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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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November 27, 2000

Detik - November 27, 2000

Maryadi/BI & GB, Pontianak – In Pontianak, West Kalimantan, up to 400 civilians recruited as 'People's Security' guards, or 'Kamra', staged a rowdy protest at the Governor's office Monday. Representatives stormed out of a meeting with government leaders when told they were the responsibility of the central government.

November 26, 2000

Straits Times - November 26, 2000

Susan Sim, Jakarta – Putting an end to months of policy drift, the Indonesian government is set to issue today an ultimatum to the Free Aceh separatist movement GAM: Start negotiations in the next seven weeks or we will wipe you out when the current "humanitarian pause" expires.

Indonesian Observer - November 26, 2000

Jakarta – Police in Cianjur, West Java, yesterday began the grisly task of examining 20 corpses that were recently found hanging from trees at Mount Sawo Valley, a report said.

Antara quoted local residents as saying the victims are believed to be practitioners of black magic. Police arrested several of the alleged killers yesterday.

Straits Times - November 26, 2000

Devi Asmarani, Jakarta – Exactly a month since its launch in Jakarta, General Wiranto's CD has made its way to the top racks at record stores in Indonesia where the best-selling new releases are usually placed.

November 25, 2000

Detik - November 25, 2000

Muchus B. Rahayu/GB, Solo – As many as 48 mass organisations joined a massive convoy around the streets of Solo (Surakarta) in central Java demanding that all activities offensive to Muslims be totally stopped during the holy fasting month of Ramadhan which most Muslims will celebrate tomorrow, Monday.

Associated Press - November 25, 2000 (slightly abridged)

Jakarta – New fighting among Muslims and Christians broke out in Indonesia's eastern Maluku or Moluccan Islands, killing at least 11 people, officials and activists said Saturday.

The sectarian bloodshed Friday and Saturday brought the number of confirmed deaths to 19 this week. Another 16 people remain missing.

The Age - November 25, 2000

Tony Parkinson – The elder statesman of Asian politics, Lee Kuan Yew, has warned Indonesia that it cannot afford to risk making the same mistakes in West Papua that it did in East Timor.

In an interview with The Age, Singapore's senior minister issued a blunt caution to Indonesia, an ASEAN partner and Singapore's biggest neighbor.

November 24, 2000

Sydney Morning Herald - November 24, 2000

Jakarta – Independence celebrations in Indonesia's eastern province of West Papua will go ahead next week despite stern warnings from Jakarta, the province's independence leader said yesterday.

Jakarta Post - November 24, 2000

Jakarta – After a series of long investigations, police named nine high-ranking military and police officers on Thursday as suspects in the violent takeover of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) headquarters in Central Jakarta in 1996.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 24, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri has reaffirmed her support for President Abdurrahman Wahid amid growing calls for his resignation.

South China Morning Post - November 24, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, yesterday offered to help Indonesia set up a special court to hear cases against suspects accused of atrocities in East Timor last year.

Detik - November 24, 2000

Djoko Tjitono/Fitri & GB, Jakarta – Around 200 activists under the banner of the "Women's Pledge" or "Kaulan Perempuan" held a lively demonstration at Hotel Indonesia roundabout in the centre of Jakarta, Friday, to celebrate "Anti Violence Against Women" day. The demonstrators demanded an end to all violence against women.

November 23, 2000

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2000

Jakarta – Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (SBSI) chairman Muchtar Pakpahan filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against National Police chief Gen. Surojo Bimantoro and East Kalimantan Police chief Insp. Gen. Togar M. Sianipar over the recent arrest of the union's top executive in the province.

Indonesian Observer - November 23, 2000

Pekanbaru – No work! No pay! Thats the message from embattled oil company PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia (CPI) to its striking contract workers in Riau province, central-eastern Sumatra. CPI yesterday warned some 3,000 striking contract workers they will not be paid and there will be no negotiations until they go back to work.

Indonesian Observer - November 23, 2000

Jakarta – Hundreds of women yesterday staged a rally against a phony recruitment firm that swindled them out of millions of rupiah.

The illegal manpower agency, PT Shaymma based in Lampung province, had promised about 250 women that it would provide jobs for them in Saudi Arabia, providing that they each paid a registration fee of Rp4 million (US$423).

Detik - November 23, 2000

Khaerul Ikhwan/Fitri & GB, Medan – Up to 500 workers and NGO members staged a rally in front of the North Sumatra Governor's office on Jl Diponegoro in the capital Medan, Thursday. They demanded a rise in the provincial minimum wage and that the Board established by the government to determine the wages be disbanded.

Asia Times - November 23, 2000

Kanis Dursin, Jakarta – Opposition from civilian politicians is stalling efforts by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid to assert civilian authority over the military, blocking efforts to curb rights abuses and resolve past violations, analysts say.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 23, 2000

Mark Dodd on the Patricia Anne Hotung – As dawn broke yesterday scores of refugees scrambled up to the deck of this former Australian Navy survey ship for their first glimpse of Dili since the violence of September 1999 in East Timor.

Agence France Presse - November 23, 2000

Jakarta – Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer should stay out of Irian Jaya's affairs, the man spearheading a growing separatist movement in the remote Indonesian province said Thursday.

Detik - November 23, 2000

Khairul Ikhwan D/BI & GB, Medan – Tens of entertainment workers gathered at the Medan Tourism office in North Sumatra province to urge the Medan City Council to revoke the Mayoral decree on the closure of their workplaces during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri celebrations.

Indonesian Observer - November 23, 2000

Jakarta – At least 150 Acehnese youths living in Jakarta staged a protest outside National Police headquarters yesterday, demanding the release of Muhammad Nazar, head of the Aceh Referendum Information Center (SIRA).

South China Morning Post - November 23, 2000

Vaudine England – Police arrested Aceh's leading student activist and yesterday threatened imposition of emergency rule if progress was not made towards dialogue.

The activist, Muhammad Nazar, heads the Information Centre for a Referendum in Aceh (Sira), which is lobbying for Acehnese to be allowed to choose independence or continued rule by Jakarta.

Detik - November 23, 2000

Chaidir Anwar Tanjung/BI & GB, Pekanbaru – Seven islands in Riau province have disappeared completely since 1980 due to environmental degradation caused by excessive oil drilling offshore, contamination of the sea by oil tankers, the clearance and destruction of mangrove areas and the disappearance of coral reefs.

Far Eastern Economic Review - November 23, 2000

Dini Djalal, Jakarta – Luxury resorts across the country were inspected, as were fancy restaurants and race tracks, the favourite haunts of the youngest son of former President Suharto, 38-year-old Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra. Family retreats have been under scrutiny, their closets and cabinets searched.

Associated Press - November 23, 2000 (abridged)

Ali Kotarumalos, Jakarta – Police fired warning shots Thursday and beat demonstrators at the national parliament, where opposing groups rallied for and against President Abdurrahman Wahid. At least four protesters were injured.

November 22, 2000

South China Morning Post - November 22, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Giving money and power to more than 350 districts across the country is the only way Indonesia can survive as a nation-state, the Minister of Settlement and Regional Infrastructure, Erna Witoelar, said yesterday.

Green Left Weekly - November 22, 2000

Max Lane, Jakarta – Leaders of the struggle against neo-liberal globalisation here are preparing a major gathering of activists to discuss strategies to stop the imperialist onslaught on the Indonesian economy and people.

Agence France Presse - November 22, 2000 (abridged)

Jakarta – The Indonesian government on Wednesday warned that it will get tough against separatist movements in Aceh and Irian Jaya provinces at opposite ends of the far flung archipelago.

Green Left Weekly - November 22, 2000

Max Lane, Jakarta – On November 14, six members of the Central Leadership Council of the People's Democratic Party (KPP-PRD) announced the formation of the Democratic Socialist Association (PDS).

Xinhua - November 22, 2000

Jakarta – The Indonesian National Resilience Institute, an institute under the Ministry of Defense, said here Wednesday that the country is facing an imminent collapse and a breakdown of the country seems to be a matter of time.

South China Morning Post - November 22, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – The remains of 24 former communists slaughtered during the massacre of 1966-67 have been recovered from a mass grave in a Javanese forest.

Straits Times - November 22, 2000

Jakarta – The Indonesian Attorney-General's Office has found initial evidence of corruption in four contracts agreed by state oil and gas company Pertamina during the rule of former President Suharto.

Christian Science Monitor - November 22, 2000

Dan Murphy, Jakarta – When a rash of explosions rocks Jakarta, they are the immediate suspects. When mysterious "ninja" killers execute dozens of Muslim scholars in East Java, senior politicians whisper their names. And when aid workers are killed in West Timor, United Nations officials point their way.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 22, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch in Jakarta and David Lague – The Howard Government will lodge a diplomatic protest after Australia's most senior diplomat in Indonesia, Mr John McCarthy, was attacked yesterday and bailed up for almost an hour by a group of about 20 pro-Jakarta East Timor protesters.

Green Left Weekly - November 22, 2000

Pip Hinman – Prime Minister John Howard, under pressure, once described the successive Australian governments' approaches to East Timor as "bipartisan wrong policy". Yet this hasn't influenced his views on the self-determination struggle being waged by the West Papuan people.

November 21, 2000

Detik - November 21, 2000

Haidir Anwar Tanjung/ Hendra & PT, Jakarta – It is clear that PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia's luck continues to decline. Previously, their oil pumps which are located in the Riau province had been seized and burnt by locals. This time, thousands of contract laborers have staged a strike demanding a hike in their living costs.

November 20, 2000

Sydney Morning Herald - November 20, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – Australia's senior diplomat in Jakarta, Mr John McCarthy, has accused Indonesia's former military chief, General Wiranto, of having "broad knowledge" of the violence and destruction in East Timor last year.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 20, 2000

Mark Dodd, Dili – Indonesian military officials actively directed and organised last year's murderous political violence in East Timor, according to new evidence uncovered by a United Nations official investigating war crimes in the soon to be independent territory.

Indonesian Observer - November 20, 2000

Jakarta – Thousands of settlers have fled from Wamena town in Irian Jaya (West Papua), following last months ethnic rioting that left at least 31 people killed and dozens badly wounded.

Straits Times - November 20, 2000

Marianne Kearney, Cianjur – West Java has been hit by a wave of brutal killings of shamans, with at least 19 suspected sorcerers being killed by enraged mobs in the past three months.

November 19, 2000

Agence France Presse - November 19, 2000

Dili – Women's groups and rape investigators say the victims of militia rape and sex slavery continue to bear the scars of post-ballot violence in East Timor, facing ostracism on their return home.

Jakarta Post - November 19, 2000

Jakarta – President Abdurrahman Wahid calls on both electronic and print media to promote truth in their coverage, saying there are media who get paid to spread lies and slanders.

Agence France Presse - November 19, 2000

Jakarta – A flood of settlers who dominate the economy, Islamization and human rights abuses by the military are at the root of growing separatist sentiments in Indonesia's province of Irian Jaya, a researcher said.

Agence France Presse - November 19, 2000

Jakarta – Deadlocks are looming between Indonesia and the United Nations, as a UN Security Council mission reports to headquarters on Monday on the situation in camps in West Timor holding tens of thousand of East Timorese refugees.

November 18, 2000

Sydney Morning Herald - November 18, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – President Abdurrahman Wahid flew back to Jakarta this week into stormy weather that has nothing to do with the arrival of the monsoon season. Members of Indonesia's elite are stepping up their attacks on the 60-year-old President amid behind-the-scenes manoeuvring to unseat him.

Jakarta Post - November 18, 2000

Jakarta – Army Chief of Staff Gen. Endriartono Sutarto lashed out on Friday at bickering civilian politicians, who he said were grabbing power with utter disregard of the negative repercussions for the nation.

Straits Times - November 18, 2000

Robert Go, Jakarta – With President Abdurrahman Wahid breathing down their necks, the Indonesian authorities have stepped up the hunt for former strongman Suharto's youngest son. They plan to seize his properties throughout Jakarta and subpoena his wife to testify on Monday.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 18, 2000

Mark Dodd, Dili – The United Nations has entered talks with senior militia leaders implicated in some of the worst crimes in East Timor last year, but whose return may lead to the repatriation of thousands of refugees.

Agence France Presse - November 18, 2000

Jakarta – The World Bank yesterday expressed opposition to a reported Indonesian plan to raise rice import tariffs, saying such a move would contradict the government's stated "pro-poor" policy.

Australian Associated Press - November 18, 2000

Catharine Munro Balibo, East Timor – Forensic investigators are looking for the remains of five Western journalists murdered here 25 years ago during Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.