Ahmad Junaidi, Jakarta – Dozens of people were injured and 12 were arrested as some 1,500 people who staged an anti-US rally in front of the House of Representatives building clashed with police officers on Monday.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
October 16, 2001
Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – President Megawati Sukarnoputri yesterday ordered her deputy to meet several Muslim clerics and leaders of militant groups to defuse growing anti-American sentiments that were undermining foreign investor confidence in Indonesia.
October 15, 2001
Vaudine England, Jakarta – With about 20 people killed in fighting between separatist and government forces in Aceh in under a week, the Government's claims of pursuing dialogue are fast losing credibility. Parliament called on President Megawati Sukarnoputri to focus on the issue.
An Indonesian general has been found guilty in an American court. Is there any resounding impact?
Jakarta – Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, in comments indicating a degree of discomfort with the United States-led strikes on Afghanistan, said last night that violence must not beget violence.
Achmad Sukarsono, Jakarta – Indonesian policemen often do a double-take when they wheel bloodied corpses in to Oktavinda Safitry at Jakarta's central morgue. They soon give the devout Muslim woman and veiled coroner approving nods.
Frida Berrigan – Things seemed to be looking up for Indonesia in July, when President Abdurrahman Wahid, widely viewed as corrupt and incompetent, finally was voted out of office – and Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri assumed leadership.
Jakarta – Many Indonesians regard Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden as a fighter for justice and support efforts by the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan to shelter him, according to a survey published on Sunday.
Fabiola Desy Unidjaja and Tiarma Siboro, Jakarta – Hamzah Haz, in his capacity as chairman of the Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP), urged the US on Saturday to stop its military campaign in Afghanistan.
October 14, 2001
Slobodan Lekic, Dili – When the Indonesian army helicopter suddenly appeared above a rebel camp hidden in East Timor's towering mountains, Agostinho Sidabatur didn't hesitate. The sentry raised his century-old, bolt-action Mauser rifle, aimed at the Bell Huey clattering overhead and squeezed off a single round.
Grace Nirang, Jakarta – Indonesian police said on Sunday they had arrested 65 anti-American demonstrators in Jakarta and would charge them with weapons offences, triggering angry scenes involving hundreds of Muslims outside the police headquarters.
Dean Yates, Jakarta – Two German tourists have been kicked and punched after being mistaken for Americans on Indonesia's Lombok island while other foreigners are being harassed there, state media and a tour operator said on Saturday.
October 13, 2001
Tomi Soetjipto, Jakarta – Step inside a McDonald's restaurant in Indonesia's capital, scene of daily anti-American protests over US-led strikes on Afghanistan, and the first thing you see is not a Big Mac but a large Islamic poster. McDonald's crew still scurry about – but the women wear elegant Muslim clothing with matching veils while men sport prayer caps.
October 12, 2001
Jakarta – Amid growing anti-American sentiment in some parts of the country, some 400 farmers from Bali's Pacung Baturiti village staged a rally in front of the provincial legislative council building on Thursday to protest any action against foreigners visiting Indonesia's world-renowned tourist island.
Jakarta – As a group of former Shangri-La workers continued its demonstrations in front of the hotel demanding their jobs back, the hotel management said on Thursday that re-hiring was not a viable option.
Makassar – Hundreds of students from the Indonesian Muslim University (UMI) in Makassar sent an ultimatum on Thursday for the Japanese government to withdraw its support for the US attacks on Afghanistan, or else they would expel Japanese from the city.
Bambang Nurbianto, Jakarta – House of Representatives Speaker Akbar Tandjung denied stealing any money from the 40 billion rupiah in non-budgetary funds of the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) while he was state secretary in 1999.
Robert Go, Jakarta – One in three Indonesians living in big cities are suffering from some form of mental illness because of increased poverty and bloody sectarian conflicts in some areas of the country, the latest government survey showed. Not all cases are severe enough to require hospitalisation and a majority of them involve depression, stress and other minor neuroses.
October 11, 2001
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – Hundreds of drivers and owners of public minivans remained in their offices in Medan on Tuesday, some even choosing not to work temporarily despite their absence from the road on the previous day, when they gathered before the North Sumatra governor's office to launch a protest against unfair levies.
Yogyakarta – Hundreds of students from various universities in Yogyakarta staged two separate rallies on Wednesday to protest the US-led attack on Afghanistan, burning an effigy of US President George W. Bush and "sealing" popular American fast-food restaurants.
Achmad Sukarsono, Jakarta – About 1,000 Indonesian Muslim students rallied outside parliament on Wednesday, with some trying to knock down the gates leading into the complex in the biggest anti-American protest in Jakarta this week.
Devi Asmarani, Jakarta – The local administration is considering a reversal of a 23-year-old ban on gambling to profit from the billions of rupiah that illegal gambling businesses reportedly rake in here and to curb the crimes that are linked to them.
Despite mounting public pressure from small, vocal groups for the government to sever ties with the United States, the government said on Wednesday that it would maintain good relations with the US and its allies.
Berni K. Moestafa, Jakarta – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to the revision of key assumptions in the 2002 state budget draft, to ease Indonesia's budget targets in the face of a global economic recession.
October 10, 2001
Annastashya Emmanuelle, Jakarta – The Central Jakarta District Court ruled on Tuesday in favor of a class action filed by Kapak LPG against the state-run oil company Pertamina for arbitrarily raising the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) last November.
Dili – In its first concrete step toward drafting a new constitution, East Timor's national assembly Wednesday set up four commissions tasked with preparing sections of the national charter.
The assembly has until mid-December to pass the nascent nation's first constitution so that it can be in place before the UN-administered territory achieves independence next year.
Simon Montlake, Jakarta – More than two years after Indonesia's bloody revenge on East Timor for a pro-independence vote, hopes of justice for thousands of victims are fading fast.
Ibnu Mat Noor, Banda Aceh – After serving his full 12-month jail term at the Banda Aceh prison, Muhammad Nazar, chairman of the Aceh Referendum Information Center (SIRA), was released on Tuesday.
Makassar-Another police officer was killed in the city on Monday, further straining ties between the Provincial Police headquarters and the Military Command headquarters.
Jakarta – Students in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and Surabaya, East Java, defied a government ban and burned US flags in separate anti-US rallies on Tuesday.
In Makassar, hundreds of students from various groups rallied at different locations, including at the provincial legislative assembly compound, the Japanese consulate and even the city's largest shopping mall.
Jakarta – Indonesia's parliament, taking a harsher line than the government on the US-led attacks in Afghanistan, has summoned Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda to explain the government's stance.
Ainur R.Sophiaan, Surabaya – The Madurese refugees from Sampit and Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, now living in shelters and camps in Bangkalan and other areas on the island of Madura hope to return to their "former homeland" in Central Kalimantan in the next three months after a bylaw on demography is issued.
Devi Asmarani, Jakarta-The state wants the death penalty for one jailed grandson while two daughters and a son-in-law are under fresh graft probes.
October 9, 2001
Jakarta – Discord between Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Vice-President Hamzah Haz is becoming increasingly obvious now, with the two frequently making conflicting statements, analysts and legislators said.
Yemris Fointuna, Kupang – Along with government aid for the 290,000 East Timorese remaining in Indonesia being discontinued at the end of December, the refugee status for people now living in West Timor will also be canceled.
Ibnu Mat Noor, Banda Aceh – Five dead bodies with gunshot wounds were found in separate locations after a gunfight between security forces and members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) that lasted all of Sunday, an Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) volunteer worker said on Monday.
Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, Jakarta – A lawyer expressed the fear here on Monday that no Indonesian would be capable of meeting the criteria for membership of a "powerful" new commission to eradicate corruption (KPTPK) which would have a remit and powers far in excess of other law enforcement institutions.
Jakarta – Muslim organizations in Yogyakarta and Solo, Central Java, noisily condemned the US-led retaliation on the Taliban's military installations and Osama bin Laden's terrorist indoctrination camps with calls for the expulsion of American and British citizens from the two towns.
Jakarta – Expressing deep concern at the United States' decision to launch a military strike against Afghanistan, Indonesia urged Washington on Monday to keep its operation limited to minimize civilian casualties.
Tomi Soetjipto, Jakarta – Indonesian police fired warning shots, teargas and water cannon during a clash with 400 Muslim protesters outside the US embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday in a clear sign authorities will clamp down on anti-American violence.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) and leaders of Muslim groups condemned the US attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, and demanded that Jakarta freeze diplomatic ties with Washington.
Damar Harsanto and Hanifah Abu, Jakarta – Over a thousand demonstrators from several militant groups here staged rallies on Monday in front of the heavily guarded US Embassy, protesting the US-led strikes against Afghanistan which they called a form of terrorism.
October 8, 2001
Robert Go, Jakarta – Trader Dani Hermawan wants to open shop in Jakarta but cannot find space in a decent location. "Kiosks in malls are tough to get into,' he said. "I've waited three months but I know people who have waited more than half a year for one."
Kurniawan Hari, Jakarta – An increasing number of legislators are playing a game of "musical chairs" in that while their colleagues are seriously involved in a plenary meeting or hearing, they feel themselves at liberty to abandon the hearing or meeting so as to attend another one.
Jakarta – Indonesia has asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to ease conditions required for the release of an up to $600 million loan, an official said on Monday.
The ADB earlier this year asked Indonesia to give more incentives and relax barriers against foreign investors as part of requirements for the loan.
Jakarta – People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Amien Rais has criticized government policies, saying they only benefit big businesses and damage the economy.
October 7, 2001
Julie Chao, Dili – After Salvador Ferrera cast his ballot two years ago for independence for East Timor, he fled into the hills. When he came back a few weeks later, his hometown of Suai had been burned to the ground by militia groups. "All of Suai was totally destroyed," he said. "Three priests were killed. Until today, we don't know where their bones are."
October 6, 2001
Muninggar Sri Saraswati and Ahmad Junaidi, Jakarta – Some 50 fishing families lost their homes after the North Jakarta public order office on Thursday demolished their houses, which were allegedly built without any legal permit.
Multa Fidrus, Tangerang – Disgusting. That might be the comment that most people would make when seeing them begging on the street or at other public places here.
Jakarta – House of Representatives (DPR) legislators questioned on Friday the performance of President Megawati Soekarnoputri's government in the economic and political fields after nearly three months in office.