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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 13, 2006

News ›› Aceh ›› Regional Autonomy & Separatism
Jakarta Post - March 13, 2006

Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – Acehnese appealed once again for an end to lingering suspicion about their allegiance to the country as the House committee deliberating the bill on the province's governance made a weekend trip to Banda Aceh.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Governance & Public Policy
Jakarta Post - March 13, 2006

Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – House Speaker Agung Laksono denied reports Saturday that members of the House of Representatives would receive yet another pay hike.

"There will be no salary hike in 2006. We don't know yet if there will be any in 2007 or 2008. We last got a salary increase approved in 2005, but it has yet to be disbursed," he told reporters.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Jakarta Post - March 13, 2006

Tb. Arie Rukmantara, Jakarta – Indonesian environmentalists plan to discuss pollution and rights abuse by multinational companies during the upcoming UN Human Rights Commission meetings in Geneva.

March 12, 2006

News ›› Indonesia ›› Military Ties & Arms Trade
Associated Press - March 12, 2006

The emergence of democracy in Indonesia has "thoroughly transformed" US relations with that country, the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said in remarks made public yesterday.

News ›› West Papua ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - March 12, 2006

Hyginus Hardoyo, Manokwari, West Irian Jaya – Eligible voters in West Irian Jaya crowded polling stations Saturday, ignoring threats of violence if the gubernatorial election in the disputed province went ahead.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Jakarta Post - March 12, 2006

Panca Nugraha, Mataram – About 300 people, mostly women, took to the streets Saturday in a loud protest against the antipornography bill, which they said degraded women, insulted many local cultures and threatened tourism.

News ›› East Timor ›› Health & Education
Melbourne Age - March 12, 2006

Tom Hyland – Outside, the autumn sun glistens on the Yarra. Inside the swish restaurant at Federation Square there's the clink of cutlery as hundreds of Melbourne women lawyers listen to a lunchtime speech by the woman who is billed to speak on her life, "from Melbourne arts student to the first lady of East Timor".

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Jakarta Post - March 12, 2006

Duncan Graham, Surabaya – Before sociologists and grief counselors got hold of the word, "closure" meant keeping the door shut. Now it refers to the absence of a corpse, unresolved disputes about cause of death, the mystery of a sudden fatality.

And the reason. And the perpetrator. Suciwati does not have closure. Maybe she never will.

News ›› West Papua ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - March 12, 2006

Nethy Dharma Somba, Jayapura – Hundreds of residents angry with the results of the gubernatorial election in Papua on Friday attacked the General Elections Commission (KPUD) office in Puncak Jaya regency.

March 11, 2006

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Sydney Morning Herald - March 11, 2006

Mark Forbes and Karuni Rompies in Jakarta – Lilis Lindawati finished waitressing at 8pm and was waiting for a bus when the men in brown shirts came. Five jumped from the back of a ute and forced her into a nearby van.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
Jakarta Post - March 11, 2006

Jakarta, Makassar – A bomb exploded at a Hindu temple in the conflict-scarred town of Poso, Central Sulawesi on Friday, a day after the government announced an extension of its security operation in the area for another three months.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Farming & Agriculture
Agence France Presse - March 11, 2006

Ubud – Emerald rice paddies once stretched for mile upon mile alongside the road that winds through scenic Ubud on Indonesia's Bali island, but today just glimpses remain as hotels, restaurants and shops have risen up to block the view.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Jakarta Post - March 11, 2006

Benget Simbolon Tnb., Jakarta – The government is yet to take serious action to protect migrant workers overseas despite recurring cases of their ill treatment by recruiters and employers, a seminar concluded Thursday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Governance & Public Policy
Jakarta Post - March 11, 2006

Tony Hotland, Jakarta – Eight months ago, top officials were seen attending Cabinet meetings dressed simply. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono often wore smart, short-sleeved batik shirts and his Cabinet also sported casual attire.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Jakarta Post - March 11, 2006

Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – The two largest factions in the House of Representatives are expected to push for major changes to the pornography bill currently being deliberated, as the controversy over the issue continues to grow.

The Golkar Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) occupy 128 and 109 seats respectively in the 550-seat House.

March 10, 2006

News ›› East Timor ›› Economy & Investment
Antara - March 10, 2006

Executive director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Hadi Soesastro said East Timor has abundant natural resources.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Governance & Public Policy
Jakarta Post - March 10, 2006

Suherdjoko, Wonosobo – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told protesting subdistrict heads Thursday that he would not heed their demands for longer terms of office, and added that such a move would be against the law.

News ›› East Timor ›› Economy & Investment
Daily News (New Zealand) - March 10, 2006

Virginia Winder – East Timor needs fair trade to turn its economy around, says peace and environmental activist Ego Lemos.

The Timorese man arrived in Taranaki yesterday for the Parihaka International Peace Festival.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
Jakarta Post - March 10, 2006

Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – The government has extended its security operation in the conflict-scarred region of Poso, Central Sulawesi, by another three months because it says tensions remain high in the area.

Statements ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
International Press Institute - March 10, 2006

H. E. Kofi Annan
Secretary-General United Nations
New York, NY 10017 USA

Fax: +1-212-963 48 79

Vienna, 10 March 2006

Your Excellency,

News ›› East Timor ›› Poverty & Social Inequity
The Times (UK) - March 10, 2006

Richard Lloyd Parry – Five years after being liberated from Indonesian occupation, the tiny country of East Timor is in a downward spiral of poverty, poor health and illiteracy, according to a grim report by the United Nations.

East Timorese die on average 15 years younger than other East Asians and four out of ten of them survive on less than 30 pence a day.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Protests & Popular Resistance
Jakarta Post - March 10, 2006

Ambon, Maluku – A protest at the State Islamic Institute in Ambon escalated Thursday when 500 students told lecturers and staff to leave the campus. The protesting students have sealed off the campus since Monday, forcing 3,000 students to miss classes.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Jakarta Post - March 10, 2006

Charles Honoris, Tokyo – The proposed pornography bill has created a nationwide controversy. Several interpretations of the bill suggest that the article outlawing women from showing "sensual parts" could result in banning women from wearing swimsuits or bikinis – or even the kebaya. Even more difficult will be to define what constitutes an "erotic dance".

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Jakarta Post - March 10, 2006

Tb. Arie Rukmantara, Jakarta – Munir's murder, the religiously motivated attacks on Ahmadiyah followers and forced church closures are some of issues local activist groups plan to raise at the upcoming session of the United Nation's Commission on Human Rights.

News ›› Aceh ›› Sharia & Discriminatory By-Laws
Deutsche Presse Agentur - March 10, 2006

Banda Aceh – Dewi Haryanti was in a hurry. The 25-year-old was exchanging her hotel waitress uniform for street clothes for the trip to her second job at a boutique she owns with her sisters in the capital of Indonesia's tsunami-torn Aceh province.

News ›› West Papua ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Daily Telegraph - March 10, 2006

Washington – Australia's top diplomat in the US has delivered a rousing speech in support of Indonesia and criticised the motives of fighters for the independence of Papua.

Ambassador Dennis Richardson's address yesterday to a US/Indonesia advocacy group in Washington was so supportive Indonesia's ambassador joked that he may soon be out of a job.

March 9, 2006

News ›› Indonesia ›› International Women's Day
Jakarta Post - March 9, 2006

Jakarta – Women's groups took to the nation's streets Wednesday to voice their opposition to sharia law and the controversial pornography bill, both which they said unfairly criminalized women's sexuality and behavior.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Jakarta Post - March 9, 2006

Multa Fidrus, Tangerang – Some 1,500 people representing various groups staged a rally Monday at the Tangerang administration office on Jl. Satria, to show support for a bylaw that regards the performance of sex work as a criminal offense.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Jakarta Post - March 9, 2006

Abdul Khalik, Jakarta – The government's campaign against graft seems to be coming unstuck at the prosecutor's office, with a mountain of cases still to be tried. A paltry two of about 2,000 corruption cases have been processed in the past six years, head of the Jakarta Prosecutor's Office Rusdi Taher said Wednesday.

News ›› Aceh ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Sydney Morning Herald - March 9, 2006

Mark Forbes, Jakarta – An Australian aid agency is among those to have lied about their lacklustre efforts in Aceh's $7 billion tsunami reconstruction program, the program's director says.

News ›› West Papua ›› Analysis & Opinion
Dissident Voice - March 9, 2006

John Pilger – In 1993, I and four others travelled clandestinely across East Timor to gather evidence of the genocide committed by the Indonesian dictatorship.

News ›› East Timor ›› Poverty & Social Inequity
Australian Associated Press - March 9, 2006

Rob Taylor, Jakarta – East Timor is at a tipping point and must use billions of dollars from the carve-up of undersea oil and gas reserves wisely or continue its downward spiral into poverty, a new report has warned.

Statements ›› Indonesia ›› Abductions & Extra-Judicial Killings
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal - March 9, 2006

Dear friends,

News ›› West Papua ›› Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Australian Associated Press - March 9, 2006

A US State Department report alleging torture and intimidation by Indonesian security forces against Papuan separatists may add weight to the case of 43 Papuan boat people seeking asylum in Australia.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Jakarta Post - March 9, 2006

Tb.Arie Rukmantara, Jakarta – A technical snafu Wednesday meant legislators were unable to scrutinize the government's controversial US$30 million out-of-court settlement with PT Newmont Minahasa Raya over a pollution case.

Statements ›› Indonesia ›› Women's Rights & Gender
Perempuan Mahardhika - March 9, 2006

On March 8, no less than 400 mostly women activists from Perempuan Mahardhika, which is made up of urban poor, worker and student organisations along with other women's groups, marched to demand government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stop paying the foreign debt and use the budget to improve welfare for the poor.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Prostitution & Human Trafficking
Jakarta Post - March 9, 2006

ID Nugroho, Surabaya – Eighteen underage prostitutes were recently held at Surabaya Police Headquarters for several days after being picked up by officers during a raid on the city's Dolly red-light district.

News ›› East Timor ›› International Women's Day
The Advertiser - March 9, 2006

Cara Jenkin – In Adelaide, Kirsty Sword Gusmao can see that women, young and old, enjoy equal opportunities. At her home in East Timor, they still struggle for even basic gains.

In her position as First Lady of East Timor, Ms Sword Gusmao was guest speaker at the UNIFEM Adelaide Breakfast at the Adelaide Convention Centre yesterday.

News ›› Indonesia ›› International Women's Day
Kompas - March 9, 2006

Jakarta, Kompas – Commemorating International Women's Day on March 8, women in Jakarta, Banda Aceh, Yogyakarta and Makassar held peaceful actions demanding that the government and the House of Representatives (DPR) resolve the nation's major problems.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Jakarta Post - March 9, 2006

Jakarta – About 3,000 workers took to the streets outside Merdeka Palace on Wednesday to show their opposition to a plan by the government and the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) to revise the 2003 Labor Law.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Governance & Public Policy
Jakarta Post - March 9, 2006

Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – Poor coordination among government agencies, a lack of security features and systemic corruption makes it all too easy for criminals to get hold of multiple identity cards, a Home Ministry official says.

March 8, 2006

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Jakarta Post - March 8, 2006

Dozens of employees of Klub Golf Senayan in Central Jakarta demonstrate on Tuesday outside the management's office.

The gardeners, housekeepers, waitresses and security guards demanded a transportation and a meals allowance on top of their basic salary.

News ›› East Timor ›› Poverty & Social Inequity
Sydney Morning Herald - March 8, 2006

Craig Skehan – Entrenched poverty could destabilise East Timor unless earnings from oil and gas are fairly distributed, a United Nations report has found.

Half the estimated population of 1 million lacks safe drinking water and 60 in every 1000 infants die before their first birthday. Life expectancy is only 55, while the average yearly income of $500 has been falling.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Human Rights & Justice
Jakarta Post - March 8, 2006

Muninggar Sri Saraswati, Jakarta – Legislation protecting state secrets should be passed before the freedom of information bill is made law, or there could be complications, the government says.

News ›› Indonesia ›› International Women's Day
Media Indonesia - March 8, 2006

Jakarta – Around 100 women activists from the Women's Anti-Poverty Movement (GPAK) held a peaceful action at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday March 8 to commemorate International Women's Day.

News ›› West Papua ›› Freeport & MIFEE Food Estate
Green Left Weekly - March 8, 2006

Zoe Kenny – On February 25, the five-day blockade by several hundred West Papuan villagers of the sole access road to Freeport's Grasberg mine was called off. The villagers achieved their modest goal of retaining the right (although formally illegal) to fossick among the mine's tailings to collect copper and gold remnants.

News ›› Indonesia ›› International Women's Day
Aceh Kita - March 8, 2006

Radzie, Banda Aceh – Acehnese women are asking to be involved in the process of public policy making in Aceh. In addition to this they are also calling for the enforcement of Islamic law not just be for women but for crimes such as corruption.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Labour & Migrant Workers
Tempo Interactive - March 8, 2006

Zaky Almubarok, Jakarta – The government is targeting to send 700,000 Indonesian overseas contract workers this year, an increase of 225,900 compared to last year's total of 474.310.

"They will be placed in Japan, Korea, Australia, and other countries," said the Minister of Manpower & Transmigration, Erman Suparno, in Jakarta yesterday (8/3).

Statements ›› Indonesia ›› Military Ties & Arms Trade
March 8, 2006

P.O. Box 15774, Washington, DC 20003

8 March 2006

Assistant Secretary Christopher R. Hill
Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
US Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Via Facsimile 202-647-7350

Dear Mr. Assistant Secretary:

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Asia Times - March 8, 2006

Bill Guerin, Jakarta – In a closely watched, highly contentious court case, a German bank is in the dock in an ongoing legal battle against a Singapore-registered company over ownership of Indonesian assets that are now partly owned by the Singaporean government.