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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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April 2, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
KPDI - April 2, 1997

On April 2, 1997 students from several Yogyakarta universities along with members of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI)- Struggle organised in the Indonesian Democratic Struggle Committee (KPDI) carried out a protest action against the arrest of 24 people during a Hunger Strike for Megawati and Democracy action at Gajah Mada University on April 1

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Amnesty International - April 2, 1997

Some 24 students were arrested and several others injured when members of the Indonesian security forces broke up a demonstration in Yogyakarta, Central Java on 1 April 1997. According to one report, those arrested are detained in Sleman District Military Command Centre, other reports suggest that they are being held in police custody.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
South China Morning Post - April 2, 1997

Jenny Grant, Jakarta – The ousted leader of the Indonesian Democracy Party, Megawati Sukarnoputri, plans to withdraw support for the party in the elections as a protest against the man who unseated her.

"Megawati and her followers will use their voting rights to choose one of the other two parties," said a senior source.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
EBRI - April 2, 1997

A score of youths grouped in the Indonesian Youth Committee last week staged a demonstration in front of the Attorney General Office in Jakarta, demanding the release of Sri Bintang Pamungkas and his friends who are in the prosecution custody on charges of subversion.

April 1, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
KPDI - April 1, 1997

Today on April 1 the repressive apparatus of the New Order has acted even more brutally against the movement to establish democracy in Indonesia. The Armed Forces ferociously and ruthlessy attacked a HUNGER STRIKE FOR MEGAWATI AND DEMOCRACY being conducted in the Gajah Mada University Boulevarde.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Radio Australia - April 1, 1997

Indonesian police have freed 33 East Timorese who had been held since last Thursday after entering the Austrian embassy in Jakarta in an effort to meet a United Nations envoy on East Timor. A diplomat says the youths were dropped off in three groups at different bus stations in the Indonesian capital. It is not known whether police plans to press charges against the youths.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
South China Morning Post - April, 4 1997

Deutsche Presse Agentur in Jakarta – A court has sentenced 30 people to between three days and three months in jail following riots last week.

The Jakarta Post said the rioters also received probation of three to four months for disrupting public order.

Reports ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Tapol - April 1997

On 29 May this year, the Indonesian people will be expected, indeed required, to take part in a general election, the results of which will have no effect on the way the country is run. This will be the sixth general election since General Suharto seized power in 1965.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Tapol - April 1997

On 29 May this year, the Indonesian people will be expected, indeed required, to take part in a general election, the results of which will have no effect on the way the country is run. This will be the sixth general election since General Suharto seized power in 1965.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Straits Times - April 1, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's minority parties said yesterday that election funding given by the government was too small to cover campaign costs for the country's May polls.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
South China Morning Post - April 1, 1997

Jenny Grant, Jakarta – The appearance of President Suharto's daughter, Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, with Indonesia's most influential Muslim leader, Abdurrahman Wahid, at a weekend rally signifies the beginnings of a powerful alliance.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Information & The Press
Granada - April 1, 1997

Granada, Spain – Indonesia's Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) was awarded the International Press Institute's "Free Media Pioneer '97" prize Monday at the opening of the group's sixth annual meeting.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Straits Times - April 1, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's main Muslim party has accused a number of ulamas of inciting last week's riots in a small Central Java town, a report said yesterday.

March 31, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Human Rights & Justice
Lusa - March 31, 1997

Jakarta – A member of Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission has accused the country's police of physically maltreating East Timorese who staged a demonstration during a visit to the conflict-territory last week by United Nations (UN) envoy, Jamsheed Marker.

News ›› East Timor ›› Arbitrary Arrest & Detention
Tapol - March 31, 1997

In a letter dated 31 March 1997 to the chief of police of Jakarta, the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, the YLBHI, has asked whether the Jakarta police are holding the 33 East Timorese who were arrested in Jakarta on 27 March.

News ›› East Timor ›› Freedom of Speech & Expression
Reuters - March 31, 1997

Jakarta – An East Timorese man has been jailed for one year for spreading hatred against Indonesian President Suharto after displaying a banner in the territory last year, the Antara news agency reported on Monday.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Lusa - March 31, 1997

Lisbon – The Indonesian police has demanded 33 East Timorese youths arrested last week after breaking into the Austrian embassy in Jakarta to sign a declaration accepting the annexation of East Timor by Indonesia if they want to be released, sources told Lusa.

News ›› East Timor ›› International Solidarity
Stop the Hawks coalition - March 31, 1997

Four East Timorese refugees and a Catholic priest arrested in East Trespass at British Aerospace Warton

March 30, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Straits Times - March 30, 1997

Susan Sim, Jakarta – Indonesia's favourite guessing game – who will be the next Vice-President – has been moved up a notch this past week with calls to political parties to name their candidates before the parliamentary election in May.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Agence France Presse - March 30, 1997

Jakarta – Trials for about 30 people charged with involvement in riots in Indonesia's Central Java last week have already begun.

"The court has already begun their trials on Thursday and Saturday," said police chief Triyono from Pekalongan, 300 kilometres from Jakarta, where 1,000 people rioted for three days last week.

March 29, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Social & Communal Conflicts
Down To Earth - March 29, 1997

Leading members of the Dayak community have been blamed for the violent ethnic conflict which took place in West Kalimantan earlier this year. The accusation is contained in a three-page report, purporting to investigate the causes of the unrest by a local 'study group'.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Antara - March 29, 1997

Semarang – The Central Java provincial branch of the United Development Party (PPP) is asking the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to probe alleged human rights violations in Monday's riot in the Central Java town of Pekalongan.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Dow Jones News - March 29, 1997

Jakarta – More than 30 people have been arrested since riots broke out in central Java early this week, the official Antara news agency reported Saturday.

About 60 shops were burned or vandalized, a bank office was damaged and two truckloads of garments were set on fire in riots Monday and Tuesday in the town of Pekalongan, a military spokesman told Antara.

March 28, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
Sydney Morning Herald - March 28, 1997

Louise Williams, Jakarta – Police fired rubber bullets into a rioting Muslim mob ahead of an appearance by President Soeharto's daughter Mrs Siti "Tutut" Hardiyanti Rukmana at a pro-Government election rally in central Java on Wednesday night.

March 27, 1997

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
South China Morning Post - March 27, 1997

Agencies in Jakarta – Police on Bali have detained four members of the Indonesian Democracy Party (PDI) who were planning to hold a political "long march" between Bali and Jakarta, a report said.

The police yesterday questioned the four, including the plan's initiator, Roch Basuki Mangunprojo, in Badung, Bali, according to the daily Suara Pembaruan.

News ›› East Timor ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
Reuters - March 27, 1997

Jakarta – The United Nations special envoy for East Timor, Jamsheed Marker, said he met jailed rebel leader Xanana Gusmao on Thursday at the end of his fact-finding mission to Indonesia.

Marker told a news conference that he met Gusmao in Jakarta but would not give any more details.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Wall Street Journal - March 27, 1997

Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesia's government Thursday halted development of the Busang gold deposit, once touted as the world's richest, one day after Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. said gold levels at the site apparently were "insignificant."

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Sydney Morning Herald - March 27, 1997

Louise Williams, Jakarta – The Indonesian Government has cancelled its invitation to foreign observers to monitor the May national elections, saying Indonesia will not be judged by foreign concepts of democracy.

News ›› Indonesia ›› PRD & Papernas
ASIET News - March 27, 1997

The New Order military regime apparently has still not ended its hunt for PRD cadre. Miranti, a Surabaya PRD cadre was kidnaped on 18 March by agents in civilian clothes, after she attended a session of the trial of Dita Sari and Coen Hussein Pontoh. Other PRD cadre saw Miranti being forced into a green coloured car about 300 metres from the court

News ›› Indonesia ›› Riots & Attacks on Authority
South China Morning Post - March 27, 1997

Agencies in Jakarta – Rioters attacked the homes of ethnic Chinese around a town in central Java yesterday during a rampage apparently sparked by a popular singer's switch of political allegiance.

News ›› East Timor ›› Political Prisoners & Wrongful Imprisonment
Agence France Presse - March 27, 1997

Jakarta – The UN special envoy on East Timor on Thursday met Jose Xanana Gusmao the jailed leader of the troubled territory's pro-independence movement as part of UN efforts to reactivate a peace process.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Military Ties & Arms Trade
The Independent - March 27, 1997

[Sue Lloyd-Roberts, BBC Special Correspondent, exposes the trade that gives the Indonesian regime the muscle to clamp down on dissent.]

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Radio Australia - 27 March, 1997

A group of 33 East Timorese who sought refuge in Jakarta's Austrian embassy have left the complex for an undisclosed destination.

An embassy spokeswoman says the youths left of their own will and were picked up by the police shortly after they emerged. The spokeswoman says the Indonesian Foreign Ministry has promised that the group will be treated well.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Elite Conflicts & Power Struggles
Far Eastern Economic Review - March 27, 1997

John McBeth, Jakarta – Just back from Germany in early February, Science and Technology Minister B.J. Habibie was summoned to a five-hour meeting with President Suharto. As the minister took notes in a book he habitually uses for presidential tete-a-tetes, Suharto railed against Muslim leader Amien Rais, whom he accused of making "subversive" statements.

March 26, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Agence France Presse - March 26, 1997

Jakarta – Forty-five people remained in detention in the East Timor capital on Monday, a day after a violent demonstration outside the hotel where a United Nations special envoy is staying for a key visit.

Residents said Dili appeared calm but the area around the downtown hotel where UN envoy Jamsheed Marker was staying remained heavily guarded by police.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Kompas - March 26, 1997

Jakarta – The detention of Sri Bintang Pamungkas (General Chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Union Party (PUDI), Julius Usman (Chairman), and Saleh Abdullah (Secretary General), which has already lasted 20 days, as of Tuesday (25/3) has been extended with 20 days, to mid April next.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Kompas - March 26, 1997 (slightly abridged)

The prosecutor in the trial of Dita Indah Sari, chair of the Indonesian Workers Centre of Struggle PPBI, and Coen Pontoh, coordinator of the education and propaganda department of the National Peasants Union, has asked the court to pass down a sentence of eight years against Dita Sari and six years against Coen Pontoh.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - March 26, 1997

Semarang – Military authorities in this Central Java city are planning to deploy at least 20 pythons to safeguard the May general election and the March 1998 presidential election.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Military Ties & Arms Trade
Lusa - March 26, 1997

Washington – The US has decided to postpone the sale of nine F-16 jet fighters to Indonesia because of human rights violations in the Southeast Asian country, the White House has announced.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
ABC Radio Australia - March 26, 1997

The United Nations special envoy on East Timor has held talks in Jakarta with East Timorese who had demanded the meeting after earlier forcing their way into the Austrian embassy.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Military Ties & Arms Trade
ABC News - March 26, 1997

A judge in Britain has blocked attempts to stop the government from selling military equipment to Indonesia. Judge John Laws says the campaign by three lobby groups was honourable, but purely political. The British government has given export permits for water cannon and armoured vehicles to Indonesia.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Business Indonesia - March 26, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian Democracy Defense Team (Tim Pembela Demokrasi Indnesia, TPDI) has confirmed that four PDI pro-Megawati Sukarnoputri figures have been called by the police in relation with the PDI anniversary and the July 27, 1996 riots.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Reuters - March 26, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian military said on Wednesday 33 East Timorese youths now inside the Austrian embassy in Jakarta would be questioned once they left the mission, the official Antara news agency reported.

The agency quoted armed forces spokesman Brigadier-General Slamet Supriadi as saying the actions of the youths, who climbed over the embassy's fence, were improper.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Anti-Dictatorship Struggle
Kompas - March 26, 1997 (Slightly abridged)

Speaking to a huge crowd of about five thousand people, Megawati Sukarnoputri (the ousted leader of the PDI who has been excluded from contesting the elections on 29 May) said that the Executive Council of the PDI under her leadership would shortly be issuing an instruction on how to act in the run-up to the forthcoming general election.

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
South China Morning Post - March 26, 1997

Agencies in Jakarta – A group of East Timorese youths gained a meeting with a UN special envoy yesterday after breaking into the Austrian Embassy in Jakarta and demonstrating for self-determination in their homeland.

News ›› East Timor ›› Freedom of Speech & Expression
Amnesty International - March 26, 1997

Twenty-four of those arrested in connection with a demonstration at the Mahkota Hotel in Dili on 23 March 1997 remain in custody and are now facing charges for publicly expressing hatred against the government. The remaining 21 arrested on 23 March appear to have been released.

March 25, 1997

News ›› East Timor ›› Independence & Self-Determination
Reuters - March 25, 1997

Jakarta – Thirty-three East Timorese entered the Austrian embassy compound in Jakarta on Tuesday, demanding a meeting with visiting U.N. special envoy for East Timor, Jamsheed Marker.

News ›› East Timor ›› Shootings & Violence Against Civilians
ASIET News - March 25, 1997

ASIET has received information from the Jakarta based Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) that seven East Timorese youth have been shot dead, four severely injured and 38 with lesser wounds at a peaceful gathering taking place inside the Mahkota Hotel in Dili.

News ›› East Timor ›› Shootings & Violence Against Civilians
Reuters - March 25, 1997

Geneva – East Timor independence leader Jose Ramos Horta, quoting Catholic Church sources on the troubled island, said on Tuesday that Indonesian troops had seriously wounded 18 youths at a weekend demonstration.

News ›› East Timor ›› Freedom of Speech & Expression
ABC News - March 25, 1997

Police in East Timor say they have charged 24 people with showing hatred towards the Indonesian government.