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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 11, 2000

Sydney Morning Herald - February 11, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – A pro-Jakarta militia commander has testified that East Timor's former governor, Mr Abilio Soares, told him early last year that all supporters of independence for the territory, including priests and nuns, should be "killed if necessary".

Agence France Presse - February 11, 2000

Jakarta – Indonesian police have detained an Australian labor consultant for questioning over his alleged participation in street protests here, the Jakarta Post said Friday.

Jakarta Post - February 11, 2000

Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) unveiled on Thursday a plan to enhance its arsenal and manpower reserves in a bid to address the escalating threats of security disturbances and social unrest in the country.

Canberra Times - February 11, 2000

Peter Clack – The Australian Government sent a police delegation to train the Indonesian Police Force in Jakarta while Australian Federal Police officers were on duty in East Timor in September, it has been confirmed.

February 10, 2000

Sydney Morning Herald - February 10, 2000

Mark Dodd, Dili – A senior East Timorese politician has threatened to resign from a decision-making body in protest over the arrival this week of an Indonesian air force plane delivering humanitarian aid to the devastated territory.

South China Morning Post - February 10, 2000

Associated Press – Sixteen people were killed and eight injured in several clashes between rebels and government troops in Aceh province, the authorities said on Thursday.

Far Eastern Economic Review - February 10, 2000

Dan Murphy, Jakarta – Car maker Astra International has long been among Indonesia's best-regarded companies, one that the son of its founder calls a "cash machine." Its lock on the domestic car industry has allowed it to weather three devaluations of the rupiah, attacks on its showrooms by angry mobs and acrimonious takeover battles.

Agence France Presse - February 10, 2000

Kuala Lumpur – Indonesia should put on trial those responsible for militia atrocities in East Timor to avoid an international war crimes tribunal, visiting East Timorese independence leader Jose Ramos-Horta said.

February 9, 2000

Green Left Weekly - February 9, 2000

Jonathan Singer – The Indonesian and United Nations human rights commissions have released their reports on the massive human rights violations that occurred in East Timor in 1999.

Green Left Weekly - February 9, 2000

Nick Fredman, Dili – Floating in this burned-out city's harbour is the bizarre structure of the Hotel Olympia. A large squat vessel that was formerly housing for oil rig workers, it has been towed to East Timor and refurbished to service the new market of well-heeled United Nations and aid agency bureaucrats and business people.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 9, 2000

Tom Fawthrop, Aileu – In the mountains south of Dili, UN military observers have noticed new, younger faces arriving in the Aileu cantonment of the East Timorese national liberation army, Falintil. After 24 years of fighting the Indonesian army, East Timor is now free. The independence struggle is over.

Straits Times - February 9, 2000

General Wiranto wanted to explain to the people of Singapore what the real situation was in Indonesia, he told The Straits Times' Indonesia Correspondent Susan Sim.

Green Left Weekly - February 9, 2000

May Sari, Jakarta – Thousands protested against the meeting of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) – which includes 30 donor countries and is chaired by the World Bank – on February 1. The meeting considered the Indonesian government's progress in imposing austerity, the condition for granting Jakarta's requests for further loans and "donations".

Green Left Weekly - February 9, 2000

Editorial – "I think any comment [beyond "understanding and sympathy"] is really intruding a little into the internal affairs of another country", Prime Minister John Howard opined on the outcome of the Indonesian and United Nations investigations into crimes against humanity in East Timor in 1999.

Australian Financial Review - February 9, 2000

Tim Dodd – The management of one of Indonesia's largest and most promising companies was ousted yesterday at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders in Jakarta.

New York Times - February 9, 2000

Seth Mydans, Ambon – The most frightening sound is the wild banging of stones on metal light poles, a ringing crescendo of panic that begins nobody-knows-where and spreads in moments around this violent, broken seaside town.

Green Left Weekly - February 9, 2000

While world attention is focused on the crimes committed by Indonesia's military in East Timor last year, former Indonesian president Suharto is living in peace and comfort, still not charged for the countless crimes against humanity he ordered during his 33-year dictatorship.

February 8, 2000

Tapol - February 8, 2000

[The following is a translation by the British based human rights organisation, Tapol, of the concluding paragraphs of Chapter IV of the Executive Summary entitled "Conclusions and Recommendations" of the Report of the Commission of Investigation of Human Rights Violations in East Timor, KPP HAM.

Australian Associated Press - February 8, 2000

John Martinkus, Kupang – Exiled pro-Indonesian East Timorese militiamen are making ends meet by selling their military-supplied weapons to embattled Christians from the riot-torn island of Ambon.

Agence France Presse - February 8, 2000

Jakarta – The number of known hard drug addicts in Jakarta has soared by at least 400 percent in the past three years, and the real increase could be much larger, a newspaper report said on Tuesday.

Reuters - February 8, 2000

Soraya Permatasari, Jakarta – The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) on Tuesday won its battle to oust the head of auto conglomerate Astra International, moving a step closer to the crucial sale of its 45 percent stake in the firm.

Jakarta Post - February 8, 2000

Jakarta – Former Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. (ret.) Feisal Tanjung on Monday vehemently denied being part of an alleged plan to "eliminate" President Abdurrahman Wahid and Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Jakarta Post - February 8, 2000

Jakarta – The continuing conflict in Maluku falls into line with the Army's struggle to protect its political and economic interests following the end of the New Order regime, a member of reconciliatory team in the territory says.

Agence France Presse - February 8, 2000

Jakarta – An outspoken human rights group said Tuesday that it feared a key suspect in a case of mass murder in West Aceh may have been kidnapped to prevent an upcoming trial of the case.

Coordinator of the Commission on Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Munir, said he feared Army Lieutenant Colonel Sujono could have been abducted.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 8, 2000

Mark Dodd, Dili – Victims in what could have been East Timor's worst massacre last year were registered by Indonesian officials before being hacked to death, according to UN officials.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 8, 2000

Jakarta – The planned trial of 20 men, 18 of them military personnel, accused of shooting down 56 Acehnese in cold blood last July has been postponed because a key witness has gone missing, press reports said yesterday.

February 7, 2000

Sydney Morning Herald - February 7, 2000

Andrew McNaughtan – The truth is out – officially. A year ago, when the Indonesian military's covert campaign to hold East Timor through coercion was taking shape, it was almost unimaginable that an Indonesian inquiry would ever have the power and the will to publish its damning report about what happened in East Timor.

The Independent - February 7, 2000

Richard Lloyd Parry – On the day that the crucial find was made, early in October last year, it was already much too late for East Timor. Its towns and cities, including the capital, Dili, were in ruins. The local militias who had carried out most of the dirty work had fled the country.

Jakarta Post - February 7, 2000

Banda Aceh – An armed gang attacked and set fire to the terminal of Malikussaleh Airport, which serves the economically strategic Arun gasfields, about 45 kilometers west of Lhokseumawe, North Aceh, on Saturday night.

February 6, 2000

Jakarta Post - February 6, 2000

Singgir Kartana, Surakarta – Surakarta, better known as Solo, is famous for its beautiful women, a phenomenon that inspired the late Ismail Marzuki to compose Putri Solo (Girl from Solo).

Business Review - February 6, 2000

Washington – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) threw Indonesia a new financial lifeline on Friday, approving a new three-year loan worth $5 billion to help seal a tentative economic recovery.

Agence France Presse - February 6, 2000

Jakarta – The ethnic-Chinese community on the Indonesian island of Bali was urged to remain calm on Sunday after their homes were marked by unknown people trying to destabilise the tourist paradise, police and a report said.

February 5, 2000

Associated Press - February 5, 2000

Geoff Spencer, Jakarta – They have been terrorized, their houses and businesses wrecked and burned in wave after wave of riots and political upheaval.

But as the Year of the Golden Dragon begins, Indonesia's Chinese minority is feeling uncharacteristically optimistic.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 2000

London – Secret military documents implicate Indonesia's top generals in a campaign of coercion and repression in East Timor intended to prevent the territory gaining independence, The Independent daily reported here Saturday.

Jakarta Post - February 5, 2000

Yogyakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) is now in worse shape than at any point in its history, chairman of the Reform Faction at the House of Representatives (DPR) Hatta Rajasa said.

Jakarta Post - February 5, 2000

Emmy Fitri, Jakarta – Although he is facing imminent retirement, cabinet suspension and censure for alleged human rights abuse, no one doubts that Gen. Wiranto will fight back. The question is what kind of counterattack the four-star general will launch.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 5, 2000

Mark Riley, New York – East Timor risks regressing into social turmoil unless the World Bank releases funds for reconstruction projects, the United Nation's administrator in East Timor has warned.

February 4, 2000

Financial Times - February 4, 2000

Ted Bardacke – The umbrella group representing the leadership of East Timor is planning to hold a national congress in August to decide on "major strategic options" for the country, including whether to join the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) or the South Pacific Forum.

Jakarta Post - February 4, 2000

Jakarta – The discourse on whether Coordinating Minister for Political Affairs and Security Gen. Wiranto should resign over the East Timor debacle snowballed on Thursday, amid fears about a further plunge of the rupiah resulting from the political tension.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 4, 2000

Ambon – The Indonesian military's support of Muslim extremists in Maluku province appears to be growing, partly because of the failure of authorities to identify and prosecute rogue officers, a senior United States diplomat said yesterday.

Jakarta Post - February 4, 2000

Jakarta – Criticism against President Abdurrahman 'Gus Dur' Wahid has been relentless since he took office three months ago, but for the first time a political party unabashedly called on him to resign due to his "ailing health."

February 3, 2000

South China Morning Post - February 3, 2000

Joanna Jolly, Dili – The United Nations is searching 29 grave sites in an area of the East Timorese enclave of Oecussi where witnesses say 75 people were massacred. Searchers so far have found 10 bodies in an operation that began on Monday and is expected to last a week.

Associated Press - February 3, 2000

Jakarta – The prospects for peace in troubled Aceh province were unclear Thursday, with a separatist leader denying a report that he had reached a cease-fire agreement with the Indonesian goverment.

Far Eastern Economic Review - February 3, 2000

Nayan Chanda, John McBeth and Dan Murphy, Jakarta – President Abdurrahman Wahid likes a good pun. So when General Electric's vice-president and senior counsel, Michael Gadbaw, led a US business delegation to Jakarta's colonial-era presidential palace the other day, he found Indonesia's leader ready with a corny crack.

February 2, 2000

Agence France Presse - February 2, 2000

Jakarta – Indonesia's main aid donors on Wednesday pledged up to 4.7 billion dollars in loans to support the country's 2000 budget but deferred a decision on rescheduling 2.2 billion dollars in debt.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 2, 2000

Mark Riley, New York – The head of the United Nations' human rights probe into East Timor has called for a South African-style truth and reconciliation commission to investigate claims of Indonesian-backed atrocities in the territory.

Jakarta Post - February 2, 2000

Jakarta – Twelve Muslim-based parties which collected only 3 percent of votes among them in last year's general election announced on Tuesday their plan to merge for the next polls in 2004.

The Melbourne Age - February 2, 2000

Scott Burchill – The Indonesian Government doesn't have an impressive record of investigating its own crimes in East Timor. And the Australian Government has been equally suspect in its reactions to Jakarta's inquiries.

Jakarta Post - February 2, 2000

Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political Affairs and Security Gen. Wiranto dismissed on Tuesday calls for his resignation over the East Timor mayhem, saying he was determined to defend himself against charges of wrongdoing.

Green Left Weekly - February 2, 2000

On January 31, the investigation by the Indonesian National Commission for Human Rights into atrocities and human rights abuses in East Timor will release its report.