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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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July 20, 1999

News ›› Aceh ›› GAM & Armed Conflict
Jakarta Post - July 20, 1999

Jakarta – A group of separatist rebels shot five anti-riot troop personnel dead and injured a score of others on Monday in a dawn ambush in Reng Krueng village in Pidie regency, 170 kilometers east of the provincial capital Banda Aceh.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
CNRT press release - July 20, 1999

Sydney – Indonesia is preparing for a massive post-ballot slaughter in East Timor – exacting retribution in blood on East Timorese for refusing to bow to the reign of terror and vote for the integration of their country into Indonesia.

News ›› Aceh ›› Martial Law & Civil Emergency
Jakarta Post - July 20, 1999

Jakarta – Separatist movements which have simmered in Aceh and Irian Jaya for years could force the government to declare martial law in the two provinces, a minister said on Monday. Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Feisal Tanjung, speaking for Minister of Defense and Security Gen.

July 19, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
Sydney Morning Herald - July 19, 1999

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – A reshuffle of top officers in Indonesia's armed forces has prompted speculation that General Wiranto, the Defence Minister and armed forces chief, sees himself as the country's new vice-president.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
Reuters - July 19, 1999

Chris McCall, Tual – Nearly 40 people displaced by communal violence in Indonesia's remote Kai islands have died of malnutrition or disease in crude refugee camps that dot the once idyllic archipelago, local aid workers say.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Australian Associated Presse - July 19, 1999

Dili – A confidential Indonesian government report predicts social chaos in East Timor as Indonesians flee following an expected vote in favour of independence in August.

July 18, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› PRD & Papernas
Jakarta Post - July 18, 1999

Jakarta – Malnutrition? Intellectual confinement? None of these remotely describe the experiences of seven young political activists from the Democratic People's Party (PRD) who are incarcerated at Cipinang Prison, East Jakarta.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
Jakarta Post - July 18, 1999

Yudha Kartohadiprodjo, Jakarta – At a quick glance, Budiman Soedjatmiko, 29 years old, could be mistaken for a compliant yuppie waiting for the next business deal or a young university lecturer waiting to teach.

Bespectacled and usually dressed in a light colored, short-sleeved shirt, he displays a calm composure while warmly greeting friends. But compliant he is not.

July 17, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Kyodo News - July 17, 1999

Sugianto Tandra, Balibo – A leader of a pro-Indonesia East Timor militia unit said Saturday he has been ordered to make guns in case East Timorese reject autonomy within Indonesia in a late-August UN-sponsored referendum.

News ›› Aceh ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Sydney Morning Herald - July 17, 1999

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – Human rights and community groups are accusing the Indonesian military of provoking violence in Indonesia's northern Aceh province, where more than 80,000 people have fled their homes.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Kyodo News - July 17, 1999 (abridged)

Sugianto Tandra, Balibo – The UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) is facing its first protest over voter registration for an August ballot on the territory's future as pro-Indonesia figures criticized Saturday registration requirements as being "unreasonably strict."

July 16, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - July 16, 1999 (abridged)

Dili – UN blue berets and volunteers on Friday opened voter registration for the landmark poll on the future of East Timor, but the start was marred by the after effects of a violent militia attack.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - July 16, 1999

Liquisa – Hundreds of people braved pro-Indonesia militia intimidation in this traumatized district to register Friday for a vote on East Timor's future.

A skull-and-crossbones had been painted on the window of one registration centre when 500 local residents showed up hoping to get on the voters' list at 9am, a source with the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) said.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - July 16, 1999

Jakarta – Some 2,250 East Timorese living elsewhere in Indonesia are expected to register for August's vote on the territory's future, an independent East Timorese youth group said here Friday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
International Herald Tribune - July 16, 1999

Keith B. Richburg, Jakarta – Some 38 days after Indonesians voted in the country's first free election in a generation, the final tabulation of the results was announced Thursday, and they confirmed what political analysts and others here long suspected – the party of opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri finished first in the crowded field.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Sydney Morning Herald - July 16, 1999

Mark Dodd, Dili – Despite nagging security concerns, the United Nations gave its qualified approval yesterday to start voter registration in East Timor, less than six weeks before its planned vote on self-determination.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Associated Press - July 16, 1999

Geoff Spencer, Suai – Bloodshed marred the start of voter registration in East Timor for a UN-supervised ballot on independence for the Indonesian province, UN officials said today.

Witnesses said anti-independence militiamen attacked independence supporters Thursday night in the village of Salasa, about 60 miles southwest of the provincial capital of Dili.

July 15, 1999

News ›› Aceh ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Agence France Presse - July 15, 1999

Jakarta – More than 80,000 people have fled violence between soldiers and rebels in the troubled Indonesian province of Aceh, an official said Thursday.

The refugee numbers had been swelled by more than 6,000 people who left their villages in East Aceh to reach 80,020, the head of the Aceh social affairs office, Zaharir, said quoted by the Antara news agency.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
Reuters - July 15, 1999

Amy Chew, Jakarta – Indonesia's military will back presidential frontrunner Megawati Sukarnoputri if she picks armed forces chief General Wiranto as her vice presidential candidate, military sources said on Thursday.

July 14, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - July 14, 1999

Jakarta – US relations with Indonesia could suffer if ongoing violence derails a planned vote on self-determination in East Timor, a senior US government official said here Wednesday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Straits Times - July 14, 1999

Susan Sim and Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – President B.J. Habibie has rejected opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri's claim to a popular mandate following last month's general election, insisting that it is misleading to assume that the party with the most votes will win the presidency automatically.

News ›› Aceh ›› GAM & Armed Conflict
Jakarta Post - July 14, 1999

Jakarta – Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. Wiranto defended on Tuesday the presence of anti-riot troops in Aceh, following recent clashes which left nine people dead.

Eight alleged rebels were shot dead in two separate clashes in East Aceh and Central Aceh on Monday, the day bodies of two police were found in East Aceh with severe wounds.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Agence France Presse - July 14, 1999

Singapore – Indonesian opposition leader Amien Rais said here Wednesday that it was too early to declare a winner in the race for the presidency and witheld his support for frontrunner Megawati Sukarnoputri.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - July 14, 1999

United Nations – The UN Security Council today called on Jakarta to make 'concrete progress' in improving the security situation in East Timor to ensure the holding of a landmark ballot on schedule.

July 13, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Police & Law Enforcement
Jakarta Post - July 13, 1999

Jakarta – A 10-day training course on crowd control given by the US government to the Indonesian Police will be useless, and would be used by local officers only to break up student and worker demonstrations here, lawyers and students said on Monday.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Australian - July 13, 1999

Don Greenlees (Jakarta) and Sian Powell (Dili) – Almost half the Indonesian Cabinet flew into East Timor yesterday in a dramatic bid by Jakarta to quell growing international anger over its failure to maintain security ahead of the UN-sponsored ballot on autonomy.

News ›› Aceh ›› GAM & Armed Conflict
Agence France Presse - July 13, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – Troops killed six suspected separatist rebels and injured three others in two separate incidents in Indonesia's troubled Aceh province, a report said Tuesday.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Australian - July 13, 1999

Don Greenlees, Jakarta – East Timor militia leader Eurico Guterres was due to meet UN envoy Francesc Vendrell in Dili on Saturday. He didn't show up. The UN was led to believe Guterres instead went to see Governor Abilio Soares, a man with whom he has regular contact.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - July 13, 1999

Jakarta – Hundreds of Muslim students in Ujungpandang, South Sulawesi, took to the streets on Monday voicing their rejection of Megawati Soekarnoputri's presidential bid.

July 12, 1999

News ›› West Papua ›› Shootings & Violence Against Civilians
Agence France Presse - July 12, 1999

Sydney – Britain's crack SAS army regiment was involved in a 1996 mission to rescue hostages from rebels in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province during which eight civilians died, an Australian television report claimed Monday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› 1965 Affair & Anti-Communist Purge
Sydney Morning Herald - July 12, 1999

Documents at the Australian Archives show the Federal Government turned a blind eye to the indiscriminate slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians after an alleged communist coup, writes David Jenkins.

News ›› West Papua ›› Human Rights & Justice
Jakarta Post - July 12, 1999

Neles Tebay, Jayapura – Security authorities continued to commit human rights violations in Irian Jaya in the past year as popular resentment against the central government unfolded in the wake of an upsurge in separatist activities, a rights group and churches say.

July 10, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› 1965 Affair & Anti-Communist Purge
Sydney Morning Herald - July 10, 1999

Secret records of the US State Department and CIA provide evidence that the massacre of Indonesia's communists in 1965 was not a result of spontaneous uprisings but a deliberate campaign by General Soeharto. Marian Wilkinson reveals that the records show the US and Australia knew what was happening – but continued to back the army in its bloody takeover.

News ›› Aceh ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Agence France Presse - July 10, 1999

Jakarta – More than 40,000 refugees packed camps in Indonesia's Aceh province Saturday, an official said, after fleeing their villages out of fear of continuing violence between soldiers and rebels.

A preliminary count of the refugees in Pidie disctrict showed 44,740 people had fled, said the official who asked to remain anonymous.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Corruption & Abuse of Power
Kompas - July 10, 1999

The case of (temporarily non-active) Attorney General, Lt. General Ghalib, is increasingly slipping from the rails of justice as political elements tend to appear on the surface.

July 9, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› 1965 Affair & Anti-Communist Purge
Sydney Morning Herald - July 9, 1999

The true story of the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people linked to the Indonesian Communist Party has remained buried since 1965. Now with the fall from power of President Soeharto, Indonesians are beginning to confront their own holocaust, writes Louise Williams.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Washington Post - July 9, 1999

Keith B. Richburg, Jakarta – Following her apparent victory in democratic elections last month, Megawati Sukarnoputri has declared that the Indonesian people have given her the mandate to lead the country.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Suharto & New Order Regime
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - July 9, 1999

Since May last year, there have been constant calls for a thorough investigation into the wealth of former Indonesian President Suharto and the corruption, collusion and nepotism that characterised his thirty two year rule.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Land & Agrarian Conflicts
Indonesian Observer - July 9, 1999

Jakarta – Residents of Koja, an area on the northeast coast of Jakarta, are threatening to use force to take over land that was seized from them in 1995 by a state-owned company with close ties to former president Soeharto's eldest daughter, Siti Hardiyanti 'Tutut' Rukmana.

July 8, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Australian Financial Review - July 8, 1999

Peter Hartcher and Tim Dodd – Australia and the US have intelligence that proves that the high command of the Indonesian army and a group of Indonesian Cabinet ministers are complicit in the violence racking East Timor.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Reconstruction
Sydney Morning Herald - July 8, 1999

David Jenkins – It is Sunday afternoon in Jakarta and a colleague of Xanana Gusmao is sitting in a deserted hotel lounge discussing political developments in East Timor.

As she outlines the hopes and plans of the pro-independence movement, a solidly built Indonesian in jeans and a checked shirt appears out of nowhere and slips onto a couch beside us.

July 7, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - July 7, 1999

Jakarta – The chief of the UN Mission in East Timor asked the Indonesian armed forces on Wednesday to rein in pro-Indonesian militia before a planned vote on self-determination there next month.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
South China Morning Post - July 7, 1999

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Exactly one month after Indonesia's groundbreaking general election, just 59 per cent of votes have been counted in Jakarta.

News ›› Aceh ›› GAM & Armed Conflict
Jakarta Post - July 7, 1999

Jakarta – Anxiety prevailed in the North Aceh district of Matangkuli, near Lhokseumawe, on Tuesday following an overnight gunfight involving security authorities and armed separatist rebels.

July 6, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
FORTILOS - July 6, 1999

With the rise of militia activity in a number of regencies in the last eight months has led to an increase in violence perpetrated against the general population. Many have become victims of killings, detention, rape, torture, looting, losing their homes and their entire possesions when their houses are burned by militia.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Indonesian Observer - July 6, 1999

Jakarta – Thousands of bank employees and bus drivers staged separate demonstrations in Jakarta yesterday, demanding greater rights for workers.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Suharto & New Order Regime
Financial Times (London) - July 6, 1999

Sander Thoenes, Jakarta – Former President Suharto yesterday filed a multi-billion dollar libel suit against Time magazine in a case that highlights the new government's failure to pursue corruption charges against him.

News ›› Indonesia ›› PRD & Papernas
Jakarta Post - July 6, 1999

Tangerang – Jailed labor activist Dita Indah Sari of the Democratic People's Party (PRD) left the women's penitentiary here on Monday after spending two years in prison.

News ›› West Papua ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Agence France Presse - July 6, 1999

Jakarta – Riots in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province have left one man dead and one wounded, while rebels abducted six forestry officials in separatist unrest, reports and residents said Tuesday.

News ›› East Timor ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Humanitarian Mission for Internally Displaced People - July 6, 1999

The situation of internally displaced people (IDP's) in East Timor is worsening by the day. They must face intimidation, terror; their houses are burned; health conditions are very poor with a high mortality rate due to disease and lack of adequate food.