenninger received the LAPD's Medal of Valor for being part of a group of officers who helped evacuate 80 senior citizens from a burning retirement home in 1996. (ags)

Categories: Indonesian News

City won't remove historic Luar Batang Mosque: Ahok

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 15:00

Children are seen playing in front of the Luar Batang Mosque in North Jakarta. The historic building has attracted attention as the residents around the mosque are objecting to a supposed plan by Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to relocate them. They have asked for legal aid from former justice and human rights minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra, who apparently spread the rumor and is among the potential candidates to run for Jakarta governor in the 2017 election. (Kompas/Lasti Kurnia)

Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has denied accusations the city plans to remove the historic Luar Batang Mosque and a sacred tomb in North Jakarta, saying that the administration would only evict illegal settlers from the nearby riverbanks.

Previously, former justice and human rights minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra said the city administration warned the residents around the historic mosque and tomb that they would be relocated, without compensation.

"We don't want to clear the Luar Batang village, but only install sheet piles along the river in the area. If Yusril said that I want to clear such areas, it is slander," Ahok told the journalist on Tuesday in Jakarta.

The administration, he continued, would only relocate illegal houses built near the river and sea. He underlined that no historic buildings would be demolished, especially the Luar Batang Mosque, which has a legal permit.

According to Ahok, the sheet piling will be installed in April and the mosque and the surrounding area would be beautified to become a cultural tourism site. "The mosque will look impressive. If you observe it from the Sunda Kelapa Harbor, you will be able to see it directly," he said.

He added that although he had not visited the mosque, he ordered the administration to repair the roads to it, put up some lamps and repaint the historic building, which dates back to about the year 1700.

"We have installed nice lamps in the tower and opened the veranda, so it looks beautiful at night. I want to make it fascinating if people look at it from the sea," Ahok said. (ags)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Woody Allen's 'Cafe Society' to open Cannes Film Festival

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 15:00

Woody Allen's latest film, "Cafe Society," will open this year's Cannes Film Festival.(shutterstock)

Woody Allen's latest film, "Cafe Society,'' will open this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Programmers say the movie, starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, will have its red-carpet premiere at the French Riviera festival on May 11.

Blake Lively, Parker Posey and Steve Carell also appear in the film, set in Hollywood in the 1930s.

Tuesday's announcement confirms Cannes' love affair with the 81-year-old American director. It's Allen's third film to open the festival, after "Hollywood Ending'' in 2002 and "Midnight in Paris'' in 2011.

"Cafe Society'' is not in competition for the Palme D'Or and other prizes, to be awarded by a jury headed by "Mad Max'' director George Miller.

The 69th Cannes Film Festival runs May 11-22. (+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Venezuela: Argentina can't "disappear" leftist TV network

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 15:00

In this July 24, 2005, file photo, workers set up for the inauguration of Telesur in Caracas, Venezuela. Argentine Minister of Communication Hermann Lombardi announced on March 28, that the country is pulling out of the Spanish-language television network started by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a vehicle for promoting leftist politics in Latin America. (AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Monday that Argentina would not be able to "disappear" the Telesur regional television network as it erased the lives of people during the country's military dictatorship.

"The same actors who disappeared 30,000 young people in Argentina are trying to disappear Telesur," Maduro said of the conservative Argentine government that announced Sunday it would pull its nearly 20 percent stake out of the Spanish-language network.

Argentina said it was leaving because it had been shut out of financial and editorial decisions.

Maduro said the left-leaning network started by his predecessor President Hugo Chavez would continue to inform the Argentine people and stand for truth and freedom of expression in Latin America.

Venezuela's socialist president said in televised remarks on Monday that Argentine President Mauricio Macri could not make the network go away, or prevent people from accessing Telesur's reporting online.

Argentina's Minister of Communications Hernan Lombardi said on Twitter that Maduro's statements did not merit a response.

Argentina is the first partner to pull out since a coalition of governments launched the channel in 2005.

As many as 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during a crackdown on leftists by Argentina's military dictatorship from 1976-83. (ags)

Categories: Indonesian News

Hmong American poet Mai Der Vang wins prize for best debut

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 15:00

In this undated image provided by The Library of America, American writer Walt Whitman is seen. A rare Whitman "soldier letter," one of only three known to exist, was discovered last month by a National Archives volunteer who is part of a team preparing Civil War widows' pension files to be digitized and placed online.(AP/The Library of America)

A Hmong American poet is this year's winner of the Walt Whitman Award, given for an outstanding debut book.

The Academy of American Poets told The Associated Press on Wednesday that 34-year-old Mai Der Vang will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a six-week residency in Umbria, Italy. Her collection "Afterland," inspired by the flight of the Hmong people caused by the so-called Secret War in Laos during the Vietnam War era, will be published next year by Graywolf Press. The academy will purchase thousands of copies for its members and will feature Mai Der Vang in its American Poets magazine and on its website, www.poets.org.

Previous winners of the Whitman prize, established in 1975, include Nicole Cooley, Eric Pankey and Alberto Rios.(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Nigerian official: Surrendered bomber not a "Chibok girl"

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 15:00

In this file photo taken from video released by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, May 12, 2014, shows missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. A teenage who surrendered before carrying out a suicide bombing attack in northern Cameroon has told authorities she was one of the 276 girls abducted from a Nigerian boarding school by Islamic extremists nearly two years ago, authorities said on March 26. (AP Photo)

A Nigerian official says a girl suicide bomber who surrendered in Cameroon is not one of the 276 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from a school in the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok nearly two years ago, but is from a nearby community.

The official says Cameroonian authorities gave them the names of the girl and an older accomplice but are holding them for questioning about how the Islamic extremists operate. The official in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital, is waiting for the girls to be handed over. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press on the sensitive matter.

The girl, who turned herself in on Friday with explosives strapped to her body, appeared to be heavily drugged and suffering injuries, Cameroonian officials said. She said she was from Chibok and appeared to be about 10 years old.

In Nigeria, Chibok Parents Association chairman Yakubu Nkeki said he is waiting to go to Cameroon to see the child. Nkeki's niece was one of the youngest students abducted from a government boarding school in Chibok. She was 14 at the time of the mass kidnapping in the early hours of April 15, 2014. Dozens of the girls escaped on their own but 219 remain missing.

Boko Haram continues to kidnap even as Nigerian troops have rescued thousands from captivity in recent months. None has been from the Chibok school.

The failure of Nigerian officials and the military to rescue the girls promptly brought international condemnation and helped President Goodluck Jonathan lose in elections last year.

The Chibok kidnapping propelled Boko Haram into notoriety but Human Rights Watch said little has been done about another mass kidnapping, calling it "the largest documented school abduction." Boko Haram kidnapped some 300 students aged 7 to 17 and 100 women from a school in northeastern Damasak town a year ago Monday, said the London-based body.

"Three hundred children have been missing for a year, and yet there has been not a word from the Nigerian government," said researcher Mausi Segun. (ags)

Categories: Indonesian News

Pertamina cuts non-subsidized fuel prices by 1 US cent

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 13:58

A gas station employee serves motorists in Cikini, Central Jakarta. State-owned energy firm Pertamina has said it would cut the prices of non-subsidized fuels by Rp 200 per liter.(Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)

State owned energy firm PT Pertamina is planning to cut non-subsidized gasoline and diesel prices by Rp 200 (1 US cent) per liter starting March 31 at 12 midnight. However, subsidized fuel prices is yet to be decided.

Pertamina's vice president of corporate communications, Wianda Pusponegoro, said this would be the second time Pertamina cut non-subsidized fuel prices this year, following a previous cut in mid-March. She didn't say anything about subsidized fuel prices, which would be discussed in limited meeting Wednesday before the announcement.

"Therefore, in this month alone, Pertamina has cut the prices of Pertamax, Pertamax Plus, Pertamina Dex and Pertalite fuel by Rp 400 per liter," she said in Jakarta on Tuesday, suggesting that such a measure would encourage consumers to purchase better quality fuel.

Furthermore, Wianda explained that Pertamina would closely monitor the availability of fuel stocks in gas stations. "With prices cut, consumption usually increases. To ensure that the people are served well, we has been instructed to prepare all gas stations with enough stock," she said.

With a Rp 200 cut per liter, the new prices would change to Rp 7,550 per liter for Pertamax gasoline and Rp 7,100 for Pertalite gasoline. On the other hand, the high-quality diesel Pertamina Dex is set at Rp 8,400 and Pertamax Dex at Rp 8,450. The price of conventional non-subsidized diesel would drop from Rp 7,150 per liter to Rp 6,950.

"The Rp 200 per liter price reduction is to be applied equally throughout the entire region," said Wianda. (ags)(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

SoundCloud expands into mainstream with paid streaming plan

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 13:58

SoundCloud hopes to distinguish itself with its massive variety and huge audience of 175 million monthly listeners. (Shutterstock.com/Denys Prykhodov)

SoundCloud is entering paid music streaming, hoping to turn its huge community of cover singers, dubstep remixers and wannabe stars into a bigger source of revenue.

Since its launch in 2007, the Berlin-based online music service has allowed pretty much any audio to be uploaded to its cloud — from Kanye West outtakes to teenagers singing over canned music. It has slowly introduced tools to earn revenue, introducing paid services for artists in 2008 and ad revenue sharing for invited musicians in 2014.

But after signing deals with major labels, including holdout Sony Music this month, SoundCloud is adding a subscription plan for consumers, giving them ad-free listening and a whole range of music from mainstream artists that had shunned the service because it only gave tracks away for free, including top acts like Taylor Swift.

SoundCloud, privately held and with tech investors like Union Square Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, will have a staggering 125 million tracks available when the paid tier, SoundCloud Go, launches Tuesday. That's about four times other paid services.

The fast-growing field of paid music subscription services is already crowded, led by companies like Spotify, with 30 million paying subscribers, and Apple, which jumped to 10 million after launching last year.

SoundCloud hopes to distinguish itself with its massive variety and huge audience of 175 million monthly listeners.

"We're at the very early days of streaming," said Eric Wahlforss, the co-founder and chieftechnology officer, in an interview. "The pie is going to be very large over time."

SoundCloud Go will cost $10 a month and offer ad-free offline playback on mobile devices. It'll also allow artists to choose whether to give away tracks for free or reserve them for paying customers — an option not allowed by Spotify, which depends on having quality free music to draw in prospective paying customers.

Wahlforss said a key selling point for consumers is the many tracks on SoundCloud you won't find elsewhere.

"You're going to be able to listen to a Rihanna next to an emerging artist, next to a DJ set, next to a mashup in the same playlist," said Wahlforss. "It's new for us, it's new for the world."

For example, on SoundCloud you can find gems like a John Legend's cover of the Adele hit, "Rolling in the Deep." Or a 4-minute version of "30 Hours," a shortened take of one of the songs from Kanye West's latest album, "The Life of Pablo." The album version is exclusively streaming on competing music service Tidal.

SoundCloud's reputation for hosting music that is off the beaten path is what drew DJ Kaskade to the platform. Without saying whether he'll put music behind the pay wall, Kaskade's manager Stephanie LaFera said it has long been a place for the DJ to connect with fans looking to dig deeper than a standard release.

"We feel like we're speaking to an audience that's already with us, fans that are open to experimentation, sub-genres and all the quirks that come with the world of electronic music," she said.(+)

Categories: Indonesian News

End of a TV era: 'American Idol' vows 'spectacular' finale

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 12:29

In this image released by Fox, judges, (from left), Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. appear on the set of "American Idol," in Los Angeles. The cultural phenomenon that changed the face of television and created some of today’s biggest music stars, will kick off a three-night Grand Finale week on Tuesday, April 5. (FOX via AP/Ray Mickshaw)

"American Idol," which gave the world Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson, has one more chance to mint a star before it fades into TV and music history.

Whether viewers choose a future chart-topper or trivia question remains to be seen. But executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who helped translate Britain's "Pop Idol" into the Fox version that debuted in 2002, said the farewell episode will be memorable.

"It's going to be a rather spectacular show," Lythgoe promised, with all the former winners on hand along with past contestants and "other surprises" in the two-hour finale.

"It's about the American idols, about reminding people of 15 seasons," he said, as well as giving the final winner his or her share of the spotlight.

The contenders for the title are finalists MacKenzie Bourg, 23, of Lafayette, Louisiana; Trent Harmon, 24, of Amory, Mississippi; La'Porsha Renae, 22, of McComb, Mississippi; and Dalton Rapattoni, 19, of Dallas.

The field will have been trimmed to three for the final competition episode, 8-9 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 6, with the winner announced the next night, 8-10:06 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 7. Lythgoe, who exited the series in 2013, returned to produce the concluding night's broadcast.

Clarkson, the inaugural "Idol," is set to perform, as are Underwood and the other winners including Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Jordin Sparks and Scotty McCreery. Among the many contestants taking part: Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Elliott Yamin and LaToya London.

Past "Idol" finales became known for flaunting superstars, perhaps none more important than Prince. His performance in the 2006 season-ender signaled that the show had transcended its image as overblown karaoke and become a respectable showcase for established artists.

But Lythgoe downplays the importance of celebrities as part of the finale — or the contest itself.

"It isn't about big stars coming on and singing their record. 'American Idol' was never about that. It was about the young stars we created," he said.

Lythgoe can't avoid a bit of impish humor involving a certain pair of divas, former judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, who famously clashed during their shared 2013 tenure.

"I've invited them back to the finale to sing 'That's What Friends Are For,'" he said.

Current judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban will help usher the show out.

Before the finale, Fox is stoking nostalgia with "American Idol: American Dream," a 90-minute special airing at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 5. Host Ryan Seacrest, original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and former contestants will be among those reminiscing and sharing insider tidbits.

Season seven contestant David Hernandez already is feeling a sense of loss.

"I only really associate great memories with being on that show," he said. While some others are reluctant to credit their careers to "Idol," he gladly admits it — and so, he points out, does one of the show's biggest graduates.

"Even to this day, when Carrie Underwood accepts her Grammys and other awards, she says, 'Thank you, 'American Idol,' this wouldn't be possible,'" Hernandez said. "I'm so thankful just to have fans in the Philippines or in Europe who say, 'I remember you on that show. I bought your album.'"

"Idol" was as much a boost for Fox as any of its young singers, ruling the TV ratings as the No. 1 series for an astounding nine consecutive years.

Lythgoe said he was confident that British mega-producer Simon Fuller's "Pop Idol" format, with its unusual behind-the-scenes view of contestant auditions, would export well. And he told Fox executives just that.

"You realize this program is going to take you across the board, from grandchildren to grandparents," Lythgoe recalled saying. "This was a family show at a time when family members were each disappearing into their own rooms to watch television."

Although he firmly believed in it, he said, "Simon Cowell packed his suitcase for two weeks."

While Cowell's barbed criticism of contestants helped drive the show's popularity, it also made for a rocky start with Abdul, who favored a more nurturing approach with the show's young talent.

"Paula couldn't understand how this English guy next to her could be so rude and ruthless," he said. "So she was in tears a great deal of the time and terribly upset. Then to see them come together. ... Simon, Paula and Randy are the three judges that everybody will remember."

Season six winner Sparks calls the show worthy of a grand send-off.

"It fulfilled so many dreams and encouraged so many people, even if they aren't singers. There are people who watch the show and are touched by it. I'm sad that it's going to be gone because of that, because of the lives that it touched." (+)

Categories: Indonesian News

Outlier Tea in Search of a Place

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 12:29

Your cup of tea: Tayu green tea brewed in the Chinese way

Nutty, somewhat bitter with an overburnt aroma. That’s the taste of Tayu green tea — also known as Jebus tea or nampong cha in Chinese.

The aroma filled the air when the tea was brewed by a visiting administrator of the Jakarta-based Tea Lovers Community in Tayu — a hamlet in Ketap village where the tea is produced, in Jebus district in West Bangka regency.

They were drawn there for three reasons.

At an altitude of 15 to 20 meters above sea level, with slope percentages ranging from 3 to 8, Tayu is arguably home to the country’s only lowland tea estates — an outlier because most tea plants in the country are grown in the highlands.

The estates are family or household-owned and operated smallholdings, which is also an outlier because the other tea estates in the country are normally owned and run by state plantation companies (PTPN), private corporations or private individuals.

Third, head of West Bangka regency’s Agriculture, Plantation and Animal Husbandry Service, Azmal Az, sees the smallholdings as a regency asset that merits the creation of a line item in its budget — not only for development and promotion purposes but also for the obtainment of geographical indication (GI), a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

Which, again, is an outlier because the tea estates are, for the most part, situated on state-owned production forests which render them — according to Minister of Forestry Decree No. 798/2012 that governs changes of designation and function of provincial forest areas — ineligible for assistance unless they are relocated to areas designated for other uses.

So, for now, the local plantation authorities are focusing on marketing Tayu tea which they regard as an icon of both Tayu and Jebus. They sought advice and assisance from the visiting guests as one of them is the Head of the Promotion Division of the Indonesian Tea Board.

Offered at the source at Rp 5,000 per box of two 50 gram aluminum foil packets and or at Rp 300,000 per kg in a simple plastic sack, mostly through a Bangka Chinese network, the tea is considered expensive and difficult to obtain.

In contrast to most of the tea produced in the country, which come from broad-leaf Camellia sinensis var assamica plants, this lowland tea comes from the small-leafed Camellia sinensis var sinensis plant known for its hardiness and ability to produce some of the finest teas on earth.

Moreover, the plants are of 60 to 100 years of age, according to both Azmal Az and Erwin Malik, the regency field officer responsible for cultivation.

Rather uncared for, growing slowly in full sunshine, these old trees must have, as plant physiology studies have shown, high production of secondary metabolites responsible for more intense flavor, and in some cases, more complex and subtle flavors, which young plants do not generally produce.

While grown in Indonesia, the tea is, however, essentially Chinese as it is produced by Chinese Indonesians using a traditional wok-roasting method passed down to them by their Chinese ancestors.

Having returned to Jakarta, I took a sample of the tea to Chinese tea expert Suwarni Widjaja. She brewed the leaves rapidly and lightly with boiling water, not at the 70 to 80 degree Celsius commonly prescribed for green tea. Suwarni explained that this was unnecessary as the tea leaves came from old trees grown in tropical lowland areas.

The result was surprising. The captivating aroma of roasted seasoned seaweed reflected in a savory, mineral liquor reminiscent of boiled edamame.

An aroma of roasted corn came out instead of burnt flavors. There was no astringency and the after taste was slightly salty. After the third steeping, the flavors started to fade away gracefully.

If effort is made to make the tea organic, diversify it, promote it as artisanal exotic product linked to the history of the island’s Chinese migrants and tin mining, and make the estates tourism-friendly, the tea may soon become a sought-after experience.

— Arif Suryobuwono

Categories: Indonesian News

Obama seeing China leader as South China Sea tensions rise

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 12:29

In this photo taken Nov. 30, 2015, President Barack Obama meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Le Bourget, France. President Barack Obama will be meeting with Asian leaders in Washington this week as fears grow that long-smoldering tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea could flare into conflict. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Barack Obama will be meeting with Asian leaders in Washington this week as fears grow that long-smoldering tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea risk flaring into conflict.

World leaders, including those from China, Japan and South Korea, will be in town for a summit hosted by Obama on nuclear security — the final round in the U.S. president's drive for international action to stop materials that could be used for an atomic weapon or dirty bomb from getting into terrorist hands.

But other pressing security issues will be up for discussion on the sidelines of the two-day gathering that starts Thursday.

Obama will on Thursday meet separately with China's President Xi Jinping at a time when frictions between the two world powers over China's island-building in strategic waters are growing and look set to intensify with an upcoming ruling from an international tribunal on Beijing's sweeping territorial claims.

The U.S. president is also meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Washington is looking for an elusive unity between its core allies in Asia as threats from North Korea reach fever-pitch after Pyongyang was stung with tough sanctions in response to its recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

Obama will be urging China to implement the U.N. sanctions it signed up to for use against North Korea, its traditional ally. For his part, Xi will want the U.S. to restart negotiations with the authoritarian government of Kim Jong Un, which has been touting progress in miniaturizing nuclear devices and missile technology that could directly threaten America.

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that if North Korea keeps advancing its weapons programs, the U.S. will be compelled to take defensive measures that China will not like, such as the deployment of a missile defense system being discussed with South Korea. Beijing is concerned the system's radar could cover Chinese territory.

"The bottom line remains that as long as North Korea continues in this direction, advancing its nuclear program, advancing its missile program, we are going to have to take these steps to defend ourselves and to defend our partners," Blinken told a Washington think tank.

With Obama's presidency in its final year, there's uncertainty among Asian nations on what the next administration will portend. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is calling for Japan and South Korea to pay more for U.S. military protection, and is advocating a tougher trade policy toward China.

Deepen engagement

During his seven years in office, Obama has deepened engagement with Asia, despite the huge distraction of chaos in the Middle East. The U.S. and China have cooperated on issues like climate change and nuclear security, even as their strategic rivalry has grown.

The U.S. is a major player in China's fast-growing nuclear industry, and this month, the U.S. and China opened a center in Beijing to train technicians and scientists from across the Asia-Pacific on nuclear security.

But when Obama and Xi meet, the hottest topic will be the most divisive one: China's bold pursuit of its sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China has reclaimed more than 3,000 acres of land in the past two years near sea lanes crucial for world trade. On these artificial islands, Beijing has installed airstrips and other military facilities that U.S. intelligence assesses will enable China to project offensive military power in the region by early next year.

Despite conflicting territorial claims from five other Asian governments, China contends it has a historic right to most of the South China Sea and maintains the U.S. has no business there. It accuses the U.S. of stoking tensions by sending military ships and planes through the area on freedom of navigation maneuvers.

"Washington should know that the more provocative moves it makes against China, the more counter-measures Beijing will take. Such an undesirable cycle may push both sides nearer confrontation and cause both to prepare for the worst-case scenario, potentially making it self-fulfilling," the U.S. edition of the state-supported China Daily said in a recent editorial.

The stakes are set to rise by mid-year when an international arbitration body is set to rule on a case brought by the Philippines challenging the legal basis of the nine-dash line — Beijing's rough demarcation of its claims.

If the Hague-based tribunal rules in the Philippines' favor, as most experts anticipate, it could undermine China's insistence that its stance is consistent with international law. China has refused to participate in the arbitration and says it will ignore the ruling, but a growing number of countries say both parties should be bound by it.

Jeffrey Bader, Obama's former principal advisor on Asia, wrote in a commentary ahead of the summit that there's concern in Washington and the region about how China might react to the ruling, and whether it will militarily challenge Filipino territorial claims. He said that as the Philippines is a U.S. ally, Obama "may warn Xi of the risks of escalation."

The last time Xi visited Washington, in September, he publicly said that China did not intend to pursue militarization in the Spratly islands where most of land reclamation has happened — a statement that U.S. officials remind Beijing of at every opportunity. But in recent weeks, China has reportedly positioned more military equipment on disputed islands in the South China Sea. (ags)

Categories: Indonesian News

Game Of Thrones' Bran Stark coming to Singapore on April 2

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 12:29

Actors Isaac Hempstead Wright (left) as Bran Stark and Max von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones Season 6(Twitter/GameOfThrones)

Mark the date: Game Of Thrones' English actor Isaac Hempstead Wright will be making his appearance at Ion Orchard on April 2.

Wright, 17, plays the character of Bran Stark in the globally successful fantasy series about an epic struggle for power. Bran was not seen in Season 5 of the show, presumably learning about his powers from the wizard-like Three-Eyed Raven and fans are eagerly awaiting his return in Season 6. The 10 new episodes begin airing on HBO here on April 25 at 9am, the same time as in the United States.

The Emmy Award-winning series is based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling book series A Song Of Ice And Fire. Volume 6, The Winds Of Winter, is expected to answer burning questions, such as whether popular character Jon Snow died, but it will not be out by the time the show airs. This means the show will be going into uncharted territory even for fans who have been avidly following the novels.

For those who are keen to take a picture with Wright, follow HBO Asia on Facebook for updates, or participate in StarHub's contest (www.starhub.com/got-contest), which offers subscribers the chance to meet him.

Details of his appearance at The Game Of Thrones Experience: Worlds Of Westeros will be broadcast on HBO Asia's social media platforms.

In addition, the show's devotees may also ascend the forbidding ice Wall in a virtual Castle Black winch elevator, sit on a replica of the fought-over Iron Throne and even pose for snaps with the fearsome Drogon. StarHub customers will be given priority for these activities.

The Game Of Thrones Experience: Worlds Of Westeros (#GOTAsiaWOW, #BranStarkInSG)

When: April 2 to 7

Time: 10am to 10pm

Where: Ion Orchard, Basement 4 Atrium

Categories: Indonesian News

Terror suspect’s death to be probed

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 11:00

Amid reports of physical abuse, the Muhammadiyah central committee (PP) and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) will investigate the death of terror suspect Siyono of Klaten, Central Java, during his arrest by the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism unit earlier this month.

“We will arrange for an autopsy for Siyono’s body to determine whether a human rights violation led to his death,” Komnas HAM member Siane Indriani told The Jakarta Post at the Muhammadiyah office on Tuesday.

Siane accompanied Siyono’s wife, Suratmi, who filed a report over her husband’s death and requested legal assistance from the Muhammadiyah PP, which was represented by one of its heads, Busyro Muqodas, and Iwan Satriawan, deputy head of the justice and human rights council.

“We will be assisted by five forensics experts from Yogyakarta Muhammadiyah University (UMY) for the autopsy,” said Siane.

Siyono, from Brengkungan village, Klaten regency, was arrested by Densus 88 members on March 8. He was allegedly killed on March 10 during an arrest by Densus 88, and buried on March 13.

The National Police said Siyono, who police claim was the commander of Neo Jamaah Islamiyah, died after an encounter with an Densus 88 member who asked where he was hiding his weapons.

Busyro said that he regretted the actions of Densus 88 that led to Siyono’s death, adding that he did not believe that the pint-sized Siyono dared to resist arrest.

“Even if he resisted arrest, he could be overpowered and there was no need to kill him. We regret that the methods commonly used during the New Order are still being used,” said Busyro.

He also called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his Cabinet ministers to be transparent and form an independent team to evaluate the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and Densus 88.

“Siyono’s death concerns humanity and has nothing to do with a particular religion,” he said.

During the meeting, Suratmi, who came with her three children, also entrusted two bundles of neatly packed cash, believed to be given by the police, to Busyro.

She said that the bundles of cash further convinced her that her husband’s death was unnatural. The money was given by two women who were not in uniform, named Ayu and Lastri, who met her when she was picking up her husband’s body in Jakarta.

“They said a bundle of the money was for funeral expenses and the other for my children. However, the cash provision has instead further caused anxiety,” she said.

After giving the money, a woman, who claimed to be Ayu, also repeatedly asked her to accept her husband’s death and not take legal measures, Suratmi said.

Following her husband’s death, she claimed that she was approached by officers, believed to be Densus 88 members, at her home in Klaten. They arrived in a black car.

Separately, National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti has also ordered the force’s Internal Affairs Division (Propam) to investigate Siyono’s death.

He said there might have been violations but declined to comment further, saying that he would wait for Propam to conclude its investigation into Siyono’s death.

Categories: Indonesian News

Govt remains indecisive over resolving historic rights abuses

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 11:00

The government said on Tuesday that it had yet to decide on what actions to take to resolve historic human rights abuses as several mechanisms were still being considered.

Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki said that the government was still discussing what would be the best format for the solutions, whether it will take judicial or non-judicial measures.

He said that the discussion was also seeking to find out whether the government needed to set up a special body tasked to solve historic human rights abuse cases, or if they would be solved by existing law enforcement institutions.

One of the challenges the government is facing in solving the cases was that some of the perpetrators had already died, making it hard for a judicial body to collect evidence to confirm their offenses, Teten added.

“Probably a better format for the solution is reconciliation, but if we talk about reconciliation there will be demands to bring out the truth about the cases before agreeing on a reconciliation. Whether we need an ad hoc team to handle the reconciliation is still being discussed, but the point is there must be a solution to the matter,” Teten said.

He said that it would take a while for the government to solve the abuse cases because President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration was currently focused on repairing the economy.

“I think all will agree that hungry stomachs can lead to turmoil; more human rights problems will emerge. I believe the President is indeed heavy on the economy because the President perceives if the economy gets better and people’s welfare gets better, we can handle such problems even better,” he said.

The slow progress at the State Palace, as well as in the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and other relevant ministries has made activists, victims and families come to the Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres) to urge Jokowi to form an independent commission directly under him to reveal the truth of the historic abuses and help the victims and families.

Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace chairman Hendardi said that he hoped that the board could channel the aspirations directly to the President to have the commission formed faster.

“We demand the President form a presidential task force, consisting of intellectuals and not government people, including Komnas HAM [state commission for human rights], nor the military, intelligence or the police, all of which were part of the problems themselves,” he told reporters after meeting with Wantimpres.

They demand the team and government meet and question witnesses, many of whom are still alive.

“We reject the government’s reason for dragging out the progress saying there is not enough evidence because many of them are still alive,” Hendardi said.

Setara, victims and families cited former president BJ Habibie, former Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. (ret) Wiranto and Maj. Gen. (ret) Kivlan Zein, a former military officer who admits to knowing the locations of the persons who went missing during the 1997/1998 tragedies, as examples of witnesses.

The team will then conclude whether the solution should go through a judicial or non-judicial process; either way will have to include revelations of the truth and the perpetrators behind the incidents.

Setara and others are worried that the government will only apologize as a way to solve everything without revealing the truth as the government keeps saying its lacks evidence.

The dossiers of seven major cases were completed by the state commission of human rights (Komnas HAM) in 2002, but the AGO always returns them because of a lack of evidence.

The cases include the 1989 Talangsari incident in Central Lampung, the 2001 and 2003 Wamena and Wasior incidents in Papua, various kidnappings and unresolved shootings in the 1980s, the 1965 communist purge and the 1998 May riots.
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Categories: Indonesian News

Guess what?: Sheryl makes movie debut

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 11:00

Singer Sheryl Sheinafia will be the main female lead in Raditya Dika’s new comedy movie Koala Kumal (Shabby Koala), kapanlagi.com reported over the weekend.

“The movie will be my debut as a lead actor. I will also sing the soundtrack theme,” said the 19-year-old, popular for her single “Kutunggu Kau Putus” (Until You Break Up).

It is the second time she has been involved in one of Raditya’s film projects. Previously, she appeared in the comedian-cum-director’s film Marmut Merah Jambu (Pink Guinea Pig) in 2014.

“I will act opposite Raditya Dika as his best friend. It’s difficult to be funny, but during readings Raditya gave me the freedom to create the character.”

The film, which will also star Acha Septriasa and Nino Fernandez, will start shooting in April and is set for release mid-year

Categories: Indonesian News

Guess what?: Gita busy working as producer

Jakarta Post Latest News - Wed, 2016-03-30 11:00

After the success of the Di Atas Rata-rata (Above Average) compilation album, known as DARR, singer-songwriter Gita Gutawa is working on a second installment of the project, scouting for teen musicians and singers.

Gita, 22, and her music composer father Erwin Gutawa have produced an album for young musicians and will hold a live concert on April 2.

“Learning to become a producer is a new sensation for me. Currently, I’m handling a concert and becoming an organizer as well.

“I still perform on-air and off-air as a singer, but I am now preoccupied with DARR. I want to focus on the project first and do my best because these kids really need to be put under the spotlight,” she said as reported by kapanlagi.com.

Erwin said that Gita had shown an interest in event production long before turning to singing.

“Even during her teens she had already developed a sense of becoming a behind-the-scenes performer. She was involved in the concerts I produced, but not because I told her to,” he said.

Categories: Indonesian News
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