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Prabowo, Aburizal score poorly for human rights A survey published by the human rights watchdog group the Setara Institute on Monday found that Lt. Gen. (ret. ) Prabowo Subianto, chief patron of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party and Aburizal Bakrie, Golkar Party chairman, had the worst human rights records among politicians tapped to run in the 2014 presidential election. The survey found that only 0. percent of 200 respondents ??”comprising activists, academics, community leaders, Journalists, lawyers and researchers ??” from 20 rovinces, were convinced that if Prabowo was elected he would be committed to the protection of human rights. An equal number of respondents also doubted Aburizal’s commitment to human rights. He, as owner of oil and gas company PT Lapindo Brantas, was deemed responsible for the Lapindo mudflow in SidoarJo, East Java, which displaced thousands of people in 2006.

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National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) announced the Lapindo mudflow was a human rights violation and Lapindo Brantas was responsible for the man-made disaster. On the other extreme, the survey found that popular Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was considered to be committed to protecting the basic rights of the people. Jokowi got the nod from 39 percent of respondents, followed by former Constitutional Court Justice chief Mahfud MD with 20 percent. The study cited Prabowo’s dark past as the main reason behind the respondents’ poor assessment of him. It is obvious that certain segments of society remember his record,” Ismail Hasan’, a Setara researcher said. Setara Institute chairman Hendardi, however, said that as more people forget ??” or are not aware of ??” Prabowo’s past deeds, it was the responsibility of rights group to ducate them. “The majority of the public, especially young voters, lack knowledge. It is our Job to evaluate and publish our findings on how committed these fgures are to protecting and upholding the rights of the people,” Hendardi said Monday.

Prabowo will always be associated with the 1998 May riots in Jakarta, which precipitated the end of former Soeharto’s authoritarian regime. rights violations during the extensive riots, other leading military fgures were also responsible including then Army commander Gen. (ret. ) Wiranto, who currently chairs the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura). The House of Representatives issued a recommendation for the establishment of a human rights tribunal on the case in September 2009, but nothing has been done yet. According to the Setara survey, 53. percent of the respondents said that Prabowo’s reputation would influence voters. However, 46 percent said that it would not affect their preference. A member of Gerindra’s board, Martin Hutabarat, said the pattern was predictable: as the election neared, attacks on Prabowo would intensify. “l understand people will bring the discussion to the table every time we approach the election. We do consider this a serious matter but it will not affect us because we are focusing on the future instead of the past,” Martin told The Jakarta Post.

Martin, a member of the House Commission Ill overseeing law and human rights, further defended Prabowo, saying that the former Army Special Forces (Kopassus) chief was fully committed to fghting for human rights. He said that Prabowo’s latest efforts evidenced this: He set up a legal team and traveled with them to Malaysia to defend the rights of Indonesian migrant worker Wilfrida Soik, who was on trial for murder and was facing the death sentence.

Crash exposes gaps in rail safety The railroad crossing collision between an electric commuter train and a gasoline tanker in Pondok Betung, Bintaro, South Jakarta, on Monday has raised concerns about passenger safety and the imminent threat posed by unofficial crossings in the capital. At least five people died and 91 were injured, nine of whom suffered burn injuries. Based on eyewitness accounts, the state oil and gas firm PT Pertamina tanker hauling 24,000 liters of fuel slipped past a closing crossing barrier as a train on the Serpong- Tanah Abang line headed through the intersection at about 1 1 a. . The tanker failed to get across the tracks and the train slammed into it. There was an explosion on impact and flames engulfed the front part of the train, which was Though some passengers on the train said they had not heard the crossing alarm, a passer-by, Maryati, said that the crossing alarm had definitely gone off. “There was even an officer who warned [the driver] not to pass through the gate. Such an accident is not unprecedented. Most of them have been caused by drivers who neglected to heed the warning alarm,” she said.

Other witnesses said that there was a pak ogah, a person who directs motorists for mall change,encouraging the truck driver to move forward through the crossing. The intersection in Pondok Betung, which is located between the Pondok Ran]’ and Kebayoran Lama stations, is known as a dangerous crossing. According to data from state train operator PT KAI’S Jakarta office, most of the train accidents that took place in the capital this year as of mid-November were related to crossing collisions.

That period had seen 68 such accidents, mainly occurring when motorists forced their way through the barriers to try and beat the train. Currently, there are 549 train crossings in the capital, 197 of which are unofficial ??” ot meant for public access but used by locals as shortcuts and lack barriers. Ronaldo, Messi, Ribery up for Ballon d’Or Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery are in the running for the Ballon d’Or. FIFA announced the shortlist Monday after voting rules changes made Ronaldo the favorite after helping Portugal qualify for the World Cup last month.

FIFA gave voters ??” national team captains and coaches, plus selected Journalists ??” two extra weeks to choose from 23 candidates, and even change preference. Ronaldo’s hat trick against Sweden helped lift his tally to 67 goals for Portugal and Real Madrid 2013. Messi, who has won the last four player of the year awards, scored 45 goals for Argentina and Barcelona before being injured. Ribery was already named Europe’s best player for helping Bayern Munich win the The award ceremony is Jan. 13.

Ribery had been the favorite until FIFA’s surprising announcement to re-open voting the morning after Portugal’s playoff victory in Stockholm. Speculation about FIFA’s motives was fuelled by a bizarre public spat weeks earlier between Ronaldo and FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Blatter offended the 2008 award winner with comments and mimicry when ddressing students at Oxford University in England. Contrasting Messi’s humble, low-key personality with Ronaldo’s apparent vanity, Blatter then stood to act out what he described as the Portugal winger’s “commander in the field” stature.

Ronaldo responded in a barbed statement on his Facebook page and celebrated a goal in his next match with a mock military salute gesture. The Portuguese government got involved to defend its national hero, and the dispute seemed to confirm to Madrid fans and media that FIFA is biased toward Barcelona, even though Ballon d’Or ballots are cast independently. Messi has won the world player award each year since 2009, and three times Ronaldo has been runner-up. In the 2010 award, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta completed an all-Barcelona podium.

In January 2012, Ronaldo and then-Madrid coach Jose Mourinho skipped the gala ceremony in Zurich despite being on the shortlists, citing a clash with preparation for a Copa del Rey match. Ronaldo attended last January and impressed with his gracious attitude despite losing again to Messi. Messi was runner-up when Ronaldo won his first and only award for 2008 after helping Manchester United win the Champions League title. Ronaldo did not win a trophy in 2013 despite an astonishing, prolific scoring rate of better than one goal per game.

His World Cup playoff displays could be key, having scored all of Portugal’s goals in a 4-2 aggregate victory over Sweden. Messi scored 45 goals in 46 games but his playing year was ended by his third injury, The Ballon d’Or was created by France Football magazine in 1956 and, three years ago, merged with FIFA’s world player of the year award, which had been presented since 1991. The finalists for the women’s world player award are Abby Wambach of the United States, five-time winner Marta of Brazil and Nadine Angerer of Germany.

The ceremony will also give awards to the best coaches in men’s and women’s football. The men’s list is headed by Alex Ferguson, who retired as Manchester United manager in May after more than 26 years. World leaders, South Africans honor Mandela World leaders and Joyous, singing South Africans honored Nelson Mandela on Tuesday at a rainy Soweto soccer stadium where U. S. President Barack Obama praised him as a “giant of history” and the last great liberator of the 20th century. Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land.

It stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities ??” to others, and to myself ??” and set me on an improbable Journey that finds me here today. ” said Obama, who like Mandela became the first black president of his country. Those in the stadium gave roars of approval to Obama’s speech. South African President Jacob Zuma, however, was booed. Many South Africans are unhappy with Zuma because of state corruption scandals, though his ruling African National Congress, once led by Mandela, remains the front-runner ahead of elections next year.

Amid heavy rains, crowds came to FNB Stadium in Soweto, the Johannesburg township that was a stronghold of support for the anti-apartheid struggle that Mandela embodied as a prisoner of white rule for 27 years and then during a peril- fraught transition to the all-race elections that made him president. But the weather and public transportation problems rain kept many people away. The 95,000-capacity stadium was only two-thirds full. Some of the dozens of trains reserved to ferry people to the stadium were delayed ue to a power failure.

A Metrorail services spokeswoman, Lilian Mofokeng, said more than 30,000 mourners were successfully transported by train. attendance. As Obama walked to the podium, he and Cuban President Raul Castro shook hands. Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president who succeeded Mandela, got a rousing cheer as he entered the stands. French President Francois Hollande and his predecessor and rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, arrived together. United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon waved and bowed to spectators who sang praise for Mandela, seen by many South Africans as the father of the nation.

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