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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 20, 1997

Associated Press - February 20, 1997

Richard Cole, San Francisco – The multi-billion dollar Nike empire and its muscular sports machine rolled into town Thursday to launch a new store, but instead ran into the city's protest movement and eked out a public relations draw.

East Timor Human Rights Centre - February 20, 1997

The East Timor Human Rights Centre has received a report from reliable East Timorese sources relating to the suspected extra-judicial execution of four East Timorese men in October 1996.

February 19, 1997

Agence France Presse - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – About 300 people have died as a result of recent ethnic clashes in West Kalimantan and four people are being investigated for allegedly sparking the unrest, military (Abri) officials are reported to have said yesterday. "It's not true that the number of victims killed reached more than 1,000 like it was quoted in an English-language newspaper in Jakarta.

Jawa Pos - February 19, 1997 (Abridged)

Taufik Kiemas, the husband of Megawati Sukarnoputri, complied with a summons from the Jakarta police and was accompanied by twenty lawyers and hundreds of Megawati supporters. He was interrogated for seven hours. During the questioning, he was accompanied by four lawyers.

Wall Street Journal - February 19, 1997

Richard Borsuk, Jakarta – The government gave its formal blessing to the recently settled ownership battle for the giant Busang gold find, and an official used the occasion to deliver a message to all mining companies: Don't worry.

Waspada - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – PPP has rejected the accusation that PPP cadres RKH Amin Imron and KH Abdullah Schal were involved in the riots in West Kalimantan, said the chair of PPP Ismail Hasan Metareum. "It's really not true" said Buya, on February 18. According to Buya photos and posters of the two are common in the Maduran community not just in West Kalimantan but throughout Java

Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs - February 19, 1997

What is described as a "process of decolonization" by Portugal is in fact a record of failure and ineptitude. In July 1975, the Portuguese government ordered formation of a transitional government for East Timor to prepare for the election in October 1976 of a Popular Assembly that was to take responsibility for determining the future status of the territory.

Reuters - February 19 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia has accepted a proposal by Canada's small Bre-X Minerals Ltd mining company to develop the huge Busang gold find, Mines and Energy Minister Ida Bagus Sudjana confirmed yesterday.

Kompas - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – The General Chairman of the Central Directing Council of PPP, Ismail Hasan Metareum, evaluates that those meant by Army Chief of Staff General R Hartono, when he mentioned there were elements from East Java inciting the community in West Kalimantan, were Parliament PPP Fraction members KH Amin Imron and Madurese religious teacher KH Abdullah Schal.

IUF Asia/Pacific - February 19, 1997

[The following statement was passed unanimously on 21 February, 1997 by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco & Allied Workers' Association (Asia/Pacific) 9th IUF Asia/Pacific Regional Conference, held in Hong Kong from February 19 to 21, 1997.]

South China Morning Post - February 19, 1997

Joe Leahy, Jakarta – The Government has sought to suppress details of the disturbances in West Kalimantan with a clampdown on foreign media and apparent self-censorship by the Indonesian press.

Amnesty International - February 19, 1997

Of those arrested in the Viqueque district of East Timor in relation to disturbances between 7 and 11 February, 105 have now been released, leaving at least four still in detention. According to reports, many of those that have been released were tortured or ill-treated while in custody.

Straits Times - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – The Jakarta Military Command has begun operating the National Alert Command Centre (PKN) which would be effective throughout the country.

Reuters - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – Business tycoon Muhammad "Bob" Hasan, a close associate of Indonesia's President Suharto, is tipped to take a key role in the country's largest carmaker PT Astra International, brokers and analysts said yesterday.

Kompas - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – The head of the Jakarta Police, Maj-Gen Hamami Nata has said Megawati Sukarnoputri will be questioned as a witness by police this Thursday (February 20).

"If she doesn't appear for this second request, she will be called in a third time. If she doesn't turn up, she will be 'met' by police" he said on February 18.

Agence France Presse - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – About 300 people have been killed in ethnic clashes in West Kalimantan, according to the military, but rival groups have pledged in a public ceremony yesterday to work for peace.

The toll was given by Major-General Zacky Anwar Makarim, assistant to the army chief for security affairs to the Media Indonesia newspaper.

Kompas - February 19, 1997

Jakarta – The publishers of the magazine Suara Independen admitted that they felt that the magazine had a "harsh" tone and because of this they made a statement that the contents of the magazine was not the responsibility of the publishers.

February 18, 1997

Straits Times - February 18, 1997

Phnom Penh – Cambodia rolled out the red carpet yesterday for Indonesian President Suharto on his first state visit in almost 30 years, amid hopes that the trip would boost the country's bid to join Asean.

Asia Times - February 18, 1997

Ong Hock Chuan, Jakarta – Monday's announcement that Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold won the rush to mine what may be the world's largest gold reserves has sparked widespread concern about the implications of the deal for foreign investment in Indonesia.

ETRA - February 18 1997

It came to my attention the article of Sunday Observer of December 15, 1996 by Charlotte Clayton. As the person recently often used by the Indonesian Government propaganda machine to denigrate the name of my brother Jose Ramos-Horta by using this so-called book "the Eyewitness" I wish to state publicly the following:

Straits Times - February 18, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's army chief has blamed migrants from East Java for the outbreak of ethnic riots in West Kalimantan, the official Antara news agency reported yesterday.

"We have proof, there were bad people from East Java who came there to incite, so something happened which we did not want," General R. Hartono told reporters yesterday.

Kompas - February 18, 1997

Bogor – The General Chairman of the Central Directing Board of the Indonesian Democratic Party (DPP PDI) Soerjadi clarified that the implementation of the General Elections (Pemilu) 1997 campaign would experience a setback if there are too many rules which will be beneficial for one of the OPP (pemilu participating organization).

Star - February 18, 1997

Kuala Lumpur – Two Indonesian contract workers were killed and one escaped unhurt when a scaffolding on a building which was undergoing construction in Damansara Heights gave way yesterday.

Abdul Karim Sakariya, 24 and Jeseri Ibnuh, 41, died on the spot while Mursinah Murni, 25, was unhurt.

Kompas - February 18, 1997

Phnom Penh – President Soeharto clarified that the developing countries need to increase cooperation to support solidarity to overcome arising problems. This is important, because the changes which happen in the world are still more profitable for the advanced industrial countries.

Associated Press - February 18, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company plans to sell to Japanese investors a 13 percent stake in a giant gas project in the South China Sea, the government said Tuesday.

Research and Technology Minister B.J. Habibie said that negotiations are under way for Pertamina to possibly sell a one percent stake each to 13 Japanese companies.

Antara - February 18, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian Army Commander Gen R Hartono has reaffirmed there will be no changes in the set up of the regional military territory commanders before the upcoming general election.

"There is no regional military commander entering retirement age before the general election, so there won't be any change of the set up," Hartono told journalists here Monday.

Media Indonesia - February 18, 1997 (Abridged)

About seven hundred workers from Citra Raphael Indonesia factory in Tangerang marched seven Kms to the local legislative assembly building, bringing commercial activity in the area to a halt. Shops along the route closed their shutters, fearing that riots might occur. The factory produces jeans.

Kompas - February 18, 1997 (Abridged)

Two men from the People's Democratic Party, PRD, facing subversion charges, presented their objections Monday to the charges that were made against them at the first hearing in their trial last week.

Antara - February 18, 1997

Jakarta – Police has sent a second summons to ousted party leader Megawati Soekarnoputri and his husband Taufik Kiemas to explain about the political activity they held at their home on January 10, a South Jakarta police chief said here on Monday.

Antara News - February 18, 1997

Jakarta – The chief of the Jakarta chapter of Bakorstanasda (the coordinating agency for promoting national stability), Mayor General Sutiyoso has said that the gathering on the eve of Id al Fitr in the National Monument (Monas) recently was not the target of attack by grenades seized by the police on February 9.

New York Times - February 18, 1997

Anthony Depalma, Toronto – A century after the Klondike gold rush, a modern-day stampede marked by political intrigue and fast deals is about to result in an American mining company staking claim in Indonesia to part of one of the richest gold strikes in history.

Jakarta Post - February 18, 1997

Jakarta – A prosecution witness told the court trying labor leader Muchtar Pakpahan yesterday that he had not heard Pakpahan utter any antigovernment statements between August 1995 anc! July 1996.

Kompas - February 18, 1997

Jakarta – Two of those accused of subversion from the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD) presented their objections at the South Jakarta State Court, Tuesday 17 February. In essence, they questioned the relevance of continuing the trial in the midst of the lack of legal clarity and the "authorities" which has coloured the course of the trials.

February 17, 1997

Asia Times - February 17 1997

Ong Hock Chuan and agencies, Jakarta – International bidding for the rights to operate one of the world's largest gold mines may have to start again if two of the main contenders do not settle a shareholding dispute by Monday.

Jakarta Post - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) attacked the government Saturday for allowing a coal mining firm to control 100,000 hectares of a Kalimantan national park.

Kyodo - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia warned all Japanese media Monday against what it calls bias in their recent coverage of riots in Indonesia.

The Information Ministry sent warning letters to all Japanese media affiliates based in Jakarta.

Reuters - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) yesterday said it had called on the United Nations human rights investigator to investigate the trial of an Indonesian independent labour union leader charged with subversion.

Antara - February 17, 1997

Canberra – Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told anti-integration activist Ramos Horta that Australia will not review its support to the East Timor integration to Indonesia.

Lusa - February 17, 1997

Adelaide – Australia has said that it will stand firm in its policy of recognizing East Timor's annexation by Indonesia while backing United Nations-sponsored talks to find a solution for the former Portuguese colony, East Timorese activist Jose Ramos Horta has said.

Antara - February 17, 1997

Pontianak – The Tanjungpura Regional Military Commander, MayGen Namuri Anoem, said that he had no intention to withdraw around 3,000 personnel of the Armed Forces (ABRI) already deployed to the riot-stricken West Kalimantan.

Antara News - February 17, 1997

Canberra – The state-owned aircraft manufacturing company IPTN will join the Australian International Air Show and Aerospace Expo in Avalon Airport, Geelong, Victoria, on February 18 to 23.

Agence France Presse - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian government has issued a warning to Japanese media correspondents here about their coverage of recent ethnic unrest in West Kalimantan province.

"We are very worried that these mass media are being used by certain groups which do not want to see Indonesia progress," said a letter to the journalists, dated Friday and obtained Monday.

Kompas - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – The Secretary General of the Central Directing Board of the Functional Group, Ary Mardjono, affirmed that the Functional Group can accept the three regulations regarding the implementation guidance for the 1997 general elections, including those issued by the Minister of Home Affairs, the Minister of Information, as well as the State Police Headquarters.

Antara - February 17, 1997

Dili – Col Mahidin Simbolon, the East Timor military commander,firmly denied unconfirmed reports that six people were killed in a recent mass brawls in Uatolari sub-district, Viqueque, East Timor.

East Timor Human Rights Centre - February 17, 1997

Manuel de Oliveira, Mateus Goncalves, Renato dos Santos, Antonio (no surname), Manuel Alves , Berta (no surname)

The East Timor Human Rights Centre has received a report about intensive military operations which took place in December 1996 in the village of Leo Rema, located on the border between the districts of Ermera and Liquica.

Bloomberg - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, the largest instant noodle maker in Indonesia, is buying control of six affiliated companies for 1.75 trillion rupiah (S$1.05 billion), or about 15 times their projected 1996 profit.

February 16, 1997

Straits Times - February 16, 1997

Jakarta – Police arrested two men who they believed had planned a grenade attack on a Muslim gathering attended by President Suharto last weekend, the state Antara news agency reported yesterday. Chief of the City Police Detectives, Colonel Paimin Aboemr, said on Friday that police had been tipped off about the plot.

ABC - February 16, 1997

A mob is reported to have attacked supporters of the Indonesian opposition leader, Megawati Sukarnoputri, in a town south of Jakarta.

The secretary general of the Megawati faction of the Indonesian Democracy Party, Alex Litaay, said about 50 people attacked a group of its supporters in the town of Kopo, about 70 kilometres south of the capital.

Wall Street Journal - February 16, 1997

Richard Borsuk, Jakarta, Indonesia – A dramatic saga over who will develop the giant Busang gold deposit on the island of Borneo is set for a surprise ending.

Straits Times - February 16, 1997

Jakarta – Representatives from the clashing ethnic groups in West Kalimantan are drafting a peace agreement to end the conflict that has rocked the Indonesian province since December, reports said.

It is being drawn up by members of the indigenous Dayak community and migrants from Madura, an island off East Java, the Indonesian Observer reported yesterday.