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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 5, 1997

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Pontianak – An Indonesian provincial capital, where there has been unrest since the start of the year, remained tense Wednesday with reports of new violence in other towns.

"The situation is very tense with sporadic violence in the last week," a resident of Pontianak, capital of West Kalimantan, told AFP.

The authorities have tried to impose a curfew in Pontianak.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Veronica Smith, Washington – US and international labor union chiefs led a raucous demonstration outside Indonesia's embassy Wednesday, demanding the release of a jailed Indonesian labor leader charged with subversion.

Agence France Presse - February 5, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign minister said Wednesday that Jakarta hoped Malaysia's closure of part of its border on Borneo due to ethnic violence on the Indonesian side would be quickly lifted.

February 4, 1997

Surabaya Post - February 4, 1997

On February 4, A group of East Timorese students from a number of Indonesian cities held an action at the Surabaya State Court. Their arrival cased a "hubbub".

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Jakarta's ethnic Chinese community was asked yesterday not to make any overt displays to celebrate the Lunar New Year following a series of attacks on Chinese and Christian properties by Muslim rioters.

Antara - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Moh. Yogie S. M., minister of internal affairs and chairman of the LPU [Election Institute], issued Directive Number 7 of 1997 on 30 January 1997 concerning Election Campaign Rules as a follow-up to Government Regulation 74/1996 concerning Election Laws and Presidential Decree 99/1996 concerning Election Campaigns.

Reuters - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia was the top corporate tax payer in Indonesia in 1995 and Salim Group founder Liem Sioe Liong the top individual tax payer, a senior tax official said at the weekend.

Two of President Suharto's sons were listed the 10th and 13th highest taxpayers in figures released by the director-general of taxation, Fuad Bawazier, on Sunday.

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Paris – Four East Timorese youths who broke into the French embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday will leave for Portugal by Wednesday, the French foreign ministry in Paris said.

International Herald Tribune - February 4, 1997

Michael Richardson, Jakarta – The Mentawai Islands along the southern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia are a picture of tropical paradise: countless remote atolls fringed by white sand beaches and coconut palms.

But below the surface of the crystal-clear azure waters, on the coral reefs that skirt the islands, it is another story.

Waspada - February 4, 1997

Kupang – Soerjadi [the government installed head of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) - JB.] has begged PDI members not to read newspapers if they have reports on the PDI. On February 3 he said that reports in the mass media tend to "corner" the party and do not give a true picture, "as far as articles concerning the PDI, it is better not to read them" he added.

South China Morning Post - February 4, 1997

David Barber in Wellington – Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta and East Timor independence campaigners stormed out of New Zealand yesterday, leaving Foreign Minister Don McKinnon wondering: "What did I say?"

Mr Horta left, vowing he would not to return until the Government changed its policy towards the former Portuguese colony, now absorbed into Indonesia.

East Timor Action Network - February 4, 1997

By letter dated 26 April 1996, the Special Rapporteur, in a joint initiative with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, conveyed information to the Government concerning a confrontation between university students protesting a rise in transport fares and military personnel which had reportedly

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian authorities are to start building a US$2.4 billion (S$3.4 billion) triple-deck road and railway project in July to overcome Jakarta's transport problems, a report said yesterday.

The project includes a 23.55-km elevated train built above a surface road but under a tollway, the Antara news agency said.

Agence France Presse - February 4, 1997

Jakarta – Four East Timorese broke into the French embassy here early Tuesday, an embassy source said. Embassy spokesman Dominique Roubert said they entered the embassy early Tuesday morning, but declined to elaborate further.

He did not state whether the four have sought political asylum.

"I confirm that there are four East Timorese at the embassy," Roubert said.

February 3, 1997

Sydney Morning Herald - February 3, 1997

Louise Williams – Security forces made further arrests at the weekend following last Thursday's Muslim riots west of Jakarta, and new tensions flared in the city of Bandung, where leaflets were dropped calling on Muslims to attack Christian and Catholic targets.

Kompas Online - February 3, 1997

Elko – Barrick Gold Corporation, the gold mine company from Canada, affirmed not to change the offer of 10 percent of shares in the Busang gold mine for the Indonesian government, although its competitor, Placer Dome Inc - which associates with entrepreneur Mohamad (Bob) Hasan and plans a merger with Bre-X - offers 40 percent shares for Indonesia.

Australian Associated Press - February 3, 1997

Gordon Feeney, Jakarta – Australia's ambassador-designate to Indonesia, John McCarthy, has arrived in Jakarta, bringing to a close 18 months of diplomatic tiffs between the two countries.

Mr McCarthy, 54, former envoy to the United States, arrived at the weekend and was due to present his credentials to President Suharto in the near future, an embassy spokesman said.

Jakarta Post Editorial - February 3, 1997

The latest annual report on human rights surveys by the U.S. State Department does not look too kindly on Indonesia's record for the past year. But the report does not differ all that much from those by some of our own respected human rights groups.

Agence France Presse - February 3, 1997

Wellington – Foreign Minister Don McKinnon was Monday clearly surprised but made no formal comment after Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta from East Timor said New Zealand "should drop dead." On Friday after meeting McKinnon, Horta hailed New Zealand's "good, discreet record in putting pressure on Indonesia" but by Sunday he was saying he would never set foot here while the

The Indonesia Times - February 3, 1997

Jakarta – A report published by the U.S. State Department has got strong reactions here.

Political scientist Amien Rais said, "As a sovereign country Indonesia should have self confidence about what we are convinced of and we do not need to be affected by other people's comments."

Unknown - February 3, 1997

Kuching (Sarawak, West Malaysia) – Local bus companies which ply between here and Pontianak in Kalimantan, Indonesia, have suspended operations out of concern for the safety of their employees and passengers following rumours of more riots there.

Indonesia Times - February 3, 1997

Jakarta – PT Freeport Indonesia is the biggest corporate taxpayer while conglomerate Soedono Salim pays the most taxes as an individual, an official says here.

February 1, 1997

Unknown - February 1997

Dublin Labour MEP, Bernie Malone, has urged Dick Spring, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the European Commission, to raise Human Rights abuses in East Timor by Indonesia at the forthcoming EU-ASEAN Summit in Singapore this Thursday, 13 February.

Agence France Presse - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – The leader of a non-governmental organization filed a complaint with the police against an influential Moslem leader for having accused the group of inciting a mass riot in West Java, reports said here Saturday.

Andrianto, leader of the Humanika Foundation, filed the complaint with the Jakarta police Friday against Abdurrahman Wahid, the Jakarta Post daily said.

Tapol - February 1997

Without producing a shred of evidence and seemingly desparate to find a way of explaining the widespread unrest in Indonesia, armed forces commander in chief, General Feisal Tanjung is now accusing opposition groups for the unrest. The following is a summary of an item in Kompas today, 22 February:

Unknown - February 1, 1997

Kuala Lumpur – Umno members who were part of the group which disrupted the second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (Apcet II) on Nov 9 may be facing suits for "assault and battery."

Sydney Morning Herald - February 1, 1997

Louise Williams in Rengasdenklok, West Java – The makeshift sign propped up outside the barricaded petrol station read: "We are Muslims, do not burn us down." Along the smouldering streets packs of Muslim youths patrolled, intoxicated with rage, metal pipes swinging, excited by the destruction which lay before them.

Down to Earth Action alert - February 1997

Hundreds of people have been killed following recent ethnic unrest in West Kalimantan, according to reports from Indonesia. Bloody clashes between the indigenous Dayak people, migrants from Madura and the military have been going on since early January, but little news has reached the outside world as the whole area has been sealed off by the Indonesian military.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 1, 1997

Jennifer Hewett, Washington – The United States has accused the Indonesian Government of committing "serious human rights abuses", in contrast to Australia's muted stance on the issue.

In its annual report on human rights in 193 countries, the US State Department criticised Indonesia's record, citing many abuses and what it called "pervasive corruption".

Kompas Online - February 1, 1997

Karawang – The situation in the subregency town of Rengasdengklok, Karawang Regency, West Java, has gradually returned to normal after enduring a riot from morning until afternoon on Thursday (30/1). The security authorities have questioned 126 persons suspected of being perpetrators in the riot.

Kabar dari PIJAR - February 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian armed forces will not pull out from the riot-stricken province of West Kalimantan on Borneo island, according to a report on Sunday.

Ethnic groups at the centre of weeks of clashes were trying to hammer out a peace agreement as residents in the provincial capital of Pontianak said calm had returned to the town.

Tapol - February 1997

The team of lawyers defending member of Parliament Aberson Marle Sihalalo who has been charged with insulting the President asked the court Tuesday, 18 February to declare that it had no authority to try the accused.

Waspada - February 1, 1997

Medan - The Medan police have "withdrawn" 5 legislative election candidate's Certificates of Non-involvement in the G30S/PKI affiar (SKTT, Surat Keterangan Tidak Terlibat G30S/PKI) which were presented by the head of the Golkar Sumut branch.

According to a Waspada source in the police department, the five are:

Unknown - February 1997

Last Monday (10), and again last Saturday (15) a group of Portuguese hackers (Portuguese Hackers Against Indonesia) modified the homepage of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry (first goal of an "East Timor Campaign").

Kabar dari Pijar - February 1997

Jakarta – Four pro-Megawati PDI members were arrested by the Purbalingga police after removing banners and a PDI flag erected by Suryadi supporters on Wednesday February 12. The arrest are Soetarno (65), Suwito (34), Soedarpo (35), and Sudiyo (27).

Kompas - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – PT Kahatex, one of the largest textile factories in West Java situated on Jl Rancaekek Km 25 (about 25 kilometers from Bandung), on Friday (31/1) was destroyed by some 7,000 of its workers. As a result of that riot, 5 office buildings, 8 factories, 4 storehouses, 1 employees mess, 68 trucks and employee operation cars were damaged and 60 cycles burned by the mob.

Down To Earth 28 - February 1997

As Jakarta opens the doors wider for foreign investment in mining, Canadian mining promoters are getting excited about the prospects for striking gold. At the centre of the action is the world's most notorious mining investor, Canada's Robert Friedland.

Reuters - February 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's armed forces chief General Feisal Tanjung said on Friday the military would take sterner measures against riots following disturbances in a town east of Jakarta in which buildings were burned or wrecked.

Down To Earth 32 - February 1997

Further evidence of the crisis in Indonesia's forestry industry is emerging as Ministry of Forestry, Djamaludin Suryohadikusomo, confirmed in October that 60 of the 90 private forest concessions to end in 1996 would not be renewed due to poor management. The 60 concessions will be handed over to the state owned forestry companies Inhutani I-V.

Down To Earth 32 - February 1997

Timber tycoon Bob Hasan will soon start pulp production at his PT Kiani Kertas project in Berau district, East Kalimantan.

Kompas - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – Every manuscript which will be used in the campaigns of the coming general elections (Pemilu) must first be checked by the Examination Committee for General Elections Campaign Manuscripts formed by the Minmister of Home Affairs/Chairman of the General Elections Institution (LPU).

Unknown - February 1997

Singapore – Senior officials of the ASEAN-European Union (EU) ended their two-day meeting where they agreed not to include the East Timor issue in the Joint Declaration draft as foreign ministry's Director General for Political Affairs Izhar Ibrahim said on Wednesday in Singapore.

Unknown - February 1997

Sarah Smith – Opposition parties held rallies in early January to protest against the conditions under which this year's parliamentary elections will be held. Most parties will be excluded altogether from the vote, scheduled for 29 May.

Kompas Online - February 1997

Jakarta – The Chief of Staff of Socio Politics (Kassospol) of the Armed Forces (ABRI) Lieut. Gen. Syarwan Hamid said that Indonesia presently very needed a set of Laws on National Security. This is particularly needed when ABRI personnel are on duty in efforts to neutralize a riot.

Down To Earth 32 - February 1997

When Bre-X Gold, a small Canadian exploration company discovered a huge gold deposit at Busang in East Kalimantan last year, big companies and powerful business players lined up to grab a piece of the action.

Straits Times - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – The situation in Indonesia's West Java province was less tense yesterday with shops re-opening and a cleaning up under way a day after Thursday's violent incidents caused widespread damage.

Tapol - February 1997

Semarang – The military has banned a book on the July 27 riots in Jakarta written by the unrecognized Alliance of Independent Journalists and Studi Arus Informasi.

Agence France Presse - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian Attorney General Singgih has indicated that several political trials now underway could conclude before the start of the election campaign in April, a report said here Saturday.

Unknown - February 1997

Jakarta – Before campaigning, according to Colonel Pol. Drs. Djamaluddin Harahap, the contesting parties must first obtain a Campaign Note from the police. The instruction is stated in the Field Directives of National Police Chief number Pol: Juklap/01/I/1997 on 1997 General Elections Campaign Notice.