Tony Hotland, Jakarta – Chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB) Muhaimin Iskandar asserted on Friday he would not dismiss or recall any dissenting PKB legislators who had opposed the party's national congress last month.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
May 7, 2005
Tony Hotland, Jakarta – Apparently not wanting to go down alone, General Elections Commission (KPU) treasurer Hamdani Amin, who has recently been declared a graft suspect, told investigators on Friday that all the KPU officials had received money from private companies, which had won business tenders from the commission.
Ivy Susanti and Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – Adm. William J. Fallon, the newly-appointed commander of the US Pacific Command, said on Friday he was upbeat that his country would soon resume full military ties with Indonesia, which were downgraded 13 years ago.
Mike Carlton – The mindless cruelties and the rank stupidity of this country's immigration policies grow more disgusting with each passing week.
May 6, 2005
Moch. N. Kurniawan, Jakarta – This is a story of a hero-turned public enemy. Mulyana W. Kusumah – a rights activist and member of the Indonesian Elections Commission (KPU) – was one of the many so-called "heroes" who it seemed had succeeded in organizing a mammoth task, the 2004 general and presidential election.
The United States is determined to normalize military ties with Indonesia, America's top commander in the Pacific said Friday, despite accusations by human rights groups that Jakarta's armed forces are continuing to commit abuses.
ID Nugroho, Sidoardjo – An old bicycle is parked among hundreds of motorcycles near a machinery assembling factory in East Java town of Sidoardjo. The bicycle is rusty, and its seat torn.
"It's bad, I know, but this bicycle gets me to work every day," Haryono, a factory worker, told The Jakarta Post.
Jakarta, Nusa Dua, Bali – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has repeated his promise to seriously fight corruption at all levels of both state and private institutions, establishing a special team to strengthen and speed up his antigraft drive.
When Director General for Land Transportation Iskandar Abubakar launched the idea of having all private vehicles undergo a roadworthiness test in 2003, he was met with strong resistance from the public. There was widespread suspicion that the test would be a ruse to extort money from motorists.
Rendi A. Witular, Jakarta – Aside from conducting humanitarian work in tsunami-stricken Aceh, a number of overseas non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the province are abusing their original mission, says the head of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN).
Jakarta – The election monitoring group the People's Network for Voter Education (JPPR) believes that the provincial offices of the General Elections Commission (KPUD) in a number of parts of the country are taking an excessive attitude (over acting) in determining what documents are required for organisations to be accredited to monitor the election of regional heads.
Rendi A. Witular and Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono installed on Wednesday 51 members of a special team charged with the task of intensifying and improving the government's anticorruption campaign.
Oyos Saroso H.N, Bandarlampung – Media freedom in Indonesia is on the brink of ruin, with two senior journalists in Lampung being sentenced to nine months in jail for defamation.
Rachmat Gobel, Jakarta – In recent years, there has been an exodus of international companies from Indonesia. Kyocera is just one of the most recent examples. Because of this exodus, and the reluctance of new investment to come into Indonesia, many are claiming that Indonesia is threatened by a "de-industrialization" process.
May 5, 2005
The head of Indonesia's intelligence agency says some foreign aid groups in tsunami-hit Aceh province are "harming the security situation" with their activities.
Intelligence agency chief Syamsir Siregar told The Jakarta Post that the agency was monitoring a number of foreign non-governmental organisations because of their "irregular" activities in Aceh.
M. Rizal Maslan, Jakarta – The Armed Forces Veterans Association (Pepabri) supports TNI (armed forces) chief General Endriartono Sutarto's policy of TNI members participating in regional elections but being put on a non-active status and that those who participate must be prepared to win or loose.
Edmund McWilliams – Is the United States making the same mistakes in its search for partners in the "war on terror" as it did during the Cold War?
With great pleasure, ETAN today announced a new name for the 13-year-old organization – the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN).
The group also updated its mission statement to better reflect its goals of supporting rights, justice, and democracy in both East Timor and Indonesia.
Jakarta – A US navy commander expressed optimism that the US will soon resume full military cooperation with Indonesia, citing progress by Jakarta on human rights issues.
United Nations – Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN staff more than doubled last year, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said in a report.
There were 121 allegations in 2004 compared to the 53 in 2003, Annan said in a report to the UN general assembly.
Jakarta – Military cooperation between Indonesia and the United States was high on the agenda at a meeting between Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto and US Pacific commander Adm. William J. Fallon here on Thursday.
May 4, 2005
Pip Hinman, Sydney – Paddy Keneally, a former wharfie and Australian commander in East Timor, condemned the Coalition government for stealing Timor's oil at a rally in Martin Place on April 26. The same day, talks resumed in Dili between Timorese and Australian authorities over the disputed oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea.
Eva C. Komandjaja, Jakarta – The Press Council again called for the government to revise the controversial draft of the new Criminal Code, which allows for the criminal prosecution of journalists who violate the law in the course of their jobs.
Mark Dodd – Armed East Timorese police were last night poised to break up a huge church-backed anti-government protest in Dili, the most serious challenge yet to the authority of the fledgling state.
Police and security forces yesterday sealed off parts of the city, erecting razor-wire cordons around the main government offices and parliament buildings in central Dili.
Sarah Stephen – On April 26, 50 East Timorese asylum seekers were hand delivered letters rejecting their applications for refugee status in Australia, and given 28 days to leave the country. The immigration department (DIMIA) is offering individuals $2000 each or up to $10,000 a family, and a one-way ticket to Dili.
[Upon the invitation of the International Migrants (IOM), The Jakarta Post's Chisato Hara days observing developments in the tsunami-devastated province, including the hand over of shelters to displaced people in Tingkeum, Banda Aceh.]
Tasya is six months old, perhaps a little underdeveloped for her age, but bright-eyed and quick to smile – even at strangers.
Jon Lamb – Three days of negotiations over the disputed maritime boundary between East Timor and Australia concluded in Dili on April 29.
Ridwan Max Sijabat – A labor dispute bothering a major plywood company in Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan, reflects in many ways the general labor conditions in the country.
Vannessa Hearman, Melbourne – As talks between East Timor and Australia re-commenced in Dili, the Timor Sea Justice Campaign (TSJC) was notified on April 27 that its latest television commercials were again refused broadcast by TV stations.
Sibylle Kaczorek – As the Australian government continues its attempted theft of Timorese oil, solidarity from Australians with the Timorese becomes more important than ever. At Easter, Tomas Freitas, a spokesperson from the East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Development, was a guest at the third Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference in Sydney.
Dili – Amid signs in recent days of an emerging settlement to church protests against the East Timor government, leading Catholic clergymen made new demands Wednesday on the Dili executive including a call for a reconsideration of plans to relax the country's abortion laws.
Indonesia is opposing United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's proposal to abolish the UN Human Rights Commission and replace it with a smaller Human Rights Council that would meet year-round and have its membership restricted to countries that "abide by the highest human rights standards".
May 3, 2005
Ellen Nakashima, Lamteungoh – With a flick of her henna-painted hand, the teenage bride adjusted her gold batik head scarf, opened her mouth and accepted a spoonful of cooked white rice from her beaming husband. Then, as tradition dictates, she returned the smile and fed a spoonful of wedding rice to him.
Canberra – Australia has managed to out-wait a cash strapped East Timor in reaching agreement on lucrative Timor Sea oil and gas revenues, US-based strategic thinktank Stratfor says.
In an analysis of the deal which is set to be finalised in Brisbane on May 11, Stratfor said Dili was always likely to cave in.
Zakki P. Hakim, Jakarta – Indonesia's first quarter exports jumped 31.39 percent to US$19.76 billion from $15.04 billion in the same period last year, thanks in part to increased demand for coal, ores, copper and other minerals, as well as knitted apparel.
US and Indonesian military officers are meeting in the Indonesian capital to discuss ways to cooperate in the fight against Islamic terrorists in Southeast Asia, a US Embassy spokesman said Tuesday.
Tiarma Siboro, Jakarta – The central government is being urged to delay local elections as most regions appear to be unprepared for the polls and existing regulations contain many legal loopholes, which are feared may spell chaos during the elections.
About 300 protesters demonstrated outside the Jayapura provincial council buildings on Monday against the United Nations' decision to give Indonesia control of the province in 1963.
The fall of the New Order regime in 1998 and the formation of a new government after democratic elections in 1999 were seen as major boosts for press freedom in Indonesia. But the past two years have seen press freedom in the country take a hit, with several journalists brought up on criminal charges for allegedly defamatory stories.
Dili – The East Timorese capital braced Tuesday for the possibility of clashes between police and anti-government Catholic demonstrators, but a police deadline for the end of street protests ran down without any confrontation.
Paulo Gorjao – In April 2004, in his progress report regarding the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, recommended maintaining it for one more year. In May, the UN Security Council did so, but made it quite clear that this was the last extension.
Jakarta – Former Aceh military commander Maj. Gen. Endang Suwarya, who led an operation against separatist rebels, was officially installed as the new Army deputy chief on Monday.
Urip Hudiono, Jakarta – Monthly inflation began to ease in April from its sharp rise in March, but still leaves year-on-year inflation unchanged above the 8 percent level, official figures from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show.
Jakarta – Foreign NGOs that wish to continue their post-tsunami aid work in the Indonesian province of Aceh must not "interfere in the internal affairs of the country" by favouring the local pro-independence guerrilla.
Palembang (South Sumatra) – About 5,000 sidewalk vendors staged a protest at a roundabout in Palembang city center on Monday, rejecting the mayor's decision to move them to the city's Jakabaring market.
"The mayor is not being fair. We are only trying earn a living in the Pasar 16 market," a trader, Effendi, said.
Yogyakarta, Surabaya – More than 500 lecturers, employees and students of Yogyakarta's Gadjah Mada University (UGM) staged a protest on Monday against pay increases decided upon by the rector.
Tangerang – About 500 public minivan drivers in Tangerang went on strike on Monday to protest the presence of a new public minivan route they said took away their business.
Jakarta – Following a recent brawl involving soldiers and police officers, the Army has ordered members of the Cimanggis Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) to limit their activities in public areas.
May 2, 2005
BE Satrio, Litbang Kompas – Democratisation in Indonesia appears to be taking a step back. After successfully holding peaceful general elections in 2004, these days political upheavals are centred on the political processes with the political parties.
George Monbiot – It all seems a very long way away. But what is happening in an obscure island nation in the south Pacific has now become our business. A few weeks ago BP, the British company that has invested most in "corporate social responsibility", received final approval to start developing a gas field in West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea.