Rebuilding mosques priority for devout on quake-hit Lombok

Members of an Indonesian search and rescue team look for victim of the recent quake in Tanjung on Lombok island on August 9, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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Rebuilding mosques priority for devout on quake-hit Lombok

TANJUNG: On Indonesia’s earthquake-devastated Lombok island, people are reeling as they mourn more than 300 dead and sleep in makeshift shelters, but foremost in the minds of some is rebuilding the collapsed mosques that were the heart of their communities.
Villagers in Tanjung district prayed in a field Friday in front of their former mosque and made plans for a replacement.
One of the worshippers, Sunarto, said they’re “very sad” because the mosque collapsed, killing the village religious leader.
He said they plan a temporary mosque so “the voice of Qur’anic verses will continue to reverberate in our village.”
Like most of Indonesia, Lombok is majority Muslim. A minority on the island practice Hinduism, a legacy of its historical domination by Hindu Balinese.


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.