The same old issues reverberate.The Corby case
will not go away.The 'Free Schapelle: Boycott Bali: Give us our Girl Back' campaign will soon appear on t-shifts, baseball caps, car bumper stickers, and refrigerator magnets -- not to mention the exclusive magazine contract, the book, the TV mini-series and the movie.
There's an article in the Bangkok Post
which is basically a précis of the newsletter Travel Impact Newswire sent from Thailand. This has loads of extracts from a lengthy list of links
There is irrationality ~ "I will never go to Indonesia ever again. All Australians have given everything to the Indonesians and this is what we get in return. Thanks Indonesia, the Balinese are the ones that will suffer."
And a 'Boycott Bali' website
~ We believe that the only hope for Schapelle Corby is a political solution. The Australian and Indonesian Governments need to understand that Australians will not accept this decision and we, through our own democratic choice
(eh?), are prepared to harm the economy of Bali by volunteering to ban holidays in Bali for as long as Schapelle Corby is in jail.
There are also welcome signs that some are prepared to stand back and look at the issue unemotionally.
Professor Tim Lindsey, director of the Asian Law Centre at the University of Melbourne, says, "double standards about issues such as the death penalty in Asian drug cases feed Southeast Asian anxieties about neo-colonial, arrogant and racist attitudes in Australia and perceptions that we are the insular and xenophobic white tribe of Asia.
"It is time we focused more on building links, on repairing the catastrophic decline in Indonesian studies and language skills in Australia and engaging, rather than demonising and shunning a neighbour, just because it has an Australian on trial."
Those of you who want it all can subscribe by writing to Imtiaz Muqbil,
the editor of the newsletter, giving your company name and title. (Travel Impact Newswire is the Asia-Pacific's first email travel industry news feature and analysis service. Mission Statement: Dedicated to reporting with Integrity, Trust, Accuracy and Respect the issues that impact on the Asia-Pacific Travel & Tourism industry. Distributed every week to senior industry executives, consultants, academics and media globally.)
And Jakartass would like another topic.
How about the fact that the State Intelligence Service is still refusing to co-operate
with the inquiry into the assassination of human rights activist Munir?Former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Gen. (ret) A.M. Hendropriyono has further displayed his aversion to a fact-finding team set up by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to probe the death of human rights activist Munir, and equivocated as to whether he would fulfill a summons from the team.
Hendropriyono's lawyer Syamsu Djalal, who is a former military police chief, said, "And I'm sorry to say this, but who's this Munir anyway that a presidential regulation had to be issued? A lot of people die, but no regulations are ever made for them."
The same old, same old arrogance is displayed by the same old figures. Boring.
So let me end on some good news. For the first time ever in Jakarta, today I spotted two immobilised cars; they'd been wheel-clamped.
But they were still blocking the traffic.