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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 19, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
The Melbourne Age - September 19, 1999

Jill Jolliffe, Darwin – East Timorese independence guerrilla commanders warn that Indonesian forces are preparing to resist United Nations troops.

Speaking from the Los Palos district, the deputy chief of the Falintil army, Mr Lere Anan Timor, said Indonesian soldiers were threatening to "kill the international troops, using the [pro-Jakarta] militia".

September 18, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Reuters - September 18, 1999

Lewa Pardomuan, Dili – Nine warships of a multinational UN peace force sailed for East Timor on Saturday and the force commander was expected to hold talks with the Indonesian military in the shattered territory on Sunday.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
South China Morning Post - September 18, 1999

Joanna Jolly in Darwin and Irwan Firdaus of Associated Press in Baucau – As international troops prepare to go into East Timor, fearful refugees are coming down from the mountains in the territory and returning to homes still smouldering and in ruins.

September 17, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
The Australian - September 17, 1999

Don Greenlees and Robert Garran – Australia's battered relations with Indonesia suffered a new blow yesterday when Jakarta terminated the bilateral security treaty.

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Agence France Presse - September 17, 1999

Lisbon – Indonesian soldiers and militiamen are laying mines in Dili, the capital of East Timor, as they stream out of the province ahead of the arrival of a multinational peace force, a resistance leader told Portuguese radio Friday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Agence France Presse - September 17, 1999

Jakarta – Some 2,000 Indonesian students on Friday converged on the national parliament to protest against a draft security law and demand a trial of former president Suharto.

Some 1,500 students marched towards the parliament from the Jayabaya private university in in South Jakarta about one kilometre southeast of the legislative complex.

News ›› East Timor ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Sydney Morning Herald - September 17, 1999

Philip Cornford – An assistant to East Timor's spiritual leader, Bishop Carlos Belo, claimed yesterday that he saw the Indonesian intelligence official Major-General Syafrie Syamsuddin direct the separation of boys and men from refugees forced from Bishop Belo's home 11 days ago.

News ›› Indonesia ›› National Security & Intelligence
Jakarta Post - September 17, 1999

Jakarta – Opposition to the state security bill continued on Thursday, with the National Mandate Party (PAN) and National Awakening Party (PKB) demanding the House of Representatives drop the government-sponsored draft law.

September 16, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Agence France Presse - September 16, 1999

Jakarta – Protests erupted here Wednesday as the UN approved sending troops to East Timor, with security forces opening fire outside the UN building at students protesting Indonesian military atrocities.

News ›› East Timor ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
South China Morning Post - September 16, 1999

Anne-Marie Evans, Macau – Rui Lopes could count former president Suharto's son-in-law, Prabowo Subianto, and General Gleny in Jakarta among his closest friends.

They have been fighting and working together since the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. Since 1985, Mr Lopes, 47, had also been working for Xanana Gusmao's resistance guerillas.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Reconstruction
Agence France Presse - September 16, 1999

Strasbourg – Deputies at the European parliament on Thursday passed a resolution demanding that the European Union (EU) and its member states recognise an independent East Timor.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Sydney Morning Herald - September 16, 1999

Dennis Schulz and Louise Williams – Pro-Indonesian militias are fleeing East Timor ahead of the arrival of peacekeepers, some saying they fear they will now be killed by Indonesian troops to wipe out evidence of Jakarta's leading role in the carnage.

News ›› Indonesia ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - September 16, 1999

Compere: East Timor's anti-independence militia have now been seen on the streets of Jakarta, threatening pro-independence East Timorese and foreign journalists. There were scenes which seemed quite out of place in the Indonesian capital, as Geoff Thompson reports from Jakarta.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - September 16, 1999

Sydney – Pro-Jakarta militia are harassing East Timorese refugees throughout the eastern islands of Indonesia, an Australian aid agency said Thursday.

Janet Hunt, executive director of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid (ACFOA), said the situation was dangerous in Flores, Lombok and Bali – a popular holiday spot.

News ›› Aceh ›› Independence & Self-Determination
The Guardian - September 16, 1999

John Aglionby, Jakarta – Thousands of people in Aceh province in western Indonesia demonstrated yesterday to demand a referendum on independence from Jakarta amid reports of unabated military brutality both there and on the eastern spice island of Ambon.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Democracy & Civil Rights
Reuters - September 16, 1999

Surabaya – Hundreds of Indonesian students protested in the country's second largest city on Thursday against a controversial draft security bill which they say would increase the power of the military.

Some 600 demonstrators gathered in front of two local government offices in the commercial city of Surabaya, 700 km east of Jakarta.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
South China Morning Post - September 16, 1999

Anne-Marie Evans, Macau – The political cleansing of East Timor was planned as early as February, one of the militia leaders present at a meeting which hatched the deadly plot has revealed.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - September 16, 1999

Jakarta – The deputy commander of East Timor's pro-Indonesia militia has warned that the militia will put eight of the territory's 13 districts off limits to multinational troops, a report said Thursday.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Melbourne Age - September 16, 1999

Bernard Lagan, Darwin – Two suspected East Timorese militia members and a suspected Indonesian soldier are being held by Australian authorities after infiltrating the UN compound in Dili and being flown by the RAAF with 1400 refugees to Darwin.

September 15, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Sydney Morning Herald - September 15, 1999

The UN forces in East Timor at first are likely to be involved more in fighting terrorism than keeping the peace, argues Hugh Smith.

News ›› Aceh ›› Regional Autonomy & Separatism
South China Morning Post - September 15, 1999

Vaudine England, Jakarta – On the same day that an independent commission to investigate military abuses was visiting Aceh for the first time, seven leading political parties announced proposals for "special autonomy" for the rich, violence-wracked province.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - September 15, 1999

Hong Kong – The Indonesian foreign ministry organized and paid for leaders of the pro-Indonesian militia in East Timor to be trained in public relations ahead of the recent election, the Far Eastern Economic Review said Wednesday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Military Ties & Arms Trade
Agence France Presse - September 15, 1999

London – British ministers were under fire Wednesday after it emerged that millions of pounds of public money had been used to help Indonesia buy jets and secure industrial contracts, newspapers reported.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Lusa - September 15, 1999

Macau – A former pro-Jakarta militiaman has claimed that Indonesian forces eliminated more than 2,000 East Timorese by dumping them in waters off the East Timor coast.

News ›› East Timor ›› Analysis & Opinion
Green Left Weekly - September 15, 1999

Doug Lorimer – The Democratic Socialist Party has called on supporters of democracy in Australia to mobilise to demand that the UN and/or the Australian government immediately send troops to East Timor to help the East Timorese people resist and defeat the Indonesian occupying army's genocidal campaign to physically extinguish the East Timorese people's struggle for liberation from

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - September 15, 1999

Compere: Which brings us to the war crimes issue more generally. And fresh evidence is emerging of the Indonesian military's complicity in the crimes against humanity in East Timor. The Senate Committee on East Timor heard first-hand accounts today of TNI links with the militias that rampaged through the country before and after the referendum. Karon Snowdon reports:

News ›› East Timor ›› Analysis & Opinion
National Public Radio - September 15, 1999

One of the few journalists remaining in East Timor is Allan Nairn, Who writes for The Nation. We caught up with him in Dili today and asked him about the reaction there to news of an international peacekeeping mission.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Straits Times - September 15 1999

Susan Sim, Jakarta – Indonesia's powerful defence forces (TNI) chief General Wiranto will likely step down next month to prepare for his presidential campaign as a parliamentary investigation into a banking scandal looks certain to implicate close friends of Dr B.J. Habibie and kill off his chances.

September 14, 1999

News ›› Indonesia ›› Corruption & Abuse of Power
Wall Street Journal - September 14, 1999

Jay Solomon, Jakarta – An investigation into a politically charged banking scandal here has uncovered "numerous" indications of fraud, as well as the transfer of millions of dollars to senior Indonesian officials and politically connected individuals, an audit by the US accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers says.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Straits Times - September 14, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – Indonesia's armed forces (TNI) appears to have organised the mass bloodshed that hit East Timor, after it voted overwhelmingly for independence, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson said yesterday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Chauvinism & Xenophobia
Straits Times - September 14, 1999

Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – President B.J. Habibie's decision to allow foreign troops into trouble-torn East Timor sparked an upsurge of nationalist sentiments especially in the government and local media, with many resentful of international pressure on Indonesia.

News ›› East Timor ›› PRD & Papernas
Tapol - September 14, 1999

[Dita Sari, the workers leader who was released from prison in July this year after serving three years of a five-year sentence, is now in the UK at the invitation of the TUC. She gave this interview to Tapol before departing for Brighton yesterday.]

Q. What was the impact in Indonesia of the result of the referendum in East Timor?

September 13, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
The Times (London) - September 13, 1999

Max Stahl, Dare – This once peaceful hill station overlooking Dili was turned into a death site at the weekend as Indonesian forces surrounded and fired on terrified refugees living rough in nearby plantations. Dare, once a popular resort for Portuguese colonists escaping the heat of the coastal capital six miles away, is today a scene of misery and terror.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - September 13, 1999

Darwin – An East Timorese support group claimed here Monday to have received reports that tens of thousands of people had died in a deliberate genocidal campaign by Indonesia.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
Sydney Maorning Herald - September 13, 1999

Indonesian soldiers used rape as a secret weapon, but their "orphans: bear silent witness. Louise Williams and Leonie Lamont report.

Sister Maria leaned forward and quietly confided the truth about the Catholic orphanage which lies along the lonely northern coastal road of East Timor: "Most of the children are mixed race, the babies of women raped by Indonesian soldiers."

News ›› East Timor ›› UN Peacekeeping & Support Mission
Sydney Morning Herald - September 13, 1999

By Michelle Grattan, Hamish McDonald, Bernard Lagan and Peter Cole-Adams.

Indonesia buckled last night and invited a United Nations peacekeeping force "from friendly nations" to enter East Timor.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - September 13, 1999

Kupang – A terror campaign by pro-Indonesian militia that started in East Timor has moved across the border to West Timor, where more than 100,000 refugees have fled, fearful sources said.

People, who have visited the border town of Atambua, described it as a lawless place of gunfire, murder and kidnapping.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Melbourne Age - September 13, 1999

Doug Struck, Kupang – A human rights organisation has documented atrocities in East Timor that implicate the Indonesian military and militias in at least seven mass killings and dozens of individual slayings.

September 12, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
Agence France Presse - September 12, 1999

Darwin – Indonesian troops and pro-Jakarta militiamen were Sunday attacking thousands of refugees massed in the East Timorese town of Dare, a spokesman for the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) said here.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Melbourne Age - September 12, 1999

John Pilger – It had been a long night of waiting for the Indonesian troop convoy to pass.

Two of us then crossed the border into East Timor clandestinely, through a forest of petrified trees which appeared as silhouetted needles around which skeins of fine white sand drifted, like mist. As the sun rose, there stood the surreal crosses.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
International Herald Tribune - September 12, 1999

A. Lin Neumann, Bangkok – When machete-wielding thugs set upon journalists in East Timor after the territory's August 30 vote for independence, it looked like another gruesome case of the press caught between warring sides. Deplorable, yes, but it comes with the territory if you choose to cover the front lines in conflict zones.

News ›› Indonesia ›› International Solidarity
Australian Associated Press - September 12, 1999

Ordinary Australians took to the streets in their thousands today demanding urgent government action over the slaughter in East Timor.

Protesters stormed Prime Minister John Howard's Sydney office, blockaded airline terminals and maintained vigils as nation-wide anger continued to mount over the genocide in the violence-wracked region.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Associated Press - September 12, 1999

Jakarta – After a week of chaos and terror in East Timor, Indonesia's powerful military boss sang "Feelings" on Sunday to show why he can't walk away from the independence-minded province.

September 11, 1999

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
International Herald Tribune - September 11, 1999

Kupang, West Timor – The Reverend Dewanto was the first to die, said Sister Mary Barudero. The militiamen had lined up outside the old wooden church filled with refugees in the East Timorese town of Suai on Monday afternoon, and the young Indonesian priest stepped out dressed in his clerical robes to meet the trouble.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Armed Forces & Military Operations
Sydney Morning Herald - September 11, 1999

Peter Cole-Adams and Mark Metherell – The Federal Government yesterday cancelled three joint Australia-Indonesia training exercises and announced a review of all aspects of the defence relationship.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
South China Morning Post - September 11, 1999

Barry Porter, Auckland – Resistance leader and Nobel peace laureate Jose Ramos Horta said yesterday he had received reports that pro-Jakarta forces had begun attacking East Timor hillsides where unarmed civilians had taken refuge.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Melbourne Age - September 11, 1999

Craig Skehan Kupang and Greg Roberts Brisbane – Aid and church groups are concerned that thousands of East Timorese refugees in camps in West Timor could be used as bargaining chips in Indonesia's stand-off with the international community.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Melbourne Age - September 11, 1999

Lindsay Murdoch Dili and Craig Skehan Kupang – Piles of bodies have been seen stacked in cells at the police headquarters in Dili, while East Timorese forced to flee into Indonesian West Timor have arrived with accounts of murder and continuing intimidation by Indonesian militias.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
South China Morning Post - September 11, 1999

Most of the East Timorese killed in the violence that has swept the capital, Dili, were left to die where they fell on the street, a French doctor who treated hundreds of wounded in a city clinic said yesterday.

The Medecins du Monde doctor, who fled the territory on Wednesday, said he had treated 200 wounded, including 30 children, in the past five weeks.

News ›› East Timor ›› 1999 Referendum & Pro-Integration Militia
The Melbourne Age - September 11, 1999

Brendan Nicholson, Canberra – The United Nations and Australia encouraged the Timorese to vote even though intelligence services had warned that the Indonesian military was orchestrating a violent campaign to hold on to the territory.