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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 5, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
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).

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› PRD & Papernas
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Mining & Energy
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.

News ›› East Timor ›› International Solidarity
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› PRD & Papernas
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
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.

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
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.

February 4, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› PRD & Papernas
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".

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
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.

News ›› East Timor ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
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.

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
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

February 3, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Unknown - February 3, 1997

Kuching (Sarawak, West Malaysia) – Local bus companies which ply between here and Pontianak in Kalimantan, Indonesia, have suspended operations out of concern for the safety of their employees and passengers following rumours of more riots there.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
The Indonesia Times - February 3, 1997

Jakarta – A report published by the U.S. State Department has got strong reactions here.

Political scientist Amien Rais said, "As a sovereign country Indonesia should have self confidence about what we are convinced of and we do not need to be affected by other people's comments."

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Jakarta Post Editorial - February 3, 1997

The latest annual report on human rights surveys by the U.S. State Department does not look too kindly on Indonesia's record for the past year. But the report does not differ all that much from those by some of our own respected human rights groups.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Indonesia Times - February 3, 1997

Jakarta – PT Freeport Indonesia is the biggest corporate taxpayer while conglomerate Soedono Salim pays the most taxes as an individual, an official says here.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Kompas Online - February 3, 1997

Elko – Barrick Gold Corporation, the gold mine company from Canada, affirmed not to change the offer of 10 percent of shares in the Busang gold mine for the Indonesian government, although its competitor, Placer Dome Inc - which associates with entrepreneur Mohamad (Bob) Hasan and plans a merger with Bre-X - offers 40 percent shares for Indonesia.

News ›› East Timor ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Agence France Presse - February 3, 1997

Wellington – Foreign Minister Don McKinnon was Monday clearly surprised but made no formal comment after Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta from East Timor said New Zealand "should drop dead." On Friday after meeting McKinnon, Horta hailed New Zealand's "good, discreet record in putting pressure on Indonesia" but by Sunday he was saying he would never set foot here while the

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Australian Associated Press - February 3, 1997

Gordon Feeney, Jakarta – Australia's ambassador-designate to Indonesia, John McCarthy, has arrived in Jakarta, bringing to a close 18 months of diplomatic tiffs between the two countries.

Mr McCarthy, 54, former envoy to the United States, arrived at the weekend and was due to present his credentials to President Suharto in the near future, an embassy spokesman said.

February 1, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
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:

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Unknown - February 1997

Sarah Smith – Opposition parties held rallies in early January to protest against the conditions under which this year's parliamentary elections will be held. Most parties will be excluded altogether from the vote, scheduled for 29 May.

News ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Kompas Online - February 1997

Jakarta – The Chief of Staff of Socio Politics (Kassospol) of the Armed Forces (ABRI) Lieut. Gen. Syarwan Hamid said that Indonesia presently very needed a set of Laws on National Security. This is particularly needed when ABRI personnel are on duty in efforts to neutralize a riot.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Straits Times - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – The situation in Indonesia's West Java province was less tense yesterday with shops re-opening and a cleaning up under way a day after Thursday's violent incidents caused widespread damage.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Land & Agrarian Conflicts
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Criminalisation & Attacks on Activism
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Land & Agrarian Conflicts
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.

Reports ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Human Rights Watch - February 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
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).

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
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.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Agence France Presse - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – The leader of a non-governmental organization filed a complaint with the police against an influential Moslem leader for having accused the group of inciting a mass riot in West Java, reports said here Saturday.

Andrianto, leader of the Humanika Foundation, filed the complaint with the Jakarta police Friday against Abdurrahman Wahid, the Jakarta Post daily said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Land & Agrarian Conflicts
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.