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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 27, 2000

The Australian - June 27, 2000

Peter Alford – "The criticism of us has been varied and I would say only partly justified ... at no time in history has a country been totally rebuilt in six months or a year," so Jean Cady, deputy chief of the UN Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET), dryly notes.

South China Morning Post - June 27, 2000

Vaudine England – Her father helped found the country and remains a symbol of freedom to many. After a childhood of privilege she chose to enter politics, daring to stand up to the dictatorial whims of her father's successor.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2000

Jakarta – The World Bank country director for Indonesia, Mark Baird, has apparently taken sides with President Abdurrahman Wahid over growing criticism against the government's economic policy.

Agence France Presse - June 27, 2000 (slightly abridged)

Jakarta – Government efforts to end sectarian violence in Indonesia's Maluku islands by imposing a state of emergency hang on the neutrality of soldiers there, analysts said Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2000

Santi Soekanto – A truly democratic negotiation for solutions in Aceh should include different elements including women groups, says Jacqueline Aquino Siapno from the Philippines.

Detik - June 27, 2000

Yayus Yuswoprihanto/LM & FW, Jakarta – 500 workers from Gaspermindo (Indonesian Independent Workers Combined Union) rallied in front of the House of Reperesentatives building today, demanding sweeping improvements in the wages and conditions of workers.

Detik - June 27, 2000

A Andri/Swastika & LM, Jakarta – Representatives of Batak Toba tribe in North Sumatra have urged the government to immediately close down PT Inti Indorayon Utama to avoid further conflict with local people.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2000

Jakarta – The government urged on Monday the police to take tougher actions against protesters to protect the operations of coal mining company PT Kaltim Prima Coal in East Kalimantan and gold mining company PT Newmont Minahasa Raya in North Sulawesi.

June 26, 2000

South China Morning Post - June 26, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – Less than two months from now, President Abdurrahman Wahid will face a fractious parliament, large parts of which will seek to bring him down.

Sydney Morning Herald - June 26, 2000

President Wahid may pay dearly for failing to get a quick turnaround in his country's troubled economy, writes Hamish McDonald.

Analysts of Indonesia have occasionally looked to the Soviet Union for analogies to explain and predict trends in this far-flung archipelago.

Washington Times - June 26, 2000

Dana R. Dillon – It is a debate that pits the Clinton administration against human-rights watchers who say the White House is rewarding a corrupt regime bent on violence. The White House counters it is trying to export American values. Building trade with China?

Detik - June 26, 2000

Yogi Arif/Swastika & LM, Jakarta – While some 100 demonstrators gathered at the Jakarta provincial parliament building demanding the members reject the annual accountability speech of Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso, over 1,000 pedicab drivers gathered at the Jakarta City Court demanding they be allowed to operate in the city.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2000

Ati Nurbaiti, Jakarta – There is a lot of clamor nowadays to bring those guilty of abusing power and violating human rights to trial – those involved in abduction, arbitrary detention, corruption, torture, rape and killings.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2000

Jakarta – The lack of a clear-cut regulation on industrial labor relationships and poor control from the government have led to the vast exploitation of workers, especially those hired on a seasonal basis, according to legal expert Apong Herlina.

Detik - June 26, 2000

Chaidir Anwar Tanjung/ RHP & LM, Pekanbaru – In Lagoi, North Bintan, Kepri regency, on the island of Riau which is pushing for extensive autonomy from Indonesia, hundreds of local people have staged protests demanding proper compensation for their land taken during the New Order era of President Suharto.

June 25, 2000

Straits Times - June 25, 2000

Jakarta – About 200 Islamic protesters attacked and damaged a restaurant in a well-to-do Jakarta neighbourhood after throwing rocks at offices occupied by Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission on Friday.

Straits Times - June 25, 2000

Jakarta – Mobs broke into a police headquarters and took away cash, ammunition and police uniforms, raising concerns of an escalation of violence in the week-long unrest plaguing the troubled Malukus Islands.

June 24, 2000

Straits Times - June 24, 2000

Robert Go, Jakarta – The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (Ibra) would be investigated for holding back nearly eight trillion rupiah (S$1.68 billion) worth of funds that should have been deposited into the state treasury, said the agency's supervising cabinet minister.

ASIET - June 24, 2000

James Balowski – On 12 September 1984, dozens of people were killed and injured when troops fired on Muslim demonstrators in the port district of Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2000

Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has demanded the national rights body reinvestigate the 1984 Tanjung Priok bloodshed.

Amid protests that the rights body be dissolved, Kontras also demanded on Friday that the reinvestigation be conducted by a different set of people representing the National Commission on Human Rights.

June 23, 2000

Agence France Presse - June 23, 2000

Jakarta – At least 20 people were killed and more than 100 seriously injured Friday in an eruption of deadly street fighting between Muslims and Christians in the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon, reports and hospital officials said.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2000

Jayapura – Biak Military chief Lt. Col. Bayu Purwiyono confirmed on Thursday reports that residents of at least 10 villages in the regency had been asked to respond to a poll checking their attitude toward a campaign to set up an independent state in the province.

Detik - June 23, 2000

D. Sangga Buana/ Swastika, Jakarta – Local police officers in Aceh believe they have discovered a mass grave site located in Simpang Kramat, Kutamakmur sub district, North Aceh. Two skeletons were unearthed in one of spots yesterday and today the police are searching for another 30 burial sites nearby.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2000

Jakarta – A new moral movement made up of some 33 public figures is emerging out of the growing disappointment at the slow pace of reform under the administration of President Abdurrahman Wahid.

South China Morning Post - June 23, 2000

Vaudine England, Jakarta – The navy yesterday evacuated more than 750 terrified Christians from the village of Duma on Halmahera, as large groups of Muslim fighters rampaged across the North Maluku.

Straits Times - June 23, 2000

There seems to be no end in sight for the wave of sectarian violence plagueing the Maluku islands for the past 18 months.

Straits Times - June 23, 2000

Jakarta – The latest eruption of violence between Muslims and Christians in the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon has left up to 20 dead over two days, including a police major.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2000

Makassar – Wirabuana Military Police are investigating the alleged involvement of 28 soldiers in the Poso riots which began on May 23, regional military commander Maj. Gen. Slamet Kirbiantoro disclosed on Thursday.

Detik - June 23, 2000

Shinta NM Sinaga/FW & LM, Jakarta – The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has admitted that they have found many irregularities in their audit of the Ministry of Defense. While the Ministry has vowed to follow up the irregularities found, the Agency has stated that it is about to look into whether the information provided is accurate.

Agence France Presse - June 23, 2000 (slightly abridged)

Jakarta – Huge convoys of cars and motorcycles criss-crossed the capital of Indonesia's restive Aceh province yesterday in a mass protest demanding the dissolution of district and provincial parliaments, reports said.

Associated Press - June 23, 2000 (abridged)

Lisbon – East Timor 's independence leader Jose Alexandre Gusmao said Thursday the guerrillas he once led against Indonesian troops are living in squalid conditions and could revolt.

Hundreds of former guerrilla fighters, who still have their weapons, have been living for the past nine months in designated areas monitored by the United Nations.

Kyodo News - June 23, 2000

Tim Johnson, Dili – UN peacekeepers in East Timor have arrested two suspected anti-independence militiamen and confiscated rifles and grenades in the wake of a grenade attack on peacekeepers Wednesday, a UN peacekeeping force (PKF) spokesman said Friday.

June 22, 2000

Detik - June 22, 2000

A Andri/Swastika & LM, Jakarta – The chairman of the Aceh Referendum Information Center (SIRA), Muhammad Nazar, stated that, based on the results of some 30,000 surveys distributed throughout the province, 97% of Acehnese support a referendum.

Agence France Presse - June 22, 2000

Banda Aceh – A caretaker governor of the strife-torn Aceh province was installed Wednesday amid student protests against the Indonesian government. The outgoing governor, Mr Syamsuddin Mahmud, was replaced by Mr Ramli Ridwan, a senior official at the Home Affairs Ministry.

Sydney Morning Herald - June 22, 2000

Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta – Authorities yesterday arrested a top Indonesian economic official over a $US80million banking scandal linked to Golkar, the former ruling party.

Dow Jones Newswires - June 22, 2000

Jakarta – The chairman of the Indonesia's upper House of Representatives, Amien Rais, added his voice Thursday to the chorus protesting the detention of Bank Indonesia Governor Sjahril Sabirin, saying it smacks of political intervention.

Sydney Morning Herald - June 22, 2000 (slightly abridged)

Mark Dodd, Dili – Under pressure to give East Timorese more responsibility for their own affairs, the United Nations announced yesterday it would more than double the size of the country's de facto parliament and make it all Timorese.

Asian Wall Street Journal - June 22, 2000

Jim Della-Giacoma – In one of the most courageous acts of self-determination in recent history, the people of East Timor went to the polls last August to reject an Indonesian offer of greater autonomy in favor of a transition to independence under the stewardship of the United Nations.

Far Eastern Economic Review - June 22, 2000

Michael Vatikiotis, Jakarta – In Indonesia, one needn't look far to find a fertile breeding ground for left-wing sympathies: Farmers protesting over the price of rice, workers seizing their factories, students marching daily against corruption.

Business Times - June 22, 2000

Jakarta – Indonesia's inability to guarantee land security is blocking foreign investment in farm-based businesses in Asia's third-largest agricultural producer, analysts said.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2000

Jakarta – Legal observers called on authorities in the country's legal circle on Wednesday to apply thorough and strong measures to combat chronic and acute judiciary mafia practices.

Straits Times - June 22, 2000

Robert Go, Jakarta – The country's top economics minister has berated the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (Ibra) for working at a snail's pace and said it was a long way from meeting its projected contribution to this year's national budget.

Dow Jones News - June 22, 2000

Leigh Murray and Grainne McCarthy, Jakarta – Criticism of the detention of Bank Indonesia Governor Sjahril Sabirin mounted Thursday amid suggestions of political interference, with analysts and business executives saying the case has dealt another blow to already shaky investor sentiment towards Indonesia.

Detik - June 22, 2000

A Ismail/Swastika & LM, Jakarta – The continuing conflict between the people of Porsea village, North Sumatra, with PT Inti Indorayon Utama (IIU) has claimed the life of Herman Sitorus, an engineering highschool student shot by a North Tapanuli police subprecinct officer in a heated brawl Wednesday.

Agence France Presse - June 22, 2000

Jakarta – A series of peaceful protests at the provincial parliament in Indonesia's West Kalimantan on Thursday forced the postponment of a meeting to decide on the fate of the governor there, an official said.

June 21, 2000

Agence France Presse - June 21, 2000

Jakarta – Five civic leaders, who organised a landmark congress calling on Jakarta to recognise the independence of the Indonesian province of West Papua, face life imprisonment for suspected treason.

Straits Times - June 21, 2000

Robert Go, Jakarta – Local governments have been warned not to abuse new regional autonomy laws or they risk losing both domestic and foreign investment, high-level central government officials have warned.

Sydney Morning Herald - June 21, 2000

Mark Dodd, Dili – Negotiations between the United Nations and Canberra for a new Timor Gap treaty could see up to $US100 million a year in oil and gas revenue flowing to East Timor, senior UN officials say.

Green Left Weekly - June 21, 2000

Vanya Tanaja, Dili – This city has been rocked by snap public transport stoppages since June 2 in response to a rise in the price of fuel. Small minibuses, "mikrolets", that provide cheap public transport around Dili, and private taxis have all taken part, leaving the city with only private vehicles, United Nations cars and a large number of pedestrians.

Jakarta Post - June 21, 2000

The National Commission on Human Rights' committee for the 1984 mass killing in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta (KPP HAM Tanjung Priok), has come under fire for its report to the House of Representatives (DPR) suggesting to summon parties related to the killings instead of recommending a trial.