Dili – A confidential Indonesian government report predicts social chaos in East Timor as Indonesians flee following an expected vote in favour of independence in August.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
July 19, 1999
July 18, 1999
Yudha Kartohadiprodjo, Jakarta – At a quick glance, Budiman Soedjatmiko, 29 years old, could be mistaken for a compliant yuppie waiting for the next business deal or a young university lecturer waiting to teach.
Bespectacled and usually dressed in a light colored, short-sleeved shirt, he displays a calm composure while warmly greeting friends. But compliant he is not.
Jakarta – Malnutrition? Intellectual confinement? None of these remotely describe the experiences of seven young political activists from the Democratic People's Party (PRD) who are incarcerated at Cipinang Prison, East Jakarta.
July 17, 1999
Sugianto Tandra, Balibo – A leader of a pro-Indonesia East Timor militia unit said Saturday he has been ordered to make guns in case East Timorese reject autonomy within Indonesia in a late-August UN-sponsored referendum.
Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – Human rights and community groups are accusing the Indonesian military of provoking violence in Indonesia's northern Aceh province, where more than 80,000 people have fled their homes.
Sugianto Tandra, Balibo – The UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) is facing its first protest over voter registration for an August ballot on the territory's future as pro-Indonesia figures criticized Saturday registration requirements as being "unreasonably strict."
July 16, 1999
Mark Dodd, Dili – Despite nagging security concerns, the United Nations gave its qualified approval yesterday to start voter registration in East Timor, less than six weeks before its planned vote on self-determination.
Geoff Spencer, Suai – Bloodshed marred the start of voter registration in East Timor for a UN-supervised ballot on independence for the Indonesian province, UN officials said today.
Witnesses said anti-independence militiamen attacked independence supporters Thursday night in the village of Salasa, about 60 miles southwest of the provincial capital of Dili.
Dili – UN blue berets and volunteers on Friday opened voter registration for the landmark poll on the future of East Timor, but the start was marred by the after effects of a violent militia attack.
Liquisa – Hundreds of people braved pro-Indonesia militia intimidation in this traumatized district to register Friday for a vote on East Timor's future.
A skull-and-crossbones had been painted on the window of one registration centre when 500 local residents showed up hoping to get on the voters' list at 9am, a source with the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) said.
Jakarta – Some 2,250 East Timorese living elsewhere in Indonesia are expected to register for August's vote on the territory's future, an independent East Timorese youth group said here Friday.
Keith B. Richburg, Jakarta – Some 38 days after Indonesians voted in the country's first free election in a generation, the final tabulation of the results was announced Thursday, and they confirmed what political analysts and others here long suspected – the party of opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri finished first in the crowded field.
July 15, 1999
Jakarta – More than 80,000 people have fled violence between soldiers and rebels in the troubled Indonesian province of Aceh, an official said Thursday.
The refugee numbers had been swelled by more than 6,000 people who left their villages in East Aceh to reach 80,020, the head of the Aceh social affairs office, Zaharir, said quoted by the Antara news agency.
Amy Chew, Jakarta – Indonesia's military will back presidential frontrunner Megawati Sukarnoputri if she picks armed forces chief General Wiranto as her vice presidential candidate, military sources said on Thursday.
July 14, 1999
Jakarta – US relations with Indonesia could suffer if ongoing violence derails a planned vote on self-determination in East Timor, a senior US government official said here Wednesday.
Susan Sim and Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – President B.J. Habibie has rejected opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri's claim to a popular mandate following last month's general election, insisting that it is misleading to assume that the party with the most votes will win the presidency automatically.
Jakarta – Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. Wiranto defended on Tuesday the presence of anti-riot troops in Aceh, following recent clashes which left nine people dead.
Eight alleged rebels were shot dead in two separate clashes in East Aceh and Central Aceh on Monday, the day bodies of two police were found in East Aceh with severe wounds.
Singapore – Indonesian opposition leader Amien Rais said here Wednesday that it was too early to declare a winner in the race for the presidency and witheld his support for frontrunner Megawati Sukarnoputri.
United Nations – The UN Security Council today called on Jakarta to make 'concrete progress' in improving the security situation in East Timor to ensure the holding of a landmark ballot on schedule.
July 13, 1999
Jakarta – A 10-day training course on crowd control given by the US government to the Indonesian Police will be useless, and would be used by local officers only to break up student and worker demonstrations here, lawyers and students said on Monday.
Don Greenlees (Jakarta) and Sian Powell (Dili) – Almost half the Indonesian Cabinet flew into East Timor yesterday in a dramatic bid by Jakarta to quell growing international anger over its failure to maintain security ahead of the UN-sponsored ballot on autonomy.
Jakarta – Troops killed six suspected separatist rebels and injured three others in two separate incidents in Indonesia's troubled Aceh province, a report said Tuesday.
Don Greenlees, Jakarta – East Timor militia leader Eurico Guterres was due to meet UN envoy Francesc Vendrell in Dili on Saturday. He didn't show up. The UN was led to believe Guterres instead went to see Governor Abilio Soares, a man with whom he has regular contact.
Jakarta – Hundreds of Muslim students in Ujungpandang, South Sulawesi, took to the streets on Monday voicing their rejection of Megawati Soekarnoputri's presidential bid.
July 12, 1999
Neles Tebay, Jayapura – Security authorities continued to commit human rights violations in Irian Jaya in the past year as popular resentment against the central government unfolded in the wake of an upsurge in separatist activities, a rights group and churches say.
Sydney – Britain's crack SAS army regiment was involved in a 1996 mission to rescue hostages from rebels in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province during which eight civilians died, an Australian television report claimed Monday.
Documents at the Australian Archives show the Federal Government turned a blind eye to the indiscriminate slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians after an alleged communist coup, writes David Jenkins.
July 10, 1999
The case of (temporarily non-active) Attorney General, Lt. General Ghalib, is increasingly slipping from the rails of justice as political elements tend to appear on the surface.
Secret records of the US State Department and CIA provide evidence that the massacre of Indonesia's communists in 1965 was not a result of spontaneous uprisings but a deliberate campaign by General Soeharto. Marian Wilkinson reveals that the records show the US and Australia knew what was happening – but continued to back the army in its bloody takeover.
Jakarta – More than 40,000 refugees packed camps in Indonesia's Aceh province Saturday, an official said, after fleeing their villages out of fear of continuing violence between soldiers and rebels.
A preliminary count of the refugees in Pidie disctrict showed 44,740 people had fled, said the official who asked to remain anonymous.
July 9, 1999
Jakarta – Residents of Koja, an area on the northeast coast of Jakarta, are threatening to use force to take over land that was seized from them in 1995 by a state-owned company with close ties to former president Soeharto's eldest daughter, Siti Hardiyanti 'Tutut' Rukmana.
The true story of the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people linked to the Indonesian Communist Party has remained buried since 1965. Now with the fall from power of President Soeharto, Indonesians are beginning to confront their own holocaust, writes Louise Williams.
Keith B. Richburg, Jakarta – Following her apparent victory in democratic elections last month, Megawati Sukarnoputri has declared that the Indonesian people have given her the mandate to lead the country.
Since May last year, there have been constant calls for a thorough investigation into the wealth of former Indonesian President Suharto and the corruption, collusion and nepotism that characterised his thirty two year rule.
July 8, 1999
David Jenkins – It is Sunday afternoon in Jakarta and a colleague of Xanana Gusmao is sitting in a deserted hotel lounge discussing political developments in East Timor.
As she outlines the hopes and plans of the pro-independence movement, a solidly built Indonesian in jeans and a checked shirt appears out of nowhere and slips onto a couch beside us.
Peter Hartcher and Tim Dodd – Australia and the US have intelligence that proves that the high command of the Indonesian army and a group of Indonesian Cabinet ministers are complicit in the violence racking East Timor.
July 7, 1999
Jakarta – The chief of the UN Mission in East Timor asked the Indonesian armed forces on Wednesday to rein in pro-Indonesian militia before a planned vote on self-determination there next month.
Vaudine England, Jakarta – Exactly one month after Indonesia's groundbreaking general election, just 59 per cent of votes have been counted in Jakarta.
Jakarta – Anxiety prevailed in the North Aceh district of Matangkuli, near Lhokseumawe, on Tuesday following an overnight gunfight involving security authorities and armed separatist rebels.
July 6, 1999
The situation of internally displaced people (IDP's) in East Timor is worsening by the day. They must face intimidation, terror; their houses are burned; health conditions are very poor with a high mortality rate due to disease and lack of adequate food.
With the rise of militia activity in a number of regencies in the last eight months has led to an increase in violence perpetrated against the general population. Many have become victims of killings, detention, rape, torture, looting, losing their homes and their entire possesions when their houses are burned by militia.
Jakarta – Thousands of bank employees and bus drivers staged separate demonstrations in Jakarta yesterday, demanding greater rights for workers.
Sander Thoenes, Jakarta – Former President Suharto yesterday filed a multi-billion dollar libel suit against Time magazine in a case that highlights the new government's failure to pursue corruption charges against him.
Tangerang – Jailed labor activist Dita Indah Sari of the Democratic People's Party (PRD) left the women's penitentiary here on Monday after spending two years in prison.
Jakarta – Riots in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province have left one man dead and one wounded, while rebels abducted six forestry officials in separatist unrest, reports and residents said Tuesday.
July 5, 1999
Sigit Widodo, Jakarta – Dita Indah Sari, chairperson of the Indonesian Centre for Labour Struggle (PPBI) – which is affiliated to the People's Democratic Party (PRD) – was released from the Tangerang Women's Prison on Monday, July 5. Upon being released, Dita went pay a visit to her mother's grave, Nonya Lili Fernandes.
The Indonesian Government has condemned an attack by pro-Jakarta militias on a United Nations-escorted aid convoy in East Timor, and has promised to investigate the incident.
Sigli – Some 25,000 people have fled their homes in Pidie district up to Sunday, 4 July and sub-district Tangse is almost entirely deserted. Thousands more villagers have fled a number of villages in sub-distrct Bandar Baru because they no longer feel safe in their homes.
Jakarta – Indonesian police arrested 19 separatists and shot and injured one of them Monday after they hoisted their flag in front of a district parliament building in Irian Jaya province, a report said.
The state Antara news agency said police opened fire, wounding one separatist in the neck, when the group resisted efforts to haul down the flag in the district of Sorong.
Jakarta – An unidentified group yesterday attacked an office of the Democratic People's Party (PRD), following last week's shooting of PRD activists by security officials.