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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 23, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Shootings & Violence Against Civilians
Associated Press - March 23, 1997

Dili, Indonesia – Indonesian security forces clashed Sunday with East Timorese activists trying to see a U.N. envoy, killing two people and injuring 38, a security official said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
New York Times - March 23, 1997

Seth Mydans, Jakarta – He owns forests, paper and plywood mills, airlines and banks, and last month he brokered a deal that gave him a major share in what may be the world's largest gold deposit.

But the biggest asset of Mohamad (Bob) Hasan is worth more than gold. As he said recently, "I've been friends with the president for more than 40 years."

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Dow Jones News - March 23, 1997

Dili, Indonesia – Indonesian security forces clashed Sunday with East Timorese activists trying to see a U.N. envoy, killing two people and injuring 38, a security official said.

March 22, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
Agence France Presse - March 22, 1997

Linawati Sidarto, Dili – A senior US government human rights official met with community leaders on the second day of a fact-finding visit to the troubled territory of East Timor on Friday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Yogyakarta Committee of Concerned Youth (KKPY) - March 22, 1997

9.05 Students gather outside the Social and Political Sciences Faculty

9.30 Activist Helmi, with fist raised in air, starts the action calling on students to get involved.

9.40 Intelligence operatives identified taking notes behind a nearby car.

News ›› East Timor ›› Church & Religion
The Australian - March 22, 1997

Patrick Walters, Baucau – The young men in black T-shirts came in their hundreds to the centre of Baucau. With sombre faces they linked arms and formed a protective cordon for the procession of the new Bishop of Baucau, Monsignor Basilio do Nascimento, to the town's newly consecrated Cathedral of St Antonio.

News ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
South China Morning Post - March 22, 1997

Joe Leahy, Dili – Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo said yesterday human rights abuses were continuing in East Timor despite renewed international concern over problems in the former Portuguese colony.

Asked about the status of human rights in East Timor since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October, Bishop Belo said: "It's not very good."

March 21, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
George J. Aditjondro - March 21, 1997

How could it be, that nobody in Europe seems to mind that this Indonesian company, which is employing (or, rather, exploiting) female East Timorese workers, and is exporting its product to Portugal, regardless of the trade embargo between Indonesia & Portugal, is now becoming a NATO supplier?

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Tapol - March 21, 1997

A special course for senior Indonesian army officers planned by the Centre for Defence Studies of Kings College, London, has been scrapped following a wave of criticism within Kings College, from human rights organisations and in Parliament. An official announcement from the CDS is expected on Monday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
IMN - March 21, 1997

Yogyakarta – The United Development Party's (PPP) plan to bring the yellowization case to green, is not just a bluff. Seven PPP Regional Executive Board leaders of the Surakarta area agrred to sue Governor Soewardi, They officially authorized the case to the UII Legal Consultancy and Aid Institution (LKBH) Yogyakarta, on Monday (3/17).

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Dow Jones News - March 21, 1997

Jakarta – With 70 days to go before May 29 parliamentary elections, the military says it will crush any security threats and is threatening to arrest independent election monitors.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Farming & Agriculture
Antara News - March 21, 1997

Jakarta – A total of 273,653 hectares of rice field disappeared between 1980 and 1996, with an average of 17,000 hectares lost everyyear.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Asia Week - March 21, 1997

In a country where the army makes no bones about channeling its support to the ruling political group, Golkar, talk of factionalism within Indonesia's military always causes concern.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
East Timor Action Network - March 21, 1997

We have just received a report that human rights activist Saleh Abdullah has been arrested as part of a general crackdown on non-governmental organizations in Indonesia.

News ›› East Timor ›› Arbitrary Arrest & Detention
Tapol - March 21, 1997

Manchester Magistrates today sentenced Stuart Cooper, 27 of Garwoods Road, South Manchester, to 14 days at Risley Prison (617 Warrington Road, Risley, Cheshire, WA3 6BP) for his refusal to pay court costs. The costs resulted from his conviction for criminal damage to a security perimeter fence at British Aerospace Warton, Lancs, in July 1996.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Mining & Energy
Dow Jones News Service - March 21, 1997

John McBeth, Jakarta – Mystery continued to hang heavily in the disappearance of Bre-X Minerals exploration manager Michael de Guzman Friday, as Philippine Embassy officials complained that the company's Jakarta office failed to respond to their phone calls and inquiries.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Asia Week - March 21, 1997

In a country where the army makes no bones about channeling its support to the ruling political group, Golkar, talk of factionalism within Indonesia's military always causes concern. In the past, such groupings were described as fluid. But foreign military sources in Jakarta say they have spotted a worrying new trend.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
South China Morning Post - March 21, 1997

Agencies in Jakarta – The UN special envoy to East Timor said yesterday that productive talks were needed to achieve an acceptable global solution over the former Portuguese colony.

"The important thing is that the dialogue should continue... and we have to find means of ensuring that... it is productive," envoy Jamsheed Marker said after meeting President Suharto.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Dow Jones News - March 21, 1997

Jakarta – An aide to a prominent former legislator has been arrested on charges of publishing a banned book by his boss that authorities say insults President Suharto, police said Friday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
EBRI - March 21, 1997

It was probably the first time that a person was arrested for issuing and sending greeting cards. Eraordinary! But, then, Sri Bintang Pamungkas greeting cards were also quite unusual.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Wall Street Journal - March 21, 1997

Toronto – Speculation that a gold field in Indonesia won't live up to expectations – coupled with the sudden and dramatic death of a mining company geologist – hurt the shares of Canadian gold-mining firm Bre-X Minerals Ltd.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
EBRI - March 21, 1997

After more than 50 years of independence, Indonesian politicians and government officials are debating whether civil servants should be given the freedom to vote for any of the political parties or to vote for the ruling group only.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Straits Times - March 21, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's special forces chief Major-General Prabowo Subianto says the country's armed forces (Abri) need a larger budget to improve their professionalism, the official Antara news agency reported yesterday.

March 20, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› International Solidarity
Lusa - March 20, 1997

Geneva – Indonesia and other countries have sought barring East Timorese self-determination activist Jose Ramos Horta from addressing the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) standing in a podium, sources have said.

They said on Wednesday that Indonesia has pressured for Ramos Horta not to be granted the privilege.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Criminal Justice & Legal System
Digest No. 28 (Indonesian news with comment) - March 20, 1997

Gerry van Klinken – Why is it so difficult to secure justice against the interests of the state? Because 'political' cases are sewn up outside the courthouse. But, if not in the courthouse, exactly where are these decisions made? In a little known but powerful club named Makehjapol, say lawyers widely quoted in the press recently.

News ›› East Timor ›› Church & Religion
The Australian - March 20, 1997

Patrick Walters, Baucau, East Timor – Pope John Paul II yesterday delivered one of his strongest messages on the East Timor problem, calling for a truly just and internationally accepted solution as the Catholic church moved to consolidate its position in the troubled territory.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Antara News - March 20, 1997

Semarang, C Java – A member of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has called on the government to set up a special team to fend off issues that tend to "corner" Indonesia.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Lusa - March 20, 1997

Washington – The US Democrat Congressman, Patrick Kennedy, has proposed to the US Congress the cut of military aid to Indonesia included in the 1997 budget.

The proposal presented on Wednesday would cut an estimated US$26 million-military aid to Indonesia provided annually by Washington, unless Jakarta improves its human rights records.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Business Times - March 20, 1997

S N Vasuki – A senior official of Indonesia's Armed Forces (Abri) has moved swiftly to end a raging internal debate on whether the army should now announce its preferred candidates for the presidential and vice-presidential positions in the March 1998 elections.

News ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
Associated Press - March 20, 1997

Alexander G. Higgins, Geneva – Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta rejected an opportunity Thursday to appear before the U.N. Human Rights Commission to champion East Timor's cause, accusing Indonesia of meddling.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Down to Earth Campaign - March 20, 1997

Indonesian Ministers are due to take a decision approving plans for a 70,000 hectare oil palm plantation and transmigration project in the buffer zone of Siberut NationalPark in early 1997. With advice from Indonesian environmental NGOs, Down to Earth has sent the following letter to the Indonesian authorities urging them to withhold permission.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Kompas - March 20, 1997

Jakarta – Soebadio Sastrosatomo's personal secretary, Buyung Rachmat Buchori Nasution was arrested by the police on Wednesday (19/3). In the arrest warrant Buyung was referred to as a suspect.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Voice of America - March 20, 1997

Megawati Sukarnoputri: "... if my name is not among the list of candidates standing for election, many people will decide not to participate in these elections."

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Sydney Morning Herald - March 20, 1997

Louise Williams, Jakarta – Australia is unlikely to follow the United States in expanding links with opposition groups in Indonesia and believes in the underlying stability of our northern neighbour despite increasing nervousness over recent civil unrest.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
New York Times - March 20, 1997

Stephen Labaton and Jeff Gerth, Washington – In late June of 1994, Indonesian businessman James Riady saw President Clinton and some of his aides in five days of White House visits ending on a Saturday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Antara News - March 20, 1997

Bandung, West Java – Foreigners will not be allowed to monitor the May 29 general election but will be permitted to observe the democratic process, Army chief of staff, Gen R Hartono said Tuesday.

News ›› East Timor ›› Occupation & Armed Resistance
Dow Jones News Service - March 20, 1997

Jakarta – President Suharto Thursday told a top U.N. envoy who is here to discuss the conflict in East Timor that Indonesia's annexation of the former Portuguese colony if final and non-negotiable.

In his meeting with envoy Jamshed Marker, Suharto said that 'for the people of Indonesia, for the Indonesian nation, the problem of East Timor is over.'

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Kompas - March 20, 1997

Jakarta – The trial of a PRD activist in the Jakarta state court on Wednesday (19/3), was again coloured by "walk-out" actions by the accused and defense lawyer. However in the trial of Garda Sembiring, one of the members of the panel of judges left the courtroom although the trial had not been closed by the presiding judge Madnjono.

March 19, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Sydney Morning Herald - March 19, 1997

In local campaigning for national elections in May, parties are not afraid to nail their colours to the mast, even if they have to paint whole towns to do it, reports Herald Correspondent LOUISE WILLIAMS from Solo, Central Java.

News ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
South China Morning Post - March 19, 1997

Joe Leahy, Dili – East Timor's new Catholic bishop, Monsignor Basilio do Nascimento, is said to be a man who is willing to stand up for the rights of his people.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Media Indonesia - March 19, 1997

Jakarta – Around 20 youths calling themselves Komite Pemuda Indonesia (KPI, Indonesian Youth Committee) held an action at the attorney general's office demanding that Sri Bintang Pamungkans and his companions be released. They unfurled banners reading: "Release our friend".

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Kompas Editorial - March 19, 1997

"Then you leave. The court evicts the accused from the court...", said the presiding judge Asmar Ismail in the subversion trial of PRD activists, Thursday (13/3). The accused Suroso left smiling. Seeing this, defense lawyer Denny Kailimang cleared away his things moving to leave the court room.

News ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
Agence France Presse - March 19, 1997

Geneva – Indonesia and other countries were applying pressure Wednesday to stop East Timor nobel peace prize winner Ramos Horta addressing the UN Human Rights Commission from a podium, different sources here said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Waspada - March 19, 1997

Jakarta – Sri Bintang Pamungkas, Julius Usman and Saleh Abdullah, suspects in a subversion case, Tuesday (18/3), have "boycotted" their investigation by the attorney general's office.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Kompas - March 19, 1997

Assistant Secretary of State for basic rights and labour affaires, John Shattuck, visited labour leader Muchtar Pakpahan in hospital on Tuesday 18 March. He wanted to visit Pakpahan who is on trial for subversion to find out for himself Pakpahan's state of health. He spent thirty minutes with the labour leader.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Jane's Defense Daily - March 19, 1997

Indonesia has ordered an unspecified number of armored personnel carriers from Ukraine's UKRSPETSE, the country's state-owned arms corporation, according to a top company official.

Andrei Koukin, UKRSPETSE's director general, disclosed the deal yesterday during a press conference at the IDEX '97 defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Angkatan Bersenjata - March 19, 1997

Palembang – Two Hawk-200 aircraft purchased from the UK will arrive in Indonesia on Friday 21 March, completing the supply of 24 Hawk 200/100 contract. The other 22 are now at Ppekanbaru airbase.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Lusa - March 19, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian Army is not "concern" with the US proposal to stop aid to the country because of its human rights violations, military sources in the Indonesian capital Jakarta have said.

News ›› East Timor ›› Arbitrary Arrest & Detention
Lusa - March 19, 1997

Macau – The vice-rector of the University of East Timor, and other three Timorese, are currently under surveillance and may be detained by the Indonesian authorities, local resistance sources have said.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jawa Pos - March 19, 1997 (Abridged)

Army chief of staff General Hartono said the armed forces will take action against foreign observers of the elections who violate provisions in force in Indonesia. 'They can observe the election, as long as they stick to the rules,' he said.