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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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December 9, 2000

Jakarta Post - December 9, 2000

Jakarta – The Army has vowed not to let the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) question its soldiers over human rights abuses in the former Indonesian province last year.

Jakarta Post - December 9, 2000

Jakarta – Dozens of local residents at the Pertamina housing complex inTugu Selatan area, North Jakarta, engaged in a brawl with some 50 members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) on Thursday night after the latter, armed with daggers and swords, marched into the complex, a police report said. Two FPI members were injured during the clash.

Agence France Presse - December 9, 2000

Jayapura – Two lumberjacks were killed and two critically injured in an attack on a timber company base camp Saturday in the troubled Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, rights groups said here.

December 8, 2000

Detik - December 8, 2000

Muchus Budi Rahayu/Hendra & BI, Solo – Around 350 laborers from a textile company PT Sariwarna Asli, Solo, Central Java have staged a strike action their employer. They are demanding a 200% increase for their Christmas and Ramadhan allowance (THR) on top of their basic salary. This bonus is compulsory bonus given in the lead up to the religious celebrations.

Agence France Presse - December 8, 2000

Jayapura – A student was beaten to death in custody here Friday, bringing to four the number of people killed in retaliation for an attack on Indonesian police in the troubled province of Irian Jaya, the victim's fellow students told AFP.

Sydney Morning Herald - December 8, 2000

The Federal Government has proposed new defence ties with Indonesia after the release on Wednesday of a new Defence white paper called for a bigger regional role for the Australian military.

Jakarta Post - December 8, 2000

Jakarta – President Abdurrahman Wahid called on the police on Thursday to release Irian Jaya pro-independence leaders currently in detention so that dialog between Jakarta and locals in the troubled province could resume.

Agence France Presse - December 8, 2000

Sydney – Senior Indonesian and Australian ministers sat down yesterday for long-awaited talks marking a thaw in bilateral ties still strained over East Timor. The two-day meeting, originally planned for October but cancelled at short notice by Jakarta, is seen as an important precursor to a visit by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid.

Jakarta Post - December 8, 2000

Jakarta – The Free Aceh Movement's (GAM) Peurlak war commander, Sahrul bin Idris, 35, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison on Thursday by the Medan District Court.

Presiding Judge NK Simatupang said Sahrul was convicted of illegally possessing an AK-47 weapon with 150 bullets, thus violating article 1 of Law No. 12/1950 on Civil Emergency.

Agence France Presse - December 8, 2000

Washington – As Indonesia lurches further towards democracy, major obstacles remained in the way of ensuring respect for human rights and bringing violators to justice, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in a report.

Sydney Morning Herald - December 8, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta and agencies – Many expected the attack, but not the savagery of it. Wielding axes, they split open the head of the first policeman they saw in a police station on the outskirts of Jayapura, the capital of West Papua.

Agence France Presse - December 8, 2000

Aceh – Separatist rebels have stepped up attacks on military and police installations in Indonesia's troubled Aceh province, leaving three people dead.

December 7, 2000

Detik - December 7, 2000

Maryadi/Fitri & BI, Pontianak – Up to 700 government sponsored 'People's Security Guards' known as Kamra from the West Kalimantan province gathered for a rally that turned into a riot. The protesters ransacked Gubernatorial office in Pontianak, Wednesday after realising that their future was still in limbo.

Straits Times - December 7, 2000

Marianne Kearney, Jayapura – Just six months ago, Irian Jaya's diverse tribal and ethnic groups gathered for a historic Papuan congress and agreed to struggle for independence together. Today, however, the various pro-independence groups in Irian Jaya or West Papua led by the Papuan Presidium are fracturing along tribal lines.

Agence France Presse - December 7, 2000

Banda Aceh – Indonesian security forces have killed three humanitarian workers and a torture victim they were escorting in Indonesia's troubled Aceh province, a rights activist said Thursday.

Straits Times - December 7, 2000

Robert Go, Jakarta – Governor Syahril Sabirin reclaimed the helm at Bank Indonesia yesterday after a six-month detention period, escalating the three-way power tussle between President Abdurrahman Wahid's government, the Parliament and the country's central bank.

Straits Times - December 7, 2000

Devi Asmarani, Jakarta – How many provinces are there in Indonesia now? This was a simple question for most Indonesians two years ago – 27 provinces – but it will likely puzzle an ordinary Indonesian now.

A top government official, when asked this question recently, was startled for a second before coming up with: 'Twenty-nine? 30? I'm not sure anymore.'

South China Morning Post - December 7, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Jakarta will cancel its controversial programme of transmigration under which millions of people have been forcibly moved from the crowded islands of Java and Bali to less populated provinces.

Detik - December 7, 2000

Yogi Arief Nugraha/Hendra & BI, Pekanbaru – Illegal logging activities have continued to go on in Riau forests South Sumatra. These illegal activities occurred at Air Hitam and Kembang Bunga village; regency of Telelawan, Pekanbaru, and South Sumatra has been cut down illegally by a syndicate using a pulp company's identity.

Jakarta Post - December 7, 2000

Jakarta – A joint investigation team, comprising of officials from the Attorney General's Office and the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), will start on Thursday the questioning of 22 people as witnesses over human rights abuses in East Timor last year.

December 6, 2000

Straits Times - December 6, 2000

Jakarta – The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has disclosed that between 40,000 and 70,000 Indonesian children – 'mostly girls' – are being sexually exploited commercially and are bonded to child-prostitution networks.

Green Left Weekly - December 6, 2000

Sibylle Kaczorek, Baucau – On November 26-30, 40 or so members of the Asia Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET) met here to discuss international solidarity with East Timor. The international guests were joined by around the same number of East Timorese representatives from local non-government organisations.

Indonesian Observer - December 6, 2000

Jakarta – The government plans to scrap the 10% import taxes on logs and raise export taxes on the commodity in a bid to liberalize the forestry industry, economics czar Rizal Ramli said yesterday. The plan is in line with the government's effort to tackle rampant log smuggling.

Agence France Presse - December 6, 2000

Washington – The United States on Monday bemoaned the latest 'tragic' deaths in Indonesia's restive Irian Jaya province and called on separatist leaders and the Jakarta government to back off from confrontation.

Green Left Weekly - December 6, 2000

Jon Land – Australian domestic demand for natural gas is projected to steadily increase over the next decade, with the fields off the coast of Western Australia and the Northern Territory – especially those in the Timor Sea – being the alternative source to the diminishing reserves in central Australia and Bass Strait.

The Age - December 6, 2000

Jakarta – Muslims have slaughtered 93 Christians since last week on a small island of the Maluku chain for refusing to convert to Islam, a church activist said yesterday quoting a survivor.

South China Morning Post - December 6, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – The whistle, whine and thump of nightly explosions has rocked Jakarta for more than a week, and some of those incendiary devices have President Abdurrahman Wahid's name on them.

Green Left Weekly - December 6, 2000

James Balowski – Despite a massive presence by Indonesian troops and stern warnings from Jakarta and local police, thousands of West Papuan's on December 1 peacefully celebrated the 39th anniversary of their self-declared independence from Dutch rule with prayers, peaceful ceremonies and a speech from the police chief.

Agence France Presse - December 6, 2000

Jakarta – Home-made bombs were thrown into a Christian procession in Ambon city, capital of the riot-torn Indonesian province of Maluku Wednesday, killing one soldier and injuring at least seven others people, doctors and the military said. Another man, a Muslim, was killed and four wounded during clashes that followed the bombing, the state Antara news agency said.

Agence France Presse - December 6, 2000

Jakarta – Australia's plans for a new and closer defence relationship with Indonesia, should not be seen as an alliance, a senior Australian diplomat said here Wednesday.

Dow Jones Newswires - December 6, 2000

Simon Montlake, Jakarta – Texmaco, the country's largest corporate debtor, liquidated or diverted ownership of some of its prize assets around the time it was taken over by the Indonesian government, according to documents reviewed by Dow Jones Newswires.

Jakarta Post - December 6, 2000

Banda Aceh – At least 15 people have been killed and five others injured in separate violent incidents here following the Free Aceh Movement (GAM)'s 24th anniversary on Monday, the security forces and residents said on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - December 6, 2000

Jakarta – Governor Sutiyoso, a suspect in the July 27, 1996 violent attack on the Megawati Soekarnoputri-led PDI headquarters, insisted on Tuesday that the attack was based on the order of his superiors at the time.

December 5, 2000

Tempo - December 5, 2000

Ambon – The Maluku Police Chief, Brig. Gen. Police Firman Gani, announced an investigation into the capture of 16 renegade Mobile Brigade policemen. The Joint Battalion members seized the policemen in the Kairatu district of western Seram Island in Central Maluku.

South China Morning Post - December 5, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – A spreading clampdown on media coverage of events in Indonesia's "hot-spots" has been highlighted by the arrest of a Swiss man in the troubled province of Irian Jaya for not having proper documentation.

Agence France Presse - December 5, 2000

Muara Tami – Scores of refugees fleeing feared clashes between separatists and troops in Irian Jaya were Tuesday camped at the Indonesian province's border with Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Jakarta Post - December 5, 2000

Banda Aceh – Free Aceh Movement (GAM) commander Abdulah Syafi'iled a military ceremony to commemorate the movement's 24th anniversary in Batee Iliek in the regency of Bireuen, Aceh, and pledged to continue the struggle for freedom.

South China Morning Post - December 5, 2000

Agencies in Banda Aceh and Jakarta – In a bid to ease separatist tensions in the predominantly Muslim province of Aceh, Jakarta said yesterday it would offer Islamic law. The offer came as police forcibly pulled down hundreds of independence flags.

December 4, 2000

South China Morning Post - December 4, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Dozens of separatists in the disputed province of Irian Jaya were rounded up yesterday as officials hardened their crackdown on dissent.

At least 45 indigenous Papuans were arrested as police tried to clear out the Arts Centre in the capital Jayapura, used by the pro-independence Satgas Papua militia as its base.

Agence France Presse - December 4, 2000 (abridged)

Jayapura – Students in the capital of Irian Jaya vowed Monday to maintain their strike until the restive Indonesian province is granted independence.

The pledge came as students removed the barricades they had placed three days earlier ago around the state Cendrawasih University campus in Jayapura.

South China Morning Post - December 4, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – The Indonesian Government has tried to buy hearts and minds in the troubled province of Aceh ahead of the separatists' declaration of independence anniversary today, but few believe the promises anymore.

Indonesian Observer - December 4, 2000

Jakarta – The Investigative Commission for Human Rights Abuses in East Timor [KPP HAM] yesterday confirmed the existence and validity of the Garnadi Document which ordered the burning of the troubled region.

South China Morning Post - December 4, 2000

Joanna Jolly, Dili – Arrest warrants could soon be issued for middle-ranking Indonesian military personnel suspected of involvement in crimes against humanity in East Timor last year.

Sydney Morning Herald - December 4, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jayapura – A senior Indonesian police officer in charge of the crackdown on West Papua's separatist movement has strongly criticised Australians who support the former Dutch colony gaining independence.

December 3, 2000

Jakarta Post - December 3, 2000

Jakarta – The newly established State Official Wealth Audit Agency (KPKPN) is set to audit the wealth of some 50,000 state officials, ranging from President Abdurrahman Wahid to officials at regency and mayoralty levels nationwide.

Sydney Morning Herald - December 3, 2000

United Nations troops searched yesterday near the East Timor border town of Balibo for suspected pro-Indonesia militia who shot and wounded an Australian peacekeeper.

Agence France Presse - December 3, 2000

Jayapura – Frustrated hardline separatists in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province have threatened to use guerrilla warfare to resurrect their campaign, after police stepped up a crackdown on their activities.

Straits Times - December 3, 2000

Devi Asmarani, Jakarta – In an apparent move to win the hearts of secessionists in Aceh, Jakarta announced yesterday it was stepping up efforts to speed up preparation of a special autonomy package, and would disburse humanitarian and financial aid worth 100 billion rupiah to the province.

December 2, 2000

South China Morning Post - December 2, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – The indigenous Papuans of Irian Jaya celebrated their claimed independence day yesterday with prayers, peaceful ceremonies and a welcoming speech from the police chief.

Sydney Morning Herald - December 2, 2000

Mark Dodd, Dili – The East Timorese independence leader, Xanana Gusmao, has resigned as president of the National Council over a dispute involving the timetable for the handover of power by the United Nations.