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.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
February 1, 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.
Timber tycoon Bob Hasan will soon start pulp production at his PT Kiani Kertas project in Berau district, East Kalimantan.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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").
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 – 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.
Washington – Indonesia continued to commit serious human rights abuses in 1996, including in East Timor, the United States said on Thursday.
Rengasdenglok – A mob attacked churches and a Buddhist temple in the country's latest bout of religious unrest, prompting troops to patrol the streets.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Jakarta – Hundreds of angry street hawkers rioted yesterday in the Tanah Abang textile district, leaving one government building and five vehicles burnt, police said.
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 – 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
Bekasi – Tens of street vendors at the new Podok Gede market here run amok damaging an office in the complex.
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.
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.
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.
Jakarta – Most workers have shown no enthusiasm over the government's recent announcement of wage increases, saying the increase would not really help them met their daily needs.
This letter was sent by President Clinton to Senator Russell Feingold in response to the letter by Feingold and 14 and other Senators to the President before the APEC conference last November. It is significant that the President "notes with interest" the letter's proposal for a referendum on East Timorese self-determination. – Charlie Scheiner, ETAN
Reuters in Jakarta – Tension has risen in East Timor's capital Dili as Indonesian security officers continue searching for youths suspected of involvement in the killing of a soldier on Christmas Eve, residents said yesterday.
"The youths have become more and more restless because of the continuing search at night," one resident said.
Asmawati, a worker at PT Indoshoes in Citeurep, Bogor, who appeared as a witness in the case against Petrus Haryanto, Secretary of the PRD, in the beginning of January. He was silent for a moment after being asked by Petrus' defense lawyer if worker strikes/actions had had a positive impact on workers.
Jakarta – In three consecutive days, police shot dead seven men in separate places in Jakarta after neglecting order to surrender.
The men were suspected for committing various crimes, police said.
Jakarta – Observers and farmers evaluated government's policy to increase the price of fertilizers at the same time with the price increase of unhulled rice (gabah) and rice as something that is not right. The more the price increase of fertilizers with around 20 percent, which causes trouble for the farmer because fertilizers take up to 30 percent of the paddy production cost.