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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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January 25, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Retail & Service Industry
Newsweek - January 25, 1999

Dorinda Elliott – There may be a financial crisis in Indonesia, but Ida Royani's business is booming. Her fashion collection has been rushed off to the stores, where outfits are flying off the racks as women buy new clothes to celebrate this week's end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
The Guardian (UK) - January 25, 1999

More than 200,000 people have been killed since Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975. For decades, the British government was complicit in these killings. All that was supposed to change in May 1997. Instead, it's been business as usual. John Pilger reports on the sham of Labour's ethical foreign policy

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
Agence France Presse - January 25, 1999

Jakarta – Security forces firing into a mob during a fight between two villages in Central Java, wounded six people, while another brawl between farmers in West Java left one man dead, reports said Monday.

January 24, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Agence France Pressse - January 24, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – Indonesian armed forces chief General Wiranto assured top opposition leaders Sunday the military would support any winner of a fair election and would not try to take over the government.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Time Magazine - January 24, 1999

Maj.-General Agus Wirahadikusuma, a leading reformer in Indonesia's military, spoke with Time reporter Jason Tedjasukmana on January 17 about President Abdurrahman Wahid's relationship with the army and rumors of a possible coup Time: How would you characterize the army's relationship with President Wahid?

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Agence France Presse - January 24, 1999

Jakarta – Indonesia's parliament is to reconvene Monday to finalize new bills that will set the ground rules for elections in June and for the country's post-Suharto political life.

The Suharto-era parliament is racing against a January 28 deadline to complete fine-tuning the government-proposed bills so the country can prepare for general elections promised for June 7.

January 23, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Agence France Presse - January 23, 1999

Jakarta – Renewed violence and killings underscored tension Saturday in the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon after days of rioting that left 45 dead and massive destruction, residents said.

"Five people were killed and burned in the middle of the road this morning in the Mangga Dua area," a witness working for a local newspaper told AFP by telephone.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
The Age - January 23, 1999

Paul Daley, Canberra – Successive Australian governments have had access to intelligence reports on Indonesian troop movements in East Timor, including their skirmishes with Fretilin guerrillas and the killing of civilians in the troubled Indonesian province, since at least 1975.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
World Socialist Web Site - January 23, 1999

Mike Head – Rarely does a veteran diplomat reveal the real concerns driving the foreign policy manoeuvres of a government he has served for decades.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - January 23, 1999

Jakarta – More than 130 new political parties have sprouted up since May of last year when the reformation era was ushered in, but will the people entrust these parties with their hopes for democracy?

January 22, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Suharto & New Order Regime
Associated Press - January 22, 1999

Former President Suharto drew the anger of a group of dispossessed villagers yesterday on a rare trip out of the Indonesian capital. About 150 people protested against Suharto in the Java island town of Solo, where the ex-army general travelled earlier this week to visit the grave of his wife.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Criminal Justice & Legal System
Agence France Presse - January 22, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – A court Friday ruled against an Indonesian student activist arrested on suspicion of abducting a police intelligence officer, saying his claim to have been illegally arrested could not be proven.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
The Australian - January 22, 1999

Don Greenlees – Xanana Gusmao was willing to accept house arrest, an East Timorese resistance leader said yesterday after Indonesian authorities had "tested the water" over transferring him out of Jakarta's Cipinang jail.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Indonesian Observer - January 22, 1999

Jakarta – Sporadic clashes between two ethnic groups have flared up in West Kalimantan, claiming four lives and injuring one man seriously. The clashes took place in Parit Setia village, Jawai subdistrict, 200 kilometers north of the provincial capital of Pontianak, Antara reported yesterday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Hard-Line Militia & Vigilante Groups
South China Morning Post - January 22, 1999

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Recruitment of a civilian militia has started in the capital, amid growing fears these bamboo-stick wielding men could foment trouble in the coming months.

A Jakarta military command spokesman said recruitment began on January 11. Recruits must be male, aged between 18 and 45 and possess at least junior high school qualifications.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
Indonesian Observer - January 22, 1999

Jakarta – Four masked men, believed to be members of a pro-independence group, have killed an East Timorese soldier in front of his horrified family members.

January 21, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Regional Autonomy & Separatism
Far Eastern Economic Review - January 21, 1999

Margot Cohen, Ujung Pandang – More than 30 years ago, Rahmat Hasanuddin boarded a canoe at a remote hamlet on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and journeyed in search of higher education. Eventually he reached Ujung Pandang, the capital of South Sulawesi province; then he went on to Jakarta and even the United States, becoming a management consultant and academic along the way.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Associated Press - January 21, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – Security forces patrolled three remote eastern Indonesian islands and imposed a curfew Friday after days of deadly rioting by rival mobs of Christians and Muslims.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Agence France Presse - January 21, 1999

Jakarta – At least five outbreaks of mob violence on Indonesia's Java island marred the two-day Moslem Eid al-Fitr holiday in addition to rioting in Maluku in which 20 died, officials and reports said Thursday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Reuters - January 21, 1999

Surabaya – Five people accused of being black magicians were murdered over the past two weeks in Indonesia's East Java province, a cleric said on Thursday.

"It is so sad that ... the killing of alleged black magicians is not yet over ...," said Fairul Anam, who heads an investigation into the violence for Nahdlatul Ulama, a Moslem organisation.

January 20, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
Australian Associated Press - January 20, 1999

Canberra – Nobel Peace prize winner Jose Ramos Horta believes the release of classified documents on East Timor will reveal Australian complicity in Indonesian atrocities.

The East Timorese activist said full disclosure of government records on East Timor during the 1970s would also help Australia avoid similar mistakes in the future.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Associated Press - January 20, 1999

Jakarta – Bloody rioting among rival mobs of Christians and Muslims flared for a third straight day Thursday on a remote island in eastern Indonesia. At least 22 people were killed, police said.

They feared the death toll could rise as religious strife intensifies on Ambon Island, 2,300 kilometers northeast of the capital, Jakarta.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Green Left Weekly - January 20, 1999

Wahyu, Jakarta – After consolidating itself theoretically and organisationally in the beginning of the 1990s, the People's Democratic Party (PRD) began organising with workers.

January 19, 1999

News ›› Aceh ›› Human Rights & Justice
The Age - January 19, 1999

Louise Williams, Jakarta – Indonesia's armed forces were scrambling to contain a backlash over the torture and beating deaths of five men in military custody last week, as details emerged today of the lynching by civilians of another soldier in the troubled northern province of Aceh.

News ›› East Timor ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
The Australian - January 19, 1999

Don Greenlees, Jakarta – Indonesia is paving the way to transfer Xanana Gusmao out of Jakarta's Cipinang jail and place him under house arrest, in a significant concession to international demands the East Timorese resistence leader be immediately freed.

January 18, 1999

News ›› Aceh ›› Shootings & Violence Against Civilians
Agence France Presse - January 18, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – Indonesian police admitted Monday they "acted too hastily" in opening fire on a group in the troubled province of Aceh, leaving at least four people injured.

News ›› Indonesia ›› PKI & Anti-Communism
Media Indonesia - January 18, 1999 (BBC summary)

Jakarta – The family members of former Indonesian Communist Party – PKI – members could not only vote or be elected but could also form a political party providing they did not deviate from the national ideology, Pancasila.

News ›› Aceh ›› Human Rights & Justice
Agence France Presse - January 18, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – A man who was tortured by soldiers while under detention in the troubled Indonesian province of Aceh has died in hospital, bringing the death toll from the incident to five, a hospital employee said Monday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Time - January 18, 1999

David Liebhold, lhokseumawe – On the northwestern tip of Indonesia, the proud people of Aceh have been dreaming of independence for nearly 100 years. Last week they got tired of waiting.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Criminal Justice & Legal System
Agence France Presse - January 18, 1999

Jakarta – The South Jakarta district court Monday ruled that a student activist, arrested on suspicion of abducting a police intelligence officer should be released as his arrest did not follow legal procedures.

January 17, 1999

News ›› Aceh ›› Shootings & Violence Against Civilians
Student Solidarity with the People - January 17, 1999 (slightly abridged)

The security forces have yet again behaved brutally towards Acehnese people. The incident occured at around 1.30am on Sunday 17 January in front of the police station in Blang Jereun, Lhkosukon, North Aceh, when members of the police force opened fire on a group of people who were taking a casualty of a traffic accident to hospital.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Straits Times - January 17, 1999

Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – Watching the Indonesian military is much like watching the Soviet Kremlin of yesteryear. Obscure generals swapping positions within a labyrinthine armed forces (ABRI) bureaucracy are perennial affairs. But Indonesia watchers find it fascinating, and military chief General Wiranto obliged earlier this month by announcing a revamp of his senior command.

News ›› Aceh ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Agence France Presse - January 17, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – An Indonesian army major being court martialed for the torture of Aceh villagers during which four died faces four years in jail and dismissal from the army, the military police said Sunday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Sunday Telegraph (London) - January 17, 1999

Andrew Gilligan – The Indonesian army has admitted for the first time that it tortures people "sometimes", during an investigative "sting" by a television stand-up comedian.

January 16, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
The Australian - January 16, 1999

Don Greenlees, Jakarta – Indonesia is angry and the East Timorese are cynical. As Don Greenlees reports, the Howard Government's policy switch on Timor always ran the risk of pleasing no one

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Jakarta Post - January 16, 1999

Clashes among residents from several villages in the district of Sabbang in LUWU regency which have killed at least three people and injured dozens more continued on Thursday.

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Sydney Morning Herald - January 16, 1999

Louise Williams, Jakarta – "Indonesia is not so fragile," scoffed a former Indonesian ambassador in response to Canberra's claim that an independent East Timor would empower other separatist movements and threaten Indonesia's disintegration.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Jakarta Post - January 16, 1999

Jakarta – The country's crippled rupiah tumbled again on Friday to hit an intraday low of 9,300 against the U.S. dollar as stock prices plunged 1.5 percent for the third consecutive day.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Australian Financial Review - January 16, 1999

Greg Earl, Jakarta – The Indonesian Government has warned domestic critics it would be courting disaster to back away from a 300 trillion rupiah ($50 billion) bank recapitalisation program which is about to begin.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Agence France Presse - January 16, 1999

Jakarta – Indonesian police have shot 41 highway robbers and arrested 362 others along the northern Java island coast as part of a drive to safeguard travelling for millions of people during the Moslem Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.

January 15, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› Money Politics & Elite Conflicts
Indonesian Observer - January 15, 1999

Jakarta – East Timor Governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares stressed that he would not resign, despite growing calls for his resignation on the part of prominent local public figures who rallied around the local House of representatives yesterday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Waspada - January 15, 1999 (Slightly abridged)

Hundreds of students demonstrated outside the Aceh regional assembly – DPRD – calling for a referendum expressing their deep disappointment with the central government's failure to call human rights violators in Aceh to account.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Indonesian Observer - January 15, 1999

Jakarta – Several former high-ranking military and government officers, staunchly critical to the Habibie government, are set to officially launch a new political party in Jakarta today.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Associated Press - January 15, 1999

Jakarta – The total number of Indonesian now living in poverty has reached 130 million, a sharp increase from 80 million in mid-last year, an official report said Friday. Two years ago, the number of the poor in the crisis-ridden Indonesia was only 20 million.

January 14, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Lusa - January 14, 1999

Maputo, Jan 14 (Lusa) - Mari Alkatiri, first vice-president of Fretilin, told Lusa in Maputo on Wednesday that while being "ambiguous" Australia's new policy towards East Timor amounted to a "substantial change." Alkatiri made the statement in reaction to the Australian government's announcement earlier this week that it was now supporting East Timor's right of self-determination as

News ›› Indonesia ›› National Holidays & Celebrations
Agence France Presse - January 14, 1999

Jakarta – Some 25,000 police will be deployed in the Indonesian capital to keep order during the Moslem Eid-el-Fitr holiday next week, a report said Thursday.

"We are deploying 25,000 personnel to safeguard security in the capital area druing Lebaran (Eid-el-Fitr)," Jakarta police chief Major General Nugroho Jayusman said, according to the Media Indonesia daily.

January 13, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Parliament & Legislation
Jakarta Post - January 13, 1999

Jakarta – "Deep mistrust" among factions and government representatives has been blamed for the House of Representatives' failure on Tuesday to notch up any progress in its deliberation of the political role of the country's 4.1 million public servants.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political & Economic Crisis
Asia Inc - January 13, 1999

It's late on Saturday afternoon, but the man who runs the fourth-largest nation on earth isn't anticipating any weekend relaxation. I have the mentality of a bicycle, says President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie of Indonesia. If I stop, I fall.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Reuters - January 13, 1999

Tomi Soetjipto, Jakarta – Indonesia's military said on Wednesday it would court-martial 27 soldiers accused of torturing to death civilians in the restive province of Aceh.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Civil Service & Bureaucracy
Agence France Presse - January 13, 1999

Jakarta – A professor at the state-run University of Indonesia (UI) Wednesday took off his blue government-issue shirt at a campus here to symbolize the teaching staff's break from the ruling Golkar party.