Jakarta – Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said Wednesday that Indonesia stood firm in barring the return of self-exiled resistance activist Jose Ramos Horta to East Timor, and warned him against trying to enter the territory illegally.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
June 16, 1999
London – Serious human rights violations occurred in Indonesia in 1998 including hundreds of arrests, dozens of killings, torture and disappearances, Amnesty International said Wednesday.
Jakarta – East Timor's Peace and Stability Commission began Wednesday a series of meetings aiming to define a code of conduct for rival factions before, during and after the half-island's August 8 autonomy-or-independence plebiscite
Thousands of evacuees across Aceh started returning home Tuesday to their villages even though there is no guarantee of their safety. It appears that the evacuees decided to go home after realising that their circumstances in the camps were no better - in their villages they are afraid of the army and in places to which they have fled they are threatened with disease and hunger.
By Peter Cole-Adams, Mark Dodd and Lindsay Murdoch – The Indonesian Government says it has stopped attempts by the provincial government in East Timor to channel money from an aid budget into the anti-independence campaign for the territory's forthcoming plebiscite.
June 15, 1999
Mark Dodd, Dili – Indonesian authorities in East Timor plan to use more than $7 million in aid money earmarked for the poor to fund pro-autonomy propaganda and militia groups, according to documents obtained by the Herald.
Jakarta – Reports of irregularities and violations in the June 7 general election have continued to hold back the already slow tallying of votes by the General Elections Commission.
In Asahan, North Sumatra, members of the local election committee refused to verify sign the results because of reports of violations.
Patrick Walters, Jakarta – Abdurrahman Wahid, the leader of Indonesia's biggest Muslim organisation, predicted yesterday that Megawati Sukarnoputri would face an uphill battle to be Indonesia's next president.
Jakarta – Indonesia on Tuesday sent a second batch of 821 police reinforcements to East Timor ahead of the August 8 UN-monitored ballot to determine the future of the former Portuguese colony.
Jakarta – An influential Muslim group warned Tuesday that overwhelmingly Islamic Indonesia risks falling under the control of non-Muslims in the wake of its first democratic election in 44 years.
Andrew Marshall, Jakarta – Indonesia's next government has yet to emerge from the murk of drawn-out vote counting and political horsetrading, but one crucial member of its economic policy-making team is already known – the IMF.
Jakarta – Indonesian military MPs will vote in presidential elections slated for November despite calls for them to abstain, armed forces chief General Wiranto was Tuesday quoted as saying.
The Indonesian govt's Taskforce for Implementation of the Consultation in East Timor, in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Information, has set up a Media Centre to handle all information relating to the Consultation in East Timor.
June 14, 1999
[The following is a report written exclusively for Joyo Indonesian News by a prominent Indonesia specialist who prefers to remain anonymous.]
Jakarta – Reports of widespread vote-rigging have been flowing in to Jakarta faster than the notoriously slow returns from the June 7 general election, with the Golkar Party saddled with most of the flak.
Most common violations of the electoral rules include vote buying, government officials favoring Golkar, misuse of state facilities and intimidation.
Jakarta – A shadowy group has been threatening independent election monitors in Southeast Sulawesi, as more information emerges from there of the ruling Golkar Party having used money and intimidation to win support.
Michael Richardson, Jakarta – The Indonesian armed forces, for many years a bastion of political support for the authoritarian government of former President Suharto, declared that they were neutral in parliamentary elections held last week, helping to make the polls a genuine contest for the first time since 1955.
Mark Dodd, Sarmara village – In a swathe of secluded backwoods villages and hamlets across East Timor's remote coffee-growing highlands, pro-Indonesia militias and their army allies continue a deadly campaign to coerce a hapless population to support their autonomy cause.
Jeremy Wagstaff and Puspa Madani, Jakarta – Succumbing to public pressure, Indonesian Attorney General Andi Ghalib stepped down amid a corruption scandal that offers a glimpse of simmering tensions among the country's elites as they await the results of this month's elections.
June 13, 1999
Jakarta – Indonesian troops shot dead five civilians, including two children, in the troubled province of Aceh, reports said here Sunday.
The soldiers opened fire after a loud bang was heard as a convoy of trucks carrying members of the Mass Riot Control Force passed Peureulak in East Aceh district on Saturday, the RCTI television said.
On Tuesday, 8 June, members of the Dadarus Red and White militia attacked Memo village, Maliana sub-district in the district of Bobonaro. The attack was directed at the parents of Aniceto Guterres Lopes, Director of the human rights organisation, Yayasan HAK.
June 12, 1999
Bandung – Attorney General Andi M. Ghalib, who has recently been accused of abusing his power to enrich himself, can expect to come under further scrutiny after the disclosure by the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) of money, allegedly bribes, transferred to his bank accounts.
Dili – A UN mission on Saturday launched a campaign in East Timor to inform the population of the options available for the future of the territory ahead of a self-determination ballot in August.The UN Assessment Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) published a page of information in East Timor's main daily, "The Voice of East Timor."
Susan Sim, Jakarta – The Indonesian government yesterday woke up to a confidential internal report which showed the ruling Golkar in for a crushing defeat as the Megawati Sukarnoputri-Abdurrahman Wahid juggernaut grabbed half of the 41 million ballots counted.
Peter Symonds – As of Friday morning, official figures in the counting of votes for the Indonesian elections showed a clear vote against the ruling Golkar Party and in favour of opposition parties headed by Megawati Sukarnoputri, Abdurrahman Wahid and Amien Rais, which are part of a loose alliance.
June 11, 1999
Richard Lloyd Parry, Jakarta – Eighteen months ago, in the bad old days, the idea that Indonesia could be governed by anyone other than the Golkar Party seemed a far-off dream. Then, in May last year, came the student demonstrations, the Jakarta riots and the resignation of President Suharto.
Jakarta – Two Indonesian soldiers were killed and six injured when they were attacked by 10 armed men in the troubled province of Aceh Friday, the state news agency Antara said.
Nicole Gaouette, Jakarta – The drumbeat of complaint is growing louder as Indonesia continues its plodding count of votes cast in the June 7 parliamentary election. The risk is that it could drown out all other voices. Three days after the polls closed, the Election Commission has tallied only 8 percent of the ballots.
Adopts Resolution 1246 (1999) Unanimously; Ballot to Decide on Special Autonomy or Separation from Indonesia
June 10, 1999
Grainne Mccarthy, Jakarta – Market euphoria that Indonesia's historic elections passed peacefully has turned to a nervous waiting game as the snail's pace of the vote feeds anxiety about ballot-rigging.
Jakarta – Three bodies, including those of two soldiers, were found in the restive province of Aceh yesterday after gunmen attacked an Air Force radar tower in another area, government officials said.
The bodies were found in side streets in Teupin Batee village in the morning, the head of East Aceh district, Alauddin Ae, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Jakarta – Indonesia's elections were free and democratic apart from in the troubled territory of East Timor and Aceh province, an Asian poll watchdog said Thursday.
The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) also expressed concern over the slow pace of vote counting, saying it "must be hastened to avert any suspicion and other unnecessary speculation."
Lhokseumawe – Hopes that delayed elections could be held in several districts of the troubled province of Aceh faded yesterday with the killing of at least three more security personnel.
Jakarta – The Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP) has discovered 19,504 violations during Monday's balloting across Indonesian provinces outside East Timor and Aceh, according to chairman Mulyana W. Kusumah on Wednesday.
Sigli – The state of health among refugees in the sub-districts of Bandar Dua and Ulim, Pidie is beginning to cause anxiety. Disease is striking the children in particular.
June 9, 1999
Jakarta – Indonesian police and troops arrested at least 100 workers and student activists after a four-day sit-in at the headquarters of the workers' former employer, a snack food producer.
Sonny Warsito, a lawyer for the workers, said his clients want wage increases and rejected their dismissal from the Mayora Indah Lt. Corp.
Jakarta – Indonesian press and human rights groups Wednesday lashed out at Attorney General Andi Ghalib for banning three journalists from reporting on his activities.
Jay Solomon, Jakarta – Investors are registering a major vote of confidence in Indonesia's freest election in nearly a half century.
The stock market rose 12% Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund approved $450 million in aid, and local businessmen talked optimistically of restructuring debt-laden companies in a more-stable political environment.
Dili – The UN referendum oversight mission in East Timor has received "all sorts of threats" of hostile actions, a spokesman said Thursday. So far, no attacks have been carried out against the week-old outpost.
Most of the threats are coming from militias battling to keep the province part of Indonesia.
Indonesian opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri, chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle, gave her first post-election interview, four hours after polls closed on June 7, to Business Week Singapore Bureau Chief Michael Shari at her home in South Jakarta.
June 8, 1999
John Gittings in Jakarta and John Aglionby in Ambon – Indonesians flocked to the polls with enthusiasm yesterday for the country's first free elections in more than 40 years.
More than 90% of those eligible had registered to vote and turnout was high except in the strife-torn areas of Ambon, East Timor and Aceh.
Mark Dodd, Dili – Eurico Guterres, one of East Timor's most hardline pro-Jakarta militia leaders, today strongly defended a reorganisation of his force into what he said was a legal civil defence unit.
Jakarta – An Indonesian corruption watchdog said Tuesday a break-in had failed to destroy evidence backing claims that the chief investigator probing allegations over Suharto's fortune was himself corrupt.
June 7, 1999
Ida Indawati Khouw, Jakarta – Every day electronic and print media have been running commercials urging women to choose parties "which pay attention to women".
Jakarta – Indonesia's military do not vote, but unlike most of the 48 parties contesting Indonesia's elections they are already assured of a solid block of seats in parliament.
Jakarta – Supporters of popular Indonesian opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri are up in arms over a weekend smear campaign painting her as anti-Moslem, newspapers said Monday.
The campaign was waged in the form of leaflets, some anonymous and others by Moslem groups. They urged "good Moslems" to spurn her Indonesian Democracy Party-Struggle (PDIP).
Jakarta – A prominent member of the House of Representatives from the United Development Party (PPP) on Sunday expressed his opposition to President B.J. Habibie's plan to give a "token of gratitude", worth Rp 150 million (US$18,750), to each of the 500 House members.
Dili – East Timorese voted in a steady stream Monday in this troubled Indonesian territory, but interest in the elections was low, taking a back seat to a UN-sponsored ballot on self-determination in August.
Mark Dodd, Dili – The pro-Jakarta government in East Timor has ordered between 10 and 20 per cent of its budget to be set aside for propaganda and training to promote the integration cause in the ballot on self-determination – a move that breaches United Nations-brokered accords signed by Indonesia.
Jakarta – Jailed Indonesian People's Democracy Party leader Budiman Sudjatmiko was barred from voting Monday, under rules prohibiting convicts serving more than five years from casting ballots, a prison official said.