Having prepared various titbits of posts which may be of slight interest to some of my readers, Indonesia has suddenly provided a tsunami of media events which need a Jakartass balanced bias.
Obviously the main story has been the shootouts between terrorists and the Detachment 88 anti-terror team of the police. Fellow blogger Thomas Belfield, who writes about Jakarta from Hawaii where he is studying for his Master's degree, has written to say that he "got to watch the entire shoot out on the 'live stream' of Metro TV" on his computer.
The police have grumbled that there has been excessive media coverage which has hampered their search and capture of other terrorist suspects elsewhere. One must wonder therefore why they allowed it. Metro TV's "exclusive" coverage showed a vast crowd of onlookers, many gleefully using cell phones to twitter away about ongoing events.
The major target has been Noordin Top, a Malaysian national, who - ahem - has topped the country’s most-wanted list ever since the 2002 bombing attacks in Bali that killed 202 people.
Police carry off body of alleged terrorist
Whether he was one of those killed in Temanggung, a remote village in Central Java, 250 miles south-east of Jakarta, is open to conjecture and the results of DNA tests. Initial reports suggested that he had been arrested, then that he died after capture, and now that he has escaped.
Closer to home was the earlier assault on a small house in the neighbouring township of Bekasi where police killed two suspected militants and seized bombs and a car rigged to carry them. The house is variously 3½, 5 and 7 kms from SBY's private residence so it would appear that there was a plot to assassinate the President. One must wonder if this is what he was alluding to at his press conference at the site of the hotel bombings last month.
Incidentally, the Bekasi house is 2kms from the school Our Kid goes to and 7kms from Jakartass Towers.
Another death, but one occasioning sorrow rather than glee, is that of poet, writer, dramatist, cultural activist and theater director, WS Rendra, who died on Thursday night.
Throughout his life he supported the society's disenfranchised; his works were often banned because they openly criticized Suharto’s development programs that often alienated indigenous people and tended to side with multinational corporations.
He would have supported the 'refugees' of the Sidoarjo mudflow who have still not been paid compensation and have now learned that the Supreme Court, which continually defies expert knowledge and supports vested interests, has ruled that human error was not responsible for their plight. The police have therefore dropped their criminal investigation.
On a happier note, I am pleased to report that Charlton Athletic won their first match of the new season.