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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 1, 1997

Agence France Presse - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – Five Indonesian students will be tried for allegedly distributing stickers advocating a boycott of upcoming parliamentary elections, a report said Saturday.

Kompas - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – Every manuscript which will be used in the campaigns of the coming general elections (Pemilu) must first be checked by the Examination Committee for General Elections Campaign Manuscripts formed by the Minmister of Home Affairs/Chairman of the General Elections Institution (LPU).

Agence France Presse - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's "security approach" in East Timor has failed to reduce tension in the disputed territory, the Catholic Church warned here Saturday.

Cardinal Justinus Darmaatmaja said Jakarta's actions in East Timor had done little to address the territory's problems and called for dialogue to end a stand-off which is now in its 22nd year.

Tapol - February 1997

The team of lawyers defending member of Parliament Aberson Marle Sihalalo who has been charged with insulting the President asked the court Tuesday, 18 February to declare that it had no authority to try the accused.

Down To Earth 28 - February 1997

As Jakarta opens the doors wider for foreign investment in mining, Canadian mining promoters are getting excited about the prospects for striking gold. At the centre of the action is the world's most notorious mining investor, Canada's Robert Friedland.

Down To Earth 32 - February 1997

When Bre-X Gold, a small Canadian exploration company discovered a huge gold deposit at Busang in East Kalimantan last year, big companies and powerful business players lined up to grab a piece of the action.

Down To Earth 32 - February 1997

Further evidence of the crisis in Indonesia's forestry industry is emerging as Ministry of Forestry, Djamaludin Suryohadikusomo, confirmed in October that 60 of the 90 private forest concessions to end in 1996 would not be renewed due to poor management. The 60 concessions will be handed over to the state owned forestry companies Inhutani I-V.

Down To Earth 32 - February 1997

The International Finance Corporation, private sector arm of the World Bank, has agreed to provide US $41 million in equity and loans to an Indonesian company to develop oil palm estates and refineries in West Kalimantan.

The IFC has also helped the company, PT Kalimantan Sanggar Pusaka, raise a $10 million loan from the German Development Bank.

Down To Earth 32 - February 1997

Timber tycoon Bob Hasan will soon start pulp production at his PT Kiani Kertas project in Berau district, East Kalimantan.

Agence France Presse - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian Attorney General Singgih has indicated that several political trials now underway could conclude before the start of the election campaign in April, a report said here Saturday.

Kabar dari Pijar - February 1997

Jakarta – Four pro-Megawati PDI members were arrested by the Purbalingga police after removing banners and a PDI flag erected by Suryadi supporters on Wednesday February 12. The arrest are Soetarno (65), Suwito (34), Soedarpo (35), and Sudiyo (27).

Tapol - February 1997

Without producing a shred of evidence and seemingly desparate to find a way of explaining the widespread unrest in Indonesia, armed forces commander in chief, General Feisal Tanjung is now accusing opposition groups for the unrest. The following is a summary of an item in Kompas today, 22 February:

Tapol - February 1997

Semarang – The military has banned a book on the July 27 riots in Jakarta written by the unrecognized Alliance of Independent Journalists and Studi Arus Informasi.

Down to Earth Action alert - February 1997

Hundreds of people have been killed following recent ethnic unrest in West Kalimantan, according to reports from Indonesia. Bloody clashes between the indigenous Dayak people, migrants from Madura and the military have been going on since early January, but little news has reached the outside world as the whole area has been sealed off by the Indonesian military.

Kabar dari PIJAR - February 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian armed forces will not pull out from the riot-stricken province of West Kalimantan on Borneo island, according to a report on Sunday.

Ethnic groups at the centre of weeks of clashes were trying to hammer out a peace agreement as residents in the provincial capital of Pontianak said calm had returned to the town.

Unknown - February 1997

Last Monday (10), and again last Saturday (15) a group of Portuguese hackers (Portuguese Hackers Against Indonesia) modified the homepage of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry (first goal of an "East Timor Campaign").

Unknown - February 1997

Singapore – Senior officials of the ASEAN-European Union (EU) ended their two-day meeting where they agreed not to include the East Timor issue in the Joint Declaration draft as foreign ministry's Director General for Political Affairs Izhar Ibrahim said on Wednesday in Singapore.

Unknown - February 1997

Dublin Labour MEP, Bernie Malone, has urged Dick Spring, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the European Commission, to raise Human Rights abuses in East Timor by Indonesia at the forthcoming EU-ASEAN Summit in Singapore this Thursday, 13 February.

Unknown - February 1997

Jakarta – Before campaigning, according to Colonel Pol. Drs. Djamaluddin Harahap, the contesting parties must first obtain a Campaign Note from the police. The instruction is stated in the Field Directives of National Police Chief number Pol: Juklap/01/I/1997 on 1997 General Elections Campaign Notice.

January 31, 1997

Agence France Presse - January 31, 1997

Wellington – Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Jose Ramos Horta on Friday asked New Zealand to help push for a referendum on independence in his native East Timor which was annexed by Indonesia.

"New Zealand has had, in the last couple of years, a good, discreet record in putting pressure on Indonesia," Horta told a press conference.

South China Morning Post - January 31, 1997

Joe Leahy – An Islamic group says it will take the country's most outspoken Muslim leader, Abdurrahman Wahid, to court after he alleged the group started religious riots in the West Java town of Tasikmalaya late last month.

Agence France Presse - January 31, 1997

Kuala Lumpur – Fifty Malaysian activists involved in a banned meeting on East Timor were Friday cleared of all charges but four members of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's ruling party were charged.

"The police told us this morning that all charges have been dropped and the case terminated," Tian Chua, a spokesman for the November 9 Civil Rights Group told reporters.

Kompas Online - January 31, 1997

Bandung – The Attorney General's Office of West Java on Thursday (30/1) arrested Agustiana bin Suryana (24) as official detainee of the Attorney General's Office with status as suspect of subversive crime in the Tasikmalaya affair.

At the moment he is detained at the House of detention in Tasikmalaya.

International Herald Tribune - January 31, 1997

Michael Richardson, Jakarta – When Bre-X Minerals Ltd., a small Canadian mining company, found itself entangled in a jungle of conflicting ownership claims to one of the world's richest undeveloped gold deposits in Indonesia, it turned for help to a little-known but well-connected local company.

Kyodo News - January 31, 1997

Jakarta – More than 12,000 Indonesian workers staged a protest Friday, demanding a bonus for the Islamic Eid-al-Fitr holiday, with some of them burning cars and destroying a factory in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, police said.

January 30, 1997

Associated Press - January 30, 1997

Jakarta – Four supporters of Indonesia's pro-democracy leader were sentenced Thursday to jail terms of six months and 15 days each for throwing rocks and breaking windows at a police station.

South China Morning Post - January 30, 1997

Joe Leahy in Jakarta – A tribal war in Irian Jaya was started by a rape case involving two security guards working for the giant American copper and gold mining firm, Freeport Indonesia, it was revealed yesterday.

Australian Financial Review - January 30, 1997

Jay Solomon, Jakarta – With as many as four state-owned companies priming to hit the Jakarta Stock Exchange in 1997, it looks likely to be a banner year for the Indonesian privatization programme. Market conditions are perfect for floating new shares as the exchange trades at all-time highs.

Tapol - January 30, 1997

This report is sent from the Human Rights Watch/Asia, which is released by U.S. Department of State, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1997

Jakarta Post - January 30, 1997

Jakarta – Kalimantan natives have urged the Nationa1 Commission on Human Rights to help them get compensation for property taken from them for mining projects. A delegation of the indigenous Kalimantan people also told commission members here Tuesday the activities of four large-scale mining companies were degrading the environment.

Reuters - January 30, 1997

Washington – Indonesia continued to commit serious human rights abuses in 1996, including in East Timor, the United States said on Thursday.

Agence France Presse (abridged) - January 30, 1997

Rengasdenglok – A mob attacked churches and a Buddhist temple in the country's latest bout of religious unrest, prompting troops to patrol the streets.

Malaysian Attorney General's Office Press Statement - January 30, 1997

The police have referred the Investigation Papers concerning the meeting of the Asia Pacific Conference on East Timur [sic] II (APCET) and the one concerning the unlawful assembly which disrupted the said meeting on 9 November 1996 to the Attorney General Chambers.

South China Morning Post - January 30, 1997

Associated Press in Jakarta – About 40 masked men ransacked a Catholic group's office in a remote Indonesian province on Borneo Island yesterday and set a truck and two motorcycles ablaze, a newspaper reported. Two bystanders were injured.

January 29, 1997

Kompas - January 29, 1997

The trial of a supporter of Indonesian opposition leader, Megawati Sukarnoputri, on charges of insulting the country's president, military and parliament opened in Jakarta Wednesday.

News from Pijar - January 29, 1997

Jakarta – The Independent Monitoring Committee (KIPP), held a conference last night on the organising of the coming elections and their preparations to monitor the elections.

Antara - January 29, 1997

Jakarta – A number of villagers from East, Central and South Kalimantan came to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Tuesday to protest violations of human rights by four coal and gold mining companies in the three provinces.

They met with Komnas HAM members, Koesparmono Irsan and M Salim.

Antara - January 29, 1997

Jayapura, Irian Jaya – The two-day clash between residents of two villages near Tembagapura, Timika, Irian Jaya, which claimed five lives and injured scores of others, is now under control, a military officer said.

East Timor Human Rights Centre Urgent Action - January 29, 1997

Names:

Miguel Alex Correia, 22Paulino Almeida Pinto, 34Savio de Almeida, 27Paulo Lisboa, 34Abilio de Almeida,25Antonio Guterres, 26Salvador Alves, 40Martin Lopes, 53Cancio Almeida, 29Ponsiano Silvester, 20

Violations: Arbitrary Arrest

Location: Uatulari sub-district, Viqueque district, East Timor

Ref: UA 2/97 Further information: UA 12/96

Sydney Morning Herald - January 29, 1997

Louise Williams, Jakarta – It took only a rumor to spark a riot along the crowded streets of Jakarta's central market district on Monday morning and raise the spectre of civil unrest. But once the rampage had begun, it raged without reason, the hundreds of angry street vendors who took over the streets hurling rocks and bottles at everyone and everything in their path.

Sydney Morning Herald - January 29, 1997

Russell Skelton, Tokyo – The bitter trade dispute between Japan and Indonesia over President Soeharto's controversial national car project has taken an unexpected turn.Japanese car makers, furious at the concessions handed out by the President to a company controlled by his third son, "Tommy" Mandala Putra, to build the 1.5-litre Timor, are determined to force the same deal for them

Kompas - January 29, 1997

Jakarta – The defence lawyers in Muchtar Papahan's trial have requested that the presiding judge Djazuli P Sudibyo be changed in a protest letter dated January 29, 1996 signed by Adnan Buyung Nasution, Bambang Widjojanto, Mochamad Assegaf, Luthfie Hakim, and Dwi Ria Latifa.

The letter listed nine violations cited by the defense team including:

January 28, 1997

AFP, Reuters, DPA - January 28, 1997

Jakarta – Hundreds of angry street hawkers rioted yesterday in the Tanah Abang textile district, leaving one government building and five vehicles burnt, police said.

South China Morning Post - January 28, 1997

Joe Leahy – The conviction on charges of blasphemy of Permadi has failed to perturb the self-proclaimed clairvoyant from standing by earlier predictions regarding Mount Merapi.

The 2,968-metre volcano in Central Java gushed lava and blew clouds of volcanic ash four kilometres into the sky on January 17.

Jakarta Post - January 28, 1997

Jakarta – Three tribal chiefs in Fakfak regency, Irian Jaya have given 390,000 hectares to the Ministry of Transmigration and the Irian Jaya transmigration office for a resettlement site. "No compensation has been offered in return," said the head of the Irian Jaya transmigration office, N. Hutapea, in the provincial capital of Jayapura yesterday.

January 27, 1997

The Indonesia Times - January 27, 1997

Bekasi – Tens of street vendors at the new Podok Gede market here run amok damaging an office in the complex.

South China Morning Post - January 27, 1997

Joe Leahy, Jakarta – The inclusion of four of President Suharto's children and scores of his key ministers and supporters in the candidates list for general elections in May may be part of moves by the ageing head of state to prepare the way for his own reelection next year, analysts say.

ASIET - January 27, 1997

On 21 January, the prosecutor in the case against Budiman Sujatmiko being held at the Central Jakarta State Court presented Wilson as a witness. When asked by the presiding judge Sjoffinan Sumantri if he was prepared to be a witness, Wilson replied that he was not on the grounds that the date of birth on his summons was incorrect.

International Herald Tribune - January 27, 1997

Michael Richardson, Jakarta – A group of Indonesia's wealthiest companies has agreed to intensify a program to help smaller businesses in what analysts said Sunday was an attempt to defuse government and public criticism for doing too little to bridge the gap between rich and poor.