Sidelines

HOME IS WHERE I WANT TO BE

MUDIK – The Annual Indonesian Phenomena at the End of Ramadan The presence of hundreds of thousands of dedicated Javanese workers – seasonal migrant laborers, skilled workers, right up to professionals – in Bali undoubtedly boosts the economy and keeps...
Read More

Adat – Handling the Double Edged Sword

originally published in the Jakarta Post’s supplement, Bali Daily as part of a ‘conversation’ between Made Wijaya, Diana Darling, and myself under the title of “I Love Bali – Handling the DOuble Edged Sword of Adat” Adat is a double...
Read More

MISSING IN ACTION: JOURNALISM CAUGHT IN THE NET

(Originally published in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rio-helmi/missing-in-action-journal_b_1609081.html ) Some time ago, a local online newsletter published an erroneous story regarding a substantial land transaction in my home town involving a famous international entrepreneur. By chance I was privy to the...
Read More

China: The Writing on the Great Wall

(originally posted on the Huffington Post site ) On Wednesday the 22nd of February, Tibetans would have normally celebrated Losar or Tibetan New Year. This year, unlike the years before, Tibetans in exile called for a solemn day of reflection...
Read More

Anna Hazare, Savior or Destroyer of Democracy

My article in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rio-helmi/anna-hazare-saviour-or-de_b_950497.html
Read More

THE CIKEUSIK RULING: BLIND IS NOT IMPARTIAL

Several months ago the world looked on in dismay and horror as their tv and computer screens filled with images of self-styled ‘true’ Muslim villagers and students from nearby pesantrens in Cikeusik attacking members of the controversial Ahmadiyah sect, eventually...
Read More

OBAMA VS OSAMA: A LOSE-LOSE SOLUTION

Rio Helmi – May 3, 2011 As the flagwavers outside the White House cheered the triumph of the “free world” over evil, they resembled nothing so much as adrenalin-fueled Roman crowds roaring jubilantly at the sight of the spilled blood...
Read More

FROM EXILE, SHOWING THE WAY FORWARD

Rio Helmi The democratic election of Lobsang Sangay by the Tibetan people-in-exile as their prime minister and political leader, whose temporal authority now replaces that of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is a major step forward not just for the...
Read More

PARASIT DI “PARADISE”

Senja di persimpangan bundaran jalan arterial kawasan Kuta itu sedemikian ruwet sehingga mudah memahami kenapa julukan “Simpang-Siur” sudah lengket dari tahun ke tahun. Disini hampir setiap saat rame, dan sinar lampu stop-an merah berarti ‘jalan’ bagi anak-anak yg berbaju lusuh....
Read More

When People Turn a Blind Eye and Leaders Go Deaf

Rio Helmi, 10 February 2011 Democracy is a term whose precise meaning is elusive, especially so in developing nations. For leaders more worried about superficial legitimacy than actually taking on the task of improving the lot of their people, ‘democracy’...
Read More