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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 7, 1997

Oneworld - February 7, 1997

Han Jei, Moluccan archipelago, Indonesia – "Blast" and poison fishing and the growing use of dragnets are threatening traditionally abundant fisheries in Indonesia's Moluccas islands.

The practices are not simply indiscriminately killing fish but are also depleting coral reefs and the rest of the underwater ecosystem.

Agence France Presse - February 7, 1997

Jakarta – Prosecutors have demanded that an Indonesian court ignore an appeal by defence lawyers and continue the trial of three Moslem radicals charged with sowing hatred against the government, a report said Friday.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Press Release - February 7, 1997

Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas had brushed off reports that a team from the U.S. is to come in Jakarta to inves tigate alleged illegal foreign campaign donations, saying it would be better to conduct an inquiry in America rather than come all the way to Indonesia.

East Timor Human Rights Centre - February 7, 1997

124 Napier St Fitzroy 3065 Australia.PO BOX 1413 Collingwood 3066 AustraliaTel: 61 3 9415 8225 Fax: 61 3 9416 2746E-mail: etchrmel@peg.apc.org

Director: Ms Maria Brett Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin

Ref: UA 3/977 February 1997


Antara News - February 7, 1997

Bandung – At least three persons suspected of instigating the Tasikmalaya riot on December 26 have been questioned by the provincial attorney's office.

Deputy chief of the West Java attorney's office, Armin Aribowo, told ANTARA Wednesday that his office is still searching for MH(24), another suspect who went into hiding right after the riot.

Reuters - February 7, 1997

Canberra – The family of Indonesian President Suharto jumped to ninth on an annual ranking of Asia's richest people published yesterday – up from 93rd last year – with a combined wealth estimated at US$6.3 billion (S$8.9 billion).

Agence France Presse - February 7, 1997

Pontianak – New unrest broke out in Indonesia's West Kalimantan province despite a security clampdown, sources said Friday.

February 6, 1997

ACFOA Statement - February 6, 1997

[It is interesting to note that "self-determination" is not included in ACFOA's recommendations - JB]

The Australian Council for Overseas Aid today welcomed the decision of the Foreign Minister, Mr Alexander Downer, to meet with Mr Jose Ramos Horta in Adelaide on Friday 14 February, 1997.

Kyodo - February 6, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian minister for women's affairs, Mien Sugandhi, will visit Saudi Arabia to investigate reports of Indonesian women working as prostitutes in the country, political sources said Thursday.

Mien will also go to Malaysia to inspect the working conditions of Indonesian women there, the sources said.

Agence France Presse - February 6, 1997

Jakarta – An Indonesian activist caught with copies of a banned magazine of an independent journalists' group faces six years in jail for defaming the president, a report said Thursday.

Kompas - February 6, 1997

Jakarta, Kompas - the Suara Independen (Independent Voice) trial began at the South Jakarta State Court on Thursday, February 5. Andi Syahputra (31) is accused of insulting the president in October 1996.

Embassy of Indonesia - February 6, 1997

Indonesia, with a population of 200 million in 1997, has been struggling to reduce income inequalities and social disparities among its diverse ethnic groups inhabiting the country's 13,000 islands. Chronic poverty is the worst kind of social unrest and political instability are not to disturb national development.

Agence France Presse - February 6, 1997

Pontianak – Tension was running high Thursday in a flashpoint district of this Indonesian provincial capital amid mounting fears of a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence.

Groups of indigenous Dayak people were seen Wednesday night patrolling the city's northern Siantan district where many of them live.

Security forces were conducting random checks of identity papers.

AsiaOne Online - February 6, 1997

S N Vasuki – Indonesia reported higher inflation and a sharply lower trade surplus yesterday in line with the expectations of most economists.

But economists cautioned that the continued fall in non-oil exports was a worrying sign of an erosion in the country's competitiveness.

Republika - February 6, 1997

Bandung – Legal action has been taken against those involved in a riot at PT [Company Limited] Kahatek. "Police have arrested 17 persons," Police Major General Nana Permana, West Java Provincial Police chief, said after a rally by members of the Indonesian Association of Children of Retired Military Personnel.

Digest No. 26 (Indonesian news with comment) - February 6, 1997

Amidst the gloom of Indonesia's authoritarian political system, a ray of light. A government bill to pave the way for the construction of an unpopular nuclear plant in Java was not approved by parliament last December. Instead of being passed into law on 12 December as planned, a deadlock in the committee stage caused it to be held over till this year.

Suara Pembaruan - February 6, 1997

Organizations Participating in the Election (OPP) stated their disagreement with the election rules regulated by decrees issued by the minister of internal affairs and the minister of information. In addition to damaging the OPPs, especially the political parties, regulation by those two decrees will also reduce the independence and autonomy of the OPPs themselves.

American Reporter Correspondent - February 6, 1997

Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – The talk about A takeover began to emerge among Jakarta journalists in September, after businessman Peter Gontha signed an agreement that let him take control of The Indonesian Observer and reportedly approached veteran journalists to edit the English-language newspaper.

Kyodo - February 6, 1997

Jakarta – A private company set up last year by Indonesian President Suharto to finance the country's first passenger jet project plans to go public Feb. 17 and is looking for a clear and simple way to offer its shares, the state-run news agency Antara said Thursday.

AsiaOne Online - February 6, 1997

S N Vasuki – Indonesia's Lippo Group has positioned itself as a major player in the retail sector with last week's acquisition of a 50.1 per cent stake in PT Matahari Putra Prima which runs the country's largest department store chain.

South China Morning Post - February 6, 1997

John McBeth, Jakarta – When Golkar painted the town yellow, Indonesia's opposition finally saw red. It happened in early January in the historic Central Java city of Surakata, where overzealous loyalists from Indonesia's dominant political party splashed large tracts of the city in Golkar's trademark canary yellow.

Associated Press - February 6, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian pro-democracy leader Megawati Sukarnoputri on Thursday rejected a police summons for questioning over a celebration held by supporters at her residence.

Authorities said the Jan. 10 celebration was an 'illegal political gathering.'

Agence France Presse - February 6, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian authorities suspect four men of inciting a violent riot in the West Java town of Tasikmalaya last December which left four people dead, a report said Thursday.

Kompas - February 6, 1997

PT Dua Satu Tiga Puluh (DSTP) which will fund the engineering development and construction planning of the jet aircraft N-2130, produced by PT Industri Pesawat Terbang Nasional (IPTN) will reach the breakeven point when 326 aircraft units are produced in the year 2013.

February 5, 1997

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian government has ordered a ban on public gatherings which could incite social unrest prior to the May general election, officials said yesterday.

Jakarta Post - February 5, 1997

Violations of indigenous peoples basic rights are rife in the operations areas of PT Kelian Equatorial Mining in East Kalimantan and PT Freeport Indonesia in Irian Jaya, according to an influential non-governmental organization.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Veronica Smith, Washington – US and international labor union leaders will demonstrate Wednesday in front of Indonesia's embassy here to protest the imprisonment of an Indonesian labor leader, organizers said.

Antara - February 5, 1997

Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Surjadi Soedirja Tuesday called on his citizents to participate more actively in efforts to fight hoodlums arguing that Indonesia's national capital must be cleared of thugs.

"Hoodlums have to be totally eradicated and that is a job for all of us," he said when visiting Jakarta's Tanjung Priok harbor.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia will only reopen its border post into Indonesia's Kalimantan province once the ethnic violence has calmed down on the Indonesian side, officials said Wednesday. "We are still monitoring the situation in Kalimantan.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 5, 1997

Louise Williams, Jakarta – The Indonesian Government has banned all social and political meetings involving large crowds until after the May national elections, and Malaysia has moved to close its land border with Indonesia in the face of continuing social unrest.

The Nation - February 5, 1997

Sonny Inbaraj, Bangkok – It was a moral victory for the second Asia-Pacific Conference on East Timor, or Apcet II as it was popularly known. The 50 Apcet II participants and 10 journalists covering the conference, who were arrested in Kuala Lumpur by Malaysian police last November, had all charges against them dropped last Friday by the attorney general.

AP-Dow Jones News Service - February 5, 1997

Jay Solomon, Jakarta – Indonesia recorded another healthy trade surplus in November, though analysts expressed some concern about future trends in the country's exports.

Data released Wednesday also showed inflation firmly in check, with a surprisingly modest 5.5% rise reported for January's consumer price index (CPI).

Tapol - February 5, 1997

[Introductory note by 'Kofi Tubruk': A tribal war has been going on in Banti - which a short distance from Freeport mining operations - since 25 January this year. According to Thomas Wanmang, secretary of LEMASA Council, who was contacted by phone, the war is taking place in an area where there are many security posts.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian province of West Kalimantan hit by fresh ethnic unrest since last week is now calm and under control, an Indonesian army spokesman said according to reports Wednesday.

"Everything is now secure and under control," armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Amir Syarifuddin was quoted by the official Antara news agency as saying.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Canberra – Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta urged Australia Wednesday to press for an end to the continuing conflict in East Timor by proposing measures such as a permanent UN presence in the province.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Pontianak – An Indonesian provincial capital, where there has been unrest since the start of the year, remained tense Wednesday with reports of new violence in other towns.

"The situation is very tense with sporadic violence in the last week," a resident of Pontianak, capital of West Kalimantan, told AFP.

The authorities have tried to impose a curfew in Pontianak.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Veronica Smith, Washington – US and international labor union chiefs led a raucous demonstration outside Indonesia's embassy Wednesday, demanding the release of a jailed Indonesian labor leader charged with subversion.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign minister said Wednesday that Jakarta hoped Malaysia's closure of part of its border on Borneo due to ethnic violence on the Indonesian side would be quickly lifted.

February 4, 1997

Surabaya Post - February 4, 1997

On February 4, A group of East Timorese students from a number of Indonesian cities held an action at the Surabaya State Court. Their arrival cased a "hubbub".

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Jakarta's ethnic Chinese community was asked yesterday not to make any overt displays to celebrate the Lunar New Year following a series of attacks on Chinese and Christian properties by Muslim rioters.

Antara - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Moh. Yogie S. M., minister of internal affairs and chairman of the LPU [Election Institute], issued Directive Number 7 of 1997 on 30 January 1997 concerning Election Campaign Rules as a follow-up to Government Regulation 74/1996 concerning Election Laws and Presidential Decree 99/1996 concerning Election Campaigns.

Reuters - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia was the top corporate tax payer in Indonesia in 1995 and Salim Group founder Liem Sioe Liong the top individual tax payer, a senior tax official said at the weekend.

Two of President Suharto's sons were listed the 10th and 13th highest taxpayers in figures released by the director-general of taxation, Fuad Bawazier, on Sunday.

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Paris – Four East Timorese youths who broke into the French embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday will leave for Portugal by Wednesday, the French foreign ministry in Paris said.

International Herald Tribune - February 4, 1997

Michael Richardson, Jakarta – The Mentawai Islands along the southern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia are a picture of tropical paradise: countless remote atolls fringed by white sand beaches and coconut palms.

But below the surface of the crystal-clear azure waters, on the coral reefs that skirt the islands, it is another story.

Waspada - February 4, 1997

Kupang – Soerjadi [the government installed head of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) - JB.] has begged PDI members not to read newspapers if they have reports on the PDI. On February 3 he said that reports in the mass media tend to "corner" the party and do not give a true picture, "as far as articles concerning the PDI, it is better not to read them" he added.

South China Morning Post - February 4, 1997

David Barber in Wellington – Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta and East Timor independence campaigners stormed out of New Zealand yesterday, leaving Foreign Minister Don McKinnon wondering: "What did I say?"

Mr Horta left, vowing he would not to return until the Government changed its policy towards the former Portuguese colony, now absorbed into Indonesia.

East Timor Action Network - February 4, 1997

By letter dated 26 April 1996, the Special Rapporteur, in a joint initiative with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, conveyed information to the Government concerning a confrontation between university students protesting a rise in transport fares and military personnel which had reportedly

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian authorities are to start building a US$2.4 billion (S$3.4 billion) triple-deck road and railway project in July to overcome Jakarta's transport problems, a report said yesterday.

The project includes a 23.55-km elevated train built above a surface road but under a tollway, the Antara news agency said.

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Four East Timorese broke into the French embassy here early Tuesday, an embassy source said. Embassy spokesman Dominique Roubert said they entered the embassy early Tuesday morning, but declined to elaborate further.

He did not state whether the four have sought political asylum.

"I confirm that there are four East Timorese at the embassy," Roubert said.

February 3, 1997

Sydney Morning Herald - February 3, 1997

Louise Williams – Security forces made further arrests at the weekend following last Thursday's Muslim riots west of Jakarta, and new tensions flared in the city of Bandung, where leaflets were dropped calling on Muslims to attack Christian and Catholic targets.