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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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August 21, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Voice of America - August 21, 1997

Jenny Grant, Jakarta – In his state of the nation address last weekend, president suharto said the government must postpone some projects because of the devaluation of the national currency, the rupiah.

August 20, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
South China Morning Post - August 20, 1997

Jenny Grant, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights intervened yesterday on behalf of 14 students detained for holding a protest on Indonesia's national day.

August 19, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Police & Law Enforcement
Republika - August 19, 1997 (Summarised posting by Tapol)

Four lawyers organisation, the legal aid institute, YLBHI, the Association of Indonesian Advocates AAI, the Indonesia Bar Association (Ikadin) and the Association of Legal Advisers (IPHI) have called on the leadership of Parliament to postpone discussion of the draft Police Bill.

August 17, 1997

Statements ›› Indonesia ›› PRD & Papernas
Peoples Democratic Party - August 17, 1997

[The following is a translation of a statement sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party (PRD)]

News ›› Indonesia ›› Deforestation & Forest Fires
George J. Aditjondro - August 17, 1997

[The following is a slightly abridged letter from George J. Aditjondro to the Norway Rainforest Foundation in reponse to a an inquiry about Indonesian timber tycoon Mohammad ("Bob") Hasan's business connections in Norway - JB]

August 16, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› National Security & Intelligence
Jakarta Post - August 16, 1997

Jakarta – Observers criticized as inappropriate and groundless a motion to reintroduce a People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) decree that would give a president extra power.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Information & The Press
SiaR - August 16, 1997 (posted by Tapol)

Three leading Jakarta dailies, Republika, Suara Pembaruan and Merdeka, have been warned by Information Minister, retired General Hartono. The warnings were delivered during a meeting with editors-in-chief and the financial authorities.

News ›› East Timor ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
Reuters - August 16, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian Justice Minister Utoyo Usman said on Saturday the government had given a three-month reduction to the jail term being served by East Timorese rebel leader Jose "Xanana" Gusmao, the Antara news agency reported.

August 15, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
SiaR - August 15 1997

Xanana Gusmao, the commander of the pro-independence forces, FALINTIL, who is currently serving a twenty-year prison sentence, has declared that he would prefer to remain in prison rather than be deported to any foreign country, including Portugal or Australia.

August 14, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Far Eastern Economic Review - August 14, 1997

John McBeth, Jakarta – The long-awaited generational change in the Indonesian armed forces is now taking shape. But if the new wave of 1970s military-academy graduates have different views of the world than their more insular elders, that doesn't mean there will be any overnight transformation in style or substance.

August 13, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Pacific Asia Resource Center - August 13, 1997

Saeki Natsuko – Nike is one of the biggest sports goods manufactures in the world. Ohmae Kenichi, a well-known Japanese commentator who is an advisor to the company, described the secret of its success in production and sales activities as a marvelous combination between "core skill" and "out-sourcing".

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Reuters - August 13, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's Supreme court has said it will not review the conviction of independent labour leader Muchtar Pakpahan jailed on charges that he incited workers to strike, the Jakarta Post newspaper reported on Wednesday.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
Reuters - August 13, 1997

Michael Perry, Sydney – South African President Nelson Mandela's mediation in East Timor could provide the "face-saving" device for Indonesian President Suharto to end the 22-year conflict, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta said on Wednesday.

August 12, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Asiaweek - August 12, 1997

Keith Loveard, Jakarta – Cafe Galeri in Jakarta's upmarket suburb of Menteng is a trendy testament to the success of Indonesia's economy. On its walls hang abstract oil paintings that sell for $4,000 each.

August 9, 1997

Statements ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Human Rights Solidarity Action Committee - August 9, 1997

[The following is an abridged translation of a statement sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party]

August 8, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Straits Times - August 8, 1997

Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – Indonesia's Information Minister, Mr Raden Hartono, has denied any political motives in joining the influential Islamic group, the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI), amid speculation that he will use it as a platform for his political ambitions.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Human Rights Solidarity Action Committee - August 8, 1997

[The following is a slightly abridged translation of a chronology sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party]

August 7, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Agence France Presse - August 7, 1997

Jakarta – Jailed East Timorese rebel leader Xanana Gusmao said his release, as called for by South African President Nelson Mandela, was unimportant compared to the urgency for a settlement in East Timor, it was reported Thursday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Information & The Press
Straits Times - August 7, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian police have suggested that local journalists receive special training and shooting lessons to help them with the accuracy of their reporting, the official Antara news agency reported yesterday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Police & Law Enforcement
South China Morning Post - August 7, 1997

Jenny Grant, Jakarta – A war between police and criminals is escalating in Jakarta following the killing of a mobile-brigade policeman last week.

Police and the military have launched a joint hunt for the killer of 27-year-old First Sergeant Winoto.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Wall Street Journal - August 7, 1997

Richard Borsuk, Mangakajang – Plywood baron Mohamad "Bob" Hasan, longtime confidant of President Suharto, has finally fulfilled his dream of building a huge, high-tech pulp mill in the jungle. Making it profitable, however, may take many years.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Agence France Presse - August 7, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's independent trade union leader filed a judicial review to the Supreme Court, asking the body to review his conviction over the April 1994 Medan riots.

Appearing in court for the first time since his hospitalisation in March, Pakpahan told the East Jakarta court they had new evidence to prove that he did not incite the riots.

August 6, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Jakarta Post - August 6, 1997

Jakarta – The National Commission for Human Rights promised yesterday to urge the government to form an independent medical team to seek a third opinion on labor leader Muchtar Pakpahan's health.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
International Herald Tribune - August 6, 1997

Michael Richardson, Singapore – Defying its human rights critics in the United States, Indonesia said Tuesday that it would buy Russian fighters and helicopters after canceling a deal for American-made F-16s because of congressional attacks on its human rights record.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
The Jakarta Post - August 6, 1997

Dili – Col. Suryo Prabowo, former secretary to the chief of general affairs of the Armed Forces, was installed yesterday as deputy chief of Wira Dharma Command.

Col. Suryo, who had served in East Timor as the command's chief of staff, replaced Col. Soekotjo HS, who was promoted to chief of Wira Bhakti Command, overseeing West Nusa Tenggara.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
The Star - August 6, 1997

Peter Fabricius – South Africa's dramatic expulsion of Portugal's ambassador at the weekend for allegedly holding and leaking to the press a misdirected letter from President Mandela to Indonesian President Suharto has created great controversy in diplomatic circles and raised a host of unanswered questions.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Agence France Presse - August 6, 1997

Manila – Indonesian opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri wants to visit the Philippines but is uncertain if the government of President Fidel Ramos will allow her in, a local newspaper reported here Wednesday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Lusa - August 6, 1997

Lisbon – Portugal has urged South Africa to resist pressure from Indonesia after Pretoria expelled the Portuguese ambassador Vasco Valente over the leaking of a misdirected note from President Nelson Mandela to his Indonesian counterpart, General Suharto.

August 5, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Antara - August 5, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia has finally decided to purchase 12 Sukhoi 30K (SU-30K) jet fighters and eight multi-purpose MI-17-1V helicopters from Russia to boost the equipment of the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI).

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Kompas - August 5, 1997

A delegation of US senators led by Craig Thomas (Dem. Wyoming) consisting of eleven people met members of the National Human Rights Commission and reached agreement to keep in close contact, so as to reach a common understanding on human rights and democracy.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Agence France Presse - August 5, 1997

Bhimanto Suwastoyo, Jakarta – Indonesia Tuesday brushed aside US criticism of its human rights record and said it would buy Russian fighter jets after cancelling an order for American aircraft.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Reuters - August 5, 1997 (abridged)

Cape Town – South Africa, trying to unravel twin diplomatic blunders in its East Timor peace initiative, on Tuesday acknowledged a "miscommunication" over an announced visit by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Speech & Expression
Voice of America - August 5, 1997

Jakarta – The private secretary of one of Indonesia's founding fathers was put on trial in Jakarta Tuesday, for insulting president Suharto by printing a booklet written by his employer. Jenny Grant reports it is the latest in a string of political trials in Indonesia.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Reuters - August 5, 1997

Andrei Khalip, Moscow – Indonesia's decision to replace a big defence order from the United States with arms from Russia heralds a big breakthrough for an industry badly hit by the collapse of the Soviet superpower.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Reuters - August 5, 1997 (abridged)

Lisbon – Portugal said on Tuesday it would not retaliate in kind after South Africa expelled its ambassador over the leaking of a misdirected letter from President Nelson Mandela.

"We have no intention of asking for the expulsion of the South African ambassador to Lisbon," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ana Zacarias told Reuters.

August 4, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Reuters - August 4, 1997

Lisbon – Portugal said on Monday it regretted a decision by South Africa to expel its ambassador over the leaking of a misdirected note from President Nelson Mandela to Indonesian President Suharto.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Reuters - August 4, 1997

Brendan Boyle, Cape Town – South Africa has expelled Portugal's ambassador over the leaking of a misdirected note from President Nelson Mandela to his Indonesian counterpart, but diplomatic ties remain intact, government sources said on Monday.

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Lusa - August 4, 1997

Pretoria – The South African President, Nelson Mandela, has said he invited East Timorese leaders to visit the African country in September.

August 3, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Deforestation & Forest Fires
Straits Times - August 3, 1997

Susan Sim, Jakarta – The good news is that the Indonesian forest fires this year are not as extensive as those three years ago.

The bad news is that they will be an annual problem for more years yet, despite the best intentions and efforts of the Indonesian government.

August 2, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
Reuters - August 2, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia has finally received a letter from South African President Nelson Mandela suggesting the possible release of jailed East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao, the official Antara news agency reported on Saturday.

August 1, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Reuters - August 1, 1997

Jakarta – An Indonesian appeal court has ruled that a lower court has the authority to decide on a challenge by ousted minority party leader Megawati Sukarnoputri against her government-backed overthrow.

News ›› East Timor ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
American Reporter - August 1, 1997

Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – On a hot Jakarta evening two weeks ago, in a grand colonial-style guest house at Indonesia's Merdeka Presidential Palace, South African President Nelson Mandela, Africa's most respected statesman talked and dined for about two hours with Xanana Gusmao, the jailed leader of East Timor,

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Tapol - August 1, 1997

A 'Training for Trainers' (TFT) course for members of the unrecognised trade union federation, the SBSI, being held in Lampung, South Sumatra, was broken up by a joint unit of military and police. After being questioned for three hours, the 26 participants were taken off and held at the local police command.

News ›› West Papua ›› Human Rights & Justice
Amnesty International - 26 August, 1997 (abridged)

Attempts by the Indonesian security forces to quell disturbances which began on 21 August 1997 in the Timika area of Irian Jaya - Indonesia's easternmost province - have resulted in two local tribespeople being shot dead and 15 others being beaten, in some cases severely.

July 31, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Information & The Press
Committee to Protect Journalists - July 31, 1997

New York – On 25 July 1997, Naimullah, a reporter with the Jakarta-based morning daily newspaper "Sinar Pagi" was found murdered. Naimullah's body, mutilated by stab wounds in his neck, and bruises on his head, temples, chest, and wrists, was found in the back seat of his car in Pantai Penibungan, about 90 kilometres north of Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Jakarta Post - July 31, 1997

Hendardi, Jakarta - Discussions about corruption have re-surfaced recently. This issue became topical during general election campaigning for members of the House of Representatives and the regional legislative assemblies. The three contesting parties boasted anticorruption themes and pushed for the eradication of corrupt practices.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Tapol - July 31, 1997

According to a report in Media Indonesia (22 July 1997), former MP, Sri-Bintang Pamungkas is to go on trial for subversion during the month of August.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Interpress News Service - July 31, 1997

Samsudin Berlian, Jakarta – The jailing more than two years ago of two journalists who defied the Indonesian government by publishing an unlicensed magazine was hardly a surprise. But their recent release has baffled many.

To the surprise of the journalistic community here, authorities freed Eko Maryadi and Ahmad Taufik from separate prisons in West Java on Jul 19.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
Reuters - July 31, 1997

Jakarta – Pro-independence rebels in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor have killed three Indonesian soldiers, military sources said on Thursday.

The soldiers were killed in an attack in Liquisa district, west of the territory's capital Dili, on Wednesday morning, one source said.

Further information on the clash was not immediately available.

News ›› East Timor ›› Arbitrary Arrest & Detention
East Timor Human Rights Centre - 31 July, 1997

Grave fears are held for the safety of 14 East Timorese men whose whereabouts is unknown following their arrest on 2 July, 1997, during an assault by the Indonesian military on the village of Wadaboru. Internal steps taken to locate them have been unsuccessful.