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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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January 31, 1997

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


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.

Jakarta Post - January 27, 1997

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.

reg.easttimor - January 27, 1997

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

South China Morning Post - January 27, 1997

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.

Bergerak - January 27, 1997

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.

The Indonesia Times - January 27, 1997

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.

Kompas - January 27, 1997

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.

January 26, 1997

Agence France Presse - January 26, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian government and military said that planned riot-alert posts will be permanent features and were not being set up just to maintain peace in the election year, a report here said yesterday. "They are not just being established only for the general election.

Indonesian Media Sources - January 26, 1997

On January 27 thousands of street vendors attacked and set fire to the Tanah Abang sub-district offices (kecamatan). They also set fire to two vehicles owned by the sub-district Tramtib (Ketenteraman and Ketertiban) and four kecamatan vehicles.

January 25, 1997

The Economist - January 25, 1997

Jakarta – Snoozing in a glass case by the entrance to a police station just outside Jakarta lies the key to a peculiar experiment in crowd control. The case contains seven cobras. They are the first stage in what the local police chief believes will be a breakthrough in his struggle to maintain law and order.

January 24, 1997

Lusa - January 24, 1997

Washington – US republican congressman Frank Wolf has urged President Bill Clinton to meet East Timors 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate Bishop D. Ximenes Belo when he visits the US at the invitation of Yale University. Wolf told also a press conference on Thursday that Washington should use its good relations with Jakarta to "actively seek" a solution for the East Timor conflict.

Lusa - January 24, 1997

Lisbon – Indonesia's Foreign Minister Ali Alatas nomination to the country's legislative elections next May as an East Timor representative does not make him a (East) Timorese, the Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama has said.

Sydney Morning Herald - January 24, 1997

Bruce Hextall – BHP Petroleum and large US oil and gas group Phillips Petroleum should decide by the end of March whether to press ahead with the development of a $2 billion-plus liquefied natural gas (LNG) project which would exploit the Timor Sea's Bayu/Undan gas field.

Amnesty International - January 24, 1997

Amnesty International UK (AIUK) is calling on the UK Government to urgently revoke export licences granted to a UK company, Alvis, for the sale of armoured vehicles to Indonesia. This call comes in the light of mounting evidence about the use of such equipment in committing grave human rights violations in that country.

Antara - January 24, 1997

Jakarta - Indonesia believes that the case of the Garuda pilot who is now under the Dutch police custody for allegedly smuggling thousands of ecstasy pills is being politicized, Ambassador to the Netherlands Sudarmanto Kadarisman said.

Jakarta Post - January 24, 1997

Jakarta - The subversion trial of union leader Muchtar Pakpahan continued yesterday with presiding judge Djazuli P. Sudibyo prohibiting defense lawyers from directly questioning witnesses.

January 23, 1997

Jakarta Post - January 23, 1997

Jakarta – Union leaders said yesterday the government's planned 10 percent increase in the minimum wage level was not sufficient, while the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged all members to comply. [The government announcement about the increase will take effect as from 1 April.]

South China Morning Post - January 23, 1997

Joe Leahy, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights is to investigate allegations an East Timorese woman was raped and held as a virtual slave at a military post after being accused of being a member of the territory's Fretilin guerilla movement.

SiaR - January 23, 1998 (posted by Tapol)

A document believed to have been drafted by Kopassus, the crack forces unit commander by Major-General Prabowo, son-in-law of Suharto, is circulating among the mass media. It calls for an anti-Chinese and IMF campaign and accuses the Chinese conglomerates of engineering the current monetary crisis and of giving funds to the PRD.

Wall Street Journal - January 23, 1997

Pui-Wing Tam – That is the message from fund managers as they survey the prospects of the Indonesian market in 1997. While Hong Kong proved to be the most popular regional investment destination at the start of this year, more fund managers are now gaining confidence in Indonesia and are putting the country on their buy lists.

January 22, 1997

Lusa - January 22, 1997

Sydney – Indonesia's Foreign Minister Ali Alatas is on the East Timor list of candidates from the ruling Golkar Party to the legislative elections scheduled for May.

Lusa - January 22, 1997

Rome – The East Timor issue is "an heritage from the Cold War era" that could be solved in the current new political environment, East Timorese activist Josi Ramos Horta has said.

Lusa - January 22, 1997

Washington – US republican congressman Frank Wolf has said that he will present the Clinton administration with solutions for the East Timor conflict. A spokesman for the congressman told Lusa on Tuesday that Wolf will talk about East Timor in a press conference this week at the US Congress.

Lusa - January 22, 1997

Rome – East Timorese activist Josi Ramos Horta has denied that the territorys resistance movement application to become an observer at the Socialist International (SI) would link East Timor self-determination supporters to political movements.

Lusa - January 22, 1997

Rome – East Timorese activist Josi Ramos Horta has said that the president of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Etchegeray, was "deeply concerned" with the lack of school and professional education for the East Timorese youth. Ramos Horta made his comments on Tuesday after a 30-minute meeting with Etchegeray.