Jakarta – Only a week after demonstrations against violence were held in Jakarta, when another bloody incident took place on Thursday (17/12). A clash broke out between security troops and demonstrating students on the way to Parliament House/People's Consultative Assembly in Senayan.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
December 18, 1998
[The following summary was prepared by ASIET based upon initial reports posted by the Committee of the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), the People's Democratic Party (PRD) and Aldera (Peoples Democratic Alliance).]
Helsinki – Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate Jose Ramos Horta said in Helsinki on Thursday he agreed with jailed East Timorese former guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmao's proposal for a transition period leading to a referendum on self-determination in his occupied home land.
Farah Mihlar, Colombo – A United Nations investigator Friday accused the Indonesian military under former President Suharto of carrying out widespread rapes in various parts of the country.
Jakarta – The World Bank has decided to delay a planned one billion dollar loan to Indonesia until after elections in June of 1999, a report said Friday.
December 17, 1998
Lisbon – There has been a mixed reaction to jailed East Timorese armed resistance leader Xanana Gusmao's interview with LUSA earlier this week.
December 16, 1998
Jakarta – The country's debt service ratio (DSR) is predicted to reach an alarming level of 49.3% in the current fiscal year ending in March next year.
Jakarta – A resounding majority of people believe Indonesia has a leadership crisis, a new survey says. Good leadership is important, particularly at a time of an acute national crisis. Is Indonesia undergoing a leadership crisis? The Jakarta Post and the D&R news magazine commissioned a poll to find out what people think about the issue.
Jakarta – The city police arrested 259 student protesters from the City Forum (Forkot) on Tuesday for allegedly staging a street rally without the required permit. Two hundreds and fifty-one of the arrested protesters were females.
Lisbon – Portugal and Indonesia will open interest sections in each other's capitals in January as part of a slow but sure fence-mending bid between states that became enemies two decades ago over East Timor.
The row goes back to 1975 when Indonesia invaded the territory a year after Portugal abandoned it to fractious independence movements.
Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – The Habibie Government is preparing to ban former president Soeharto from leaving Indonesia amid renewed calls for him to be investigated over a wave of extrajudicial killings in the 1980s.
Indonesian security forces have used tear gas and clubs to break up a large demonstration near the Defence Ministry in the capital, Jakarta.
Violence also broke out in the east of the country where more than 1,500 people went on the rampage, shouting "Burn Chinese shops!"
Jakarta – Indonesian students have vowed to pursue their pro-reform protests during the the Moslem fasting month of Ramadan despite calls by the religious affairs minister to halt street protests, reports said Wednesday.
Jakarta – The people of East Timor should consider accepting an Indonesian offer of autonomy before a referendum on self-determination is held in the former Portuguese colony, jailed rebel leader Xanana Gusmao said in an interview published Wednesday.
December 15, 1998
Susan Sim, Jakarta – Indonesia's "politically homeless" middle-class cynics, ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs, indigenous minorities and the formerly powerful will soon have their own political party – the country's 115th.
Jakarta – Thousands of Moslems attacked and burned down three houses and two mosques in two villages on Indonesia's Madura island, off the coast of eastern Java, following rumors a deviant Islamic sect was active there, a report said Tuesday.
The military commander in East Timor, Colonel Tono Suratman said that if you wanted to have a ceasefire, it would be necessary for UN monitors to be present. He was answering a journalist after holding a meeting at his command headquarters in Dili with Canadian ambassador Kenneth Sungults.
December 14, 1998
Dili – Hundreds of students from three universities and academies here Monday staged a demonstration at the local parliament to protest against violence and oppression by the Indonesian armed forces.
Jakarta – The head of police in the Indonesian province of Central Java has ordered his forces to shoot rioters on sight after a mob rampage in Solo, a report said here Monday.
"I have issued a shoot-on-sight order against rioters in Central Java," police chief Major General Nurfaizi was quoted by the Media Indonesia daily as saying in Solo, Central Java, on Sunday
Jakarta – A group of workers joined a student demonstration on Sunday at the University of Indonesia campus in Depok, West Java, as a way of expressing their wish not to be left behind by the students.
Jonathan Thatcher, Jakarta – The Indonesian military's promise of a huge vigilante force to protect people from mounting crime and violence has only managed to add to fears that the country is an ever more dangerous place to live, analysts said on Monday.
Jakarta – Only a day after a bloody clash between villagers in Bali that killed at least three people, a mob of about 1,000 people rioted in the Central Java town of Surakarta in the early hours of Sunday.
December 13, 1998
Jakarta – Tension remained high in northern Bali despite heavy security deployed following a brawl among villagers that left three dead and scores injured, reports said Sunday
Jakarta – In the face of repeated denials by the local government and military, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) announced on Saturday its conviction that political maneuvering was behind a recent killing spree in Banyuwangi, East Java, and surrounding areas.
Jakarta – The Indonesian military is forging ahead with a plan to set up civilian militia to help police maintain law and order, armed forces chief General Wiranto said Sunday.
An initial 40,000 civilians would be recruited under the "Rakyat terlatih" (trained civilian) scheme "to be assigned in security disturbance-prone areas," he added.
December 12, 1998
Louise Williams, Jakarta – Indonesian police will charge two prominent retired generals and 10 others with conspiracy to overthrow the Habibie Government, signalling a return to the heavy-handed repression of Government critics used by the Soeharto regime.
Jakarta – A resounding "no" was voiced on Friday by public figures and scholars responding to the Armed. Forces (ABRI) plan to establish an armed civilian militia. Former defense minister Gen.
Vienna – In a decision welcomed as a landmark by Portugal, European Union leaders Saturday backed calls for a referendum to decide the fate of East Timor, the former Portuguese colony occupied by Indonesia since 1975.
While [most] prisoners dream about and will do anything to be released from prison, Dita Sari has instead refused to be released. Initially, the only women political prisoner in Indonesia who was sentenced to five years jail, was happy to hear that she would be released on November 14. However, when she found out about the conditions of her release, Dita immediately rejected it.
Since coming to power last May President Habibie has repeatedly promised to investigate the Soeharto family and its cronies on charges of corruption, collusion and nepotism.
December 11, 1998
By Max Lane
[This paper was delivered at the conference: "Democracy in Indonesia – the crisis and beyond", organised by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, 11-12 December, 1998.]
Lisbon – Indonesian troops attacked East Timorese civilians in a village in the disputed territory, killing one person and wounding 22, an East Timor independence group in exile said Friday.
The attack took place Tuesday near Cailaco in East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, according to a statement by the pro-independence Christian Democratic Union of East Timor.
Jakarta – A third day of rioting over soaring prices of fertilizers has left scores of shops vandalized and looted, three people wounded and 13 others arrested in the Indonesian city of Blora, reports said here Friday.
[The following is a translation of a message sent to Down To Earth on December 9 from Padang, Sumatra. DtE has not been able to confirm the information as yet - James Balowski.]
Jakarta - Uproarious anti violence demonstrations were held to commemorate the Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations half a century ago on Thursday (10/12) in the capital. On the whole the action went by in a peaceful manner, even though it was joined in by thousands of students, activists, housewifes, professional people, researchers and reporters.
Greg Earl, Jakarta – The Indonesian Government is facing a damage bill of at least $30 billion to recapitalise more than 60 banks after the dual impact of bad lending practices and the economic crisis.
The riots that engulfed jakarta last week have spent their malevolent force, at least for the time being. But few people realistically believe that Indonesia will not be hit by other upheavals as the new year opens. To think that President B. J.
Jakarta – The Indonesian armed forces have sought to dampen fears of a military coup but are considering a controversial plan to train civilian militia to help supervise elections next year, reports said Friday.
Jakarta – The commemoration of 50 Years of the Universal Human Rights Declaration (HAM) on Thursday (10/12), took also place at eight other cities besides Jakarta. It was in general colored by parades, free speech fora, distribution of pamphlets and other activities. The 8 other towns were Ujungpandang, Padang, Lhokseumawe, Banda Aceh, Palu, Bandung, Semarang and Yogyakarta.
December 10, 1998
Jakarta – At least 17 student protesters were injured and 33 others detained by the police when demonstrators opposed to President B.J. Habibie and security personnel clashed near the President's residence on Jl. Patra Kuningan XIII in South Jakarta on Wednesday.
Jakarta – Angry students threw rocks and bottles at Jakarta's police headquarters while as many as 10,000 protesters choked the streets of Indonesia's capital Thursday and demanded more democracy.
It was one of the biggest days of protest since demonstrations and deadly riots forced ex-President Suharto to quit last May after 32 years of autocratic rule.
Jakarta – Indonesia's economy is likely to contract about 14.8 percent in 1998 from the previous full year and by a further 5.8 percent in 1999, according to a Reuters poll of analysts from 12 leading brokerages and banks in Jakarta.
Jakarta – The government and the House of Representatives agreed on Wednesday to ease requirements for existing political parties to contest the general election scheduled for next June 7.
Louise Williams – Protected by a cordon of riot troops, the man who ruled Indonesia with absolute authority for more than three decades, former President Soeharto, finally faced the humiliation of interrogation today over allegations of corruption and nepotism.
December 9, 1998
Peter Symonds – Six months after B.J.
Jakarta – A brief chronology of the search for the alleged fortune accumulated by former Indonesian strongman Suharto since he stepped down from the presidency on May 21 after 32 years in power.
December 8, 1998
Louise Williams, Jakarta – The Indonesian military will draw more East Timorese into the war against the pro-independence Fretilin guerillas by creating village militias, a move which could escalate tensions in the troubled province by pitting one group of East Timorese against another.
Jakarta – Attorney General Andi M. Ghalib described the former president Soeharto's national car program, entrusted to his own son Hutomo Mandala Putra, as a graft-infested project designed entirely for self-profit.
Jakarta – Three Indonesian student activists were arrested by police early Tuesday morning at their residence, sources said.
Jenny Grant, Jakarta – The charitable foundations controlled by former president Suharto lent more money to his cronies than they gave to charity, the Attorney-General said yesterday. Attorney-General Andi Ghalib also confirmed Mr Suharto would be questioned tomorrow and two former ministers would be interrogated at his office today.