Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ottawa's Trip for CAGI (2 of 3)

Got up around seven in the morning. Yuki* wanted to accompany me to downtown, lest I got lost. *smile* We took bus #14 to Rideau Centre. Then we bought some muffins and croissants for the meeting. The meeting was at 1 Nicholas Street, a building that hosts many NGOs, including CCIC**. CCIC let us use their board room for this meeting.

I helped Nancy in the registration of attendees. We missed some people from our August meeting, such as Alex (Alternatives***), Glenn (PPP***), Connie (KAIROS***), Mohammed (CARE***), David, and some government officers. Catherine from Mining Watch Canada couldn't join the morning session. Later on I learned that a car ahead of her was slipped down the road, and she decided not to continue to drive here.

Around 9:30AM Mika (Rights and Democracy) opened the information sharing session. I could see 3 representatives from FAC (Foreign Affairs Canada) and CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency).

There were 3 presentations in this session:

  • A. Patra M. Zen from Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation.
  • Nancy Slamet from KAIROS.
  • Sammy Gamboa from CHRF (Canadian Human Rights Foundation).
Both Nancy and Sammy presented their reports from their October and November visits to Indonesia. The theme of this morning session is about human rights prospect under the new government including impunity cases, people's rights of 'real' civil education, etc.

In Indonesia they met with their partnes organizations such as Kontras (Commission for Involuntary Disappearances and Victims of Violence) Jakarta and Aceh, Yakoma PGI—is the communication arm of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (CCI), Imparsial (Indonesian Human Rights Monitor), human rights working group coalition such as INFID (International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development), Koalisi Perempuan (Women Coalition), Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent Journalists), Komnas HAM (Indonesian Human Rights Commission). They also met Hamid Awaluddin (Indonesia's current Minister of Justice and Human Rights) and political advisor and second secretary of Canadian Consulate in Jakarta.

The afternoon meeting was more focused on defining issues, proposing action plans and leaderships for those action plans. I'm glad that this coalition are giving CAGI (Canadian Advocacy Group on Indonesia) more space and focus. I learned a lot here.

The meeting was really long... but nobody, I repeat nobody, lost interest! I respect their attitude. Even Patra acknowledged it. He said that he's surprised everybody could still work and contributed during the long meeting, nobody played with their cellphones, or stepped outside to smoke or else. Yeah, I know. *smile* Here people find it rude if you don't turn off your cell in the meeting or during conversation, but in Indonesia it's usually the other way around. People seem so proud to have someone calling them during the meeting or conversation. It means they're very busy, VIP and in demand. And in Indonesia it means power *smile* Well, don't get me wrong, I like all those gadgets, including cellphone. But I feel that all those gadgets and technologies should serve our purpose not the other way around.

After the meeting was adjourned some of us were still staying in the room to draft a letter about our concern on Munir's (former chairman of Kontras) death and pledge full investigation into his suspicious death.

Then, I hurried to meet Avi. The night was not as cold as last night. The streets were much clearer from snow. I really enjoyed the conversation... about my alma mater, ITB****. Avi was graduated from ITB too, major in Architecture. And, now is pursuing his master degree in Digital Media. He told me about the four labs on the former soccer field, new buildings for quite a number of departments, and future plan to build basic science center on the former zoo on the west of the main complex! I guessed ITB changed a lot. I don't know why, maybe for sentimental reasons, I always felt like it's a part of me. A part of the best years in my early twenties! A part of my soul-searching phase (first phase, probably, whew!). True friends that would be there for you no matter what. Continuous owling to make or finish projects. The rooms and buildings that bore witness to our happiness and loneliness, our triumphs and failures, our dreams and the real world, and many more. Hmmm,... I guess I'm missing my friends. *smile*

"I'm leaving on a jet plane,
don't know when I'll be back again,
oh, babe, I hate to go."

I went to sleep very late... chatted with Yuki, and her roommates Kana and Sanny. Sanny is pursuing her master degree in International Affairs at Carleton University. They had two more friends, Tomoko and Eri who stayed over. A farewell night, I believed, before Eri's departure back to Japan. I fell asleep when they were still chatting and searching references for Sanny's paper on German Laws.

  • Yuki* is my long time friend from Japan who's living in Ottawa now.
  • CCIC** stands for Canadian Council for International Cooperation.

  • Alternatives***, PPP***, KAIROS***, CARE*** are a number of NGOs that have concerns and partner organizations in Indonesia.

  • ITB**** is Institut Teknologi Bandung (Bandung Institute of Technology)

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