I thaw 10,000 fathes in a thea of red and white

A few days ago Unspun, and Anita Mackay in our respective blogs, asked what next after #indonesiaunite, at that stage a Twitter movement comprising of Indonesian Twitterers changing their avatars to red and white themes and using the hashtag #indonesiaunite.

Today, a group calling themselves The Twibbon Team responded with a website with this visual below as centerpiece that works well with Silverlight.

The idea apparently came from Stormideas that is based in Edinburgh (Unspun doesn’t know what the connection is here) and it’s very visually arresting. Whether this will inspire other ideas with even more tangible effects remain to be seen but initiatives like this, the initial spurt of #indonesiaunite on Twitter resulting it it at one time being the top trending topic and the Prita Mulyasari case leads Unspun to be more convinced than ever that 2009 is a watershed year for social media in Indonesia.

What we see is a flourishing of creativity and a sense of empowerment as the younger generation in Indonesia find a common voice through the tools of the New Media. Where it will lead, what all this will change, will be something fascinating to watch.

10,000 Supporters for IndonesiaUnite cause – A Twibbon Twibute

On Friday 17th July 2009, terrorists, presumed by authorities to be suicide bombers, launched co-ordinated attacks on two up-market hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Nine fatalities were confirmed, whilst at least fifty more people were reported injured in the atrocity.

As a worldwide audience gradually learned of these events over the subsequent hours, many began to form part of an extraordinary online movement, which has grown exponentially since in a moving and powerful display of solidarity. By Sunday 19th July, just two days later, the IndonesiaUnite Twibbon cause has already brought together 10,000 supporters on Twitter from across the globe. Tweeple used the Twibbon service to overlay a small icon depicting the Indonesian flag on the corner of profile avatars. #IndonesiaUnite supporters have ensured that their cause has remained the number one Twitter trend, eclipsing other popular online topics such as Michael Jackson and the Iran Election.

To celebrate this awesome demonstration of the power of social networking communities to unify in protest on a matter of such international significance, Twibbon have created a massive DeepZoom mosaic twibute to those individuals who have affiliated themselves visually with this important and inspiring cause.

The movement is still flourishing, and you can help spread awareness across the world. Join at http://twibbon.com/join/IndonesiaUnite and follow @Twibbon at http://twitter.com/twibbon.

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Indonesian Twitterers to be featured on Metro TV

Indonesian Twitterers at the forefront of the #IndonesiaUnite movement are getting their 90 minutes of fame from Metro TV. The movement has managed to keep #Indonesiaunite as a top trending topic in Twitter worldwide since the bombing last Friday. Trending topics tell Twitterers th world over which are the hot topics being Tweeted about at the moment.

It is an act of defiance and an act of solidarity to tell the world that Indonesians refused to be frightened by the bombings. The key players are also talking about leveraging the momentum of the movement into something more lasting.

This from the blog of Aulia, one of the key members of the #indonesiaunite movement.

MetroTV Special Dialog on #IndonesiaUnite

Special Dialog on MetroTV. 

I’ve been asked to gather a list of people from Twitter who would like to be in the audience at their studio. The show will feature discussions about the bombing at Kuningan last Friday morning and the IndonesiaUnite movement that began on Twitter which has practically taken over Twitter for the past five days, as a response to the incident.

It will also have performances by Slank, Efek Rumah Kaca, Pandji Pragiwaksono, Oppie Andaresta, and Jose Rizal Manua.

IndonesiaUnite is a movement that aims to show the world that Indonesians are not afraid of terrorists and instead of hiding, will drive to protect, preserve, and advance our way of life. It is also being used to tell the world that there is more to Indonesia than they may know.

It is not only a movement on the internet, it is being pushed offline also to show the rest of the country that there are people who care about driving the nation forward, that there are ways to make this country a better place, and that a nation is nothing without its people.

MetroTV Studios, Kedoya

Live show from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. 
Must be at MetroTV by 5:30 pm. 

for the rest read here

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Why doesn’t Malaysian terrorist Noordin M . Top bomb KL?

These and other interesting questions are being raised in Politikana.com about Malaysian terrorist noordin M. Top and the Malaysian government in the aftermath of the jakarta bmobings.

Among other questions being raised in this article are:

1. How can Malaysian Foreign Minister play down the possibility that Noordin M. Top’s probable involvement in the Jakarta bombings?
2. Why doesn’t Noordin bomb Genting Highlands, surely a symbol of gambling and things haram?
3. How is it that Malaysia can be safer, given that its hotels do not have the type of security measure that Indonesia has?
4. Why doesn’t the Malaysian government not produce a relative of Noordin to beseech him to stop his terrorizing of Malaysia?

Unspun thinks that some of the questions have merit while others are quite of the mark, but they provide interesting insights of opinions that shape the perception of Malaysia among indonesians, nonetheless.

Kenapa Noordin M.Top Tidak MEMBOM Kuala Lumpur? 5

2 jam yang lalu

Kemarin diskusi ditanya kenapa Noordin M. Top tidak pernah membom Kuala Lumpur? Tentu saja, aku tidak tahu jawabannya, tetapi yang menarik, pertanyaan semacam itu sudah memenuhi benak banyak orang di Indonesia. Apakah dia takut bom itu terkena bapak dan ibunya, atau terkena sanak keluarga dekatnya, atau tetangganya? Kalau soal “maksiat” bukankah ada tempat “maksiat” yang benar-benar nyata yaitu lokalisasi perjudian di Genting Highland yang nampak megah ketika malam dari Kuala Lumpur, apakah itu tempat perjudian yang “halal” untuk Noordin M.Top?

Aku cuma bisa cerita beberapa kali ke Twin Tower Kuala Lumpur, juga ke hotel-hotel di Kualalumpur, tak pernah ransel dan tasku diperiksa, sangat dan teramat longgar. Terakhir menjelang Pemilu Legislatif 9 April 2009, aku diundang TV Al Jazeera, menginap di Nikko Hotel Kualalumpur, lalu rekaman di lantai 60an Twin Tower Kualalumpur, juga tak ada sedikitpun tas dan ranselku dibuka dan diperiksa pihak keamanan Nikko Hotel maupun Twin Tower. Kalau melihat CCTV JW Marriot dan Ritz Calrton pas pelaku peledakan chek-in sungguh sangat luarbiasa berlapisnya, ada sekuriti dengan “pentung pengaman” (entah apa namanya?) juga ada pintu sekuriti, serta ada penggeledahan. Artinya, Twin Tower dan Nikko Hotel Kuala Lumpur adalah soft-target dan high-profile untuk teroris sekelas Noordin M. Top, bukan?

Read rest of story here

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Obama visit still likely in spite of bombs?

Not letting the bombers derail him from his planned visit to Indonesia could be the most eloquent statement that Obama could make against terrorism. Let’s home he stays the course.

This from The Jakarta Globe:

Obama Still Hopes to Visit Indonesia

US President Barack Obama still wants to visit his old hometown of Jakarta perhaps later in the year, despite the twin blasts at two luxury hotels in the city, the White House said Monday.

“I have no reason to believe that the events of the past few days have changed or lessened the president\’s desire\” to visit Indonesia, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Obama spent a few years as a child living in Jakarta from 1967 to 1971 after his mother remarried to an Indonesian national.
He told reporters in June: “Oh, I need to come to Indonesia soon. I expect to be traveling to Asia at some point within the next year and I would be surprised if when I came to Asia I did not stop by my old home town of Jakarta.

“And I’ll go visit Menteng Dalam and have some bakso — Nasi Goreng. These are some special dishes here that I used to eat when I was a kid.”

Gibbs said Obama’s upcoming itinerary would be discussed in meetings at the White House this week.

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What comes after Indonesia Unite?

Unspun can understand and empathize with the seeming act of solidarity and defiance in the face of the Jakarta bombings with the Indonesia Unite movement, where Twitterers and Facebookers daub their avatars in red and white, the colors of the Indonesian flag. At the same time Unspun thinks that Anita has raised an important question in her blog, Finally Woken.

“But here I must ask one question. Is that it?

I think most Indonesians are deeply traumatic by the media coverage on the previous attacks that sent the country into a despair for a long time. We all suffered from the damage in the economy, travel warning, the crash of national tourism industry, lack of foreign investments and many other impacts on the bomb blasts since 2002. It has taken years to build the confidence and positive sentiment about Indonesia. No one wants to suffer like that again, to lose face so badly like that, hence the strong message sent that we do not agree with the attack.

Not that I disagree with the movement. I do appreciate the initiation, but I don’t see the long term benefits we would make by putting red-and-white flag in our avatars. And it seems that The Jakarta Globe agrees with me: But some Web users were skeptical that the swelling of online patriotism would have any lasting impact. “This incident has had much bigger impact on patriotism among the young than 30 years of propaganda,” technology journalist Aulia Masna wrote on Twitter. “But yesterday’s call for unity needs to be followed up by offline activities.”

I think the most important thing we should do from this so-called Indonesia Unite pressure group is to push the government, our government, to find who did this. We are too scared that the impact of the attack would be like the bombs in 2002-2004, we have forgotten to keep pestering Indonesian government to be committed 100% to find the terrorist and would not rest until we do. We’re having too much fun pointing our fingers to A or B as the mastermind of the attacks, forgetting our duty as citizens is to make sure our government does the job right. No, I haven’t seen any single message in twitter – or I might have missed it? – that urges the government to keep reporting their findings, and what the progress they have made since the attack. Wouldn’t it be more important for us to unite to monitor what they have been doing – rather than making visits to the victims and giving emotional and moving speech to the nation? Have they formed special task forces to handle the victims, the search, and more importantly, the security in the country’s capital city? – and to make sure those behind the attack will be punished? And it is not just that, we also need to be consistent on our pressure and make sure they don’t waste their energy accusing who did this and that without actually doing anything to find the evidence.

We all have to do something, something real, to minimize the future attack possibility, starting from daily activities. For example, the government must improve the registration system so people wouldn’t be able to create fake IDs easily, but we – Jakartans especially – also must stop being ignorant to our surroundings and alert the authorities if we see something suspicious.

On the same day as the bomb blasts in JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Jakarta on Friday July 17th, BBC broadcast a pretty interesting news about 20-year-old middle-class, British-born man, educated at some top independent schools, who converted to Islam in 2006 and was ready to commit the suicide attack in Bristol, England. It has emerged it was Muslims who alerted police in Bristol and counter-terrorism officers from Scotland Yard to Ibrahim’s activities. The BBC understands that his arrest was the first major one following a community tip-off.

Why can’t we do that?

Really, having our national flag attached to our avatar is nice, but it takes more than that to create peace in Indonesia, don’t you agree?”

Expressions of solidarity and defiance are a great way to cope with the shock of the bombings. But unless they are transformed into something more enduring and constructive, they may not mean much in the long run. In addition to Anita’s suggestions Unspun thinks that one of the ways Twitterers can contribute is to become the de-facto guardians of security. How may times have we all experienced the inane and utterly motions that “seurity guards” go through in check in our bags and vehicles. How many of us thought it totally ridiculous that security guards can poke a metal detector into the car, which is made mostly of metal, and register nothing? Or the perfunctory walk through metal detectors that are not switched on, of if they are switched on and buzz, they are too lazy or intimidated by a well dressed person to frisk them? Or the stupidity of guards going through hand carry bags but waiving through roll-on lugguage?

Wouldn’t it make sense to harness the power of Indonesian Twiterers to be the watchdogs that these guys are doing their job properly? If, for instance, someone found that the security procedures at a hotel or public place is wanting, they would tweet about it and hashtag it, say, #laxsecurity. Newspapers and other news organizations can then check for these and shame the offender into putting their security measures right, or the Polce could get off their ask and sanction them for having lax security.

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Impressions on how Indonesia reacted to the bombings

Unspun penned this for Malaysian paper The Star last night. Its my impressions about the reaction to the Ritz-Carlton-JW Marriott bombings in Jakarta.Was told that they are using it today but haven’t been able to check. and The article was published in Page 4 of The Star today. Here’s an electronic version:

Saturday July 18, 2009

Jakarta: Bombs won’t defeat us


JAKARTA: If there is an overarching phrase to describe how Indonesians reacted to the bombings at the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels yesterday, it would be “in their stride”.

As can be expected of such a momentous and violent incident that saw at least eight people dead and dozens injured, there was a spectrum of reactions ranging from despair and sadness to defiance and anger.

By and large, however, Indonesians, who have lived through a spate of bombings six years ago and before that riot and demonstrations when Suharto fell, took the bombings in their stride. To be sure, the bombings were a distraction.

Office workers glued themselves to the TV to see the latest developments in the aftermath of the bombs that took place just as the working day began.

The more tech-savvy reached for their handphones, computers and Twitter and Facebook accounts. The result was a surprisingly rational appraisal of the situation as it went as Twitterers regulated each other and the mainstream media.

Shortly after the explosions, for instance, the TV stations were already concluding that the explosions were the result of bombs.

Twitterers roundly criticised the TV stations for coming to premature conclusions. At that time the only facts that were certain were that there had been two explosions, and nobody knew exactly what the causes were.

The TV stations were also slow off the mark, showing Google Earth-type satellite photos of Mega Kuningan, a business district in downtown Jakarta where both the hotels were located.

Some Indonesians said over Twitter that they were sad and angry at the perpetrators, other said they wanted to know who was behind it. Yet, some others were nonchalant, wondering whether Manchester United which was scheduled to land in Indonesia would cancel their visit.

By mid-morning the TV stations were already at the scene and provided live footage of the carnage. Indonesians saw the damage done to the hotels, police climbing into the hotels with surgical masks and rubber gloves to investigate and, in a fit of tastelessness, graphic images of wounded victims.

By then there were also rumours swirling around the capital that there had been another explosion at Muara Angke, that a bomber was caught trying to enter FX, an entertainment-oriented mall near the Senayan Sports Complex; and that eight bombs will go off in Jakarta, mainly in malls.

Continue reading “Impressions on how Indonesia reacted to the bombings”