activism relies on the tactic of overloading the
Indonesia Rejects Obama
reporting that Indonesian officials are considering a petition that
calls for a bronze statue in Jakarta of a young Barack Obama to be torn
Last month, a bronze statue of Obama was unveiled in
Jakarta's Menteng Park. It depicts the Obama as a young boy,
and commemorates the time he spent in Indonesia as a child.
Now, 55,000 people
have joined a Facebook group that calls for the statue to be taken down,
citing Obama's failure to "make a significant contribution to the
The group also says that "for the dignity of
a sovereign nation, Barack Obama's monument in Menteng Park must be
According to parks agency official Dwi
Bintarto, Indonesian officials have been "discussing for the past two
weeks what to do with the statue... whether to take it down, move it
elsewhere or retain it. We're finding the best solution."
"Little Barry" Heads Back To School
reporting from Jakarta, says the Central Jakarta administration will
move the controversial "Little Barry"
statue from its current location at Taman Menteng in Central Jakarta to
state elementary school SDN 01 Menteng next week, an official says.
"We are currently discussing with officials from the school and its
alumni association," city spokesman Cucu Ahmad Kurnia told reporters
Friday. "We hope the move will happen next week."
Obama attended the elementary school for almost two years when he spent
part of his childhood in Jakarta.
Erected by the Jakarta-based
Friends of Obama Foundation in December last year, the statue, which
resembles Obama as a boy, recently sparked wide public criticism for
insulting the nation's pride.
Just a few days after the Central
Jakarta municipality unveiled the statue at Menteng Park, experts and a
group of Facebook users demanded it be dismantled.
the Central Jakarta District Court held a hearing to try a class action
lawsuit by five plaintiffs representing 50,000 members of the "Take down
the Barack Obama statue from Menteng Park" group on Facebook.
The five plaintiffs -- Heru Nugroho, Protus Tanuhandaru, Daniel Rudi
Haryanto, Andes Soesman and FX Agung Bimo Sutedjo -- filed the suit
against Jakarta governor, Central Jakarta mayor and the Jakarta Parks
and Cemeteries Agency, saying the statue didn't deserve a place at the
park and should be immediately removed.
the administration's plan to remove the statue, Heru said the group
would go ahead with its lawsuit.
"We will only withdraw the
lawsuit if the city administration publicly apologizes for its one-sided
decision to permit the statue," he told The Jakarta Post.
Hawaiian-born Obama moved to Indonesia at the age of six to live with
his mother, Ann Dunham, and Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro.
Obama attended third grade at the school in 1968. He returned to
Hawaii at the age of 10 to live with his maternal grandparents.
|Jakarta Obama Statue Taken Down
The Jakarta Globe is
reporting that a statue depicting Barack Obama as a boy was Sunday
removed from a park in Indonesia’s capital, officials said.
two-meter bronze was removed from Menteng Park and taken to nearby
Menteng One primary school, which Obama attended in the late 1960s,
vice-principal Akhmad Solikhin told AFP.
"Workers hired by the
school, local government and alumni spent an hour removing the statue
with electric equipment," he added.
"We’ll need another two to
three days to place the statue at the compound near the school gate so
the public can see it when they pass by," Solikhin added.
decision to move the statue comes after more than 57,000 people joined a
page on social networking website, "Facebook," calling for the statue to
be removed and replaced by a memorial to an Indonesian identity.
"There were people who opposed it. For us, we’d like the statue to be in
the school to inspire the children to have big dreams like Obama,"
The statue of "Little Barry" -- as Obama was known
to his Indonesian school friends -- was designed by Indonesian artists
and depicts the boy Obama dressed in shorts and a T-shirt with a
butterfly perched on his hand.
Obama, who was born in Hawaii,
lived for four years as a child in Jakarta from 1967 after his divorced
mother married an Indonesian.
The White House announced in early
February that Obama and his family will visit Indonesia in March.
The trip has been eagerly awaited in the world’s most populous
Muslim-majority country since Obama’s inauguration, which has been
welcomed in Indonesia as the start of a new era in US diplomacy.
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