Pocketknife-Carrying Merapi Volunteer Cleared of Weapons Charge

   Putri Fitria | April 19, 2011


Arief Johar Cahyadi Permana, 24, a university student who had volunteered to help search and rescue efforts during last year’s eruptions of Mount Merapi, was acquitted on Monday of illegal possession of a weapon — a pocketknife. (JG Photo)

In a mind-boggling example of the Indonesian justice system, a search and rescue volunteer who spent more than 100 days behind bars for possessing a weapon — a Rp 45,000 ($5) pocketknife — was on Monday cleared of all charges.

It took more than six months and nine hearings for the Sleman District Court in Yogyakarta to acquit Arief Johar Cahyadi Permana, 24, a university student who had volunteered to help search and rescue efforts during last year’s eruptions of Mount Merapi.

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The 7 Plagues of Indonesia? Caterpillar Outbreak Hits Indonesia

   Putri Fitria | April 16, 2011


Man holding a caterpillar, By: Putri Fitria

It’s almost like Indonesia is hit by 7 biblical plagues. After volcanic eruptions, earth quakes and tsunami’s, we now suffer a caterpillar outbreak. Not content with swarming in trees, thousands of caterpillars have found their way into people’s residences.

“These creatures are really annoying. I’ve seen tens of them crawling on the floor and wall right outside my room, some even got inside,” said Rina Arimiatun (25), a room tenant in Sleman, Yogyakarta.

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Free Surgery Marathon in Yogya Helps Poor Patients Get Care

Putri Fitria | March 09, 2011


surgeon asked for next patient | JG Photo/boy T Harjanto

In celebrating lustrum XIII of the Medical Faculty, Gadjah Mada University, the ‘83 alumni are holding a mass operation for 124 patients for 100 hours non-stop at the Regional Public Hospital of Yogyakarta. Starting on Tuesday (3/11/2011) at 10.00 WIST until Saturday (3/12/2011) at 14.00 WIST, the event will be recorded by Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) as the longest mass operation.

“This is a great momentum [that] shows a concrete action of service from everyone involved,” Haryadi Suyuti, the deputy mayor of Yogyakarta, said in the opening ceremony. In her opinion, the event is different from the common reunion format in which people come together only to have fun and brag about their successes to each other.

About 227 medics will deal with over 20 kinds of diseases in patients of different ages, starting from a four months old baby to a 73 years old man. These patients come from poor families and are all freed from any operation charges, including the treatment. Continue reading

Merapi Volunteer Faces 10 Years for Carrying Knife

Putri Fitria | February 17, 2011

Arief johar entering the Court Room | by Putri Fitria

Arief johar entering the Court Room | by Putri Fitria

Sleman, Yogyakarta. Arief Johar Cahyadi Permana is at a loss for words. The 24-year-old university student has not been able to make sense of the events that have unfolded since he and 18 others were searched by police officers in Sleman last November.

Arief worked as a volunteer during the devastating eruptions of Mount Merapi that began last October. The eruptions forced more than 150,000 people living within 20 kilometers of Merapi’s crater to flee their homes, putting a severe strain on the government and relief agencies. Arief was among the volunteers trained by search and rescue officials in Yogyakarta who served as a lifeline for the evacuees.

On Nov. 23, Arief was detained by the police. His crime? He was in possession of a pocketknife. The pocketknife was equipped with a flashlight, one of the required tools used in SAR evacuation operations during the Mount Merapi eruptions.  Continue reading

Political Pornography?

Putri Fitria | January 24, 2011.

Blackberry does not block access to Porn, By: Putri Fitria

The plan to ban Blackberry service voiced by Minister of Communication and Information Tifatul Sembiring (the one who blamed Michelle Obama for shaking hands), has been an ongoing headline in Indonesia of late. The crux of the matter is that the company that produces the Blackberry, Research in Motion (RIM), has not installed any software to block access to porn sites. The upheaval is based on the Constitutional Law No. 44, 2008 on pornography—a controversial regulation that remains to be. Continue reading

Fleeing Merapi Not Always an Option

Putri Fitria | November 15, 2010

Recently, a foreign friend of mine said, “I can’t understand why many people prefer to stay in Yogyakarta and not flee. Many people there seem more concerned about the effect of the volcanic ash on their motorcycles than on their respiratory health.” Rather than staying in the city, my friend chose to take shelter in Bali shortly after the first eruption of Mount Merapi, which has been belching out gas and ash for the past few weeks.

Simple as my friend’s statement was, it gave me plenty of food for thought. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps for foreigners, the decision to stay in a city that sits so close to a source of disaster seems silly. Of course, there’s no shortage of reasons to run away from a volcanic eruption. Continue reading

Feminists Screech Over ‘Biased’ Tweet

March 17, 2010
by Putri Fitria

Lately, I find women who call themselves feminists are a little bit over sensitive and easily provoked. They express harsh protest toward a statement that they think attacks women without regard to the context. It’s no different from the blind fanaticism of a religious zealot, defending their faith while committing terrible acts in the name of God.

I’ve come to this conclusion by following the twitter status of prominent Indonesian media personality Mario Teguh. He’s drawn much criticism for posting comments about women on Twitter, resulting in the closure of his account. At first, it seems like trivial news, a storm in a teacup, “Another twitter entry has become a social matter,” I said to myself. Are there journalists out there whose sole job description is to keep an eye on social networking sites? There are much more newsworthy matters to report on in our world. However, I think this matter deserves discussion because of the many misunderstandings and prejudice surrounding this man. Continue reading