The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) has received information from reliable sources that an East Timorese man, Costodio da Silva Nunes, was extra-judicially executed by Indonesian security personnel on 7 May, 1998.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
May 13, 1998
The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) has received further information in relation to Sabino Barbosa Ximenes who was detained in Dili on 11 September, 1997, by members of SGI (Special Intelligence Unit).
Mark Landler, Jakarta, Indonesia – Security forces killed at least four students and injured more than 20 others when they opened fire on a demonstration that had spilled from a college campus onto a major highway here.
May 12, 1998
Raphael Pura, Jakarta – As Indonesia teeters on the edge of economic disaster, most eyes are on President Suharto, its stubborn, aging leader. But the brunt of the burden of saving Indonesia's economy rests on the shoulders of another man: Ginandjar Kartasasmita, an ardent nationalist and born-again reformer.
Jakarta – There are strong indications that the Kopassus, under the command of Major General (Army) Prabowo Subianto (now Lieut. Gen. and Commander of Army Reserve - Ed), is responsible for the abduction of activists. The intensive operation to kidnap activists began during the time of the General Assembly session in March l998.
David Watts, Solo – The absent President Suharto of Indonesia suffered a double political blow yesterday when an important Muslim leader and a group of retired generals came out against his continuation in office.
A prominent Muslim leader in Indonesia, also seen as the emerging leader of a People's Power movement against President Suharto, today, called for the right of self-determination of the East Timorese people to be respected. He also admitted that Indonesia's rule of the troubled territory is a severe drain on Jakarta's coffers.
May 11, 1998
Jay Solomon and I Made Sentana, Medan – All is quiet again in Indonesia's third-largest city – much too quiet.
After last week's rioting and looting left scores of people injured and caused massive property damage, residents are suddenly coping with a new problem: life without ethnic Chinese.
May 10, 1998
Keith B. Richburg, Jakarta – Indonesia's economic hardship worsening, social unrest spreading and anti-government protests showing no sign of abating, the key question on almost everyone's mind here is: What will the military do?
Award-winning Toronto Star foreign correspondent Paul Watson, who was arrested by Indonesian police after taking pictures of a riot in Medan, was deported to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday. Watson, The Star's Asian bureau chief, filed this story before being flown out of the country.
May 9, 1998
Jakarta – Scores of students were injured in clashes in central Java yesterday as campus demonstrations continued across Indonesia.
The trouble came despite the military's pledge to speed reforms and its call for the protests to end.
David E. Sanger, Washington – The United States today gave Indonesia $1 billion in loan guarantees, free of any conditions concerning human rights abuses surrounding the protests against President Suharto's rule. Almost simultaneously the Pentagon, citing the unrest, canceled a joint training exercise with the Indonesian military.
Alan Wheatley, London – Leading industrial nations bluntly told Indonesian President Suharto on Saturday they expected him to enact sweeping political reforms to head off social unrest triggered by the country's economic crisis.
Jakarta – As many as 80,000 villagers face starvation because of raging wildfires that have destroyed a vast forest area in the East Kalimantan province.
The newspaper Bisnis Indonesia reported Saturday that Juwono Sudarsono, minister for environment, said he will visit the region next Wednesday as part of the government's efforts to address the threat.
May 8, 1998
Andrew Marshall. jakarta – Church leaders representing more than 10 million Indonesian Protestants have added their voice to the growing chorus of demands for reform of the country's political system and pledged support for student protesters.
Jim Mannion, Washington – The United States called off a military training exercise with Indonesia and is reviewing all other scheduled joint military activities because of concern over political unrest there, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.
Geoffrey Barker – Australia moved to distance itself from Indonesia's rulers yesterday as a prominent Australian expert warned that continuing economic and ethnic crisis could turn Indonesians towards ruthless, demagogic leadership.
Jakarta – Indonesian financial markets were edgy on Friday on renewed student protests and on continued unrest and looting in cities in north Sumatra.
Students ignored a call from the Indonesia's powerful military chief to halt their protests and staged a mock trial of President Suharto in Jakarta on Friday, condemned him to death and burned him in effigy.
Defiant Indonesian students called for the execution of President Suharto Friday as police and soldiers cracked down on the escalating nationwide protests with baton charges and hails of rubber bullets.
The wave of student actions across the country on Thursday led to a number of clashes with the security forces. There were casualties on both sides; the number of student injured was higher than on previous days, many caused by truncheons, rubber bullets, stone throwing and beatings.
May 7, 1998
Jakarta – Thousands of workers across Indonesians went on strike demanding wage increase after hikes in fuel, electricity and staple food prices, reports said on Thursday. About 4,000 workrs staged a rally in front of two ceramics factories in the greater Jakarta area town of Tangerang, demanding higher improved benefits and more transparent hiring policies.
Margot Cohen with John McBeth, Jakarta – The offer was on the table: silence or death. A petrified Pius Lustrilanang did not hesitate. He promised to keep his mouth shut about his two months in captivity in a detention centre outside Jakarta, and his kidnappers rewarded him with a plane ticket home to south Sumatra.
Medan – Rioting spread to nearby towns yesterday as parts of the North Sumatran capital remained tense.
East Medan's Tebung commercial area was littered with glass and debris yesterday evening after scores of shops had earlier been looted and set on fire by hundreds of rioters.
Louise Williams, Jakarta – Indonesian police shot and wounded at least two people during riots in Medan yesterday, as the North Sumatran capital was hit by a third consecutive day of mob violence sparked by steep increases in fuel and transport prices.
Jakarta – Former cabinet minister Siswono Yudohusodo stressed the necessity of immediate political and economic reforms yesterday, indicating that a cabinet reshuffIe may be needed to help defuse the national crisis.
The influential Association of Indonesia Muslim Intellectuals. ICMI, has called for sweeping political reforms in the wake of escalating violent protests, reports said Thursday.
President Suharto's latest reform proposals were "vague, too litte and too late", the ICMI statement saidm in a statement called for a cabinet reshuffle.
May 6, 1998
By Robyn Dixon in Melbourne and Jennifer Hewett in Washington
The IMF's managing director, Mr Michel Camdessus, has expressed "deep concern" over the rioting in Indonesia, but said the real cause of unrest was not price rises, but the deeper economic management problems which had led to the crisis in the first place.
Ian MacKenzie, Jakarta – Riots in the North Sumatran capital of Medan shook Indonesia for a third consecutive day on Wednesday, with local reporters saying at least six people were killed in blazing buildings or by gunfire from security forces.
May 5, 1998
Jakarta – Female workers have become the prime target of lay-offs and dismissals in Greater Jakarta, a women's organization said.
The Indonesian Women's Association for Justice (APIK), which has been monitoring labor relations in Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi, said over the weekend that pregnant workers were the number one target of dismissals.
Christopher Torchia, Jakarta – Thousands of rioters burned cars and looted stores in an Indonesian city today and police battled rock-throwing students in the capital as sharp hikes in the cost of fuel and transport kicked in.
Four activists who were arrested on 9 March while taking part in a small demonstration in Jakarta went on trial at the Central Jakarta district court, charged with carrying out political activities.
K. Baranee Krishnaan, Kuala Lumpur – US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott said on Tuesday he would not tolerate another violent entry into his embassy by asylum seekers after eight Indonesians broke in last month and fought with embassy staff.
Jakarta – The South Jakarta District Court has sentenced 11 activists to nearly two months in jail for taking part in a street protest here in February, the Jakarta Post daily said.
Semarang – Jail sentences of between 3 and 4 years were sought for four East Timorese students undergoing trial in Semarang, Central Java on charges of possessing explosives. The foru students, Domingus Natalino, Joaqim Santana, Fernao Pedro Malta and Ivo Salvador were charged under Article No. 12/DRT/1951 of the Criminal Code, and Article No.
Dili – Four Timorese youth were shot dead last week in Maubara, 50 km west of Dili, religious sources at the territory said on Monday.
According to several sources quoted by Agence France Press, local militias armed by the Indonesian forces allegedly executed the four youth.
Jakarta – More than 200 workers and labor activists staged a protest at the head quarters of the All-Indonesia Workers Union Federation (FSPSI), demanding an increase in the minimum wage, the resignation of the federation's leaders and lower prices for basic commodities.
Jakarta – Alumni from 48 leading universities and institutions have thrown their weight behind student rallies for reform and vowed to establish a special network to aid families whose relatives "disappear".
May 4, 1998
Christine T. Tjandraningsih, Jakarta – The Indonesian government Monday announced an increase in public transportation fares, only a few hours after it announced price hikes for fuel and electricity in accordance with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendation to reduce government subsidies for the two commodities.
Jakarta – Clashes between students demanding political reform and security forces in three towns at the weekend left 77 policemen and at least 60 students injured, six by rubber-coated bullets, reports said yesterday.
Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – One of Indonesian President Suharto's favorite pasttimes is to have a talk in front of farmers, small traders and villagers, known locally as "temu wicara," a phrase which translates as a "gathering to talk."
May 3, 1998
Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – In nationwide rallies yesterday, thousands of Indonesian students protested against President Suharto's decision to rule out major political reforms in the next five years.
Mantik Kusjanto, Jakarta – The IMF's executive board is expected to give Indonesia's reform programme its seal of approval on Monday, but economic analysts said even this was unlikely to stimulate the country's battered financial markets.
They said politics was the key issue setting the direction for the rupiah currency, as well as implementation of economic reforms.
Jakarta - Dozens of higher education institutes in the area of Jabotabek (Jakarta-Bogor-Tangerang-Bekasi) simultaneously staged actions of concern which were highlighted by clashes with the security apparatus at various campuses on Saturday (2/5).
May 2, 1998
Louise Williams, Jakarta – In a clear warning to Indonesia's growing opposition, President Soeharto has insisted there will be no political reform for at least five years and indicated his government will crack down on attempts to disrupt national stability.
Paul Blustein – The Clinton administration, worried that political upheaval in Indonesia could wreck the country's international economic rescue, is warning the government of President Suharto to show restraint in dealing with student demonstrations and other forms of dissent.
Don Greenlees, Jakarta – On Sunday March 8, Haryanto Taslam joined the list of Indonesian political activists to go suddenly missing. Soon before he disappeared he received a telephone call at his home in East Jakarta and told his wife, Ani Agustina, he was going out.
May 1, 1998
[The following is an interview with Allan Nairn, Journalist and Indonesian Specialist by Danny Schechter.]
Schechter: Suharto is out. What happens now in Indonesia?
Nairn: Suharto is out, but the army is still there. It's the army who runs the police state. Until people break their power through protest, there is really no real chance for democracy.
Jakarta – Waves of student protests critical of the government and demanding sweeping reforms were unrelenting yesterday, with clashes between students and security officers erupting on several campuses.
Jakarta – A clash between the security apparatus and students staging actions of concern has now occurred at the Syarif hidayatullah Islamic Religion State Institute, Jakarta, on Thursday (30/4).
Jakarta – The Indonesian armed forces (ABRI) plans to sue Indonesian media, which suggested that the military was behind the disappearances of anti-Suharto activists, the official Antara news agency reported yesterday.