- The Washington Times - Monday, January 22, 2007

Starring Indonesia

The Indonesian ambassador thinks too many Washingtonians know too little about his country, so his embassy has produced a series of television shows to promote the sprawling, culturally rich and ecologically unique nation of more than 17,500 islands in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, makes news in the West when Islamist terrorists attack tourist resorts in Bali or hotels in the capital, Jakarta.

However, Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat says his country deserves better press.

“We would like to present the diversity of our country to the American people,” he said. “We would like to show the face of modern-day Indonesia.”

The debut film, “Gado-Gado Indonesia,” will be aired tomorrow at 9 a.m. on Fairfax Public Access Channels 10, 33 and 37, Arlington Independent Media Channel 69 and on the MHz Network, which is carried on several cable TV channels in the region.

The show will be repeated on Jan. 27 at 6 a.m., Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. and Jan. 29 at 8:30 p.m.

New ambassador

President Bush has nominated William B. Wood to replace Ronald E. Neumann as ambassador to Afghanistan.

Mr. Wood is currently ambassador to Colombia. The White House did not announce why Mr. Neumann is leaving the post after about a year and a half.

The appointment is the latest in a diplomatic shuffle that included Zalmay Khalilzad, former ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, replacing John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, and Ryan C. Crocker, currently ambassador to Pakistan, replacing Mr. Khalilzad in Iraq.

The Senate must approve the nominations.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Deputy Prime Minister Gianfranco Fini of Italy, who addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. Fini, also the former foreign minister, is now leader of the National Alliance, the main opposition party in parliament.

• Wen-cheng Lin of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and Jiunn-Rong Yeh of the National Taiwan University. They participate in a panel discussion on democracy in Taiwan at the American Enterprise Institute.

• Elliot Morley, a member of the British Parliament, adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair on climate change and president of the London-based Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) International; Adam C.T. Matthews, secretary-general of GLOBE; and Michael Jay, former director of the British Foreign Office. They hold a noon press conference at the National Press Club to discuss a summit of Group of Eight and developing nations on climate change scheduled for Feb. 14 and 15 in Washington.

Tomorrow

• Ali Afhsari, an Iranian student leader for civil rights, who addresses the Middle East Institute on the political future of Iran.

Wednesday

• AIDS Ambassadors Paul Bekkers of the Netherlands, Lennarth Hjelmaker of Sweden, Michel Kazatchkine of France, Michel Lastschenko of Belgium and Sigrun Mogedal of Norway. They meet with Mark Dybul, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, other administration officials, members of Congress and think tank analysts.

• Kay Axhausen, a professor at the Institute for Transport Planning and Systems in Zurich. He participates in a panel discussion on transportation issues with U.S. analysts at the Swedish Embassy.

Friday

• Ioannis Eliades of the Byzantine Museum in Nicosia, Cyprus, and Charalambos Chotzakoglou of the Hellenic Open University in Athens. They discuss threats to Cyprus’ cultural heritage in a forum at the Cyprus Embassy.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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