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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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October 8, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
Agence France Presse - October 8, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – At least ten people have been killed and scores injured in renewed clashes between Muslims and Christians in an island in the riot-torn Indonesian province of Maluku, reports said Friday.

October 7, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
South China Morning Post - October 7, 1999

Rene Flipo, Maliana – The few people who greeted the first international peacekeepers to arrive in the devastated and deserted town of Maliana yesterday recounted tales of terror, massacres and forced deportations.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
South China Morning Post - October 7, 1999

Agencies in Jakarta – Opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri's chances of becoming Indonesia's next president weakened yesterday as a political rival won a key post and her party's main ally pondered withdrawing support.

Several hundred Megawati supporters demonstrated in central Jakarta, demanding the country's legislature select her as the next leader.

News ›› Aceh ›› Economy & Investment
Reuters - October 7, 1999 (slightly abridged)

Lewa Pardomuan, Jakarta – Violence between Indonesian troops and separatists is hurting the local economy and scaring off investors in the northern Sumatran province of Aceh.

News ›› East Timor ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Associated Press - October 7, 1999

Dili – Indonesian commandos are conducting covert operations inside East Timor aimed at sabotaging the international peacekeeping effort, foreign military officials say.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
Agence France Presse - October 7, 1999

Jakarta – Muslim leader Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid Thursday emerged as a strong contender to be Indonesia's next president in a race with opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri and incumbent B.J. Habibie.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Reuters - October 7, 1999

Medan – Five people were seriously injured on Thursday in a clash between riot police and workers demanding a pay rise near the Indonesian city of Medan, witnesses and hospital sources said.

October 6, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Agence France Presse - October 6, 1999

Dili – Falintil resistance fighters will be allowed to retain their weapons in their camps pending further disarmament negotiations, despite a UN mandate to disarm all groups, an Interfet spokesman said Tuesday.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Agence France Presse - October 6, 1999

United Nations – Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday proposed a United Nations transitional authority for East Timor that would oversee all aspects of civilian life and include some 10,000 peacekeepers and police.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
Straits Times - October 6, 1999

Susan Sim, Jakarta – In an extraordinary display of the lobbying skills of Golkar leaders, party chief Akbar Tandjung was set to be elected Speaker of Parliament (DPR) without a vote being cast last night.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
South China Morning Post - October 6, 1999

Vaudine England and Agencies, Jakarta – Soldiers and riot police lounged in makeshift camps under flyovers and in central parks across Jakarta as their leaders held festivities to mark Army Day at the palm tree-lined grounds of Cilangkap military headquarters.

News ›› Indonesia ›› 1965 Affair & Anti-Communist Purge
Green Left Weekly - October 6, 1999

By James Balowski

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Agence France Presse - October 6, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – Indonesia's military on Wednesday urged the country's new national assembly to endorse East Timor's independence vote and formally free the territory it invaded in 1975.

Police Brigadier General Taufiequrochman Ruki, reading out the views of the 38-strong parliamentary faction of military and police MPs said the military favored letting East Timor go.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Sydney Morning Herald Editorial - October 6, 1999

The multinational force in East Timor (Interfet) was wise to avoid a firefight earlier this week with members of the resistance force, Falintil, by backing away from demands that the guerillas surrender their weapons. This is a directive that must be backed by the resistance leader, Mr Xanana Gusmao, if loss of life and suspicion of Interfet among East Timorese is to be avoided.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Sydney Morning Herald - October 6, 1999

Tom Allard – The Indonesian Foreign Minister told his Australian counterpart, Mr Downer, as early as February that Indonesia was arming pro-integration groups.

According to an article in the Bulletin magazine, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Mr Ali Alatas, told Mr Downer arming of the groups was "legitimate".

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Agence France Presse - October 6, 1999

Sydney – East Timorese resistance leader Jose Ramos Horta launched a bitter attack on former Australian prime minister Paul Keating on Tuesday, accusing him of betraying the people of East Timor.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Australian Financial Review - October 6, 1999

Tim Dodd – General Wiranto knows who to blame for Indonesia's problems. It's a man in a black dinner suit with a mobile phone who is secretly directing the host of dark forces tearing at the unity of the nation.

October 5, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Agence France Presse - October 5, 1999

Jakarta – Thousands of Indonesian students in the capital and other cities in Java and Sumatra Tuesday marked the 54th Indonesian Armed Forces Day with mass protests demanding the military return to barracks, witnesses and reports said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
South China Morning Post - October 5, 1999

Vaudine England – Indonesia's military plans a simple celebration of its 54th birthday today, but is paying little heed to growing unpopularity at home and abroad.

Last year's Army Day involved intricate performances by a dazzling array of marching bands, including one group of drummers dressed as frogmen complete with flippers.

News ›› Indonesia ›› 1965 Affair & Anti-Communist Purge
The Independent (London) - October 5, 1999

Documents which would reveal Britain's secret role in Indonesian politics in the Sixties that led to "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century" and Jakarta's eventual annexation of East Timor are being kept under lock and key.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Boston Globe - October 5, 1999

Terry J. Allen, Vermont – Quietly tucked away in the hills of Vermont, Norwich University, the only private military college in the country, has continued to educate and train future members of the Indonesian army, even as President Clinton has effectively frozen all relations with that country's military in the wake of the violence in East Timor.

News ›› East Timor ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Associated Press - October 5, 1999

Slobodan Lekic, Dili – Stung by criticism of alleged bias, the commander of the international peacekeeping force in East Timor demanded today that pro-independence rebels hand in their weapons.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
South China Morning Post - October 5, 1999

Vaudine England and agencies, Jakarta – All bets are now off for the forthcoming presidential poll in the wake of several startling, democratic events in the country's highest political body, the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR).

October 4, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Reuters - October 4, 1999

Balibo – An escapee from the refugee camps in West Timor said on Sunday that pro-Indonesian militias were hunting down East Timorese men there and killing them.

News ›› Aceh ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Agence France Presse - October 4, 1999

Lhokseumawe – Some 800 students in Indonesia's restive province of Aceh rallied Monday to demand an East Timor-style referendum on self-determination.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
South China Morning Post - October 4, 1999 (abridged)

Associated Press, Waimori – The international peacekeeping force is being too cautious in dealing with the remnants of the militias which ravaged East Timor, the commander of the pro-independence guerillas said yesterday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Agence France Presse - October 4, 1999

Jakarta – Some 150 Indonesian students took to the streets of Jakarta Monday, calling on the newly-elected national assembly, now in its first session, to implement reforms.

October 3, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
Reuters - October 3, 1999

Tomi Soetjipto, Jakarta – Indonesia's supreme legislative assembly elected a leading reformist as speaker on Sunday in its first contested vote since the 1950s, a step which could be crucial in the fight for the presidency.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Agence France Presse - October 3, 1999

Jakarta – A student died in hospital in the Indonesian city of Bandarlampoung Sunday, a second victim of clashes between protestors and security personnel, a university employee said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Agence France Presse - October 3, 1999

Sydney – Australia would not sanction its own investigation into war crimes in East Timor, Defence Minister John Moore said Sunday.

Australian lawyers are planning to head to East Timor as part of an International Committee of Jurists investigation into alleged atrocities.

October 2, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - October 2, 1999

Dili – The bodies of 13 people, many of them showing traces of violence, have been found in a mass grave near Dili, a spokesman for the United Nations said on Saturday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
Reuters - October 2, 1999 (abridged)

Lewa Pardomuan, Jakarta – Indonesia's top legislative body will elect a new president on October 20, bringing forward an event many hope will halt the country's leadership drift under the deeply unpopular incumbent, B.J. Habibie.

News ›› East Timor ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Associated Press - October 2, 1999

Dafna Linzer, Kupang, – In the ramshackle Tuapukan camp, home to 10,000 refugees from East Timor's chaos, Indonesia's red-and-white flag flies proudly above unfinished roofs of dried palm fronds and straw.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Sydney Morning Herald - October 2, 1999

Indonesia's generals are under scrutiny for human rights abuses in East Timor but have they covered their tracks? David Jenkins, Mark Dodd, Bernard Lagan and Simon Mann investigate.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Sydney Morning Herald - October 2, 1999

Mark Dodd, Dili – Australian soldiers have taken control of two towns in militia heartland along East Timor's volatile border with Indonesian West Timor, in their biggest operation since landing in the territory 12 days ago.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Political Crisis
Reuters - October 2, 1999

Moris Morissan, Jakarta – Indonesia on Friday reported its seventh straight month of falling prices in another sign that the grass roots of its shattered economy were recovering from crisis.

October 1, 1999

News ›› West Papua ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Agence France Presse - October 1, 1999

Jakarta – A second day of clashes between local tribesmen and migrants in the mining town of Timika in Indonesia's remote Irian Jaya province killed four people, raising the death toll in two days to 14, reports and a tribal activist said Friday.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
South China Morning Post - October 1, 1999

Agencies in Dili, Los Palos and Jakarta – British Gurkha soldiers yesterday arrested two members of a group of East Timorese militiamen who were holding more than 4,000 people in the eastern port of Com, military sources said.

The militiamen appeared to be preparing to move the 4,000 people out of the territory, the sources said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Indonesian Observer - October 1, 1999

Bandar Lampung – Lampung Military Police yesterday began investigating eight military officers allegedly involved in the shooting that took place during a students protest in front of the Bandar Lampung University (UBL) campus on Tuesday. One student was killed during the demonstration.

September 30, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Reuters - September 30, 1999

Claudia Gazzini, Jakarta – Protests broke out across Indonesia on Thursday over grievances ranging from the UN-backed intervention in East Timor to the pace of democratic reform.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - September 30, 1999

Dili – The mutilated and charred remains of at least nine people were discovered in a burnt-out pickup truck on the outskirts of Dili Wednesday, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
The Melbourne Age - September 30 1999

Tony Wright, Canberra – The Federal Government is considering selling billions of dollars worth of prime defence land throughout Australia to pay for its massively expensive military commitment to East Timor.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
South China Morning Post - September 30, 1999

Waimori – Pro-independence guerillas said yesterday they had seized control of most of the eastern part of East Timor after clashes with retreating militia and Indonesian soldiers.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Sydney Morning Herald - September 30, 1999

Mark Dodd, Dili – When paramilitary toughs supported by Indonesia's discredited military force in East Timor finally set down their cans of petrol and matches, hundreds of innocent people had been killed, tens of thousands made homeless and whole towns and villages razed.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
CNRT - September 30, 1999

The multinational force in East Timor must rapidly expand to start building peace and security in the territory, East Timorese leaders Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos Horta told correspondents at a press conference, sponsored by Portugal, at Headquarters this afternoon.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
South China Morning Post - September 30, 1999

The UN Human Rights Commission will go ahead with an inquiry into alleged human rights atrocities in East Timor with or without co-operation from Indonesia, a spokesman said yesterday.

"We would hope for co-operation from Indonesia, but if they fail to give their co-operation, it will not deter us from going forward," UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

September 29, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
Jakarta Post - September 29, 1999

Ambon – A total of 217 fatalities were recorded in communal clashes across the province between July and September, police said on Tuesday.

Maluku Police chief Col. Bugis Saman told a media conference that the number of casualties was likely to be higher due to unconfirmed reports by people of missing relatives.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Kompas - September 29, 1999

Bandar Lampung – The mourning of Yap Yun Hap who died of gunshot wounds had hardly lifted from the Indonesia University campus grounds, when news broke through that another student, M. Yusuf Rizal (23), has fallen victim at the Bandar Lampung University of Lampung on Tuesday (28/9).

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Agence France Presse - September 29, 1999

Jakarta – Some 1,000 Indonesian students returned to the streets here Wednesday in a peaceful protest against military violence.

The protesters, mostly from the University of Indonesia, massed at a busy roundabout in the capital's main thoroughfare, chanting slogans and brandishing signs against what they called the military's meddling in all aspects of life.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Sydney Morning Herald - September 29, 1999

Craig Skehan, Jakarta – East Timorese independence supporters say they are being terrorised in Jakarta and elsewhere by militiamen with shadowy political connections.