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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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October 15, 2000

Straits Times - October 15, 2000

Jakarta – The government will maintain the state of civil emergency in the strife torn islands of Maluku as sectarian riots are still raging, Indonesia's top security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said.

Detik - October 15, 2000

Ulfie MS dan Swastika/GB, Jakarta – Violence erupted Saturday night near Ratu Plaza on Jl Moestopo, South Jakarta, in what is normally a busy and up-market shopping district when punks hanging out in the area clashed with a truck-load of Mobile Brigade police troops.

Associated Press - October 15, 2000

Jakarta – State human-rights investigators yesterday implicated 23 military personnel in the massacre of 33 Muslim protesters in 1984 at the height of the New Order government under Mr Suharto.

The National Human Rights Commission submitted its findings in a report to the Attorney-General's Office and recommended that the 23 be made the focus of a criminal investigation.

October 14, 2000

Jakarta Post - October 14, 2000

Jakarta – Police said that the Presidium of the Papuan Council (PDP) onFriday has begun to take conciliatory steps following the government's decision to crackdown on pro-independence forces in Irian Jaya.

South China Morning Post - October 14, 2000

Agence France Presse in Jakarta – The Government yesterday moved to convince the international community, including Jakarta's main donors, of its determination to resolve the violence and refugee problems in West Timor.

Indonesian Observer - October 14, 2000

Jakarta – The police chief of Riau province yesterday apologized to university students for a clash that erupted earlier this week when security forces resorted to violence to disperse a protest against vice.

I apologize to all people, especially to Riau students for the October 11 incident, Brigadier General Maman Supratman was quoted as saying by Antara.

Straits Times - October 14, 2000

Jakarta – Indonesia warned yesterday that protests disrupting production by one of the country's largest oil producers could damage the budget and the economy. Jobless locals demanding work have blocked the entrance to PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia (CPI) oil field in Riau province on Sumatra island, hitting operations.

Indonesian Observer - October 14, 2000

Jakarta – Several female politicians have established a caucus that aims to raise public awareness of the role that women can play in running the affairs of state.

Associated Press - October 14, 2000

United Nations – Indonesia rejected Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta's call for an international war crimes tribunal for East Timor, saying it wants to bring those responsible for last year's deadly rampage to justice and does not need outside help.

Sydney Morning Herald - October 14, 2000

Hamish McDonald, Dili – The United Nations refugee agency says Indonesian Government efforts to disarm militias controlling refugee camps in West Timor appear to have halted.

What appeared a week ago to be a gathering flood of East Timorese returning from camps across the border has dried to a trickle – only eight people on Thursday and none by midday yesterday.

Jakarta Post - October 14, 2000

Jakarta – Political and military analysts warn of declining morale among many middle and high ranking Army officers who have found themselves without a job, thanks to the withdrawal of the Indonesian Military (TNI) from the political arena. More than 170 officers, including 13 generals, have no posts in the Army structure at present.

October 13, 2000

Indonesian Observer - October 13, 2000

Jakarta – Angry villagers in Riau province yesterday continued to occupy a water treatment plant operated by oil company PT Caltex Pacific Indonesias (CPI). They also blockaded a contractors drilling rig at Kopar region, and held six CPI vehicles, one which they set ablaze.

Straits Times - October 13, 2000

Marianne Kearney, Jakarta – Pressure is mounting as the Tokyo meeting of international aid donors takes place this month to decide whether to provide Indonesia with US$4.8 billion in fresh aid – or to launch economic sanctions against the country whose militia had killed three United Nations aid workers in Atambua.

Jakarta Post - October 13, 2000

Jakarta – Speakers of the country's two legislative bodies urged the government on Thursday not to allow the extradition of former militia leader Eurico Guterres to East Timor.

Straits Times - October 13, 2000

Devi Asmarani, Jakarta – The Indonesian government, toughening its stance against separatists in Irian Jaya yesterday, officially banned the hoisting of the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag because it had been "misused to symbolise struggle to secede" from the unitary state.

Detik - October 13, 2000

Nuriddin Lazuardi/PT & GB, Jakarta – Dozens of police clashed with students from the Jakarta branch of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI) during an anti-Israel and America protest in front of the American Embassy, Friday.

Interpress News Service - October 13, 2000

Jakarta – Many Indonesians are dying each year of tobacco-related diseases, but the country's heavy dependence on revenues contributed by the clove cigarette industry is hampering efforts to curb the smoking habit.

Agence France Presse - October 13, 2000

Jakarta – The World Bank will tell foreign aid donors set to decide on fresh loans to Indonesia that the country's government system needs major reforms, according to advance briefing notes for a conference next week.

Jakarta Post Editorial - October 13, 2000

Jakarta – Reactions by top politicians to last week's arrest of East Timor militia leader Eurico Guterres underscored Indonesia's policy ambivalence toward East Timor.

Detik - October 13, 2000

Chaidir A. Tanjung/PT & GB, Pekanbaru – The island of Batam in Riau province is thought to be a major gateway for the illegal trade in firearms in Indonesia. "Batam's close proximity with other nations has been exploited to smuggle in firearms," said a spokesman for the Riau police.

October 12, 2000

Agence France Presse - October 12, 2000 (abridged)

Jakarta – Unrest broke out again in the Malukan city of Ambon on Thursday, with houses torched and unconfirmed reports of deaths and casualties, residents there said.

Agence France Presse - October 12, 2000

Bern – Six Indonesian Christians, who have been holed up in the Swiss embassy in Jakarta since September 27 to press for political asylum, have left the premises, the Swiss foreign ministry said Thursday.

One of the Indonesians left Wednesday evening and the five others stepped out late Thursday afternoon, said the statement which gave no further details.

Indonesian Observer - October 12, 2000

Jakarta – Four members of the House of Representatives Commission I yesterday paid a visit to former pro-Jakarta militia chief Eurico Guterres, who is being detained at police headquarters in South Jakarta.

Indonesian Observer - October 12, 2000

Jakarta – A fire badly damaged the Audit and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP) building in Central Jakarta yesterday, destroying documents on the huge liquidity loans given by the central bank to ailing banks.

Detik - October 12, 2000

Budi Santosa/Hendra & GB, Jakarta – The government has admitted that cash transfers to be used as fuel subsidies have not been distributed uniformly. Not only have some areas missed out altogether, but even those allocated funds have yet to receive them.

South China Morning Post - October 12, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Authorities in East Timor have issued an arrest warrant for Eurico Guterres, the militia leader held by police in Jakarta.

"We're asking the Indonesian authorities to send Guterres over," said Barbara Reis, spokeswoman for the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (Untaet). "We're waiting for feedback from the Indonesian Government."

Detik - October 12, 2000

Arifin/GB, Jakarta – Two more active military servicemen have been detained for selling weapons based on evidence obtained from a suspect in the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) bombing. The two officers were actually detained last Monday but their detention was only confirmed Thursday.

Sydney Morning Herald - October 12, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – President Abdurrahman Wahid has rejected a summons to be questioned by MPs over two palace financial scandals, creating a new threat to his government.

October 11, 2000

Green Left Weekly - October 11, 2000

Pip Hinman – Protests by tens of thousands of workers and students have rocked Indonesia since the government of President Abdurrahman Wahid and Megawati Sukarnoputri, under pressure from international creditors, decreed an average 12% increase in the price of domestic fuel on October 1.

South China Morning Post - October 11, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Despite government claims that pro-Indonesian militias have been disarmed in West Timor, United Nations staff fear the fate of more than 100,000 East Timorese refugees still in the western half of the divide d island will be determined without UN help.

Straits Times - October 11, 2000

Jakarta – Groups of local residents in Riau, demanding jobs from contractors of an oil company, have seized cars and blocked rigs trying to enter the company's premises, virtually crippling its operations.

Green Left Weekly - October 11, 2000

Bandar Lampung – Students from campuses around the city rallied and marched on September 28 to mark the first anniversary of the murder of two students, Yusuf Rizal and Saidatul Fitria, by the military during a political demonstration.

Green Left Weekly - October 11, 2000

Port Moresby – Human rights lawyer and Melanesian Solidarity (Melsol) activist Powes Parkop has warned that West Papua will soon erupt into a more explosive and bloodier war than East Timor.

The Papua New Guinea government must deal with the West Papua issue with urgency and honesty, he said.

The Age - October 11, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – Indonesia's former armed forces chief, General Wiranto, has intensified his criticism of attempts to prosecute military officers over last year's violence in East Timor, declaring them innocent and accusing the United Nations of "vulgar fraud".

October 10, 2000

Wall Street Journal - October 10, 2000

Jeremy Wagstaff and Puspa Madani, Jakarta – Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid swore in new army and navy commanders after failing to persuade increasingly assertive generals to accept one of his favored officers as deputy commander of the army.

Wall Street Journal - October 10, 2000

Adam Schwarz – It's not as if the administration of Indonesia's President Abdurrahman Wahid doesn't have enough on its plate already. Unfortunately for the beleaguered Mr. Wahid, his plate is about to get more crowded.

Straits Times - October 10, 2000

Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – President Abdurrahman Wahid blinked first in the standoff with hawkish generals after being forced into a compromise over the choice for the coveted post of army chief. Whatever hopes there were of civilian supremacy over the military in post-Suharto Indonesia took a step back.

Agence France Presse - October 10, 2000 (abridged)

Ambon – Muslims from two villages on Ambon island Tuesday attacked a nearby Christian hamlet, torching empty houses, residents here said.

"Suli Bawah, where most of the houses have already been vacated by their occupants, was attacked early this morning," a local journalist said from Ambon, some 20 kilometres west of Suli.

Sydney Morning Herald - October 10, 2000

Mark Dodd, Dili – East Timor is facing an acute shortage of qualified teachers, with teacher-pupil ratios in some schools as high as 100 to one, according to the country's independence leader, Mr Xanana Gusmao.

Agence France Presse - October 10, 2000

Jakarta – Hundreds of Indonesian workers protested outside the presidential palace on Tuesday to demand that a recent fuel price hike be cancelled.

International Herald Tribune - October 10, 2000

Michael Richardson, Jakarta – When the Indonesian armed forces commemorated their 55th anniversary recently, the display was less elaborate than in past years. There were no air force jets screaming low overhead, no parachutists dropping from the sky for precision landings in front of the military brass and VIPs. Even the marching bands had been cut back.

Kyodo News - October 10, 2000

Banda Aceh – Indonesian police shot dead three civilians Monday in the village of Julok in East Aceh Regency in Aceh Province, the representative of a joint committee set up by the government and a major separatist group said Tuesday.

The Age - October 10, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – Indonesian army chief General Tyasno Sudarto has been replaced only weeks after court evidence implicated him in an alleged multi-million-dollar counterfeit operation to finance clandestine military operations in East Timor last year.

October 9, 2000

Straits Times - October 9, 2000

Jakarta – Settlers sought refuge at military and police posts yesterday as the Indonesian police, with orders to shoot on sight, began restoring order in a remote Irian Jaya town following the slaughter of 40 people in the latest violence.

Agence France Presse - October 9, 2000

Jakarta – Indonesia's President Abdurrahman Wahid is expected to come under mounting pressure from the country's largest political party to impose a state of civil emergency in restive Aceh province when he meets parliament this week, a report said Monday.

Jakarta Post - October 9, 2000

Yogyakarta – Minister of Defense Mahfud M.D. said his ministry in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the Attorney General's Office is currently drafting a bill to enable military personnel to be tried under a civil court if they are indicted for violating civil laws.

Agence France Presse - October 9, 2000 (abridged)

Jakarta – In a meeting marked by blood and tears, detained East Timorese militia leader Eurico Guterres wept Monday as he accused the Indonesian government of failing to appreciate his efforts to keep East Timor within Indonesia, police said.

Detik - October 9, 2000

Nurul Hidayati/PT & GB, Jakarta – Civil unrest has flared in Bontang, East Kalimantan, Monday. Locals blockaded the American-owned Tanjung Santan Unocal Terminal oil refinery, clashed with security forces and 23 locals suffered gun shot wounds.

South China Morning Post - October 9, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Troops with shoot-on-sight orders were yesterday patrolling a remote valley in Irian Jaya, where 40 people are believed to have died in violence triggered by the killing of two indigenous people by police at a separatist flag-raising ceremony.

Kyodo News - October 9, 2000

Pro-Indonesia East Timorese militia leaders in West Timor told two key Indonesian ministers Sunday they would tell the United Nations how the Indonesian military trained and armed them last year if their leader Eurico Guterres, who is currently being detained in Jakarta, is not released.