Interesting week ahead?
At the end of this week, immigration officials will have put their stamps on the passports of some 92 nationalities. They are delegates, including 55 heads of state, and observers who have accepted an invitation to the Asian-African Summit
- dubbed as one of the biggest meetings of this century.The coming together of Asian and African leaders in Jakarta and Bandung for a summit on Apr. 22 and Apr. 23, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference, is a good time to reflect on the relevancy of building a "new bridge" between the two continents.
Of course, it will cost a lot
and could be a security headache. Residents are anxiously awaiting an announcement that Thursday, when most of the delegates will arrive, will be a public holiday to add to Friday's which is the official celebration of Muhammad's Ascension (or is it his birthday?) which Muslims celebrate on Thursday but the government have moved to Friday in order to have a long weekend which could, supposedly, boost domestic tourism.And, of course, there will be traffic problems with an extra 60 luxury Toyota Camry sedans, which will be used by the chairpersons (or their deputies) of state institutions, including the People's Consultative Assembly, the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Audit Agency, and statesmen including President Susilo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Cabinet members, after the summit wraps up on April 24.
Jakartass supports the notion of the conference. Anything for an extra day off. And I can safely predict that Monday may also be added due to safety concerns. This is because the delegates are scheduled to go walkabout in Bandung, where the original Asia-Africa Conference
was held 50 years ago.Delegates in bad odour
With Indonesia's volcanoes stirring in a domino effect following the movements of the tectonic plates in the past 3 months, there are fears about the 2,076-meter Mount Tangkuban Perahu
, which overlooks Bandung and has been spewing out white ash, thick smoke and increased levels of hydrogen sulfide gas (more commonly known as rotten egg gas)
.Superstitious locals believe a major eruption is an omen of major political significance.
Is that coincidence or what?