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Why does trouble follow me whereever I go?

South Korea - Bird Flu, Shanghai - Earthquake and now in Jakarta, Indonesia - Riots!
There was a slight scare with the Sumatra Earthquake on Monday night measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale. It was only later that I realised that Sumatra was quite a distance away from Jakarta and there was absolutely nothing to fear.

It's all like brushing shoulders with danger but never getting hurt!

On my arrival to Jakarta, I witnessed a demonstration outside the Parliament House; it caused quite a jam on the roads. All is peaceful as I kept my distance away from where crowds gather. We are checked into a really nice business hotel and I am more then happy to enjoy the facilities in house.

Looking forward to a safe and uneventful journey home!

Thousands of Indonesians protest plans to hike fuel price
The Associated Press , Jakarta | Wed, 05/21/2008 7:04 PM

Thousands of students took to the streets across Indonesia on Wednesday to protest the government's plan to sharply raise fuel prices, some briefly clashing with baton-wielding riot police outside the presidential palace.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but several people were detained for allegedly provoking the violence.

With global oil prices surging, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said he has little choice but to slash subsidies that threaten to bust the state budget, and raise fuel prices by up to 30 percent by the month's end.

But dissatisfaction with the plan has mounted in this nation of 235 million where tens of millions live in abject poverty.

"We reject the planned fuel hike," student and protest organizer Rudi Daman said Wednesday at a rally of hundreds of people outside the presidential palace in the capital, Jakarta.

He said the poor would be the ones who suffer most from th plan.

"It will trigger a rise in the cost of staple foods," public transportation and electricity, he said.

Similar protests were held in cities across the sprawling archipelago, from Sumatra island in the west to Sulawesi in the east. Some students occupied the local council building in West Sumata's capital of Padang. In nearby Jambi, demonstrators briefly took down a national flag at the governor's office.

The government has pointed out that subsidies, which for years have made fuel products affordable for millions of poor, have been enjoyed by the rich as well. Indonesians spend US$2 a gallon of gasoline. That compares to around US$3.80 a gallon in the United States.

Many students also used the public demonstrations Wednesday to mark the 10-year anniversary of former dictator Suharto's fall from power after 32-years of rule.

Suharto died last year at 86 but was never put on trial for the widespread abuses that marked his regime. He was widely respected by the masses for having maintained economic stability and building schools and roads.(*)


  1. natasha yong, you are the harbinger of death!.... ;-)


  2. *pushes laughing *fral* away from camera view (LOL)* i would've said your company shouldn't tell you to go there..but then again, no one would have expected huge riots and earthquakes..we should meet, wanna hear your first-hand accounts!!

  3. I was reading Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" on my journey back to SG.

    "But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightening strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One wither, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole."

  4. Natasha, I was getting reports from a schoolteacher in Jakarta the day schools closed early in response to the demonstration. Apparently things there can get worked up pretty easy, pretty fast...

    I think your writing very stimulating, and I appreciate your perspective. I plan to be back

  5. and it was in 2003, when I bought Five People as a gift for a friend... I have loved Albom's writing since

  6. Hi Keith,
    Thanks for dropping a note.
    Where do you plan to be back to...
    Jakarta or Singapore?


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