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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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July 31, 1997

Reuters - July 31, 1997

Jakarta – Pro-independence rebels in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor have killed three Indonesian soldiers, military sources said on Thursday.

The soldiers were killed in an attack in Liquisa district, west of the territory's capital Dili, on Wednesday morning, one source said.

Further information on the clash was not immediately available.

Tapol - July 31, 1997

There are moves in Jakarta to press ahead with the subversion trial of Muchtar Pakpahan, chair of the unrecognised trade union, the SBSI, despite the fact that he is suffering from a number of ailments.

Committee to Protect Journalists - July 31, 1997

New York – On 25 July 1997, Naimullah, a reporter with the Jakarta-based morning daily newspaper "Sinar Pagi" was found murdered. Naimullah's body, mutilated by stab wounds in his neck, and bruises on his head, temples, chest, and wrists, was found in the back seat of his car in Pantai Penibungan, about 90 kilometres north of Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan.

Interpress News Service - July 31, 1997

Samsudin Berlian, Jakarta – The jailing more than two years ago of two journalists who defied the Indonesian government by publishing an unlicensed magazine was hardly a surprise. But their recent release has baffled many.

To the surprise of the journalistic community here, authorities freed Eko Maryadi and Ahmad Taufik from separate prisons in West Java on Jul 19.

Jakarta Post - July 31, 1997

Hendardi, Jakarta - Discussions about corruption have re-surfaced recently. This issue became topical during general election campaigning for members of the House of Representatives and the regional legislative assemblies. The three contesting parties boasted anticorruption themes and pushed for the eradication of corrupt practices.

July 30, 1997

Agence France Presse - July 30, 1997

Pretoria – South African President Nelson Mandela called on Indonesia Wednesday to free jailed East Timorese rebel leader Xanana Gusmao, saying his release was essential to resolve the conflict in the former Portuguese colony.

East Timor Human Rights Centre - 30 July, 1997

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) is concerned that no independent investigation has been undertaken into the alleged death on 25 June, 1997, of Commander David Alex, second in command of the East Timorese armed Resistance (Falintil).

July 29, 1997

Jakarta Post - July 29, 1997

Jakarta – About a third of the World Bank's loans to Indonesia have leaked and disappeared into the bureaucracy, an export on Indonesia's economy said yesterday.

Toronto Star - July 29, 1997

Allan Thompson, Ottawa – Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy last year approved the sale of military equipment to Indonesia, which has been criticized for its human rights record and occupation of East Timor.

Info Pembebasan (Liberation) - July 29, 1997

[The following is a slightly abridged translation of a report sent to ASIET by the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD)]

July 28, 1997

Info Pembebasan - July 28, 1997

[This is the second part of translation sent to ASIET by the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD). The first part was published in ASIET NetNews Number 29. Written Sunday July 27, 3.50pm]

Jeffrey A. Winters - July 28, 1997

The World Bank has a public face and a private face. The public face I call the Rhetorical Bank. This is the part of the Bank we are all familiar with – the Bank that produces World Development Reports, gives advice, and applies pressure for structural adjustment.

Voice of America - July 28, 1997

Jakarta – Jakarta police are holding 85 people arrested in opposition protests Sunday marking the one year anniversary of riots in the capital. Jenny Grant in Jakarta reports police expect to charge five of those in custody with fomenting hatred against the government.

World Bank Press Release - July 28, 1997

Washington – World Bank loans to Indonesia are thoroughly supervised and audited to ensure that they are devoted to the poverty-alleviating purposes for which they are intended, the institution said today.

East Timor Human Rights Centre - July 28, 1997

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) fears for the safety of Santina Morreira Belo, aged 22, and her baby aged under one, who disappeared after Santina Morreira Belo was arrested on 12 July 1997.

Tapol - July 28, 1997

TAPOL is bitterly disappointed that the Government's proclaimed ethical foreign policy was today killed off in its infancy with Robin Cook's refusal to revoke the 1996 licences for export to Indonesia of Hawk aircraft, armoured vehicles and water cannon in his announcement of new arms trade criteria.

Info Pembebasan (Liberation) - Posted July 28, 1997

[The following is an abridged translation of a report sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party]

Peoples Democratic Party Statement - July 28, 1997

[The following is a slightly abridged translation of a press statement sent to ASIET (Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor) by the underground PRD]

Info Pembebasan (Liberation) - July 28, 1997

[The following is a translation of a statement sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party (PRD)]

Text of report by Portuguese radio - July 28, 1997

The UDT [Timorese Democratic Union] has reservations regarding [South African President] Nelson Mandela's diplomatic initiative on East Timor. The leader of UDT, one of the factions of the Timorese resistance, has said that caution is needed.

July 27, 1997

Digest No. 38 (Indonesian news with comment) - July 27, 1997

[A version of this appears in the latest edition of the Darwin-based AustralAsian]

Voice of America - July 27, 1997

Jakarta – Riot police and soldiers blocked hundreds of demonstrators from holding a prayer service in front of the Indonesian Democracy Party headquarters, Sunday. from Jakarta, Jenny Grant reports the protesters were marking the first anniversary of violent riots in the capital.

Info Pembebasan - July 26/27, 1997

[The following are translations of a number of reports on the July 26 and 27 commemoration actions held in Jakarta and sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party (PRD). Please note that these reports were compiled, posted and translated within hours of the actions and an overall picture of what transpired remains unclear]

Radio Australia - 27 July, 1997

East Timor's Bishop Belo says he is declining an invitation to South Africa to meet President Nelson Mandela.

He says he has a lot of work to do in his dioscese and such a journey would be a waste of time.

Bishop Belo says that if President Mandela wants to talk about the politics of East Timor then he should talk to the Indonesian generals.

Info Pembebasan (Liberation) - July 27, 1997

[The following is a translation of a chronology sent to ASIET written on Sunday, July 27, 12 midnight and by the underground Peoples Democratic Party]

July 26, 1997

Voice of America - July 26, 1997

Jakarta – around 2,000 people gathered for a memorial service in Jakarta Saturday to mark one year since violent riots in the capital. Jenny Grant reports from the capital the event went ahead despite a police ban.

July 25, 1997

Voice of America - July 25, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian police have banned weekend commemorations marking one year since riots in Jakarta left five people dead and more than 100 injured. Jenny Grant reports authorities are concerned the ceremonies may trigger new violence in the capital.

July 24, 1997

Voice of America - July 24, 1997

Jakarta – Hundreds of supporters of ousted opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri marched (Thursday) in Central Jakarta celebrating a minor court victory. Jenny Grant reports the march was part of a build up for weekend actions marking one year since riots in the capital.

Human Rights Defender - July 24, 1997

The International Secretariat has been informed by a reliable source of the grave concern that exists for the physical and psychological integrity of Andreas Harsono who was involved with the establishment of an Independent Journalists Association in Indonesia (although he is not currently active).

July 23, 1997

Info-Pembebasan (info-Liberation) - July 23, 1997

[The following is a translation of a leaflet sent to ASIET by the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD). The original source of the leaflets and posters was not indicated.]

Republika - 23 July, 1997 (from Tapol)

Johannesburg – South Africa's President Nelsom Mandela issued a statement through the President's Office confirming reports of his meeting with Fretilin (sic) leader, Xanana Gusmao, during his recent state visit to Indonesia.

July 22, 1997

Radio Australia - July 22, 1997

Indonesian authorities are reported to have released two journalists jailed for insulting the Government.

The Jakarta Post newspaper says Achmad Taufik and Eko Mariyadi were released on parole on Saturday after serving nearly two-thirds of their three-year sentences.

Reuters - July 22, 1997

Jim Della-Giacoma, Jakarta – Indonesia on Tuesday published an updated version of its 1995 white paper on defence, stressing the importance of regional links in maintaining security.

Officials said while releasing the 66-page document that the document was part of confidence-building measures suggested by the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

July 21, 1997

The American Reporter - July 21, 1997

Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – In yet another attempt to suppress criticism of the long-running Suharto regime, an Indonesian court here sentenced a legislator who is a close aide to opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri to nine months in jail Monday for defaming the nation's six-term President.

Reuters - July 21, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia on Monday said it had rejected overseas medical treatment for an ailing independent labour leader on trial for subversion.

Mucthar Pakpahan, head of the unrecognised Indonesian Labour Welfare Union (SBSI), has been in a private Jakarta hospital since March when his subversion trial was postponed indefinitely after he complained of suffering vertigo.

July 20, 1997

Tapol - July 20, 1997

The speech on Thursday, 17 July, by Robin Cook in which he again stressed that human rights would be at the heart of Britain's foreign policy under the Labour Government was widely reported and commented on in all the media - radio, TV and in the print media on Friday.

July 18, 1997

Financial Times - July 18, 1997

The government is expected to allow British Aerospace to complete the contentious sale of 16 Hawk fighter aircraft to Indonesia, following advice that there are "formidable obstacles" in the way of revoking the contract.

Reuters - July 18, 1997

Jakarta – One East Timorese rebel resisting Indonesia's rule in the former Portuguese colony has been killed in an attack on the 21st anniversary of the territory's annexation, the official Antara news agency reported on Friday.

July 16, 1997

The Australian - July 16, 1997

Patrick Walters, Jakarta – One of Indonesia's most experienced infantry officers with extensive combat experience in East Timor has been named socio-political chief of armed forces.

July 14, 1997

East Timor Human Rights Centre - July 14, 1997

Concerns are held for Joaquim Moreira and up to 84 other East Timorese people who may still be in detention following their arrest in June 1997(see UA 17/97). The 85 detainees were arrested in Quelicai, Baucau district, between 5 and 16 June as part of an intensive military operation launched by members of Battalion 312 and Team Saka.

July 12, 1997

ASIET - 12 July, 1997

[The following is a translation of a statement sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party (PRD) and also includes a short report from the Surabaya Post]

July 11, 1997

Info-Pembebasan (Liberation) - July 11, 1997

[The following is a translation of an interview between Mirah Mahardika. Coordinator, Central Leadership Committee, Peoples Democratic Party (KPP-PRD) and Pembebasan (Liberation)]

Organisational questions

American Reporter - July 11, 1997

Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – Rumors have started to circulate in Jakarta that President Suharto is hinting that Harmoko – like many Indonesians, he uses just ne name – the chairman of the Suharto's ruling party, Golkar, will not become the speaker of the Indonesian parliament when it convenes to elect a new president next year.

Catholic Institute for International Relations Press Release - July 11, 1997

Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and representative of the East Timorese resistance, has welcomed the Foreign Secretary's commitment to use diplomatic pressure to bring about a peaceful settlement of the conflict in East Timor and to follow through on the Government's current review of arms exports to Indonesia.

July 10, 1997

George J. Aditjondro - July 10, 1997

[This is an updated and revised version of sections of a paper presented at the Oslo University public seminar on East Timor, Monday, December 9, 1996]

Tapol - July 10, 1997

According to a report in Media Indonesia on 9 July, Harmoko, who was recently removed as Minister of Information is likely to be named as the next ambassador to London. Until now, it has been generally thought that Harmoko was being groomed to become the next head of Parliament and the MPR, the upper house.

East Timor Human Rights Centre - 10 July, 1997

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) holds grave fears for the safety of five East Timorese men still in military custody following their arrest in Caibada near Baucau on 25 June, 1997 (see UA 16/97). The five men were arrested together with David Alex, second in command of the armed East Timorese Resistance (Falintil), by members of Kopassus (Special Forces Command).

Tapol - July 10, 1997

According to an AFP report of 5 July, based on a report from Antara news agency of the same day, 'relatives of the slain East Timorese rebel David Alex are now satisfied that David Alex is dead and buried, after earlier questioning his death.

Agence France Presse - July 10, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian authorities will bring 33 people to court over protests in the capital of East Timor during the visit of a United Nations envoy to the troubled territory in March, a report said here Thursday.

Interfax - July 10, 1997

Moscow – Russia intends to help Indonesia in developing that country's nuclear power industry, in particular in the construction of nuclear power plants, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov told a news conference in Moscow Thursday.